Living Without Trust. Or Control.

It wasn’t easy for me to make the decision to trust again.

He asked for one more chance, and I counted up all the one more chances that had already been given.  And blown.  I sat in the dark with the fear and the doubt and the uncertainty.  I got lost inside my own head, because nothing outside of me was offering me any hope.

I prayed.

And when I felt sure that God had answered, I leapt.

I knew that trust was an issue.  I knew I had no reason to believe.  I knew that all evidence pointed to the fact that being lied to would be a part of my immediate future.

I leapt anyway.

It’s hard not to feel stupid about that right now.

I made a list of the things – the important but surmountable things, I called them – that needed to be worked on.  Lying and trust were at the top of that list.  How can you hold in your hand a list that says “lying” in your own handwriting, and act surprised when “lying” materializes in real life?

How can you justify shock when you had to know that it was coming?

I wrestled all night with the familiar feeling of being stupid.  In an effort to avoid the fact that there are things beyond my control that can hurt me, I looked inward at what I had done to cause the hurt.  If I had been stupid, if I had made a bad choice, if I could be blamed for the pain I was in, then I could still maintain some sense of security.

If I broke it, then I could fix it.

Except, I didn’t break it.

Not this time.

Yes, I made a decision to trust despite a history of mistrust and nothing to suggest that the future would be any different.  Yes, I hoped.

But hope is not equivalent to stupidity.

I am doing my part.

The truth is, I only hold one part. A marriage is made up of more than one part.  And, despite my best efforts, there is absolutely nothing I can do to control the other parts.

I type those words and the cursor blinks at me.  What comes after admitting you don’t have control?  I’m standing here defenseless, having been stripped of my most reliable coping mechanism.  My one defense against the outside world has been revealed a fake, and nothing tangible has been put back into my hands as a replacement.

I’m paralyzed.  Again.

The world, and this relationship, is a dangerous and scary place.  It hurts.  It wounds.  It stabs at my flesh and I am left now with no armor.  How can I possibly move from this spot and navigate the thorny underbrush with no armor?

Trust is about knowing that you can survive if and when someone hurts you.

I’ve said these words.  My therapist has confirmed them.  But I look at them now and think “I don’t know how much more I can survive.  Wouldn’t it be easier if someone would just. stop. hurting me?

But I can’t control their part.

So I look again at my part.

I’ve committed to marriage counseling.  I am desperately hopeful that a professional will have answers that I don’t.  I have to accept the fact that in the meantime, I’m in a holding pattern.  I’m in limbo, stuck in a temporary space of wait and see.

And in that space, there is no trust.

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