Safe Place

I have given my ‘safe place’ a lot of thought lately and the how’s and why’s of how it came to be. The first time I heard this term was when I was in 12-week therapy group.  At the end of each group session the facilitators would guide us through a safe place scenario to help ground us before we left the room.

With this first group experience I wasn’t doing the safe thing at all.  It was all a bit too weird for me and I really didn’t see the purpose it in.  Plus the closing of my eyes in a group freaked me out.  I’m not sure why I thought that I had to close my eyes because we were told that we didn’t have to.  It was our preference on what to do.  As it was I always sat as close as possible to the door, that’s what me feel safe.

In individual therapy I hadn’t done any safe place work. But in the last six months my T decided we needed to work on a safe place for me because the harder the therapy has been, the less safe I have felt.   This time I have been more open about it.   I think the few therapy groups I’ve gone to have made me more used to the idea.

But as I have given it some serious thought I realized that I practiced a ‘safe’ place all through my life without knowing it.   For example I hate being physically sick.  I am paranoid about it and will do everything in my power not to be sick.  But sometimes everything doesn’t work.  So to distract and try to calm myself when I couldn’t avoid being sick, I created a place to go to in my mind.   In this place are trees and running water along with all the forest smells and sounds.  And I would also do this as a child when things were really chaotic in the family.

When I was creating a safe place with the help of my T, I have ended up making one that was pretty much the same as the one I had as a child. Some days I wonder why it takes me so long to make these connections.

It is also a place that I find comfort and some measure of peace in the real world.  I try to take a walk in the forest at least once a week.  I am lucky because where I live the forest surrounds me.

As I have thought about this place I also wonder about it.  The forest is one of my first remembered places of sexual assault (did I just write that) (I will not delete those two words).  I was playing by myself, which was normal for me, in a bushy area when I was caught by a male and detained for a while.  I eventually got away and was able to run home.  I was only five or six at the time but the experience didn’t make me afraid of the forest.  The only reason I can think of why I didn’t become afraid was because I liked to be alone and the forest felt like the safest place even after what happened. Risking the bush was better than risking what was going on at home.  This is something I don’t really understand but I could be just strange.

I love being out in nature.  It gives me a peace and a calm like nothing else can. It has always been my safe place, mentally and physically

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Safe Place

  1. Harriet says:

    Wow, what a scary experience that must have been for you when you were 5 years old. That is so young. I like your description of how you developed your safe place, I’ve always had trouble with coming up with one for me. I like to be outside too, though.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I guess my safe place has to be something that I already feel a connection to. To tell you the truth I’m not sure what else it could be if not nature.

  2. Just Be Real says:

    Dear one connecting to our pain can certainly be scary. ((((lostinamaze))))

    I close my eyes a lot of the time, because of shame a lot of the time. I do not like to see people’s faces looking at me.

    Thank you for sharing dear one.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I guess instead of closing my eyes so I can’t see people looking at me I try to blend into the background so much that they can’t see me. I am starting to learn what a powerful thing shame is. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing your safe place – I’m wondering why more therapists don’t encourage the use of one (I’m thinking of mine in particular). I know it is a necessity for EMDR work.

    And brave of you to write a snippet about your experience.

    • lostinamaze says:

      My T now makes sure that we have enough time at the end of the sessions to do my safe place. I has made a difference for me. I usually feel more n my body when I leave which is helpful since I have to drive some distance to get home.

      It may be brave but makes me nervous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s