This month’s focus is about distrust/trust of self and others and reminds me of a caregiver who received support through our services at Hope Grows. This caregiver took a leap of faith and hired someone to come into their home to help. Trips to the grocery store, running errands and going out for a cup of coffee was getting to be a bit much for the care receiver, so having someone replace the caregiver was something that was encouraged by many.
At first, the caregiver felt that they found the angel from heaven, until several months later, when out running errands, the replacement caregiver robbed them of jewelry and other things. You can imagine the emotions, with distrust being the number one on the list.
After Trust is Broken
How do you trust again when something like this happens? Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
Well, this is what the caregiver did, trusted someone. But what do we do when that trust is broken? In short, it is not an easy answer. There are different types of trust: relational, generalized and system trust. This caregiver lost trust in the system – rightly so. When I hear about people taking what is not theirs, I immediately get angry. I want to be in front of the wrongdoer and just ask, “Why?” And then I want restitution.
However, there is more of a psychological component to trusting again. We can either remain a victim or we can build our strength and be resilient. We need to move away from the “why” of it all, forgive, count our blessings and move forward. I’m not saying this is easy, but necessary.
This doesn’t mean that we have to trust the same person again, but we do have to find a way to trust again in the future.
Believe In the Next Person
One way is to “remain hopeful and believe in this: good always wins over bad.” Believe that the next person will be better. Caregivers are the most generous individuals on this earth, giving 100 percent of themselves for their loved one. So, when I hear about stories such as this one, I think about the importance of “learning to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it.”
One positive from the experience is that the wrongdoer did not harm the care receiver. We can always replace things, but we cannot replace our loved one.
One thing remains constant in the world of care replacement. When hiring someone in the home to replace yourself, consider due diligence. I’m not saying this caregiver didn’t do this, what I am saying is that we have to always be on guard.
- Ask for non-family references
- If possible, purchase security cameras
- Ask for background checks and clearances
- Ask if the person is licensed and bonded
- Ask about values, morals and faith beliefs
- Consider matchmaking questions
- Trust your intuition (gut) and believe in yourself
All and all, a caregiver shouldn’t have to worry about these kinds of things. After all, they are overwhelmed to begin with. In reality, evil exists and due diligence is needed to protect their family and self.
I wish I could wave a magic wand for every caregiver out there, to help them with trust and to put them in front of the right person. To wish for the one that truly is the angel from heaven, a trusting soul, just wanting to help for the right reasons. In reality, we live in a world that borders on distrust and trust. We have to be the light in the world and express the ability to say, I have my eye on you, but I’m thinking of giving you a chance. Michael Jackson said it best, “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”