Is Trust Mandatory in Healthy Relationship? The True definition of Trust

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The definition of trust
Trust Me… by Theodora MacLeod

One of the biggest stick points on the journey to emotional healing has to do with the subject of TRUST. Somewhere along the way I came to believe that I had to trust people until they were proven untrustworthy. That is a false understanding of trust. It was through understanding how I learned the meaning of the word ‘trust’ in a manipulative way that really only served the ones teaching me that false definition of the word trust, that I was able to realize the truth;  I didn’t have to trust anyone until they proved to be trustworthy. By the same token, I do not expect people to blindly trust me either. Trust in healthy relationship develops over time. Trust in healthy relationship is not mandatory and ‘blind trust’ does not prove acceptance or love. NOT trusting someone does not mean anything ‘bad’ and it is not a judgement against that person. Not trusting someone that you don’t know well enough to decide about trusting or not, is healthy. When I am expected or required to trust someone blindly, I consider that a red flag about the person who has this expectation of me.

From the Free Dictionary.com ~  Here is the definition of trust:

1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

2. Custody; care.

3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.

Noun~ Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something

Verb~ Believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of

Based on this definition of Trust, I can see how I had the false understanding of the word and concept in the first place.

Trust is optional. Trust is something that needs to be earned more than it needs to be freely given without any knowledge of the persons ability, strength or reliability. As children, everyone older than us has ‘positional power’ over us. We learn to submit to that positional power because NOT submitting to it is a sure way to bring on a punishment, rejection, physical abuse and a host of other unwanted results. I learned to submit to positional power and I got my learned understanding of submission mixed up with the concept of trust.

As children we are taught to trust through other people; the people in charge of our welfare communicate that we will be safe with those people. If these people are untrustworthy, what choice do we have in the matter anyway? How many of you remember not wanting to ‘go with someone’ or not wanting to be babysat by someone, but having no choice (or power) to change the situation.

In this way I learned ‘blind trust’ and basically I learned that everyone was worthy of my trust. It was shocking for me to learn in my forties that through the truthful understanding of what trust is, my mother wasn’t trustworthy. She did not prove herself to be reliable, truthful or even able when it came to me. I had a few friends that were not trustworthy. In fact most of the people in my life, including my husband were not trustworthy when it came to having a relationship with me based on equal value and mutual respect.  But I had been taught, groomed and brainwashed to believe in “the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something” of those people. Blindly. Not believing in their reliability, ability, truth and strength was ‘disrespectful’ and there were unwanted consequences to that ‘disrespect’.

I ‘trusted’ the baby sitter who sexually abused me. I was a little kid; I trusted my parents and they trusted her. The fact that my parents trusted her was enough for me to trust her. And as a child it would not have done any good if I didn’t trust her; she was in a power position over me, I had no choice but to submit to her.

And since I believed my parents would protect me, (or I wanted to believe that) it was pretty confusing when someone that they have left me in the care of, abused me.

I trusted my grandmother because I was taught to; when she violated me I got really confused about what trust really was.

My parents warned me NOT to trust my grandfather who was a pedophile and had been caught sexually molesting my cousin. They continued to expose me to him by taking me to his home to visit. This caused me more confusion about trust. Why did they take me to visit there if he was dangerous and untrustworthy when it came to children? If he was untrustworthy, why did they want us to have a relationship with him?

I trusted the doctor who told me that nothing was wrong with me and treated me like a dramatic hypochondriac who was wasting his time, which caused me to invalidate how I felt and how sick I felt, which in turn caused me to ignore my needs which in truth were the beginning of a serious illness. The illness went undiagnosed until it was in the later stages at which time it was much more difficult to heal. I trusted that he was right, instead of trusting myself that I needed a second opinion because I was sure that I was sick.

I ‘trusted’ a co-worker I had who was a police officer just because he was a police officer in charge of the security in the large hospital where I worked. The fact that he was a police officer didn’t stop him from assaulting me as soon as he got me alone. The positional power he had over me because he was a police officer prevented me from reporting him. I believed that he would be the one ‘trusted’ in the situation. I was used to taking the blame for whatever happened to me. Had I NOT trusted him, I would not have gone with him where he could get me alone.

I think that we are brainwashed into believing we have to trust straight away. (Controllers who misuse their power have set it up this way since the dawn of time)  I have learned to trust when I feel that a person is ‘trust-worthy’ not because they have a degree or title. My clients don’t automatically trust me just because I say that I know what I am doing. Many of them begin to trust me because they have read enough of my blog to catch a glimpse of my beliefs and my integrity, but that doesn’t mean they have to trust me. They come along with trust as our relationship progresses. And I don’t ask them to trust me. That is up to them. Trusting until proven un-trustworthy is a backwards way of entering into relationship. Trust is not mandatory in a healthy relationship. Trust happens over time when people prove their reliability, truth, ability (and) or strength.

