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To trust? Or not to trust? Sunday December 18, 2016

"You can talk to me. You don't need to hide how you're feeling."

I talk to them...

I don't hide how I'm feeling...

Realise they didn't mean it...

What do you do when this happens? Especially if it is someone who you felt close to, or who you are close to, but it turns out that for whatever reason they are not equipped to give you what you need after you've found the courage to confide in them.

Do you block them out and distance yourself from them? Do you forgive them for not understanding? Do you get annoyed with yourself for believing that you could lean on them for support? Do you blame them? Do you blame yourself? Does it reaffirm your feeling of being 'too broken'? Do you let it affect your self-esteem? Do you decide you don't need people like that in your life? Do you need anyone in your life? Or are you better off alone?

How much do we accept? How do we hold someone accountable for their emotional offerings? How do you go about the damage limitation after you've said too much and realise that now they know that side of you, they look at you differently and your relationship may never be the same again? What do you do?

Do you resolve to not make that mistake in future? But then, is it the true 'test' to establish if they really do care as much as they implied? If they fail that test, what do you do then? Cut them from your life? Involve them less? Talk to them less? Assign them a less-important role?

Is it their fault though? Didn't they mean well? Isn't this why we have psychiatrists etc? Because some problems are too big for the regular Joe Bloggs to know the answer to? My problems are too big for myself, half the time. Why would it be any different for an outsider?

Do you feel let down? Do you tell them you feel let down? How do you determine who you can depend upon? Is it trial and error? Does anyone have a tried and tested method that I can use to maintain the few decent relationships I have left? And maybe salvage the ones that are now cracked?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Leah Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 4:58am

what an interesting blog. I think you may have even asked more questions than I do!!!
I suppose unlike many people I really have no or very low expectations that any one will understand me. So much so that I cringe when people say that know what I am feeling or they know all about bipolar because they googled it on the net.
So with no expectations , I just accept what people can give. I used to get very upset at loved ones but then I realised I probably don't understand them either.

I am not sure I have answered any of your questions! Some will probably be annoyed about what I said but it works for me. In the end the only person you can rely on is yourself in my opinion.

I look forward to how others answer your questions.


Michael Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 3:38pm

Leah, I have come to the same conclusion about expectations

The librarian Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:36am

Hello Sophie,

Thank you for your blog. Many of theses questions mirror exactly what is going on for me at the moment; I've been badgered to open up about the aspect of myself I find most difficult and the aspect other people find most difficult/incomprehensible in me, so I did and, as a result, I've been dumped

I block out & distance myself, it confirms my idea that 'if only people really knew me, no one would let me near them' and so I don't let anyone near me, I struggle to forgive (because I'm a horrible, unacceptable person) and there's no opportunity to work through things.

I can feel myself sliding into deep bitterness and a greater lack of trust, and I really don't want it to become fossilised - that just deepens the damage.

Not only am I now struggling with the problem itself but with new layers added, so I look forward to reading people's comments and answers.

David Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:51am

See no Evil, Hear no Evil and Speak no Evil comes to mind.

Katie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 9:03am

This is exactly where I am at I thought they got me and we had a good ballance in friends but then bam I relapse then bye bye she goes. Says she can't hack it and I should just accepted that's what life is. And she has her friends in her husband just coz I don't have a boyfriend I'm left all alone. Why can't somebody get it. Then I felt like I wanted to do something stupid just to make her feel bad. Why am I so crazy.

Orangeblossom Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 9:19am

Hi Katie, just been reading The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing,her first novel. The main character Mary experiences a similar feelings and difficulties. as I read your response I thought of this novel.

Jul Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 2:20pm

Hi Orangeblossom. I love that novel and also The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. Jul xx

Katie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 9:03am

This is exactly where I am at I thought they got me and we had a good ballance in friends but then bam I relapse then bye bye she goes. Says she can't hack it and I should just accepted that's what life is. And she has her friends in her husband just coz I don't have a boyfriend I'm left all alone. Why can't somebody get it. Then I felt like I wanted to do something stupid just to make her feel bad. Why am I so crazy.

