Thursday 1 December 2016

Thought Picnic: Broken trusts and broken relationships

As I reflect
The need to cultivate relationships is undeniable, especially those that pertain to family and friends. Estrangement is a difficult place to be, but the causes of such are rarely in the immediate present, a whole series of events culminate in whatever is left of that relationship when reviewed in the present.
The older I have grown, the more I have analysed situations and developments in my many relationships to understand better why the relationships remain strong or begin to fade into insignificance.
There are positives in my upbringing, many that I have written about and invariably, there are negatives too. I write about them first because it offers a form of catharsis and then in the expectation that readers might be aware of the issues we rarely discuss but end up living through in unresolved conflict and pain. The hope is that for those who still have levers they can pull, there is some opportunity for change for the better.
Trusting confidences
Earlier today, I reflected on the fact that I never really trust my parents with my confidences, I was for a while an only child because my siblings came along and whilst I could be talkative, I was always a closed book of sorts.
There is so much of my life that my parents are completely oblivious about, we probably will not talk enough to get to the point of my issues.
They are at an age where their entitlements and their demands are paramount if we are not being emotionally blackmailed, we are threatened with being disowned, some of us are amused at this febrile abuse of authority that they once wielded untrammelled.
Trusting safety
It goes without saying that being unable to trust them with my confidences has meant that have also not been trusted with my safety. 
In many ways, they were protective and they offered a haven from many situations, but the most critical one involved my childhood sexual abuse. People my parents trusted took advantage and took sexual favours, it is unlikely that they are aware of how serious this was.
Trusting vulnerabilities
The ultimate area of trust my parents were never granted was they were never trusted with my vulnerabilities. Probably, because they never understood what I was going through or did not have the presence of mind or inclination to determine whether there were problems.
From illness, through bad behaviour and depression in my teens then unto my battle with cancer in 2009 along with other health concerns, I realise there was no foundation on which to affect a better parent-child relationship. In finding others to trust with confidences, safety, and vulnerabilities, the thinnest umbilical cord remains and that itself is under unbearable strain.
Trust is a mutually beneficial standard for developing relationships and yet, generation after generation we repeat the mistakes of the past with very few lessons learnt.
Maybe, just maybe
My blog now offers a place to reflect on my victories and afflictions, going as far back as my vivid memories will carry me, along with the recognition of a life-changing condition diagnosed over 14 years ago, for which we hope that trust with allow people talk more about their lives, their challenges, their hopes and their fears without the threat of ostracism or the threat of facing stigmatisation.
Happy World AIDS Day!

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