Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is trust a choice?

Trust is a funny thing. It's precious. It's something to be earned. But is it something I can choose? I don't know. I haven't quite figured that out. Maybe I'll figure it out as I write.

Sometimes I forget how truly awful this addiction is. I don't know if that makes me forgetful, naive, or blessed, but when I get in a "good place", it's really easy to forget what the addiction has done and can do.

But then things might come up that trigger me or cause me to greatly fear the next big fallout of the cycle.

I haven't written in a while because I went to visit my family for a few weeks, and blogging is not what I wanted to do during that time.

When I left for my trip, I had tons of anxiety. It brought me back to the hell I experienced when I lived in Arkansas and Ben lived in Texas. All the relapses, lies, and trickles of truths hit me again. Along with my past Arkansas trauma, I was also hit with the memory of previous lies and discoveries from earlier in our marriage. So I went to visit my family with this panic settling in my chest, wondering what I could do about it.

On one hand I wanted to trust Ben. Maybe it was intuition or the Spirit, but I just couldn't really trust him. I tried to push my panic off. I tried to live my normal day and not think about what he could be doing. But I found out halfway through my trip that he had been lying and had some episodes the first week I was gone--during the time I had felt all the panic burning in my chest.

But he told me. Not right away. Not without some lying first. But he did tell me.

So do I trust, can I trust, that he told me the truth? The full truth?

He wants forgiveness. He wants our relationship to heal.

But can I forgive and move on? Can I do that after everything? Knowing this is not the end, that it's NEVER the end? Maybe one day will be his last relapse. But can I trust, can I hope that is now? Can I trust or can I hope that things will really be okay? I once trusted that I was doing the right thing in giving my life to him, in planning my family with him. It's hard not to question that when trust has been so horribly broken.

Last week, things were pretty unstable between us. He gave me space. And when I wanted to voice my thoughts, hurt, and anger to him, he listened. He's good like that.

He had been traveling to Arkansas on the weekends while I was there. So we drove home Sunday night. The end of my little vacation with my family and back to real life.

We talked the entire way home. It was really good and very healing for both of us. And I feel a lot closer to him. But now we are back in Texas together, and I'm left to wonder what steps to take next. Really, I know what to do because it's what I always do. I feel things out and take baby steps as I see fit and as I feel safe. I hold on to my boundaries to keep myself safe. And I try to work together with him. Because I keep reminding myself that the real enemy is the addiction. I'm trying to see him as he really is, a son of God, not just as an addict.

But, trust. Trust keeps coming to my head. I wish I had some super wise words to share about what I'm learning about trust. But I don't really have any. I think I'm learning a lot, though.

Trust is something to be earned. He has to prove himself trustworthy. And he is trying [I think--see? Trust issues].

But can trust be chosen? If I see that he is truly making efforts, can I let go of my pain and hurt? Can I forgive and trust again like the snap of a finger?

I don't know. Sometimes I think I can choose trust. And maybe I can in certain moments because maybe I feel safe in those moments. But sometimes I can't choose trust because I don't feel safe in the moment.

I couldn't choose to trust Ben when I went to Arkansas. I didn't feel safe. My gut was screaming at me that something was going wrong. Maybe it was a result of my past trauma (which I thought it was, and that is why I tried to just push it off and choose to trust him. But I couldn't fully trust him). But maybe it was a warning that something was happening or going to happen.

But I feel like right now I can choose to trust him with some things. It feels conditional on how he behaves--is he sharing certain information with me? Does he seem to be actively seeking recovery? Is he doing things to prove that he can be trusted? Maybe it's more of a combination of his healing along with mine. Maybe as he heals, and as I heal, that is how trust can be mended. And maybe I can choose to trust when I feel safe, and maybe a trauma response or traumatic memory will hit and I can't trust in that moment. I think that is okay.

What I've learned the most about trust, though, is that nothing in this life is consistent or stable. I can't put my trust 100% in Ben because he is human. I can trust him enough to bear his child and remain married to him, but I can't trust him with my all. I can, however, trust my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the one in whom I can put my trust. He is the one who can truly bear the weight of my pain. He can lift me up. He can comfort me when I cry. He can send me angels. He can send me warnings. He can bring me peace. He can do anything.

So while I'm trying to figure out the trust issues with Ben, I know for sure I can lean on Christ. Always. So I'll stick to that for now.


  1. I don't know how you handle the relapses. My husband had one today after nine months sobriety and it kills me every time. That's what I do,
    Trust my Savior and My Heavenly Father. Because my husband isn't trustworthy:) sending hugs.

    1. Wow. A relapse after 9 months. That is AWFUL. Hugs to you, dear friend.

      I was telling Ben last week that I don't know which is worse. Living with constant relapses is it's own kind of hell. But living with no relapses, feeling the panic of the possibility of the cycle starting again, and wondering when the cycle will start again, or getting comfortable with the "good place" only to be thrown into the hell circle again is another kind of awful. I'm so sorry.

      Sometimes I don't know how I handle the relapses either. One day at a time. Trusting God to help pull me through :) You can do hard things, sister!