The person I want to be is normal.
She moves gracefully. She wears flattering clothes and her hair is in a pretty updo. She can strike up a friendly conversation with someone she’s just met and become friends. She knows what to do most situations and the words flow easily. She walks into a room and people smile and move closer. She is holding the hand of an elderly woman and giving her comfort. She’s wearing a pretty dress and making her husband’s co-workers laugh. She is laughing with her girlfriends and eating cheesecake and talking until 2 a.m. She’s throwing a laid-back party in her backyard and everyone’s having a good time. She’s in the mom circle and her kids get invited to all the birthday parties.
I am afraid to be alone with myself and my own awkwardness. I go out and I see the coldness in people’s eyes, the puzzlement the on their faces; I see them move away and I hear them speak to me differently, and then I go home and I visualize myself being her. I keep thinking that next time I will be. It is a mirage in the desert I keep on chasing. Sometimes it’s so close I think I can touch it. But I never get there.
The mother of a special needs child once wrote about how she needed to let go of the child she had envisioned so that she could embrace the child she had. I know that is what I need to say goodbye to that woman in my mind. But I want to be her so badly that I can’t.
It is a bit like grief in a way. I was in denial for a long time, angry for awhile. Now I feel sadness as that person slips away. Maybe someday, I don’t know when, I will let her go.