Trust issues

Esther is a confused human being
4 min readMay 19, 2024


When things go ugly, humans can do things that are ugly and dirty. I see that in my family, my close friends, and my partners. I guess that’s why when we grow up, we trust other people less and less.

For instance, my friend once dated someone seriously, discussing an exclusive relationship and moving in together, but ended up revealing that the person thought the relationship was merely “casual” and even gaslit my friend, saying he didn’t ask enough questions to clarify the relationship. Now, he is left with trust issues.

People aren’t trustworthy. Your manager is not your friend. We learn that from our experiences, from friends’ heartbreaks, and from betrayal in the workplace. Humanity feels sinful and dark. All these rosy stories are so fake.

I remember after my first relationship, I was left in a big life crisis. It wasn’t only because of the heartbreak, but the shattering of my faith in humanity. That scene was so cruel that I lost my faith in people. Even today, I can still recall that cruelty vividly in my head. I sank straight down to hell. That was the first time I really learned what depression might mean, and I’m terrified of getting so close to it.

But in the end, I learned compassion.

I believe this compassion is at the next level, where Thich Nhat Hanh both empathized with the young girl who got raped and also with the pirate who raped her.

Please Call Me by My True Names — Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

So yes, my faith did get shattered, but it was rebuilt with even more compassion and caution. Next time, I still chose to give and to love. Looking back, I still get chills thinking about myself grinding through that dark time. Surviving was already unbelievable, but thriving afterward was a miracle. Hence, I deeply empathize with anyone who has experienced trust issues, whether they are my colleagues, my partners, or my friends because it’s just another version of me in a parallel universe.

But I don’t know. Esther is a bit special, I think. After she went through those pains, she empathized more, handled relationships with much more clarity and integrity, and trusted herself with even more resilience, faith, love, and boundaries.

I don’t know what other hard things will come to her in this lifetime, but nowadays I trust her even more. I trust that even if she is lonely in the forest without a wooden stick, she will be that person who marches into the darkness and believes, the fairy tale is true.

(Damnnn writing this makes myself cry too)