Author Topic: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"  (Read 878 times)

sKePTiKal

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The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« on: December 29, 2017, 10:05:48 AM »
Since this came up a couple times in various on-going threads, seems to me we need to apply our intuitive and understanding and analytical powers to this very broad topic. So, it's not limited to any one type of trust, or situation, or "issue"... or whatever. I want to go at this, the way TT would with some topics. Let's talk about this from all the angles, experiences, dilemmas and personal preferences until we nail the jello to the wall.

I'm pretty sure that 90% of all my anxiety issues are due to a lack of self-trust. Manifests in some recurring specific ways too. They're odd. Contradicted by actual evidence of my competence - one example, is anxiety about getting lost driving. Another is forgetting to pay a bill on time, not noticing my checking account balance, or not noticing that I didn't GET a bill, when I know I should have (including the reverse - forgetting I've already paid one.)

So driving: there are 2 incidents in the last 10-20 years where I've actually "gotten lost" - and I wasn't so far off the beaten trail or without resources, that I couldn't rectify the situation quickly. One, was driving to my old, old friend's house in the county where we both grew up & ran the back roads together. She's lived in that house since the 1980s. I kept taking the wrong turn and finally had to call her. By then, we were both laughing our heads off at me. WHAT in all that, would become anxiety? Especially, since it happened on a trip I was making from the beach in NC, all the way to the shop in Michigan... and running a lot of back roads - 2 lanes - to minimize my highway driving time.

Same trip; coming out of NC to Va Mike and I always avoided the highway around Chesapeake & Norfolk by taking the backroads through the swamps in Gates Co. It was "home turf" for him because most of his relatives live there; his parents are buried there - we've spent a lot of time there and I know the route pretty well, since I was always the passenger and able to "know" the landmarks. So since this was me driving alone back north for the first time, I was going to rely on GPS. Except GPS wanted to take me on the route I wanted to avoid... so I kept forcing it recalculate the route. And missed a turn... and didn't realize it until a landmark passed my awareness.

Crap like that happens to people ALL THE TIME. Why would that become anxiety, given how many times I've driven long distances and travelled alone... and WHY would that then gel into a distrust of myself about driving somewhere "not so familiar"? Holly and I talked about that a little, while she was driving me to where she lives in Baltimore.

Now, I spent probably 5 years of my life, driving the route between Winchester & B'more. I KNOW how to get there. But I also know, that since they've built things like Camden Park, Ravens Stadium and revamped part of Fells Point - the highway system is unfamiliar to me. Silly things like you have to go south, to go north downtown. And I'm not afraid to admit, that I was afraid I would take a wrong turn and end up in a neighborhood that was dangerous for me to be in. Those areas were dangerous back in the 80s when I lived in the city.

So the landmarks have changed. Things that may "feel" right to me... may all of a sudden look like another planet. (That same kind of change is evident in the town I grew up in, too.) So I wanted to play "navigator" the first time going to their place - it was in a part of the city I'm totally unfamiliar with. See what I remembered... what was still the same... what was different. I have a pretty good mental map of the main roads in my head - so I was associating landmarks and placenames/street names with my map. I have a better relationship with my GPS these days, too.

So, it's the intensity and level of fear I feel - when contemplating something I've done many times (successfully) in the past that is turning into an awareness that at the gut level, I just don't TRUST MY SELF. How did this happen? When did it happen? I've usually been kinda "intrepid" most of my life; up for "adventure" that didn't have any guarantees of safety, security or outcome.

Maybe that's a pretty low-level example, compared to what others are experiencing and it only seems big to me, given the tight limitations I've put on myself lately. But the same thing applies to the big trust issues, too. Relationships. "Once bitten, twice shy" is a truism; I'm not sure it's a metaphysical imperative. But I think I'm seeing a lot of us - to one degree or another - believe or act as if that's the case about others and ourselves.

So let's pick the flies out this crap and figure out what we're doing fer cryin' out loud! We're AMAZONS... we can do this in our sleep... I think we need to get our personal versions of this sorted out.

Your turn.
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Hopalong

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 12:39:22 PM »
I hear your story and raise you loads of periodic lostness tales, Amber!

