Apparently being hit by a car and subsequently house-bound has allowed me the quiet time I’ve needed for deep analysis which has healed a wound I had never acknowledged as a problem, and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about trust and safety.
Love. Approval. Security. Safety. Four pillars of human need.
At some point in my life, I didn’t feel one (or all) of those things, and I came up with coping skills to handle that lack at that time and was able to create my own version of a coping skill then for future similar events.
The car hitting me a couple of months ago is such a huge visualization of my internal self – then.
Safety. My safety. Literally – physically – emotionally – soulishly.
Safety and security are similar but are actually two different things. For example, in my opinion, when you have a baby, that baby needs love, approval, security and safety – and there is a form of security in providing the baby a roof over its head, but that baby might not be safe inside that house – so they are a little different.
I realized today that I’ve always handed over my power (the 4) – just given it away…not known how to use it for myself – to protect my…self.
And I’ve always said, jokingly but serious, I’m easily lost, so much so I could get lost in my own 10×10 backyard. Like, if I go for a walk on the beach, unless I really focus on where I left from, there is a very real likelihood I would get lost trying to find my way back. And that’s a super scary feeling! If I take that same walk with someone, I definitely won’t remember because…I give my power over to the other person to protect me. I would think of myself as just flighty, when the reality has always been I didn’t trust myself.
When I was seven and walking home from first grade alone, I got lost. I turned down a wrong street and a humongous black dog came charging at me, barring his teeth, and ferociously barking at me. I froze in fear, watching him, the hair on my neck bristling, thinking he’d come through the chain link fence. He didn’t. But that fear – man – on top of being scared from being lost – just not a great combination. I had a need to be protected. I couldn’t trust myself to protect myself. The fence was my hero that day.
I never wanted to be lost again after that, so from then on, once I found a route that worked, I didn’t vary from it. It worked when I was alone. But whenever I was with someone else, I let them lead. Here. I give you my power. And I didn’t pay attention. And had they been raptured at that moment, I’d have once again been lost…alone…and scared. I don’t remember directions if I’m not driving. If I don’t have Google or a map or written directions, forget it. I just don’t remember because I give it over to someone else – whomever is driving – whomever else is in charge…of my safety…of where I’m supposed to be or where I’m at. I give my safety away. I trust other people to take care of me without taking care of myself. And that’s the big thing.
So, I have to learn how to be observant and part of that is observing, trusting my instincts, right, not not trusting but being involved, present, not daydreaming, not being flighty, and it’s not the kind of trust that you’re mistrusting people and going into paranoia or fear, but your trusting yourself and not putting all of your trust in other people to take care of you.
The day I was hit by that car, I trusted the drivers. I trusted the driver…to not hit me. I was unobservant to his being unobservant and I put my trust and my safety in someone else and I got hurt. He didn’t get hurt. I got hurt. They never get hurt. Those people who we put our safety in and our trust in, they don’t ever get hurt. We get hurt. I got hurt.
So what a great metaphor for working through any of my safety issues from when I received that message as a child (on many occasions) – there was no safety – and because I needed that safety and feeling of safety, I began looking for it anywhere, anywhere else, and when you’re little and you don’t get that from your parents, you look for it externally elsewhere from others because you have no other recourse – you don’t have the capacity to “take care of yourself” – but now as an adult, I finally know I can’t rely on other people for that safety. I can now move forward practicing taking care of my “self” and, trust me, abusers can sniff out where we lack in any of the four pillars and create an allusion that they can fulfill what we need…they can be our safety net…when we haven’t even processed that for ourselves.
There is probably more for me to unpack with this new insight, but for now, this is the current download.
I pray this has helped you, and I hope you can see this perspective for when next time you hear someone casually say, “You just need to take care of yourself.” So, take care and know that life without (self) abuse is an option!
Hi! I’m MJ! And I’m a survivor of Domestic Violence. This blog, yes, is for other survivors of Domestic Abuse. However, sometimes I like to write about other learning curve events or thoughts in my life.
Through VictoryLife House, survivors can find information to help them through the trauma they’ve experienced. Through this blog, I hope you also enjoy these random types of musings.
Life without abuse IS an option. Choose life!
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