Finding Safety in a Survivor Body
Feeling unsafe is the most natural experience in the body of a survivor. We are accustomed to its unique and exhaustive rhythm. Having undoubtedly normalized the gruelling amount of energy that this state of existence pulls from us, we hold a quasi-stability within it. Though we are ultimately not immune to damage, we feel safer being hyper-vigilant and distracted by fear of harm because we can continue existing without any examination of our grief. Security is formed in the disembodiment, and any amount of re-entry into embodiment removes our feet from our survival-ground. It destabilizes us.
That destabilization is valid, real, and allowed. There should be no shock that we operate within a near-constant state of hyper-vigilance as a form of protection even after the abuse ends. It’s real. Our fear-based response to life is ingrained and subconscious. Releasing and reprogramming it is gruelling work. We are actively moving the dial from denial into truth, and it removes us from our quasi-stable survival calm into an authentic state of humanity. We emote here, scream here, fall to our knees in agony here. Why trade the fake calm for this? Only we know how to answer that, and only we can know when it’s time.
Post-abuse, existing from survival proves poisonous longterm, but alienating ourselves with hast from our survival reactions can be just as dangerous. A balance within our embodiment work must be struck. First, by developing a gentle awareness of our fear-based resistance and not doubting it. Secondly, by going even deeper and learning how to identify our own body’s reactions and responses. Eventually, with time, we begin to hold self-compassion for our survival and create boundaries in our healing where we can breathe. It is in the ebb where we truly digest our truth. Where we can step into empowered body-led living.
Each conversation we hold with our bodies, no matter how short, invites us to begin relearning how to trust the truth in them. However, every new type of life experience we meet that doesn’t revolve around fear and harm will invite grief in. Our new knowledge acts as a mirror to the original normalized state of unsafe existence, and why we needed to develop it in the first place. Therefore, the privilege of a new life is not the sole elixir to our healing. Rewiring our inner trust of our body is. An autonomous path, an uncompromising decree, a commitment of self-belief is the only route home after our body is destroyed. It is here that the survivor body can eventually know safety.