I think of a few things--one, getting lost is temporarily losing control. When hypervigilance and a powerful need to control and mold one's life result from the trauma you had...getting lost would feel huge. Rather than simply like being temporarily lost. It'd take on much bigger meaning than it merits. And as we age we need to be very kind and gentle and merciful toward ourselves, because we all get lost.

Another is that when you're traveling or driving--the environment is not yours. Random new roads, changes and challenges are par for the course. But they screw with that sense of strong control because, in fact, you don't have as much as you do at home. You can pre-plan and GPS (mine drove me dead-end into a field once, I wanted to smack her...) to your heart's content but the random error will still happen, and you may, like Blanche, still have to depend on the kindness of strangers.

Maybe pondering how many friendly, decent people are all around you at nearly all times (barring war zones, where most people live in fear indoors--like some of the places where I used to teach). But mostly, people are good. That means, getting lost is okay. Because most people are willing and/or even happy to help a lost stranger get back on her way safely again.

Maybe part of this is feeling a crisis of trust in your own abilities to navigate anywhere in a controlled fashion and make no errors or meet no unpleasant surprises.

But maybe part of it is also feeling a crisis of trust in the kindness of other humans, generally.

I wonder if a pre-trip meditation would help.

xxoo
Hops
PS--I may talk about trust on my Heist thread too but this is a great general topic, I agree!

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Twoapenny

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 02:07:06 PM »
Gosh, trust is a difficult one for me, although I'm not sure whether it's trust that is my problem or my mind always going to the negative scenario - or maybe that's the same thing?

Hops, you are right about most people being kind and good, yet any situation I go into I can't help but run things in my mind of bad reactions, bad people, criticisms (of me) and fault finding.  So maybe this is lack of trust in ........... other people's decency?  Just not having a basic assumption that most people will (a) barely even notice, (b) overthink things the way I do (c) behave like arseholes?  Like the pot plant scenario, for example - I'd been running all my excuses in my head for why I hadn't taken it over, why the box was damaged, why it had got wet - and that lady was so sweet and thought I was very kind for taking it in for her and making the effort to contact her.  I doubt she even noticed any of the stuff I'd been worrying about.  So is that lack of trust in others?  Or just negative thinking?  I don't know :)

Hopalong

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 08:04:27 PM »
Quote
things in my mind of bad reactions, bad people, criticisms (of me) and fault finding.  So maybe this is lack of trust in ........... other people's decency?

Aha. Tupp, when I see your post larded with question marks, I says to meself I says:
Aha. Which question is it that Tupp's given herself a very good answer to here?  :D

I guess the only nuancey thing I'd say is that in my mind, lack of trust in other people's decency IS "negative thinking" that simply resulted (logically) from some Very Negative Experiences.

But when those VNEs become a loop in the brain, and remain unchallenged by "positive thinking" they become self-fulfilling. Expecting negativity, emit negativity, then be affirmed in negativity when negativity returns in the next experience.

I think the only way to stop the loop is to intentionally argue with your own negative thought-stream. ("I've got no real reason to assume this person will be thinking something unkind about me" or "I can't read another person's mind so I can relax about what comes next, as I've handled plenty" or "With strangers there's as much reason to hope for something pleasant as to predict something unkind, so why don't I wait and see? I can handle it either way...")

I honestly don't know whether negativity or positivity is more the norm. If I were in a refugee camp, or living in a palace of peace and justice, I'd have a firm conclusion about that.

As things go, I try to hold strangers in a kind of gentleness in my mind...extending a little force of love (not a pushy gush, just a happy beam) in my path. I see somebody in a store and I smile at them, notice the tired cashier (hey, sorry to see you're working this holiday but hope it's okay anyway), the old person especially, the person of a different ethnicity (I'm always taking the BLM button off my coat and giving it to anyone who comments (take it, it's the designer version!) and just kind of keeping general goodwill toward all in mind.

Doesn't preserve me from all nastiness but does make my walk in this cold world warmer.

