I have been having a conversation with a young friend about trust. It has haunted me for several days. You would think it would be a simple enough topic. Whether or not a person is capable of trust seems like it should be plain enough. However, there is so much to consider. Trust someone with me....okay. Trust with the care of my husband.... after you prove yourself. Trust with my children and grandchildren....NO.
There are experiences over experiences. Layers and layers, some smothering , some festering and some reaching a brilliant luminescence. The experiences of parenthood, where all dangers in the world take on a much larger scale. Both Mac and I have had individuals in our families who were criminal in their abuse of children. As we have watched people play all "nicey-nice" and pretend that nothing has ever happened, they continue to put our children at risk. Anyone who cares about how the family "looks" to outsiders has no trust from me. They are as much to blame as the perpetrator.
I have had my best friend in the world toss me aside because I wasn't popular enough with her current clique. We had been friends since seventh grade and I became inadequate during her college years, She fell back on me a year later. Then I wasn't good enough for her again the following year. Somehow yet again I became her "go to" buddy. Then the last time... well, it was the last time. I got a tearful sounding letter from her after that, about how she had needed me and I wasn't there for her. Yup, that's right.
All of us get those wake up calls about how we have mistakenly placed our trust and friendship.
All of those layers of experiences that have taken away my ability to trust have also developed other things in me. I have developed a certain clarity in my ability to judge personalities. I see peoples flaws pretty quickly, sometimes too analytical of other personalities. But once I know who they are for real, and whether that personality can mix, then I am fiercely loyal. If you manage to lose my loyalty then you have lost me. As harsh as that sounds, I still don't feel bad in saying it, because I don't believe I have ever met anybody more loyal then I am. Such a pathetic hound dog trait! but it's me.
So when I told my young friend that I could never be 100% trusting of somebody, it does not give a clear reflection of myself. Even this explanation is a bit of a glossing over. The trust that I do offer is layered and layered. I don't just offer trust. I offer the package. Trust, friendship, stewardship, clarity, loyalty. I will give her thirty years and I think she will have a handle on it. It took me that long to get it figured out.