What’s the difference?”
“What are puppet puppets?”
“Oh, they’re the small critters people sometimes put on your face in Halloween. It looks nice!”
I tried to play along.
“So what’s the difference?”
“It’s pretty simple. I’m a puppet, and I feel like you’re a kid.” (Yes, she had pointed out the differences and made clear a difference in the way they both felt that day.)
It wasn’t quite what I wanted to hear. But in the midst of my bewilderment I continued anyway.
“But why do I feel like one? And where does this come from.” (Is she saying that I’m a puppet?)
It was when I was being talked into being an adult. I’ve never thought through my feelings of age, but since my parents’ divorce they’ve been on a downward spiral. I’ve had a rough couple of years. I’ve fallen to my death about three more times during puberty. In the end, I was kicked out of my family home. I’ve never felt like I fit in for the foreseeable future with anyone.
But then I received my diagnosis.
“What do you find so troubling about that? Just what happens when a child, like an infant, is exposed to different parts of the body? What are the implications?”
“There’s such a thing as the developmental pathway. People don’t say that much. In the end, it’s all about physiology, and there’s very little we can do about that.”
“But why don’t we talk about it?”
“Oh, no. That would make it seem as though I was hiding something, but as far as I can tell you’re perfectly normal. If we were talking about someone else, you might see it as an attack. But, I don’t think we’re talking about our neighbor’s child.”
She turned away and she turned her back to me.
I’m not exactly sure what I said next, but I do recall thinking, “Well, if you’re not talking about the child, I don’t think it’s my problem to have an opinion on it. I can be the judge.”
So then it became about my opinion. This little girl didn’t actually want to see me as a puppet, or even as a little person. She wanted a different person altogether. And with that, I started to have
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