That's the kind of way my Dad walked--he genuinely loved people, so he had a little bit of joy in his interactions, nearly all of them. I try to keep a similar habit. Takes my mind of myself, my miseries, my self-consciousness. For each moment I'm sending out some goodwill toward a stranger, I feel more relaxed, more part of the human community, and just....more at peace.

I can't control others, but I can control what I carry toward them.

xxoo
Hops

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sKePTiKal

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 09:09:09 PM »
OK, like I said - I've not ever been "lost" in any serious fashion. (But I'll come back to that.) Yup, I get irritated with myself for missing a turn... but the anxiety doesn't appear in the experience. It's all anticipatory. Before I've ever left home. There is definitely no sense of loss of control in the exerience. Rather I get more "switched on" and in command of myself and actions. For the most part, the actual experiences don't involve any other people - so that whole section of stuff doesn't apply.

Driving is one of the most relaxing exeriences for me. I simply don't think; just drive. I have a good internal compass - read maps well - and know how to navigate pretty decently. Maybe not tracker level skills - but I've never ever been that "lost", that it wasn't merely an inconvenience.

But there is a whole 'nother type of lost - dissociation. Think something more persistent than day-dreaming. Like being caught between two complete self-contained world's that contradict each other. That's what I think my fear is about - somehow returning to that state.

Driving - not "thinking" - daydreaming a bit - on "autopilot" - I think maybe I slide closer to that state than I'm comfortable with. (And that is also my issue with some forms of meditation...)
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Hopalong

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 11:20:09 PM »
Got it. That is different.
The pre-drive panic is strong enough that some disassociation happens.

Ai yi. I'm sorry. That must be really difficult to go through.

Yup, I can see you being captain of your car and in sailing mode once underway.

So the focus and help needs to go into that anticipatory period that turns sour.

What do you think would help?

love
Hops
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sKePTiKal

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 08:01:42 AM »
Maybe I'm not communicating well. The driving was one example; dissociation-fear is another - altho I can see where someone would be terrifed that they unconsciously drive themselves to Hoboken, on a trip to Philly. The lack of self-trust applies to lots of different things. It varies in degrees of intensity.

Mike's D showed up last night with the kids, for our Christmas party. It's NEXT week; I knew I should've made sure she knew the date. She had texted both Holly and me, to see if we needed anything... I didn't see my phone; Holly replied that we had it covered... LOL... We decided we're both losing our minds.

But things like that aren't helping any either.
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sKePTiKal

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 06:33:19 PM »
OK, this is one time when knowledge and cognitive processes might resolve a worry/anxiety quicker than anything else. I went researching again... and after finding a society that studies dissociative disorders, I was able to pick one thing that most closely resembles what my experience was: dissociative amnesia - ie, completely blocking "Twiggy" and her memories of trauma.

This is a decent explanation:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/dissociative-amnesia

Why it's come up now, again:
I think the extended timeframes of solitude are partly responsible. I can let my mind drift, willy-nilly, for days at a time, from one thing to another... without really paying attention to it. Sort of like how you tune out a spouse who's telling a story for the Nth time... LOL. Without some attention to what I'm thinking - damn near anything is likely to pop up, even stupid stuff that I don't really believe or think.

Speaking of spouses, that direct memory of Mike - his physical presence and being - is beginning to fade on me. Could be another trigger for "why now". I really don't want to lose him - again - this way too. Even though, part of me thinks it might be for the best, as I keep moving forward with my life. He really kept me grounded, but some new guy is going to be a whole new package of "stuff" in a different combination.

I recall having a very intense fear of a relapse into that kind of amnesia, in the near-term after Twiggy "went into the box". It might very well be why the person I saw, suggested that I save Twiggy to deal with at a later date, you know? Twiggy's been pretty well integrated with who I became after, I think. Every once in awhile, there's a strong disagreement. They are fewer and farther between now.

Now, I know from years of therapy for this, that it's not likely to re-occur. I'm emotionally and mentally stronger than I was at 12; I'm not dealing with daily abuse from my mom, either. But one of the overpowering feelings from that time, was how alone I was. And here I am again, with another type of alone.

