I’m sick. I am not deathly ill or anything. Just this viral flu-ey thing that I could probably muddle on with except that I don’t really feel like muddling on. I feel like resting. So I am resting.

It’s scary to do this. I have been thinking about that and several other things amidst the resting.

I am sick, and I want to take care of myself more for emotional reasons than physical reasons. Sickness is very triggering. There are lots of other triggers in my life that I can’t do anything about: there are power tools going all day, the Literary Club has an event coming up that I have been organizing in VP Ma’am’s absence, then VP Ma’am came back all atwitter because she suddenly realized she has money problems due to her husband’s death last year—he left her with a lot of debts and then died, depriving her of his pension, because there is no concept of spousal benefits here after a partner dies. Meanwhile, the interest is compounding.

Her being atwitter makes me stressed, because she randomly attacks me. She might have always randomly attacked me, but anyway I have put it together now. So I am constantly braced for it whenever she makes an appearance. She may randomly attack me now. I have no idea. It would not matter, except that it’s so triggering for me, to have someone feel actual malice for me. She has also asked to borrow a whole bunch of money. Unfortunately she knows I am paying for a college loan with savings I have in the US, and she has no concept of money for me, or that she is asking for an enormous sum. She has promised to pay it back in November, which is just a few months away, because I know financially that I am going to struggle quite a lot next year. I am making a significant sacrifice to come back to Country X in 2018 in hopes that this will help C, because for 12 months it will essentially make me unhireable. VP Ma’am said very lightly, “Oh, your sister is there. You don’t need to worry. You can borrow money from her.” But she has no concept that my sister has two small kids, works part time, just went through a divorce last year which is always expensive (and lost the house in the process), and loaning me money would cause my sister no end of stress. VP Ma’am seems to have no concept that in the West we do not merely transfer our problems to other people, and it is not acceptable for me to help VP Ma’am at the expense of my sister, and that I feel comfortable making a sacrifice for C only if this does not really affect other people too profoundly.

The fact is that actually I have no way to withdraw money from that account. There ought to be a way, but there isn’t. After 3 years, I have completely forgotten the code for my debit card (which is in the US). I am pretty sure it is written down somewhere, but I don’t know where, and no one has been able to find it. I have designated a friend as having Financial Power of Attorney and she has the documents to prove this, as does the bank, but they do not seem to care. I have been through all this because twice now I have had to activate a new debit card and the first time around, it would not work until we finally realized it was linked to a different phone number and all that needed to be done was to call from a different phone.

I did sort of tell her this, and she pressed me. The thing about Country X is that no does not really mean no. It means you need to get all upset and emotional so that I give in. It’s basically an extension of the tantrum, which you see in action here among small kids. The parent says no, the child tantrums, and the parent switches to yes. Meanwhile, Country X parents frequently complain about their kids being badly behaved. Well, why is that? Because no has never meant no, and your child spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to get no to mean yes.

So I am stressed about this, because I will have to tell her clearly no and I half expect a grownup tantrum. It’s nice for me that I do have this ironclad reason that the answer is no, and not just that the amount of stress loaning that amount of money to someone is not worth it, if you feel you can get the money you need in two months anyway.

Anyway, the fact is that I can’t really handle all the triggers at once. The hard part about being sick is that it is a trigger, so I get to try to process the trigger of being sick while feeling less than 100%. Also, they are using power tools again across the street, and so I am not really able to rest. I am able to lie on the couch with that pain in my stomach that I think is a baby screaming, trying to cope with that and be sick, but at least minus all of the other stresses. Not the Literary activity, not my students, not VP Ma’am’s random attacks.