There are a few threads of thoughts floating around in my mind.
One of them has to do with a sense of heartbreak and melancholy that seems to be a part of my memory of Farzana and Laila. There is an aesthetic quality to it, as if remembering them is part of a beautiful song, and there is also this very deep pain. And I think it has to do with Farzana’s grief, that she was grieving first for her children, and then she was grieving for Laila—who I think now died first, maybe a few years before, and who I do think was her lover–and my sense of Farzana has to do with this kind of aesthetic quality to it, as if there was a soundtrack playing of songs and poetry. It is in the same stripe, this grief and this sense of appreciation for beauty, because they are tied together by her personality.
So I have my own grief for both Farzana and Laila, and I have the memory of Farzana’s grief for Laila. There is an echo of it later in my own life in my grief for Nata. Farzana’s grief for Laila is the same as my grief for Natalya—a grief for the person who was your whole world, who brought everything good to life that there was, who seemed to be the whole reason for existence. While I don’t have that same feeling for Laila—my own feelings are much more confused—I have the memory of Farzana being sad in the same way that I was sad later for the person I loved most.
That is one thread.
Another thread is this student who reminds me of Laila. There is a new part—new parts seem to be surfacing at a rate of two a week. I haven’t even mentioned all of them on blog. Anyway, there is a new part who seems to be most involved in the memories of Laila and Farzana and she is very interested in this student. She wants very badly to be this student’s friend. Which is okay, as it seems that these things can end up playing out in very appropriate ways. Ruthie thinks Maths Ma’am’s six-year-old boy is her friend, and what we mostly do is try to help him work on his one-to-one correlation with numbers. And things like that. Also, I take an interest in many students. Taking an interest in this one is not problematic, especially as she is a nice kid overall and probably worth encouraging a bit.
Except that I am also really triggered by the child. I substituted in the girl’s class, and I did not quite remember it was her class—it seemed like it was, but I wasn’t totally sure—and I began to shake when I saw her sitting there right next to the teacher’s desk. Because I cannot really see her without thinking of Laila’s dismembered body on the floor of a warehouse somewhere. And what the part says over and over again is that she is scared that this girl is going to break into pieces. She likes to be around her so that she knows all her pieces are together, but then she gets scared that’s only temporary and the pieces are going to come apart any second.
I’ve never really had this situation, where a person seemed to be the trigger, and the person is prompting both terror and a pull towards the person. I suppose it’s common enough—this person reminds me of my dad or my mom or my uncle or whatever—but I am mostly triggered by environmental factors like red floors and twilight. Or I removed every triggering person from my life until this one was the only one left. I don’t know.
But she asked me for help with her math, and I was shaking.