When I am outside of my home environment where I feel safe, my anxiety grows. When my anxiety grows, my amygdala is triggered and I am pushed into full survival mode. When I am in survival mode, I need to be in control to help me feel safe again. That control can manifest in triangulation, manipulation or dysregulation; that control is about ensuring my needs are met. Also, when I am in a new place it means there are often multiple transitions. I struggle with transition and the stress makes me forget everything we’ve learned at home.
You can help me learn to visit others, however. Give me lots of transition warnings and let me know what to expect. When we get to the new environment, help me to know what is expected of me. Give me words to ask for what I need and stay close – I need you here more than ever!
For children and families,