The knowledge piece that can go a long way to alleviating the fear (now) of relapse into that amnesia, is that it was in response to intense emotion and trauma; near death experience. Evidence and experience of later crises, and my ability to function a tad higher, more efficiently than many people would throughout, would tend to prove that the fear is completely irrational. A phobia, for all intents & purposes. I don't fall apart until WELL AFTER a situation calms down. Been that way a long time now.

And I do make it a point to focus my mind and concentrate on things in the solitude... and plan, design, make, engineer and challenge myself in this new "life" of mine - foreign as it is. I'm truly not in danger of slip-sliding into some permanent mental fog... and the fear-feeling that it could overtake me again... simply doesn't have any basis in anything real. It's residual Twiggy-dust.

Yeah, I think this is what is UNDER a lot of my lack of self-trust too. Same thing; different manifestation.

My engineer friend was talking about how he's been adapting to some hefty changes in his life, while admitting there is always someone who has it worse than us. He wrote this (lest you think engineers are emotionless):

Quote
I am also aware that we have the choice of remaining on the curb and whimpering into the long night, or standing back up at least figuratively, hoisting the black flag with an extended middle finger and kicking fate square in the testicles once again.

You SEE why I connect with this guy???? LOL.

I've also been wondering what the experiential difference is between trust, belief in one's own competency, and confidence... something to ponder in another post.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 06:36:39 PM by sKePTiKal »
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Hopalong

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 01:42:32 AM »
This has the clarity of a pebble dropping into a pool. I can see the ripples, and how for a transient moment, they obscure the water. How it's clean and healthy and full of life.

Quote
one of the overpowering feelings from that time, was how alone I was. And here I am again, with another type of alone.


That is such a powerful, insightful connection imo, Amber. I'm so glad you've made it.

What rushes into my imagining of your "alone" is compassion. As tough and strong and functional as you are, alone is alone and gets to everyone, anyone, in some way some time.

I know you're okay. I totally trust your strength is real. And your capacity for insight and integration of all you have been into all you are is extremely real.

You were drawn away from the crowds and the chaos maybe just for this encounter with your alone. In grief for Mike but maybe also to reclaim your own alone. Your own alone as a gift, as much as it must feel in moments like a punishment.

You can thrive in alone better than most, but you don't deserve lonely.

Now that I've finished doing Tupp's dishes, I would like very much to come sit in your big woodsy room and drink a beer.

Sending you a big real hug, and respect. Loads of it.

I can ... sorta .... see the attraction for the testicle-kicking engineer pal. Hee. I'm glad you have him.

Still hoping for your mountain man, that he'll hurry up his leathery ass and find you. But in the meantime, still hoping you'll take comfort in the company of good strong kind women. They can do a hell of a lot about lonely.

love to you,
Hops
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 01:44:43 AM by Hopalong »
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sKePTiKal

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 08:59:16 AM »
OK, that's one type of trust issue...

what are some others? I know Hops has to be asking if B is who is saying he is... and sorting the evidence she can perceive herself, to what he says. And then wondering about whether he's not that self-aware, maybe in denial, or has ulterior motives when she notices a discrepency. Which of those, become dealbreakers? When? What can she choose to live with - even if she doesn't subscribe to the reality/perception of it? What other things offset that - to make TRYING to live with it worthwhile?

How is it, that we trust each other - each other's perceptions about ourselves - and our honesty with each other... when all we have are these pixels that make up characters that become words online? By what kind of MAGIC does the support, encouragement, compassion come through those pixels?? And when we do disagree on topics... how is it we can trust each other not to totally shred us, for simply expressing our opinions... when that seems to be the current online pastime for a lot of people?

Trust is a simple word... but there's SO MUCH to it under the hood.
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Hopalong

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 10:27:16 AM »
I sure am asking all those things...(I might snag that juicy paragraph over to Heist and chew on it there...).