Jul Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 9:11am

Hello Sophie. my husband doesn't totally get me even after many years of marriage. I think or know, that his view is that if we dwell on how I am feeling all the time, it will make matters worse. I am not so sure I totally agree with his interpretation of how best to help me though! However I think there is a lot to be said for not dwelling and not talking about how dreadful I feel or we feel, to people who basically have never been there and really just want to get on with life. I have the problem that I am very bad at explaining just how I feel. You have been let down Sophie by people you considered friends who really in the end don't feel they can help you or want to listen. It's very disappointing and I feel for you. I have given up trying to explain to people how I feel, a bit like Leah has. People who understand don't need the explanations; they just get it. Most Moodscopers listen to and empathise with the vast spectrum of our emotions, problems, health issues etc that each of us as individuals write about on this site. We understand where you are coming from Sophie and wish we could hammer home home sympathy and the right words into your friends who you imply have given up on you. It's their loss. I am certain you will find the right person soon enough who will listen and treat you equally and with respect. And continue writing here won't you?. Julxx

Michael Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 3:44pm

Jul I feel the greeting "How are you?" to be difficult. I now often say "are you just saying hello or are you making an enquiry into my wellbeing. If the latter, have you got an hour to spare". The response is usually "Hello"!

Melanie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:25pm

Dear Michael, I like what you say however it was Sophie not Jul who wrote the blog in the first place - I also like what Jul said! X

Orangeblossom Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 9:28am

Hi Sophie, I enjoyed your blog a great deal. It resonated for me as I have been there & canappreciate your great disappointment & frustration. I believe that friendship is a delicate gift that we give to others. It is up to them to accept or refuse that gift. Unfortunately people look our gift of friendship in the mouth. They examine it, try it out & then discard the gift and the giver. Hope that you have a refreshing & reinvigorating 2017

Jackie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 10:01am

I read your blog with interest as this is how i am feeling to right now. I have had a loss not a death but it has divided my family hugely. I had no support during the time it was going on in court and still dont. Family have turned away. I feel a burden to people i wish i could feel better, like myself more. I hope you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone. Im sorry if i made this sound about me i didnt mean too

Mary Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 12:07pm

Reading your blog really helped me as I thought it was just me that felt this way which of course is silly!I often think talking might help then if I do, feel very anxious afterwards and wish I'd kept my feelings to myself as I rightly or wrongly feel judged and feel more vulnerable But then I think, its a tricky time of year, and if I just keep going, sometimes things can fall into place by themselves (this helps me not beat myself up for not having the answers or not knowing how to fix things)

The Gardener Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 12:22pm

Jul - I think I can understand your husband - if not sympathise with attitude - but looking back to my own depressions I was boring, and for the poor looker-on they are frequently rebuffed very rudely whatever means they use to help - and, after all, Moodscope would not exist if we knew how to get out of depression. Having a seriously rough time - lack of sleep risks another bad fall due to exhaustion - BUT - went to church - friends crowded round - 'God is with you' difficult to believe, but I'm still here. Read last year's diary for this time - Mr G doing same thing - but a year on he is no longer mobile - which was totally unnecessary - but unavoidable - friends saw me through my kitchen window - refuse net curtains - so they came in for a coffee. I have to bite my tongue - so many people say 'you must have a life' and 'you must sleep'. Rubbish, only way is having enough money for more respite or that these people who give their advice so freely should come and sit with Mr G for an hour - a service like that would be beyond value. Librarian, avoid bitterness at all costs - does you no good and alienates what friends you have got. I have an additional emotional problems - recent visiting family are shocked at the deterioration in Dad/grand-dad - but I try desperately not to get bitter, or have regrets - it's my husband, 62nd wedding anniversary tomorrow and life together is hell - but it's their DAD - so mutual support name of game - and no recriminations

Melanie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:26pm

Thank you the Gardener for your courageous honest share.

The librarian Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 1:40pm

Thank you, Gardener. I wrote about bitterness here in the hope of not going there - it's such a damaging thing. Well done for trying not to get that way - any tips?

Michael Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 3:37pm

Hi Sophie. I have been naturally been very good at understanding the other persons point of view, whether it be deemed genetic, traumatised, conditioning, a particular personality type etc. However my therapist wisely pointed out, "Mike that is all well and good, but still, how did their behaviour make you feel?" So it suddenly was OK to be honest with myself, yes that makes me feel marginalised or ignored or misunderstood or just plain shitty. My impression is that the mind can get you chasing your tail (my autobiography would be entitled "Did I miss a great opportunity or did I have a lucky escape?). However ones "feelings" seem to reliably tell us the truth about a situation. So whereas I once might have pussy footed around, beaten around the bush, I am now much likely to speak out. The more I do this (initially much to my surprise) the better I feel and the healthier the relationship(s) become. Also it is no longer all bottled up and therefore does not have to erupt as an angry tirade.

