I just got to school and I have maybe 20 minutes before the lot of them arrive and I have to make sure I look normal and don’t have weird expressions on my face as I write.

I sent the Boy away last night, and I know this morning I will need to check on him, because being sent away will be hard on him. I saw the look on his face when I started telling him and his friends to go. It was like shock and terror. Something like that. So he’s going to have a hard time coping with that in the aftermath. I could have kept him in my house last night, but I am still not that strong and together as a person. I can’t cope with the constant triggers that human beings and connections represent, and I need time alone. I needed time alone last night and this morning to process things. I need to take care of myself or I can’t take care of the children who depend on me. I didn’t send him away because I didn’t want to be around him or he’s a burden to me. He’s nice to have around. I am just not there yet, where I can be normal all of the time. But he is going to feel rejected profoundly, and I want to reassure him that he is still wanted. He is still liked, and that sense of specialness and pride in himself that he was starting to feel can remain in him. I don’t really know him that well, actually, although he has been in my class all year and although I taught him for a few months last year before a new teacher came and took over his class for me. He is a nice boy though, and I like him. He can hold onto that feeling of being liked, even though I sent him away.

It’s hard.

I had another delivery problem this morning. I suppose because I was mixed up about the time. Yesterday in the morning, the Boy was looking at the clock. I think he was worried about getting to school on time. So I told him it was 10 minutes fast, and he changed the time, not understanding that the clock is a part of my punctuality strategy. I am not necessarily by nature that punctual, and fast clocks are part of my strategy for coping with that. Then I set the time in the evening when I got home, but I set it by my phone, which turns to have been behind. I don’t know if it is losing time or if I set that wrong at some point. I am having time problems lately.

To get to the point of that, I think I wasn’t looking out the window when my messenger passed by. I ended up taking too long in the bath somehow as well, and I got to the corner and the girls who sometimes wait there for their dad or an uncle or somebody to drive them to school weren’t there yet. I think they often aren’t that early. The man was waiting, but the girls weren’t there. I was too scared to ask him to give to his daughters. That was one step too much for me.

Then I got to the bridge near school, and the group of girls who sometimes gather there before heading up the road to school were not there and I thought probably I had missed them. I made a call to VP Ma’am to see if her daughter had left the house—she probably had. The call wouldn’t go through. Ah, so I think I don’t have balance anymore. My phone wasn’t working for the longest time—I had to buy a new one, then a new sim, so then I wasn’t using it and wasn’t aware of the balance. I thought I had checked it, but maybe I hadn’t.

I went to buy a voucher for my phone. Not that it mattered at that point, but I was close to the shops. I went to a small restaurant. A girl there who is the cousin of the owner was eating breakfast in her school uniform. I kind of know there, because I go there for vouchers or to buy bus tickets and I used to eat there a lot when I first came and was too sick to deal with cooking and all the rest of life. I asked her if she was going to school and if she knew C. She thought for a minute. Indeed she did. I asked her to bring my little package of things up. Chilis and pancakes. She saw the package and smiled a little—kind of a soft look.

I walked up to school then. On the way, I began to think not everyone thinks it is bad to take care of C. Some people find it sweet and touching, my little package of things. However, I have spent a lot of time with people who are like me, who feel that it is not okay to be vulnerable and who also cope by trying to stay in Detached Mode most of the time (and in that way not trigger all of the stuff that gets started up when you start wanting connection). I have thought I needed to surrender and in that way “trust” and I have also thought that my desire for connection was selfish. It’s not selfish. When you are little, you just don’t realize. You can’t take care of your own needs, you lack impulse control and so that impulse to connect just drives you like a little love-seeking machine. Also, you don’t have enough experience with other people’s minds to anticipate that sometimes they don’t want connection. At that moment, they might want to cook or to sleep. You honestly don’t know that when you are small. You want to hug them, and when you are very small you cannot quite imagine that they wouldn’t also like a hug. Then suddenly you find out they don’t want a hug and they are mad at you for wanting to hug.

Other people want hugs. J

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