The Trust Factor: Broken

I’ve been writing about my experience with a “Kindred Spirit” friend. Read the first post here if you haven’t yet.

This post is going to sound sort of negative. Well, it pretty much IS negative. I don’t share this to sound like a victim or to complain, I was in the wrong, too. But to be honest about my Real Life. Every day, my skin gets thicker and thicker, but my real goal is to hopefully help myself and others deal with these things realistically. And kind of to vent… but it’s my blog, I can do that, right?

For me, it seems in many relationships, the trust factor has an expiration date. In this case, the expiration date was a few weeks ago. I was at a low-point when this friend called me. SO I spilled the beans. It had been pent up inside for a long time, as I tried to work it out, and I probably should have confronted the people I needed to. I hate confrontation unless I know I’m right, so I usually think a while, figure out if it’s something I just need to let go, get my perspective right. But, like I said… weak moment.

I was surprised by an intense note of judgment in her voice when I shared how I was feeling. I tried to state again and again that I didn’t want her to agree with me, that I knew I needed help, and I was asking for prayer to deal with it the way I should. But the sharpness continued, as if I hadn’t listened to the same type of outcry from her own heart many times. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I abruptly ended the conversation. And cried… really hard.

It was a blow to the safety that I felt in this friend, and my heart was hurting. But I figured maybe I caught her on a bad day, too. So when she called two days later, I apologized for getting upset. And then came the blow that really knocked me down.

She said that she had shared what I said with someone else (exactly the person I didn’t want to know), and promptly informed me that the other person didn’t think I should be sharing those feelings. I didn’t say anything right there, except to admit that I have not shared that with ANYONE else, and I thought I could be safe to ask for prayer from her. A shrug and a “hmmm” in response. The thing that really got me was that she had been hurt by this exact situation the year before. And man, I fiercely defended her!

And that’s when I knew, the statute of limitations on our trusting friendship had been reached. The stunning revelation that I no longer had a trusted friend in her. That maybe her sanctimony had outgrown her grace for someone who may be wrong, but was reaching out? Did she think she was doing the right thing, or knowingly stinging me for some reason? Did I get what I deserved for being rash and letting my guard off of my tongue? Does it matter?

Have you had a similar experience? What did you do? I don’t know whether to simply go on, accepting I cannot share my heart with her anymore, or to try to fix it. I don’t know if that’s possible, or if it’s worth the effort. Is this kind of trust an illusion altogether?

More tomorrow on how I would have handled it if I were in her position.

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. I have had several experiences like this, one in particular was painful. At church, for some reason, everyone thinks that whatever you say is okay to share with everybody and their brother, but was got back to me several weeks later was no where close to what I originally said. So from this day forward I will tell God first then my husband or my mom. No one else is capable of keeping their traps shut!
    And from now on I will be the original "shut trap". And I will offer hugs first and then I will offer prayer and THEN I will ask if my advice is wanted before I share it! Novel idea for turning 40!

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  2. Cat@3KidsandUs says:

    I've had one too many experiences like this myself. The truth is, I've given up on friendships, at least ones where I allow a trusting relationship. I wish I had better advice for you.

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  3. Yes I have and it does make it so very hard to trust. I think our first instinct is to NOT trust ..anyone…ever again. But then I remember…we are all imperfect, make mistakes, have bad days…weeks…months….years. I am sure at some point…points I have been that other person…the one who sounds judgemental…THE ONE WHO WOULD NEED THE FORGIVENESS & be trusted again.

    To err is human…so is to love.

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  4. Real Life Sarah says:

    Right Trish. Definitely forgiveness is in order,always. But even after forgiveness, I'm not sure it can go back the way it was. something fundamentally changes in the relationship. Or maybe I'm just being over-dramatic about it 🙂

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  5. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect says:

    Sarah, I'm sorry you were hurt. I've experienced this same sort of hurt many times, and I always wonder why I can't just TRUST people, why people can't just be as good to me as I want them to be. I realize that sounds selfish, but it's how I feel. And it's why I feel that hurt that you described.

    Yes, forgiveness is in order, but I'm not sure – like you said – that you can go back to how it was before. Once that trust is broken, it's hard to restore. And sometimes, if it's become a pattern of hurt, it's not wise to trust. I think you can forgive but not put yourself out there for more hurt.

    I don't know. I'm rambling in your comments, so I will stop. I'll just end with this – I've been there, and it sucks, and I'm sorry you're there now. 🙂

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  6. Heather @wistfulwrists says:

    I heard a really interesting teaching about a year ago from my pastor about friendships & keeping confidences. He used circles as an illustration, explaining to us that Jesus Christ had circles of friends with different levels if relationship. Jesus travelled with a large group of people, but within this group the 12 disciples had a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Take it a step further and you find a smaller circle of 3 disciples who are even closer to Him. The Bible tells us about "the disciple whom Jesus loved", we might call him Jesus's BFF today. Our pastor challenged us to use this example in our relationships. There are people we can trust more that others, like Xomecha said. It's not that we aren't friends with the others, just that they all don't have the same level of intimacy. I think this situation just demonstrates which circle or level this woman belongs in. All you can do is take it as a lesson, forgive & seek God so He can show you who can be your confidant.

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  7. I'm an advocate for talking it out, though in my experience I've not found many people receptive to doing the same. Maybe a discussion with your friend over what went wrong might shed some light into what's going on with her, IF there's anything going on with her.

