Describe what feeling safe means to you.
For me, the best way to feel safe is to be alone. In my alone~ness, I am far away from those who seek to harm me. I don’t have to struggle from the grip of cruel jokes and unwanted advances. I don’t have to dodge bullets of foul criticism that pierce into my mind and heart. I don’t sink into holes drilled through my self-esteem and self-worth. And I don’t get caught in webs of deceit and lies.
I spent my youth seeking safety with others, thinking that someone else could protect me and keep me from harm, but most of the time, those I sought shelter with were the very ones who nearly destroyed me.
There was one I called my knight. I repeatedly sought him out whenever my life crashed around me. And yes, he would protect me for a while, once for a couple of years, but usually only for a few months at a time. In the end, he always discarded me. So why did I run to him so often when I should have been fleeing from him instead? I still have no answer for that.
After one harrowing relationship, I fell into the arms of another ‘savior’ who did save me for a short while, but she became critical of who I was as a being. She constantly tried to change me, but in the end, all she managed to do was strip me of self-confidence. When I finally got up the courage to leave her, I disappeared under a cloak of alone~ness for a short while and managed to rebuild my shattered confidence.
This was also around the time that mental illness manifested as a major component of my life. As I attempted to rebuild myself, depression overtook me. Again, I sought shelter with one I thought would protect me. I mistook his initial kindness and generosity for love, but in the end, he too was a wolf out to devour me. And he nearly did. He ate away at my esteem and worth, and nearly sucked the marrow from my bones. It took me 13 years to escape him.
Now I realize that the only person who can keep me safe is me. I have little trust in people, even family and friends. I’ve built up walls and moats around my heart, rarely lowering the draw bridge to let others in. I walk a thin line around people these days and I have a lot of safety nets surrounding me in case I lose my balance and fall. I no longer allow others to lift me up, but rely on myself to do so. I spend a lot of time dusting myself off, but I’d rather do it alone than to be reliant on others who may seek to harm me.