Like everyone, I have been lied to by more than one person in my life and to varying degrees. There’s exaggeration. There’s white lies. There’s bigger lies. There’s lies that are told with good intentions, to avoid pain. There’s lies told because people are also lying to themselves. There’s systematic, ongoing lies. There’s manipulation. There’s lies told to conceal previous lies. There’s completely fabricated personalities. Completely fabricated realities.
Something I’ve learned is that trust is not broken just once, nor, as a result, is the heart. Each time a lie is uncovered it cuts again. You may think you couldn’t trust someone less only to discover, in fact, you can. You may think the truth could not get any worse, then it does. And it hurts. Every time it hurts.
The trust of the best friendship is lost, and it aches.
Then the trust of the acquaintanceship is lost, and it aches.
This is where you think no trust is left. It’s normal not to have any trust left to lose here.
But not when you’re dealing with a serial liar. Then you learn about the trust you didn’t even know you had. Maybe it’s more like faith. The kind of unconscious faith that when someone tells you their name you don’t doubt that is their name. It’s the trust in the things that would be so exorbitant to lie about you feel safe to never second guess it.
Until you learn that anything can be a lie. And then nothing is safe to never second guess, and nothing is safe at all.
When that innate, given trust is lost in one relationship, it’s taken from every one. Because the world is no longer a safe place when you know that anything can be false. Assumptions you didn’t even know you were making suddenly illuminate, and everything is something you can be paranoid about. It seems extreme to anyone who has never met someone whose presentation is so extremely inaccurate.
Trust is an important part of any relationship. While I am able to experience it, rather than trusting until I have a reason not to, I don’t trust until it’s earned. And once it is earned, it takes very little for me to doubt once more.
Because when you trust someone so much, then they turn out to have lied about everything, you no longer trust your own ability to trust. So many times I’ve thought and even said, It’s not that I don’t trust you, but my judgment is not good. If I could trust someone so heinously dishonest, clearly my trust means nothing. My trust is not a reliable indicator of trustworthiness.
For a long time now, I’ve been desperate to understand the truth. I want to understand what happened to me, what was real, what I missed, what other pieces of my life were used as pieces in a game that someone was playing with my world.
And sometimes, even still, I learn something new that throws me for a loop, that makes me realize that there are still lies I believed that I didn’t even realize could be lies. I realize even now, in all the repairing I have done to myself, I don’t realize there are things I’ve continued to trust to this day that weren’t true.
And in these moments, I find it impossible to exclusively cease giving trust to the one who told the lie; because of what it says about my judgement, I inherently lose faith in the people I am glad to trust today.
This is a very lonely feeling. It is overwhelmingly cyclical. It makes me shut down. I lose the desire to talk to anyone. I lose interest in my own thoughts and in my life.
That has been my experience this past week. I felt very hopeless. I knew it had to end eventually, but as each day went by and I couldn’t get going, it made me feel worse.
Nothing in particular helped. Last night I just got a burst of energy that allowed me to do the dishes, and I rode that wave. I pumped my bike tires. I set up my bike for this morning’s workout. I brushed my teeth. I shaved. And the satisfaction for having actually been productive helped enough that this morning, I felt a lot more like myself. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s better.
Just like others can trick us, our own minds sometimes play tricks on us. They convince us we can’t do even the most mundane things like speak or smile, and it’s easy to spiral into a bad place when this happens. I guess I want to write this just to remind myself and anyone reading that yeah, sometimes, you just have hang on and, yes, trust that it will get better. And that is one thing that even I can say has never been untrue before: We will feel better than we do in our hardest hours, days, weeks