Trust issues

Lone_Wolf

Policy Enforcement
I have an immense problem trusting people. I often want to and, when I've tried, I end up feeling betrayed. This has burdened me for decades and I have no one to truly call a friend. I fear that, due to my advancing in years, I'll never have close friendships or even romantic interests. It's like a window has slid shut.
 

Friday

Moderator
Trust issues in spades, for sure.

Although I expect mine are different from yours, as

- it’s very difficult to betray my trust, both because I so rarely give it; it’s earned, and in very limited/narrow ways.

- I view trust more like a giant sound board with hundreds of knobs/dials. I can trust someone with my money that I wouldn’t trust to make a sandwich or watch my kids (and vis versa). The more I know a person the more individual knobs/dials/slides move in various ways, both positively & negatively.

- Trust isn’t something I require of others to be pursuing or enjoying a relationship -romantic or platonic or professional or familial- with someone (although it is something I require of myself; being able to trust myself & my judgement).

^^^ None of this ^^^ was always true. For a long time trust was a very all or nothing sort of thing, and I had no discretion / I trusted “everyone” the same, or not at all.

It's like a window has slid shut.
I know THIS feeling, very well.

Both the true version of it, as well as the symptomatic version of it; the sense of foreshortened future coupled with “if it’s not true now, it will never be true”.

So I’m certainly not going to attempt to talk you out of it, because I have no idea how true it may be in your life (you could be 88 years old in bad health, or be middle aged in great health but expecting to be hit by mesothelioma from asbestos exposure 30 years ago any day now), or a thousand other options where you’ve only got a few years to live at most, or even just a few weeks/months.

What I would ask is a straight up self eval weighing IS true -vs- FEELS true.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I fear that… It's like...
I’m not sure the purpose of your post. Do you want commiserating or hope or something else? My guess is you want hope. These words I highlighted show me that you have hope.
You fear… but that doesn’t make it true, does it?
It’s like… but not exactly, right?
I don’t know what it will take for you. But I do know you are not alone. And I know it can take a long time.
When I started recovery with my current T for csa I had no friends and a few people who used me that I called friends. When T would ask what my plans were for the weekend I would scowl because she knew I had no one. I only wanted to share with her how bad my life was, and it was! But not as bad as I thought. So she started me off on gratitude and encouragement and bragging. I was allowed to reach out to her by voicemail between session but only to brag about good news. It took me months to do the first one and that was after several attempts where I didn’t talk or deleted my message.

My point is that I couldn’t focus on others until I focused a lot on myself, and it was very uncomfortable. A lot of the people I made friends with early on in recovery I no longer talk to, not because bad things happened but because I grew and changed and the people I sought for friends then are different than now because I’m different. And some old friends I had dropped I have rekindled, but from a new place inside me.

Are you working with a T who you trust? That’s an excellent place to practice. And don’t be surprised if you get transference with your T—super common especially if you are challenged by trust.

You deserve the friendships you seek. Please keep sharing about your self journey. And please disregard if my words were not helpful.
 

wisteria

Confident
I have an immense problem trusting people. I often want to and, when I've tried, I end up feeling betrayed. This has burdened me for decades and I have no one to truly call a friend. I fear that, due to my advancing in years, I'll never have close friendships or even romantic interests. It's like a window has slid shut.
I'm going to be more on the commiserating side than the hopeful side, lol. "due to my advancing in years" lol. I can laugh at that cuz if I remember correctly, we are close in age? Plus I have a birthday coming up. It feels so much harder to make friends now that I'm older and pickier. Doesn't help that the last set of friends I've made have not been great friends. I'm pretty sure one was a narcissist, the next ended up in prison for murder. Hmmmm. I know how to pick them! To be far, I still write to my jail bird friend, and I still feel somewhat guilty/questionable over ditching my narc friend. Is it me I don't trust or them? Or everyone? Another helpful post from Wisteria, lol. A window is a good analogy tho- cuz i can see through this shut window that everyone else has friends but not me? wth! Hopefully there are other windows and doors that are open and a good friendship still exists in both our futures. 🙂
 

Lone_Wolf

Policy Enforcement
Trust issues in spades, for sure.

Although I expect mine are different from yours, as

- it’s very difficult to betray my trust, both because I so rarely give it; it’s earned, and in very limited/narrow ways.

