I feel very strange today–mostly numbingly tired, but also struggling with emotions I don’t really understand.

I had therapy yesterday. I didn’t know what to really say after last week. I couldn’t really get away from a sense that what I might think or wonder about was not worth the bother of listening to or trying to understand. What do you do if you think that?

But I also imagine that may be a bias I already have and it’s easy to find evidence for something you are already inclined to believe.

I still can’t understand her response to me. I don’t know why I would need to keep repeating “no” to someone. I don’t know why no would not mean no to someone over the age of 14. I don’t understand pushing a boundary once it has been set. There doesn’t seem to be a way for me to understand it.

I do wonder if it was simply that the topic itself was so painful for her it couldn’t be talked about, but I find that hard to accept as an explanation. Do people really subtly try to restrict what you talk about out of fear of their own emotional reactions to it? Would a therapist do that?

So I didn’t know what to talk about, and we had the kind of session we have when she takes the lead. She asked a lot of questions. I dutifully answered. I didn’t think deeply about anything because when I do that she doesn’t wait for an answer. I just get another question. It was quite boring. There seemed to be life at the end only after the session was kind of officially over and we began to talk about going to the zoo.

I did bring up that I seem to be triggered by the sink. I had thought it had something to do with washing dishes, but I feel that doing other things at the sink at too. She asked me why. I said I didn’t really know. She said I could think about when I had last had that feeling. Well, I seem to feel guilty about the sink. I felt guilty walking home for no discernible reason, in class on Thursday for not carrying out the lesson plan in the way I later realized the teacher wanted, on Friday for not plugging a teacher’s laptops in (I forgot). I could go on. Do people only feel guilty on important occasions? Or maybe those are the only ones they remember.

It’s a sink with a metal counter that drains into it. That’s the kind of sink I had in Country X–not the faucet, that was just a tap affixed to the wall–and it was several inches shorter. So short one tall guest who offered to wash up knelt down rather than lean over it.

Maybe I miss my old house.

I also wonder if it looks a bit like a commercial sink to me, with the stainless steel counter, and if there was one like that where I saw bodies being butchered.

That seems more likely, but who knows…

I am struck by the idea that perhaps it frightens me to think that my story might turn out to be merely boring. I could be struggling with all of this difficult stuff and have it only matter to me.

I suppose that’s significant as an idea for me. When you grow up soliciting on the street you have a very clear idea how insignificant your life is to other people.

I think last week’s idea about the boy and his teacher related indirectly to that: it’s not that the boy didn’t matter, but that he was too much. I don’t think, for example, my mother had many ways to calm herself. People like that often navigate life by trying to control the world around them: they can’t calm down, so the best approach is to not get upset in the first place. Children are upsetting.

People who are like that live in these emotional wind tunnels. It’s deadening for a child, but the only way the adult has learned how to function and get through life. I think that might have happened for me with my mother: she didn’t want me, not because there was something terrible or even boring about me, but because her ability to cope did not extend to raising a child. A lot of my story is unusual, but I don’t think this piece is.

It’s a refreshing thought for me. I am sure for my therapist it wasn’t.

It’s not that easy to think no one helped me when I was being trafficked because it was too painful for them to think about long enough to take some action about, but it’s better than thinking the traffickers had their blessing. It’s also better than thinking people were just too busy with their own lives, although that’s probably true.

 

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