In my last post I wrote about trust issues. I have reflected on this since I wrote the post and wandered what was bugging me. So here it is, some of you may be able to relate to this. I have been let down in a number of ways by people I counted as friends over the years. Some of these have been minor incidents and some have been breaches of trust that are immense.Two of these incidents are from people whom I thought were best friends, people I have gone to incredible lengths for and have supported through some very dire times. These men have made choices that in my opinion were poor and lack integrity, no matter how you look at them. I recently saw one of these people and I noticed how as he shook my hand he could not look me in the eyes, as I thought about it I realised that he had not been able to look me in the eyes for a long time. Now looking into someones eyes is not the be all and end all of determining the state of a relationship and it is an especially poor way of determining if someone is telling the truth ie look me in the eyes and tell me that again. I have met some very convincing liars over my time, who would swear on their mothers freshly dug grave and still be lying, however another time about lying, today I write on trust.
I have a reputation for going the extra mile and for continuing to work with people for long after others have given up. I have a keen sense of knowing when I am being lied to, part of that is because I am a very good listener, I have a good grasp of the possible and my critical literacy skills are pretty impressive, in addition to that I have an extremely good memory, too good in fact. As I have walked my journey through life I have experienced different philosophies about being lied to. As a social worker I knew that many people lied, who would tell the truth to someone who has power to take their children? That did not worry me. I expect politicians to not tell the complete truth, who doesn’t. As a teacher I am used to students not telling the truth, no sir it wasn’t me, I was just checking the time on my phone sir honest. I am blessed that my children tell me the truth and I can rely on them even when the truth is not so pleasant.
I went through a stage where I thought it was not only my duty in life, that is my christian duty to forgive ( I believe that is necessary although very difficult) I believed it was my duty to forget, to act like it never happened. This however is not something that I can do anymore. Whilst I believe there is one who can do that I must confess that when it comes to fundamental breaches of trust I firmly believe that I need not let those people back into my life. Don’t get me wrong, I will always acknowledge these people, and most likely if they were in need I would assist but I will not give them an ability to hurt me anymore. One might say that this is not very christian and perhaps it is not? I know that when it comes to matters of christianity that as I get older the answers to questions that I used to hold dogmatically to absolute truths I just don’t know what many of the answers are. The absolute beauty of this for me is that I have reached a place in my life where I do not need to know.
Some things are black and white for me. I am unable to vote Green any more due to the abortion policy that they wish to pursue. As I have said in the past I find abortion really sad and would rather address the social inequalities and poverty and all the other drivers that feed abortion than condemn individuals however when people advocate abortion right up to full term I just felt ill and no matter how much I like their other policies the thought that my support could encourage such a law leaves me sick. It is for me a fundamental breach of trust.
So the other day as I shook this mans hand I reached a freedom, I do not mourn after the loss of relationship as frankly it cannot have been very good to start with and it has been a freeing experience. I do not mourn now for the loss of people out of my life after my separation as if this is an issue for them they were clearly never true friends. I have a few very close friends whom I can trust but even them I realise could let me down at some stage . I am aware that there may be people out there who read this whom may consider that I have let them down. I am open to hear from them and have a conversation about it.
The key factor in relationships is about addressing the issue. I do not think that all things are fixable but I do believe that there can be closure over some issues. The words I am sorry perhaps can be seen as easy to say, I certainly find them relatively easy to say as I have found they bring freedom, but I am acutely aware that they can be meaningless to others, especially when they seem insincere or there is no real remorse.
As for me I am attempting to find my way to trust again in friendship. I must admit that right now it is pretty difficult and I am asking some big questions of myself. I am aware that some of my actions have caused considerable distress to others at times. Some of those I regret, others well sometimes integrity has a price, that is very high. I wish it were not, but right now I am paying that price, do I regret it, no not really, it is frustrating and perhaps even depressing at times but the alternative is to allow a cancer to eat at my soul and that is a very dark place.
So whilst right now the black dog is howling in my life it does not yet consume me. I am wounded but I know that I will recover, when I am not sure but in the meantime I keep marching on.