When someone is abused as a child, it is highly likely that they are going to have trouble feeling safe in life. This would have been something that they first experienced when they were growing up and something that has stayed with them throughout their adult years.
So for some people, it will be easy to match their current experience with what happened many years ago. They will be aware of what took place and because of that; it is clear as to why they currently feel as they do.
However, in some cases, one might find it hard to feel safe as an adult and have absolutely no idea why this is. Their body is then unable to relax and to feel at ease, but their mind has no insight into why this is.
And while this may seem strange, especially if one was abused as a child, it is actually normal. When one experiences something that is painful or traumatic, the mind can end up blocking it out as a way to ensure ones survival.
And if one was a small child when they were abused, they would have needed to deal with the pain somehow. If no one else was around to stand up for them or to comfort them, then there wouldn’t have been any other option.
So time will have passed and this means the mind will have become conditioned over the years. These original experiences that remain in one’s body will then be overlooked by the mind. But this is not the only thing that can cause one to become disconnected from their body.
When It Happened
When one is abused by the people they look towards for their own survival, there is the chance that they will have to hide their true feelings. It is not going to be safe for them to express them: this could cause them to be harmed even more or to be abandoned for instance.
And then there is also the chance that one was brought up to believe that their caregivers were always right and to respect them, regardless of what happened. This could be due to a certain religion that was followed or the result of social condition about what is right or wrong.
So what this can mean is that one can find it hard to feel safe internally due to what happened on one hand, and on the other hand, one might find that the conditioning they have received on top of this pain stops them from seeking the assistance they desperately need.
This will be a challenge that one is faced with after they have been able to get through their mind and into their body. when one is caught up in their mind and out of touch with what their body is telling them, they might just feel unsafe without knowing why.
In order for one to process what is going on in their body, they are going to have no deal with the obstacles that the mind will create. This may relate to an idealised image that one has of their abuser/s; with this image stopping one from having to face their emotional truth.
One might also wonder what the other people in their family will think if they were to reveal what happened. Guilt and shame can also arise and make one question if they are doing the right thing. And to engage in any of these things can cause one to feel fear, and this could stop them from going any further.
However, no matter what one’s mind is saying, it is the body that needs to be listened to. The body knows what happened all those years ago and this won’t change just because the mind doesn’t want to face the pain or because it has been conditioned to believe something else.
But if one doesn’t feel safe, they are not going to be able to embrace the truth of what happened. And telling oneself that they need to feel safe and/or trying to force this is unlikely to work either.
In order for one to open up, they will need to feel that it is safe for them to do so. When they experience this on the outside, they will be able to experience it on the inside. But just being in an environment that is safe might not be enough.
This is why the assistance of a therapist or a healer is so important in this process. If one doesn’t feel safe on the inside, it might not matter how safe their external environment is; as their inner experience can end up being projected onto others.
One could have a therapist or a healer, but as a result of not feeling safe, their healing could be sabotaged. Or it could mean that they are still building up their trust and as time passes, they will gradually open up.
What matters is that one feels safe and when they do, it will make it will enable one to open up and to let go.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.