Trusting people for the wrong reasons leads to disappointment
I realized something interesting today and something that should help me avoid being disappointed in the future. Many of us trust certain groups of people simply because of what we expect from them instead of what we know them to be. For example, we naturally trust that teachers, pastors, mothers, therapists, nurses, and others like that are going to be good, safe people that we can trust. And quite often they are, but sometimes they are not. In fact, sometimes terrible predators will join those groups or careers specifically to get access to people who will blindly trust them. Those people are very dangerous!
In my life, I was raised in a so-called Christian home. It was pretty abusive, but I was still raised to believe that “Christian” was synonymous with good. I attended church from time to time and I went to Christian schools for a while. I did indeed meet some good people–including a friend I’ve had for over 25 years! But, I also met a lot of jerks and snobs and bullies–including my abusive mother who would threaten to kill me and beat me, but looked so wonderful teaching Sunday School at church. I should know darn well that not all Christians are good people, but I still have this naive hope in my mind that they are safe. I want them to be. I want to feel like I can turn to people. Much in the same way, I wanted to believe my mother could be a loving mother despite all proof that she wasn’t.
Sometimes we get so caught up believing what we want to be true, that we miss the reality that it isn’t true at all. And so, for years, when I have needed support in my life, I have turned to Christians or Christian support groups. I have been sorely disappointed every single time. I keep finding people with no empathy, people who are self-righteous and people who are judgmental. Why do I keep trying? Because I have this idea/hope in my head that a Christian group should be a place of safety. And that naive belief misleads me.
Now some of the best friends I have are Christians, and they are the type I expect to find, but some of the nastiest people I’ve met are also self-proclaimed Christians. I don’t blame the religion or God. I blame the meanies who join the religion! But I need to learn the lesson that even disappointingly cruel people can end up in positions of people we/I have assumed are trustworthy. Since I have a history of being a doormat, I need to remember that just because someone carries a label that I trust doesn’t mean that person is trustworthy. Today I had a good reminder that I still need to watch and wait to really know what kind of person I’m dealing with, because actions speak louder than words.