top of page

Psychological Safety for Me

It's fascinating how our brains make efforts to protect us; at least mine does.

As I write this I am having a memory from years ago which created a trigger for me. I was in a space where I was staying temporarily, but I was not really welcomed. I had my young son with me, who had not even learned to walk, talk, nor respond sensibly enough to call for help. I was left alone, in my mother's home because the trip the family and friends at that time was going on, wouldn't accommodate a divorced mom with a baby. Me!

One of the humans who went on this trip, which as I recall was a church retreat, had this fiancé who always was absorbed by her. He doted on her like his life depended on it. I neither cared nor participated in the worshiping of this fiancé. Nevertheless he was part of the unit of "friends" of my Christian mother and sister at that time.

I was in the house alone with my baby, while my sister, cousins and their church crew were gone to the retreat. I practiced locking up early, spend time with my baby and just make plans for my next day, or next way out of that home. As Jamaicans would say "me did a kotch." Though it was my mom's home, so many factors created discomfort.

Suddenly, I heard the grill/bar knocking. (The average porch in Jamaica at that time had iron decorative bars on the external portions of the home). It was an unexpected knock because I had no plans, no friends visited me that late and strangers typically do not just pull up at the home; especially not in any part of Spanish Town, Jamaica.

As I recognized him, I secured my baby appropriately and went towards the door leading to the bar/grill. As I walked towards him, still in the house, I thought retrospectively, "he should know they are on a trip away from the house."

I recall him attempting to charm me into opening the iron bars so he could get to the door, hence get inside the house. Now his fiancé didn't live at our house but she frequently visited. In my slight naivete, I said "I am alone with the baby, you know they all went to the retreat"... he responded by saying he came to see me, so we could chat, and get to know each other.

I was 245 seconds shy of being sensible, cause when you are young you are not always sensible, smart or alert enough to pick up on danger. As unexposed as I was, his offer didn't sit well with me. I guess after his multiple verbal attempts at getting access to inside the home, he decided being irate would work best.

I'll never forget how much I was panicking, feeling helpless, baby in the house, not knowing what weapons he may have had and not sure of his capability to open the grill. Usually, I would know where the machete was and I would have armed myself appropriately, but this was unfamiliar territory.

As the minutes flew by, he got more and more agitated and soon after, was assiduously working toward cracking the lock. Banging and clanging, and soon, I heard the grill swing open. I was already barracaded behind the door. This was happening so fast, and he was describing explicitly what he was coming in there to do to me, baby or not. Pertified, baby in hand, I felt helpless in that moment. I started cowering but then remembered that I had a voice, louder than the average human! I heard him attempting to open the main door of the house with a knife. Well, what sounded like a knife. He had already worked up the adrenaline banging on the lock so profusely, I imagine it would just be a matter of time before he made it to us.

What made it so enticing to come and pounce on a woman and baby at a home he didnt belong? I was screaming on the top of my lungs, baby hollering, I was calling out through windows to my neighbors (no land line phone, nor cell phone), and all the while this man kept trying to come in through the door.

Gladly, the neighbors heard the commotion of me screaming, locks banging and his irate rant outside and came to help.

I was not familiar with the neighbors, but they came. They had absolutely no selfish reason to help nor any investment that needed protected, apart from human life, and safety. They removed this unscrupulous human, and stayed outside for hours to ensure he didn't return. By this time, a couple of my neighbors got a new lock on the grill.

Even though that boy did not make it through to door, I didn't sleep well for years.

Know this:

• If something or someone feels uncertain, follow your instinct, in whatever capacity.

• There are humans who act as if they care for you, but they are not your friend, they think the worse of you and will harm you, when they get an opportunity.

• Not everyone will believe what you tell them about your experience. I told the young lady who was engaged to this cretan what occurred and she insisted on dating him.

For years, clanging and loud knocking sounds would trigger me. For years, closing a door would have me replaying the event. If someone knocked on a door, it would startle me, I used to leave doors open to avoid that sound. For years, it was a constant trigger.

However, one day, my brain began to protect me from the scar of the fear I went through that night. It was locked back in archives, vaulted in the unused section for so many years. My son is in his 20's now, and only because I was watching the same scenario on TV that it came back.

Now I am sure over the years I have seen similar situations in movies, and documentaries, but my brain protected me from the constant trigger all these years, until now when I am psychologically safe enough to share.

56 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page