Lessons in trust

It’s time to fess up. My hiatus was about more than busyness. I’ve been struggling with some trust issues that have thrown me for a loop while sending me back in time to events that I’ve attempted to outrun for many years.

The night before Thanksgiving, I visited the ER with my brother. He’s 3 and 1/2 years older than I, and the two of us have shared a rocky past thanks to his long-term relationship with drugs and alcohol and subsequent changes to his character and personality. This particular night, my sibling was exhibiting signs of a stroke–slurred speech, confusion, and high blood pressure–and the doctors confirmed after numerous tests that he had, in fact, suffered a mini-stroke, or TIA. They also discovered traces of illegal substances that, by my brother’s account, couldn’t possibly be in his system. The experience transported me back to high school, to my brother’s drug-induced escapades, to the rollercoaster emotions of concern and frustration, despair and anger.

Less than a week after my brother landed back home, a dirty little secret about Edwina came my way. Turns out, she’s been asking numerous folks (this sucker included) to “adopt” her for the holidays. So, last year, while my family shopped to make sure Edwina and Aubrey had something to unwrap on Christmas morning, my friend had far more than her share to get through the holidays–courtesy of Rachael (former pastor at Church of the Reconciler, where I first met Edwina), Dawn and Ann (also regulars at the Reconciler), and members of a neighboring church who chose Edwina’s gang as their angels for the season.

I confronted Edwina. She admitted her scheme. And now, she and I are engaged in the most complex of dances.

She must deal with the repercussions of her choices.

I shift between sadness and spite, knowing that if I dig deep enough, other lies are likely to emerge.

Trusting is not for the faint of heart.

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