Finding Meaning in Quarantine
Is anyone else waking up each morning wondering what is the best way to shelter in place? What am I doing here that makes any difference?
I have gone through stages, sometimes all of them in one day. Depressed over the future. Over not seeing family and friends. Over the state of our government in a true crisis. Sadness over all the loss. Grateful for being well and for the health of my loved ones at this moment, tempered with my own brand of survivor’s guilt. In many ways it all feels very familiar.
One project I have embraced involves working closely with two of my replacement child brethren, Rita Battat Silverman and Kristina Schellinski to create the Replacement Child Forum (replacementchildforum.com). Each has contributed a great service to this community in their own right. We come to the forum from three very different perspectives, though each of us is a replacement child. Rita is co-author, with Abigail Brenner, MD, of a collection of true stories of replacement children, Replacement Children The Unconscious Script. Kristina has authored a recent in-depth book, Individuation for Adult Replacement Children. And if you are on my blog, you already know about my memoir, Replacement Child.
We have come together in an effort to fill a gap in awareness and to connect adult replacement children and therapeutic practitioners with in-depth information and resources to better understand the implications and long-term influence of this psychological condition.
We are extremely grateful for the support of our Honorary Advisory Board members, the prestigious Albert C. Cain, Ph.D., and Andrea Sabbadini, Dott.,CPsychol. I’ll mention that it was initially Dr. Cain’s work with Barbara Cain in 1964, and their article On Replacing a Child, that first introduced me to the term replacement child while I was writing my book. If not for discovering their work I may never have realized that I indeed identified with many of the symptoms of the condition. That understanding led me down the path to uncovering how my story, and my life, was intensely influenced by growing up in the shadow of my sister.
As replacement children we often think we are insignificant, and less-than. I’m grateful for my new team of colleagues, and now close friends, who have helped me find meaning in my quarantine.