Should you think of your trust as a commodity?
I am actually haunted by Maldcom Gladwell’s new book Talking to Strangers where he breaks down information and understanding of how we fall to preditors with demented malintent.
You see I am the poster girl for giving away my commodity of trust.
With a failed marriage under my belt, the shame and legacy of the trust missteps has taken its toll on my mind, body and soul.
Is it a nature vs nurture thing? Is our family of origin the breeding ground for unbalanced trust? Co-dependent trust?
My mom was a brilliantly beautiful spiritual driven woman. She married Raymond, a man “from the wrong side of the tracks” from her high school. She had left the small town and was attending nursing school in NYC when she got the call to come home and help out with a family crisis. The story is blurry from there on but she married Ray, a hardcore abusive non-working alcholic, and my mom became the breadwinner and sole parenting guide to my sister and me.
She remained within that emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically abusive situation until that Sunday when Raymond tried to kill her and turned his intent on me when I intervened. The shit storm of life opened up and the bottom fell out. I was sixteen and my sister was eighteen. We grew up with blurred lines of truth and trust. Statistics show that 50% of adult children of alcoholics become alcoholics themselves, and the other 50% become over-achievers. My sister K and I managed to beat the statistics. We became the over-achievers.
Does this make me a target for men who view my success as a preditor’s dream? Something to infringe on and take at their liking?
Or is it simply because the lessons of trust were not shown, modeled or when gaslighting occurred the internal trust mechanism we are innately born with was faulted and the question of what was trustworthy and not trustworthy from an inward feedback loop stop to function?
Malcom Gladwell states that we “default to trust”, which sometimes has us overlooking the inner knowing when something isn’t right.
His explanation is largely based on the theories of psychologist Tim Levine, who described the “default to truth” in human interactions. This is simply that we expect people, in most situations, to be telling the truth. This is how spies and fraudsters get away with their capers. If we were automatically suspicious of everything and everyone, human interaction and commerce would effectively cease: We would be paralyzed. Levine says, “What we gain in exchange for being vulnerable to an occasional lie is efficient communication and social coordination.
I recently just watched R. Kelly’s documentary on Netflix and yet again I am haunted. Haunted by the predatory behavior. The women and their parents of his victims genuinely default to trust, even with the past charges of predatory behavior, because he wasn’t found guilty of the charges. He was able to gaslight the system because he was hiding behind his wealth and status. He would “drop” a song with confessions and the default mechanism still was stronger than our self trust.
One girl’s parents did all the correct things, called him, had a family member with their daughter and arranged for structure as a chaperone and safety net. But the victimization presided. Because that is what was the calculated plan all the time.
If you’re a person of character and integrity, you don’t live in that darkness. How and why would you think malintent from such a smooth and practiced predator would be the intent.
One of the mothers in the documentary or movie repeatedly states “What is in the dark will come to the light” I wonder if that’s our trust mechanism or the Universal law of balance.
If you are a woman who has recently identified that you are entangled with a high conflict personality, predator and / or toxic individual, know that there is a systematization of the abuse cycle that rocks your world and foundation of self trust. The systematic striping you of your free will, self trust and inner conversation. If you’re heading into the court system to litigate your situation, know that the system is biased. There is a default to trust regarding the abuse allegations. R.Kelly’s wife states that the abuse continued because he is not paying child support (financial abuse to keep and gain control) and there is a hole in the conversation around divorcing a narcissistic personality or abuser, and the hole is about financial abuse.
You might be entering the world of legal system with a sense of trust. I suggest that you realize that the system is flawed and the default isn’t towards the light. It is a dark system that has a pattern of increasing the abuse and predatory behavior to retain control over the victim. Educate yourself about the system’s blindness and be prepared to walk away if needed.
Trust is greater than the darkness. Trust of SELF. Trusting yourself again will happen and you will be the guardian of your mind, body and soul again.
I Trust You.
(If you don’t know if you’re in an abusive situation but you think you might be, Psychcentral has a Domestic Violence Screening Quiz you should take.)