I Don’t Ever Feel Safe & I Know This Is Mainly What Holds Me Back


Hi @EveHarrington , nice to 'see' you again.

I do relate to what you're saying, perhaps differently as more from neglect than all being abusive (as a child), as all (for me) were not.

I wrote this in another post today, by chance: ".. our (severly abused) dog came named from the shelter as Shadow. But she became secure or safe or confident enough to come out in to her own light." And I think this may be more where the issue can be approached; I think after years (for me), trust or lack of trust is simply the symptom (but not congruent entirely). I think the issue (again, just speaking from my experience) is attachment. So, like food for example, most people see it as a good thing, not a painful thing, or a frightening thing. So they look forward to dinners; they fear doing without. But food is also necessary in some form, and there are good and better and bad choices. But if food was withheld or you associate it with abuse, food has other loaded fears and messages.

Attachment can be learned, and it does take exposure. But I think what is critical is in the process choosing very carefully. You have also made good decisions to acknowledge red flags and extricate. But it might help also to make sure you are not subconciously or unconsciously giving time or trust to people who will hurt you, to avoid actually having to experience the fearful process of attaching. [ ETA, there could have been neglect, abuse, enmeshment. What is also necessary is good boundaries, respect, genuineness. These are some of the things (hopefully) modeled in therapy that should be expected elsewhere. Teaching you too how to care for/ about yourself, and build your self-worth so that you can give and receive and live in safety and with a sense of safety your heart believes (subjective), as well as your mind (objective) ].

I know too that @recoveringfromptsd made a similar thread about not feeling safe anywhere, and I believe she is doing better. Remember still that it is a 'feeling', often ramped up by hypervigilance and/or anxiety, and there is a difference between feeling unsafe with justifiable cause, and simply feeling unsafe.

I hope you can pause and know that as you explore (and overcome, because I believe you can and will, with time) this issue, you will be kind and patient with yourself. Hugs to you.
Last edited:


Does every friend need to know your past trauma?
Oh, I don't think I was clear. My mom is my friend in spite of not knowing everything. That totally works for me.
I don't need anyone to understand me, what I need is for people to accept me, now, today. Not my past, not my future, now, present tense.
Yeah, I agree with this. I guess what I didn't say - and should have - was that it's *very* hard for me to make friends - of any sort - esp. close ones. Many reasons for that. I don't feel really close to anyone right now except my mom, although I have some acquaintance-type friends. Because it's so hard for me, I worry that once she's gone, I won't have any as close.


I worry that once she's gone, I won't have any as close.
You get out of a relationship, what you put in. You have to find those people, trial and error, that one or two people who you can share the good and bad parts of life with, equally. At 50 years of age, I have a couple of close friends, the rest are friends and acquaintances.


Anthony, I agree. At 63, I have a couple of close friends I can confide in, all else is acquaintances. Sometimes it feels bad when I see all these groups of friends doing Christmas dinners and stuff, but I know in reality, often they are Christmas office parties too. I dont have a lot of energy so I dont have a lot to put in friendships at the moment. Often, my husband and I are just loners I guess...and thats ok.


Thanks, but IIRC our traumas are different and as such I don’t believe we are on the same page here.

I missed out on that stage of childhood development, and I think you progressed through it, if memory serves me correctly.
Entirely possible, even probable, being on different pages.

As having something & losing it? Can be very different from never having something at all.

Some of the fractures will be the same, some will be very different.

Whatever your fractures are? Rate healing. Strengthening. Rising above. My history will only be useful, at best, with some of them. Not all. You’re welcome to anything I’ve got from what we share, but that will never be everything.

Tag me if you want me to join back in the convo… because I do care… otherwise, consider this a Friday-Free-Zone, from this post on out, yeah?

If I cannot chip away at it, I will be alone for the rest of my life. Would you want to face a lifetime of being completely alone?
Nope. Which is why I don’t require safety as part of my relationships. And I accept that my relationships will cause me pain, break my trust, never rise to their potential, &/or end badly sometimes. But, again, as you said; different traumas & different baselines. You may need different things, and that’s both entirely understandable & a helluva goal to set for yourself. Reasonable, unreasonable, IDFK… But admirable. If I required safety to have relationships, I’d have none. Even with quality over quantity standards. So I can very much admire the goal. And applaud the effort you are & have been taking in order to achieve it.

