It turns out I was wrong, but maybe it doesn’t make any difference.
I went to talk to C after school. I didn’t realize it would be so intense or complex. If I had, I might not have had the conversation then or at school.
It is so hard. I cannot react fully in the moment, as myself, because I could not be there for her in the way that I need to be if I did. The feeling I have to hide is my sadness that she is suffering so much and my wish to hold her and make her feel safe. But it is not so simple as that. It is going to take a long time before she feels safe to have her whole feelings and her whole self, if at all. I am not a trained therapist and not a miracle worker, and it might be this problem is one I can never solve. But I really, really understand that I have to try, because there is absolutely no one else in Country X who will.
She was angry at me because she set a boundary—don’t come to my uncle’s house—and I did not respect it. She told me it is not her house and she felt hesitant to call someone else to his house. Which might be true.
But it is also true that she had a very intense experience with me the last time I came to the hostel and it would activate her fears that I will leave her, and that is probably what it is. It might not have happened if I had respected her boundary and she was able to keep me at what felt like a safe distance, but it might have happened anyway.
Because today she was completely in a state. I sat with her for a long time while she was very, very angry with me and very what you might call decompensated. It might be that I simply opened up a wound she cannot close back up again for herself and I am not skilled enough to teach her how. I can only hope that it helped that I did not leave and I did not become angry. I was just with her and I kept trying to connect with her about being angry.
I don’t know that I can really describe what was said. It was a lot of me repeating the same questions and her saying, “I don’t know.” Or, “Don’t talk to me.” And my saying, “Look at me,” because basically I feel if she can look at me, then she will feel safer. She will feel more connected, and she can take in a little bit more of her being okay.
And then her saying, “I won’t look at you.”
Then it was time to go back to her hostel. It was at a moment when it almost seemed possible that we were getting somewhere, some kind of shift could potentially be happening. That seemed unfortunate, because she is room captain evidently and is in charge of the key and we had to get up at that moment. We went down towards the hostel together. When we reached a point when the road forked, she said something. “Go now,” probably.
I had the feeling she was not okay still. I can’t remember why I thought that, or if I was right or wrong to refuse to leave. I said, “Let’s go down to the hostel together.”
“I won’t go.”
Okay. So I stayed there and it was more of the same, I suppose. She began to break at some point. It was the point when she could almost meet my eyes. She began to cry. Her friend was with her, and C kind of collapsed against her shoulder, but the friend did not react. C took the safety pin off her National Dress and began to poke at the skin under her nail with it. There was already a bit of blood there—I had seen it earlier—so she had done this before earlier in the day also.
At that point, I did react, and I reacted in a very stern, authoritative way. I have no idea what I said. A short, sharp command of some kind. It’s possible I grabbed her hand and she pulled away. It’s very possible that happened. Anyway, she did stop.
It was not long after that when she cried again, and she turned away from me to cry against her friend. Her friend again did nothing. We were facing each other—her friend and I. I mouthed, “Hug her.”
Maybe this helped. I think it might have. I don’t know. Eventually she began to talk to her friend, and her friend passed on the message. She wanted to see me on Sunday. The boarders were coming down, and she wanted to see me.
I am worried about this, because I have seen her three days in a row now, and four times in one week, and it is clearly very triggering for her. She isn’t getting any time to calm down in between meetings. I had been thinking it was much better she is a boarder and not with me, or she would never get a break from the intensity of her feelings, and God only knows how she or I would cope. At least now, I can go home to my house and cry or whatever, debrief, get support from friends, and get settled again before the next round. Maybe she gets a chance to do the same thing.
I asked her when they were coming and where she wanted to meet me. I guess they are going to the Holy Site for a blessing, so I am to meet her there at 2:30.
I am so exhausted, and I love her so much.
My parents had none of the skills I seem to magically have, now that I don’t have so much shit in my head to confuse things, but I really cannot see how they could live with me and see me in so much pain, and not try to help me. I really cannot.