My supposed ease with vulnerability, something that was advantageous to my job, did not correlate with my ability to trust other people.

One of my friends commented on my cautiousness, my reluctance in giving specifics, speaking in often vague terms.

“Who ‘has the details’?” he asked.

“Good question,” I said. It was the type of question I would ask.

“Who do you think I trust?” I asked back, wondering how observant he was.

“No one. I don’t think even ____ has the details.” He had named who he knew to be my oldest and closest confidante.

I was going to protest. But he was right.

It’s not that people are malicious. It’s that it can be hard to understand, to empathize, to see outside one’s biases and experiences, not be guided by unconscious or conscious motives, to do the “right” thing, to care enough. Everyone is busy, everyone has limits, and it is dangerous to trust someone who might be very nice, but thinking of their own time or thinking there might be an advantage for themselves in a decision, gives pat “good” advice. (And mind you I don’t mean blind devotion is the answer, I do tell my friends, look, I’m being crazy you need to talk me out of this.)

But I gave him a name, if these questions were meant to figure me out, a key clue, I suppose.

“Okay. You’re right.

I did trust ________. “

My. . . what in the world do we call him.

“More than anybody else.” He knew things that my other friend still doesn’t know.

I don’t go to him when I’m troubled. But when I speak to him, he gets “the details” out of habit. And he has an uncanny ability to tell when I’m bothered about something, so I think why hide it.

Then I remember, and have to stop. Not out of anger, but because I cannot trust him. He is no longer that person for me.

It’s hard to find the kind of person I can be myself with and feel safe.

But I imagine, this is difficult for many.