- I view trust more like a giant sound board with hundreds of knobs/dials. I can trust someone with my money that I wouldn’t trust to make a sandwich or watch my kids (and vis versa). The more I know a person the more individual knobs/dials/slides move in various ways, both positively & negatively.

- Trust isn’t something I require of others to be pursuing or enjoying a relationship -romantic or platonic or professional or familial- with someone (although it is something I require of myself; being able to trust myself & my judgement).

^^^ None of this ^^^ was always true. For a long time trust was a very all or nothing sort of thing, and I had no discretion / I trusted “everyone” the same, or not at all.


I know THIS feeling, very well.

Both the true version of it, as well as the symptomatic version of it; the sense of foreshortened future coupled with “if it’s not true now, it will never be true”.

So I’m certainly not going to attempt to talk you out of it, because I have no idea how true it may be in your life (you could be 88 years old in bad health, or be middle aged in great health but expecting to be hit by mesothelioma from asbestos exposure 30 years ago any day now), or a thousand other options where you’ve only got a few years to live at most, or even just a few weeks/months.

What I would ask is a straight up self eval weighing IS true -vs- FEELS true.

Your last sentence brings to mind an interesting situation for me. You're correct that we should evaluate what is actually true versus what we perceive to be the case. The difficult part comes in trying to figure out what is actually true. Now the interesting part I referred to is the fact I've often tried just going with the flow, so to speak, and accepting things just based on the limits of my five senses and suppressing my ever-alert intuition. The thing is, that never goes well either. The outcome essentially remains the same and I'm alone in the end.
Just to end speculation about age, I'm just over 50 and in decent health. Mentally, I feel much younger than my chronological age. I'd say I feel like I'm in my late 20s/early 30s. I've been told I look younger than I am, but I don't know if people are sincere when they say it or if it's just b.s. All I know is that I can often outwork people half my age at my place of employment.

I’m not sure the purpose of your post. Do you want commiserating or hope or something else? My guess is you want hope. These words I highlighted show me that you have hope.
You fear… but that doesn’t make it true, does it?
It’s like… but not exactly, right?
I don’t know what it will take for you. But I do know you are not alone. And I know it can take a long time.
When I started recovery with my current T for csa I had no friends and a few people who used me that I called friends. When T would ask what my plans were for the weekend I would scowl because she knew I had no one. I only wanted to share with her how bad my life was, and it was! But not as bad as I thought. So she started me off on gratitude and encouragement and bragging. I was allowed to reach out to her by voicemail between session but only to brag about good news. It took me months to do the first one and that was after several attempts where I didn’t talk or deleted my message.

My point is that I couldn’t focus on others until I focused a lot on myself, and it was very uncomfortable. A lot of the people I made friends with early on in recovery I no longer talk to, not because bad things happened but because I grew and changed and the people I sought for friends then are different than now because I’m different. And some old friends I had dropped I have rekindled, but from a new place inside me.

Are you working with a T who you trust? That’s an excellent place to practice. And don’t be surprised if you get transference with your T—super common especially if you are challenged by trust.

You deserve the friendships you seek. Please keep sharing about your self journey. And please disregard if my words were not helpful.
Hope is good. I'll take commiseration too, since it's a genuinely human thing.
I simply don't understand the vast majority of people. I can't figure out why they think as they do and why they act as they do. Without being able to relate to anything within them, friendship is nigh impossible.

I'm going to be more on the commiserating side than the hopeful side, lol. "due to my advancing in years" lol. I can laugh at that cuz if I remember correctly, we are close in age? Plus I have a birthday coming up. It feels so much harder to make friends now that I'm older and pickier. Doesn't help that the last set of friends I've made have not been great friends. I'm pretty sure one was a narcissist, the next ended up in prison for murder. Hmmmm. I know how to pick them! To be far, I still write to my jail bird friend, and I still feel somewhat guilty/questionable over ditching my narc friend. Is it me I don't trust or them? Or everyone? Another helpful post from Wisteria, lol. A window is a good analogy tho- cuz i can see through this shut window that everyone else has friends but not me? wth! Hopefully there are other windows and doors that are open and a good friendship still exists in both our futures. 🙂
Yeah, we're close in age. I passed 50 not so long ago and I don't feel old, but society tells me I am through how they treat me.
Your choice of friends is rather amusing. I've dealt with narcissists before. My previous manager was a BIG narcissist who just about drove me over the edge with the mind games she attempted to play on me. That all ended when I finally reached the end of my tether with her and firmly told her to back off and that she was gaslighting me. That changed our relationship forever. She no longer speaks to me and we were fairly good acquaintances prior to me finding my voice again. It's cost me, though, since she has painted herself as a victim and I'm the bad guy.

