Safe in a hotel room

English: Grand Hotel Pristina room

English: Grand Hotel Pristina room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With PTSD, I always seem to be hunting for safety.  Sometimes consciously, and sometimes not.  Experiences have taught me that a safe place is hard to find.  Of course, this is often PTSD talking, but it seems I’m always on the hunt for safety.

The hunt for safety is one of the reasons why I like hotels so much.  My wife’s work requires her to travel quite often.  Occasionally, I’m able to travel with her.  I finally figured out today the real reason why the hotel stay is so relaxing for me.  It’s not being in a new place, or a change of routine.  In fact, these things are often anything but relaxing for me.  New places throw me off of my routine.  They require more mental energy for me to stay focused.

But, I realized today that I feel supremely safe in a hotel room.  I’m going to try to list a few reasons for why this may be.

First, there is anonymity.  No one knows me here.  I can come and go without question.

Second, no one knows I’m in my room.  Typically, my name isn’t listed on the room.  I am a ghost here.  A person with bad intentions could not find me here even if they wanted to.

Third, it’s a small space.  My hotel room is easily under my control.  There is only one way in or out of the room.  I also don’t have to hunt for something if I need it.  If there’s something I need, it’s in a suitcase.  All nice and compact.  All in one place.

The phone doesn’t ring.  No knock at the door if I put out the do not disturb sign.  And I’m one of a couple hundred other people.  I’m not easy to find here.

You may think after reading this that I’m some kind of fugitive from justice.  Rest assured I am not.  I’ve simply been changed by a violent world and now finding a place of even temporary refuge is more fantastic than I can adequately describe.

p.s. the hotel room in the photo is not mine.  I’m not sure I would stay there, kind of creepy.


6 comments on “Safe in a hotel room

  1. Strangely enough, I too find solace in the anonymity of traveling. I don’t get to travel often, usually once a year for vacation. And that isn’t to say that I don’t have my bad days on the road. What I have found though is that once we get several hours from home I seem to relax. I find myself able to do things that I simply cannot do at home. I easily get out to see the sights, I actually sleep on a somewhat more regular schedule, and I interact with people that I don’t know, etc. I could never put my finger on it but maybe it is the anonymity of it. I think part of it for me is also that nothing is expected of you. Well okay, not nothing but not the ordinary daily tasks of home life. Those things that overwhelm me. We don’t so much plan a vacation as have an idea as where we are going and head that direction. That takes the pressure off of having to be someplace at a certain time. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that traveling CURES me of my PTSD, it somehow just allows me to do more than I am normally able to do and to actually enjoy myself. It is so weird because when we head back home, the closer we get the higher my anxiety level gets. I sure wish I could travel more.

    • Wow, nice to know I’m not the only one who feels safer away from home. Although, away from familiar surroundings, I’m 99% higher risk to trigger anxiety and flashes. That is, unless I’m at a pow-wow to dance…then, I’m totally at ease.

      • Growing up, it was rarely safe to sleep during the day. Even though my anxiety would wear me out like I’d been up for days, I had to stay awake. As I got a little older, and stealthier, I would cover up with clothes in my closet if I just couldn’t stay awake any longer. The hotel room is kind of like that closet for me.

      • I understand that, brodie. I used to sneak off into the woods, or into a neighbor’s garage to find a place to hide. I was lucky if I slept an hour at a time anywhere, anytime. Now, they tell me I’m supposed to sleep eight hours, but my body just won’t do it.

  2. Oddly enough, I feel the safest in the car. Two years ago, my home was broken into (while I was there alone). I woke up to find a stranger in my home. We moved. In the interim, we lived in a motel room and the car. Oddly, I felt safer there than in the hotel room. After we moved into our new place with brand new locks and security, I still start out in bed but end up out in the car by midnight. Maybe it’s my past, but I see the car as perfectly safe.

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