What does it mean to trust someone?

“Do you trust him?”

I am at a loss for words. L’s question strikes right to the core of a silent struggle I wage with myself every week in my therapist’s office. I stammer. I’m silent. I think. 

“I like him,” I say. “I want to trust him.” 

Last week I struggled to connect to emotions of joy for fear of my sadness. I’m hitting my wall. It’s the wall that I keep between myself and any intense emotion that has potential to hurt me. I spend a lot of time avoiding any expression of intense emotion so that I can always seem neutral, cool, calm and totally together on the outside. Meanwhile, I’m screaming in agony inside. 

What does it mean to trust someone? To trust my therapist? My partner? My friends? My family? What does trust look like?

I hesitate to say that I fully trust anyone. Part of what I am working on is to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. I want to stop living in survival mode and find out what it means to thrive. Because survival mode is killing me. I’m always in edge. Anxiety is destroying my body and mind. I figure resiliency can only take me so far before this way of life really starts to show deteriation. 

When I’m surviving I know that I can’t really trust anyone – not even myself but I’m the closest I have. Living this way is lonely and sad. But oddly safe. I don’t allow vulnerability to be part of my life, which I am noticing places my emotional self into a choke hold. 

I’m scared stupid about allowing vulnerability into my life. And I’m not sure how to make myself trust my therapist or anyone else for that matter. 

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