Having “trust issues” has become a trend (thanks, Weeknd) and this fact is so disgusting to me. It’s been tried on, worn out, and worn down so ubiquitously that it’s lost its meaning and value, almost as much as mental illnesses like depression and anxiety circa 2008 (it’s severity has been re-introduced thanks to relentless mental health campaigns). It’s a label that’s easy for people to claim and hard for others to dispute. It’s seen as “edgy” and makes people seem “complex”. It’s been abused and thrown around so much, it evokes eye-rolls when it comes up in conversation.
Because of this, I’ve been very hesitant to admit aloud that I do have trust issues. I’ve felt that following on the heels of claiming it, I have to prove it. It’s obviously not as severe an issue as depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders, but I think it’s important for me to articulate here why it’s not a fashionable trend people can just appropriate: my trust issues are real and more damaging than you’ll ever know.
The entire first page (who goes beyond the first page?) of my ‘Trust Issues’ Google search pulls up things that revolve around relationships – “5 Signs your trust issues are getting in the way of a healthy relationship”, “Couples counselling – dealing with trust issues” etc. Well, I’ve never even been in a relationship – I think that in itself speaks volumes about my experience with trust issues – so Google has for the first time ever has proven to be useless. So, per usual, I’ve had to take a good, hard look at my own life experiences.
I’ve figured out that a significant portion of my trust issues come from, surprise, surprise, my childhood. Growing up, I never had a consistent ‘Best Friend’. I bounced around friends, never with someone I could always go to, or they would have another friend group which I would not be a part of (realizing as I write this that this might also have impacted my trust issues). But when I started secondary school (11 years old), I finally found someone I could fully trust for a good opinion, great chat, and a shoulder to lean on. I’d finally found my best friend. About four months after meeting her, our family decided to pick up and move to the other side of the world.
As a child, having a ‘Best Friend’ seems like a big deal – and it is. In fact, as a child, EVERY LITTLE THING is profound in shaping who you are. Being crushed time after time in my friendships and finally finding “the one”, only to be forcefully pulled away – I’d think that’s pretty damaging. Every time I try to pin down the source of my trust issues, I end up here.
Being a closeted lesbian in an Asian family undeniably played a part and took a toll in my inability to form relationships.
The absence of lesbian characters and dead lesbian TV tropes probably did its part on me too. But I’d think that’s an effect spread across all closeted lesbians.
Anyway, acknowledging the problem is the first step to overcoming it. It’s impacted my friendships and shaped me such that I’ve put my individuality and independence on a pedestal. Having to trust someone and give away some of that independence scares me. It’ll be something I need to face if I’m to get into a relationship. There’s a girl that I met online whom I’ve been talking to for months and we’re not officially together, but I’ve had far too many episodes of jealousy and possessiveness that I cannot justify because we’re not an item. Apparently these two traits are a flashing warning sign of having trust issues. Despite knowing they’re unwarranted, I can’t help but let these toxic emotions eat me up inside.
I don’t know.
I need to evolve from this.