Can't Trust People and Can't Trust Myself

Published: September 11, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
This is the only time I think I'm going to be able to talk about this. I'm so afraid of being judged right now but i don't think keeping it to myself is going to help and i'm not going to pay someone to listen to me even if its their fucking job....i'm female. and i've been doing a lot of thinking about it and i've started to notice a pattern : every boy i've been with is a homosexual. but like they can't tell me about it it just sort of makes sense to me after we break up. i'm usually the one who breaks up but ive been dumped plenty also. i'm terrified about what this means. i don't know if the fact that it makes sense after means i'm justifying things that way in my head because i just got dumped...or because i'm trying to act like i don't care so in my head i'm just like oh he's it's scary. but im always right about it. like they end up with other guys ive been with (idk if its because they're all gay or all friends i have no idea) and i don't hate gay people or anything . does it mean i'm gay? honestly i just feel angry and like a failure as a girl. i wish i could be in one relationship where i don't have to second guess myself all the time. i don't want to be with a female. i don't have a problem with it i just don't really see the emotional appeal aside from sex. i hate men and women in general it just bothers me most that i can't trust people and it feels like i can't trust myself
Signed: Can't Trust People and Can't Trust Myself

Dear Can't Trust People and Can't Trust Myself,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate how hard it is to make ourselves vulnerable by opening up about something so personal. FX is glad that you took the chance to write in because we do think these types of situations are harder to resolve when we keep them to ourselves. And we will certainly do our best to be helpful to you.

It sounds like you have been wrestling with lots of questions related to sexual orientation – questioning your own sexual orientation and your feelings about gay people. However, FX does not think that the root problem here has anything to do with sexual orientation. We would like to invite you to look at this from another angle. Rather than looking at this as picking guys who are gay, consider that you are picking guys who are simply unavailable to you for long-term dating relationships. Because they are gay, there is not possibility of a long-term, close, romantic relationship forming.

So why are some people drawn to those who are (in whatever way) unavailable for a long-term, close, committed relationship? The reason is essentially because it is safe. Getting close to others, especially in romantic relationships, involves the risk of being hurt. When we have trouble trusting that other people will really be there for us and will genuinely care about us, then the risk becomes enormous.

You mentioned that you have trouble trusting others and trouble trusting yourself. FX can absolutely appreciate how scary a close relationship could then be for you. Will you be able to trust that someone will be there for you and be loving towards you? Will you be able to trust yourself to pick someone dependable and caring? If you’re worried about these things, that could make relationships scary for you. You may pursue these guys because a part of you longs to be close to others (a normal, natural way to feel). But you may also pick people who are unavailable for long-term, close relationships because the other part of you is scared of letting your wall down.

If the underlying issue here is about difficulty trusting others and being able to let your wall down, FX would like to assure you that you are not alone. Many people do not experience relationships growing up that feel really loving and secure, so it makes starting up new relationships feel a little scary as they get older. That kind of reaction is very normal and understandable given the situation. This is something that can improve, but the hard part about it is that in order for things to get better it would be helpful for you to do something you really don’t want to – see a therapist.

FX can appreciate that the idea of seeing a therapist could be scary, too. Seeing a therapist also involves letting your guard down. And if you’re worried the therapist won’t really care (they are just sitting there listening because it’s their “job”), then FX can understand that the idea of seeing a therapist would be really unappealing. But this is what will improve things – for you to talk to a therapist about how it’s hard to trust people, how you imagine they are just sitting there because it’s their job without really caring, and whatever else comes to mind in terms of how you feel about people and relationships. That is how this is going to get better. The most important thing is finding a REPUTABLE therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who has experience working with teens.

FX gets that it is really hard for you to trust that others care. However, we know there are people out there who are caring and who will want to genuinely be there for you. So we really hope you will find it in you to take the risk of reaching out for help with this.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX