At the start of my crisis, and before it, I tended to be quite open about my mental health. Now I will not even tell people who know me that I have therapy – I just tell them I am having non-descript ‘sessions’.
There is something about this discretion and lessening of trust which is building me up as an individual with his own power. I have more power over my boundaries than I thought.
Life taught me not to be too trusting. I honestly believe that gains in my own power have come from this with-holding; as if whenever you give yourself too cheaply your subconscious swallows a nasty draught of something toxic and self-negating. And everytime you give trust to the wrong person, you end up with a dagger to the heart and a dark wound. I will not let this happen to me again.
You don’t have to trust someone you do not know. You don’t have to help someone you do not know. You don’t have to trust your parents or your siblings. You don’t have to trust the authorities. You don’t have to trust anyone.
Of course, trust is a vital and beautiful thing. In Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Saga, ultimate trust is demonstrated by revealing your ‘true name’ to someone, giving them total power over your being. If your true name falls into the wrong hands, you are fucked. But you can offer ultimate trust to another sentient human being with it, and if they reveal theirs to you, you have communed with another on the most fundamental and beautiful way possible.
Without this trust-giving, we are isolate, and isolation is just as much a destroyer as naive openness. We have an imperative to escape our isolation, it is in our nature to. We are all individuals, and this is where liberty stems from, but no man is an island.
I cannot trust the sea of humanity anymore, but I can trust my tried and tested crew, or communities I have come to know. And of course I can trust myself.