Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Separation Anxiety

My mom left today.

There is something abnormal about the way I process separation from my loved ones. The tiny prick of melancholy most people feel when a loved one goes home after a visit is an ocean of grief for me. When I was a child, I would beg my mother not to go shopping without me. I would imagine her death in a car accident; I would imagine her funeral; I would imagine being raised by my father. Twenty-five years later, my mother is not only alive, but well enough to care for me in the aftermath of my surgery.

And twenty-five years later, when she leaves, I sob as if I'm never going to see her again.

Sometimes I worry if my separation anxiety, which happens when DH leaves to work far away, or whenever I leave my family after a visit, will prevent me from being a good mother--the kind of mother who encourages her children to spread their wings, to take risks, and to explore the world outside of home. I will be the mother clinging to her child and howling on the first day of school while the kid looks around uncomfortably and says, "Jeez, mom. I'll be home at 4 pm!"

I wonder if my children will grow up fearful and anxious. And then I think that maybe it's best that I'm infertile, because I'm not sure I can handle the emotional rigors of parenting.

I know I need to work on this, but I don't know how.

I don't know what therapy or processing would make this grief more in line with reason and thus easier to bear.