I'm damaged....

well, I have thought and thought and thought...
And I think I have figured it out.
I have worked on nearly everything....
letting my anger go in a healthy and productive manner.

There is one thing I haven't worked on...and don't know how to work on..
and it's important.
But honestly I don't think it's fixable.
I don't trust...
It fell into place tonight.
I think for a long time I covered it up with simply not 'needing' anything.
I get by now by not expecting people to be trustworthy.
or to remember
or to act right.
I expect the worst...
so that when people do right, I am pleasantly surprised.
and when they don't..
not a blip.
I don't trust in anything but my ability to do what's right by me and my body.
I trust me.
and I have good reason for being this way.
Growing up...
I couldn't really trust anyone.
I couldn't trust my father figure who was an abuser.
or my mom to protect us.
or my teachers to notice.
or my older brother...who is a diagnosed sociopath....who would steal things then hide them in my room...and try to frame me...or he would hit me....or pick at me until I cried.
except everyone knew he was doing it...
I built a wall....a good one.
Once he realized that nothing got to me...he stopped.
When I hit the age of 10 my abusive step father's father (I would call him'grampa' but he doesn't deserve the title.... tried to...(or actually did....he touched me inappropriately) molest me on an overnight camping trip. He actually did go the whole way with his girls and they were never right. He just didn't have the opportunity with me....he just touched me, and I rolled over and he quit before I woke the others.
And quite frankly...I think that's when I started having a problem with insomnia...because even sleeping wasn't safe.
I was poor and in school I wasn't popular in middle school and I was picked on...school wasn't safe.
I walled my innermost heart off.
I have kept it walled off....I love my husband...but even part of me is held back.
because of earlier issues.
It doesn't mean you don't love these people...
It just means you don't rely on them.
And in a way...my children are people I trust.
But I don't rely on them to keep me safe.
I keep them safe.
And my oldest is going to college.
so I think knowing that she is leavng....and I can't protect her.
And I only trust me to protect her.
Is causing all sorts of issues.
I wouldn't have noticed how deep this trust issue goes if not for all these nightmares.
last night I dreamt a neighbor stuck sharp objects in my dog's feet...and I spent the night pulling them out and then went to visit him.
(this dude is not an actual neighbor...just a dream neighbor)
I was smiling and told him I knew what he did to my dog.
he said "then why are you smiling?"
I said "because I have death in me"
and I woke up.
I kept repeating that sentence over and over...wondering what did it mean?
And I finally realized that part of me is dead.
The part that hopes for the best in people.
That part that trusts implicitly.
That's the part in my youngest that scares the hell out of me.
But it's healthy.
It's normal.
It's what most people have.
People who have had a stable, normal, honest home..
with parents who care and love them.
I don't have it.
Because I didn't have it.
That is why I am so brutally honest. I finally realized what it is that makes me tick.
I want to be a person other people can trust.
I want who I am on the outside to match who I am on the inside.

The words that come out of my mouth have to be true.
lying is not acceptable.
because I was lied to.
bullying and belittling is not acceptable.
because I was abused.
and being untrustworthy is disgusting to me...
because growing up...I had no one but God to trust.
That's why I rarely volunteer for anything.
Because once I give my word...that's it.
It's given.
Once I give my friendship.
It's given.
Now I know why these are so important to me.
But not trusting leaves a big hole.
And makes it hard to make friends.
It makes it hard to be myself with 'real life' people.
I had a conversation today with neighbors...and finally realized that 90 percent of adult communication seems to be politeness and posturing.
covering our percieved flaws.....

real communication is rare.
real trust is rare.
awareness is the first step..
well, I am off to be crafty and think some more.
Have a great night,


Ms. M said...

Powerful words and a powerful realization for you. I know what its like not to trust anyone, including myself. And yes, awareness is the first step. (((HUGS)))

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Christine, I don't know if I'll ever be able to dig as deep as you do.
I have commonly joked that my motto is 'trust no one.' But it's not really a joke.
I understand that trust issues are supposedly normal for those who have lived as we have, but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow.
I try very hard to be as trustworthy and reliable as possible, but I never expect the same in return.
My husband is the only person who even comes close to making me feel that I am truly valued by simply coming through for me most of the time.
I really do wish that I didn't feel this way. I definitely want to change this. I really want to be able to learn to trust and yet I worry about how much disappointment I might have to go through to get to that point.
I think this falls under the 'If I knew then what I know now' category. I have a feeling that this will be one of those things that feels as amazing as it can get whenever I do finally get there.
Thank you again for taking the time to blog about difficult things.

Anonymous said...


