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.