My thinking, as I have mentioned is really different than it used to be. Not what I think, but how I think. It has always been slow. I don’t have mental chatter. There aren’t a million thoughts racing through my mind. It is sometimes agonizingly slow. These days, it is not agonizing. It is smoother. But it is still really slow. Last night, I felt a lot, but I had a thought maybe every 15 minutes or so. Images float up vaguely from time to time, and I don’t really have any idea how they connect to the feeling, or a sentence pops up and I don’t know how that connects to the image. It takes a long, long, long time. I do not know why it is slow, if I am having to concentrate so hard on not getting too scared to feel anything at all to think much, or if there indeed are not good connections in my brain. No idea.

Last night was very intense for me in terms of feelings, but thoughts were hard to come by. I thought a bit about C, how I want to protect her, how it does make a difference that I do want to. I thought about my own past and how I have learned from it that we sometimes have more power than we think. We cannot solve the world’s problems, but there is usually this little thing any of us can do that helps. I thought how dependent children really are and how it is not just their lack of financial or legal autonomy, but their ability to make decisions, their lack of experience and self-control that makes a difference. I felt ashamed a lot for reasons I am not altogether clear about.

Today, it suddenly occurred to me that sometimes what I remember are powerless adults. In my teaching day, I am periodically struck by how much power I have in all kinds of avenues of my life. And then other times I don’t have the power I wish I had, and I had not thought about this before in exactly this way: there were adults and older children who helped me and very often they did not have the power they wished they had either. Very often, they felt powerless to help. My foster parents did not have the power to keep me from returned to catastrophically abusive parents. Aliya did not have the power to take me with her when her family relocated to a new city. My friends did not have the power to keep me from being trafficked or sadistically punished.

I think I saw that and did not know what it was. I saw their feelings of fear and powerlessness about not being able to help me, and when I am don’t know how to help C, I remember their powerlessness.

Which is okay. But it helps to understand what I am looking at.

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