I had to read part of All Our Losses, All Our Griefs this summer. In talking about different kinds of loss, the authors used a new phrase: intrapsychic loss
Intrapsychic loss is the experience of losing an emotionally important image of oneself, losing the possibilities of “what might have been,” abandonment of plans for a particular future, the dying of a dream.
I experienced a version of this last week when I went to the Connecticut DMV and replaced my Alaska license with a Connecticut one. I didn’t realize it until my Alaska license was no more but that little card meant a lot to me and my identity. And even though I only got the new license because the old one was about to expire, there’s a sense in getting the Connecticut license that I am unlikely to be returning to Alaska in the near future.
And that’s kind of sad.