Trust Issues and John Watson

‘Trust Issues’ are words that we encounter a lot in our daily lives nowadays, especially if you are in or recently out of a relationship. Accusing someone of having trust issues or feeling that you have trust issues is not very uncommon. So, first of all, what are trust issues?

It basically means that if you have trust issues, you either trust too much or not enough. Some of us are crappy at seeing things for what they are. If we are idealists who think that the world is made of rainbows and unicorns, especially unicorns who will never betray our trust- we easily get disillusioned. So we go from trusting too much to not trusting anyone at all. But wait a minute here, just because someone betrayed you, you cannot really lose your faith in humanity itself and blame that first person who jump-started the process because no one ever said that the world is fair. You can trust some people and some people you can’t, and you have to develop an understanding of who is trustworthy and who is not- it’s as simple as that.

Or is it? No, it really isn’t that simple for people with trust issues. We don’t trust people because we have some very concrete reasons not to trust them, and also, we don’t mistrust people because we have very concrete reasons to mistrust them. We do whatever we do because of various factors that we cannot really explain because we do not understand it very much ourselves. And so telling us that we should not trust the people who have given us reasons not to trust them and trust people who have given us reasons to trust them is not a piece of really great advice because ‘reasons’ have never mattered very much us in the first place.

This brings me to the other part of the title- John Watson. Why exactly does John Watson decide to trust a stranger called a ‘psychopath’ by others and who calls himself ‘a highly functioning sociopath?’ Why does John decide to shoot someone for that stranger barely a day after meeting him? And the answer to both of these questions is pretty much this- John Watson just thought that he could trust Sherlock for reasons which he himself could not explain to Mycroft. He liked the thrill of the chase and everything; that’s absolutely fine, but let’s consider this for a second John Watson, that day, had no idea what he was signing up for. Best case scenario- whatever actually happened to him on the show. Worst case scenario- he could have been locked up in a dark and damp basement, suspended by his ankles. Trust issues are sort of scary that way.

But now I think I can try and explain exactly why John Watson was so incredibly pissed off with Sherlock after returning from his apparent death. Yes, he knew that it had to be done. Yes, there were no other options. Yes, it was a great sacrifice. None of those things mattered to him. He was angry because Sherlock had managed to confide in his family, Molly, and even his entire homeless network, but had left out John Watson, the one person to who he was seemingly the closest. John Watson was the only one who he could not trust. Yes, that last statement seems weird, untrue and taken greatly out of context, but that is how John saw it.

Despite everything, he managed to trust a man on the first meeting, and that man thought that John Watson was the only one among his closest acquaintances who we could not trust after years of knowing him and living with him.

That’s the thing about trust issues, it’s supremely annoying when we feel that we cannot trust anyone, it’s supremely risky when we do trust a person who has not given us any reason to trust him or her- but it’s inexplicably hurtful when we realize that the person whom we had trusted the most had never put the same faith in us.

And the only reason why I attempted to explain this seemingly inexplicable and pointless thing is that it’s rather irritating that no one, not even Sherlock Holmes, seems to understand this thing that keeps bugging us all the time.

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