“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.” Sherrilyn Kenyon
I have recently learned the extent of my trust issues, where they stemmed from and how I have inadvertently spent all of my life, unknowingly letting them taint me, my experiences and relationships.
This information has been, and on a daily basis continues to be, rather an eye-opener!
I had thought I am an all or nothing, black or white, trust someone completely or think they might be trying to kill me kind of person…
However around 10 years ago with the help of therapy, I began to discover that there is a middle ground that is not dichotomous and might have less requirement for an Inspector Clouseau vs Cato style response.
And then I choose to do a sport like freediving…
Brilliant on the one hand for rebuilding the trust in myself that was decimated by years of depression, but also very challenging because it requires me to put my trust in my dive buddy. (First rule of freediving is to never do a breath hold near water by yourself, ever.)
I consider myself to be a cautious diver and I do try and train as safely as possible. I am very selective about who I dive with, wanting to know that not only is my buddy capable of safetying and looking after me but that I can do the same for them.
When I go to big competitions, I go to the dive site a few weeks before not only to acclimatise to the new environment but also to meet the safety team and hang out in the water with them while I train. I’m watching them watching me so I know I am properly cared for and that if I want to do a deep dive that might push my limits, I am doing it in a highly trusting zone.
With all the preparation and care in the world, I also have to be realistic and know that sometimes situations just go wrong for the most unexpected or unknown reasons and if that happens to me, at that time, I have to trust that my safety will save me.
I have made my peace with the freediving aspect of trust.
My everyday trust still requires work. I need to remind myself daily, that everyone isn’t actually out to get me and that mostly, people are lovely and genuine.
But that even when they are not, it is most likely nothing to do with me and is actually because they are struggling with their own issues as well.
Photo by Alex St Jean.