I am so tired.
Wednesday, I came home at 4:30, ate, and fell asleep. By six, I was out. I woke up a few times, but basically I slept until 4 in the morning. It’s Friday, and I did not get as much sleep last night, but I am still just so tired.
I don’t know what to do with C. I am thinking about it again, and not feeling resolved. I don’t know how she will cope away from her family and friends and everything she has known. I don’t know how she will cope if I am not physically here. I don’t know how she will be prepared to take care of herself in eight months. So yesterday, I was thinking about that, and I just don’t know.
Anyway, it is Friday, so it is a C evening. I will go and sit with her while she eats dinner. I chatted with her a little yesterday. I asked how she was. “Find [sic] and you?” Formal. “Ok.” Then I said, “I think you had a really hard week.”
“You were hurting a lot.”
“Your heart was hurting a lot and you didn’t know how to make it stop.”
She read that and didn’t answer. “Maybe you don’t realize it and you just feel you have to do something.”
Then she disappeared.
It’s so hard. I think it is hard to really try to understand her and not force my understanding upon her. It is hard actually trying to see where she is coming from and not think it would be better if she thought like I did, because I see this child who is struggling so much, and who is under such a heavy burden, and I am sure she sees something different. Maybe she sees a bad child. I don’t know. But if I cannot see her point of view, she loses the connection to me. She loses permission to be herself in front of me, and my view becomes another cage even if it is a nice cage.
Anyway, I thought this, then later I started to imagine there might have been a language problem. “You were hurting a lot,” can very easily be confused with “You were hurting me.” So I don’t know what was really communicated last night. I suppose I will find out.
There is something else that occurred to me in the morning: my frame all of my life has been it is not safe to be me. I am scanning every situation for who I need to be in order to be safe. I didn’t realize this at all, and sometimes I think who I need to be is someone who does not care what others think of me. It is not so clearcut as wanting to be liked or to please other people. I assumed I could not be me or I was doomed—to unhappiness, to loneliness, to dysfunction, to death. Whatever. Not to being judged, but something larger and more omnipresent.
In therapy, I was listening to what was “healthy,” because I assumed I could not be me, and think that is why it did not help that much. We could not get around that frame: I could not and the therapist could not. I assumed I could not have my feelings or my thoughts. Every time there was a break in the connection—every time I wasn’t understood or we disagreed about something—I was listening for the thoughts and feelings I needed to have in place of my own. That frame distorts everything.
I think the therapist did, perhaps, have something of the same frame; there wasn’t any assumption that however you feel can be soothed. Whatever you think is going to be a part of the truth and as you collect all of the pieces of the truth, you are going to see something you can live with. Maybe not a nice thing or a good thing, but you will be able to live with it. Whatever is happening in your life or has happened in the past can be coped with. It can be accepted.
I don’t think that acceptance happened in therapy. It is happening in my head now. I was feeling suicidal this morning and I realized suicidality is the thought that I cannot be me, that me is a dangerous, impossible person to be and I must annihilate me. Me is doomed. I don’t know what triggered that thought in the morning—a few things, probably, including the baby trauma, which is not that easy to deal with. But that’s what it always is. I cannot be me. I must destroy me.
Some of this has to do with separating thoughts and feelings from actions. I cannot destroy me: that would be a problem, for sure. But I can live with the impulse to destroy myself. It’s not pleasant, but it will be okay if it is there sometimes. It is okay to feel shame. It is okay to feel ashamed of my very being. It’s not nice to feel that way, but not all of our feelings have to be nice. It will still be okay. If I take care of me when I feel ashamed, if I am kind to myself when I feel I must destroy myself for being me, I will be fine. It’s hard, but it will be fine.