Finally Recognizing Safe Friends

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

Several years ago, a woman blew up at me for reasons I still do not know. My emotional state was somewhat fragile because I was struggling with depression.

I remember feeling cornered as people around me did nothing to stop her attack. Anything I tried to say, she talked over me. She yelled and slashed at my character (she barely new me) and assumed terrible motives on my part (she never asked), and I shrank inside like a little turtle trying to find safety. For about five minutes, my brain shut down. What I did hear made no logical sense. Panicking like a child, turning to another woman in the room, I said, “What is happening? Why is she yelling at me?”

The sensation of terrified confusion is still with me when I recall the incident. Lack of understanding mixed with feeling trapped (I tried to walk away from her; she followed), led to emotionally leaving the room, as it has in similar experiences.

I grew up with people daily and randomly screaming at me and at each other. It’s uncertain I ever knew why. Yelling has always been unnerving.

For most of life I believed that somehow it was my fault people grew so upset that they wanted to explode. Usually I’ve not asked for an explanation, instead continuing to carry the self-doubt that somehow I am flawed.

1 Corinthians 4:4-5  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. 

Recently I saw another side. A constant in each of these scenarios is someone losing control of their temper, and it is not me. I’m generally calm. A therapist once told me we tend to choose people who fit our concept of what is normal. Did I adopt the idea that yelling at me is normal? If so, is it those types of people I chose in the past to hang around?

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered…

Proverbs 22:24

My current friends are the best. They are wise, calm, understand the benefit of the doubt, and believe in me where others in my past did not. I want to name them, but would accidentally leave someone out. Let me only say I intend to nurture those relationships the Lord has given to me today.

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188, per BibLe Gateway. All rights reserved. Retrieved from

One comment

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.