this is why i have trust issues.

a part of me wants to scream at every boy who asks me out for coffee:

“this is why i have trust issues”

yeah, i’m throwing shade; but while some of us may be vibing Taylor Swift’s new album

as our anthems to past lovers

many of us will only listen because it stirs up some familiar emotion inside

unresolved anger. hurt. frustration. confusion.

our odes and woes to past, present and future lovers

our hearts are complex messes
and to be honest –  – – L O V E
is why many of us have trust issues

{whether we admit them or not}

but today i don’t want to talk about love

i want to talk about the other kind of lover

the trigger-warning-required kind of lover

this is the lover who isn’t really about love

they’re about the game

they want to play

they want to win

they. want. in.

welcome to the trust game

but on a serious note;

i need to give a trigger warning to my readers

because these words address abuse

please do not read if you are not ready to read

if this might be too close to home, maybe give it a miss

and please seek professional counselling / psychology services

if this stirs up any trauma or things you need to talk through

this is my reflection and experience

so i do not, nor cannot, speak for others

who have suffered more severe situations of abuse 

i just want to flag that for me,

writing and sharing is a part of the processing and healing

i have sought counsel on this

hence why i am in a position to share

and my prayer is that we can bring to light

the dark and hard things

and learn to talk about them

and learn to navigate them

on the topic of navigating,

i have linked some resources at the end

as a starting point


welcome to the trust game

that’s right;

there’s no love here, no lover

only a game

where there is a winner and loser

where one plays, and one is forced to obey

m a y b e

i was just a game you played

b u t

i won’t be an object of your game

i was an object to you

you objectified me

and i let you

part one:

how did i even end up in that place?

there i was, against the wall

arms across my body, crossed over my Cross

i was a fortress enclosed

away from his gaze, avoiding his face

how did i even end up in that place?

he had shown me

hospitality, generosity

but when he showed me

to his bed

i realised we disagreed

on the logistics

of his hospitality

he had offered to host me

while i was visiting

i said no

then he offered again

i said maybe

my thoughts on saving money

and by his last offer

i finally said yes

but now i realise

there are more important things

to be saving

than money

part two:

the warning sign

he was like a brother to me

he was there

when i didn’t know how to talk to boys

he was there

before i started drinking

he was there

when i was away from my family

when we walked and talked

there was so much history

a brother and sister

knit by shared memories

and he treated me like his little sister

u n t i l

that one time when he almost kissed me

… i took his mint

but i wouldn’t give him my first kiss

…  that one time

should have been the warning sign

it was the turning point

he commented on my beauty

as though he saw me

d i f f e r e n t l y

no longer the little sister

part three:

the abusive territory

i cannot remove from my mind

the night he offered to host me

i walked in blind

in hindsight, i wish i had seen the signs

at first, there was just drinking

chink after chink

but he kept buying

until i was spinning

the light was going

the moon was glowing

and we were sitting

the bartender eyeing me suspiciously

and he came to me

when i was alone

he asked if i was safe

i nodded, i smiled

delirious on the wine

he was my brother

he was family

he was trustworthy

but there:

the   A B U S I V E   territory

the ones you trust

are the ones you never expect

to turn into monsters

once they’re in bed

protective in the day, predators at night

part four:

an oppressive blanket

and that night;

he objectified me

in ways that showed me

he didn’t respect me

or love me

he only wanted my body

there were all the signs of normalcy

of nothing happening

as i slipped under the sheets,

sliding to the other side

closing my eyes

i told him

again and again



i turned away, pushed him away

faced the wall, crossed my arms

hugged my body, held my breath

clenched everything inside of me

to hold onto a sense of control


i told him

again and again

that i couldn’t give him what he wanted

i told him



i couldn’t keep resisting and pushing

n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n

my body was tired, exhausted

i was weary under his weight

he kept grabbing me inappropriately

wrapping himself around me

like an oppressive blanket

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 

i told him

N O 

that entire, sleepless night

my heart and mind racing

i was on edge and scared

on one hand, i was praising God for protection

because nothing happened

but on the other hand, i was afraid that something would happen

because he kept trying to make it happen

part five:

overstepping boundaries

later i would feel guilt

confusion and shame

i would look him in the face the next day

and he was my brother again

but i could not see him the same

he had overstepped boundaries

forced himself upon me

whispering with the charm of a serpent

deceptive in his desire

he caressed me

like a child discovering the fresh wool of a sheep

so pure, so free

a curious child

lacing his fingers through the white

taking a hold of that which he has disembodied

he sees the soft touch as his expedition

he is claiming new territory

exploring new, undiscovered beauty

never before seen or touched

he knows that i am a lamb being led to slaughter

he asks if i have ever lay with a man

and i “baa”


but now i feel like a black sheep

even though i wouldn’t let him do anything to me

even though i kept telling him no

even though i trusted him

even though he failed me

he failed to be the man i need

a man who is pure in heart

who respects

who listens

who loves

and who does so as a true brother

who sets his own boundaries

who does not abuse the trust of his sister

who does not seek to satisfy his own desire

who will not let a woman

be the driver of his need

part six:

the road to healing

we are needy beings

but we need to recognise each others needs

and point each other to Jesus in our needs

because He can satisfy our needs

He is the only one who was perfect

even though he too was a sexual being

He is the only one who is truly trustworthy

is it easy road to forgive?

is it an easy road to trust?

is it an easy road?

maybe following Jesus is to walk down a narrow way

because the road to healing is paved with suffering

but maybe he isn’t offering an ending

but a new beginning

end note;

healing is a journey

a part of that, for me, is writing


i don’t need to defend my sexual purity

i don’t need to announce my abstinence

the Lord knows my heart and deeds and

He knows purity is more than physicality

so this is why i have a clear conscience

to share this story of sexual coercion / abuse

my heart is burdened deeply for those who were not as lucky as me

manipulation, force, coercion, deception

these things are messy

while it may have been over a year since the dawn

of the #metoo movement, we cannot overlook the

scary truth that sexual abuse mainly happens

between people who know each other – (white ribbon)

the people we trust, and dareisay –  – –  L O V E

and yeah,

maybe i have trust issues,

but maybe we all do

i just pray

that we will find people we trust

to share with and walk with

and most of all, that we will turn to God:

the only One who is truly trustworthy


// learn more about the types of abuse

// counselling and support hotlines

// common grace article:

how to find healing if you are a victim of abuse by erica hamence

// common grace’s SAFER resource:

“SAFER is an online tool designed by Common Grace to help the Australian Christian community
keep victims of domestic and family violence safe. SAFER offers practical ways to help victims plan
for safety and help perpetrators face their personal responsibility for their abuse. SAFER is an evidence-based
resource, created in consultation with experts in family violence, social work, mental health and Christian ministry.”

// sermon by erica hamence on “the concubine”

(beautiful sensitivity on the treatment of women and God’s perspective on abuse/violence)

2 thoughts on “this is why i have trust issues.

  1. What a blessing for you to share your story. Praying for you as you continue your journey of healing <3

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