I trust you pixel people here, because:

1) I have risked vulnerability, writing for years about my deepest hurts. VESMB people have been generous, patient, and kind. I will never forget how alone I felt and terrifying it was to battle my socioNbro in court, and later (repeatedly) my Nboss and the bully at work....even my own D when she was raging. Coming here at 2am and pouring out fear and hurt and anger, over and over....and there would be someone, sometimes multiple someones, who'd offer comfort and counsel. I felt listened to. People didn't always have the "right" answers either. Just knowing somebody cared enough to offer some gentleness and courage, was amazing.

It was those repeated experiences that built trust for me. It's not always that way and in early days even here, there were some folks who were maybe shredding others out of their own pain or confusion. I think that's why Doc had to close VESMB in the first place (he wouldn't have time to moderate the board if it went the squabbling way of many other online forums). Way back when, he had to boot a couple of folks who lashed out hard and couldn't seem to stop.

My sense of trust has grown here because of others' goodwill. And patience. And restraint from cruelty or contempt when they disagree. And gentleness. And humor. And their own courage and struggles -- when I respect people for how they've conducted their own battles, and can see those flashes of compassion (doesn't gotta be on billboards) and respect I just learn.... I'm safe here. People are basically good and kind and we are members of a social species that needs other people.

It's almost like this is an old-fashioned place (i.e., "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."). No contempt or rage, yet folks will buckle up through some challenging convos too. Maybe not as much as specific "interest groups" but we do share minds along with hearts, imo.

Some people are inspired by tough love. I prefer smart love, that's what VESMB feels like to me. If I respect others' dignity and vice versa, then I know nobody's into tearing me down recreationally.

I also think that people choose trust because it's a survival need. To affirm our humanity and worth we've got to affirm somebody else's. I think cynicism erodes trust and contempt butchers it.

Can't explain the pixel-magic but I wish there were a way to print out 15ish years of posts as my journal....

hugs
Hops

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Twoapenny

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Re: The wide, wacky, wonderful world of "TRUST"
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 01:27:59 AM »
OK, that's one type of trust issue...

what are some others? I know Hops has to be asking if B is who is saying he is... and sorting the evidence she can perceive herself, to what he says. And then wondering about whether he's not that self-aware, maybe in denial, or has ulterior motives when she notices a discrepency. Which of those, become dealbreakers? When? What can she choose to live with - even if she doesn't subscribe to the reality/perception of it? What other things offset that - to make TRYING to live with it worthwhile?

How is it, that we trust each other - each other's perceptions about ourselves - and our honesty with each other... when all we have are these pixels that make up characters that become words online? By what kind of MAGIC does the support, encouragement, compassion come through those pixels?? And when we do disagree on topics... how is it we can trust each other not to totally shred us, for simply expressing our opinions... when that seems to be the current online pastime for a lot of people?

Trust is a simple word... but there's SO MUCH to it under the hood.

Ooh, Skep, those are interesting questions!  For me, trust is built through time (lots of it, in my case, and many, many small experiences), and lots of experiences that show me that a person is aware enough of themselves not to blame someone else for something they do or want to hurt someone else when they are hurting (or at least not to act on hurting someone else; I often rant in my head at people if they annoy me but I try not to actually say anything until I've calmed down).

All the things that Hops says about people on the board hold true for me.  I'm  not sure how many years I've been coming here now - maybe eight?  It's a long time, much longer than I've ever used any other kind of group, online or face to face. Over time I've revealed more and more of myself and I've never been shot down, mocked, ignored.  People have been kind, compassionate, offered advice, listened.  I think the main thing for me is that I trust the people on here offer up what they think is good for me, rather than doing what is good for them?  I trust because people have offered me an ear or a hand up over and over again and never asked for anything back.

Face to face, the circle of people I trust is small, but again, it's for the same reasons.  All these years with my son, when so many have let me down and cast us aside, there are a small group who have stayed in touch, even though I can offer little in return in terms of wonderful stories or exotic evenings out.  Those small actions - the phone calls, the visits, the little gifts every now and again that say "I'm thinking of you" are the reason I trust them because again, they ask for nothing in return.  They don't get in touch because they want something from me, they just want to know how I am.  That's where my trust for them comes in, many, many small experiences that have built up into a big wall of comfort.  Whatever I say, they get me.  Even if they don't agree, they still get me (and that's the same on here, I feel).