My biggest problem with trust turned out to be that I didn’t trust myself to know when to trust or not trust. I had learned the wrong definitions of ‘trust’ and ‘love’ and I learned to discount my needs, my feelings and even my intuition. I had not had permission to feel most emotions or permission to have my own thoughts. Having permission NOT to trust, was a very big beginning on the path to freedom! Having a choice and permission to have a choice in the matter of trust put things into a different perspective.

At the end of the day, learning to trust myself and building my relationship with myself to the point where I knew that I could actually depend on me was a huge layer of recovery which resolved all my misunderstandings about trust.

Please share your thoughts about ‘Trust’. Were you taught that trust was a must in relationship? Did you have a choice when it came to trust? Did you believe that not trusting was wrong? Do you now or did you ever believe the other big lie; that you have to ‘trust someone’ in order to heal? It was in changing the way that I looked at and understood things that I was able to change my default and mistaken understanding of words and concepts like ‘trust’.

Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

For related posts see the highlighted phrases in bold print throughout this post.

110 response to "Is Trust Mandatory in Healthy Relationship? The True definition of Trust"

  1. By: Carlos Posted: 20th March 2016

    No I believe trust is just like respect, in the sense that it should be earned and not given for free. I no longer trust my maternal grandmother and my father when it comes to talking about anything in my life. My grandmother? Boy how funny was it for her to start recommending kitchen-hand like jobs to me, when she was the first one to drag me down when I applied for such jobs, to the point that she stated that it was a waste of time for me to be at Universtiy and that she should have just placed me in a restaurant ages ago. Now she’s “washing her hands” by encouraging me to apply for jobs that she bagged down in the first place? I don’t have problems with those jobs, but now you don’t as well? Okay whatever helps you sleep at night.

    As for father dear, talking to him about my plans will consist of the following:
    -2 seconds of me time
    -Him criticising my ambitions and life decisions, until
    -The rest of the conversation is dominated by him talking about his achievements at work.
    -Then change topic and repeat the whole cycle all over again hooray!

    Add to the fact that he once exposed how much of a “wuss” I was, when he was training me for karate, to my maternal uncle, while we were on a family picnic. Yes I can definitely give him a trustworthy trophy for a prize! (Thankfully other members of the family, just casually listen to whatever nonsense he has to say and are smart enough to not absord his perceptions of people).

    Nowadays, whilst me being secretive may seem as if I’m insecure, terrified and not trusting enough, I’d like to interpret my act as a solution, which will ensure that “my walls” will no longer be crushed relentlessly again by those who “necessarily” felt the need to do so.

  2. By: Lora Posted: 31st January 2016

    Hey Darlene! well this was a tough read for me and it shined a light on a part of my life I wished I could just bury and forget about. Being raised in a family with no sexual boundaries and adapting to that, then finding out that what I learned was inappropriate and making the shift feels like hell.

    I’m beginning to understand why some people choose to stay sick instead of facing their past. I feel like the bravest person I know in my family for taking accountability and responsibility for healing and forgiving my past.

    Forgiving myself has been my greatest challenge, it’s a double edge sword when it comes to this work because not only did I need to forgive them for their part, I had to forgive myself for repeating what was does to me. I had to grow up real fast in some areas, while I was stunted in other areas. I was punished for repeating what was done to me while what others did to me was not acknowledged. I had no idea what I was doing was bad or wrong, it’s only when I received the proper education.

    there are no words to express how deep the damage goes with all this, I’m just grateful that I still have enough light in me to stay in groups like this and continue to heal and grow. Thank you Darlene for showing me a better way to live my life.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd February 2016

      Hi Lora!
      Thanks for sharing! You are the bravest person!! It shocks me how many people would rather live in the sick fog, then to take that chance to live in freedom.
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Anetta Posted: 26th December 2014

