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Place the Oxygen Mask Over Your own Nose and Mouth First…

Totem Guidance

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As a child, I remember being baffled when during the safety review at the beginning of an airline flight, the flight attendant (stewardess back then, and almost always a stewardess, which is pretty relevant to this topic), would announce that the adult should put the oxygen mask over their nose and mouth first before placing it over their child’s. This wounded me on a deep level; I couldn’t believe that they’d ask my mother to take care of herself before she took care of me, as I perceived that it was the mother’s job to take care of others before herself, always and period.

As I grew and became a young woman, I matured into this role of caretaker, an expression of my bewilderment with the dynamics of the oxygen mask. I believed that it was my job to make sure that everyone around me was okay at all times…

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