I think that at various points in my life I have suffered some identity crises. Certainly with my career aspirations-and I continue to wonder what is ahead. And I would ask myself-ok, so who am I. Am I a critical care nurse, a teacher, a researcher?
But there were also questions that I had about my personality construct. What was I like as a child? How am I different as an adult, what was I like as a mother? What was I like as a young wife and how did I change as I got older?
This is a different identity crisis now. I saw myself reflected in his eyes. There was something stable about being his wife, although, saying this, I do not think that I thought of myself as a wife. I was just me, and very much his. His friend, his lover, his person and whatever else in my life changed-that was constant. My identity, at least part of it was rooted in his presence. So I ask myself, who am i now?
So much changes as we get older. So much loss, much of it intangible. You spend years adding, you add a husband, children, pets, and then at a certain point you start losing. Yes, I am still a mother, but the loss of the full bloom of the role is gone. And if your memory does not permit you to recreate, or relive the years before.....then there is so much lost.
I remember though in bits and pieces, the early years of my marriage. Some were turbulent times, difficulty with money, struggles with school and work. And I used to sleep clutching his nightshirt, our bodies intertwined as we slept. We took a shower together almost every day for 34 years. I used to joke that we were being environmentally responsible and saving water.
How will I find me, now that there is no one to show me who I am? No one to help me remember all the details, to share what I have lost?