I asked for help from my previous therapist and today, more than 24 hours later, there is no response. I remember her as being quite professional and responding fairly promptly—not immediately but within the same day. So, I don’t really know what to expect, but a part of my mind says probably there won’t be a response. Either she doesn’t remember me, or she isn’t using that email id anymore (it has been 3 years), or it went to her spam folder. I did check the email id again to make sure it was correct and I did check my spam folder to make sure a reply hadn’t landed there (although, being a reply, it seems unlikely). I can’t really think of anyone else who could help me in the way I need help. I will need to reach out more strongly by calling or I will need to muddle on alone. I don’t think I need to decide that today, but I will eventually.

But I think it intensified my state in the morning. I had to go to school. I wasn’t really feeling much better and I didn’t want to go, but I have only a day and a half of leave left and it being October, I might need that day and a half for something more difficult to get through than the flu or whatever I have right now. If it is very serious, I can get medical leave if the doctor writes rest as a prescription, but they generally don’t for a virus. It has to be something pretty bad.

So, I had to put my big-girl pants on and go to school. I didn’t like doing this, and I didn’t know how to do this, and a part of me thought, you just shove everything inside, do what needs to be done and get on with it. Which I have done in the past, even the very recent past. This morning it really did something to me. I kind of watched my thoughts as I went through it. I felt like a machine and the thought that went with it was that I don’t matter. I am not worth anything. It made me feel suicidal. It was so difficult and painful to feel that sense of not mattering to anyone.

It was awful.

And then the Boy began to feel sick. He got a very bad headache and a bad stomach ache and he told me that he felt very hot. I couldn’t tell if he had a fever or not, but it seemed to me one was rising. I gave him Tylenol and an antacid (I didn’t mean to give both—the headache came first). I asked him if he wanted to go to his own house and told him I would be gone most of the day. He said he didn’t. I asked if he wanted to stay home. He did. I said I would check on him at lunch time.

I don’t really think this was a coincidence. He drinks tap water, so a stomach bug wouldn’t be a huge surprise, but I think he was probably responding to my mood. I wasn’t expressing it overtly, but he knows. I think he could feel me withdraw from him. It sort of brought me back though, that he was sick.

Anyway, I couldn’t make the pancake delivery, which was more triggering, and I went to school early in hopes of meeting a new delivery person. I did and while I was making the hand-off a girl called to me. I looked around for the little voice and finally found it. There is a holiday, she said. So we all discussed this for a while. The Thai king has died and in sympathy a day of mourning has been declared and all government offices should be closed in observance, including schools. I went home again. On the walk home, it was determined that we were supposed to report to school and pray and only then go home again. When I got home, the Boy was feeling better and we went off to school together.

That was lucky. It’s nice when a holiday is declared on a day you really want to stay home sick.

I slept for a long time today, and I talked to C and I thought some stuff, and what I have been thinking is that that was the person I needed to be growing up. I needed to be an object. When I had feelings or expressed feelings, I was disregarded or punished or humiliated. Which is not really rocket science. Anyone could work that out, if you know about my growing up. But I think what was missing for me before was how that felt: it felt terrible, impossibly bleak and hopeless, and as though there was no point in even trying to be alive, and yet I kept being alive and having to try to figure out how to survive being alive. It was horrible. It was a horrible way to grow up, just really empty and pointless and full of a terrible longing to connect and to matter and to be important enough to have my feelings considered sometimes.

The other piece to this is the shame, because shame is socializing. Shame helps you learn to respect other people, and it comes from rejection. Oh, they didn’t like that. And you feel ashamed. Then you don’t want to do that thing again. But when your parents lack empathy for various reasons, they don’t really like anything you do. They don’t like your whole existence. And it becomes so many things that you feel ashamed of.