Yesterday, I was thinking about some of my interactions with C, the ones that puzzled me and remain in my mind because I don’t really know why I felt or acted the way I did, and I don’t know what she felt or why she acted the way she did.
I understood her better yesterday than I had before. That was interesting. It was still hard to understand myself. It had been hard for me to understand her because I wasn’t aware of some of her life history, which I share to some degree, and I also could not see myself through her eyes.
In those moments, we really couldn’t understand each other very well. One of the incidents I was looking back on had to do with wanting to talk to her about taking care of her the following year. That was back in 8th grade.
I sent someone to call her to talk to me and waited. I had other work to do, that was actually fairly pressing, but if she had come quickly everything would have gotten done. She didn’t. She ran around gossiping with her friends–some social drama was underway, and she immersed herself in it. I can’t remember if I finally went to get her myself, or if I sent someone else after her so that she finally came.
Anyway, I felt so disrespected. I felt confused and also angry. I don’t think I really commented on what she had done. Culture may have entered into it for me–making me wait felt like disrespect of my time. But if anyone else had summoned her, she would have come immediately and I knew that. She would not have made a teacher wait on her for 20 or 30 minutes while she caught up on student gossip.
What I couldn’t understand is that she felt shy. She felt shy and excited. She was a little like a teenager about to go on a date who can’t decide what to wear. It was so wonderful to her that she ran away from it.
I was treating the situation like someone opening a checking account. I somehow did not grasp that it was personal for her and also that I wasn’t an object. She liked me. She still likes me. I still cannot really grasp that she does. I can see that she might like the services I provide, that she might like the encouragement or the validation I give her, the attention or the affection. I can’t grasp that I am a person for her.
I think I just didn’t realize that love might make you shy, and so I couldn’t understand her behaviour.
It was different from other adults she had close relationships with. That added to my confusion. They said jump. She said how high. I don’t know why it was different with me. I didn’t then. I still don’t. I didn’t really want her to do that, but I didn’t understand why I was different.
I mention that because I think it’s significant. I can understand people’s feelings better, and that has something to do with what is going on in my own mind. It’s safer in there. Or something.
There is more of a point to this, but I’m tired. I’ll be back later.