When I have something that I want to put away in a ‘safe place’ I will eventually need that object and forget where is that ‘safe place.’ My spare car key is there, and a valuable ring is there, but the ‘safe place’ must move around.
The same is true of that place where I want to escape from confrontation, worrisome thoughts, deep depression, suicidal thoughts, and the things I loathe about myself. Although my deep depression has lifted, there are plenty of times when dysthymia is distressing (along with negative self-talk) enough for me to seek out a place to hide. That place is not usually a physical location but a calm clearness in my mind. I have needed somewhere to physically go to get away from dangerous situations, and my brother’s house is the chosen destination. That is a constant. The space in my mind is elusive. Panic attacks seem to pose the worst.
Many occupations require the ability to compartmentalize. That was my downfall as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. I had no compartmentalization. I carried my client’s problems home. With that said, it is evident that my desperate times were chaos! Searching for the ‘safe place’ consumed me. I tried running from my problems, but there was no place to go. Three times I got into relationships and moved from my home. The mental illness issues followed and became worse. The people I attract have problems of their own. Naturally, I tried to help them and gave away too much of myself. That is codependency.
My therapists (one through six) told me that I was codependent. My Mom said I gave every sick puppy I found a home with me. That is a good analogy, but I didn’t have a therapist who worked with me to completely understand it and the thoughts and behaviors associated with codependency until my current therapist #6. She was quick to point out that my relationship with my Mom was codependent. My relationship with my Mom became my model in forming relationships. I did not find a ‘safe place’ when I ran. I ran into more profound problems.
Now that I understand that the ‘safe place’ is in my mind, I can find it. My spare key and ring are in another ‘safe place’ that I have not yet found. Maybe therapist #6 can make some suggestions. I need that key.