I seem to be in a terrible state, and I don’t know why. My whole emotional trajectory feels more and more mysterious to me. Insanity seems to suddenly open up for reasons I can’t fully understand and then dissipate for equally unfathomable reasons. In between, I mostly seem to function and feel okay, but the sudden crack in okay-ness makes me wonder what is really going on inside me and how I really feel.
I woke up very early in the morning—3:30. I had to pee, actually. But everything tumbled out at that point. I really missed C. I felt insane. I managed to fall back to sleep and woke up around quarter to six, feeling much the same way.
I didn’t know what had triggered it. I can’t even remember the thoughts I had about it, except the somewhat sensible idea that no matter what I do, I am going to have to tolerate feeling pain. A good present won’t wipe out a shitty past. I still have to feel it. C might be triggering it, or something else might be, but fixing those things won’t get rid of the pain. I don’t even know what I am feeling pain about. It is the past, but I don’t know what part of the past. I just feel really sad.
Then I wrote a message to C on Facebook about calling her, because it popped into my head that she might not know what is in my mind about that. She doesn’t answer. I call her in the morning when I wake up and in the evening before dinner and after I finish up washing the dishes and she never answers. I no longer hope she will answer. I would love it if she did answer, but I am not doing it with that as a goal in my mind. I am just trying to tell her with my behaviour that I didn’t forget her or discard her.
One thing I read in a blog about reactive attachment—which she doesn’t have, but she has attachment issues—is that it helps the child to keep their parent in mind as a constant object if the parent exerts presence to the maximum extent possible. So maybe you are sick and tired of picking up the kid’s towels in the bathroom when they are old enough to remember to hang up their own towels, but you still might do it anyway, because that is an opportunity to extend your presence in their lives. The next time they see that towel, they know it didn’t get hung up by itself. The parent’s presence is in that towel. So my presence is in that call C doesn’t answer.
Extending my presence means extending a point of view that I want C to have in her mind. I want that point of view to be a part of her view of herself: that mistakes are forgivable, she is competent to cope with life in many situations, and she is loveable. I want her to have in her mind that she has an inner life and feelings and thoughts of her own. She is not an object to be used or discarded. She is valuable and worth standing up for and defending. That is how I see her, and I want my view to be enough of a presence in her life that she internalizes it, and that can become part of her view of herself.
So I wrote that. And a minute later, miracle of miracles, she read that and said, “Love you too Mom.”
We had a nice chat after that for a bit and I felt okay.
But I don’t know what sparked it in the first place, and if I do seem to still be very sad.
Yesterday, we had a brief exchange that really struck me in a deep place. I suppose that is probably why. A friend of C’s had made a comment to one of my posts on C’s timeline that had to do with our relationship. I chatted with the friend briefly—she was a student at our school in 2014, and she remembers me evidently fondly. She chats with me occasionally and sometimes says she misses me. I do remember her, but not very clearly. Of course, I was one of 25 teachers, and she was one of 650 students. Anyway, she asked what happened, and I explained that C isn’t responding at all to me and that I am worried about her. The friend then said she would talk to C.
Anyway, I supposed they did talk, and after that C responded to a comment I had made on her timeline about a post C had made regarding mothers. (You might know the type—mom is God kind of thing.) I had simply commented that although C is adopted, I love her like my own. She answered the comment and said “I too.” I said, “I am lucky to have you,” and she said, “I too.”
I know she really means that. I don’t know what to make of that, but it’s something significant to take in.
Someone with an attachment disorder doesn’t just feel the way an average person with attachments has once they start to develop attachments, because it’s all new. That is what I thought about it. There is a depth and a gravity to how C and I feel about each other that isn’t like how a child and a parent would feel or a child and a non-relative mentor might feel. I might have to take some time to let that register. It isn’t bad that is a different feeling. It is simply what I said it is: different.