Anxiety throws up a literal inventory of phobias, I for one, had never heard of, let alone knew I suffered from! I will talk about some of them throughout this blog. If you've heard of this one, then you know what it means. If not, I shall inform you.
Pistanthrophobia is a fear of trusting people. It is a response conjured up in our brains from past experiences which in turn manifests into a learned behaviour and therefore a way of life.
It is a ball and chain. It is derived from a past event. It has been the bane of my life.
When I was 13, I was carefree (aside from the anxiety - although I didn't know what it was at that point). I was earning a little bit of pocket money by babysitting for my mums friends, pretty much every weekend. During this time I met my first ever boyfriend. He was 2 years older than me. He'd often accompany me to babysit. Until he got a taste of going to the local pub with my mums friends instead of keeping me company!
We were together for about 2 and a half years and he shaped me into someone who found it hard to trust. You see, he'd turn up where I was babysitting late at night and drunk! I was just a girl. He was a teenaged boy and I did not need to be dealing with that at such a young age. But I did. Because the innocent child who was me, thought I loved him! Because he was the first person to take an interest in me in that way.
As time went on, I'd hear more and more stories about how he was spotted kissing another girl, or complaining about me to other people. Why? I was just a girl with no experience of a relationship. No learned behaviour regarding relationships. I was vulnerable, gullible and innocent!! I later found that he had cheated a total of seven times!
I subsequently lost my virginity to this person and although that is something I cannot change, I whole heartedly wish I had saved myself for someone who treated me with the respect I deserved. Because what happened during the course of this relationship was being absorbed into my young brain and was setting the tone for the rest of my life (unbeknown to me at the time).
Over the course of the relationship he attacked me more than once, physically, verbally and even tried sexually. Luckily, the lady I was babysitting for was home, heard a kerfuffle and threw him out! He made a fool of me and threatened to kill himself if I ended our 'togetherness'.
I would love to name and shame but I have more dignity than that and the fact is, he is now deceased (aged 40 from alcoholism!!).
I hold this person solely responsible for my Pistanthrophobia.
He does not come into my mind every day but he impacted my life so much in a negative way, that he taught me how not to trust. A lesson that I have spent years trying to reverse and that have had adverse effects on my life ever since.
Throughout my adult life, I have had relationship after relationship where I have been mistreated. It's like I attracted that kind of person from then on. I didn't realise but I had given permission for every future new relationship to treat me in a way that no-one deserves. (I am referring to, from my teens to my early twenties!)
To this day I have trust issues. And although I hold my first relationship responsible for my lack of trust, I also hold myself accountable. Because as I aged and grew as a person, I let this manifest into part of my anxiety.
My message to you is this:
Never, ever let yourself carry the burden. Talk to someone. Let them know that you have a fear of trust. Be open and honest. Because the right people will come into your life at the right time and will remind you every day that you are worthy. And when they do, believe them. This is important. This is a mistake I have made from my early twenties up until recently.
Pistanthrophobia leaves its mark. And the longer that mark is there, the harder it will be to overcome. The key is to love yourself. Know your worth and be damn proud of who you are! Make the decision to trust. And when you are shrouded in love, accept it, embrace it and use it as part of your healing.
Lotsa love always
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