It was one of those days that began with hope and devolved.

That happens sometimes. Optimism is fleeting. I wish I could bottle it.

I had the interview yesterday, as I mentioned. They said they would let me know today. Okay.

I think I had great things to say but managed to look like a weirdo while saying them. It seemed like a good experience for me, sort of a step towards sorting out who I am in the US again. I’m not who I was. It’s bigger than just a change from culture. I also integrated a lot, and I have to make that work for the US.

One thing I have been thinking is that I still feel like a mom, but my children are not here. No one says, “How is C?” when they run into me. I think I come across as a young, single person. It’s a weird loss of identity. Because the other thing is there is C and also actually The Boy, but my students live all over Y-Town, and they all greet me when I see me, and it’s not exactly a mom-thing, but it is different. It is different than it ever was for me—partly because I never lived near my students, but also because it’s more personal. It’s more than just being the only foreigner in town puts you in a different place than being of many, but I became in Country X someone I had never been before, and I don’t know how I got to be that person or how to fold that person into my life here.

Anyway, I waited for an answer—not impatiently. In the morning, I was sure they weren’t interested in me. I had a conversation with my friend that did something to me (a different topic for later perhaps) and I kind of lost it from there, but basically I think it was more about waiting than about the conversation.

I went through some stages. For a while, I felt kind of ghost-like, like I was playing dead.

Okay, so that is what it is like to wait. You don’t reach out because you don’t know what reaching out will do, and you kind of just play dead.

Then I felt suicidal.

I started thinking, somehow it came to me to think like this: when I was a kid, part of what happened when my parents attacked me was they seemed me to be dead. I mean, literally, my mother at least was so enraged she appeared to me to be homicidal.

When I get to that point of realizing this kind of thing, it seems like it helps because suddenly something that seemed very vague and nebulous and all-encompassing becomes anchored in something particular. It’s like staring at a close-up of a face and suddenly realizing that thing is a nose. At those moments when I reached out in some way that my mother didn’t like, she sometimes became murderously enraged. She sometimes saw me with disgust as a kind of human turd, and sometimes as a vile, evil, threatening thing she wanted to kill—like a snake. A snake would be a good comparison.

It is going to take a while for this to sink in. It is absolutely hard to believe a real human being that I know personally—two of them, actually—wanted a child to die, even if only fleetingly.