Honesty is really important to me.
And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
But, I wonder if my focus on honesty is unrealistic.
I wonder if my childhood experiences have made ma kind of an Honesty Fanatic. I wonder if my childhood experiences have made me Too Judgmental about other people’s honesty — not allowing for human imperfection.
Not knowing how I compare to other people — who haven’t had my childhood experiences — regarding honesty and trust, reminds me of something I wrote in Day 21 of this blog. That post — in which I wrote about how getting ill (even with a cold) could affect me — included this section (which I’ve italicized here):
Even when I’m a little bit ill, being sick affects how I feel about myself.
I’m not sure whether that’s common for people. I haven’t really checked that out in any real way with other people. In other words, I haven’t used the helpful skill — an “antidote” to the Cognitive Distortion of Mind-Reading — of Reality Testing. To put it more simply, I haven’t asked other people, “When you are even slightly ill, does it affect your sense of self worth?” I mean, I know that serious and chronic illness can definitely affect people’s sense of self-worth, but A COLD?
The reason I haven’t really checked that out before is this: I assume that I’m different from other people in how illness affects me, because I dealt with so much illness when I was a child. So I just assume that I’m “weird” when it comes to that.
So tonight I’m thinking that maybe I’m “weird” — also — about other people’s honesty.
Because this is how I am in relationships: if I think somebody been dishonest or deliberately misleading, it has a major effect on how I relate to them.
Now, I have seen other people be very All or Nothing about Trust issues. I’ve heard people say about themselves, “Once somebody breaks my trust, that’s it. I can’t forgive them.” I’ve also witnessed other people be much more “forgiving” about trust issues — including resuming a relationship when their partner has cheated on them.
I don’t know how to gauge What’s Normal or What’s Appropriate when it comes to Trust and Honesty.
I think I’m pretty rigid about the issue of honesty.
Actually, the word “rigid” is self-judgmental. It’s a form of labeling, one of the 13 cognitive distortions.
So I won’t use the word “rigid”, but I will say this. If somebody is dishonest or misleads me, I get really upset when I find out about that. I withdraw. It takes me a while to trust them again.
So, how “normal” is that?
And if that’s not a useful question, then how about this question: How can I negotiate the issue of trust in a way that’s helpful for me and the people I love?
By the way, I’m writing this post during a bout of insomnia, which I alluded to in yesterday’s post, and which I am going to do something about. (I’m not just saying that! I got the names of two sleep specialists, and I plan to start the process of contacting them tomorrow.)
But I’m not sure what to do tonight. I woke up at 1:30 AM and had trouble getting back to sleep. I remembered reading that some sleep specialists suggest this: if you have trouble sleeping, don’t lie awake in bed too long — get up and do something else.
So after I had stayed awake until 2:30, I got up, left the bedroom, and started this post.
But now it’s 3:03. And I’m not sure whether to continue with this post or to try to go back to sleep.
Because there’s a direction I could take in this post, now. I could share something that happened to me when I was a kid, that has made Honesty so important to me.
So that’s one decision point, right now:
To share or not to share that memory? That is the question.
Let’s say I decide to do share that memory in this post, then I have another decision point:
To write that now or later, during this 24-hour span of Day 51? That is the second question.
Well, I’m thinking about what would most likely help me sleep right now. (And as I’ve said in previous posts, one of my guildes for writing this blog is to ask myself the question: what would help me most right now?)
So what’s the best strategy for getting back to sleep tonight?. I’ll explore that by answering those two questions I posed above:
Question #1: Should I share that childhood memory?
Answer: Perhaps. And maybe soon. I HAVE written down that memory elsewhere, so I could copy a version and paste it, pretty quickly. But that would still take time and energy, and doing that right now probably wouldn’t help contribute to getting back to sleep.
Question #2: Should I write that now or later, in this 24-hour period?
Answer: It turned out that was too restrictive a question. My answer is this: I won’t write about that on Day 51.
At this point in the post, it would be helpful — for me — to tell myself this:
I have all the time that I need.
This is, I have time to write about this childhood memory, and to write more about the issue of honesty and trust.
That is, I’ll write more in future posts, and finish this post now.
Farewell, for now, and thanks for reading.