I’ve been hiding in bathrooms a lot the past week.

I used to wonder why I did that so often. There’s actually an iPhone note I wrote about it last year:

I have yet to figure out why bathrooms feel so safe to me. I can’t count the times in my life where i’ve laid on the bathroom floor and cried and felt completely safe. Being vulnerable and safe simultaneously is a rarity for me these days.

I’m having a day. I can feel it. The grip on reality slipping, the fight getting difficult. I know where this leads. I’m getting so tired.

*locks self in bathroom* Maybe one day I’ll understand.

I’ve come to realize it is because it was the only place in my house growing up that I could just… be. Nobody could barge in, my boundaries had to be respected because it was the only room in the house with a lock on it.

Sure, people could flick the lights on and off repeatedly – but nobody could get to me.

Bathrooms continue to feel safe for me. At work, I’ll lock myself in the stall for a bit if I need to decompress. At home, if Husband and I fight, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom until I’m calm enough to work it out. Out in public, same thing. And before I go to see A, I’ll decompress in the bathroom there too.

It’s good to realize, on one hand, that when I retreat to these spaces its probably a good time to take note of how vulnerable I’m feeling. On the other hand, its so sad to realize that as a child my whole house was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to be where I could relax and escape from a world that was scary and unstable enough as it is.

But when the unstable world is your house and the rules of engagement are constantly changing around you, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you exist?

At least I had the bathroom.


4 thoughts on “Bathrooms

  1. PD,
    For me it wasn’t so much a place, as it was the simple act of being alone. Being alone was the only way to really know I was safe. It was also the only time I could consider what I actually wanted, because if I was around someone else, it was ALL about figuring out what they wanted me to do and be. My T drove me absolutey crazy in the beginning of our work, because he refused to give me any cues, and I felt so at sea. The first time he asked me what I wanted, I turned white as a sheet and started hyperventilating. It’s hard to convey how damaging it is when you were not allowed to have boundaries. To this day, if I’m not paying attention, when I get upset, I tend to isolate. I’m slowly learning that it’s safe to actually turn to other people. I hope that your safe zone continues to grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AG,

      First, I’m so grateful that you’re reading along and following. When I found your blog my T was on vacation and I was struggling and I read EVERY post and drank it in knowing I truly was not alone.

      A strikes me as similar to BN in that way. It’s client led therapy and she NEVER gives me cues and it’s so so frustrating but also empowering, as I learn more about myself and my needs.

      I am in a period of withdrawal right now, where things don’t feel safe, so I simplify. Thank you for being here and for your comments ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. True. At least you had the bathroom. And I am glad you did! My childhood home had a lock on the bathroom door but it could be opened from the outside with a butter knife, so it didn’t really lock. There were no other rooms that locked. Absolutely no boundaries in a home like that. I hope you start to have more safe spaces 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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