I'm getting the feeling that everything I have written from this chapter of my life has been petty, self-centered, victimizing. I would like to change the narrative, but I sense I will only be able to do this once I am out of this situation.

The weekend break helped me gain distance from my situation. Now, when Christine gets mad at me, I understand she is not getting mad at me, but I still get caught up on these ego-stories about wasting my time and talents in a hopeless situation.

Underneath it all I sense a deeper truth, in which Christine and myself are connected, and that by changing my view of her will change the relationship I have with her. But there is too much mental activity, too much self-victimization for this process to take place. And also a somatic response which I cannot control.

Right now, for example, I'm sitting in the living room, writing this. I heard Christine grab her walker, and my heart skipped a heartbeat, and my body tensed up. Often times she gets up just to look for me, because she wants to see what I'm doing. If I ignore her and continue writing, she will come to find me and ask annoyed "what are you doing?".

Turns out she wasn't actually coming, it's sometimes she just grabs her walker out of fiddling, but the behavioral response remains there: a skipped heartbeat, tensing of the muscles, a spike in cortisol. It's much better than it was at the beginning, both in frequency of her seeking me and in the quality of interactions, but I have formed a behavioral aversion towards her.

I suppose I could practice a metta meditation where I start by feeling my loved ones in Mexico, then extend this love to the neutral people I encounter regularly at the supermarket and the gym, and finally come to my grandmother, Christine.

I notice I no longer write about her as my grandmother. I want to disconnect rather than connect. I feel that by disconnecting, the interaction will hurt less, but here lies the crux of the issue, Christine's emotional perception is quite a thing, if she wants to inflict damage, she senses your disconnection, and prods you until you react.

Perhaps the answer lies on the opposite end again. It is not turn the other cheek, but love unconditionally. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

I must try.