Something that almost every Little will face at some point in their life is the feeling of being “locked out” of Littlespace. This can happen for many reasons – being hurt by a Caregiver, breaking up with a partner, major stress at work, a particularly nasty illness… whatever the reason, feeling like you can’t reach the headspace you love so much can be extremely painful for a Little.
When that “locked out” feeling happens, it can be tempting to throw yourself at one of two extremes: to try to force yourself deep into Littlespace or to leave Littlespace behind you completely forever. Neither of these are good options as the first may make the locked-out feeling worse, and the second plays in to a binge-and-purge cycle that many Littles know all too well.
The better choice is to try to ease yourself back into Littlespace.
What do I mean by that? I think the best way to explain is by example.
When I get stressed out (which happens for any number of reasons), I can find myself feeling locked-out of Littlespace. There’s just this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach when I even look at my pacifier or sippy cups. Shows I usually love to watch feel oddly empty or maybe even actually grate on my nerves. This is really upsetting for me! So what I do is put away those more “intense” aspects of Littlespace. I don’t try to use a sippy or my pacifier because that feels like I’m forcing myself. Instead, I’ll do a “less-Little” version of things I enjoy in Littlespace.
- Coloring in an “adult” coloring book instead of a “kid” coloring book
- Taking a bath without bubbles or bath toys (but perhaps with a bath bomb)
- Watching “The Great British Baking Show” instead of “Octonauts” (or similar)
- Redressing my dolls instead of playing with them
- Eat a Littlespace meal (like pb&j or mac ‘n cheese) on adult plates
By easing myself back into Littlespace with these kinds of “modified” activities, I can help myself relax a bit more and transition past the stressful scenario keeping me from fully enjoying my Littlespace. Sometimes it might take a few days of these kinds of modifications, but I find it really does help with that feeling of being “locked out of Littlespace.”