What makes you feel the most secure?
I’m going to go with the first thing that popped into my mind and say my blankie. Ever since ever, I’ve needed to feel the weight of a blanket or two in order to feel “okay enough” to fall asleep. Not necessarily warm enough, but safe enough. Not that I had or have sensations of anxiety or fear at bedtime, but a heavy blanket feels comforting more than comfortable.
When I was a girl, my bed had an old hand-knotted blanket. It was made of wool and felt pieces, maybe an old coat or worn blanket. I have a very strong recollection of the sense of peace. Was it simply the warmth that I responded to? I don’t think so. Even now I need to feel some weight in order to relax enough to fall asleep.
It puts me in mind of Temple Grandin and her squeeze machine. Ms. Grandin built a contraption based on a piece of farm equipment that was used to secure and settle livestock. When she felt overwhelmed and in a heightened state, she found relief by using the machine.
She describes the clinical effects of Deep Touch Pressure
Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. In contrast, light touch pressure is a more superficial stimulation of the skin, such as tickling, ver y light touch, or moving hairs on the skin. In animals, the tickle of a fly landing on the skin may cause a cow to kick, but the firm touch of the farmer’s hands quiets her. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.
The video clip below is from the movie Temple Grandin and Clair Bloom as Ms. Grandin describes the sensations of overwhelm and the need to feel hugged.
If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?
Sensible. Because, sensible. I’m 5’10” and have weak ankles and am prone to falling. Sensible rules the day.
How many languages do you speak?
I speak English. Je parle un peu de français. I can count to 10 in Spanish. So the answer is one.
I recall feeling quite frustrated with high school French classes. “Great, I can get a job as a weather forecaster,” I’d complain, “Aujourd’hui, il pleut, il fait chaud, il fait froid comme le vortex polaire.” (I just made that part up about the polar vortex ‘cause that’s a 21st century thing.)
What was the largest city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most?
The largest city I’ve been to is the provincial capital, Toronto. I haven’t travelled too much, and don’t expect that to change. During my first visit I behaved just like the country mouse visiting her city cousin. The height of the buildings, the CN Tower, the number of people… all very remarkable initially, and certainly overwhelming. But nothing sticks out as worthy of mention here. Except perhaps this: the city isn’t as intolerable a place as it once was. As a matter of fact, I am considering work in Toronto, as long as I can commute by train. And bring my blankie, maybe?
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
On Monday the vet was by for Oscar’s annual shots. He’s speaking to me again. It took a couple of days. Oh yeah! I suppose I should add above that I speak feline. Sort of.
I am looking forward to when my pupils are no longer dilated. It’s been four hours since my morning appointment with the optometrist. New spectacles are in my future, too. What they call “mid-index lens” or computer lens. I tried the progressive lens seven years ago. Hated ‘em. Fingers crossed that these do the job.
In response to Cee’s Share Your World