Does the average person go around looking over their shoulder, feeling “unsafe?” When I left Reeducation, the only explanation it would accept was that I “did not feel safe” in it. I played this card in desperation, for Reeducation was saying but, but, but, how did I expect to live without it, and so on. It refused to have an adult conversation, or allow me to beat a civilized retreat. But I had learned that the phrase “I do not feel safe” was one Reeducation could hear.
I had picked up the phrase from Reeducation itself, which considered “not feeling safe” to be the normal, or at least the expected condition of persons. One of the things Reeducation found suspicious about me was that I did not seem to to feel unsafe unless there was something dangerous actually happening. That meant there was something wrong with me. It meant I was so damaged that I did not have the irrational fears which signal normalcy.
I knew, of course, that I was not safe emotionally with my family. That was, after all, why I was in Reeducation. I wanted to understand and handle the situation better, so as not to feel so unsafe with that group of people. I had no reason in the rest of my life to feel unsafe. What was unsafe, of course, was the set of ideas Reeducation taught. When I remember how vibrant I was before Reeducation, I am in awe.
So I am curious: does the average person, in the absence of clear and present danger, really go around looking over their shoulder, feeling “unsafe?” Reeducation presented this feeling as healthful and self-protective, but it never seemed so to me.
Both my Reeducator and the abusive man I got involved with years later told me that I was unreasonably placid about the things that can go wrong in a day, unreasonably confident that things could be improved with some effort, and unreasonably calm and accepting in the face of bad news. They used to tell me it would be more appropriate for me to be more agitated, sadder, angrier.
Willing to consider their point of view, I would try to feel as they wished me to. If I succeeded, they would then ask why I could not take the calmer or more stoic attitude they had criticized before.
I eventually saw that this tactic on the part of my abusive man was a mere technique of emotional manipulation, undertaken for recreational purposes. That is one of the main ways I came to see that my Reeducator, and the discourse of Reeducation itself had been similarly abusive.
Today a friend and I went looking for houses in and around smaller towns. If we sold our houses and bought out in the country, we could afford to travel more. In each town we were soon told which areas were “unsafe” and we went straight for them.