Is everyone out for themselves? Sometimes it seems that way. The sheer lack of manners and simple consideration, say in a line at the post office or walking down the street seems to prove it. Do you need to stroll 3-4 abreast on the sidewalk when people are trying to get by? No, of course not. But if you're selfish, or inconsiderate then yes, no one else exists and you don't even notice that there is an elderly man attempting to get on the bus - you just push on ahead of him and then sigh loudly when he takes 'too long' to insert his metro card in the slot.
If you grow up in a family that is made up of selfish people (alcoholics may not be innately selfish, but it sure seems that way) it does indeed feel like everyone is out for themselves.
Sometimes I wish I felt sad that my parents are dead. But they are the ones who taught me, exceedingly well, to be cold and to trust no one. So I don't feel sad. I don't miss them. I don't really believe they were 'bad' people. Just bad together. And I was not what they wanted in a child. A bad mix all around.
Family: the people you feel safe with, the people you can trust, or turn to in a crises. It's how it's supposed to be, right? It's not how it was for me. Actually in a lot of cases I felt safer with a total strangers, simply because those strangers had never had the opportunity to hurt me, or disappoint me. Family however, the list of hurts and disappointments is long and varied. Reason enough not to trust 'em. And reason enough not to miss 'em. Still, part of me thinks it would be nice to feel more loss. But I don't. There's nothing I can do about that.
My parents, hell my whole extended family, were masters of secret-keeping, avoidance and non-communication in general. I have attempted since the third grade to be as opposite to them as possible. The fact that I have blogs seems to be the culmination of that attempt at opposition. Being human, however, means that perfection is impossible. Damn. And I have been 'guilty' of secret-keeping... to some degree.
It doesn't sit well with me, hiding things. Which is partly why I have this blog - feeling suicidal is something a LOT of people keep secret. We are ashamed of our feelings... so we hide them. Sadly it's the worst thing you can do - because no one can help if they don't know. Unless you happen to get very, VERY lucky like I did. Usually that kind of luck is reserved for bad screenplays, not real life. So yeah, I know exactly how lucky I got. Being big with the mysticism and synchronicity of the world I cannot help feeling I got lucky because there is something I'm supposed to do. Some big thing that I need to get accomplished in this lifetime. I have NO idea what that might be. I'm hoping it will come to me eventually. I intend to stick around long enough to figure it out.
I finally spilled one of the secrets I was keeping, though it was really only a secret kept from one person. Ass backwards as I always am, this was the one person who I should NOT have been hesitant to tell. And now that he knows, I feel a weight lifted that I didn't even realize I was carrying. Funny how secrets work, isn't it?
From time to time I have attempted to bypass my genetic training, I have attempted to trust people. It is a rare thing for me. Being open about things and trusting people are not the same thing. Not at all. I can tell anyone who asks anything they care to know about my life. Or tell stories about my crappy childhood and make them funny, even to total strangers. But I can count on one hand the people I actually trust... and still have a finger left over. So you see, trust = rare.
On two occasions I have trusted the wrong people, one was a 'friend' uh, not so much evidently. The other, the supposed love of my life - that one broke my heart into such tiny pieces it's pretty much dust now and unlikely to be usable before the next millennium. The worst part of that for me was the fact that here was a man I thought I knew, thought I could trust - it took me nearly 10 years to REALLY trust him - and I was sure, my instincts told me I was right about him... and it turned out I was never so wrong in all my life. Surprise!!
This left me feeling I had no anchor, and that the single person I had always relied on, always trusted when I trusted nobody else on earth had completely let me down. Of course that person was myself. And losing trust in yourself leaves you in a very dark place. If I couldn't trust my own instincts, how could I possibly navigate through the world? Why try? And that, in large part, contributed to my decision to kill myself.
I was very sick when I trusted this man, and since then, since I've gotten better, I have had proof that I actually can trust myself - and my own instincts about people. That may well be the best part of getting better. I don't doubt my ability to determine who I can trust, deep down serious trust - of course I'm still choosey - but I'm not afraid to trust my first-impression, gut reaction any more.
You don't need more than a handful of people you feel safe with, that you trust with your really big, "shameful" secrets. That you trust to be gentle with your feelings and to take your side when you need it. You may be wrong sometimes, you may trust the wrong one, maybe more than one, but if you can hang in, hold on, learn to trust yourself you'll find that not everyone is out just for themselves. Some people actually do care about other people. Trust me.