Safe place 

I have realized over the past couple of weeks that even though I strive to provide a safe environment, even though I have worked so hard to feel safe and to make the kids feel safe, that in fact we are very insecure in our feeling of safety. I believe we are safe here, but I think because we were unsafe for so long that those fears are hiding not far beneath the surface.

Although I was very conscious of the fact that we actually were unsafe when we were living that life, I had no choice but to stuff that feeling as far down as I could and try and keep moving ahead – not only for myself but for my kids too. I didn’t realize until lately how fearfully unsafe they felt during that time as well. I don’t know what I could have done differently, but I wish they didn’t carry that burden as part of their life history. Now that there has been some time and some healing I seem to need to go back into that space and acknowledge the fact that there was no safe place, no grounding, that it was in fact a very scary time. I wasn’t making it up or exaggerating it, it really was that bad. I have journals of that time that make me cry whenever I open them (which isn’t often – too much pain).

I went out for a walk today and without consciously intending to, ended up at my safe place. This is the place I visualize when I need to stop, breathe deeply, and imagine where I am when I feel safe. It’s a spot that is filled with decades of my footprints. Skating, swimming, walking, horseback riding – I’ve been here with loved ones, on my own, with my horse, with my dog. It’s my sacred ground. It’s funny, when I was away I spent time in my memory on many parts of the ranch, but not often here. It wasn’t until we were back and I was out walking that I remembered how much of my childhood I had spent in this spot.

I realized as I was standing in my safe place, taking in the security and the beauty of my surroundings, that I need to come to a safe place within myself. I think one of the hardest things to heal has been the fact that I lost faith in myself. Part of that was years of him telling me what a stupid, useless piece of crap I was, part of that was me not listening to my intuition, not trusting myself, and instead following someone who I knew was not being true to me. I lost faith, or the ability to trust myself, and that means I couldn’t feel safe within myself. I am learning to have faith in myself, I am learning that I can trust in the fact that I can look after myself and my kids. I will get to that safe place within myself.

And until I do, I need to remember that I have this place that lets me know what safe feels like. Being there is pure happiness.

It’s Canadian camouflage – the dotted dog and the grey horse


Our swimming/skating spot


One thought on “Safe place 

  1. Your post reminded me of a poster one of my supervisors had. It said “Ships are safe in the harbour but that’s not what ships are built for!”

    I wonder whether, rather than a final destination or condition, a “safe place” is a strength that a person can carry with them as they are out there sailing the seas of life’s adventures.

    As a parent, I have times when I wished I had done a better job. However, I may have to be content with the idea that I taught my children that they didn’t have to stay in a bad situation.

    I have been enjoying your posts.

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