Art: I Don’t Feel Safe With Anyone

I Don't Feel Safe With Anyone
I Don’t Feel Safe with Anyone – In the shelter of my notebook, I wield my pen

18th January 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper

I feel safer with a journal than I do with a person. With people, there’s always a risk they will hurt you, even if it’s not intentional. I remember one time it felt like my friends were swords and I was being cut into ribbons. They thought they were being helpful and caring, but I just felt judged and misunderstood.

Sometimes it feels like the world is full of sharp objects ready to slice me.  When I’m hurt and feeling attacked, I find shelter in my notebook, and my pen is my only weapon to defend myself. My notebook never attacks me and I feel safe to share my voice with it.

This isn’t meant to be a negative reflection of people but a celebration of writing. Writing isn’t better than people; it’s just safer. No matter how trustworthy a person is, a journal is safer than any person because it will never hurt me. This isn’t meant to be a negative reflection of the world, either. It’s just that life can hurt you, and when it does, writing helps.

My journal is a friend. It’s always there for me when I need it and it always listens. I can tell it anything and it never judges me or misunderstands me. It is a safe place where I can be me, and I leave it feeling better. It lets me cry, rage, whine, ramble, and be real on the page.

Most of all, it is a pathway for me to be real in the flesh. I withdraw to my journal and it makes me bold so I can be more myself and not worry so much what people think of me. It makes me brave so I can face the world again and do this thing called life.

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33 thoughts on “Art: I Don’t Feel Safe With Anyone

  1. Yes, I feel that too. When I was hand writing my journals I had a red one for all the crazy chaos, anger, topsy- turvy things life was sending my way, and one for the grander “I really want this as a keepsake” moments! Be well and write on!

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  2. Beautifully put. Human beings come with their own fears, pain, joy and history. Friends will hurt each other even unintentionally since in the end we are all self-serving. Everyone should have at least one really close friend. The one that doesn’t judge or try to change you. They are hard to find but when you do you will know. Others will say “you need more friends” but it is pointless to surround yourself with tons of people who are half interested, half friendly. That and people are hard to keep up with – what they are doing – who they are seeing – drama etc. One is plenty – Especially when the One is good enough.
    And on the subject of Weddings – getting married is giving total control to another human being to beautifully and purposefully enhance your life or utterly destroy it. A wonderfully Terrifying event that should always be considered with the utmost care.

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    1. Thank you! A small circle of close friends would be great, even just one, as you say. Friendship really is an amazing thing. People are amazing. As is life – learning to embrace it all, accepting the bad as well as the good. It’s a journey. Thanks heaps for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. So good to know. I’m not the biggest people person, but I do love connecting, especially on a deeper level. People just amaze me! Just got to learn to be me out in the world as well as in my journal.

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  3. I have often felt this way as well. I’ve been hurt time and time again by people but having people in your life can also be a blessing. Last summer during the hardest period of my life if I hadn’t had my parents and my small group at church I wouldn’t have made it through. There are people out there who will have your back. Sometimes they are just hard to find.

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  4. Your mind is tricking you again. People can hurt us, it’s true. But that’s because we create expectations about them, that they don’t need to fulfil. As we don’t like to be judged, we shouldn’t judge others as well. I’m sure they don’t do it on purpose.
    However, it’s fine if you feel this way. There’s nothing wrong with it. But you can overcome it. 🙂

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    1. I’m sure they don’t do it on purpose either. I’m sure they don’t even know I’ve been hurt. And so I try not to judge them or blame them for anything.if anything, I blame myself and how I can only be real in my journal. So I’m trying to be real in person. But definitely wanted to acknowledge the role of writing in my life. How it’s like a lifesaver, a lifeline sometimes. I didn’t mean for this post to reflect so negatively on people. I’m going to change that. People are amazing and I’m so thankful for them and love connecting deeply with them. I just wanted to celebrate the role of writing in my life. Safer than any person, but people are so good too, even though they can hurt. Thanks for helping me clarify my thoughts.

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      1. You shouldn’t blame yourself either. 😉 It’s natural to feel hurt. Now, I understand what you meant. I feel the same way when I write on my journal, it’s the safest way for me to be me, completely.

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        1. The blame thing has always been an issue of mine. It’s one of the things I’m hoping to really look at, dig deeper, when I chat to the psychologist. Also the whole pain thing. I used to always deny pain. Learning to embrace it now, but lots of things to work through. Love that – the journal is like magic the way it allows us to be freely us like that. What a gift!

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        2. I also have a different relationship with pain since my child was born, because it made me another person. I was born with him too.
          I’m glad that you are addressing your problems, little by little. You’ll get there and feel so much proud!

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    2. Very well said! I’ve found that if you view the person that hurt you with compassion and realize that they may be hurting or damaged as well, it make the hurt sting less. We shouldn’t take on the pain of others. We can only work to understand that the lashing out has nothing to do with us.

      I also love how you said it is fine for her to feel that way. Our feelings are valid and not to be criticized or belittled. I bet you are a great friend!

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  5. Hi Juni! I’m sad that the wedding stirred up those feelings in you but glad you took the time to reflect and share. I think these feelings of struggling to trust or feel safe around people is pretty common to thoughtful, sensitive, introspective types like us… but I also believe the risk of opening up to people is worth it.

    Have you ever heard this quote by CS Lewis? “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

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    1. Hey, thank you. All good, I’m glad it brought them up because it meant I could face up to an issue in my life. Mostly I wanted to celebrate writing and show how it is a pathway for me to celebrate people. To risk being seen by them. Without writing, I don’t think I could do that. But definitely want to be vulnerable and value people so much. The risk, in my head, I believe is worth it. I’ve just got to get that working in action. Not just in my writing, but in my living. Thanks so much for sharing – love that quote. C.S. Lewis is amazing!

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  6. I understand what you mean. When I write my feelings, I learn so much about myself. It’s more therapeutic than thoughts alone. 🙂

    Letting anyone in has the risk of hurting you. But, as they say, no risk no reward.

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  7. Relationships are hard. Or at least, I find them challenging. You’re not the only one 🙂 But we will all win. Just the timing will be different…

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    1. Definitely so hard. People are so complicated but gotta love the beauty in that. I heard this great analogy by Elizabeth Gilbert where people are like porcupines and to be in a relationship means negotiating all those spikes. The negotiation will hopefully be like a dance and not a war.

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  8. I can relate, but am feeling less and less fearful, because I realized the pain comes from inside me. When people say things that aren’t kind, it just bumps up against the sore spots within us, the places we’ve already been hurt and the fears that we aren’t all we should be. When I feel hurt, I look inside for the fear that is underlying the pain. Writing this fear down or just saying it and acknowledging it helps and then not resisting the feelings helps too. We have a right to feel whatever we feel. I love your blog. Keep writing!

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    1. Gotta love learning those sore spots. It is good to be confronted with them so then we can deal with them. Definitely writing helps me to simply express myself and it tells me I’m okay, which is awesome. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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  9. I can definitely understand your thoughts. My greatest fear in life are the reactions of others. We have no control of them and we cannot make ourselves like them. A journal allows us to be as open as we please without fear of reactions.

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