On Sunday, some of my students come to my house to study. They came on Friday and they came again today. Before and after, I am thinking about this aloneness—the sense of life without a partner, and without Nata.

After they leave, it starts to occur to me that it’s really natural. It’s not entirely because Nata is dead. The trauma bond, if we had gotten out of that situation, would have loosened eventually. We would have formed a more healthy relationship. And I would have felt something like I do now: supported, but less closely connected. It’s just that the aloneness was thrust upon me. It didn’t happen gradually as I became less traumatized. She was killed, and suddenly I was alone.

I have been thinking that this aloneness is a big part of the dissociation. I feel myself in the present, and I notice that I am alone in that present—I notice my sense of myself as being alone—and I withdraw from that. It reminds me of her death and not only is that too painful, it’s dangerous. Maybe I am not allowed to even know she is dead. Maybe that’s a secret.

But I told someone she was dead and I know I told someone. I didn’t say it and then dissociate it so that I didn’t have to know. The earth did not swallow me up, so it must be okay. Yuri didn’t kill me. It was safe to tell and it must be safe to know. It safe for me that she is dead.

So then it is safe for me to be alone. I miss her and it hurts, but it is safe.