Monday, February 20, 2006

The Space Between My Heart and ...

I have two identities. Two lives almost. Over the past year they cropped up. Both are very much "me" and not some fantasy land I live in, but I cant help but feel the effects of both existing. What I am getting at is the person I have to be when my son is not with me, and the person I am when he is with me. People meet me when I am not with him and say things like "You're a mom?!" which is both a compliment and an insult. I am relieved that I don't look like the stereotypical mother (c'mon you all know what that is) but saddened that I don't have this outwardly maternal presence. Or at least I cover it up. I see babies on tv now and cant change the channel, I am mesmerized by their adorable feety pajamas. I cant bear to watch children in danger in the movies, and I feel sick to my stomach if something happens to a child on the nightly news. Anyway. When my son is not with me my heart hurts, I don't pay attention to people's stories as much and I still cant go in his room without it affecting me somehow. It feels so unnatural to actually BE a mother who is not allowed to BE with her child. It's as though you are talking to someone who as on a wig. You know they are wearing a wig, they know they are wearing a wig but everyone is supposed to pretend like's it actually real hair??

For example. I was in a certain part of the city this weekend, running errands. My son was with his dad. I later found out that I was less than a block away from them at the same time! That even feels weird to type let alone experience. I mean I had NO IDEA I was so close to my little son. "Bumping into" my 2 1/2 year old just doesn't fit my view of parenting. It brings back the horrendous memory I have of sitting in my lawyers office listening to him say, "Diane, you cant control every single moment of your child's life anymore with joint custody. You're gonna have to get used to that". I twisted my hands together and sobbed in the big red leather chair with brass studs. At that moment it was all I could do to actually sign the divorce papers I had been carrying around with me for months. Obviously staying miserably married wasn't an option - I just couldn't believe the price my son and I would have to pay as a result. These are the things I think about when someone is talking to me. Especially if I am really missing my son. So to those of you I do this to I am truly sorry.

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