Safety when there's no safe people

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
How do you find a sense of safety when you're triggered AF and don't feel like there is anyone safe around?

My partner is trying but I remember things he's done that make him unsafe so I am not feeling soothed around him. I have my dog and normally that is enough but the last few days it just isn't.

I have activities I can do for general relaxation but my anxiety is spiking whenever I am around other people because "people = danger" and the one person who consistently helped me override that belief is now part of the rest of the people sometimes. So I guess I'm asking how do you feel safe around other people when people = danger?
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe, for your H, remember what he's done that has been safe. Try to remember he's not out to get you, nor is the worst possible explanation as indicative of his intent as it is your wounds (I understand). Remember that when triggered this is 'normal'. But it will pass.

I am so sorry, I must run. Hang in there and please be gentle with yourself and hug your pup. 🤗
 
I agree with Rosebud. You don't feel like he's safe, but is he really unsafe?

I sometimes feel like this about my wife, and then I have to CBT-ize myself. Is she really unsafe? (No.) Is she out to get me? (No.) Is there a better reason she might be acting the way she's acting other than she wants to abuse me? (There always is.) Is it possible that she's not upset at all but I'm perceiving something that's not really there? (95% of the time this is actually the case.)
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It's so so so hard when triggered and overwhelmed with emotion, and feeling unsafe, to think and be in a cognitive state.
Do tactile things help? I find feeling my body, being aware of (some parts of) it help me. Like stroking my face or something. Gives me a pyshical feeling to bring me out of the emotions. Trying to tell myself someone is safe when I am feeling they are not, doesn't help me. It's like the scare part is too young too understand that, or too scared.
So it's about trying to calm that part down a bit in another non verbal/non reasoning way , before I can remind myself that that person is safe and that I am safe. Takes time. And I haven't worked out how to make it a 'pretty' process. I'm sure there are better ways. But I have found that has helped me.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
I agree with Rosebud. You don't feel like he's safe, but is he really unsafe?

I sometimes feel like this about my wife, and then I have to CBT-ize myself. Is she really unsafe? (No.) Is she out to get me? (No.) Is there a better reason she might be acting the way she's acting other than she wants to abuse me? (There always is.) Is it possible that she's not upset at all but I'm perceiving something that's not really there? (95% of the time this is actually the case.)
Fair point.
Will he attack me? No.
Will he be there for me verbally in a moment of need? Also no.

He helped me heal some issues in myself but now he has more than once made those same issues worse. Was I ultimately responsible for the situations in question? Probably/yes. I didn't communicate my needs clearly, and I've communicated so much he doesn't hear me anymore.

But it's still scary to be around someone knowing that they will bail when things get hard, not be there for you, etc, even if they won't actively harm you physically etc.

It's so so so hard when triggered and overwhelmed with emotion, and feeling unsafe, to think and be in a cognitive state.
Do tactile things help? I find feeling my body, being aware of (some parts of) it help me. Like stroking my face or something. Gives me a pyshical feeling to bring me out of the emotions. Trying to tell myself someone is safe when I am feeling they are not, doesn't help me. It's like the scare part is too young too understand that, or too scared.
So it's about trying to calm that part down a bit in another non verbal/non reasoning way , before I can remind myself that that person is safe and that I am safe. Takes time. And I haven't worked out how to make it a 'pretty' process. I'm sure there are better ways. But I have found that has helped me.
Yes I think I need to try this. It's a young part of me but it's also logic, logical says if he does xyz in Q type of situations, then faced with Q he will xyz again, and it's terrifying.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
That might scare you, but it is not unsafe. Big difference.
How is that not a lack of emotional safety? I can't let my guard down because if I do, I'll get hurt again. I can't trust. I can't relax back into our normal dynamic before this happened. How is it safe to be close to someone who leaves at the worst possible time?
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
The emotiional pain of being unsupported, as bad as it feels, is not emotional abuse. It is just a lack of emotional support. It sucks, but not everyone is good at supporting their partners.

You may feel unsafe, but you are not actually in an unsafe situation.
Eh, I see what you're saying, but to me it is abuse. It is neglect rather. It's just like leaving a baby to cry. Some people think it's fine parenting but I find it neglectful.

And the issue is that the relationship was supposed to be built on some amount of emotional support. I don't feel safe in a relationship that isn't made to feel welcoming. I don't have any friends right now bc I can only make friends with people who make it very explicit they want me around.

I mean no it isn't physical abuse but most of my abuse was emotional and attachment related, so a partner suddenly not being safe to attach to without risk of emotional harm (through an absence of something vs active addition of something) is pretty triggering of my original trauma.
 

Friday

Moderator
How do you find a sense of safety when you're triggered AF and don't feel like there is anyone safe around?
I don’t concern myself with feeling safe. I concern myself with being competent. Similarly? I’m an adult. I don’t look to others to make me feel safe, I look to myself.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely/wonderful thing to have people you trust at your back, and in your life. But? Part of growing up is learning self-reliance. Teamwork/Interdependence the synergistic effect of people looking out for each other is fantastic and brilliant, but I’m not actually dependent on anyone else. I’m not a kid, or a pet, I cannot be abandoned in normal-life. ((True, if I’m one of a dozen people on a boat /mountain/whatever in a storm, and I’m trapped, they can abandon me to save themselves. Or any of a thousand situations where I’m being left to die. But that’s not go to work, buy groceries, cook dinner “normal” life. In normal life? You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves.)) If I dislike how someone treats me? That’s dislike. Not helplessness. If I’m angry at how someone treats me? That’s anger, not powerlessness. Because I’m an adult in a self-selected situation. I’m not anyone’s prisoner, or trapped on a sinking ship, I have choices. And I have myself.

When I’m triggered AF I’m often back in situations where I AM being left to die, or am leaving others to die... so I have to draw a really hard line with myself between then&now. You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves. They may not want to. But they can.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
When I’m triggered AF I’m often back in situations where I AM being left to die, or am leaving others to die... so I have to draw a really hard line with myself between then&now. You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves. They may not want to. But they can.
That's a good point. Thanks.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds like your husband is not able to meet some of your emotional needs. Please correct me if Im wrong. You trust him in most aspects, but not there when you need him most.
There are a lot of relationships like this (which doesn't make it better for you)
I dont think anyone can fill all your safety needs except you. (what Friday said above)
 
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