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“Maybe I’m Foolish, But You’re Worth Getting Hurt”

·352 words·2 mins

Trust doesn’t come easily to me. At all.

I’m not the kind of person who finds it natural to assume that nothing bad is ever going to happen to me. That I won’t lose everything I love. Suddenly. Without reason.

Some people have a mode where this is their norm. Where this is what they expect of life and other people.

But not me. I guess I was built a little differently, shaped by early experiences that trained me to expect the sudden reversal of good fortune.

I’ve seen far too many two-faced people to expect otherwise. Those who would smile and profess their adoration and then turn their back the moment a person became inconvenient.

In most of these early lessons, I wasn’t even the target of these betrayals. Instead, I’d witness folks turn on other friends. Their lovers. So quickly, arbitrarily.

And seemingly without remorse.

It had been so stark that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t the target. I learned anyway. The lesson stuck. And then, my own life had a few betrayals. The first came from a family member. Later, friends. And then a boyfriend and his friends.

Each time someone I trusted had hurt me and hurt me deeply.

So now, decades later, I still don’t find it easy to trust. Even though I have known many kind people since then. Even though I have built my support systems and my coping skills up to a place where I feel confident about my own resilience. That I can bounce back from anything — even the stuff that hurts.

I still don’t find it easy to trust.

But unfortunately, trust is where all the good stuff happens. All the things I crave from other people: Genuine connection, intimacy, depth. You can’t have it without trust.

So I’ve had to find a way to trust, however difficult. I don’t want to get hurt of course. But I have to go into things expecting I could very well get hurt but feeling like the pain I’m risking is worth it. Telling myself, “Maybe I’m foolish, but you’re worth getting hurt.”


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