The Gardener Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 4:32pm

Michael - the danger of saying 'How are you'. One expects the reply 'Fine thanks' 'How are you' 'Mustn't grumble'. Might try your system on my b-in-law. I always ask ask how are you - normal greeting - and get a scientific break-down of his ills - he's a scientist himself - has always read up about anything that might be wrong with him - and depresses himself with the possibilities. Have to allow 20 minutes of medical reports before actually chatting. Librarian - no actual recipe for avoiding bitterness - just awful experiences. My mother and sister-in-law had awful marriages, both broke up - were going to anyway - but both the men behaved pretty badly. The two women carried the bitterness to their graves - and alienated their friends, however sympathetic, because there is a time, in modern parlance, to 'move on'.

Michael Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 4:50pm

I have a regular weekly session with a psychotherapist. So I keep ALL the "how are you?" stuff for her and spare everyone else the details. It also seems to make the therapy more effective.

Sophie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:03pm

Thanks everybody for your comments; it is helpful and reassuring to know I am not alone in having these questions flowing through my mind. My anxiety has reached new highs this year, (yay), and it was on a daily basis, pretty much every interaction would be analysed and i would beat myself/the other person (metaphorically, not physically!) up over how the situation could've/should've gone. The good news, however, is that i've had a stable and fairly content 2 weeks - probably my calmest of the whole year - and have somehow (I wish i knew how so i could bottle it up and keep some for if it happens again and also share with you all) reduced my anxiety levels and widened my circle of friends, only small things but something like 'we should meet up for coffee' - I take them up on it. I thought, what have i got to lose? And I actually feel so much more assured and confident in myself and in my feelings, and the knowledge that it isn't just the likes of this wonderful Moodscope community who have these relationship hurdles, it would seem that almost everybody does, but we react in different ways. apologies for the rambling response, my mind isnt quite in order today! (but im not pressuring myself to figure it out, its almost time for bed after all).

It is so helpful to have this outlet, where I can purge my thoughts and clear some headspace, and at the same time receive feedback from you all which provides such encouragement in so many ways. Thank you again everyone and I hope you've had a positive day, whatever that may be for you. x

Melanie Sun, Dec 18th 2016 @ 8:35pm

Dear Sophie, thank you so much for your blog and for the other shares here - it also has me realising that I am not alone either. When I feel down I feel bad about it and find it so hard to share with someone and so I fight to feel better. A few weeks ago, an old friend let me tell her my whole "story" and it was so lovely to have someone (more than that a very old friend) hear me and hold me. However now I am moved to tears by any kindness from her. It was/is wonderful to trust someone and have that trust be upheld. At times I can test people a little to see - hint at how I feel and see the reaction or lack of it - this avoids actually placing trust where it is not a good place to put it. At the end of the day I see it is up to me to love myself enough to allow myself to feel this way and not feel bad about it. It helps to know that others do too. X

John Mon, Dec 19th 2016 @ 11:30am

Hi Sophie, I really feel for what you said in your blog post. I have family who think they are a good person to be that ear, but are not, and I end up feeling more ashamed and upset than before I spoke to them. I find I share some things but not everything with them. I have a therapist who I can share everything with and that helps me a lot.

It's no ones fault, and it's nothing to take personally. And it's easy to feel really angry with that person you thought you could trust and who you feel betrayed you (and in my case turned it round and said I was betraying them!), and that's okay.

Thank you for your blog post

Becky Mon, Dec 19th 2016 @ 7:09pm

I have struggled with this too. Sometimes when I open up to someone they just don't get it. Other times they really do and that helps us both. The only way I've found - and it's not foolproof - to work out which people are which, is to begin with something small. To tell them something which is maybe not the usual run of conversation but which I don't feel too vulnerable about people knowing. If their response is favourable I might trust them with something a bit bigger. If not, I keep the relationship at the level we have reached and don't expect more.

Lacey Tue, Dec 20th 2016 @ 12:11am

Difficult dilemma Sophie
Go with your heart ?? every time
It always wins-gut feeling always

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