I met C last night in her hostel. It was more or less as terrible as expected, maybe worse. I had hoped to avert that kind of thing, but I couldn’t.

I will have to deal with that, and with any fallout my lack of ability to cope well with it might have triggered.

Meanwhile, somehow it brought to mind that I do have worth. The workshop made me feel very connected to other people—partly because I am just at that point where I can connect better to other people, and partly because of the nature of the workshop. It was all about cooperative learning, and so I worked in a group most of the time, and I did experience connection with the group.

I came home last night very late after meeting C, and went to sleep without eating dinner because so exhausted, and then woke up in the morning with that screaming feeling. And after about an hour of struggling with it, it sort of coalesced into actual thoughts and feelings. The thought was that I am worth something and the feeling was sadness. I spent a lot of time sorting through different things in my mind—many of them not pleasant—and I came around to this idea that I felt very deeply in my heart that I am worth something, and I owe it to myself and to other people to take care of myself. The trauma distorts my personality, and I owe it to myself and to other people to take care of those trauma symptoms so that I can be me, because I do have something special about me that I can appreciate and other people can appreciate. I have to do it without a lot of help from anyone, because no one else really knows how to help me. They don’t know about trauma, and they don’t know what helps with it, and they really don’t know how to help me.

I think the sadness is that I never saw this personality before. I was not whole. This person I might have been was someone I really have not been able to experience before, and other people have not been always been able to experience it. I keep telling C, there is a little C spark inside you that makes you just C and not anyone else, and I have said it enough times that I have started to get that there is a little Ash spark that makes me just Ash and not anyone else, and other people would like me to be Ash. I would like to be Ash and they would like me to be Ash. None of us are wild about Ash with melty brain, but Ash without melty brain is pretty great. I have to take care of melty brain because no one else can. So there is this deep sadness at the person I have not gotten to be for 43 years and that I did not know existed. I knew a more calm, but fairly joyless person who had shut down her emotions for the most part, and I knew a very unregulated person, but I did not know this Ash. I did not know I could be special or wanted. I am wanted, but I need to take care of my stuff.

Taking care of my stuff is really fucking hard. It’s terrifically hard unfair that I have so much stuff and that it is so hard, but there it is. Life is tragic and unfair and I can’t really say anything else more sensible about it. It’s just like that, and it’s awful.

And I still have to take care of my stuff, because taking care of my stuff lets me be Ash.