Monday, September 17, 2007

Bears, Dogs, and Trust

"For humans and other animals, play is a universal training course and language of trust. The belief that one is safe with another being or in any situation is formed over time during regular play. Trust is the basis of intimacy, cooperation, creativity, successful work, and more."

I was reading this article about a polar bear and a husky playing, and it made me think about trust. Those of you who have lived with an addict know that the violations of your trust hurt like nothing else. That pain comes back, again and again and again. I'll think I'm done with a lie he's told, some money he's taken, some incident in the endless incidents where my trust in him was violated, and then, there is it is again, cutting me from the inside out.

The polar bear and the husky made me think, though, about how we build trust back, and the different kinds of trust that we can establish in a relationship. I do not trust that my husband won't lie to me, won't steal from me. He's an addict. Addicts lie and steal. He's in early recovery, and he's doing his best, and I trust that he's doing his best...but I don't trust HIM.

However, I like this idea of play as a way of developing trust, intimacy, creativity. It makes sense and feels true, and it's something that we're good at. No day passes without laughter, lots of laughter, in our home. We play together, a lot. We're sexually playful and playfully playful and giggly and silly and rambunctious and fun together. We're also good at being creative together, taking on fun projects together, making stuff, or sitting beside each other while we each make our own stuff. I'd always thought of this shared passion and the fun we have as a rich resource in our relationship, but I'd never thought of our fun as a way of building trust.

So thank you, dogs and bears, for that little lesson. Soon, it's time to go home, and I'm going to tackle Mr. Junky on the bed and tickle him until he cries.


Wayward Son said...

In spite of all my trepidations, or perhaps because of them, I love happy stories!

serenitynowdammit said...

Trust does come back. Sometimes a little too fast, and then we get stung again. Hope and trust and optimism are wonderful traits, but scary, scary ones when dealing with addicts. Rebuilding them is a long process. I have to keep reminding myself that my sponsor says that he shouldn't expect me to trust him until he's been clean for a year, and he's only been clean five days? Four days? Who the hell knows! Lies keep trickling out of his mouth . . .