Monday, March 10, 2008
How many different people can one person possibly be during a 24-hour period? Feeling a sense of identity is very different from role-playing when you feel one of your identities evolving, especially when it is a core identity. Have you ever been in an emergency situation where your adrenaline races and you go into automatic pilot to "take on" the situation? Try being on automatic pilot for ten years only to find the emergency situation no longer exists...try returning to the person you were before flicking the "react" switch. Impossible. That person no longer exists aside from pieces.
Role-playing can be fun *wink*
From the time we're little girls, we dress up as princesses, clink-clank around the house in our Mom's high heels, wear our Mom's stretchy gold tight pants for Halloween (with a lot of blue eyeshadow), play doctor with the cutest first grader in the basement of his house only to get caught by his mom(my first "doctor" actually became a cardiologist lol)...
Role-playing can be educational
Throughout college I was convinced that I wanted to become an attorney to help people. My last semester of the University, I had an internship with the State's Attorneys' Office in Rockville, MD where I assisted a really HOT attorney (nicknamed Clark Kent) who was also extremely nice...but I didn't see a lot of "helping" going on in criminal cases, just a lot of really bad people and frustrated lawyers. It was fun wearing suits to "work" every day, but it got old fast and I decided that "playing attorney" was not in my future.
I have done a lot of role-playing with Jordan to help him fight bullies, snag a girl, react or not react appropriately in different situations that require his voice, but the most painful and difficult experience for a mother is to divide that God-given job with that of teacher. A hearing mom who chooses to approach deafness orally, must become a teacher 24 hours a day, so that those two jobs - one natural and one artificial merge, creating an entirely different role as a mother. Obviously, a part of the "mother job" is to teach your child right from wrong. But the "teacher job" goes so way beyond the normal mother teaching that it destroys your equilibrium and blows you to pieces. Love is the only thing that holds it all together, that and knowing you are doing your best to help your child for his future.
I played the role of mother to a child with a disability and wife to a husband of a child with a disability so well that I eliminated the "woman" part of me. That "woman" part is back. Another "minor" issue is that the "American" part snuck back with her and I am walking around town feeling different. I've always been different, but now I'm feeling different. Role-playing is easy when you know who you are and don't get lost in the role. Once you get lost, finding yourself again can be quite the struggle.