I felt safe nowhere. During my teenage years, I had no less than three separate rapes in which a man pulled a gun out. I had no less than two rapes in which a man pulled out a lethal-looking knife. There were countless times when a man threatened violence either to myself or someone I cared about if I didn’t succumb. The results were the same for me. Within moments of understanding what was about to occur, my body memory of what was about to happen kicked in. It was as though a blanket cocooned my consciousness. I had left and would not return until the rape was over. That was my safety net.
I was never able to accept what was happening to me in the moment. It was not a comfortable place. It was a numb place where I could monitor everything that was happening. I would like to say that I had a “flight” mechanism if I were in mortal danger; but, I did not. I had a frame of reference for that if I gave in, it would be the safest path for my continued existence. So I wrapped that blanket tightly each time and waited until the danger had passed so that I could, once again, return.