God and Sexual Assault

When Places Feel Unsafe

What do you do?

Do you ever go somewhere and feel unsafe or out of control? Anywhere at home make you feel that way because of your assaults? Well, the bed and bedroom are a big one as I’ve discussed before, but another is the dentist office. Lying back in a chair with someone over you is not a fun feeling after what we have all been through.

My anxiety sky rockets when I am there and I can’t wait to be done. So, when I found out I had to have gum grafting done again I was not excited. The only meds they would offer are anxiety meds and after years of being on them and the horrible withdrawal I refuse to go back there. So, I asked if I could listen to music while they work on me. That and prayer would have to be what gets me through.

They agreed if I have ear buds with no wire. One more obstacle to overcome. People don’t realize how much we need assurance and safety when we are in places that feel unsafe and out of control. Many don’t want to understand either and assume it’s no big deal.

It is a big deal. How you feel is important. However, feelings are not always truth. Though it feels unsafe in the dentist chair it really isn’t unsafe. I am not going to be attacked, but it still feels like a violation having someone cutting inside my mouth and not having the ability to stop whenever I want.

I’ve lifted many prayers already about the surgery next Friday and am doing my best not to think about it. Besides praying what ways are there to deal with places that feel unsafe?

Well, if the room is dark and that is a reason it feels unsafe you can have nightlights that light up the room for you or a small lamp. If you get into bed and feel your anxiety sky rocket sit up and turn on a light. Look around the room and realize you are safe and no one is there to harm you. Lift up a prayer for peace and lay back down with the light on. Once your calmer you can try to turn the light off.

For places outside home that feel unsafe it is complicated because we don’t always have control. So, if you are stranded in a place that feels unsafe and are able to listen to music tune into it and sing along with the songs in your head. Worship music, or songs about God’s faithfulness are what I am filling my phone with to listen to.

The five, five, five, rule works if you gets really anxious somewhere. Name five things you see, five things you hear and five things you can feel. It grounds you back into the moment.

Of course, lifting up a prayer to the One who is the Ultimate Comforter, but I know in the moment sometimes anxiety is too high.

What have you found helpful when places seem unsafe to you? Feel free to share in the comments. I pray you find ways to cope with the feelings that arise.

Father God,

I know you are the Great Comforter, but there are times I feel unsafe when I am actually not in danger. Help me turn to You and realize nothing bad is happening in the moment. Provide me strength to get through until I feel safe again. Help me continue to heal in therapy so one day no place feels unsafe anymore.

In Jesus’ Name,


© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

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