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#305878 - 10/10/09 07:45 PM Feeling "Safe" Feels Unsafe
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Has anyone else experienced this dichotomy? I am in counselling right now and the therapist I'm seeing keeps trying to focus on feelings of safety yet I struggle with this since being prepared for an unsafe world feels alot more secure to me. Even silly examples like refusing to where a bike helmet while cycling sticks out. This may sound ridiculous but I have the irrational idea that if I were to wear a helmet then I wouldn't be as vigilent in traffic since the helmet is a false sense of security, stupid as this sounds. In general, in day to day life I am afraid to say everything is going to be OK for fear that it won't be and then I'll be left unprepared.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#305896 - 10/11/09 12:43 AM Re: Feeling "Safe" Feels Unsafe [Re: jls]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

I have experienced a lot of paradoxical emotions, but not about safety issues.

Although now that I think of it, I was somewhat of a daredevil driver when I was young.

I guess I did some very dangerous stuff when I was in my twenties. For instance. I was teaching in Africa. I went out for a walk very late at night (not advisable). The dogs barked and a man ran out of a mud hut and held a machete over my head. I shined my light in my face. I wasn't intending to be scary, as this is an old Halloween trick to make you look scary. Anyway, he lowered his machete (not on me) and here I am!

Also, I have had the reaction of feeling sad to happy music.


aka pufferfish whistle

#305917 - 10/11/09 02:43 AM Re: Feeling "Safe" Feels Unsafe [Re: pufferfish]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA

I have experienced this paradoxical feeling/belief many times. I think it has to do with our fear of letting our guard down. Anything that makes us think that we'll lose that sense of "hypervigilance" that has accompanied us since our trauma is considered dangerous, even if it is something that is supposed to make us safe.

Good post jls,


I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.


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