"I'm sorry, but I can't give you the benefit of the doubt."

Even though I what I want most out every situation is honesty, I wonder: is being blissfully unaware of the truth the better option? Because the truth fucking hurts some times.

Last night, I had another appointment with my therapist, Elle. We always start these sessions in the hopes of sticking to a game plan, but more often than not, we veer right off course. I’m thinking it’s because the more I discuss the things going wrong in  my life, or just in my head, the more little tid-bits I discover to learn and grow from. It’s never going to be as simple as “I have mommy issues, let’s fix that.” I’m a Russian nesting doll, and every new layer I pry open I find some new repressed issue to deal with.

Most of the time, I come away from these sessions feeling like I've been given a map and now that I know where such-and-such negative thought comes from, I can find the root and squash it. But last night, in our disjointed conversation, Elle dropped a truth bomb on me that hit home. Worse than her telling me this nugget of wisdom, was realizing that I might have known it all along, and I simply didn't want to acknowledge it.

I don't know if I can properly describe what I'm thinking, and I probably don't have the strength emotionally to delve too deep (the night is still young, and I'd like to try and enjoy myself) But this truth bomb was this: Maybe the reason I am so accommodating to people is not just that it's a distraction. Maybe, Elle tells me, it so I can buy their affection. And you'll notice I use the word "affection" and not love or respect. I know there are plenty of people around me who love and respect me, and they do so because they think I am good person, or a funny one, smart or caring. Some of these people know me to be all of the above, and I am secure in that knowledge. But affection? That's different. Maybe I think "If I show this person how much I care and how dedicated I am, he is bound to reciprocate." 

Then comes the real kicker: on top of wanting so badly to be the helper, I am much too trusting for my own good. I give every one the benefit of the doubt, and the majority of the time, a person will be able to sniff that out in me and use me for every thing I've got - be it my money, shelter, time, energy or affection. Maybe it's just my trusting side, but I genuinely don't believe these people mean wrong by me. They just know that they can get what they need and take what I happily offer up.

Elle called this an “epiphany”. I called it “kicking a girl in the box when she’s down”.

Further, Elle tells me that "normal" people simply don't give every one the benefit of the doubt. Normal people don't let their unemployed friends move in with them on nothing but a promise of getting rent soon... ish or sleep with their friends on the vague hint of a relationship one day. I didn't know that! I really had no idea how trusting I actually was, because in all honesty, I feel like I was becoming pretty damned cynical. Seems like there's actually a long way to go to get to cynical.

It goes against what feels right, but maybe Elle has a point. Perhaps I should be more selective in terms of who I choose to trust and give pieces of myself to. 

(And I was totally right: that was emotionally exhausting.)

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