Last Sunday, the power went off around 3:00 p.m. Although annoyed, I decided to wait out the inconvenience. No water, no fridge, no computer, no land-line phone, no lights, no microwave…I could survive, right?
Well, instead of coming back on by 7:30 as had be predicted, I remained in the increasing dark until 8:30. None of our flashlights worked and wanting to avoid self-harm urges prevented me from lighting a candle. Worst of all, my whole family was still gone out of state.
I was all alone in the dark with no place to turn.
Finally, I called my mother, distraught and panicked. Anything would be better than staying in the house for one more minute.
“Why don’t you go to your grandparents?” She suggested. Relief filled me right away. Unfortunately, my car was stuck in the garage and could not be taken out without the power back on again. A neighbor thankfully allowed me to drive their car to my grandparents and my mother picked it up at school a few days later.
There are times when we are somewhere that does not feel safe. Remaining there is terrifying, and we need to get out and escape. This might occur when we are really in a dangerous area (for example, in a secluded place with someone we do not trust) or it can happen in situations that might appear scary to us but not to others. In both cases, it is important to go somewhere where you feel secure and peaceful.
The coping skill of leaving a danger (whether perceived or real) is very important. Having others take care of us is nice, and I certainly hope not to end up in frightening or risky situations. However, I need to keep learning how to get away when the need arises.
Before needing to use this skill, you should be prepared. Have a list of places you can go in emergencies and how to contact your safe people. Be sure to always have a way to escape quickly. Do not ever leave yourself stranded if you can help it.
Following those guidelines is difficult for me. Often, personal safety is not the first worry in my mind. However, having safe places to go and plans on how to get there would save me from many panicked situations.
Last Sunday, I was probably not in grave danger from anything other than myself. However, leaving for a secure place allowed me to sleep through the night and prevented me from self-harm. Hopefully, you can use this skill to save yourself from distress or harm. Whenever you need to find safety, please allow yourself to use this coping skill.
- Dating Safety by Are There Really Enough Fish in the Sea?