I filed the papers yesterday to extend my contract for 2016, and it was hard to do this. Not physically that hard, but emotionally. The whole thing has had me kind of in a tither for weeks. Not a normal person’s tither. My kind of tither. It’s a special kind I don’t know how to describe exactly. A lot of crying. I know I am staying mostly for C. I don’t really know what I would do otherwise. I’d have to think the whole thing through again in a different way, and the answer might be the same, but the truth is that I didn’t think it through from that angle and I don’t know. I just know that I love C.

I’m starting to understand at a much deeper level how all of this works for me, that I am afraid to love anyone, because if I do then my dad might torture or kill them. Whatever his real motivations were, that was the connection made in my child’s brain. My care puts people at risk. So I am afraid to care. I do care, but I am afraid to feel that I care. Other people might have different core traumas, but that is mine. And I am really afraid for the people I do care about.

It’s horrifying to even contemplate this, the idea that this is the connection in my mind that was formed, and the connection was made so strongly that it is still with me when I am in my 40s. I really cannot fathom the depth of my father’s evil.

All of this is hitting me very strongly now. I thought actually after everything was filed, there would be a kind of relief. Things would get easier. Instead, the opposite has happened. It’s hitting me harder, and I am more overwhelmed with feelings. I am not switching that I am aware of, but I suppose I must be. Suddenly, I can’t remember 50 things. I was chatting with C in the morning before school—this is routine now—and suddenly I just felt in turmoil. Forgetful and distracted. I was talking to her about her plan for the day—we both have a period in the day on Wednesdays when we are free. She has no teacher and I have no class. I’ve been wanting to have her come to me at that time for maths lessons. Anyway, she didn’t really get this. I suppose she forgot I was free. Then she wanted to study English without my help—which is maybe okay. I don’t know. I fell apart inside at that point, and I really don’t know why. I suppose the trigger might be powerlessness, or a sense that I am not doing my duty by her, and the world will fall apart because I haven’t. Parts of me feel it’s okay to let her make decisions about this, that actually she needs to make decisions about her own life and be supported in making them more than she needs better academic performance. I mean, as long as she passes, her emotional needs might be most important.

But I am so afraid. She is so precious to me, and I feel so responsible for her, because it often seems no one else really cares that much about her. They don’t care to really think what she wants or needs in life. I suppose it’s that feeling of preciousness that is hard for me, and that is triggering so much pain I’m dizzy from half-derealizing.