As part of my mental health advocacy, I have the opportunity to work with folks who are struggling to find safety, whether real or perceived. I myself have never struggled with suicidality, but I do have experience relating to fear of others harming me.
The primary term for externalizing one’s fear into a projective field of violence is called, “projective identification.” In this scenario, one’s internal fear is projected outward, with imagined and even somatic experiences of violence.
This could look like needing many locks on doors, hallucinating bad people trying to hurt you, imagining or having delusions that there are government conspiracies, or even thinking you are on a hit list for a mob or something really wild like that.
Consider how safe you have been for your entire life. Have you done something wrong? Do you struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse? What would it take to forgive yourself for unconscious behaviors?
Take inventory of your perceived faults, problematic behaviors, and maladaptive thought patterns. Write a list of what is troubling you. Ask yourself, “Is this real?,” or “Is this imagined?” Allow yourself to put it all down on paper. If you have a disability that makes it difficult to write, you can use modern technology to speak the list.
Blow all the air out of your body, as if blowing out the candles of a birthday cake. Notice how the body naturally takes air in, effortlessly. You don’t have to try to take air in. The body breathes itself. After trying this for a dozen or so breaths, practice “letting go” on the out-breath. Release all the burdens of your mind. Instead of forcing the breath out of the body, allow a natural relaxation on each out-breath. This way, you are synchronizing mind and body with the spirit of the breath.