    Hi Marquis , thank you for your response. I have been thinking about leaving this therapist but I know i won’t get a better shrink in my town. My first therapist was so much empowering but she left after a half a year of therapy. After that I was meeting about 5 therapists and every one was horrible. I ve been thinking about reading this page only but i’m scared that it won’t be enough. I was raising by a ‘mother’ who used to tell me ‘ You are the worst, everyone is better than you, everyone is looking at you because you don’t behave normally, you are strange, everyone in talking to everyone except her. Nobody wants to speak to you, There is nobody such as you on the street, everyone is watching her because she is so bad..etc.. So I learned to exclude myself from others and think that I’m THE WORST. So even here I’m thinking That I’m different from other survivors and I’m bad. Everything turned out fine for others because they were good but I’M bad, my experience is different from others..So I need my issues to be adressed directly to me.. unfortunately I can’t find any other therapists, because everywhere I have a red flag.. and I know it’s very hard.. But since last time we had an argument she told me that a solution in that relationship depends on me and relationships are different, stormy blah blah blah..and it takes two parties to resolve the question…Although she validated my childhood abuse, yes, but during last row she told me I want to hold a grudge towards her and I asked her ‘so do you think that I want to hold the grudge towards my mother too?-she answered: ” well it’s a very interesting question” I asked: So you think so? She said ;”I didn’t tell that. I’ve just found that very interesting” I didn’t understand nothing from that conversatin except that maybe I really want hold that grudge.It ‘s too much burden to me. Every time I meet her she thinks I see my mother in her so it interferes with resolving the problem but every time she told me ‘ I’m not going to explain it you, I told you once and I’m not going to repeat it to you, Im not obliged to…it was her not mine..I dont know what to do with this situation and I ‘m coming to conclusion that I would never heal. sad…

  4. By: marquis crumpton Posted: 24th December 2014

    “The subject of wills brings to mind how my father handled things. My father is obsessed with money like your father, but expressed it differently. My father never trusted my husband and I.”

    My dad, mom too, is obessesed with money always making sure they had it and never me. My dad would sell us if it meant free rent or free anything nevermind our feelings! My mom is always about his assets and her own kids never mattered still don’t today as she is “still fighting for dad’s assets.” She bought herself a useless, fake watch all because “she thinks she is so rich”

    Someone said something about being humble and that it would mean the parents would be better parents forgot how the rest of their statement was phrased. My parents think they are the greatest since slice bread and would kill anyone if they didn’t tell them otherwise. Someone mentioned how a will is used as a weapon and manipulation which is very true seen it myself. My mom would always threaten about her “will.” What will? She never had one to begin with , how could she had one when she NEVER had any money in the first place?! She (both of them) keeps dangling all of this money, again what money? That’s money we have NEVER benefited nor seen it and told her to show me the cash! Never saw it.

    Like I tell people: if your parents don’t leave you shit in the will, that’s fine, remember as long as they are dead you can still sue their estate and get their assets. Also, as long as they are alive, you don’t get anything – think of it that way. Now, my mom has it where she is gonna leave us 25% of her assets in the bank and stupid her had my dad to sign the papers as it is community property state. However, all of this fraud he’s been doing for years, she never even consulted with a lawyer now. She always says you don’t sign papers without a lawyer, well she did and now dad is entitled to what she has in her checking and savings.

  5. By: Em Posted: 24th December 2014

    As I was reading this article, I remember really struggling with the issue of trust. People who were part of my church would say things like ‘You don’t trust people’ as though it was a sin or some kind of character defect, implying that once I got my relationship right with God I would trust them. I remember thinking in response to that criticism by one of the ministers, that I had watched him and the way he interacted with folks for years, and couldn’t think of any reason I should trust him. [But even then, I wondered if something was wrong with me! Which shows how mixed up I was at the time.] The emotional toll was tremendous because of that man’s evil surmising stories about people – which I wouldn’t listen to after the first time when I asked if he had talked to them about it… and in the end his stories about me and the effect it had on the relationships with people that I thought there was a good foundation of friendship and trust with.

    Years later, I went to another church where a lady who had been through similar damage – sexual abuse when young by someone, and perhaps other types of abuse by people she should have been able to trust – who said that people told her she had trust issues. This seemed to be a criticism of her. I told her that the Bible says not to trust the arm of flesh, and I don’t trust anyone! I trust our loving Heavenly Father to guide me into proper relationships with people, but now I don’t even try to trust anyone anymore. If they are trustworthy, that will become evident – but just because someone says that they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy. I used to try and trust, and it was simply convoluting to my feelings and thinking, and I always felt off-balance and insecure…

    This idea of trusting until there is some reason not to trust may sound good, but it is a crazy way to go through life, and I did it for too long to think it is reasonable any more. You don’t want to be married to someone before you find out their character is not trustworthy – I have learned this the hard way, and unfortunately went through an incredible amount of pain, confusion, and broken family relationships because of it. Just because someone claims to be a Christian – which should translate to loving like Christ – doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy like He is!

