Trust Issues

Have I ever mentioned that I have trust issues?

It’s not difficult to figure out where they came from. It goes back to earliest childhood, when I was cared for and loved by my sister and grandmother rather than my mother. I wanted to trust her; of course, being a child I didn’t understand why I couldn’t, or why she couldn’t love me the way I needed. But it set the stage for a lifelong distrust of people, and it’s taken me years to learn how to go through life without putting my head down and my fists up.

I don’t even trust myself half the time, and the other half of the time I can’t be trusted. This is not undeserved; after all, one should not trust me to drive when I’m manic, or to have access to a big bottle of controlled substances when I’m depressed. I also cannot be trusted not to throw a screaming fit out in front of a packed restaurant in the pouring rain or behave myself when someone is taunting me, even though neither of the above has happened in a long time. I know when the kids were growing up, the family walked on eggshells around me lest a storm blow up, which occurred way more often than was healthy for ANY of us.

I used to wonder why everyone went around all the time waiting for the other shoe to drop. “I’ve changed,” I would tell them, time and time again. “I’ve never hit people and I don’t even scream and yell much anymore. You don’t need to be afraid of me.” And then sure enough, something would happen and I’d go off on someone, and the whole cycle would start all over again.

To be honest, I still don’t think my family trusts me completely, even though I haven’t lost my temper in some time and the over-the-top conniptions haven’t happened since I’ve been on medication. A couple of my kids have admitted they worry about me going off the deep end, though, and I think that’s where the trust problem lies now. I once texted my oldest daughter in the middle of the night and said I thought I wanted to die, and I threatened to OD on Ativan. I didn’t do it then, but I did a year or so later, and of course Will couldn’t keep quiet about it, and he called the kids while I was passed out in the La-Z-Boy.

I wish I could say for certain that I’ll never do such a thing again. I don’t plan on it, and I don’t believe I will, but I can’t make such a guarantee. I made that mistake when I was within three months of celebrating my 22nd sobriety birthday. It was NOT a suicide attempt, and I didn’t use alcohol; but the reasons for doing it were the same, and the result was the same. In that case, I can’t blame my loved ones too much for being concerned, especially now that life is becoming progressively harder and right now I can’t see beyond the chaos to a better day. But it must be out there…..and I have to trust that it is.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

8 thoughts on “Trust Issues

  1. re: I don’t even trust myself half the time, and the other half of the time I can’t be trusted.

    I understand why you’re saying this – you have betrayed yourself more than you care to admit, and you feel guilty for having let others down – but – don’t sell yourself so short. As a rule you can be trusted and as a rule others can trust you. Just want you to know I love you. And HEY – as one very short person I am just as good at selling myself short 😦 I do know where it comes from … xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate that. I do sell myself short—I think all of us who have MH issues do—and sometimes I need reminding that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I don’t know how many times Dr. A (as well as everyone else) have told me to stop beating myself up over things I can’t help. Maybe one of these days I’ll get it.


  2. There remains an anticipation from my family during my emotional outbursts. The oh, oh “here she goes again” looks on their faces. They have yet to feel comfortable that any natural state of mind would heighten there emotional responses that warrents such a response. A sudden chill, like the hair stand on end, sends an alarm to my personhood and I, too, wonder what will do next. The greatness of my medication is that it allows me to grab a hold of myself. That moment of silence where I can regroup had never been apart of my personality before.
    It’s that moment, that reaction of my wellness that delights both myself and my family. I am so very blessed to have such a cheering squad of praises when I have done good.
    In those early days of psych treatment, when my mood stabilty had yet to reach its level of effectiveness, I can reflect back that although, I still reacted the same, I knew that I was being inappropriate. There is an “ata boy” worthy of a pat on the back. The mere fact that you are able to recoginize the emotional experiencess as inappropiate behaviors is an acheivement in of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that. You know, I really *didn’t* realize how inappropriate my behavior was at times, and I couldn’t fathom why my family looked at me like I’d sprouted three heads! Now it’s not an issue, and even when I do get upset, I no longer scream or throw things. Or slam TV dinners up against a wall. Or punch refrigerators. 🙂


      1. I didn’t either know when my mind was covered in darkness. I, too, took notice to the eggshell tap my family was dancing. I was never able to allow my emotional outbreaks to get so out of hand. My husbands’ Marine background wouldn’t tolerate it. So, I kept a lot of my frustrating anger bottled up. My course of retaliation was to escape.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My poor husband was definitely NOT a Marine. He’s a happy-go-lucky sort of guy who lets things roll off his back…..otherwise we wouldn’t be together now. Still, I know what you mean by escaping, only I did it by shopping, going out for lunch, going to parties…..anywhere but home with my family. Now my family is my life. I just wish I’d figured this out when the kids were still young.


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