All my best, to you & yours.

Last edited:


Friday, I admire your ability to accept that your friends will let you down, break your trust, and so forth. I mostly expect that too, maybe thats why I have a few. IDK. But I get the other side of the coin, when friends are not there for you, or abuse you. Today is the anniversary of something bad, and it feels like nobody came when they saw what was happening. It is a deep cut, but cant blame them too as it coming could cause them harm. So complicated and talking different things often.


Not Active

Thank you for your replies.

I deleted my responses as they were defensive and I did not want to get banned again. I know that nobody probably realizes this, but when I post I try to not reply at all to anyone who replies to me as I do not want to come across as combative. I believe I have been trying to take this approach for a few years now.

I realize that I was not verbose enough in my original post as I did not fully explain my situation. I am down to only one person in my life because my inability to feel any sort of safety leads me to destroy everything. (And this person is near the end of their life.) Humans are social people and if I don’t find a way to feel safer, then I will continue to destroy everything around me and will be completely isolated. Isolation is a form of punishment. Isolation has lead to an uptick in suicides since the pandemic began. I do not want to be this way anymore. I realize that saying this will likely get me into trouble, but telling someone to ignore an identified problem that leads to significant issues in their life is not what I call being helpful. Would you tell someone to just ignore their dissociation? Or their flashbacks? Or their nightmares? And to just focus on something else? No, I don’t believe you would. I want to change. I want to get better. I just don’t know how to get there. I do not believe in avoidance. If I did, I wouldn’t be asking for help.

If I get banned for saying this, then so be it, but at least I will have said my part.

I am going to stay away from the forum for awhile as that’s probably what’s best all around. I apologize if it seems like I’m just creating drama. I made this post in a desperate moment. I thank those of you who said they could relate to me as I feel less alone.

I can’t write anymore as I am sitting here crying. I have a hard time reaching out for help. I apologize if anyone feels that I wasted their time as that was not my intention.

Admin, can you please lock this thread? Further discussion is not necessary.



I deleted my responses as they were defensive and I did not want to get banned again. I know that nobody probably realizes this, but when I post I try to not reply at all to anyone who replies to me as I do not want to come across as combative. I believe I have been trying to take this approach for a few years now.
One person you can be combative with on this site, is me. Especially when I'm reaching back to help you if you want it. I am going to piss you off, comes with helping anyone with PTSD. Just don't take it beyond me.
Humans are social people and if I don’t find a way to feel safer, then I will continue to destroy everything around me and will be completely isolated.
Yes and no. Some people crave to be isolated and live alone. Some people enjoy that. Most do not.
I do not want to be this way anymore.
That is the part that matters. Your choice. Your life. You don't want to be lonely any more.
Would you tell someone to just ignore their dissociation? Or their flashbacks? Or their nightmares? And to just focus on something else?
Me? Yes, I have and do. Everything that is going on with you is not important. You have to dig for the issue, not the noise (symptoms). Focusing on symptoms (dissociation, flashbacks, nightmares) is a waste of time and energy. Is that simple enough a statement?

What is causing the symptoms? If you don't know, then talk, and I will help you identify the cause.

This thread is about your statement "you don't ever feel safe." Ok. Why?


I don’t ever feel safe. I try to trust people in this world but it leads down bad roads, ie guys who end up hitting me, etc.

I don’t know how to build up a sense of safety in this world, in the REAL world. (Please don’t suggest building up safety with a therapist. I am an Uber realist and know it’s not a true interpersonal relationship. And I have been able to trust therapists in the past. This trust doesn’t translate to the real world because one environment is is a safe one, while the real world most definitely is not.)

I don’t know where to start. I’m pretty naive when it comes to relationships because when everyone else was learning social skills as a kid, I was too busy being hypervigilant. I know I cannot go back and learn everything I missed, but I have hope I can make some changes.

I just don’t know what to do at this point.
Hi I know! You describe me perfectly which is why I’ve become reclusive . I make or invite or attract what you’re talking about from others so I avoid personal contact and people as much as possible. I know it’s lonely, and I’ve said what you just did to my therapist countless times but I still value her because if the emotional intimacy . I just wanted to say I hi and I’m here and be supportive. It’s cold comfort at Christmas but it’s all I have .


