Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why does everything have to be so bifurcated??

Am I the only one that feels bifurcated - split into two? I am one person when I am on the neighborhood cul-de-sac filled with kids, parents, baseballs, scooters, bikes, motorized toy cars and lacrosse sticks, ensuring that Sayer doesn’t hurt any one by accident or have a fit. I am another person when I am at Jacob’s high school research symposium, visiting poster presentations about recycling and biodiesel; socializing with other parents and talking with teachers about potential funders for “green” school projects.

I am one person when I am at an IEP meeting advocating for Sayer’s education program, or arranging for inclusion services for his day camp. I am quite another sipping martinis with a buddy in a Portland bistro, or on the dance floor with my cousins at a family party on Long Island.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sip martinis in an outdoor cafe with the neighborhood moms and dads on the cul de sac, where I would not have that veneer of hypervigilance I have when with Sayer in unstructured settings. Or what it would be like to go to OMSI with Sayer and one of Jacob’s teachers. Or go see the “Sex and the City” movie with Sayer’s teacher. Or take one of my New York cousins with me on a lecture on behavior strategies for kids on the autism spectrum.

Clearly, all these people would see completely different sides of me. in different settings and situations. But, would that be good or bad? Do these separate identifies protect us, define us, limit us or liberate us?? I'm not sure of the answer - are you?



6 comments:

ByJane said...

I'm not sure bifurcated is the word I'd use. I know what you're saying, but to me it's an issue of the different parts of me responding to different stimuli. The me who read Beowulf for a graduate lit class was the same me who played lowball poker later that night. I thought it was kinda neat that I could do both.

Sylvie said...

Isn't this the textbook definition of postmodern subjectivity?!?

Carol said...

I guess it is postmodern in that no identity is "better" than any other - good point Sylvie

Anonymous said...

I think it is good to be 'different" with different people (okay, I am still stuck on which teacher you would take to see SATC with...hmmmmmm). It's sort of when I am with my typical boys' friends moms, I am just another 'mom', when I am around other parents with kids on the spectrum, we sit and discuss different therapies...it's just life, I think....

Katie

linda said...

I had not thought about how my labels, should I choose to use them, liberate me but they do, if I choose to be liberated...not trying to be cute here but rather had an aha moment over this one...I have lots of labels I "could" live with but don't....so am I not liberated? no...I am still liberated...it is because I feel free to choose or not to choose and know my reality is that it matter not one wit what is real and precious and meaning-full to me. I hope that makes sense..it did when I wrote it!

Carol said...

That's a good point Linda - we can choose whether to be owned by our labels or not.