How would you or I feel? (A love story)

May 2012

As regards the separation process that begins at birth and continues on for many decades, to the grave in fact, we might say that a parent or a child has three possibilities:

  • He or she might feel that this process was not easy or unpainful.
  • He or she might feel at some level that this process was indeed hard and painful, and yet find it difficult to speak about these feelings or even admit having them. (Such a person might say things like, “Oh, I know how hard it can be for some people, and I have sympathy with them, but for me it’s just not that difficult.”)
  • He or she might not have any such feelings, as if the separation were simply a mechanical process or in fact a joy or relief.

And so then a next question would be how one might feel—how would you or I feel, or how would a given parent or child feel—about someone who reacted in one of these ways? Would you, for instance, prefer that your parents (or children) felt the pains and difficulties of the separation process, or felt little or nothing, or joy and relief, or that they felt but could not speak about their feelings?

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