Yesterday was hectic. I managed to get some work done in the morning—it’s getting cold now, so I can freeze alone in the staffroom while the other teachers sit outside in the sun. It works out. Then there was a quiz game put on by my club, which was really a National Language teacher and VP Ma’am. It went from 11 – 12:30.

The teachers got together—some of them—to do some work at the holy site so they can tick a box on their performance evaluations. I need to tick that box too, so I went. It was supposed to start at 1:30, but people didn’t show up until 2:30.

Last night, C had asked me to come up to see her. She said she misses me these days. We agreed I would come at 5. (At 5:30, we had a baby shower to attend, but I had forgotten when I made the agreement.) She had given me a list of things she wanted—shampoo and lotion, things like that. So I had some shopping to do. I worked for an hour and then left the holy site.

I went up and met her around five. It was a little bit after, because I had gone up with some boys in class 11, and I had to walk a bit slower for them. I can get from my house to the C’s school in 30 minutes, but most people can’t. When I saw C, she had that dead look on her face, like she was in total despair. That’s how it feels to be with that longing for connection for so long. It feels absolutely like you are dead.

Anyway, it didn’t last long. The expression went, and it wasn’t as absolute as it sometimes is. Which could mean it wasn’t as strong.

I sat with her on her bed, and she was very little. She got her scarf out and wrapped it around her throat and buried the lower part of her face in it. She wasn’t absolutely three, but headed in that direction.

On Wednesday, she had said her mom was sick and she wanted to call her. Yesterday, I asked C if her mom was okay. She was puzzled. Her mom hadn’t been sick—something I thought might be the case, anyway. She said, “Who told you?” I said, “You did.” A very quizzical look passed her face. I just told her I was glad her mom is fine and changed the subject.

After a few minutes, she said she wanted to do something or other—I didn’t really catch what it was. I needed to head down to the baby shower, although I was going to be late in any case. I was just hoping everyone else was also late. She came close for her goodbye hug and I said I wanted to give her the things I bought for her. So we put those away, and she came for the hug again. She put one arm around me, as she does, and she put her head against my chest.

The funny thing about this is I remember kissing her, and I remember her head on my chest felt really, really good, but I don’t know what my own arms did. It’s like there was no feeling in them, and there probably wasn’t. That probably got shut down. There is such an intense pain associated with holding her in my arms, that I kind of feel the periphery of it. I feel her hair, and I feel the kiss I gave her on the top of the head, but I can’t feel my arms, because it hurts, and I am holding in that pain while I do it.

I don’t know really why it hurts so much, but I know that it does hurt. It has to, or I wouldn’t shut down the part of it that is more intense.

I was thinking about her at the baby shower, and suddenly VP Ma’am called me and wanted me to sit next to her. She didn’t really notice when I came in, although I came in late and there wasn’t really a place to sit. I did sit next to her this time, unlike at the farewell party when I refused, because she seemed a bit more settled and less likely to attack me.

But it’s odd. Why does she have to interrupt my thoughts when I am contentedly having them? Why must my connection to myself get interrupted? This happened in the staffroom a few weeks ago. I was thinking about something quite similar. I was thinking about being physically close to C and also feeling worried about her. C is clearly losing bits of time. I don’t know how much time she is losing, but clearly she does things and says things that she cannot honestly remember later. She did not feel guilty she lied to me. That was evident in her face. She felt worried that she didn’t know what I was talking about. Anyway, I was thinking about that physical closeness and also feeling worried, and VP Ma’am walked into the staffroom and asked about a word.

There really must be something on my face that makes her feel like she must be with me when I am getting that connection to myself, and trying to process something important to me and getting the connection to myself that I so badly need.

It makes me feel so unsafe though, that this cannot be allowed to happen. I was thinking about that in the staffroom, and having a nice think about it, and after she interrupted me, I didn’t feel safe enough again to approach it again for two weeks.

Anyway, we had a decent conversation. C sent a text in the middle of it, and I answered, and I noticed VP Ma’am felt very restless when that happened. She began to get angry, and she said something randomly mean to someone sitting across the room that was cloaked in humor and no one thought was funny.

After while, C called. She wanted a recharge, as usual. I don’t think she has the faintest idea why she does this. Life in parts is weird. You frequently don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, and you kind of imagine reasons for doing things that other people have for doing those same things. There is no model for your own mind to use as a guide. It seems very evident to me that C felt a really nice connection to me while I was with her, and she was checking to see that the connection was still there. She has no idea how to do this, but recharges feel like a safe topic to her for historical reasons.

I came back from the call, and VP Ma’am asked who had called. Well, who else would call? I told her C had called. And VP Ma’am asked about the content, so I told her honestly she wanted a recharge. A weird thing happened then—weird for me, anyway.

The teacher on my left and VP Ma’am both had very strong, angry reactions to this. The woman on my left said, “Slap her. She should be studying.” VP Ma’am said something similar. I said she really wants to say she misses me, but she doesn’t know how.

VP Ma’am said something awkwardly intended to be a scathing kind of ridicule. “I miss you and give me a recharge.” Something like that.

I said, “She can’t say that. She can’t say she misses me.”

There was silence then and the conversation moved on, but it was weird. It really struck me as weird. Some of it is culture and some is dysfunction and some is my sensitivity, but why can’t I have any freedom? Why must I be told where to sit? Why must I be interrupted when I am having a nice think? Why must someone feel uncomfortable when I briefly take time out of a conversation to send a text? Why must someone get angry over a question?

It makes me feel so unliked. That part touches upon my own issues. Somehow, I am so unlikeable, so bad and so wrong that I cannot even be myself in my own mind, in private, and in actions that affect no one.

And I am sure that is not really the dynamic going on. It is how it feels to me and probably felt to me when I was little. I am dealing with someone who feels themselves to be unloveable and unlikeable, and if I want to be with my own thoughts it touches on their sadness about having been unwanted. VP Ma’am feels sad and angry over being unwanted. I went outside to take the call, and I left her. My mind was diverted for a minute by the text and I left her. There isn’t any confidence that the connection can be re-established, and so it feels very frightening.

The weird part is if I shut down and I am not getting connection from anyone, that’s okay, but if I am getting connection from myself or from someone else, she feels the impulse to disrupt that and bring the attention back to her.