I met a young man this week who is 17. He lives with his mother and 2 younger siblings. He has a younger brother in juvenile detention and an older brother in prison. He thinks he is a psychopath in the making.
I met him the night he threw his 12-year-old sister against the wall and punched his mom in the face a few times. He was asking for help to get away so he wouldn’t hurt them and could get away from his mom.
In talking to him, he shared that he isn’t close to anyone; he doesn’t like socializing; and his plan is to get his own place, go to work, support himself, and live in isolation. He doesn’t trust anyone.
This sounds like the story of a crazy kid, but it’s really the story of a mother who can’t be trusted.
Have you ever had a conversation or an experience with someone then they turned around and retold the story completely different? For example:
You and I go to Wal-Mart to buy some snacks. While we’re there, I realize I lost my $5 bill. You offer to get me the snacks and let me pay you back. I refuse.
Later, you hear me telling our friends that you stole $5 from me while we were in Wal-Mart so I wasn’t able to get any snacks.
This is the type of thing this young man has been living with his whole life. Mom says or does one thing in his presence then, when professionals come around, the story changes. It’s enough to make a person FEEL crazy.
Another sad part of this story is that he needed to go to a hospital that night. He was feeling like killing himself and his mom. Three different professionals, including the police, told mom she needs to sign him into a hospital, but she refused. She didn’t want to take the time to help him.
So….17 years of this type of treatment. 17 years of mom lying, saying negative things about him, and not protecting him.
Because the most significant person in his life has been untrustworthy and uncaring, his view of the world is that no one can be trusted and no one cares.
If you are feeling this way, perhaps you can look back and see where this message may have come from. But, more importantly, look forward and know that there ARE people who can be trusted and who care. We all make mistakes, and sometimes we let others down, but that doesn’t necessarily make me untrustworthy.
I am trustworthy when I am characterized by doing what I say I’m going to do, being honest, and doing things that lift you up rather than tear you down.
Of course there are people who take advantage of others or who treat others terribly. But don’t let those people keep you from meeting the ones who will love and accept you…the ones you can trust.
If you believe no one can be trusted, it’s a lie. The truth may actually be that someone significant in your life can’t be trusted.
If you have been betrayed, then you know the type of behavior to look out for. Don’t assume a person can’t be trusted. Base your determination on behavior you can see…behavior you have seen before.
There are kind-hearted, trustworthy people out there. Keep searching…