I don't think it's any secret that I have trust issues.
With people outside of this computer, anyway.
I've been, needless to say, screwed over so many times in my life that I have a hard time trusting that anyone who seems like they care about me isn't going to break my heart or betray me in one way or another if I let them in.
But I think maybe perhaps I'm finally learning that not all people are so horrible.
Today, I had my first Science lab of the semester. Our activity was to go over to a nearby lake and pick up trash so we could compare what was just trash and what was recyclable. Well, thankfully this is college so most people had cars so we all just carpooled over there. I rode over with a guy named Jared who saw me wandering around nervous to ask anyone (yes, I still get nervous around people I don't know) for a ride.
We ended up spending the whole time talking as we walked around picking up garbage, and by the end of the lab, he gave me a ride back to my dorm because my back was killing me, and I offered to help him with any labs that he needed help with during the semester. (Now before you get any ideas he's 28 and married. ;) haha) It was really nice, though, and an experience I'm still not very used to.
I think part of my problem is that all throughout grade school, people didn't appreciate my intelligence or the fact that I liked helping others. They saw my offers to help them on assignments as me being condescending, which was the exact opposite of my intentions. If I talked or answered questions in class, I was showing off, and if I kept my mouth shut, I was too stuck up to bother talking to me. So basically, I couldn't win. This is probably the best thing about college - people are just slightly mature enough to accept help when they need it. Getting the opportunity to help someone learn something leaves me feeling so fulfilled and happy. I love it. And for twelve long years I couldn't understand why no one realized that.
This fear of being hurt seeped into my personal life outside of school, as well, but I have to say for a long time I had good reason. I honestly can't tell you the number of times that people I went to school with would pretend to be my friend long enough to get me to trust them and tell them my secrets, only for them to turn around and tell those secrets to anyone who would harass me about them. Really, guys, the first time I remember this happening was in first grade. I was five.
So by the time I got to high school, after the most brutal attack on my mind and spirit during my freshman year, I just stopped. I stopped talking, I stopped trusting, I stopped believing in anyone and everyone. That is, except for Matt. For some unexplainable reason at the time, he was the one person I could let myself talk to. That's how he quickly became my best friend - because he was the only friend I had.
But even then, as much as I did and still do appreciate who he is to me and for me, I struggle with the little voice in the back of my head (satan?!?!) that has told me several times that he will be just like all the others. That he doesn't care about me, either. That I'm setting myself up for heartbreak. And I can't figure out why I still have that voice, why I still bother even hearing that voice, after he's been there to listen to all my fears and still tell me he absolutely does care about me. I thought after we had that talk last month that that voice was gone. You have no idea how badly I wish it wasn't here anymore. But at least once a year, I get that unnerving fear. And every single time I say anything about it to Matt, he listens and reassures me.
Why isn't that enough?
Why isn't praying to God to protect my heart enough?
Why is it so unbelievably difficult for me to trust the one person who has never lied to me or betrayed me, the person who I could trust in when I couldn't even trust my own family?
My love language has always been words of affirmation. I crave hearing that someone cares about me. I thrive on simply hearing that someone loves, appreciates, or needs me. And yet, it seems like the more I care about a person, the harder it is for me to believe them.
Wow. I have no idea where that came from...