I had a terrible evening I wasn’t ready for. I had let C keep her phone an extra day. As I unlocked my house, I got a text. My phone was in my backpack. I thought, “That is C, telling me she has kept her phone and not sent it down with her friend as promised.” It wasn’t. It was an ad for something or other. C’s text came about an hour later. She said she had her phone and please recharge her. I thought about what the need really was. It seemed more productive than telling her she had lost her mind. I thought about the hug and the connected visit. Maybe she needs to know I am still here. So I sent that back. Something like I will not recharge your phone. You said you would send it down and you didn’t. I will come up and get your phone. I am here and I love you. I sent a second one after that. It is okay to be angry. You are still you and I still love you. She replied, but my inbox was full and I didn’t realize it for a while. It said not to come. She is worrying—which I think meant she is worrying me. I replied to that, but she was not able to see the response.

I ate dinner and walked up. I had a nice walk with some students and I learned more about their lives and they showed me a better shortcut and it was very pleasant. Then I got to the hostel. A dog that hates me bit me (thank God for thick National Dress), and I watched C eat junk food for dinner. Evidently, it was green vegetable night, and C does not like green vegetables. Whatever.

It was difficult and I didn’t feel able to meet her needs or connect to her, and it was too triggering for me and I kept having feelings I couldn’t understand. I stayed for 2 hours, and did not get home until nearly 10. Then I stayed up for an hour thinking and crying.

This and the walk down and the things that came out of the difficult conversation with C seemed to help. I feel sad and I have my own shit to deal with, but I feel a bit more settled, at least in regards to C. I think I was right. I think she is starting to get the idea that I am still there even when she can’t see me, but she isn’t at a point where it feels like Y-town is still there or her relatives are still there. She can come back to them and they will still be there, but it won’t feel that way. It will feel like my holocaust did to me. It’s a distortion, but that’s how it will feel. It will feel that her whole past has been wiped out and everyone in it has died. It will feel that the part of her that knew the people and the places here has also died. She might get past it, but that’s too much pain to throw at a child.

One part of this is a relief inside me at feeling it is okay to accept reality. It does not mean I am seeing things in a negative light or being pessimistic. It is not dooming me to a constricted approach to living. That is how things are. She has relational trauma. She has problems with object constancy and self constancy and that is how it is.

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