The following blog submission has been approved by the Board of the Attachment Network of Manitoba
Connection in the time of Isolation
Heidi Gauthier, ECE III, COS Facilitator
In February 2020 I had the opportunity to join the Circle of Security Facilitator training in Brandon Manitoba. I was scared, excited and grateful for the adventure. A month later as I prepared for my first group COVID 19 Pandemic hit. Everything went into lockdown. I was crushed. I rode the wave of excitement to have a few weeks off staying home and being safe.
By April I was itching to do something to feel connected and useful. As an ECE for 20+ years I was missing the children and families I saw every day. I reached out to a mentor and a few former colleagues and my first COS group was born. It was online and the group was small and varied. One was a former coworker who lived in Brazil. A fellow facilitator I met in Brandon also started a group and so we went. We met on-line weekly with our mentor where we shared our struggles and success, and she filled our buckets and helped us stand tall and sent us on our way for another week. Neither my friend Pam or I knew the first thing about on-line meetings or sharing videos.
For 8 weeks I met virtually with these beautiful ladies and laughed and cried and shared hard stories that have never seen the light of day. We grew into a family of sorts. We spoke of connection, attachment, isolation, fears and so much more. We found a safe haven in each other and our meetings. For 2 hours a week the world outside our homes melted away. The uncertainty of normalcy left our minds as we explored supporting each other and learning how to listen and not fix each other. This little group may have saved me during our lockdown, it may have saved all of us from the dark despair of the effects of COVID 19.
I am proud to say 10 months after the group started, we still meet virtually. Once a month we “check-in” with each other. Sharing circle stories, and stories of hope and perseverance. We still laugh and sometimes cry but we do it together, side by side on a rectangular screen kilometers and countries away from each other…we are the face of attachment in a new frontier.