I'm really exhausted from playing the friend search game. When I first went out on S.T.D. from work, I had an acquaintance text me and tell me I would be welcome to visit him at home anytime. He knows I have P.T.S.D. Well I asked him yesterday if the offer still stood. Apparently the answer is no because he has things to do with his side business. The compassion of people could fill a thimble, eh?
 

Friday

Moderator
The difficult part comes in trying to figure out what is actually true.
Yep. The thing I actually hate the MOST about PTSD (and it’s not like it’s exactly a short list of things to choose from)… is no longer being able to trust my own judgement.

The good news is

A) that -from experience- I CAN get that judgement / trust in myself back… but it takes a helluva lot of work. And the process itself is almost as exhausting as manually assessing/dismissing threat potential. Which puts it in the Everest/K2 range of “f*ck off” / has to be done in small doses. Over a longer than I care to admit time frame. Before it simply becomes second nature / something I can rely upon to happen instinctually always running in the background, rather than something I have to actively engage & pay for in both how exhaustive/crazy-making/anxiety fuelled it is in the moment AND recovery time, after.

B) I don’t have to have entirely, or even mostly, have positive results to relearn how to trust my own judgment. Simply the act of making decisions, and dealing -effectively- with the consequences of those decisions rebuilds the sense of “On it. Got this.” In point of fact, things f*cking up, and havin the ability to deal with those f*ckups may be just as, if not more, important than bein right.

Now the interesting part I referred to is the fact I've often tried just going with the flow, so to speak, and accepting things just based on the limits of my five senses and suppressing my ever-alert intuition. The thing is, that never goes well either.
Cha. There are just some things I’ve learned about myself, over time, that I have to plug into my whole life-equation-thing. Like

- My snap judgments are more accurate than my considered judgements

(in regards to interpersonal stuff, which is what we’re talking about now; but the reverse is true in my evaluations of a person as a whole; which is key for some of the kinds of work I do, like investigative stuff. Which just makes sense when looked at under a certain kind of lense. Being able to predict how a person is going to act, or has acted? May be vital professionally but is worthless personally / in no way says how much we’ll get along as people. So when I attempted to use professional skills personally, or personal skills professionally? It’s no wonder those crossed wires produce a clusterf*ck of “Well that went badly.”)

- I tend to do far better “winging it” that with carefully thought out plans.

^^^ These are both ‘contrary to popular belief’ type things… where most people do better with people using their considered judgment, and by following carefully laid out plans. I’ve tried that. I suck at it. Which also makes sense. “Most people” never includes everyone. Most of th time “most people” WILL include me, but knowing where those divergences happen? Is pretty durn important in playing to your own strengths, ya know?
 

Lone_Wolf

Policy Enforcement
Yep. The thing I actually hate the MOST about PTSD (and it’s not like it’s exactly a short list of things to choose from)… is no longer being able to trust my own judgement.

The good news is

A) that -from experience- I CAN get that judgement / trust in myself back… but it takes a helluva lot of work. And the process itself is almost as exhausting as manually assessing/dismissing threat potential. Which puts it in the Everest/K2 range of “f*ck off” / has to be done in small doses. Over a longer than I care to admit time frame. Before it simply becomes second nature / something I can rely upon to happen instinctually always running in the background, rather than something I have to actively engage & pay for in both how exhaustive/crazy-making/anxiety fuelled it is in the moment AND recovery time, after.

B) I don’t have to have entirely, or even mostly, have positive results to relearn how to trust my own judgment. Simply the act of making decisions, and dealing -effectively- with the consequences of those decisions rebuilds the sense of “On it. Got this.” In point of fact, things f*cking up, and havin the ability to deal with those f*ckups may be just as, if not more, important than bein right.


Cha. There are just some things I’ve learned about myself, over time, that I have to plug into my whole life-equation-thing. Like

- My snap judgments are more accurate than my considered judgements

(in regards to interpersonal stuff, which is what we’re talking about now; but the reverse is true in my evaluations of a person as a whole; which is key for some of the kinds of work I do, like investigative stuff. Which just makes sense when looked at under a certain kind of lense. Being able to predict how a person is going to act, or has acted? May be vital professionally but is worthless personally / in no way says how much we’ll get along as people. So when I attempted to use professional skills personally, or personal skills professionally? It’s no wonder those crossed wires produce a clusterf*ck of “Well that went badly.”)

