When we think of assumptions we have made that were later proven wrong we usually think of the negative assumptions we have made. I don’t usually start with a negative assumptions, I tend to see the world through rose colored lenses and then am let down by the reality.
My family, and even my girlfriend, have told me throughout my life that I was just too trusting of other people. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would want to hurt me, either physically or emotionally. I assume that everyone follows the same moral code that I do. I meet people all the time who seem to be good people, at first. I might even see them do good things for others. Some of those people have proven to me wrong. I have learned that people’s ideas about what’s right and wrong can change in a minute. I believe now that people who claim to love and care about you will only do so for as long as it is convenient for them to do so. One minute they are your friend, they are your family, the next, they are your enemy. I have learned this time and time again but I still have something in me that just can’t stop seeing the good in everyone.
When I was a young teenager, before I had admitted to myself that I was bi/lesbian*, I, like most young girls, went through a boy crazy faze. During that time I had many boys, and at one time a grown man, promise me the world in exchange for my time and affection. After they got what they wanted from me that changed. I know that this is a typical experience for teenage girls to go through but no one ever told me that it would be that way. Part of the blame lies with me I guess, I kept letting them do it to me. After I had had enough and I accepted that I liked girls too I dated a girl who claimed to love me. She was dating another boy at the time and she swore to me that she only stayed with him so that her mom would not suspect that she was gay. I allowed her to do that to me because I thought she loved me. I thought there was a glimmer of hope that we could live happily ever after. Later in our relation she also became abusive. One day she decided she didn’t want to be with me but didn’t tell me. She had her friends answer the phone and make excuses for why she couldn’t talk to me. One day one of her friends, frustrated that I wasn’t getting the hint, finally told me that that girl never wanted to talk to me again. I never called back and to this day I still feel a bit of heartache when I think of her.
A few years later, when I was just about homeless. I met a group of teenagers who were all living together in an apartment. The guy who was on the lease was a bit older than the rest of us and allowed me to live there with out having a job. He told me I could just pay him back when I started working. I got a job as soon as I could and began paying for what I could. None of the other 4 or 5 people living with us had a job and one day we decided to get another apartment, just the two of us. We gave the others sufficient notice and we went and signed a lease at another complex. After a few months I moved my girlfriend in and things quickly went downhill.
My roommate began paying his part of the rent late all the time. My girlfriend had to hound him every month just to get him to pay. He stopped buying groceries too but continued to eat our food. I couldn’t believe he was doing this when he had dealt with it from our other roommates in the previous apartment. One day I cornered him and asked him what was going on. He admitted to me that he had lost his job and had been paying the rent with money he made selling drugs. I remembered how he had helped me out when I didn’t have a job and offered to let him pay me back when he found a job again. He agreed and then…he left and never came back. He left all his stuff and never paid us another dime. He did however come back one day while me and my girlfriend were at work and he stole the lock box we kept our rent money in. After that money was gone me and my girlfriend could never catch up and we forced to pay our rent late every month until our lease was up. I never expected he would do something like that. He seemed so responsible up until that point, and he seemed to genuinely care about me.
And finally, the betrayal that hurt the most was the most recent. My own brother has cut me out of his life. For a couple of years my family family lived with me and my girlfriend. It was a tense time for all of us. Me and my girlfriend are quiet people who keep a regular work/sleep schedule and my family tend to be pretty chaotic people. They are loud and they like to stay up late. We all struggled to come to agreements on who should clean up what and my family did not pay us rent regularly. One of the areas we fought most about was the lack of responsibility my younger bother and sister had. They didn’t help clean up and they wouldn’t follow the rules. My mother made excuses for them and cleaned up after them and we felt that was wrong. One day, just before they were going to move out, we all got into a fight.
My girlfriend had asked my little sister to clean up her room because she had not gone to school, as she often didn’t. My girlfriend was a bit harsh to her but she didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have. My sister got upset and called my mother and brother. They got upset and accused my girlfriend of over stepping her boundaries. My own brother accused me of not protecting my little sister. My brother, in my opinion, took this as a good opportunity to tell me exactly how he felt about my girlfriend. I felt like all she had ever asked him to do was help out a little and clean up after himself. We got into a screaming match and he told me he never wanted to speak to me again and told me to “have a nice life”. I told him he should probably spend the night at our other sisters house and we could work it out later.
That was months and months ago and he still refuses to speak to me. The thing that hurts is I have done so much for him my whole life and loved him like he was my own son. I took care of him as a baby and helped him when he had trouble in school. I value our relationship and would do anything to work this out with him but he refuses. He has blocked me so that I can’t call his phone and he talks bad about me to the rest of my family. When my dog died and I was devastated he told my mom that he didn’t care. He talked bad about me on Facebook and tagged me in it so all of my family and friends could see it. When I go to my mother’s he ignores me. I don’t understand how he could do this to me. It seem selfish and pointless and I never would have expected it from him.
These are just a few examples of the ways I have been hurt by assuming other people would never hurt me. I assumed they cared about me as much as I cared about them. I assumed I meant something to them. I’m not perfect, and I have hurt people too, but I always try to admit when I am wrong and make things right the best that I can. I am always shocked when others are unwilling to do the same for me.
I am working on finding a happy medium. I want to be able to form meaningful relationships with other people but I need to be able to protect myself. Other people can be mean, they can be heartless, and they can be selfish. They can also be kind, caring, and loving. I once read that we teach others how to treat us. We show them by letting them know what we will accept. I want to be an example of a caring, loving person, but I also want to show people that treating me badly will not be tolerated.