Friday, September 2, 2011

Longing to Feel Safe (by Gary Roe)

I invited Gary Roe to write several posts. He also shares his story in my book When a Man You Love Was Abused.

Living out of fear isn't fun. I seem to have a baseline feeling that all isn't well, that I'm not well, that everything is potentially dangerous. All of that is my fault.

That isn't surprising. The abuse programmed me to think that way.

I yearn to feel safe.

I'd like to let down my guard and relax more. To let go more and to fret less. I want to stop investing vast amounts of mental energy into heading off every possible disaster at the pass. I want to be less self-conscious and more at ease in the presence of others. I want to live less in this cloud of anxiety, compelled to make certain that I'm never abused again.

My abusers told me the outside world was dangerous, implying that they were the safe people. They would take care of me. I could count on them.

If they were the safe ones, what did that make everyone else?

I'm thankful that I've finally experienced feeling extremely safe. Several safe people made that possible. But it wasn't easy.

They had to prove themselves—and it took time for me to trust them. Like many survivors, I was short on trust and long on suspicion.

Safe people have been the source of a lot of healing in my life. I want more healing. And for me, that means I need to be in deeper relationship with safe people.


Pippi said...

So, what happens when two people in a relationship both have that problem?

Gary said...

Hi Pippi. That's tough, but I don't think it's unusual. Do you have other safe people in your life? If they're safe, they can usually handle our baggage with great grace and accept us readily. The other thing that's helped me is realizing that I really am secure and safe - I just have trouble feeling that and living it out sometimes.