Mini is an anxious person. There is no denying that there are certain places where he feels safe, and certain places he doesn't. In those safe spaces, he can be himself and he can share his feelings (even if he doesn't always realise he's doing it).
Home, particularly the living room, is undoubtedly his safest place. That's not to say he feels totally comfortable here, we know he feels different, we know there are many times when he clams up, but we've tried to make it safe and secure for him.
Of course it's not just about the physical space, the actual room/house/garden etc, it's about the people that are in the space too. We limit visitors - not just unknown or (in Mini's eyes) scary visitors like social workers, therapists etc, but everyone because having too many people at once, or too many visits in quick succession unsettles Mini. And I've written before about another safe space that we use - it sounds silly perhaps to consider this cookie cutter coffee shop a safe place, but it's precisely that cookie cutter aspect that makes it so safe and comforting.
And us? Well, as an adult my safe space constantly changes depending on my feelings and needs. Mostly my safe spaces are wherever I can find other likeminded people - where I am not judged, where I give and receive sympathy, where I find myself nodding in agreement. That's online, at my friend's house, with family...but sometimes it's just at the beach on my own staring at the sea and listening to the waves crash.
I can't guarantee much in Mini's future. But I hope the tools we're trying to give him now in the safe spaces we are nurturing will stand him in good stead to find safe spaces he needs as he grows - whether that's with us, beside us or in places without us - with his own likeminded and understanding people.
Today I'm linking up with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out - this week's theme is 'Safe Spaces'.