Have you ever trusted someone and then had that trust betrayed? And by that I don't mean trusting them not to tell everyone you're a closet ABBA fan or that you still cry at the end of Bambi. I mean trusting them completely, implicitly. Trusting them with things that you wouldn't confide in to many, if any, others.
Trust isn't something that comes easily to me and that, of course, stems from my childhood. It usually does. My parents divorced when I was about three and I was raised by my maternal grandparents. They liked placing me in group homes and Foster homes whenever they couldn't deal with a double generation gap. That emotional disconnection is partly why I left home at 16. Family, other than my own idealised, romanticised notions, is an alien concept to me.
I've replaced those family ties with friends. But I've always kept that circle small. Classic defense mechanism. Also, it's been my experience that friendships are often very fleeting. Other than sporadic contact with blood relatives (mostly just for funerals) there is no-one in my life of more than five years history.
I keep the walls in place. Getting through isn't easy and if and when someone does, there's that tendency to value that bond more than maybe you should.
"An enemy proves themselves by a single act; a friend must prove themselves over and over again."
An old warrior's adage. Before dismissing it as overly cynical, look at it on a very simple, fundamental level. If someone attacks you in some manner, if they seek to harm you, they have established their intent. They are your enemy.
With friends, you never really know from one day to the next. Today, they share your laughter or tears but what about tomorrow? Maybe a little back stabbing at work. Some good old fashioned greed or lust. Perhaps a simple misunderstanding. Or just a pathetic need for some soap opera style drama. But friendships end, trusts are betrayed. It happens and, to some degree, we've all experienced it at some point in our lives.
I live with the absence of trust every day, right here at home.