the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Partial trust vs. global trust, and the internet


This is a time-sensitive post of a personal nature and will be password protected in the usual manner.

One of the things I have been working on with my counselor is re-establishing a healthy balance of trust. In short, I have been stuck between extremes of complete trust or complete distrust, which were necessary to survive during periods of trauma, but have done me little good in more peaceful times. In other words, it has been difficult for me to measure partial trust, or trust that is refined and adjusted over many interactions with a person. Sadly, as I count my mother among my abusers, that sense of measured trust has been lacking with women. (Men are a different story– sometimes I can partially trust, but sometimes I just completely distrust them.)

This has been MUCH harder on the Internet, where some users hide behind a sense of pseudo-anonymity. To be more fair, it’s much easier for me to trust someone too much in an online interaction, and then recoil when new information comes along that suggests I should not trust so much. I tend to look at it as a betrayal, and then I shut that person out completely.

(I don’t want anyone reading– that I know is reading, anyways– to ask, “Do I do this?” If you’re asking this question, I tell you: “No, because you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not, and you’re fine.”)

I did that today.

It was an Ex-Voxer, that much is all I will say, and again, no, not any of you… someone who I am reasonably certain does not even read nor travel along this space anymore. Someone who did not migrate to WordPress but stayed with TypePad.

I begged for reciprocity but it seemed to fall on deaf or distracted ears. So I stopped reading. But then I saw this person pop up strong on Google+, and I thought, “Well, maybe it will be different on G+.” I decided today that this person had drifted away and was not noticing what I had to say anymore.

I apologize, dear readers, if this seems like drama whoring. I never liked drama whoring and hate to do anything like it. But I like to consider this analogy: trauma survivors are not like ducks. Water does not roll off our backs easily. We are much more like dogs, and we can learn to shake that water off. I hope to be better at doing that whole body shake many dogs do, and wag my tail happily afterwards.

There will be people who will say, I think, “Damnit, boy, shake yourself outside, not in my clean house!” You know what I mean, yeah? You don’t want the dog shaking off muddy water in your house. Fortunately, I like to think this blog space is my own house and you all are frequent enough guests that a shake or two is not too unseemly.

On a brighter note, another letter came from an Ex-Voxer, promising better reciprocity in the near future in the blogosphere for Cimmy and I. I think that’s a fine sentiment to close this post with; wouldn’t you agree?

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

16 thoughts on “Partial trust vs. global trust, and the internet

  1. Ugh…that’s not a good feeling, when someone with whom we once had a connection( we thought) just drifts away. I think it’s perfectly natural and reasonable to feel bad when that happens to us. And I’ll admit to the same thing: I feel awful when that happens to me and it has, especially on the interent. But experience has taught me that the reason for someone’s drifting away usually has nothing to do with me and therefore I may feel sad for the loss but not angry or resentful because of it. People come and go all the time here. And the haphazard upheaval of “real life” isn’t always evident in online relationships. People get pulled away or change their methods of communication for soooo many reasons! And then…their priorities change…returning to the same level of interconnectedness is sometimes just not possible.

    So, here are some (((((hugs))))).


  2. Interent? LOL…Internet, of course.


  3. I tend to trust to easily. I have been burned and I’d like to think that I’ve learned my lesson…but sadly, no I continue to trust completely until I am given significant reason to do otherwise.

    We are never done growing and learning. Even my 98 y/o great grandmother was learning new things up until the day she died.

    Sometimes we just grow faster than other times. Life is a life-long learning process.


    • I hope things will be restored enough so the daytime episodes are fewer and the nighttime terrors subside.

      We are never done growing and learning.

      Indeed. I have experienced glimpses of what I understand as a life beyond this one, and so I think this will be eternally so.


  4. Whenever someone has dropped out of sight or is no longer speaking to an individual or the group, I’ve heard people say dismissively, “Well, it’s just the internet.” As if the bonds you form online aren’t as important as bonds you form, say, at work or school. I don’t think that’s at all true, however. Some of my most lasting friendships have been with my ex-Vox and WordPress “peeps.” I have the cards and gifts to prove that, not to mention the generous comments they leave on my blog.

    But I’ve also had people abruptly stop speaking to me in RL: all I can say in response is that I don’t know what I’ve done to merit that, and they won’t tell me. It’s more likely something going on with them, but it’s not my business anymore, so I’m letting it go. It hurts, but after so many years of dealing with people in an intensely personal profession, I’ve learned not to ruminate about other people’s behavior unless it’s physically threatening or prevents me from doing my work.

    And yes, it is your blog, so kick off your shoes and socks and walk around in your jammies if you want. 😉


    • I remember Steve saying similar things about online relationships. I’ve really enjoyed this letter-writing business, to have a chance to explore them on a deeper level. It’s encouraged me to look beyond my usual treading– some ex-Voxers whose blogs I have yet to visit have written most congenially to us!

      I think I understand what you are saying about RL relationships. The difficulty I’m having right now is that I don’t have employment at the moment, and so face-to-face interactions are pretty limited. I think most of our housework is tamed enough I could look into volunteering again, I am just reluctant again because of previous experiences.

      Incidentally, a friend (another online one, no less, but we speak by phone or VoIP pretty frequently) has been encouraging me to look into self-hosted WordPress. That would make it even MORE my space, wouldn’t it?


  5. Hang in there. It sounds like a rough ride, but life does that some time. Keep writing and I will keep reading. Promise.


  6. Reblogged this on the tao of jaklumen and commented:

    A hidden post that I’m bringing up to the surface… I am reliving pure rage, shame, fear right now. Can’t explain it right now.


  7. I’ve noticed that it is harder to keep regular communication with bloggers on other platforms. I prefer WordPress, but there are some great bloggers on Google’s blogger with whom I find it difficult to keep in regular contact.

    Shake that mud and water off your back and all over your blog walls. That’s one of the reasons we blog, right?


  8. Internet relationships are weird… I’m not sure enough has been written on the topic. Or maybe I just haven’t stumbled upon the right literature! It does seem as though it comes with it’s own set of rules and warnings.


  9. Great article. I am just starting my foray into the world of blogging and I am interested to see how it develops and what it does to either reinforce or skew my perception of “internet relationships.”


    • Oh why thank you! I wrote this (note: 2012) when I feared reprisals or other nasty Internet drama, and I’d locked it behind a password. I’m finding much of the WordPress community to be much more congenial, however, so I dug it out.


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