When the Trust is Gone

My mom has always told me, “No relationship can exist without trust. Once you’ve lost someone’s trust, it’s extremely difficult to get it back.” Sometimes, losing trust happens instantaneously and sometimes, it’s a gradual buildup of lies, miscommunications, and misunderstandings.

Relationships (with family members, friends, and significant others) require trust as the foundation. It’s what makes the relationship work in the first place. Love doesn’t make the world go round, trust does. Without it, we would just stumble through. Meander through long aisles of isolation and (probably) self-pity.

And there’s a fine line between breaking another’s trust and losing them forever versus losing them temporarily. In familial relationships, trust can – and is – broken on so many different levels. A child lies to their parents about that night they were “sotally tober,” someone doesn’t live up to their responsibilities, and the list goes on. But as the old saying goes, blood is thicker than water, and usually, trust can be reestablished amongst family members.

With friends, I’d like to think trust can be reestablished, too. We don’t all have our shit together 100% of the time, and sometimes, we screw up in friendships. Sometimes we put our significant others first, sometimes we gossip about a secret that should never have been vocalized, and sometimes we just suck at being a good friend. But if the trust has been there for a while, if the friendship really is genuine (and not something formulated out of convenience), then friends will be friends will be friends. As I’ve said before, some of my friends are actually closer to me (and mean more to me) than some of the members of my family.

And then maybe there’s the toughest kind of trust to lose. And by toughest, I don’t mean it’s literally difficult to lose, I mean it simply blows when you lose it. It’s the kind that blossoms from romantic love. The kind of trust you put every effort into not breaking. If you break it, if you lose it, then there’s this overwhelming sense of “Damn, give me a map to help me find it. I need it back.” But there is no map. There’s no solution. And if that person does choose to stay with you for breaking their trust, then 1) not only are you very lucky, but 2) only time is going to help rebuild what you lost.

And the thing is, sometimes you don’t even realize you’re breaking your significant other’s trust until you’re so far gone. You’re not even ankle-deep anymore, you’ve brought your knees in and everything. There’s a rock, a hard place, and smushed in the middle is some dark and guilt-laced version of yourself.

I should have been better than I was, I know that. I knew that karma would get me, that my lies, those little fibs, they would all catch up to me. I know I was selfish, and I know I can be an attention whore, so if I know and knew all of these things, why would I consciously choose to hurt the person I love? Maybe on some level it wasn’t so conscious, I mean, clearly someone had to come and give me a lobotomy and turn my brain into a pile of scrambled eggs, for me to act the way I did. Where the hell is my moral compass when I need it anyway? Where was my loyalty? Because it sure as hell shouldn’t – and isn’t – to some blip from my past. Because that’s what you are, a blip. And you’re not worth my time or my attention. But someone else is. And he deserved – and deserves – better.
I made a mistake, I royally messed up, but at least not to the point where I’ve lost the person I love. And I know I haven’t stated what exactly I did, but let me be clear and on the record here, I did not cheat. But I did take his trust for granted. I casually placed it on a shelf and ended up forgetting about how fragile it is. And then I knocked it over and it shattered, and yet I have received forgiveness in my moment of weakness. My moment of pure idiocy. And yet there he was. Graceful and kind. Understanding. Overly rational, as he always is. And he picked me – emotional baggage girl. So yes, I broke someone’s trust. But 1) I am lucky he is sticking around and 2) I will give him as much time as he needs to trust me again. I won’t be greedy, I won’t be selfish, and I will cherish both the forgiveness and the trust, with him and with everyone else.

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