Sometimes I think I will never understand my own mind.
So Lonely Child cries every day in assembly. Today, Angry Boy did too. Maybe something set Angry Boy off. Or maybe he’s going through the same thing as Lonely Child. I have no freaking idea. Life seems like such a mess sometimes. I think C has parts. On Tuesday, when she asked for a voucher, I think it really felt to her that she was not her. I think I have been seeing that for a while and not realizing it. Trauma dissociation lies on a continuum. I think she is farther along on it than I thought—as far as originally feared.
Yes, the parts kind of line up with the Modes from Schema Therapy, and they aren’t about the level of dissociation that I experience or that I think C is experiencing. But I think she has more than just modes. I think they are more fully dissociated.
I have felt a lot of grief and sadness about that this week. A lot. I don’t even fully know how to explain why. Just how do you hurt a child so much that it does not feel okay to be herself, and these parts must be entirely cut off and denied? It forces me to confront a very, very deep sadness. It’s not a simple or easy thing to do.
I think it forces me to start to confront things in myself that are hard to confront. I do not think that C deserves what is happening to her. I don’t think she deserves either the abuse from her parents or the indifference of society to her trauma-based needs. Last Wednesday, when the other teachers wanted to drink and enjoy themselves on the way home, it was very hard for me to cope with the idea that their pleasure was worth more than the pain I knew she was feeling at trying to manage a separation from her caregiver.
Of course, they didn’t know. But they also don’t really want to know, and that’s very hard.
It is harder still for me to see my own attitude. My attitude isn’t purely based on a wish to rescue her. It’s not just a reflex: It’s not just, “she’s suffering, and I feel uncomfortable with my own feelings in the face of her suffering and I want to get rid of my feelings fast.” That is not what is happening.
I think it’s wrong. I think it’s easier to build strong children than fix broken adults, and it’s wrong to allow children to suffer in this way. It’s wrong not to help children being raised within families that cannot cope with the responsibility of raising children, because these children are hurting. Their pain is absolutely profound, and it does not go away when they grow up and get out of the position of being entirely dependent on people who can’t take care of them. You don’t grow out of a shitty family.
That’s my attitude.
That attitude extends to my own understanding of myself as a child. It hurts. It hurts so profoundly to feel that there are other ways of seeing things, and there is another way of seeing myself as a child—that I was a child who needed help.
Because really I always think there is something secretly wrong with me. Whatever happens, I always expect it to come back to that. Deep inside, there must be something secretly wrong. And, of course, I have faults. Lots of them. I have trauma-based struggles. It isn’t hard to find that secretly wrong thing once you start down that road. I suspect for many of us, a lot of life is a search to find that secretly wrong thing and fix it. Of course, there is the trauma to fix, but that isn’t the secretly wrong thing. It’s unrelated. There was never any secretly wrong thing that made my parents hate me. They had their own problems.