I was reading this post below – it was on fb and I was reflecting on it and thinking about the work we do with clients with trauma creating safe spaces, including considering the smells, sounds and textures that are safe and happy spaces. This post resonates with the stories we hear and memories people share with us.
It seems fairly obvious because of what we know about the power of our senses and in particular the smell or olfactory system and it’s strung connection to memory and emotion. This is probably why the parents bed may be such an attraction, an antidote to stress or pain, bad dreams and a restful place for those with positive childhood memories.
If I close my eyes I remember the smell of my Granny’s bed, and special sleepover days in her little flat. The smell of sheets and her big old brown bed was perfumed by something that smelt like an intoxicating mix of Pears Soap, Yardley’s Old English Lavender, 4711 perfume and freshly peeled Granny Snith apples, the smell of her heavy satin quilt and the feel of it’s smooth shiny cover, with faint wiffs of a lingering hot drink shared and pages of the story books we shared.
Whether a parent or grandparent the smell of love and safe spaces is very precious and powerful, for those of use lucky enough to have such memories. Recreating these in therapeutic settings and using them as powerful personalised intervention strategies is just so ‘sense-able’.
And we see the very different positive and tricky smells and aromas of those we teach. During group work on our trauma and mental health workshops – the power of smell is really evident – and each person’s unique set of happy smells so very personal – really reinforcing the need for creating individualised sensory spiders, turning these into individualised person specific sensory strategies; whether fir self soothe, self regulation, be calm or wake up sensory boxes, bags or kits.
Here is the post I read and original picture, translated from Spanish, I believe. I cannot find the original author or source – but is is beautifully written and speaks to the power of the senses.
THE BED OF PARENTS
The parent’s bed has a magnet, it has a magic, some sleeping pillow, a mysterious love powder impregnated on the pillows, which causes children to fall asleep immediately and that the worst nightmares, the most trembling Night Terror, flee at seven feet.
In the parents’ bed, the last refuge from fears, peace is absolute and total.
Here they come, taken by exhausted parents and losers, or by their own foot, all sweaty and scared, little birds fly at night to walk down the halls of the house, until they arrive at the venue of the places. Two colos with soft sheets and the smell of parents. They drop like flies to sleep peacefully.
Parents pretend they care, the next morning: ′′ You went to our bed again! When will you learn to overcome fears and sleep alone? You have to grow up!”, But they don’t even look into the eyes of the children when they say these things, afraid they will discover that in that short return to the nest, to the initial cradle, parents are filled with love and tenderness and also they are filled with them shield your concerns.
A hot neck. A chubby hand in our hair. One foot back to the mother’s rib. The quiet breath in the shared holster.
The secret desire for the nest to stay like this forever and it takes the morning forever to arrive.
May the pillow’s mystery love powder forever preserve these night pamper excursions that are nothing but a clever foreshadowing, of immense nostalgia, of the best days of this life!”
Author unknown – translated from Spanish.