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.