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Making a scary place feel safer?

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Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby companionwolf » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:59 pm

[I posted this on another site originally, but wanted to ask here too because you folks have consistently had awesome input and ideas.]

So one of the problems we have continually is that parts (particularly young ones) get pretty upset when we have to return to the parents’ house — a lot of bad stuff occurred there and we remain at risk of more occurring whenever we are there, which is a good chunk of every year (we have no other option or choice in this having to return, at least not now; in the future maybe). Basically we have heavy negative association with that house - I can’t tell if it or the parents themselves are triggering, but it’s one of them, and it’s hard.

The two things we’ve done so far to make things feel ‘safer’ is have lots of stuffed animals around (especially ones that specific younger parts picked out/bought/identify as theirs; I - Wolf - have my own separate large collection so when needed I can pass off the young ones’ plushies as being mine), and make a blanket fort (this makes the upset parts feel safer for some reason... whatever works I guess?) A idea our current therapist gave recently was to do coloring with the young parts and put those colorings up on the walls, so we’re gonna do that too. (They’re mandalas so I can pass them off as decorative if the parents ask about them.)

Was just wondering what other people have done to make a pretty much inescapable scary environment feel somewhat safer while we’re stuck there. (This ask is somewhat informed by the fact we continue to have nightmares, and that those get worse at the parents’ house. We’re starting a new medication for the nightmares tho so maybe that will resolve them. Fingers are crossed really hard.)

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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby Dwelt » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:53 pm

I asked our Littles, and they all agree about one thing : a night light.

We usually use my lava lamp as one, it's quite good. The light is soft enough to allow us to fall asleep, and watching the bubbles has a calming effect on our younger alters.

We also used an electric garland before, a glitter lamp (really liked this one), and a big electric Christmas ball. We still have the ball, we just need to change the battery.

One thing that also helps with the fear of nightmares is when Daem and I check if everyone is ready to go to bed, and say "good night, sleep well" to everyone, with a hug for those who want it. Our Littles, as well as our Teens, appreciate this a lot.

Hanging coloring is a good idea ! We also like to let post-it with quotes of our favorite songs on our desk sometimes, when one of us doesn't feel right.
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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby IainEtc » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:58 pm

Hi,

Our Littles say the bedtime check-in we do when we're out of town in hotels is a big help. Host calls each name and they say 'Good night' or whatever. Our big thing is that nobody gets lost or left out. We sometimes sing our special song. Colin does a security check. Evan also brings a little knight he has to remind him to be brave. Stuff like that helps us a lot.

Good luck,

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which one do they mean?
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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby Una+ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:13 pm

a lot of bad stuff occurred there and we remain at risk of more occurring whenever we are there


In that case the goal should be not to subjectively feel safe but to objectively be safe. So, how about a safety plan?

What bad stuff? When? Where? How? Who? I suggest getting some index cards. On each card write one bad thing that has happened or could happen. Then write on the card one thing you can do to make the bad thing less likely to happen, and one thing you can do to stay safe if the bad thing starts happening. Expect working on the cards to take days, off and on, as you think of stuff. Then, see if you can sort the cards. Are there certain things you can do that would help with a lot of bad stuff? Those are your priority things to do.

Is this bad stuff where you might need to leave immediately? Do you have a go bag, and a place to go to? Do you have a place you can stay the night, and a way to get there? Even a motel could be an option; just one night won't cost a whole lot. Do you know the phone number of a shelter or a crisis hotline?

This United States government website has a lot of great information for safety planning around all kinds of issues: https://www.ready.gov/
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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby auntrebecca » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:21 am

I think all the suggestions so far have been great. Please make sure that you keep your cell phone charged at all time. Maybe have one of those backup battery things that can recharge it quickly. Also, I wonder if it would help all of you to have a real keyed lock for your door.

Stay Safe
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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby companionwolf » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:01 am

These are all great suggestions, especially the safety plan - I think I have one written down somewhere, but it needs to be updated. Thank you folks for being so kind and helpful as always <3

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Re: Making a scary place feel safer?

Postby Zor » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:26 pm

We have a few stuffed animals, Pinkie Pie and Ryo Ohki, to help feel safer. Physically we're entirely safe where we are now, but sometimes it doesn't FEEL safe... or nightmares or bad thoughts make us feel insecure. Cuddling with these helps sometimes.

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