Secure Connections Allow Us to Feel Safe When Proximate or When Distant From our Other

Your romantic partner just left on a distant work related job.  Inside, two days later, you feel a growing chill.

You are not alone in this type of response. Physical separation can challenge intimacy. (Save the snarky comments on the positive influence physical distance can also have Carl. 🙂 )20111013-114942.jpg

We want safe connections. What and how do we get those?

Secure interpersonal connections allow us when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are still connected.

In contrast, when you and I, he and she, her and she are doubting our own self and/or each other, in crisis and unpaired spirits, when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are not. We are not connected. Connection isn’t only about proximity of person to person.

This can be one of the healing forces in victims of abuse. In the discussion of our last post, Col said:

I have been trying to figure out how to connect back to a part of me kind of lost behind….

…Time to build some trust bonds.

Likewise, Antonia reminded me of this.  Although she came in with “her eyes rolling in her head” – her words weren’t always entirely connected, Antonia’s courage in life was undiminished.  I learned a lot from this survivor who spoke with a Sevillian accent, (including the theta sounds.)

I am so pleathed to meet you, Doctora!

Her teeth were stained and overlapped each other and the right side of her face and right arm I saw were in a ruin of tumbled scars. Story unfolded that she was molested as a child by her brother for years. Her mother had died young and her father had helped her understand that that was what girls were for. Escaping from Spain to France, she married in hopes to be given a “start-over.” Her husband was violent though and finally when he lit her on fire, she was hospitalized long enough to grow some scars; inside and out. She threw herself into another “start-over,” this time including God and three years later, landed in Temecula.

Throughout the progress of her story I was sounding dismay at her suffering. However, I couldn’t for very long at any time before she’d offer me comfort to me!

No no! That was all before….

…I am thankful for my life!

I hab so much! God is really good to me. He sabed me!…  Her scars were tight around her soft smile and eyes.

I know in my boots that Antonia is not all that she is today because of her medications, psychotherapy and life-saving skin grafts.  She is connected.  She is connected to her Me and to her Other.  She has security that is bigger to her than her insecurities.  (Remember yesterday when Suzicate described the friendliness of that?  Thank you Suzicate.)

This ties us in to one of our premises of what it takes to be our own friend – accountability to Me.  Although we are all victimized, being the victim is our choice and we have the power.

Questions: What has grown your sense of safety in your connections? How does your perception of abuse, victimization and maltreatment relate to this? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  You have the power to have safe connections to self and others.

17 thoughts on “Secure Connections Allow Us to Feel Safe When Proximate or When Distant From our Other

  1. Connections, for me, equal trust, but trust didn’t come until I had faced the abused victim part of my life and worked through a huge amount of pain – emotional and physical. That having been done, I found that the most important thing was for me to trust Me. Once I learned that it was okay to be me and that I didn’t need to be afraid anymore, then I could reach out to connect with others…and the more I connected, the stronger I felt – and the more connected I felt – and the stronger I felt – and the more connected……

  2. I have a 200 word Spanish vocab. Seems like it is spoken more widely than English here in Miami. I had to look up “theta sound”. Here, Cuban Spanish leaves out s sound of end of many words. I have very few intimate connections. Most are at arms length. It is safer, you don’t get disappointed, and hurt. It is unfortunate to feel this way, but we adapt to our environment.

    • Hi Carl – Perhaps we chose to adapt to our environment, chose to be disappointed or hurt. I know I can make those choices very easily and I am trying to find a different way. Its certainly hard sometimes, because I don’t want to be hurt. The bigger the risk the higher the possibility of being hurt, or the bigger the payoff in the end?


      • Col: Yes we often make the wrong choices. We know what we are in for but somehow do it anyway. It is important to have insight to the dynamic of our personality and try to be vigilant and play the tape ahead. It takes practice and we don’t always succeed all the time. But we must not be immobilized by our fear. We engage with other people but do it more wisely now. To paraphrase Jessie Jackson many years ago when he consoled teens after a mass shooting at a school in Atlanta-We must be driven not by our fears, but by our hopes.

        • Be vigilant and play the tape ahead! Brilliant, see, believe, achieve.
          Also, I shall cling to “We must be driven not by our fears, but by our hopes.” I have never heard that and image is amazing!

          Thank you! Have a great weekend


  3. Ha, that’s a tough one. I strive each day to chose to trust. To not take things said or done personal. Especially when its my husband!
    It was interesting to note that this process of not being connected is predominant with people who had been abused. Hmmm . . . .

