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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do You Take the Risk of Trusting?

Trust ~ verb. to place confidence in : rely on .

Vulnerable ~ adjective. capable of being physically or emotionally wounded .

Risk ~ verb. to venture upon; take or run the chance of.

My mental illness has often revealed true friendship and trust. I’ve learned in painful ways that who I thought were my friends really were not. During my first hospitalization in the 1990’s, I lost a friendship of more than 15 years. Unfortunately, my hospitalization coincided with her boyfriend of seven years breaking up with her.

But, once I was discharged, we talked and she told me how I had abandoned her, in her time of most need. Also, that she didn’t like the way I was acting before I went into the hospital and that she did not want to be friends with me if I was going to be that way again. We scheduled to get together and I cancelled deciding that it wasn’t a true friendship, if I have to be a certain way. This was quite a painful lesson. (By the way, I didn't like the way I was acting either and the way I was acting was an indication that I needed hospitalization.)

Recently, since I’ve been letting more people know about the things in which I struggle, I have found that my feelings are often hurt the more I trust and become vulnerable. Generally, my moods and ability to deal with things are up and down. During these times, I am not my usual self. I become vague, tentative, quiet, confused and unable to track conversations. I had opened up with someone and apparently these behaviors are not acceptable for her to continue to trust me in a relationship.

Needless to say, I am angry, hurt and sad. However, I still believe that it is important to continue to reach out in trusting others which has taken me “forever” to learn. With my history, trust is a hard fought battle, but I have seen and enjoy the benefits. However, I am a little more protective and cautious now as a reaction to recent events. As a side note, I am having difficulty with a lot of intense emotions coming up in therapy, so I may appear inconsistent...please bare bear with me. :-) Really a mistake. Thanks for letting me vent.

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone- but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy” ~ author unknown.

So how do you define friendship?

Is trusting someone worth the risk of getting hurt for you and why?


Miss Defective said...

At this particular point in my life, I'd say no, trusting someone is not worth the risk of getting hurt. I'm already too hurt and broken to endure any additional pain that can be avoided.

I know this makes life lonely and progressing in therapy all but impossible, but for now, I feel that keeping everyone at a safe distance is actually crucial to my recovery.

Anonymous said...

CC, I struggle with the same balancing act-- fear of being vulnerable on one end and fear of being alone on the other. It's a hard decision to make, but I'm glad you have decided to continue to trust others. I think that decision is best for your (our) long-term happiness.

For me, I think I am more cautious about trusting others than the next girl. I guess I feel I have so many flaws that if I show them to someone they will most certainly leave. But it does leave me bereft of people to talk to.

Unknown said...

Being able to trust has never been a problem for me. On the other hand, it has caused me a lot of problems. For I have never really met a stranger, and most are put-off by how open I am from the very start. This leads to me getting hurt a lot, and much of that is my fault. For I know that most are not like I am, and I should be more willing to give them a break.

Clueless said...

Sid, I am glad that you know what you can take...it take energy to make or maintain a friendship. I know for me that last year was too much physically and emotionally, so I "fell" out of touch with some friends. However, now that I am feeling better, my true friends are still there. Yes, there are times that everyone needs distance.

Clueless said...

NOS, you are not flawed...we all have some limitations. By focusing on how you feel and how others may view you probably isn't as important as you think...besides, the other person is probably thinking the same thing.

I am glad that you brought up the point of it being a decision.

Clueless said...

Hello FishHawk!! I wouldn't use the word, "fault" because you are just being yourself and do not have complete responsibility in the interaction.

It may lead to you being hurt, but I think that is better than you trying to be who you think others would like...besides, you can't read their mind and know what they want. I don't think that they have empaths like in Star Trek.

Patricia Singleton said...

Trust is very difficult, especially if you are an incest survivor. Trust has to start with learning to trust yourself. My experiences as a child taught me not to trust. In order to trust, you must be vulnerable. Yes, it is difficult and you might get hurt but you will never truly love yourself or someone else until you learn to trust.

Ana said...

Thank you for this post CC.
It is getting harder and harder to trust people being hurt as a child or not.
I have been emotionally hurt as a child.
Always difficulties trusting because lying is one of the characteristics of my family.
I became a kind of human polygraph and it's easy for me to tell when someone is lying.
But polygraphs fails...
Anyway.. . I will try to do my best to trust but;;;

Anonymous said...

Always get the help, even if you hate it. People will mental ill-health can be fiercly independent and this is about the last thing to give in when sick.

Do what you hate sometimes, it may well save your life.

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