You exhibited a certain amount of trust by writng this post. You act on a certain amount of turst every day by allowing your husband to sleep in your house.

So you do trust, but I know what you mean. I needed that lead in to say this:

You said that you didn't believe that anyone was trustworthy. You believe that about others, all others, because it...is...true.

No one is trustworthy. Jesus said that no one is good except God. He knew what he was talking about. The only one you can trust to do totally right by you all of the time is God. He died for you; I figure you can cut Him a break and trust Him.

So, the issue isn't whether or not people are trustworthy, because they are not, the issue is how you live your life--in a healthy, loving, joyful, OPEN way--once you know that.

And that is the part you have to figure out. That is the part we ALL have to figure out. Once we know.

**Let me insert something here--you discovered the truth in a most unfortunate way. I suspect that there is healing that needs to happen in regard to the woundings you experienced when you were youinger. The woundings that taught you not to trust. So, I'm not discounting that at all. Healing is part of the answer here. It just won't change the fact that people are, indeed, untrustworthy and that it's okay that you know that.***

You know what you know. Ask God for the rest. He can heal and He is able to bring us into abundant life, joyful life, even while we know that no one is good, no not one.

Being able to live an abundant life in a broken world can not be explained, but it is something we are meant to do--a gift we have been given.

Hugs and prayers, Chris.


Rettakat said...

Even the "best" among us will fail, will drop the ball, will hurt others, make mistakes, not live up to expectations, will fail to be trustworthy. It's just the human condition.

I suppose that is why I am so grateful for God's grace, kindness and forgiveness. We all need it.

I won't try to repeat what Deb so eloquently said... except to say I agree 100%.

Thank you for such a transparent, deep and honest post. Reminds me that no matter how much I value dependability, trustworthiness, integrity... I still fall short. But I still try... I think that's one thing that is dearest to me about my husband, is his integrity.

Yet, after reading your post, I can see that I keep some walls up... it takes a lot for me to lower my defenses.

I value honesty... I think that's why I always read your blog, even when I don't get hardly any others read. :-)

deisegirl said...

This is very deep stuff, you are very fearless when it comes to sharing what is going on in your head.

And it's true, most adult communication is just chit chat, passing the time, banter, silly talk, whatever, there are very few people in life that I would share everything, actually nobody now that I think about it. And I did grow up in a normal, stable home - I mean, I did lose my mother when I was 15 but apart from that (!) there was nothing sinister in my childhood like you've had to endure. You've overcome some pretty horrific things and you have wonderful children and are passing on a LOT of good things to them.

Annalisa201 said...

Chris, I am in tears. I am also in shock from reading this post, and you will probably not believe this, I am not sure I do. Tuesday night (that's 2 nights ago now, for me) during a small group bible study, I had this same realisation and it has shook me to the core. I sunk into a mental depression that consumed my every thought. I was at a loss of what to do with this knowledge of my own self. I cannot trust anyone! No one has ever shown me true trustworthiness. Not even my own parents, no family, no friends, and not my husband now. What good is a Christian who cannot truly "Love one another" as we are commanded to do, when everything we do "in love" is over the top of the knowledge that I cannot trust anyone!!! I seriously cannot believe you wrote this. I am glad you did, because my post sure as heck wasn't going to be as neat and clearly written as this. Plus now I don't have to re-live this horrible trauma from this realisation by explaining it all. I'm also So So So glad you shared this with me (okay, with everyone, but right now, it feels like this is just for me). I share every bit of it, even about the kids and about having to rely on my self for everything - I feel exactly the same way. And the same week! Wow Chris. Now, I need to share the message that brought me out of my depression - although I am sure to be working through it for a while... The message that literally shook me, was a realisation about Who God Is. Strangely enough. Thank God. I was pretty bad for a few days. Oh no, it's way too long. Email me and I'll forward it. Annalisa@signaustralia.com xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

downsizers said...

We live in a fallen world. You had to learn to be independent far too young. I know that logically we think these things through and know we should put them behind us but there's that part of us that was shaped by earlier experiences. You are truly a survivor and I applaud you for becoming a beautiful person. There are many people who use a past like yours as an excuse for living a life that's less than what's best for them and everyone else. You haven't used your ready-made excuse; you have overcome it and though it is a burden you have to carry you have gotten the best of it and achieved in spite of it rather than using it as an excuse for failure. You are not damaged; you are precious to all your friends here and to your redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Jodie said...

