I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading the last few days about trust. It’s been a big one for me over the last few years – probably over most of my adult life. I don’t think that I went into my marriage having massive trust issues, but I certainly came out of it with more than my fair share.
What I realized as I was beginning to heal was that I no longer trusted myself. That crushed me – I felt like I had proven to myself over and over I was untrustworthy. After all, I had convinced myself to stay for years in a situation that wasn’t safe by telling my soul lie after lie about how things would change, or trying to convince myself that what he said was true and the reason he was so angry, deceitful, and absent was because of me. I have been working on changing that relationship with myself. Interestingly, it’s been at least as difficult a process as it would be to learn to trust and forgive someone else who had betrayed me. The good thing is I’ve been reading the perfect book Trust by Iyanla Vanzant – it’s giving me exactly what I need right now.
My exercise this morning in A Course In Miracles was to find the light inside of a person who had betrayed me. The only part of the exercise that was easy was deciding which person to pick. But you know what? He has a light inside too – he may have covered it up with clouds of hate, anger, fear, rage, and whatever else – but there is a light in there, I’ve seen it before.
Here’s the thing. While I would like to think that he wouldn’t purposely leave his children without a way to have their needs met, that’s not true. No amount of wishing he is a different man than the one he shows me will change that – I know, I’ve spent years hoping he will change. And while I no longer go to bed at night scared he will make good on his threats to harm us, I still seem to hold out hope that he will turn into a decent person for the sake of my kids.
You know what that does? It messes with my ability to trust myself. I know he is trying to destroy me, I know he doesn’t care about the damage he does to the kids in the process. And yet I have spent sooooooo much energy trying to convince myself otherwise.
Here’s what I know for sure:
I have been depending on a man who has proven for years he’s not dependable
I have been trusting a man who has proven for years he’s not trustworthy
I have been wishing for him to change even though he’s proven he has no interest in being kind.
I know who he is and what he’s capable of and still I expect him to behave differntly
I expect him to do what I know he will not do and be who I know he is not
It is impossible for him to become trustworthy just because I want him to be
He has shown me who he really is and I have to believe him.
You know what telling myself all those lies has done? It has messed with my ability to trust myself. It’s affected the most important human relationship I have – the one with my own soul. It makes me betray my heart and my intuition to convince myself that I can trust him.
And he has very, very clearly shown that he has no limits to the pain he is willing to inflict not only on me but on the kids. My poor kids are devastated right now and it hurts me to the core of my soul.
So, I keep working on forgiveness, now for myself. I need to forgive myself for not trusting my inner voice, for not valuing the power of my intuition. Part of me knew as soon as mom died he was going to come after me again – and I was right, but I forced myself to ignore it. And now here we are.
With that, I feel like he’s had enough airtime in my life and on my blog. I am working on forgiveness, but I’m also standing up and saying that what he’s doing isn’t right. I’m doing it here, but I’m also working with the authorities to get them moving on forcing him to deal with the consequences of his actions. Part of me trusting myself means knowing that I’m not afraid to stand up for myself and for my kids. I’m not the same woman he used to beat down.