I seem to be really frightened today. I didn’t know that I was, until I had the idea to write. Then I became paralyzed very quickly. I felt overwhelmingly ashamed and bad. So I guess I am in a vulnerable place right now, easily pushed into overwhelm.
I had dinner with a friend last night. I have not been very close to her, but the connection has remained over three years. She is one of my few friends who isn’t a teacher. It’s pretty clear she has disorganized attachment just like I do. She drinks to excess. She is not always terrifically functional. That is one of the reasons we haven’t been that close. But she is actually very sweet and very kind, and she really, really likes me. So I thought before I leave the country I ought to go see her.
Around 5:30, I took some toasted rice (think kind of like rice crispies) that C’s grandmother had given me, and I went to her house. She wasn’t there. No one was, but her husband was just coming home. At that particular moment, there wasn’t any electricity. It has suddenly gotten very cold, and we are overtaxing the grid. In the dark, I did not recognize him. After a minute, I did, and he recognized me. The awkward moment ended.
He invited me in and made tea and called his wife, who was out buying beer. J She talked to me for a bit, and then made dinner. I spent most of the evening talking to her husband about politics. It was quite nice. Madam Electricity (I have called her Madam T in the past, I think, but they both work for the electric company) said he never sits and talks to any of her other friends. Well, they probably don’t talk about anything that interests him.
I could see her going through a disorganized attachment moment as I was eating (she didn’t eat with me—they don’t eat as early as I do and she knows that). She began to worry about various things—did I like dinner? Did I want more egg? She gave me dried chilis, a wooden bowl that was beautiful. I could see she was feeling ashamed. She had exposed herself, extending herself to please me, and she felt ashamed. It was just so clear what she was going through. So I told her repeatedly that everything was wonderful, because actually it was. She’s a good cook, and she had brought dinner to me beautifully displayed so that her care and love showed very clearly.
I remember some of this about C from the time before I really knew her well. Now, she doesn’t show this part of herself very much. I remember her offering tea to one of the teachers like she was giving something to God—it had that degree of sincerity to it. I remember her sharing half of some fruit I don’t know the name of with me in that same attitude of absolute regard. This doesn’t come through very much anymore. I don’t know why. Maybe the shame hits harder and faster now.
But it was interesting to me that it has become so clear to me now when people are going through what I go through.