My partner and I were vacationing in Crested Butte to visit his mom and stepdad. After over a year of not being able to see family, we were finally fully vaccinated and felt safe enough to visit. Lucky for us, the place we were staying at not only had family, but also a hot tub as well. While we were out taking advantage of this perk, we were welcomed by a clear, starry night sky (something you don’t get to see when you live in a city), and a distant lightning storm that occasionally lit up the mountains in the background.
After over a year of pandemic living, to finally be somewhere besides my apartment, surrounded by the beauty of nature, I felt the most peaceful and relaxed that I have in a long time. It was amazing, until it wasn’t. All of a sudden, without my conscious brain registering a reason why, I was alert. Though moments before I was peacefully watching the stars, I was now taking in every sound that I could hear, looking around to see if I could see anything (we had left all of the lights off), and had a knot in my stomach ‒ I felt in danger.
I returned to my IMPACT training and put myself into our “awareness stance” and asked myself “what’s going on?” Was there a reason for this feeling? Was I paranoid because of the darkness and being in a new place? Thanks to IMPACT, my partner and I have developed a safety plan with a safety word to alert the other person that something isn’t right. I decided that I needed to vocalize what I was feeling to my partner. I called our safety word and explained that I didn’t know if I was feeling anxiety or an intuitive cue, but I was feeling something. My partner looked back at me and said “Oh thank goodness, I’m feeling something too”. We immediately knew that we needed to get inside. We got out, fumbled a little with the hot tub cover (eventually left it slightly undone ‒ because no hot tub cover is worth our safety), got into the closest door we could find, and locked the doors.
We spent the next hour or so grounding ourselves and processing what we felt and realized that both of us had the same intuitive cue about 30 seconds before I spoke up. We speculated on what it could be and then realized that speculation is all we'll ever be able to do. Was something out there? I don’t know, but I choose to trust my intuition and the cues that it gives me. It is not always going to tell me what danger I could be facing, but it is going to alert me to changes that I need to make in order to preserve my safety. I’m proud of speaking up and of my partner for listening and responding in a supportive and affirming way. Not every moment of protecting our safety is going to be clear. We protect our safety everyday and rely on our intuition to guide us. Though I will never know what happened that night, I choose to trust my intuition.