Identifying Emotional Safe Places
Everyone is not a safe place.
Two places I have been in that have been the loneliest and darkest places of my life were when I was in the pits of depression and where I was not heard. A third place that made the other two even more painful was where I did not feel safe. I have written about this and publicly spoke about it, but I have never felt safe. My safety needs were not met as a child. There were moments as a child I hid in my closet, mentally escaping and playing with my toys pretending I was on another planet. As I grew older, writing and music became my way of escaping it all. Sometimes in adulthood, I would want to go into the closet to hide, but what would my daughter have thought? I was indirectly teaching her how to cope with life's adversities, and I failed for some time. I tried to hide my pain and not display how frustrated I was with life, but she felt something because every moment I felt down, she always wanted to give me her pacifier and a big hug.
In my childhood, I had to figure out how I would escape the bullies at school and become invisible to the ones at home. I don't think anyone knew I got picked on at school, but if they are reading, they know now. Imagine a child's anxiety about not wanting to go to school or come home because, psychologically, it was not safe. When I would experience emotions that did not feel good, I held my breath to resist them. Every day, for some reason or another, I caused more damage than I understood to my organs by going against my body's natural breath design. I went from holding my breath to having panic attacks when life got emotionally challenging. It was happening so often I gave up on helping myself through those bouts.
Fast forward to adulthood, and safety is still an issue. I do not care if I wore all the safety equipment Academy sold; I do not trust the water, but I still get in, hoping it would change because of me (I hope you caught that). I can not name one relationship, platonic or romantic; I can admit I felt safe enough to share my emotions. It did not end well when I thought I was ready and shared my pain points. They made me feel weak or "not of God" for expressing how I felt and hard to deal with when I did not. I learned people would be people and the best thing for all of us is to do what's best for us.
When you are in an emotionally safe place, you can reveal your authentic self to others. Your hurts, fears, goals, and dreams can be expressed without criticism when you are safe. Even your insecurities and dissatisfactions can be handled healthy and maturely. I recall being in a relationship with a narcissist before I learned of his shortcomings. When I tried sharing how I felt, only to have my feelings invalidated. He made me feel like I was crazy and overreacting to his subtle manipulation. His response did not help the situation and only made me feel worse. I went from hurting about the mental pain to being confused because I questioned if I was overreacting.
Safe people will exemplify the following:
● They will listen to you.
● They will validate your feelings.
● They will help you move in the right direction.
● They won't project their feelings onto you.
● They Are patient.
● You will not feel worse after talking to them.
- Can you think of a time you felt unsafe?
- Do you still feel that way?
- Can you recall the first time you felt emotionally unprotected?
- How has that incident affected your relationships?
- Have you ever been a victim of narcissistic abuse?
- Do you desire change?
- What are you willing to do to get the change you desire?
Thanks for reading. I hope the information shared helps you identify when you are emotionally unsafe and when to run for cover.
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