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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I promise you can trust me

I grew up in a family where trust was not an issue. I trusted almost everyone in my family to a point where I could be classified as gullible. It just never dawned on me that people close to me would lie to me or hurt me in any way. I came from a loving, trusting home and I saw no reason not to extend that trust to the outside world.

Of course, all that trust meant I was an easy target in the school yard. Promises were often broken and as well as my heart. But, hey, it was the school yard and childhood isn’t often as carefree and wonderful as it would seem. Kids are cruel. They don’t really mean to be, it’s just that all the filters have not developed yet and there is no self-control.

After I grew up, I had a tendency to trust any man who walked in the door. It wasn’t always easy for me to decipher a line from an honest declaration. There were men who were very honest and that honesty generated fear that they weren’t being honest leading me to kick them to the curb. Then there were the charmers who told me exactly what I wanted to hear without one iota of honesty. It took me a lot longer to catch on and get rid of them.

Riley was one of those men who could charm a nun out of her panties and convince her that he was helping her communicate with God. Oh! He knew the buttons to push. He was slow in his pursuit of seduction. He was dangerous because he created a bond that seemed so much like love. Once the woman fell into trap, she was bound to be hurt because monogamy was never in Riley’s wheelhouse. The woman would believe she was in a true relationship, while Riley began searching for his next prey.

Riley was an honest man but his honesty was skewed. I remember him telling me that he couldn’t be monogamous at the beginning of our first date. A year later and six months pregnant, he informed me he had a date for the next Saturday night. When I became angry he told me I had nothing to be angry about because he was being honest. He equated honesty, no matter how much it hurts the other person, to be the way to do things. I never entered his mind that the right thing was to be monogamous with me – his pregnant girlfriend.

I think that was the day I stopped trusting men all together. Riley was not drinking to excess at that time. It would be years later when the alcoholism would raise its ugly head. Sometimes an ass-hole is an ass-hole and doesn’t need any libations to bring out his ass-holey-ness. Riley was an ass-hole for the way he treated women.

Now, years later, when I think about dating or getting involved with a man, I think that I just can’t get that close to anyone. There are men who I would love to get closer to, but I don’t want to be too close. I would like to have a man on MY terms without consideration of his terms. How unfair is that? In fact, I think that makes me a selfish bitch.

Even if he did agree to my terms, I still wouldn’t trust him. He is male after all and he has a penis and possibly balls and those body parts cannot be trusted to stay untouched by anyone but me. I start out with the idea that he will be unfaithful. That’s a hard bell to un-ring. It’s unfair to him. So, if I just stay away, I won’t hurt him. I won’t disappoint myself. It’s best to stay as friends.

It is my hope that after Riley passes – which we all know may never happen – that I can find a way to start trusting again. I would like to find a way to wipe the slate clean and start over again.

In the rare event that I become physically drawn to a man, I just might take the chance on seeing where a relationship could go. But it would take a long time of “just being friends” to get to the place where I might start trusting him enough to be a “couple”.

Fifty years have come and gone since the day I met Riley. A lot has changed. I have changed. Is it possible that I can change back to the allowing men to show me that they can be trusted? At age 68, is it still possible to meet someone who I can truly share the rest of my life with?


8307c4 said...

At 49 years of age it has been revealed to me that marriage simply wasn't in the cards, from the time before I was born I made these choices, they make me who I am, today I accept my fate.

JBthatsme said...

Hi Linda, & poster 8307c4. As my mom just said There are worse things then being lonely, it's worse to be in an abusive relationship. I've read and appreciated and still appreciate all that you have to say Linda. I'm also scared and weary of relationships. I think after watching my alcoholic father, dealing with it, living with it, and being suffocated by it I think my emotions are tapped out. I don't think you wanting things on your terms makes you a selfish bitch, after following your blog and reading your book, I don't think you've ever had things on your terms, or your way, life just happened and everything got piled on your plate. It's so difficult to experience alcoholism, excess drinking without blinders on, like in the commercials for alcohol where there's a beautiful gathering, everyone's calm and cool and having fun. Anyone who's lived the life as the loved one of an alcoholic or addict knows those commercials are the biggest tall tale of all, a majestical unicorn. To this day seeing them pisses me off, hearing the ads, shit even seeing my friends indulge, it all makes me angry, angry that there are people profiting off of someone's pure misery. I hate alcohol, and I don't care that some people have some good times enjoying alcohol. I hate it, I think it's caused way more bad then good. Linda you're so brave and I hope you know how much you mean to us all. And 8307c4 don't give up, life's here and you never know what could happen. And marriage doesn't make for a fairytale for everyone.