Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Double

Did anyone other than me catch last night's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson?

Stephen Fry, British actor, writer, comedian, author, television presenter and film director, was a guest.

Fry is British however he spoke of almost being born in Princeton, NJ.  He said that once he heard that story, he began to imagine a double or alternate Stephen Fry - his American counterpart.  This alter Stepehen would by physiclaly the sme, except as he noted, perhsps a bit thinner, heaver, more fit or less, lonmger or shortr hair. 

But, he theorized, would this American born version of himself have the same personality, temperment, sense of humor, life view?

And all of this speculation - it seemed - was based merely on the place of his birth - not  switch in who had raised him. 

The answer is obviously that he would not be the same person because our environment does effect who we are.

And what is also obvious is that every adopted person has this imaginary double-shadow life. Who would they be had they been kept?  What would not only their life be like (rich, poor) but what would THEY be like? In what ways would they be a different human being having grown up not having to wonder who they look like or why they were given away?  Would they be more confident? More secure?

As mothers who experienced a traumatic loss, we also wonder what our lives - and we - would be like had we been given the option to not have lost our children. 

I have heard mothers over and over say that it effects every aspect of their lives from choice of career to interpersonal  relationships.  So, we too have an imaginary shadow life with the addition of a child and the loss of all pain, grief and anger.

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