    I went through a bad streak with some friends a couple of years ago. 2007 was a really horrible year for me and I didn't handle it well. The resulting depression took it's toll on friendships with a few women and they decided they'd had enough of me. No one bothered asking what was wrong or if they could help. I'm quite sure they all assumed I was being a jerk just to be a jerk. Cutting ties with them was nothing compared to the revelation that they were never really my friends in the first place.

    If your friend remains aloof and unwilling to acknowledge how she hurt you, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate the friendship. It doesn't have to end, but it sounds like you may have to adjust the boundaries.

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  8. I'm sorry you went through this… having someone you trust betray you is probably one of the hardest things we have to deal with in this life. Learning to heal after.

    When I go through things like this, even when it hurts so much, I know that it's Jesus showing me that I need HIM. That I need to go to Him and trust in Him first and foremost. He's really the only one who is perfect, so He's the perfect one to go to. 🙂

    Your friend doesn't sound very receptive to your words right now, so I don't know if I'd push talking things out. I don't know her, though. 🙂 I tend to be non-confrontational, too. lol

    God bless, Sarah! We go through hard times like this so we can grow.

    Romans 5:3 – Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. (I like the amplified bible! 🙂

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  9. Classic MaMa says:

    When I read your words, my heart hurt for you. I wanted to hug you, though I don't even know you. I know what that feels like. Unfortuately, many of us do. So, I'm sitting here right now, praying for you. I'm praying for your heart to heal and for reconciliation.

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  10. OK I know I am a bit late in this but I have to say EVERYONE needs someone to talk to. You can't just hold it in. You felt you could trust this person and unfortunately found out otherwise. We always have to forgive but we don't have to forget. I for one go by the old saying "Do me once shame on you Do me twice shame on me." Like I said I would work on forgiveness but never forget it. I personally would have to walk away from this friend because I could not trust her anymore.

    It sounds like you were a friend to her but it didn't go both ways.

    Just remember not everyone is like her. Just be cautious.

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  11. MommaDJane says:

    I had something like this happen to me over the summer. Where I let down my guard, trusted someone with something big that had happened in my life and they decided to share it with others. This caused me problems and hurt my feelings as well. Although I forgave them and moved on from it. I don't hold a grudge but the truth be told, I wouldn't share details with them again that I didn't want them to share elsewhere. Some people don't mean harm by confining in others and they don't see how it can hurt you. I may not be angry with this person b/c I truly believe that is just who they are but I can protect myself in the future.

    Sorry you dealt with something like this. 🙁

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  12. Janel@Dandelion Dayz says:

    Oh Sarah, I am so sorry that you were hurt by your friend.

    I really love what Heather has to share with us. It is so very true. I would take it a step more and say that even Jesus had conversations ONLY with his father. In the garden right before his death, he sent the disciples away so he could speak privately with God. In his most dire moment on earth, he did not share with his friends his pain – only God.

    I have realized in the last year that I have only a few people that I could count on to pray for me, speak truth with love and keep what I tell them to themselves. Christian women often mean well when they share something all covered up in "we need to pray for …" But it = gossip, plain and simple.

    I've also come to realize that there are many friends that cannot handle what I have to tell them about my life. They just are not emotionally or spiritually equipped to process parts of my life. This sounds like your friend.

    I hope you know that there are women out there that value friendship so much that they will not break your trust. I get that the inclination is not to trust again, but please trust, trust, trust again – have faith that God will show you your true friends.

    Isn't it comforting to know that God is the one friend that never has an expiration date?

    Hang in there.

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  13. Man I hate that you had to deal with that. I think that so many of us have been through that and I know for me the temptation is to shut down that part of me and protect myself from future hurt. The thing is that God has created us to be relational..especially many of us women. There is a need HE put there. I agree with the other Heather in saying that talking it out is always a good thing (Whether the other person is willing to do that will be interesting) but I would be very careful in ever sharing anything of real importance to you with this person again. That is not to say that you don't forgive her but you do use wisdom. If she repents, there is still a place that she has to earn your trust back. It is a basic rule of relationships. SO, be careful not to feel a sense of obligation to her or even to your friendship that will eventually lead to more hurt. Listen to God as you venture out in this and he will make it clear what you need to say. LOVE YOU. Call if you ever want to vent 🙂

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  14. Karen (Forgiven and Loved) says:

    I found your site because someone told me about the pumpkin devotional and I had just blogged something eerily similar without knowing this devotional existed. 🙂
    I'm reading this series with great interest because I have very few close friends. I have two whom I felt I could tell anything too.
    And, wowie, did I have something to share with them this spring. I needed prayer and advice as I was betrayed and hurt and reeling from a situation I found myself in.
    The one friend gave me godly advice. Has stood by me without judgment. Prays for me regularly (and lets me know she is) and would probably fly down here (1000 miles away) in a heartbeat if I asked.
    The other, whom I was very close to, was shocked and dismayed. While I don't think she has told any of our mutual friends, I don't get nearly the support, concern, or prayer from her. And some of her thoughts about what God is and isn't has been somewhat enlightening to me (i.e. she says I need to "get out there and help myself. There are some things that we need to take into our own hands because 'There are some things God just can't do!'"
    So my relationship with her is now more distant. When I need someone to comfort or guide me (after God and my husband) I run to the friend who can give me sound Scriptural advice. The one whose God CAN DO ANYTHING! 🙂

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