A measure of trust

I go back to ‘trust’ because as children we put our trust in the people we share our lives with, particularly our parents. We trust others will do right by us, that they will care for us, that the decisions they make for us are the decisions they make because they’re selfless and not because those decisions are convenient for them.

We also put our trust in their ability to make us feel comfortable and secure in our own skin. For us to grow with confidence and self-esteem. The measure of trust should be the guarantee of any child’s birth-right. But that’s sadly now how it always works. Knowing a child deals with something and  saying nothing is nothing short of abuse.

On the other person’s part, living a life so that you don’t have to deal with what’s staring you in the face, takes a different kind of character. I was expected to fall into line, to be the same as my siblings. I was made to wear open toed sandals, flip-flops, wedged shoes. No allowances were made for my physical or emotional issues.

I would continually drag my leg, would fail to pick up my foot up and would walk toe heel instead of heel toe, on my left side. I would continually walk out of my shoe, because with a dropped foot and no muscles that worked, I had no strength to hold on to the shoe. I was angry, annoyed and upset at the sheer disbelief of my circumstances. Sadly, I didn’t equate fully what it all meant, or what was happening, until many years later, but perhaps that’s what saved me. I wasn’t supposed to know.

Although my father had a problem with physical ‘perfection’ and I clearly wasn’t born perfect, he also lived with insecurities. Put together and you have a clear understanding of my life and why it turned out the way it did. But there is no excuse for the parenting we hand out, regardless of what we deal with.

Looking back, I’m totally surprised I got through those years. Without my thoughts in tact, I couldn’t do what I do today with the Diary, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to what kind of parenting that was.

3 Aug, 2017

6 thoughts on “A measure of trust

  1. I found myself in a situation the other day, while I was shopping with my son.

    An older lady and her husband were behind us in the store and she commented that my son must have a toothache, because one side of his face is slightly bigger than the other. I’ve never been in the situation and I got slightly defensive about it, not to the ugly point though.

    I explained that his face is smaller on one side because he was born that way and of course the lady apologized and I told her no problem. It didn’t embarrass me. I was just surprised I felt so defensive.

    Our son has a multitude of disabilities, physical and mental. He has almost 20 specialist/doctors now. We are very involved in his care and would never try to make him perfect, or to be like all the others. If there is something we can do to help him with his disabilities, we will do it.

    What your parents did was called neglect. Our son was medically and physically neglected by his birth parents. I witnessed it all. He was left in the dark almost 24 hours a day and hardly had any interaction with others.

    Medical help wasn’t sought for him and the doctor appointments he did have were almost never kept. He was removed from and placed into foster care with excellent foster parents that started the process of getting him the services he needed.

    I really don’t think his birth parents we’re mentally able to take care of a special needs child, or they we’re being selfish and not caring, only concerned with their lives and not his.

    Maybe a combination. Not to make excuses, but sometimes people just don’t realize or stop to think what impact their actions have on others, especially a child. They think that person will just forget about it, or in the case with children, they will not remember it because they are so young, and on and on.

    That’s one reason we have so much bitterness and hate in the world; people don’t stop and think before acting.

    1. Thanks Lisa. There is a lot of truth in your response. You’ve brought up a lot of valid points for us to think about. It’s absolutely true that some parents just aren’t equipped to have and look after children.

      Neglect often comes about through our inability to be able to deal with certain situations. I know exactly why that happened for me, but it would take too many years to get to know the details.

      Where parents selfishly choose to live their lives and where it doesn’t involve their children, I would hope those percentages account for very little. As you say with your son, it is clear that his biological parents couldn’t cope mentally, but that once your son found foster parents who could, his life changed.

      And perhaps that’s the point. Children will always trust adults, it’s the nature of how children are. I was the same. It’s only when we look back and begin to equate our lives that we realise what we’ve been put through. Children will eventually know how they can and can’t trust.

      I also remember having people stare at me in the street, it’s not a nice feeling at all and like you, I did go on the defensive; but believe that’s a human character trait. We protect our territory no matter what.

      I would rather not say anything than get what I say wrong. It’s wrong to assume. But I am sure as you say Lisa, the older lady meant no harm. Sometimes it’s about breaking the ice. They see something, don’t always know what to say, but don’t want to ignore what they see.

      Not an easy situation for you, but you handled it well. All credit to you.

  2. Yes, the saddest part of the whole situation, was having parents who I was forced to trust and depend on when they weren’t very dependable.

    Most of the time we were taking care of them, when it was supposed to be the other way around. God forbid if any of us would have had any issues like Cerebral Palsy, seeing as we would have really been out of luck.

    All we ever heard was complaints about how much things were going to cost like doctor’s visits and school clothes. Now that I think back on it, I don’t know why my dad didn’t just get a normal job with health insurance, which would have saved us all a lot of headaches.

    I’m sure that’s why I have had such a hard time with trust issues and so often trust the wrong people. I lost the ability to tell the difference between people that were good or evil.

    My friend calls it repetition compulsion, where I seem to subconsciously be drawn to those people who treat me the same way as my parents did. ‘You live what you know.’

    The biggest issue now is to finally learn the difference and to pay attention to my instincts, which are usually right about 99% of the time.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, trust issues stem back to childhood and our parents sadly. There’s no getting away from that.

      But I believe given your childhood and where you are with everything, you know you’re not to blame for how your childhood turned out and what you’ve had to deal with.

      I do agree with you that we tend ‘to live what we know’ but I do believe we can change that, with a little bit of work on ourselves.

      Although my mum used to say, ‘you don’t go to school to be a parent’ and that’s true, it also doesn’t mean we mustn’t try to at least get the parenting thing right.

      Whether we’re the child or not, trust is very much at the heart of all our relationships. Surrounding ourselves with the right people is very much a start.

      Your last paragraph sums up your response Randy. Our instincts about someone or something is very much key to our ability to know whether we can trust someone.

      Continue to rely on your instincts and you won’t go far wrong.

  3. It is clear that you trusted your parents to look after your best interests, because that is what a child is entitled to expect.

    Unfortunately, that trust was not reciprocated and no child should be subject to that sort of parenting.

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