How to be more vulnerable and trusting

First of all, I'm a chameleon. Whenever I meet a new person, I first instinctively try to sniff out what kind of a person she/he is, and then adapt to it. I don't change my whole personality, but I moderate it. Say, I speak softly when I'm around a shy person, and loudly when around a courageous person. But there's always the core that doesn't change in me, so it never messes with my own head, meaning, I never lose the knowledge of who I really am. Also, I don't manipulate people, at least not knowingly.

Second of all, I tend to take a helper role, or a big sister role, or a bit mothery role (I don't nag but I might preach about something to a close friend), but i's always a care-taking role. It's easy for me to pick up a person that seems to need help with something, and they're usually one of these or some of these, or sometimes all of these: depressed, self-harming, lonely (not necessarily alone), in need of a friend, say they're in need of a change to better, want to quit substance abuse /smoking, somehow visibly miserable. Take note, I don't force my help, I offer it and only give it if the person isn't against it. I love to help people because when I was miserable, and saw noway out, someone came and saved me. And I'm forever in debt for that person. I want to pay it forward (not the debt, the help).

The problem is, I've always had trouble being with the "normal" or healthy or non-troubled people. I know it's not a rule that the helped will magically befriend me, and that it can be a difficult situation to him/her to be friends after all that I know, especially if I didn't know that person much before him/her troubles. So it's more that I simply find it really hard to get along with seemingly "undamaged" people.

I've been abused both mentally for 10 years and physically for around 5 years. (The mental part happened everywhere I went; at school, at home, at youth clubs.. and it wasn't just my imagination. The physical part happened at my home by my dad, around 10 years ago.) So yes, I would say I relate better to "damaged" people than the others, and obviously it works the other way around too. I've had to build the trust towards people in general from scratch, and now I'm in that point I trust them enough to let them be the friends that I can see waving to me on the other side of a football field. And it's not the minute I try to let anyone get closer, the minute I try to be a closer friend to someone who would like to be that too, but the second minute that counts. On the second minute the fear of them using me, of them playing me, of me being too blue-eyed, of them laughing behind my back "what does she think - that I'm her friend?" . I can get over that fear for two or maybe three months and then it comes back. It always comes back.

I've talked to several curators and psychologists, but non of them really seemed to be of help. They didn't keep up with my thought patterns and the tricks my mind is playing with me. I'm like an Australian shepherd dog, highly intelligent. I don't think like most people my age (and I have very mild Asperger's).

I want to be more vulnerable and lay out in the open my mistakes and flaws so that I don't have to be afraid I will be used or laughed at or seen as "too difficult".

So how do I make myself more vulnerable and less distant/cold/wary/untrusting with people? And how to turn this to my full advantage in making friends, or, trying to turn acquaintances to friends? How do I not mess the opportunities and the existing friendships by acting out of fear of something?

ps. I tried Googling first, didn't really help
Asked Jun 04, 2014

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