Is a condition that is characterised by an irrational fear of building an intimate relationship with others.

It is the fear of trusting people due to bad experiences with prior acquaintances.

Trust issues are not easy to reconcile with.  When we trust people, we often reveal our most vulnerable side.  Doing so exposes us to the risk of betrayal.  There is no hurt greater than one when trust is broken.

Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Building trust starts from the day we are born.

We trust that our parents will take care of us – for better or worse.  The first psychosocial crisis in life should be resolved when we are babies in order to develop basic trust.  The level of trust is higher in children with more secure attachments to their parents or caregivers. Children are raised by adults who offer them control, direction and guidance in their lives.  During the growing years, aversive childhood experiences contribute to children’s mistrust and eventual lack of confidence.  How parents and adults communicate with each other and their kids can affect their child’s trust issues.

Parents lacking in integrity tend to be duplicitous in their communications.  They are bad role models for children who get confused with double messages, real life scenarios and actions not corresponding to what they preach.  In the book Steps Toward an Ecology of Mind, Gregory Bateson points out that children learn to distrust their perceptions in social interactions when they have been confused and mystified by double messages experienced in their family.

It is these painful and confusing events in childhood that create a profound impact on us throughout life.  The natural defence mechanism is to build a system of defences against that pain, confusion and disillusion.  Children whose parents are from political clans are usually the most broken.  As they interact socially with people in the community, they are raised in a home with double standards – making them understand what it is like to be a politician’s child, and how to reason out their status in society.  Many of them grow up learning to never trust anyone.  Others have an increased sense of vigilance.  If they were hurt by their parents’ dishonesty, they can see other people from a skewed perspective and develop harsh, cynical attitudes toward them.  These are self-protective defences that preserve an illusion of strength and vulnerability, yet these same defenses limit our capacity for trusting others and for finding fulfilment in a close relationship.

– PsychAlive (Psychology for everyday life, http://www.psychalive.org)

Because trust issues are deeply rooted from our child rearing days, growing up mired in confusion, deception, infidelity, and self-destructive behaviour results in an adult who is anxious, devious, manipulating and dangerous. A person filled with hate and lack of compassion.

Trust matters.  It helps preserve love, affection and tenderness people feel for one another.  It is these feelings of mutual trust that continue to sustain people through the inevitable challenges of every relationship.


All of the best love stories have one thing in common. You have to go against the odds to get there.

For most of us who have a better half or a partner in life, there’s always a love story we tell.

There’s the perfect person who we picture. The one who will take our breath away. Finding Mr or Ms Right will always be our goal. For some, the perfect one may never come along. And they remain single throughout life. But I’m willing to bet that sometime in their life, they have loved…and lost…but they nevertheless have a love story to write.

As all relationships, and love stories are, one discovers imperfections along the way. People change. After all, circumstances change with time.

When we love, we need to see beyond the perfect. We love even the imperfections of the better half. Not the bitter half. Because love, sees through seeing perfectly the person that was meant to share our life with.

Because when we truly love someone, you don’t give up. Ever. Perfectly.


In the poetry of Nikita Gill, she writes in Tiny Stories part I…

Many things in our lives very nearly happen.  We almost made it in the last licensure exam.  We almost reached a million pesos in sales.  We almost hit the lotto. When we come very close to almost achieving our dream, and don’t make it, we end up being disappointed.

Because what was almost, did not happen.

There was the planning, the audition or preparation, the test, the anxiety and day dreaming, and then when it feels like it is within our grasp…we lose grip. And almost becomes a difficult word to swallow.

It is human to want. And human to feel despair, particularly when what you longed for never happened. Because almost felt palpably close to achievement.

And when everything ends abruptly, almost feels like an empty shell.

The tease

My friend, Jason is a very happy person. He and his wonderful girlfriend had been dating for over three years before they decided to get married. There was only one problem that bothered Jason – the beautiful younger sister of his wife-to-be.

His would be sister-in-law was 22, wore tight short skirts, never wore a bra and would often tease and intimately entice Jason whenever he was around. Jason would always feel uneasy especially in those odd moments.

A few weeks before the wedding, the younger sister called Jason and asked him over their house to check the invitations. She was alone in the house and when Jason arrived, whispered to him that she had sexual urges for him and that those desires wouldn’t go away. She told Jason that she wanted to have sex with him before he got married to her sister.

Jason was in total shock and of course nursing a rising erection. He was stunned and stood frozen at the foot of the stairs as he watched her go up the stairs while slowly stripping off her clothes.

In that spur of the moment Jason turned around and rushed through the front door of the house.

After opening the front door, he was surprised to find the entire family of his future in-laws right in front of the lawn, clapping and cheering as he dashed out.

With tears in his eyes, his father-in-law hugged him and said, “we’re very happy that you passed our little test. We couldn’t ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family!”

I thought it was such a wonderful story from my friend. Then he asked me, do you know the moral of this story?

I replied, “Love conquers all?”

