“My ex sub kind of told me that I was ‘too safe’ to tell things to. He had difficult things to share about himself & he knew I’d be understanding & supportive. He wasn’t internally ready for that acceptance, so couldn’t bring himself to tell me. Communication is fucking complicated.” Ferns
Communication is fucking complicated. Normal relationships already have communication difficulties at times. Now add into the mixture internal struggles, traumatic pasts, insecurities, vulnerability, shame, guilt, and all the other negative emotions that can accompany a relationship and it can be a recipe for heartache.
We all have some sort of “baggage”. Some people more than others. I could go on and on about the negative impact it has on relationships. But we know the steps to that dance already. Instead let’s talk about feeling safe, supported, and accepted.
I once blogged that I have never fully revealed my whole self to anyone. I have allowed friends and partners to know only parts of myself. In most of my relationships, this was because I never felt safe enough. In my heart I knew my relationship with those people, friends and lovers, was not built on solid enough ground that it would not crumble under the weight of it all. However; twice in my life, I felt “too safe”.
It sounds almost absurd to say someone is “too safe” doesn’t it? I was so used to not feeling safe enough that I didn’t understand feeling “too safe” when it happened the first time either. It happened because I knew with that person I was fully and unconditionally loved, supported, and most importantly…accepted. I knew in my heart, without any doubt, that I could tell her these things and it would all be okay. She would stand by my side, continue to love me, try to help me anyway she could, and see me no differently. And to me, in my screwed up mind, that was not okay.
Shame and guilt are powerful emotions. You can’t support and accept someone who hasn’t forgiven or accepted themselves. There are some things I am not ready for that kind of acceptance. I’m not sure if I refuse too or can’t forgive and accept myself. I’d like to think I haven’t also gone the way of resenting that person for being “too safe” as some people have done. I don’t think I did, but I’m not sure honestly. I can understand where the negativity would switch to a “how could she be so accepting” or “what kind of person still loves me after I told you this horrible thing?!”. I’ve seen it happen with others. However, I think mostly with myself I directed that resentment inward. For me, instead of resenting her for being “too safe” I grew even more guilt ridden and angry at myself for her having to go through it.
I wish I had the answers. I could tell you that if you have a partner or have had a partner in the past that views you as “too safe” that it isn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong. You did everything right, in fact. You were gentle, strong, patient, caring, loving, supportive, and accepting enough. No, there isn’t anything you can or could do differently. Because it has nothing to do with you even though sadly you suffer the effects too. You are and were as perfect as you could be. They just aren’t or weren’t ready. I know it’s not fair.