Trust.

Until recently I hadn’t fully realized the condition in which my past relationships left me.

True, we all have baggage. We all have things from the past we shlep with us into new relationships, behaviors we are still working to change, issues we are doing our best to hide, or maybe we don’t even recognize the patterns playing out before our eyes.

For me, trust is a burden.

In some of my more significant past relationships and most of my rendezvous, my trust in others was shattered. Be it lies, manipulation, ghosting. In the end I was left staring into the void wondering, time and again, how I could have been so naive. How could I have been so blinded by love or lust that my judgment was lost in a thick fog.

Eventually I padlocked my heart, determined to never allow anyone to get close enough to hurt me again. Leave or be left, I thought.

This was the beginning of self-sabotage.

Someone seems good, or good enough, so it’s time to shake things up. It’s time to step out in search of adoration, to feed off the eye of another. It’s time to make it noticeable as though I am desperate to get caught. Desperate to be proven right about being unlovable and unworthy. Desperate to be walked away from because it’s what I deserve.

Recently a seed of something new has been planted, right in time with the newness Spring ushers in. Yet instead of being excited, I’m racked with anxiety and speeding, forceful thoughts about why I can’t trust this. He remembers the first time he saw me in detail, but can I trust it? He asks me about my kids, but can I trust it? He loves my raven black hair and exploring my body, but CAN I TRUST THIS?

It’s as though I’m counting down the minutes until it ends rather than until it begins. Ready to run before the gun goes off. Far more ready to quit than to settle in and enjoy the ride. One foot out the door of giving up the pleasure because of the past pain.

They say recognizing a behavior or pattern is an important first step to healing. But what comes next appears as expansive as this blank page. It could mean anything, it could mean everything, it could be a defining moment in my ability to face my fears like a raging bull and do something I haven’t done in a long time: trust.

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