I agree with you about so much in this post. My whole life has been searching for the love I was denied as a child, and even though I am married with 2 kids I still fear my husband leaving and my kids someday choosing their drug addicted, in jail for life birthmother to love instead of me. Damage makes us fearful of so much. I've come to discover as well that people aren't really interested in deep friendship either. So I've had to learn to adjust my expectations. What is worse is that in the church all they do is talk about relationship and fellowship but yet so few folks really live this out. Thank you for sharing your life . I hope it brings healing to you.

Helen said...

We're all damaged on some level. What you do with the damage determines if you're a victor or a victim.

Maria Bloodwell said...

..........Wow. Erm Mom? I think we should probably talk a bit. Also I'm not going to die at college. I wish there were some way to talk to your inner mind. It's kind of funny though. I used to have all kinds of dreams where I would protect either you or the rest of the family from getting hurt. Or if I didn't manage to protect you, I would often (In the dream) go and get revenge on whoever hurt you. That's a bit of an odd coincidence eh?

Val N. said...


It sounds like you have broken the cycle, and allowed your daughters to trust. What a wonderful gift! I don't know the answer on how to trust. I only trust my sister to fully protect me and get me.
I'm still working on the fear thing, myself. Inappropriate comments and touching at a recent concert had me eating just as inappropriately.
I am awed by your courage to dig at the tough things, rip them out by the roots and persevere.

bbubblyb said...

Boy I could write so much about this, it hit home with me. My therapist and I have talked often about trust and lack of. We've also talked about people that give themselves permission to do whatever they wish regardless of who they hurt or the consequences. He's often said "just because you can doesn't mean you should" so very simple yet very true. But yes I think from a childhood of no trust and plenty of abuse and neglect leads a person to question everything and everyone. You have succeeded in your life though Christine in not repeating what others in your past did and that's something to be proud of.

What you said about trusting your kids I need to think on that good and long because I've not been a trusting parent and I think that's something I need to work on.

Thanks for writing this.

Hanlie said...

Your honesty is stunning! Wow! If you managed not to let your upbringing negatively affect your daughters, you are a hero in my book, because 9 out of 10 people perpetuate their patterns in their children. You're not broken - you're a survivor and a game-changer.

Tammy said...

You continue to impress me every day. I wish we lived closer. I know we would be "real friends".

F. McButter Pants said...

I will say it again. I am never disappointed when I read your blog. Great post.

Could relate to alot. ALOT! Your dreams remind me of my dreams. So real and all the time.

love your honesty

Robin said...

This post hurts my heart a lot. There are good people out there deserving of your trust. Certainly not everyone. As you pointed out about that person on FB, she wasn't good friend material at all and I didn't need the aggravation of cleaning out my brain by keeping her in my life. That comment made me realize that I have had good friends in my life that I can trust ~ who are worthy of my trust ~ and it is worth the effort to reestablish those ties.

What I am saying is this: if you don't have those people now, make the effort to bring those people into your life. There are a couple of people I have met through Blogger that I now talk to on the phone. They are worth my time. They are no longer online friends. They are REAL friends. I have also reconnected with some hs and college friends. Real friends.

You have excellent judgment. Look around at who is in your life now and decide if any of them can jump that wall. If so, do it. If not, expand your circle. There are good people out there. Friendships happen gradually and you are an excellent judge of character. Trust YOUR instincts on this because they will not fail you.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

Hi Chris! Wow, what a powerful post. I just discovered your blog and look forward to visiting it often. I appreciate your honesty and courage in writing. Love it!

Take care

Quiltingranny said...

Chris, you do trust or you would never have posted this to a blog. You trust that those who read this will accept it as it is written without judgement. I have put walls up in past years, my husband just wouldn't let me put the mortar between my bricks. I would get them all stacked up and he would knock them down. As a police dispatcher, I am distrustful of many people and like you am not afraid to post my feelings here. I understand so much of what you wrote. Big hugs to you my dear!

Linda Pressman said...

Chris, I think it's through doing this really deep work that you change, inside and out. It's impossible to go back to who you once were when she's finally gone. And half the change that needs to happen with trusting happens just by realizing this.

I know and trust that God has a plan for me and it's not all to fall upon me on one day but rather incrementally. He knows what I can handle. There are things I'm ready to face today that I wouldn't have been able to deal with a few years ago and I know because I tried. I'm patient. I'm a work in progress and as long as I'm progressing things are good.

outdoor.mom said...

i am damaged too :-) somebody i trusted wasn't trustworthy and it nearly destroyed me......
I am recently reading "managing your emotions" by Joyce Meyer it looks like a good one :-) i have some other good ones too..... Time heals all with Gods grace and our forgiveness.....

Amber said...

Love ya!