He said, “Nope! Always keep your condoms in your car…😜

Mother’s Day story

I will skip one day of #PetPeeveStories to dedicate today to all mothers in the world. They deserve this wall. I’m sure we all have personal stories of our moms. From heart tugging ones to heart breaking. But here’s my story and I’m sharing this with you because I’m proud of who my mom is.

A few years ago, I wrote a short piece called “Tuesdays With Inang”, in my other blog site, HeavenPurgatoryandHell.blogspot.com.

Before my mom became debilitated and had become more ambulatory challenged, Tuesdays would be dedicated to hanging out with her. After the sudden passing of my father in 1994, her world was never the same again. Five years ago, her spine began to deteriorate and being mobile became more challenging…and depressing.

Nowadays, when we’d sit down and have quiet conversations over her youth, family, marriage and life with my father, her mind would wander off to a beautiful place in her heart. I miss those “Tuesdays with Inang” mainly because of committed work and her physical therapy. So now my evenings after a hectic work schedule would be relegated to preparing dinner for her (when I most possibly can). It’s the least I could do. After all, she’d been the one preparing our dinners during all the years we were growing up.

Mother’s Day isn’t just about celebrating once a year the woman who has given you life in this world. It’s remembering the very person who has sacrificed a lot for you and thanking her for a job well done. After all, I can proudly say, I and my sister didn’t turn out so bad after all. And every day is a work in progress. As INANG begins to age, and so do we, the toll that health takes upon her let’s us know that time isn’t on our side.

We were never rich. And our humble beginnings taught us the important lessons in integrity, honesty, responsibility, and accountability. Because we never had much, both my parents toiled hard. It was my mom who stood by us through the best and worst times of our lives. Even when she got sick and needed several operations, her frail body would fight all odds just to make sure that she would be there to take care of us.

As we grew older, became more independent, and had lives of our own, I thought that one day both my mom and dad would have their happily-ever-after story. But that was cut short almost 25 years ago.

Today, my mom lives with me (or I with her?) after the passing of my dad. I continue to take care of her. With age, her companionship isn’t the same anymore. But her love is unequivocally the same. I will not be able to replace my father as the love of her life. But she will always remain the love of mine. Because in her, I see the face of hope, love, perseverance, sacrifice and strength. Even at my worst days, I look to her and smile at this woman who has been my inspiration, and my relative joys in life.

Happy Mother’s Day INANG!

I owe everything I am today because of you. I take pride that you’re my mom. Because you’re everything to me. Thank you INANG.

p.s. I love you

The theory of 1,000 marbles

There’s a post on Positive Outlooks regarding a theory of a thousand marbles and our perspective in life. It entails the conversation between an older gentleman and a younger one in a Saturday morning talk show.

“He was telling whoever he was talking with about a thousand marbles.”

The conversation being tossed around was about how “Tom” was spending his life making more money with more work while spending less time with his family, to the point of missing his children’s “momentous” occasions in life.

To maintain a good perspective of priorities, he began to explain his theory of “a thousand marbles”, which is basically a little arithmetic.

The average person lives is about 75 years. There are 52 weeks in a years. Which means that there are 52 Saturdays for every year. Multiply that by 75, the average number of years we live and that gives you 3,900 Saturdays in an average persons’s life.

If you’re reading this and you’re 55 years old now, then you’ve lived through 2,860 Saturdays. And if you live through the average life span, it would mean that you have about 1,000 Saturdays left to enjoy in your life.

He went to several toy stores to buy a total of 1,000 marbles. Took them home. Placed them in a clear plastic container. And every Saturday since then, took one marble out of the container and threw it away.

“I found out that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. Now let me tell you one more thing before I sign off and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it till next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

Somehow we’re constantly reminded how short life is or how finite our existence is. And how time flies. Spending it in hate, anger and negative thoughts is such a wasteful process and we simply end up regretting it down the road.

We should be grateful for another day, to see the beautiful things around us, appreciate the kindness of people, the opportunity to seize the moment to give joy and love.

“If we live each moment in mindfulness, then it does not matter how many marbles we live through or how short or long life is, because we have lived it fully.”


There are five stages for grief.






It’s otherwise called in psychology the Kübler-Ross model and “postulates a progression of emotional states experienced by terminally patients after diagnosis and by loved ones after death.”

It is natural for all of us to go through a grieving process. Letting go is not as simple as it seems. When the circumstances leading to grief is a sudden one, it usually takes a longer time to reconcile the stages.

The element that makes us feel grief is love.

“Sometimes you can’t let go of what’s making you sad, because it was the only thing that made you happy.”

Denial is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of loss. More often than not, when people are unprepared for a tragedy, the denial stage is prolonged because we need to figure out the overwhelming emotions of the loss.

Anger comes when the numbness of denial wears off. There is blame, intense guilt, and various forms of anger.

Bargaining is the “what if” stage of grief. It provides temporary escape from pain, provides hope, and serves as the adjustment period to reality.

Depression is an appropriate response to the loss. There is intense sadness, inability to sleep well, feel demotivated, have poor appetite and experience nausea, and poor concentration.

When the stage of depression is too prolonged, mental and eventually physical health becomes compromised.

