True friends can be hard to find

Published 10:05 am Monday, March 26, 2018

Trust is a fragile emotion. Difficult to earn, yet so easy to break.

More than just believing in the good intentions of a person, when you place your trust in someone you’re letting your guard down and accepting support. I’ve made so many friends growing up all these years. Some have been true to me and have never left my side in times of need. Others have left me in the dust, wondering what I did to deserve being left behind in the first place.

I have become a part of a group of friends that I love so much. They always treat me so kindly and know exactly how to cheer me up when I’m upset. They always treat one another with respect and will look out for their safety. I see my best friend every day, and she never fails to ensure my happiness. My friends are the most kind, selfless, unique, wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I love them all as if they are my family. They like me for me and I like them just the same. I trust them with all my heart. With them, I’m never afraid to let down my guard and be myself.

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However, letting down your guard isn’t quite as easy as it seems. It starts with your old friends just drifting apart. Next thing you know, someone you thought was one of your best friends for years begins treating you as if you’re a stranger. Sometimes friends will change completely and you’re left wondering where that old friend of yours has gone. Next comes the lies, the deception, the fake promises. Some are so innocent that they never see it coming.

It shouldn’t be this hard to trust others, right? Trust should be a natural feeling with those who treat you well, but it isn’t that simple. Any person can put on a friendly façade just to take advantage of you. For me, I’m lucky to have found those amazing friends who really do care. When I’m with them, I don’t have to force a smile when I’m upset. I don’t have to feel excluded, because they are always there to listen. I don’t have to feel insecure, because they give me confidence. Never in a million years could I repay them for the kindness and compassion they’ve shown me. They are true friends, the kind I wish everyone could have.

When you gain someone’s trust, they have given you their hope. It’s something to be earned and cherished, not crumbled up and thrown away like a piece of trash. After you’ve been betrayed so much in your life, it begins to take its toll and chip away at your heart. Little by little, piece by piece; until nothing is left but a sense of emptiness. Fear starts to consume your thoughts, wondering if there’s some way you can stop these things from happening. Now you’re worrying if you’re next friendship is going to end the same way as the last. You begin to wonder if opening up to others should even be an option.

There’s only so much pain a heart can take. When you break someone’s trust enough to truly wound them, getting them to let their guard down will pose a much greater challenge.

Megan McKnight is a senior at Harlan County High School and is a member of the Bear Tracks newspaper staff and a student in the communications/creative writing class at HCHS. This is a continuing series of columns produced by student writers.