My head

On breaking trust

April 3, 2017

on breaking trustI wouldn’t call myself a people pleaser, per se, but I certainly don’t wish to displease. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing. It’s just a thing. I’m not sure if I’ve actually met many people who enjoy upsetting people. There is a special name for them I’m sure.

Assholes, perhaps?

I am intensely loyal and when someone trusts me I will endeavour to be worthy of that trust. Usually, trust is fairly straight-forward, but not always. Like this week, I made a shitful mistake and I broke someone’s trust.

Often when you think of breaking trust you imagine a secret slipping across your lips when you had sworn to keep it in the vault, or a stolen intimacy that was not yours to take, however sometimes it’s a little more complicated.

People trust me with their stories regularly. We are all fascinating, beautiful, unique creatures and I regularly ask for case studies.

Sometimes multiple times a day I’ll ask on Facebook for one of you to tell me about your secret desires or fantasies for something I’m writing. To tell me about the intricate inner workings of your relationships, or your past hurts. I ask you to share your intimate joys, your shameful mistakes, and you offer these beautifully faceted adamantine gems of yourselves for me to explore.

I’m often surprised and always humbled at this trust. I love your stories and I love that you share them with me. You entrust me with your secrets and I treat them as precious jewels of humanity, loving your viscera in my hands and crafting it to help others to see that we are all just the same.

We all want to be loved and liked. We all hope to be understood and accepted. We are all beautiful in our flawed yet perfectly perfect humanness.

Forgive my vagueness on this story but I don’t care to rehash the actual events except to say I wrote a sensitive story, and I wrote it with integrity, but it got twisted into a new shape that bent it into an ugly tale.

By the time I realised what happened it was no longer my story, our story. It was laid bare with harsh hands on a cold steel table under fluorescent lights without any of the gentle care I promised. The horse had bolted with my name on it, and reigning it in was a virtual impossibility. Literally.

It went a little bit viral, completely and utterly exposing someone who trusted me to treat them with care.

My headline was changed to something sordid and sensational and my words were chopped and changed, and then in a domino of Chinese Whispers the story had slipped out from under me, taking my footing with it. Taking someone else’s footing simultaneously. Legals have been brought in. I am not in the cross hairs but that does not make me feel completely without blame.

Sometimes I think I’m perfectly cut out to be a story teller. I am so deeply enamored by people and their rough and smooth edges. I can’t imagine a story you could throw at me where I would recoil from you. We are all just pieces of our history fumbling through our presents, creating whatever beautiful mess we lay at our feet. These stories fill me with hope and love and joy, and sorrow, of course. For sorrow is just another facet of our lives every bit as interesting as our joy.

Other times, I fear my heart is not cut out for it at all.

I broke someone’s trust, and even though it was not in my control I think of all of the hows, and the whats ifs, and the should haves, that may have made this turn out differently. I learned a valuable lesson but my lessons mean nothing to the person I let down.

So, anyway, today I pick up my time-card and punch it in the clock and get back to the mines. Searching for gems, polishing the stories and hoping the canaries come home at the end of the day.

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1 Comment

  • Reply [email protected] through the haze April 3, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Dan
    I am sad that you feel so terrible. Sometimes things happen and even with our best of intentions things spiral out of our control. I am sorry this happened to you and to the others involved. I am sure that you have given a heartfelt apology and as you say you have learnt from it. That is truly all you can do.
    Sending lots of love and I am sure that whatever it was it was not intentional

    Cat xoxo

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