I had a very low-energy day. I was rejected last night (Don’t come. I’m busy.) and it’s okay for me to be rejected, but I think it does trigger that baby state of hopeless immobility. I think there is a very intense implicit memory involved in rejection and loneliness. I have stopped trying to fight these things and try instead to do what I need to do while they are there. It’s much more difficult, but there was not a lot that actually needed to be done today, so if I moved through the day in a state of sticky lethargy that was kind of okay. I think my past needs to be known as the embodied states they were for me to be able to do whatever comes next.
It does help that I have worked out my mind thinks in broad strokes, and I am likely to ponder my general worth in society rather than, say, my performance on a particular task or some particular relationship and maybe I should not let my mind do that. Maybe I should just focus on the state itself, how it feels in my body, that kind of thing.
The other thing I have had on my mind lately is how that needy baby state is an alert I want something. If I want it a lot, I feel needy baby state very strongly. Needy baby is significant, but the thing I want may or may not be huge or important-sounding. Sometimes the needy baby state is there because I want something and I actually can’t have it. It is okay I can’t have it, but needy baby state is telling me I wish I could.
I felt needy baby a lot, because I wished I could meet C, and a part of me recognizes I probably need to push past C’s defenses and see her anyway. She usually appreciates when I do, but I also need to respect her wishes for a while. I need to let her push me away and still be there for her, because she needs to have some kind of control and autonomy. I had no plan worked out today for how to push past her defenses in a sensitive, loving way, and so I didn’t try to do anything about meeting her. But needy baby was there to remind me that I want to and that I probably ought to.
Finally, I began to send messages about how she might feel ashamed after I leave her, that she has learned she cannot be seen or known, and I see her and after I leave it is possible that she feels she has done something very, very bad and wrong. I was thinking as I did this I am trying to co-regulate both of us. I want to know she is there and I am trying to make her feel seen and known in the moment by discussing what she might have felt in the recent past even though I actually don’t know what she feels exactly now. I am still throwing darts, hoping something resonates for her and she feels seen and like she matters. I began to think about when I came to meet her, I kind of stared for a while. I had been ushered into the altar room, and told where to sit, and I was sitting there watching her, trying to get a read on her emotional state and also orienting myself to where I was and how I felt. And she seemed very defended, very hard, and I realized she feels angry. I am staring at her, and she probably feels as though I am seeing everything wrong with her, and this is really triggering at her. So I stopped staring. After a minute, I said, “Are you happy?” Because I was happy. I said, “You didn’t think I would come, did I?” and that put her at ease a little.
Anyway, I was thinking about that moment, and I sent her a text telling her when I first see her, I always look to see if she is okay, and I am amazed usually that she has no broken bones, no cuts or bruises, she is intact. I don’t know why I am always amazed, but I am and it’s a really good feeling. Because I think actually what I have been doing for myself—realizing there are different minds out there and they think different things—will probably help her. It will probably help her to realize that when her parents look at her they are looking for her mistakes, but I am looking to see that she is healthy and not sick. I think in therapy I was told, “This is the past,” and for me that lacked a precision I need. My parents think the same way they always did. There are other people who think pretty much like they did and still probably do. The fact I am not a child anymore probably doesn’t make that much of a difference, although that is the assumption. The idea of there being different points of view is more to the point for me. I wrote that, and then I said after I see she is okay, I just think she’s amazing. That’s my daughter and she’s amazing. And I said I think that’s what we feel about the people who are special to us.
Around this time, I started to realize I just felt much more alive and connected to what I was doing. I felt more grounded and like things were more real in a sensory, felt way. I thought I’m doing it. I am regulating myself by reaching out to C. I am getting a sense of connection out of it, because I able to address the state of mind I imagine in her. Now, I don’t know if it really fit for her or not, but I think it probably did, because she kept reading.
Later, I called her, as I have started to do in the evenings. She seems to be free in the evenings. She didn’t answer, and I sent her a message that it was okay, as I have also started to do, because I know sometimes the phone rings and she automatically feels scared to answer it or sometimes she feels too sad. Then she thinks I am mad that she didn’t answer….
She called back then, and I heard her voice and immediately felt happy. I do not think I have ever felt that happiness in an embodied way. She was talking to someone else—shouting, and I listened to her shout and it was somehow lovely. She hung up on me or the network cut out or something. Anyway, the happy feeling lasted for an hour or two. I felt really differently about myself because of it. Valued and connected. It was amazing to think this happens. As someone without ongoing attachments, I think it was so painful to feel that sense of being valued come and go according to the vagaries of my undependable relationships that I withdrew from it. Eventually, that feeling of being valued and connected becomes a permanent part of you, but I think someone has to actually feel that way about you. I don’t think you can just hypnotize yourself into feeling that way.