Mornings are hard, especially lately.
I felt I had done fairly well. The weather is warm and it feels better to go outside, even if I just sit there. It lifts a sense of claustrophobia and suffocation from me, which is an issue now that I live in a house with other people who are very light sleepers. I can’t get up, throw a load of laundry in and feel like at least I did something, and in that way lighten my mood. And the feeling of sitting and waiting for hours with nothing to do until they are awake and I am free to make noise again, tends to fill me with despair.
But sitting outside with a cup of coffee seemed to help, and I was kind of pleased with myself for finally working out something that lightened that sense of being paralyzed. I had some interesting, coherent thoughts even.
Also, I had a brief chat with C’s mom. I find it touching that she tries. She dropped out of school in something like seventh grade. She doesn’t have the confidence to speak with me. Lately, though, if I chat with her, she tries to reply in some way. Her spelling mistakes are sometimes quite adorable. It’s just so touching to see someone try to communicate to you, even when they have difficulty doing it.
Anyway, today, the first thing she said was that she met C and that she had asked C if she called “mum,” meaning me. C hasn’t. C has not answered her phone. I am still kicking around the idea that she feels massive shame when she has contact with me, although I do nothing to shame her. It’s all from the past. But somehow the longing overcomes her shame in front of her parents, although they are in all likelihood the cause of it, and she can reach out to them. In my case, she can’t, and I don’t know why. Last year, she could reach out. I am farther away, and the distance is triggering, I suppose. Maybe she just needs them more. It’s puzzling.
One of my worries these days has been about C’s schooling next year. I think she’s worried she won’t score well enough on the national examination to secure a place in government schools. Anyway, I told her mom that I would pay for private school next year. I have told C this on a number of occasions, but I started to think that this isn’t probably real to her unless I tell her parents—particularly her mom. So today I did. The response was this: Thanks ofcourse ur mum of c great thank
Perhaps that felt good.
Later, C comes online for a minute. My messages don’t reach her. The connection is slow or something. I can see that they don’t arrive though. She’s not ignoring me. She can’t see that I have said anything to her.
She posts something about her mom and being grateful to her. On Thursday, we had a chat about her parents and about C being the result of an unplanned, teenage pregnancy. There seems to be an allusion to that in her post. Then she posts something to her friends.
It throws me into this tailspin of feeling forgotten about. Later, I can’t really remember the thoughts that went through my head—they’re very fuzzy. Because basically I don’t think they make sense. It does involve feeling that I am investing myself in someone who doesn’t care about me. That I have done this before, and that I keep doing it. In C’s case, I kind of tell myself, I have been imagining since I am helping her, it won’t matter. But it does. I still have vulnerable feelings. Being treated as an object or someone who can be replaced or forgotten about still hurts.
I have been thinking, because of C’s boyfriend, that when we begin to open ourselves up to the possibility of loss—when we realize people are free to choose us or choose against us—we face our vulnerability. Or even, take choice out of it, just accept life for having the uncertainty inherent in it, then we realize the potential for loss that we face in having attachments.
Perhaps that is what got set off.
I have been thinking a lot of abusive or controlling behaviour has to do with avoiding the possibility of loss—separation anxiety was so catastrophically experienced, it needs to be avoided. I don’t think it is always done to hurt the other person. It is the person responding to themselves. The victim is collateral damage, not the intended target. That doesn’t change the pain of abuse, but it changes how I think of my parents’ behaviour.
It was never about me.
It wasn’t about how many faults I had. It was about being invulnerable. It wasn’t about being expendable. It was about avoiding the potential for loss.
And maybe that’s really it: maybe I have some thought that C rarely expresses a longing for me, although I think she feels it, because I am important to her.
There are elements of her dysfunction that paradoxically touch on my own issues in ways that have the potential to be healing. She used to be so angry when I saw her, and it made me realize how much she was struggling not to hurt me, because I am important to her.
There is an element to perceiving being forgotten about that makes me aware of how devastating it would be for her to be rejected by me. It isn’t about trying to hurt me. It’s about not being able to face me.
It’s not like my mom’s though. It’s the same as her “forgetting” me for something or someone else. But it’s also different.
Meanwhile, it unleashes insanity. I just have to deal with it as it comes up.