A Lesson In Trust

Last year I wrote an article for my writing gig at the examiner.com on this very topic. The article contained information on how a successful workplace foundation is built on four cornerstones – reliability, honesty, integrity and trust.

Since “Trust” is this week’s topic, I went back to read my article on the subject. When I finished, I realized that not only did this apply for businesses, but it most definitely applies to our own individual relationships.

In recent posts, I have alluded that the last several years of my life have not gone as I had planned. In the last several months, I have joined some really terrific writing groups. After reading many of the posts, I see that “life not going as planned” has been a reoccurring theme. So, I am not alone. But at the time when it all started happening for me, I did not know any of my fellow writers. I was at a loss and wondered how I was going to fix this colossal mess. Funny how that I had spent my entire career helping others fix their problems (isn’t that what a good assistant does?), and now I did not know how I would fix mine.

I had placed my trust in many people who I thought I could rely on; people who “claimed” they needed me and it felt great. The more I was asked to help, the better I felt. My entire identity was wrapped up in this concept. I was offered all sorts of great things, if I would only do _______________ (fill in the blank here with whatever you like because I seemed to do it all). I was such an easy target, you could spot me from miles away. I was so busy helping others that I forgot to help the most important people: myself, my husband, my family. Everybody else in my life came first.

Then the hatchet came down.

I was no longer needed. “But what about…”

Well…in the beginning, let’s just say that I was not needed as much. Five days a week became four days. The first cut was due to economics. I understood that, but the systems I had personally created to make my job easier started to be taken over.

Four days a week became three days. I volunteered this time because I did not see any improvement in the economy. I was trying to be helpful and nice. What good was it going to do for me? I had just given up money that I desperately needed but gained extra time for my writing. However, after an eye-opening conversation shortly before my last birthday when I really found out how some really felt about me, I realized that I had placed my trust on all the wrong people. Instead of taking care of everyone, I should have been taking care of me. I could have kicked myself (and I did, over and over, for months.) FYI…last year was the worst birthday ever.

Sadly, it took three more months before the message finally sunk in.

I learned a valuable lesson. Trust is something that has to be earned. I don’t give it away so freely anymore. After this fiasco, I have given my trust to God. In turn, he allowed me to still trust a few others – my husband, my family and my dearest friends. These are the ones whom I should have trusted all along. Today, I send to each of you my sincerest thanks for putting up with me these last few years. I have made it through to the other side and am on my way up again. I am grateful for all of your patience and love, and most of all, your support. I have a plan now and I am working the plan.

To my new writing friends, I want to thank you for allowing me to join your fun writing groups. Here, I am learning to develop my writing skills and expand my creativity in this genre that has been lying dorment within me for a long time. It has truly been a pleasure reading your work and I hope you have found some inspiration in mine. For those of you who are reading this post and are going through a rough time, I want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and things will get better. It did for myself, because I finally placed trust on the right person… me.

Susan's Blog Signature

***I have written this piece for a group on Facebook that I joined, GBE 2: Blog On. This is week #13 and the topic is TRUST. Interested in more…click on the picture below to take you there.

  • Great ending Susan!

  • "I finally placed trust on the right person… me. "

    Excellent! :O)

    And I'm so glad that you're blogging with the GBE. I love reading your blog! :O)

  • Jo

    I love reading your work also and I feel like you speak for many of us. I write and I learn here. I share part of me and I take part of each of the others. It's a good place to visit, often.
    Happy to hear that you are on your way up and onward! C:

  • Jay

    I used to do the same thing Susan. I was always out to help others, freely. I thought that's what it meant to be a good person. In reality, though, I came to find that I didn't think I was personally worthy – so, by helping others I was attempting to become worthy. Boy, was I wrong! 🙂

  • In the 36th year of my career, I was working one more year as a favor to my employer. My manager left. Because I did the same work for another state agency for several years, they wanted me to fill her shoes, but I said "no thanks because I'm retiring in one year." I COULD have been selfish and took the money, then left them high and dry in one year, but I am much more considerate than that. So, a new supervisor was hired. She knew very little about a function that I could do in my sleep. I could have helped her, BUT suddenly, I was stupid. I had committed to one year, so I wouldn't let my employer down. Plus, I was socking away my whole pay at that time and living quite comfortably off of one of my retirement checks. It was to my benefit to keep working for a few more months, but that woman would not leave me alone. Finally, I told her that if she came in my office one more time about crap she didn't know anything about, I was going to quit because I didn't have to work. She just couldn't help herself…4 days later, she gave me some crap and I put a letter of resignation in her basket withing 15 minutes of the incident. Management tried to get me to stay, but I told them what she did. hahaha…guess who got a reprimand? She hated me for the rest of the time I worked and I gave 1 month notice so that I would be a reminder to her for 30 days. LOL… My coworkers who had to work cheered me on for doing the exact thing that they couldn't do b/c they needed their own job. Now, I have danced all the way around the comment I intended to make and it is this. That supv who gave me so much trouble asked me to share links to all my resources before I left. I promptly went to my office and deleted everything except basic info. She's so smart…let her find it! That was 3 years ago and I have not regretted my actions for one minute because after her reprimand, my co-workers were no longer harassed. That made it all worthwhile. Sorry for such a long comment, but I do enjoy recalling putting her in her place on my way out the door for retirement. hee hee

  • Sadly learning who you can trust is a bitter pill. Once you do though, you never make the same mistakes again. I would say trusting God is a good course of action. Unfortunately mere mortals are imperfect and tend to let one down entirely to much.

    Kathy
    http://www.thetruckerswife.com/

  • I had a rather hard lesson to learn in trust–about 8 years ago or so–when I put my trust into those people who would in return help me along the road to success. I can just tell you it was the hardest lesson to learn–make people earn your trust.

    And I am so glad you've joined the writing groups!! It is so much fun and I do love reading your posts!! Cheers, Jenn 😉

  • "I finally placed trust in the right person, me."

    Absolutely, beautiful!

    Linda