Yesterday was a nice morning. Charlie helped in the kitchen and with the laundry. I explained to him about Lana, that we give her choices so that she feels she has some control and so that she can see that pain can end. When we notice our hands are getting cold we ask if she wants to put them in warm laundry water for a while. (I have given up doing laundry in cold water and switch the water heater on for it: it is just too cold now.) She has started saying no. I’ll do one more dish, she says. Or We are almost finished.

So he did that. He washed dishes and every so often he asked her if she wanted to warm her hands. And that seemed to go well.

We did yoga and she liked that. She said, It only hurts a little bit and when I want to I can stop. So that was good too. Pain can end. She is getting that.

We had a bath. She said, I have inside parts and no one is going to put things in them.

Also good.

I started thinking about a walk. Sam likes to take walks.

Lana crawled under a blanket and stayed there for two hours. The thing about being switched is the more in a state the part is, the less control I have. If they are fairly calm, we can blend and I can help them sort things and I can comfort them and all that. If they are wound too tight, I can’t do anything. They just do what they do. And this is especially true of Lana, who reverts to a universal distrust that includes me.

So she was in a state. I couldn’t help. And she didn’t want to give up control, because then I might force her to go on a walk.

There are people out there I don’t know. They will see me. They will put things in my inside part and it will hurt and I will cry and they will put me in the freezer if I cry. Then they will make me die.

A simple sequence.

It’s tough. I know that this will not happen, but she does not. I cannot get the information to her.

But she wants to chat with my friend, so there is at least a lifeline. There is some way for her to move beyond hiding under the covers. So she waits.

And eventually my friend comes. They talk things through. There are no freezers in Country X big enough to put her in. Maybe they have them, but she has never seen one. Not even in the shops. Somehow, they manage to make ice cream, and they manage to keep it cold long enough to sell it, but those enormous freezers where you can just slide the top open and take out a rocket pop are nowhere in evidence. The freezers you see here, you could put an arm in. That’s it.

So this gets through. And chatting does calm her down. She gets out of bed. She goes into the kitchen and gets tea.

She goes on chatting. She begins to realize it is not really everyone that would put her in a freezer. It is not every living, breathing human being that poses a problem.

It is thieves. She is scared of thieves.

vor v zakone

Not literally thieves. The guy who stole my shoes last week doesn’t worry her. He probably just needed shoes and I was so rich I didn’t need them. After all, I’m white. I must be rich.

She is not scared of him.

Vory v zakone. She is scared of the Russian mob. And this helps. It is a more specific and manageable fear.

It has not helped her to say that the bad men are gone. She understands that the problem was never really a specific set of bad men. Although Yuri gave the orders, someone else could have done it instead of him. He could have been replaced and the brutality would have continued without him.

She understood something of the nature of the men who hurt her as a network rather than as a specific set of individuals. She knows this network could still exist.

She is calm enough at last to look around in her brain for what that network is and she has found it. It helps her immensely.

There are no thieves in Country X. People steal things, but they are not vory v zakone. They are not the same kind of thief.

She is safe here.