This week has made me contemplate what exactly ‘trust’ is.
Simply put it is a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”
Mostly, I’ve been considering who I choose to trust with important information. With my medical condition. My personal life. My past, my secrets, my dreams. All of those things are blurred most of the time, making trusting someone with one or all of these things complicated. Potential dangerous. Exposing my vulnerability.
I trust my family. Its a sort of given. They know everything, medically, about my condition. Sometimes they don’t completely get my reservations about revealing my daily battle (the abdominal pain, the sweats and my lack of sleep) to them and they most certainly don’t understand my intent to talk to people about my condition. I’ve always been straight forward and forthcoming, why would this be different?
I trust the hell out of my best friend. She might be hundreds of miles away but she gets it. She just gets me.; has done since we first met 3 years ago. She understands why I’ve said as much as I have, even why I have made certain decisions. My next closest friend also gets it. She used to work with me, understand the complexities and frustrations about our workplace. That is my next step – getting back to work. Hopefully it goes well and doesn’t cause me too much annoyance and anger. I don’t need the stress, but no doubt I’ll go back to where I was in the summer before long; the responsibilities, the worrying, the limitations and frustrations of higher authority. Ugh. She also understand my want (or need) to not be alone in this. To find someone who accepts me for who I am, with what I have, and for what could happen.
Some friends know of my condition but that is it. I hope that if anything was to happen to me whilst in their presence, they would know what to do to help me. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen.
Things have gotten more complicated of late. Meeting someone with potential for something; whatever that might be, is scary enough, let alone telling them about myself. I make no qualms about my life and I accept that Crohn’s is a massive part of my life. Yes, it is under control. At the moment. It could change. It most likely will do in months and years to come. I just don’t know. Being up front and honest about that is something I want to do. Need to do. Why? I’ll tell you: it weeds out the ones who are just after one thing. It also gives them a ‘get out of jail’ free card. If you can’t handle it, walk away now. Right now.
So this person – let’s call him J – he knows more about it that most, being in the medical profession. I thought long and hard about even replying to him based on that fact alone; knowing more about it doesn’t always guarantee a person to be supportive about it, does it? But talking to him about it – and everything else under the sun – is easy and simple. He knows its been a rough ride and hopefully its now fully under control. But before my MRI on Tuesday, he offered – in as many words – his support. Now, no one outside of my family has done that. It was touching. Made me think about accepting his proposed date for next weekend. I was skeptical at first: would anything have changed in the past couple weeks? Would he still see me the same way, feel about me the same way, want me the same way? Could I trust him with my condition? Could we build something together, with this in mind / despite these facts? It is all so.. intriguing. I am scared out of my mind.
Trust for me is something that can be, sometimes, very simply earned. Connection is essential. Understanding too. Sharing; ditto. I trust with an open heart and an open mind. But, quite simply put, my trust in someone can be easily lost. If you talk about my condition to others without my knowledge or consent, goodbye. If you make jokes about my condition, goodbye (even if it was supposedly ‘intended to be light and funny’). If you get angry at me for cancelling on you last minute because I don’t feel well / haven’t had a good night / can’t get out of bed, goodbye. If you consistently complain about the trivial shit in your life, goodbye. If you can’t understand why I can’t be ‘the same girl I used to be’, goodbye. Not even worth the fight.
It feels like I am already pushing people away from day one by stating what not to do to gain my trust, but surely knowing the boundaries beforehand is easier right? There is no awkward feelings of overstepping it, nor is there the fuss over my sensitivity towards certain subjects. Nothing is off limits, just be careful of how far you go with it, okay? It is all so new, so forgive me. For maybe being too harsh, for being too forthright and bossy. But I have to protect myself. Especially my heart.