I seem to be unable to cope this morning. I had more time to myself—I made dinner last night and it will last for two meals. I don’t have to cook again until the evening. And I did not do laundry. Just socks and underwear. But I can’t seem to make it work for me. I am just anxious and worried and I miss C.

I have been thinking about a nightmare I used to have. It was kind of a regular one, and it’s a nightmare that really makes sense now. In it, there was an ice cream man going up and down the street, only he wasn’t really selling ice cream. He was cutting up bodies, and what he had in his freezer was bits of bodies. He had cut up my mom and she was just a head floating around.

My dad was at some point in his adult life an ice cream man. I suppose that’s why I dreamed he was one. I didn’t remember this as a child, but I know now that the ice cream man in the dream had my father’s face. Probably he did have a freezer with bits of bodies in it somewhere.

Last night, I went to bed, and it was such a physical pain of missing C or missing someone. I literally found myself kicking away the pain. I’m going to have to deal with that. I keep shutting it down, and I have to feel it and regulate it. I think I did that with terror and it’s better. I don’t suppose it’s gone, but it’s better. I started to think last night that it makes sense I worry about C so much. I tell people I worry about her, and I get a lot of disbelief. “Why are you so worried?” Well, my dad killed girls. That’s why. There is the unavailability of my mother, and that’s really difficult, just to feel that attachments are scary and impermanent. But my dad killed people. I had not quite connected that. I don’t know how I couldn’t. How scary is it to think that anyone you care about might be murdered at any time? I hadn’t quite taken that in. He might murder me. He might murder my mother. He might murder the girl next door. He isn’t here in Country X, but that feeling that people’s lives could be taken at any time remains.

I know for me the tension is mounting, because I don’t know if C will want me to come to see her on Sunday. I imagine she will want me to come and not be able to tell me. But I feel the need to stop crossing her boundaries. I used to feel I needed to be there for her, even if she wasn’t sure she wanted me to be there. Now, I feel the other way. I need to support her choices, even if that means she feels lonely and abandoned at times. I was too protective and intrusive, and it gave her the feeling she is not important and her choices don’t matter. Her choices do matter to me. It forces her to struggle more with vulnerability and with the shame of vulnerability when I let her make her own choices. She has to be able to say , “I want….” But I think she has to do that. She has to be able to struggle with that. Maybe she is at a point where she can do that. I don’t know. It makes it harder for me, at the moment, and probably I am worried she cannot speak up for herself. She cannot say, “I want you..” Probably I am worried that she can’t. I think I have to let her though.

I was really thinking something else: I was thinking about the feeling that I don’t matter. Well, my dad strangled me for fun. I didn’t matter. I suppose that’s part of my understanding that C’s choices matter to me. It’s the place in my own experience where I can understand her feelings. No one, I hope, has ever strangled her, but feelings are feelings, and she has also been treated like an object instead of a child with a heart and a brain and a will of her own. I don’t want that for her any more.