We have unmet need for Safety. We are always looking for risks, dangers. Is there a way to look for evidence we are safe?
The one person we’re not feeling safe about is us: we are worried our behavior will turn violent or will embarrass us or humiliate us.
In that case, another unmet need is Stability. We have DID and PTSD. We lack stability of personality, mood, awareness, age, etc.
Potential anchors we can use to stabilize us are:
- Nonviolent Communication: the process of translating judgments into feelings, values, needs awareness, requests to meet unmet needs, and recognition and appreciation/celebration of met needs can help steer us toward compassion and effectiveness
- When we’re less resourced in the evenings and nights and during high stress, we can use:
- Senses: it is very grounding for us to our basic humanity to use sight, smell, and touch (to a lesser extent hearing, which we associate with hypervigilance, and taste). We have peppermint oil.
- Our breath is always here. It is usually being held, a fight for air. If we slow our exhales by acting like we’re breathing out from a straw, we can sometimes catch our breath. Sighing can feel like a release, too.
- Sunrises and sunsets come every day. If we can see them, they can remind us of stability.
- Trees and sky easy-to-find anchors.
- Looking for birds uses many of our senses and gets us connected to nature.
Humans have pain and make mistakes. These are actually potential anchors to common humanity. When we err, we are inescapably human. Can we find normalization instead of fear, shame, regret? We can try.
All of this is about trying. We know we forget what to do. We know lists get forgotten. We know DID confuse us. If we can simply try compassion, someday it might work. Better to try to be gentle and fail than guarantee violence. Abs there are other options, too. Perfection is not possible. OCD will feel unmet needs for Stability in our failures. But we have to start normalizing that or we create more suffering that piles us under like an avalanche.
All people want to avoid pain. That is normal. Please just try not to be so harsh on yourself. That makes it worse. Keep it simple. Compassion is the only word we need to remember.
“Compassion” is the only word we need to rememberUs