I got the email Thursday night sometime, that I was approved to teach in Country X for 2018. They are sending me back to Y-town. The email warns that there may still be changes and the placements are not final, but somehow I trust there won’t be. The snag for me would be housing, because Y-town is something of a boomtown. They are still in the midst of a building a hydropower plant somewhere nearby, and it has brought quite a number of new people to town to work on the project from all over Country X. I don’t really know how many, but in an area of 3,000 people even 20 new families living in the central town area has an impact.
Anyway, I left a message for C on Faceback afterwards. She got it later and sometime in the night–around 11–I saw she was online and we chatted about it.
“You got here, Mom?”
“Yes, I did.”
“But I won’t stay here.”
“Where do you want to go?”
“Timbuktu [the town where her mother and stepfather live–it’s the middle of nowhere, so I call it Timbuktu]. Am fade [sic] up with Y-town.”
“Is there a high school in Timbuktu?” (I think there isn’t. The school goes up to tenth grade, as far as I know.)
“I won’t qualify.” There is an exam C has to pass in December that determines whether she has a place in a public school. There is a pass mark, which is pretty low, and a qualifying mark that is quite a lot higher.
Can you see it? Push, hide, shame….Disorganized attachment fun. Go away, relationships are dangerous. I’m afraid. I’m not allowed to have relationships and I am not good enough to have one.
I might have mentioned this in my last post, but I think I forgot to. With my friend, I began to realize there is this pattern where during stressful times she impulsively reaches out to me and says kind, warm things that pull me towards her. Once I am there, she hates my guts. It creates the sense of being deceived. I don’t think she is intentionally deceiving me, although she seems to interpret her behaviour that way. I think she has dramatically different emotions and therefore different perceptions at different times. But it creates the sense she has pulled me to her for the sole purpose of emotionally pummelling me.
I think of a child experiencing this from a parent, repeatedly, the same cycle: being drawn in with warmth and the promise of nurturing and then being rejected or humiliated or controlled–treated in some way that makes the parent feel more powerful and therefore safer. That’s what C feels when I draw her to me. Do you really mean this? If I trust you, are you going to hurt me?
I cannot remember ever trusting my mother or feeling drawn to her. I only remember submitting to her attention when she felt like giving it to me, because I felt I had to. But when I was very little, before I can remember anything, I am sure I did fall for what later would have felt like a deception. I needed a relationship so badly I would have risked abuse even after I began to put things together.
The fear I feel now is about that deception. If someone seems to like me or enjoy my company, I don’t know whether or not to expect a trick. And the thing is I do have all of these people in my life who do have some version of relational trauma, and I am not a little girl anymore, but being invited forward and then pushed away, attacked and put down or criticized and controlled still hurts. I am still a human being with feelings and it does still hurt. On top of that, there are people who have real power over me, even though I am an adult.
I had a principal who did not renew my contract out of the same disorganized attachment. My friend took away my home at the worst possible time of year–before school had started and I did not even know how much work I would be getting or where I might get called to work. Everyone has vulnerabilities, and adults are clever enough to know how to exploit them. They can harm you by sullying your reputation in front of your boss or creating friction in your social circle by spreading rumours about you. Teachers can bully your children, as the matron did C when the matron was angry at me. There are all kinds of way to get power over someone, even between equals. So there are real things to be afraid of.
But the fear I have about people is about that cycle of abuse, the seduction and then the violent rejection.