Hello, how are you doing? I’m thinking about what helped me feel safe recently. Two different tidbits from two very different brilliant housemates.
Did you know I’m bad at wearing clothes? It could be an autism thing. Seams bother me, tags are intolerable, and when my stress is high, the texture of clothing on my body is uncomfortable to the point of pain. When I’m having a hard time, but just to relax at all, I need to shed my clothes.
The room that Ming and I live in shares a wall with the room of another housemate who has a partner who also lives here. So the partner was coming and going, while the one we share a wall with was away on a trip. The coming and going housemate warned us that they would be passing through, which I thanked them for.
“Good to know we should stay clothed within sight of the door,” I said over txt, as part of my thanks. There’s a little room we call the craft room, which is like a foyer for these wall-sharing rooms; when the housemate we share a wall with isn’t here, Ming and I are less careful about noise and nudity which could be perceived in the craft room.
“I’m ok with nudity,” the coming and going housemate said in reply. Wow, I felt much safer when they said that. I have a lot to keep covered. Vulva and ass are mostly easy, but wearing a shirt is more trouble than it’s worth.
It’s weird how a little freedom about nudity is relaxing to me. I don’t need or want to hang out naked in common spaces. But I’m glad a glimpse of stray breast doesn’t need to be an issue.
The other example of what helped me feel safe lately was from a different housemate about our friendship. We were trying to figure out how to be good friends and enduring conflict.
He said that if we ever struggled so hard we did not stay friends, he would still hold me in positive regard. He thinks I’m an amazing person, and he appreciates my gifts. Even if we could not stay friends, his respect wouldn’t disappear.
That felt like a deep kindness. That’s a safety I wish for. If we couldn’t stay friends, I wouldn’t need to worry about him hating me. He wouldn’t overly shit talk me.
What a fair, level-headed attitude and refreshing. The opposite of the pain of cancel culture. He was saying he wouldn’t demonize me or Other me away. Maybe I would still be in his heart somehow, welcome at the inner table (if not the dinner table).
I enjoyed that idea so much and kept it in my pocket. And I appreciate that.
Ming helps me feel safe every day continuously. I’ve come to rely on his love as my daily bread. Bunny is helpful too–the best toy family member evah. But I wanted to tell you what helped me feel safe from these caring housemates.
What helps you feel safe? What do you need, in your home and family and communities? Thank you for caring about me, reader friend, and the people around you.
Love is work, if only the communication part. I’m grateful for who shows up for me.