When my daughter was very young I got her Valentine, a stuffed animal elephant, for Valentine’s day. Valentine soon became the, ” Here, I think you need Valentine” animal. Whenever I was upset about anything, having a bad day, you name it, she would hand me Valentine. Apparently, Valentine had magical powers to make things better. If my daughter was having a bad day she would be given Valentine. “Here, I think you need Valentine back.” Valentine is velvety soft with pink ears. It has been a good 15 years since Valentine has been around and she is still handed to the person having a bad day. When I felt the other night that I was going to have a seizure I had Valentine put right next to my face. Valentine is just…Valentine. I don’t know why but she does make things better. I don’t know if it is how she is given in love when one person knows the other person is struggling or that she represents so many years of comfort. Valentine is just a comforting little Valentine.
I am sharing Valentine’s story with you because I have noticed that other girls and women and older adults sometimes feel embarrassed by what comforts them. I don’t think anyone should feel shame or embarrassment over what gives them comfort. Whether it is their favorite blanket or quilt, a soft stuffed animal, a favorite pillow. You name it, if it is comforting, it does not really matter what it is. I find it comforting sometimes to lock my bedroom door. Sometimes I like to sleep on the futon next to our bed because it is close to the floor and for some reason that comforts me. It’s small and not like our king size bed and I feel more safe. My husband bought me a soldier to sit on my end table so that when I sleep he can protect me. It was part of therapy and imagery and he bought me a statue that represented that. I have a dream catcher that my friend that is a Cree Native American Indian made me that comforts me. Sometimes I sleep with my bible, that comforts me. Sometimes being alone makes me feel safe, sometimes sleeping on my husband’s chest comforts me. Sometimes I have to have a pillow against my back. And sometimes I may just need Valentine.
We all need to feel safe. We need comfort. We need love. That can come in many different forms, shapes, sizes, objects, etc. No one needs to be judged for where they find comfort. Whether it is your partner, your dog, cat, a stuffed animal, a picture of a loved one, if it gives you comfort, it is okay. Don’t worry about what other people think. Sometimes I need the closet light on. I never know what fears and PTSD the night may bring. I have not one care int he world for what someone else were to think about what helps me to be able to sleep safely at night. They aren’t laying next to me at night while I am trying to sleep so what do I care what they think! I don’t. You shouldn’t either. If you have twinkle lights good for you, stuffed animals that cover your bed, good for you, a night light! So be it! If you do have someone sleeping next to you, and you need extra comforts, hopefully they will encourage you to incorporate, if need be, a Valentine.