You know @EveHarrington, I feel a lot like you. Extensive childhood abuse and I had therapists who would betray my trust too. I don't trust anyone. With Covid restrictions I have not been able to meet people in my new area so I just have my son. I would like to have some friends and I know they will probably not be close, but I would like some people to interact with. I've been rebuilding myself since my breakdown in 2012 and I feel like I am getting somewhere. At least I know what I like. I don't think I will ever be able to trust people so I'm going to try to have relationships without trust. I don't know how to help you but I have agreed with a lot of what you've written over the years and I value your opinions.


you can’t trust anyone as you would trust a parent.
On the other hand, sometimes parents aren't trustworthy.
I know that nobody probably realizes this, but when I post I try to not reply at all to anyone who replies to me as I do not want to come across as combative.
Forgive me if you can, but I'm kind of ROTFL. Not AT YOU. Just at how it's possible to misinterpret things. When you don't reply, it can come across as things other than combative. Dismissive comes to mind. I usually don't read you posts because you ARE capable of coming off as combative and not wanting to listen etc. Replying seems like a waste of time and I need a good reason to feel like the target of someone's wrath. THIS is the single "best" post of yours I've ever read. You've brought up an important topic and presented it like you really want to talk about it. I think that's great. Hang in there and see where it goes, ok? You may not understand exactly what gets you banned. The moderators here are really pretty fair (most of the time). They usually don't ban someone for being stubborn, they ban them more for things like being mean.

I've had a lot of conversations with my T about "feeling safe". My definition of "feeling safe" is that I think I have a pretty good idea what's going on and I know how to handle it. The actual idea of "safe"? To me that means I missed something when I did a risk assessment. But, I don't really think it's necessary to BE safe anyway. "Safeish", maybe?

I pretty much trust my T. But I ask myself all the time, "Is this a trick?" But from there I go on to ask "What's the worst thing that can happen if it IS a trick?" Usually the worst thing that can happen isn't all that bad. Maybe I'll be disappointed, etc. In someways, the worst thing that can happen is that I beat myself up for not seeing it coming.

You're right when you say that a relationship with a therapist isn't like a "normal" relationship. You're also right when you say that all the things some of us don't learn growing up can be a big deal. One of the things I appreciate most about my T is that I can ask him anything and we can talk through all that stuff I probably "should" have learned a long time ago. I don't know how else you catch up and fill in all those gaps. Seems like you need another human being willing and able to coach you through that stuff.

There's a bumper sticker that's popular in Texas. It says, "Texas. I wasn't born here but I got here as fast as I could." I look at some of this interpersonal stuff the same way. I'm getting there as fast as I can. Now, I think we're pretty different in that the mantra that helped get me through childhood was "That's alright, I don't NEED anyone anyway, I'm just fine all by myself!" (Only true to a point, obviously.) I think you can probably still learn those things that you need and want to know. Something that I think @Friday was trying to say as that people can be worthwhile and ok even if they AREN'T 100% dependable. Really, no one is perfect. No matter how much they might want to "never let you down", people will. Because we're all just people in the end and we make mistakes. But all ways of letting someone down are not equal when you think about it. The consequences of being tricked are not always the same. It's not the same for an adult as it is for a child. The adult you isn't as vulnerable as the child you was.

Come back into the discussion @EveHarrington. Please?


Not Active
I often feel the worst feeling for me is when I resist the feeling I have. If you feel you do not trust people then you do not. Going opposite of that is pain.
And honestly, trusting of everybody as blank state is that good even?

I trust to ride the bus without being beaten by the bus driver but I cannot say I trust everybody in the bus will be kind and trusting. That is why if I want to fall sleep in the bus I make sure I have my purse in a way it does not get taken away. You have the right not to trust based your own story/experience but if you are trying to show everybody you trust (because you think everybody else is trusting) that might be a cognitive challenge and something you can challenge yourself.

What worked for me is acknowledging my feeling and communicating it to others as a matter of fact in situations as it may be called. It is OK not to trust others you do not know...why should you honestly?
and it is also OK to tell a person, I want to know you but I do not trust easily and see their reaction to find out how to proceed.
Sorry Eve, I notice you are not online for now. Hope you are OK.