    Makes sense, I am really trying to still figure out how to connect with the “little” me who I know is there (as I wrote before). And I think when I do, the connection to my husband will be there. I have clearly stated that I don’t trust, I have voiced it, and the reasons why.

    I think that honesty is really important, self evaluation (be truthful) just being, when the emotion, or feelings come over me, I ask myself “what was my train of thought that just got me here?”

    This trust “muscle” is a muscle to exercise just like all the rest. You start small and work your way up. Stretching and strengthening along the way. Creating a strong, flexible, muscle. It has taken time.

    Years ago I used the NA Third Step prayer, some times one line at a time when I was in a really bad moment –

    Guide me in my recovery
    Take my will and my life
    Show me how to live.

    Yesterday though it was the Serenity Prayer – and I haven’t said that in a long time, but, it was appropriate!

    God, grant me the Serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change
    The Courage to change the things I can
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    I said that out loud while I was driving a few times and felt much better.

    The Holy Spirit, Jesus and God are all right here and all I have to do is ask, and be willing to receive (that’s the key, me!) Talk about your personal relationships and being present! : )


  4. It has taken me a lifetime to discover that if you don’t nourish the friend inside then you won’t be strong to withstand the pain of the world. Although the pain of the world can wipe out that strength as well. We have to remember to continue to come back to the core of ourselves and to have faith that we will make it back no matter how long it takes.

    • your comment strolled and smiled at me. “we will make it back no matter how long,” you say.
      my favorite part of The Last of The Mohicans was when the hero told his too human girl, “I WILL FIND YOU,” just before he left on his quest. Sigh.
      I think I believe this about ourselves too. Maybe not when or where we think. We will be surprised when we run into ourselves again perhaps. “Oh! Hello there! I thought I recognized you! ;)” Fun stroll. thanks.

  5. I used to believe that I was a trusting person, but now that you ask the question, I realized that I am a control freak. If something needs to be done, I don’t allow anyone to do it for me; I have to be in control. It is a lack of trust issue. I don’t know what makes me this way; I try not to think about it too much.

  6. Its been a while since i was hear since july i have been trying to make a bit progress so far lo has learning difficulties i knew this but is no confirmed by someone who is clever than me. and i read the report and told me everything i knew and it hurt her loads we moved to accommodation in Newcastle but with a housing support officer since then i have been moved to supported accommodation not quite as easy as people may think. ive been going to therapy witch has came to an end as its not his job to do indervidual therapy and i think im been refered back to a CP/N ive only wanted one of them for a year now i have had lots of really hard days past the line of duty but i got threw them i didnt mention if i fail here nd end up in hospital i get kicked out and have to go to more supported accommodation and that would take way alot of my freedom to me that is so easy for me to fall in that trap and i would rather try and battle on then give up my housing officer is the best and most understanding person ever in my life and has helped me so much the split is on the cards at the moment anybody will guess at what happens then the therapist says it chicken and egg and one way i will do well eventually and one way will not work. I am preparing for the split im not capable of looking after l i know this i wish i could but i cant and she will hurt me but its not her fault i am looking more too getting a stable relationship and in order to do that i have to leave the one i am in and take having no one that hurts but i have to start looking at what i want in life and how to get there i wanted page rank for my other blog i got that that was hard but i got it i just have to wait and the time has to be right. The idear is to move and goto university and work on the business with friends something to keep my mind buzzy at the same time this might be me just thinking of myself there is allso a package and support for l to help her getting her diagnosed was hard but she will get the help she needs but i have to look at the bigger picture and be the bigger person and walk away from a fight that i will never win even with all the help in the world her legs are better now but she still might lose them i don’t think her heart is doing to good either but i cant change a person who dosnt want to change she is trying and keeps failing its no good me getting her hopes up for her to find that she cant do i still dont understand love but i do understand hurt to keep in with your post i think my connection is one that i dont want to lose its not a safe connection i can define that as well when i am by myself i feel like dieing when i am with her at times i feel like dieing but it just a little bit less of the time so it’s not sfe for me to be with this kind of person part of her is part of me and that part is what keeps us together and will be the hardest thing when we split. #the only really safe connection i have is kev becuase he will always be there for me i can do bad things and we allways make up i have learned one other thing about people the ability to forgive now that is one of the most amazing things but it has to run both ways

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