In my opinion trust is such a personal thing and everyone has varying views of what it exactly means to them and what a betrayal of that trust is. As we grow up experiences we have teach us who and what we can trust and sadly, sometimes the ability gets buried so deep within us due to hurt and trauma that it can feel as if the option isn’t even there.
In the past I have generally had great difficulty in trusting people due to various reasons but the underlying issue has always been that I’m afraid of getting hurt. Don’t get me wrong, of course I have (and do – Hubby and family for example) trusted people in my life but I suppose a good way to describe it is that I’ve always been waiting for the rejection or lack of support so had become overly cautious with who I have shared my deepest thoughts and feelings with. I’ve never been great at articulating what I mean so let me try to give you some context.
When I attended antenatal classes it was very much encouraged that we form a group so that we can support each other through the life upheaval we would all be going through. I became one of seven women who started out as strangers but who quickly became a tribe. Eighteen months later and LM has more “cousins” than he knows what to do with and I have a group that I can share anything with without fear of judgement. This first tribal experience came to me out of necessity but was fortunately an immediate and mutual circle of trust.
My second tribe has developed over the past two years. During my early pregnancy I started studying art therapy with the idea that I may use it in a professional capacity or simply for personal development but also to really just muck about with some paint and clay. I was skeptical of my ability to share with a bunch of strangers and, shamefully, was quite adamant that I wasn’t going to. Well, I cracked in the best possible way. One particular weekend, when it was my turn to get up in front of the group to experience being the client, I was asked to close my eyes for the session and I was so sure that no one would be there when I opened them that I started sobbing uncontrollably. I felt so vulnerable and unsure that I simply switched off my cognitive thinking and continued to power through the fear by doing what my body wanted. The powerful hit of realisation that I was scared to trust even in this safe, educational setting was devastating and just the tip of the iceberg of what my problem actually was.
After much work and eventually coming through to the other side of the process I was asked to slowly open my eyes and make eye contact. It was like I was seeing for the first time and do you know what was looking back at me? Proud, caring and supportive people with some dabbing their eyes and all firmly still in their seats. They were all still there! I instantly started beaming.
After that day, I think I look different. Older almost. Or maybe less childish is a better description.
That weekend was life changing for me, the tribe I gained is one that has seen me at my most vulnerable – much like in those early days with my Mothers Group when sleep deprivation was at its worst – and vice versa. A whole group that doesn’t judge my weaknesses or past experiences. I have always been confident in a lot of ways but I now feel much more comfortable in my skin and while I don’t consider myself remotely naive I’m definitely less guarded.
I don’t know what my conclusion is to this post. It’s not trying to be preachy or inspirational. It’s just recording an experience, a memory, a new direction. A new life of letting people in without fear of the consequences. I suppose it could simply be a tribute to my two tribes and the power of letting yourself have trust in others. This is probably why I’ve been so happy lately.
Until next time,