What is Trust Among Family?

What is trust among family?

Painting by Robert Goldstein
Painting by Robert Goldstein

How much is it worth? What happens when it has been broken? What does it take to trust again? What if you have been accused of breaking a trust but your opinion is different? What do you do if someone demands explanations from you about your life and you feel they have no right to ask? What if they say you owe them an answer although what they ask has no impact on their life? Do you owe them?

Human relationships are often not easy. People don’t think the same nor do they make decisions for the same reasons. Do you owe it to them to change for them? I don’t think so. There are ideals I live by. I don’t expect or demand anyone to believe as I do.

I’ve mentioned often that one guideline I live by is: “If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t watch me do it.” I make decisions based on what is good for me. Do I intentionally hurt people? Absolutely not. Each person makes their own choice about how life affects them. What if so and so doesn’t like it when their reaction is based on emotion, not reality. I would never do anything in my life because there are people close to me who find fault with me.

What if they say, “You have a choice. You can have me in your life or you can change what you’re doing.” I say, “If you make me choose you won’t like the answer. You have no right to give me ultimatums. I won’t play your game.”No one is going to threaten me with control in that way.”

So how do you know you can trust someone with what goes on in your head? How do you know if you can confide in them and they won’t find away to use it against you? Maybe they will find it too interesting to keep to themselves and get on the horn and call everyone, taking pieces of what you say and twist it into new truths that have no relation to the truth as you see it?

I’ve had that happen too often. Family is often the worst for thinking they have the right to abuse you. Once they believe their new truth is the real truth, it becomes the only truth. Your own truth isn’t allowed. They don’t want their truth smashed because then they might need to say “I’m sorry,” and that isn’t going to happen. Protecting their own ego is more important. They have to be right. The human being who gets hurt is collateral damage – and acceptable – to them.

How much of who you are belongs to other people? Do they have right to dissect you, judge you and spit you out in anger because they feel you have no right to put yourself first? Therefore, you are a horrible person and they’ll make you suffer.

No one is ever completely blameless and no one carries all the blame. Demanding answers to give yourself justification of your anger, because they aren’t the answers you want and you know it ahead of time, you can then continue to punish the person with whom you are angry. You feel you have the right. 

It also makes me question, what is love? Why do I think family is supposed to love me? I guess it is just an old fashioned idea I had that has been pretty much destroyed. Family love often seems to be used as a dagger. It isn’t a “feel good” feeling so much of the time. Is it the same kind of love we feel for others who brings a smile to our face? Is it really love at all – or is it toleration? What would happen if they decided in the future that they have changed their mind and wanted me in their lives, or maybe they need me because they have no one? Should I allow it? Is it okay to tell them to take a flying leap off a tall bridge? Can I be as petty as they have been? 

It’s just plan unsettling to live in my home area and have quite a few family members live all around me and be treated as though I have a leprosy. No Thanksgiving or Christmas invites.  No birthdays or holidays. Why? Because they chose to believe gossip and innuendos and never once asked me if it was true.  No piece of the pie of truth belongs to me?

I became the place to dump their sarcasm and name calling. Extremely bad manners.  I got tired of asking my sister to talk about it.  It was easier to pretend I didn’t exist.  She gets an ugly look on her face.  I never have a camera when I need one. I was told to cut them out of my life and not let it bother me anymore.  I’m trying. I started telling people the family I grew up with was dead.  They died in a plane crash.  I’ve been trying to work through this for awhile now but I still can’t seem to not let it bother me. I used to think they were good people.  I don’t anymore.  I don’t understand how people – who have Christian kitsch all over the place and who talk about how much they love Jesus can be so mean. I guess they need to put on a Christian face because that is what they want others to believe. I don’t think they apply the teaching to their daily life. The only important thing is going to heaven when the die.  What happens while they live doesn’t matter so much.

What a vicious cycle.

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