What We Learned: Trust

1) Know who is on your team and trust them.

2) Love “other people” but only trust them after they’ve earned that privilege. (Love many/trust few)

3) When with “other people” be ready to shut them down and walk away.

“Other people” includes everybody who is not in daily contact with you, when you or a loved one is sick.

“Other people” can be relatives or intimate friends, but if they have to ask how you are doing and don’t already know, they fall into this category.

When one is sick or care giving it is important to have some defense in place for when “other people” come along. The defense that worked for us was paying attention to who was actively on our team and when we came in contact with ones who were not, we expected the best and prepared for the worst.

We’ve all experienced some situations when a person’s words or actions towards us hurt. Usually we can muster up a tough enough hide to take it or brush it off. An art show friend asked me what I’d been up to. I shared I was writing a book and his response was, “You don’t imagine it will ever be a best seller do you?” When I was pregnant with our first child, an older ski instructor friend in Aspen stopped me at the post office and referring to my growing belly said direly, “Your life will be changed forever.”

It didn’t sound like a blessing.

People who feel free to comment on ones appearance without being asked and in a non complimentary way, can be hurtful. “You’ve lost too much weight.” Or, “You’ve gained weight.” Or, my personal favorite, “You’re looking tired.”

Oh my goodness, what are people thinking? Well, it turns out they’re probably not thinking. I don’t believe the people who made these comments had set out to hurt me. I realized it’s not enough to be unintentional. Hurtful words or actions hurt even if they were not meant to.

When living with an incurable disease, people will still unintentionally say or do things that hurt you. We made protective rules for ourselves when Andy got sick, because hurtful words and actions had much more long lasting negative effects.

1) Know who is on your team and trust them.

2) Love “other people” but only trust them after they’ve earned that privilege. (Love many/trust few)

3) When with “other people” be ready to shut them down and walk away.

Sometimes we were pleasantly surprised.

When Andy was in a stage of shaking uncontrollably all the time, I was in the grocery store and the wife of the owner approached me. “How are you and Andy doing, Michelle?” She asked.

I told her we’d just returned from California. She looked surprised and asked incredulously, “Did Andy fly?’

I nodded yes and thought to myself, “Uh oh, get ready to walk away.”

She said, “I admire him for that. We all have personal issues but his disabilities show more than mine do and I don’t know if I’d have the courage to fly if mine were more obvious.”

We laughed together and she earned some points towards my trust.

It’s hard to be hurt by people you don’t trust.

Read more of Michelle’s blogs at Taos News Online.

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2 thoughts on “What We Learned: Trust

  1. I love reading your writing, sometimes it makes me tearful but more than that it makes me feel so much love and respect for you!!! I love you!

    1. Palmo,
      Your words mean so much to me and I thank you for reading my blogs…they are so fun to write and connect me with many people including YOU!!

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