As I mentioned, I didn’t sleep all night, or very nearly. I think there might have been one or two naps sprinkled here and there sprinkled through the dark hours of night. Then I thought about the C situation all day and I consulted with a Country X friend over it and I think I have it sorted.
I need to be more clear sometimes, and I also might have to accept that C is sometimes caught between two cultures and two ways of being that are more personal and there are moments when this awkward in-between place is not at all pleasant. There are moments when that in-between place makes you feel like a shitty human being, and all I can do for her is be there for her while she struggles with that feeling.
I think I left out that her uncle asked C something. He asked me if I was planning to go to Nearby Holy Site (not ours—a different one) and I said I didn’t know and I had been waiting to see what C would do. What I meant was I have neglected forming my own plan, because I wanted to make sure my daughter was taken care of and now it might be too late for me to do anything. The holiday was tomorrow, and every object with four wheels on it is engaged.
So the uncle said something to C and C’s response was this very hesitant, “I want to go to Nearby Holy Site.”
Well, yes. I looked at her. I am not sure if I said anything. I felt like she was telling me the sky was blue. If I had been less tired—I was feeling sick, actually—it might have gone differently. Anyway, she said that. I was totally confused. (Why have we started to discuss the blueness of the sky as though there is some doubt about it?)
Two days later, I just want to say, “Fuck. Fuckety fuck fuck.”
Okay, so I said it. Now, moving along. Clearly, everyone assumed I wanted C’s company on the holiday. They assumed I went to fetch her for that reason. No one, except possibly C, had it cross their minds that I was thinking it is a holiday for C, and she was going to be lonely and missing her family, and that was my first concern. They have lots of holidays, but it’s still important and it is the first one when there is not something going on locally. For me, it is kind of like being a Jew and thinking your Christian adopted child is all alone on Christmas. For myself, I might go out and get some Chinese—or in my case, get some laundry done and sleep in—but my daughter would like a Christmas tree and presents. To me, this is kind of a no-brainer, but not so for everyone else.
Anyway, once her situation was sorted out, then I could move onto worrying about me, because it is not my holiday and my needs in this situation are not that great. I mean, after I know C has a Christmas tree and presents, I can sort out whether I want take out or to dine in. C might have realized this, because she knows me, but I realize now she was in a position of confusion over it. Is it okay if she wants to spend time with her family and not me? She wasn’t sure, and the thing about being in that place of being caught between different expectations
The horrible thing about it is that I was being so nice to her. I mean, she was scared and I knew she was scared even though she was expressing it at times in this hostile off-putting way, and I was being very gentle with her. Her reaction to that, internally, would be to feel this surge of attachment and warmth to me, which would make her want to do what she believed I wanted. But she would need to distance herself from that feeling because a) if she did what she believed I wanted, she would not get her own needs met and b) she would piss off her grandmother. She really needed to push all of that away and down very hard and it was not that easy because I was being very soft and gentle with her.
Anyway, I will see her after school today. The high school is having a special day of some kind and I have 2 tickets and Maths Ma’am wants to go with me along with her little boy. So I will see if I can meet C also. She will be there. Maybe I can sort this out with her. It needs a longer conversation, but a short one might smooth things out a bit.