Just after getting in bed, I got up again to get my phone and send a message to C saying goodnight. I think she has her phone with her these days. I never really know. I send these very vulnerable messages and have to realize I don’t know who might read them. My heart is there for anyone to see. I was holding the phone and a message came.
It said, “Hi wats up [polite word tacked on]”
I don’t really know who that is. I mean, it’s C. I don’t really know what mode, maybe Teen. She really is dissociated into parts. I suppose the shame is so great, she loses track of some kind of social awareness that tells us fully who we are in relation to other people.
I say that, partly because the polite word tacked on doesn’t really make sense to use with me, and in other modes, she doesn’t do it. So, she is separating herself from social knowledge she has in other modes. It’s fine. It doesn’t matter to me, but it tells me something about her state.
I told her I was just writing a message to her.
“Did you take dinner”
So I told her what we had for dinner and asked about hers. She had potato curry. Also, she wanted a recharge. The distrustful part of me says, “Ah hah! So you don’t really want me. You want money out of me.” The rest of me has started to think that requests for money are these impulsive moves toward closeness. Some part of her remembers that getting money gives her a feeling of warmth and closeness. She wants that feeling, and impulsively she reaches for that. There are a dozen better ways to get that feeling, but she doesn’t know that.
There are kids who make disruptive noises in the class when they feel anxious or lonely. In some dim, animal part of their brain, they remember when they made noises, someone noticed them and looked at them and gave them attention and it felt good and they felt safe again. Granted, they were six months old then, and they are 15 now, but some part of them remembers this. I think it’s like that with the vouchers.
I said yes, because actually she needs to be able to keep in touch with me. When I saw her 3 times a week, it seemed better not to have too many ways to impulsively contact me (or lots of other people) in between. It was causing quite a lot of dysregulation for her to do that. Now, I see her once a week, and it is not actually enough contact.
I had a voucher with me in expectation of this event after returning to hostel, and I recharged her.
We chatted a bit longer after that. I told her to study, and I got back kind of Detached Mode. “We are studying in hostel.” I said some other stuff. I got back from her, “Love u too,” which felt really, really nice. And I told her she made me happy.
She said, “Same to you.” I assume meaning, you do the same for me. That was it. Eventually I wished her good night.
None of this has happened in a long time. She has not been able to reach out for me so much in quite a long time.
I had been thinking earlier in the day I don’t really know why she feels attached to me. I don’t know why she keeps coming back to tell me she won’t meet me and won’t sit next to me (or however she wants to say she is angry at me). I realized a few things, after some thought: at least she gets to feel something with me. She doesn’t have to deaden herself inside to be a normal human. The stuff she is dealing with internally can be felt and not shut down, even though it leaks out into our relationship. It doesn’t break the relationship. So when she interacts with, she gets to feel an aliveness she doesn’t often have.
I don’t know that I am explaining that well. What I mean is that in the course of a normal day, all of one’s crazy attachment stuff is out of sync with what most other people are doing. And it’s intense. If you feel it, it’s hard not to express in some way. There are lots of things we feel and think in the course of the day and don’t mention, because it’s our own personal thing, and the people we are with are not our great friends or won’t get it or we just don’t feel comfortable with them. When you are experiencing something very intense internally in the presence of people who are not particularly close to you and you don’t have trusting relationships with—or if you don’t have trusting relationships with anyone—then you have to deaden those feelings in order to maintain some degree of connection to those around you, because they are too intense to remain quiet thoughts in your head and at least you can all be watching the football game together or you are discussing your sewing projects or whatever. But the attachment stuff has to be stuffed down to go on with life.
C can feel the attachment pain when I am there. It doesn’t have to be entirely concealed and so it doesn’t have to be deadened. No matter how painful the attachment feelings are, at least she gets to feel alive with me. It’s safe to feel things when I am there. She can be at least connected to herself, and maybe to me, because I see the feelings she is expressing and I respond in a soothing way at least sometimes. I do something, so that she doesn’t feel she is this voice shouting in the wilderness. But the main thing is that the feelings don’t need to be numbed in order to get on with life, and she doesn’t have to choose between a connection with herself and a connection with me.
Then I also realized I don’t know what her feelings of attachment to me feel like exactly, because I shut them down in myself. Of course I don’t know why she feels it. I don’t let myself feel it. Empathy starts at home.