CB is the child of divorce. It might not have affected her emotionally the same way it would had she been a neurotypical child. I don't know how the shuffling around from parent to parent impacted her. She never gave any indication of angst, confusion or unhappiness. For CB, her world is likely always unpredictable. She has constructed a tiny planet for herself that could fit on the head of a pin, unless or until someone else pulls her out of it. Even then, what she allows herself to be aware of appears rather limited. Again, these are things we'll never know as her internal world lies forever inaccessible.
For me, my divorce constructed a life consisting of a series of goodbyes to my daughter. Whereas we once lived under one roof, we each had to quickly grow accustomed to a life where a few times a month we drove down the interstate and said goodbye. Even after all of these years, I still shut the door to her room when she's gone to avoid seeing its emptiness. I can't bear to see the silence.
Saying goodbye to her has become rote, but not easy. Missing her presence in our family has become our norm but again, not easy. The respite is nice, looked forward to sometimes, but the relief it offers also comes with a weight on the heart.
So many goodbyes have been said over the past 10 years. One hundred thousand goodbyes over a lifetime, and counting. But within each goodbye lives the quiet joy and sweet relief of over 100,000 homecomings.