Things in Erin’s Head 

 

What does it mean to feel safe? What does it mean to feel safe as a Caregiver? How do we navigate a life filled with twists, turns, and perpetual uncertainty without losing our minds? It is one of the most basic human needs. Without it, we cannot thrive.

What does it mean to feel safe?

Our friends at Merriam Webster define “safe” as “being free from harm or risk: UNHURT.”

If only it were that simple. Because it’s not just about feeling safe in the present. Because to feel truly safe, a human also doesn’t ANTICIPATE being harmed or hurt either physically OR emotionally. Whew, that anticipation can be brutal – particularly as a Caregiver – thrown quite unexpectedly into a world of the unknown-unknown. Always waiting… wondering… not knowing… and having zero control. 

I chatted about this topic on the Embracing Layers Radio Show, this past Monday on 360 Talk Radio for Women (check the app for the replays through the week!), but today I’d like to ask you two questions:

What are some of the emotions you equate with feeling SAFE?

Maybe you feel calm, relaxed, peaceful. Maybe you’re playful, laughing, joking – can you picture a space where you feel like you can just be yourself without fear of being judged or rejected? (I’d love to hear what that space looks like for you << Test First Name >>!). Maybe you feel safest when you’re in control of your environment and those around you (it’s okay, you can laugh, or cringe, because sometimes this is just our reality! Even if that sense of control is real or perceived…).
 
What is your body doing when you’re feeling safe?

Is it relaxed? Maybe a little slouchy – I’m picturing how I lounge on the couch with #NotMyCat and a book. Does your breathing even out a little? Maybe it gets a little deeper? Do you find you can move about with ease? Like those random aches and pains mysteriously aren’t there? Maybe you sleep. As a massage therapist it’s one of the biggest complements a client can give me: Falling asleep on the table. Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that both their mind and body feel safe enough with me in the space I’ve created, to surrender to sleep.

Now let’s turn the tables…

What do you feel like when you feel unsafe? When your most favorite person in the world has just been told they have cancer? When quite suddenly you are responsible for taking on all of the “other duties as assigned” like being the Chauffeur, The Burro, The Kitchen Table Pharmacist… but you’re still going to work, trying to pay the bills, raising the kids, cleaning the house… (or letting the house go to shit – that’s the first thing I know I did…)

What feelings come up when you feel UNSAFE?

It feels easier to come up with these than it does feelings of safety, doesn’t it? Do you feel scared? Anxious? Worrisome? Embarrassed?

What happens to your body when you feel UNSAFE?

Where are my fellow PTSD survivors? Do you break out in a sweat? Do you start to stammer your words? I get flush – I break out in a rash on my chest and it starts to creep up my neck. It’s awful. Does your mind go blank? 

What do you tend to do to move through those feelings?

Do you cry? After twenty years with my husband I learned to tell him to ignore the tears streaming from my eyes, it’s just my body releasing, but keep the conversation GOING. Do you yell? Do you punch things? Leave the room? Get quiet? Do you completely detach from your body and dissociate? At one point I got so bad that nearly anything slightly uncomfortable sent me into a state of dissociation. 

And what if you’re just STUCK?

Enter the Three Pillars: Awareness, Feelings, and Movement. But how can these three areas help soften the Caregiving journey? 

Join me TONIGHT as we discuss it further, LIVE, on Zoom. 

Tonight at 7:00pm EST is the first night of the Intro Series leading up to the Grand Opening of The Caregiver’s Carabiner. Below is the upcoming schedule:

April 24 – Why a Carabiner and an overview of the Pillars

May 1 – Awareness

May 8 – Feelings

May 15 – Movement

May 22 – FIRST LIVE MEETING of The Caregiver’s Carabiner.

Anyone is welcome to join the Intro Series. I plan to keep them short – about 60 minutes (OMG I was just on a webinar last week that lasted THREE hours and was all sales and it was SO BORING and I learned NOTHING and I tapped out after 60 minutes – we aren’t doing THAT). 

If you’re a Caregiver come check it out. If you’re not the primary Caregiver, but there’s a Caregiving situation happening in your family, pop on in. If you’re a social worker and curious about the community I’m building because it might serve some of your patients? You’re welcome too. 

SIGN UP BY 2:00PM EST to get your Zoom link!

>>SIGN UP HERE FOR THE INTRO SERIES<<

Because it’s all about love…

Join as a Founding Member today: 

THE CAREGIVER’S CARABINER

A membership created to soften the Caregiving journey with tools, resources, and gentle guidance that support both a Caregiver’s active journey and their recovery, in an honest and playful way.

Beginning May 22, 2024