I suppose I should write something. I have been meaning to and not really gotten around to it. There was an “education meet” which involved I guess five or six local schools. It was mostly sports, plus chess and ping-pong and maybe dancing or something. Anyway, we went to the high school for an evening song and dance show plus dinner, which kept me out until after 10 the first night and nearly 11 the next night. I go to sleep at 8 normally—this seems to work for me. So that’s a late night. The first night, it got to a point where it was just kind of torture, and I realized it: this is now just sort of torture. I am overstretched, and this happens sometimes. It actually happens quite frequently. Life is not designed to accommodate someone with a lot of childhood trauma, and conforming to normal social conventions makes it hard for me to meet my own needs. And that is just how it is. They do actually work for adequately for most people, despite Freud’s claims to the contrary, but they don’t work for me a lot of the time. It triggers all kinds of stuff for me that that it happens like this, but there it is. Acknowledging reality helps.

Something has happened with C, and I am not really sure what. I am not sure if it is a positive development or a negative one. She has been in contact with me all week. Last Monday, she actually called me. I think she called me twice. There were texts every day. She sent a note down with a friend. This is a child who rarely responded to anything. Not even, “What did you eat for dinner?” So she wants a lot more contact. The contacts are about practical things, recharges, her phone, sometimes money, sometimes whether I can request time away from school for her. There are moments when I feel like a vending machine, when something gets triggered and I feel momentarily like I am being used. And yet I know implicitly I am not. I know what it feels like to be used, and this isn’t it. The conversations are about whether she is safe or not. She is reaching for me to see if I am still there, but also to see if she can still get her needs met or her desires acknowledged.

In my core, I feel so privileged to be a part of that process for her. It is healing. When I get the time to ground myself, I feel so in awe of what is happening. I don’t even know what I think is happening, but maybe just that it is starting to feel safe to have needs and desires. She is discovering that this is safe. I usually say yes—I am probably spending too much money on her at the moment, but she is healing right now, and she is not hurting anyone. She is discovering she can want shoes, she can want shampoo and creams, she can want to see her grandparents. She can want all of these things she does not have the power to do herself, because she cannot get permission to leave campus herself and she does not have money of her own to buy anything. She can want these things and no one gets mad at her. Sometimes she gets these things. Sometimes she has to wait for them. Sometimes I say no. But I don’t get mad and I don’t leave her. I suppose that is why I am getting so many contacts from her this week. She wants to know can she still want things? Is it still safe to want things? Yes, it is safe.

It has been a hard week for her, actually. She was very sad and mournful. Her friends told me she was crying. She got headaches, which seem to be kind of a flashback headache. Last night, we had a long exchange over a recharge. It was 8 pm. They are meant to be studying. She asked for a 100 in local currency for a recharge. I said no, it is study time. The texting exchange went on for an hour. Lots of “please, mom, please.” I said mostly the same things over and over. It is study time, not talking time. I love you and I am still here. I am not angry at you that you asked. She finally said something like, “If you don’t give it to me, I am forever gone.” Something like that. I said, “You are pushing me away because you think I will leave anyway. I will not leave you.” She didn’t understand that, but the conversation went back to “please, mom, please.” I said it’s okay to be angry and sad now.

I am so privileged to be a part of this, to be the first person she could express her vulnerability to and she could be angry with and still be safe. I feel so sad about her past, and so privileged to be a part of her life now.

She said, “I don’t want anything,” and I said more about it being okay to be angry and sad. I saw I didn’t have balance on my phone anymore and it was nine o’clock, so I told her that. I said, “I don’t have balance now. Good night and sweet dreams. I love you lots and lots and lots.”