- I tend to do far better “winging it” that with carefully thought out plans.

^^^ These are both ‘contrary to popular belief’ type things… where most people do better with people using their considered judgment, and by following carefully laid out plans. I’ve tried that. I suck at it. Which also makes sense. “Most people” never includes everyone. Most of th time “most people” WILL include me, but knowing where those divergences happen? Is pretty durn important in playing to your own strengths, ya know?

My snap judgements about people often turn out to be correct, but sometimes they're WAY off. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at someone I was introduced to and thought, "This guy is a f*****g douchebag," and it turned out to be bang on. On the other hand, I've been bitten by people who were douchebags but I missed the signs (or even ignored them, if you can believe that). I've also pushed good people away over the years.

It's come to the point in my life where I automatically assume someone I meet is going to screw me over somehow. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but you know...

I've spent the last fifteen or so years of my life just keeping myself "safe" by engaging in work and excelling at it as a way to validate myself. I can get pretty extreme with my sense of perfectionism on the job. It's as if I stake my entire existence on it. Despite this, I can never really figure out what my strengths are. I'm too full of self-doubt.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I see alot of similarities in you of how I used to be. I nearly responded earlier but you were "in conversation" with other people and I didn't want to interrupt.

For me personally, I only managed to make "true, good" friends when I stopped being the "I'm fine, strong, nothing is wrong, I can handle anything" person and actually started to open up to other people about my true thoughts and feelings. Sharing your vulnerable side with people and to stop being so guarded and uptight all the time. Because for the majority of other people; they can't relate to it.

And yeah, sure I got burned a couple of times by some "idiots" who told everyone else about my personal business, but I learned because of that who to trust. Who respected boundaries and whom I could confide in and keep quiet about it. I'm 47 this year and I've only just learnt that. And the friends I'm talking about at my mental health support group are my first good friends.

Other people need reasons to relate to you (us) (me) I used to think if I gave anything away it was weak. Its not, it helps build bonds and trust with people. Ergo....making friends.
 

Lone_Wolf

Policy Enforcement
I see alot of similarities in you of how I used to be. I nearly responded earlier but you were "in conversation" with other people and I didn't want to interrupt.

For me personally, I only managed to make "true, good" friends when I stopped being the "I'm fine, strong, nothing is wrong, I can handle anything" person and actually started to open up to other people about my true thoughts and feelings. Sharing your vulnerable side with people and to stop being so guarded and uptight all the time. Because for the majority of other people; they can't relate to it.

And yeah, sure I got burned a couple of times by some "idiots" who told everyone else about my personal business, but I learned because of that who to trust. Who respected boundaries and whom I could confide in and keep quiet about it. I'm 47 this year and I've only just learnt that. And the friends I'm talking about at my mental health support group are my first good friends.

Other people need reasons to relate to you (us) (me) I used to think if I gave anything away it was weak. Its not, it helps build bonds and trust with people. Ergo....making friends.
That's a challenge for me. I'm very reluctant to be vulnerable with people. Even when I admit my weaknesses, like with my P.T.S.D. to some co-workers, I couch it in terms of strength. Sort of like, "Yeah, I have P.T.S.D. but I keep marching forward." I'm very fearful that if I ever simply open myself up to anyone, they'll either view me as weak, as you alluded to, or just sort of roll their eyes and mark me as some kind of oddball.

I even recall once about a year and a half ago, I told my senior manager (one level above my manager) that I suffered from depression. Her response? Something along the lines of "Well, you just have to push through it." Such a wealth of help and empathy!
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah that's a shitty response from your manager. But not everyone would respond like that. You need to find new people. How many sessions have you had with your therapist?
 

Lone_Wolf

Policy Enforcement
Yeah that's a shitty response from your manager. But not everyone would respond like that. You need to find new people. How many sessions have you had with your therapist?
Just one so far. I could talk to the guy for hours if he let me.

The response from the manager was on par with the attitudes I've received from others too. Things like, "It can't be that bad. At least you're not starving in Africa", "Stop dwelling on the negative", "You have to choose to be happy", and various others. They make it out to be that you have a mild case of the blues and can choose to switch your mental state on a whim. No matter how you try to explain it to them, it never gets through. This is why I tend to cover it up and project an aura of strength.
 
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