    My husband, whom I have known for 9 years, and am coming up to our seventh wedding anniversary in the spring, made sure that I had plenty of time to get to know him and some of the people who knew him and worked closely with him before we were engaged. He even gave me a contact list of people he had lived with and worked with for 20 or more years for references when he asked to court me! He knew from our developing relationship and friendship that it would be best for me to take the time to learn that he was trustworthy, because I was healing from some pretty difficult violations of trust in my past.

    If someone criticizes us for not trusting, and doesn’t want to take the time to show themselves worthy of our trust, he or she is not healthy. If we choose to trust a person ‘on demand’ without knowing someone’s track record, we should recognize going into it that this immaturity may just blow up in our faces, and the damage control may be devastating. Better to love them ‘from a distance’. The Scriptures tell us who to spend time with and who to avoid in the Psalms and Proverbs etc… They also tell us who not to eat with in I Corinthians 5:11-13 – and this counsel can save us a lot of grief if we take it to heart. Healthy folks will not demand that you trust them before you have time to observe their track record and get to know them!

    Anyway, these are the thoughts and reflections that came to mind in relationship to the issue of trust. Thank-you for starting this thread. It has helped me see how far I have come in healing. Part of it may be because my counselor at a Christian BWS told me that it would be best to wait for at least a year before I started dating so I had time to heal, and then to get to know a man for at least a year before considering him as a potential husband because it takes that long for the mask to come down. Our Heavenly Father brought me a man who decided that I needed time to get to know him and the way he operates before inviting me to trust him… 😉

    I would like to add that there is hope and healing, and our Heavenly Father’s heart is available to comfort us, walk through our pain with us, and grow us up into the trustworthy character that He designs us to be…

    Shalom,

    elisheba

  6. By: Em Posted: 24th December 2014

    As I was reading this article, I remember really struggling with the issue of trust. People who were part of my church would say things like ‘You don’t trust people’ as though it was a sin or some kind of character defect, implying that once I got my relationship right with God I would trust them. I remember thinking in response to that criticism by one of the ministers, that I had watched him and the way he interacted with folks for years, and couldn’t think of any reason I should trust him. The emotional toll was tremendous because of that man’s evil surmising stories about people – which I wouldn’t listen to after the first time when I asked if he had talked to them about it… and in the end his stories about me and the effect it had on the relationships with people that I thought there was a good foundation of friendship and trust with.

    Years later, I went to another church where a lady who had been through similar damage – sexual abuse when young by someone, and perhaps other types of abuse by people she should have been able to trust – who said that people told her she had trust issues. This seemed to be a criticism of her. I told her that the Bible says not to trust the arm of flesh, and I don’t trust anyone! I trust our loving Heavenly Father to guide me in relationships with people, but now I don’t even try to trust anyone anymore. If they are trustworthy, that will become evident – but just because someone says that they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy. I used to try and trust, and it was simply convoluting to my feelings and thinking, and I always felt off-balance and insecure…

    This idea of trusting until there is some reason not to trust may sound good, but it is a crazy way to go through life, and I did it for too long to think it is reasonable any more. You don’t want to be married to someone before you find out their character is not trustworthy – I have learned this the hard way, and unfortunately, didn’t get it the first time – or the second or the third time through… Just because someone claims to be a Christian – which should translate to loving like Christ – doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy like He is!

    My husband, whom I have known for close to 9 years, and am coming up to our seventh wedding anniversary in the spring, made sure that I had plenty of time to get to know him and some of the people who knew him and worked closely with him before we were engaged. He even gave me a contact list of people he had lived with and worked with for 20 or more years for references when he asked to court me! He knew from our developing relationship and friendship that it would be best for me to take the time to learn that he was trustworthy, because I was healing from some pretty difficult violations of trust in my past.

    If someone criticizes us for not trusting, and doesn’t want to take the time to earn our trust, he or she is not healthy. If we choose to trust without knowing someone’s track record, just know that immaturity may just blow up in our faces, and the damage control may be devastating. A healthy person will not demand that you trust him or her before you have time to observe their track record and get to know them!

    Anyway, these are the thoughts that went through my mind in relationship to the issue of trust. Thank-you for starting this thread. It has helped me see how far I have come in healing. A lot of it may be because my counselor at a Christian BWS told me that it would be best to wait for at least a year before I started dating so I had time to heal, and then to get to know a man for at least a year before considering him as a potential husband because it takes that long for the mask to come down. Our Heavenly Father brought me a man who decided that I needed time to get to know him and the way he operates before inviting me to trust him… 😉

    I would like to add that there is hope and healing…

    Shalom,

    elisheba

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