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#413713 - 10/19/12 11:11 PM When You Felt Safe
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1614
Loc: New England
My T asked me to think of a time/place when I felt safe, so I could mentally go there when things got rough.

This is freaking me out because I can't think of ANY time I felt safe. Even before I was raped, I never knew what my drunken parents might do next. The power would be turned off, the phone discconected, my father might disappear for a few weeks. My guard was always up as far as I can remember.

Even now I don't feel safe and I'm a grown man with grown children. Have you guys ever felt safe? Can we ever feel safe again?
_________________________
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

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#413714 - 10/19/12 11:17 PM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2559
Loc: Denver, CO
At the last WoR I was at they were doing mindfulness - breathing, relaxing, and picturing a safe place.

the place that appeared immediately in my mind was my T's office. you might ask your T if this safe place needs to be a place in your past. Mine turned out to be in the present - maybe you have one now also?

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#413717 - 10/20/12 12:48 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
Gary31 Offline


Registered: 10/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Upstate NY
Jude, you pose a great question. For me, I have never felt completely safe. I am 45 years old now and have only had a place that I actually consider home for about 10 years now. Although I call it home, my thoughts and nightmares still make it an unsafe place periodically.
_________________________
Gary

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#413719 - 10/20/12 01:06 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3767
Loc: somewhere in Africa
from the time mom re-mrried when i was 5 1/2 i never felt entirely safe. until i left "home" it was fear of step-dad and school. after that it was fear that others might find out.

i created my own safe places in my imagination. my first was a tall stone tower shaped like a rook piece in a chess set. i remember the exact moment it came into being.

most recently my safe place is a small uninhabited tropical island - weird because i am not a beach person - but it is incredibly peaceful.

in both - there is total solitude and quiet.

i guess there is some progress in that i am no longer inside - but now outside.

anyway - it works for me.

Lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#413731 - 10/20/12 05:27 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Oh Jude...we end up in so many threads together, huh?

My situation was different, but I'll second your T's opinion on the power of finding a safe place. In my case, I even have tangible reminders.

I was about the same age as Lee when my parents first divorced and I was forced to live with a woman who was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. That's just the way it was done back then. The mother got custody.

Dad remarried. I was able to visit a few times a year. It was a stable household in a stable neighborhood where I had friends. His second wife had already raised two kids, knew exactly what she was doing and treated me as her own. Even if I'd done something wrong, I knew both of them still loved me. But that was only a few times a year. Rest of the time was with a self-absorbed, vicious drunk.

1. A couple years ago I started a project to restore pictures from that time. Photoshop is part of my regular work anyway. I was so amazed at the results pulling up all the color and detail I remembered. I spent many evenings sobbing as the images came back to life. It was wonderful and I keep those images handy for those times when I'm low.

2. The pictures nudged me towards finding some electronics from when I was a kid. Y'know, something tangible. On eBay, of all places, I found my first tape recorder, a Christmas gift fr Dad, and I found the portable radio he used to always have with him. (Haven't seen anything like them since and I'm convinced that was something of Dad's spirit finding those for me exactly when I needed them)

After a little cleanup, they're as good as new, almost 50 years later! I cannot begin to describe the comfortable, reassuring familiarity of something as simple as the way the knobs turn or the smell of the tape. I've sometimes gone as far as to take Dad's radio to my bedside at night.


It's not a story I share too often, but it's been so damn powerful for me I want to make sure people know that about me and Dad.

...and, dammit, if I don't stop now I'm gonna get teary again.

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#413733 - 10/20/12 06:26 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
Blue1966 Offline


Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
I've said it before - safety is an illusion, one that is quickly shattered when you see the darker side of life.

Now I do feel safer in some places or with some people that others but, 100% safe? No, that is impossible.

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#413734 - 10/20/12 06:59 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1050
My T asked me the same question, to think about a safe place... and I came up empty. Couldn't give him one.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#413735 - 10/20/12 07:21 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
No safe place for me either. I'm always in survival mode.
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#413740 - 10/20/12 09:36 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
jay75 Offline


Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 145
Jude,

In fear of sounding ignorant Ive put off responding. I do have a question, could someone please define safe? is it emotional, physical or a combination of both? if it's a combination of both then my fear is that the only safe place I have are the lies I have told people. An imaginary life where I have had two loving parents a happy childhood. a life that I have concocted in my head so people wouldn't know how disturbing my past actually was. a lie that I continue to tell so that I fit in.

WOW. sorry Jude this simple question "When you felt safe" Has opened my eyes.
If left only to reality then No I've never felt safe in that respect.



Hope you find your safe place Jude, I will continue to look for mine.

-Jay-
_________________________
"Those are not your sins" A wise man

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#413745 - 10/20/12 10:31 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
Casmir213 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
Old spaghetti westerns (clint eastwood) from the late 60's early 70's make me feel safe. They remind me of a time when I was a kid watching television with my father. This is the time period before I was abused. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time and live there as an adult, even though I was just a toddler then.
_________________________
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

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#413776 - 10/20/12 09:37 PM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1614
Loc: New England
Thanks for the feedback guys. I finally came up with something. Between the ages of birth and 7, I lived next door to a boy my age who was a daily playmate to me. Behind his house, on the edge of the woods there was a group of large boulders with gravel around them. We would bring our big yellow Tonka trucks down there and play for hours. Made forts out of the boulders and tree branches. Climbed on the boulders and jumped off. Once we made "dynamite" out of some sticks and some string and tried to blow up a boulder by lighting the string with matches. It didn't work, but we got caught with the matches by his mother and got in trouble. That was a safe place, a world unto itself with no grownups and no older siblings to bother us. Just doing the work of boyhood. We called that place: "Down By The Rocks" and I'll be going there in my mind regularly from now on. Joinme there if you like. I'll be the boy with short blond hair and a big smile.
_________________________
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

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#413793 - 10/21/12 05:18 AM Re: When You Felt Safe [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3767
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i love it. you can be king of the mountain!
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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