I Don’t Feel Safe in “Safe” Environments

There is a reason I tense up if someone pats my back. There is a reason why I don’t enjoy casual/friendly touching. There is a reason why I find myself the calmest in the midst of a shitstorm, and there is a fucking reason I’d rather be in the midst of a shitstorm where there is yelling, swearing, throwing of things and fearing for my safety than surrounded by people who would never get in my face or even consider raising their voice at me.

What is the action plan to protect yourself against people who want to love you for you, who are for you, and want to remind you every day you are worth it? And what does it mean when these supportive people aren’t family, what if they’re your coworkers and bosses, too? What then?

I don’t feel safe in “safe” environments because I don’t know the rules tied to safe environments, and the ones I do know I lack, i.e. trust, give the benefit of the doubt, and understand unconditional love.

Over the weekend I heard the phrase, “I just don’t think I’m at the point of where I’m ready to leave,” and it instantly brought me back to a time where one of my old roommates was explaining to me why she couldn’t dump her aggressive, obsessive, and controlling boyfriend. All the while my boyfriend at the time was doing a sweep through our apartment before we got home to double check her man wasn’t hiding there, waiting.

It reminded me of another friend, who took me years to shake and put me in situations that could’ve (and should’ve) killed me. Bottom line, the danger never scared me. I knew it, felt comfortable because I knew the rules and have always been extremely confident in my abilities to keep myself safe. I had plenty of practice.

And this is why I think “safe” environments make me itchy. I don’t know the rules. If I’m not on the lookout, then what the hell am I supposed to be doing? Enjoying? But do I deserve to enjoy it?

I Googled the definition of a ‘safe’ environment and was a little shook to see it’s described as a place where one feels safe to express emotions, security, and confidence to take risks and feel challenged and excited to try something new.

My definition of a safe environment is that nobody can get in, my space feels safe when I am alone and safe from the outside and positive nobody can get in.

There's a reason I don't feel safe in safe environments blog post quote

This journey has not been an easy one. But I am worth it. Also, this is

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