Then the final stage is acceptance. It means accepting the reality of the loss. And nothing can change that reality. And will move on from the loss. But not necessarily mean the person is “okay” with the loss.

The last blog for the month is a reminder that “grief is just love with no place to go”. And some good things come to an end. And whether they are happy endings or not, letting go and moving on will always be the stories of our lives.

Nothing lasts forever

There are no “happily ever afters”. There. I’ve said it.

Over lunch, I popped a quick question to my colleagues at work. What would you do if you caught your other half (or better/bitter half) cheating on you?

Outraged? Stunned? Speechless? Angry? Stupefied?

The answers were varied. The first reaction was mixed. Denial and anger at first and the common response in the end was confusion.

No matter how you looked at the situation, you’d only be faced with hurt and pain. How can you look at him/her the same way again after this? There’d always be that doubt lingering in your heart. Forgiveness comes easier than forgetting. We forgive because it’s an act of self-love. Forgetting is a human reaction to pain.

I guess the more we love, the greater the pain felt when losing the person we love. It’s probably why some of us keep a distance when they get into a relationship. They don’t give their all because they’re afraid to get hurt in the end.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.”

But nothing lasts forever. And one needs to remember that when Love is gone, the heart remembers the pain caused by the hurt of being and falling in love.

Of betrayals and forgiveness

Nothing hurts more than being betrayed by the single person you thought would never hurt you.

Whether it’s someone in your family, your friend, your better half, your colleague or your business associate, betrayal is an act that’s difficult to forgive. It is natural to be angry, especially when the boundaries on issues of trust have been crossed.

The pain of betrayal changes people in an incomprehensible way. Betrayal is abusive and destructive. People end up blaming themselves for entrusting their feelings to someone. When the vulnerability is ripped apart, a feeling of being violated slices through the core. The hurt is deep and difficult to mend. It’s because that the moral fiber of every relationship is built on trust.

Love grows where trust is laid, and love dies where trust is betrayed”

How do you move on after a betrayal?

It’s difficult. But achievable. Every process of pain requires a healing period. There is no overnight cure. It’s not easy to “forgive and forget”. Those two words are immature thoughts learned during our childhood years. How do you say to someone “I forgive you for betraying me”?

I can only surmise that the one person who has ever said that, was nailed to the cross 2000 years ago by those who betrayed Him.

And there is no greater pain felt than one in a betrayal.

Forgiveness does not come easy. More often than not, the one that was betrayed has difficulty in moving on. It’s a vicious cycle of anger, hate, and wallowing in misery. It’s unproductive and unhealthy both physically and emotionally.

I get it. There is pain. And the pain is deep. But I also said that there’s a grace period called healing. And healing only begins when we learn the art of forgiveness. No, not the the kind that says “it’s alright for hurting me”. Because it’s never alright. It’s the one that says, “I forgive myself from allowing you to hurt me all this time, because I love my life, because I deserve better, because I have crumbled and fallen and will pick up the pieces from where you left me.” It’s that one where you learn to forgive yourself.

We forgive not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you. Forgiveness is mental healing and the final act to loving yourself.”

Feast or fast?

The last time that Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day was in 1945. This year, devout Catholics will need to rethink their meat steak dinners as an option as the occasion puts carnivorous cupids into a pause mode.

As an obligatory rite by the church, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and during mass ashes are imposed on our foreheads, reminding us that “from dust we come, to dust we shall return”.

There are two obligatory days of fasting and abstinence in the calendar for Catholics 18-59 years old – Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

It’s a no brainer when choosing between between fasting or feasting because of our faith. The origins of Valentine’s Day are sketchy with various resources in history dating it back to ancient Roman celebration of spring festival on the 15th of February. When Christianity was introduced, it was moved to the 14th of February to celebrate a Christian martyr named Valentine.

Over the years, the celebration of Valentine’s Day has evolved to a highly commercialised one – brimming with the fancy trimmings of the expression of love through flowers, sweets and treats over candle lit dinners.

Ash Wednesday to the Christian community marks the start of the Lenten Season, a time for reflection and penitence. While the Lenten period technically simulates the 40 days of fasting of our Jesus Christ, the actually number is 46 calendar days because the church does not count Sundays as part of Lent.

Ash Wednesday reminds us that our lives are short and we must live it to the fullest in the service of God. That we are given the Lenten season to reflect on our lives and the road to repentance and forgiveness. It paves the way for Catholics to be reminded of our humanity, and the crosses that Jesus had to bear before dying for our sins on Good Friday.

It comes as a timely reminder where we reflect on our road in life. It is ironic that this is most relevant at this day and age where so much hypocrisy, traitors and Judases exist on behalf of political, economic, personal and religious agenda. Almost 2000 years ago, we crucified someone who came to bring us hope and love. Ash Wednesday is a reminder of the love of God to us, “for He gave his only son to save the world”.

Let’s stay on track with our faith. Hopefully we choose what is right over what is convenient or fun. On a positive note, it’s best to remember Ash Wednesday as our road to realizing the Good Fridays of our lives and the countdown to our Easter Sundays.

Oh by the way, you may find this blog handy, as the next years that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day would collide are in 2024 and 2029.