We often equate "safety" to "physical safety" as if what happens to our body determines whether or not we are safe.
That's a mild falsehood.
It is absolutely important that we don't have to walk barefoot over broken glass every morning, and that we are not constantly assaulted by baseball bats. We need to know that our physical containers, our bodies, are going to be safe.
But that's not really what creates the feeling of safety in our bodies.
We have vessels made of energetic diamonds. They're there they're like the coolest things in the world. When something happens to them, they want to heal, and our bodies will heal. They may not be exactly the same after, but our bodies can heal from anything.
This dynamic, between physical safety and safety in our bodies, is especially true for events such as sexual trauma. There can absolutely be a huge amount of damage done to your physical self when experiencing sexual trauma, or when you have experienced sexual trauma. But the body heals.
The thing that makes sexual trauma and other PTSD originating events so difficult is not how our bodies were treated, but rather how we relate to our bodies as a result of that treatment.
For me, it was not the actual physical assault. Yes, there was violation and invasion and it was an awful disconnecting experience. The thing that really messed me up was how I felt about my body after. And that is true for pretty much everyone I have worked with. We don't trust our bodies to keep us safe. We don't trust that we're strong enough to keep us safe because we weren't strong enough to stop the bad thing from happening. We weren't strong enough to push the person away or run away or maybe we just froze.
Mistrust within the body develops, but our bodies heal.
When there is trauma, there are legitimate neurological and biochemical changes that make untangling trauma and complex trauma difficult because you have to then work with the body. That we no longer trust.
Our connection and relation to our bodies dictates how extreme those changes are. It is a supreme expression of the mind and body as mindbody. The physical neurological and biological changes reflect our psyche's interact with our body. And this interaction means that those changes can be changed again.
Neuroplasticity and bioplasticity are hugely underappreciated. They're highly emphasized in terms of justifying why trauma is so difficult to heal and why injury can have such long lasting effects. These mechanisms are hugely under emphasized in the healing process. It's as if we can recognize the trauma from the outside looking in, and we can recognize the changes, but as professionals we fall down that trauma hole, and part of our own psyches get stuck there with the person in trauma. (Otherwise known as secondary trauma.) The secondary trauma makes it difficult for a lot of professionals to then go see not only is this the mechanism that sent you down the spiral; it is also the mechanism that's going to move you back up.
When you change the nature of how you relate to your body, how you relate to your vessel, you can then work back out of the hole. Stairs will appear. It isn't going to be a pristine marble staircase. It'll be a little rickety and bumpy. It will be difficult because these changes are survival mechanisms that have become ingrained patterns, but the stairs will appear. There is no pattern that can't be disrupted.
And true safety comes from knowing that you can change, and always will change when you want to.
It doesn't come from having a perfectly blissful life. It doesn't mean you will never have physical scars. It isn't having everyone treat you immaculately all the time. Your safety lives within you. You are safe when you know you will always have your back. There is such peace when you can experience a traumatic event and move forward from it without having to drop down and lose yourself in the hole first.
Your power doesn't lie in another person's hands, and you know it. You know you will get back up, no matter what, and live your life. Then, no matter what your body's response is - fight, flight, freeze, fawn - to any event, you can come right back to that place of peace.
Part of cultivating that safety is trusting your body to heal. Trusting that your body is made of diamonds, and being able to listen to it when it's trying to tell you what that process requires.