Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Identity Sharing

One of the hardest things about being homeless is becoming a victim of the transference of mannerisms. To look up one day and realize that your laugh-speech-gestures are not your own, but those of the people that you are sharing a space with, is one of the most frustrating things ever. I first became aware of the fact that my identity could be stripped during my teenage years. I had been working a summer job, spending lots of time around the same group of people, and one day, I heard it. I laughed a co-worker's laugh. I was surprised when the sound came out of my mouth. I wondered if anyone else had noticed it. And as an adult, I have my moments when I notice that I am not entirely myself. Again wondering if anyone else has noticed. Then I start wondering about the possibility of transference beyond mannerisms.

I see that my daughter is just as impressionable. Her laughter-speech-behavior is being oppressed by the laughter-speech-behavior of a very troubled child. Every time I hear one of his phrases come from her mouth I cringe, then I fear that she might be losing her own identity, and then I get furious that I plucked her out of her comfort zone and planted her in the middle of chaos. I find myself hating the fact that we are subjected to forces beyond our control. I will truly be elated to come to the end of this adventure.


  1. This is very interesting Barbara. A strong, complex character myself, I often find others take on many of my mannerisms when they spend extended periods of time in my presence.

    As for Emma, y'know there've been a few times we've had to "re-program" Yael Rose, and more often than not it, the mirroring-has been cleared up pretty quickly with an assertive redirect and a reaffirmation that she is perfectly wonderful as she is. Good luck.

  2. Its great to know that, with a little redirection and a whole lotta consistency, my baby can be saved from the okie doke. Its just not the business right now, and MUST change.

    I must say though friend, I would not mind taking on your mannerism =). Its the good ones that you wanna hang on to.