Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 20: Don’t Push

Bloom (High School Me): Hey Mom?

Libra (College Me): Can we talk to you?

Mom (Present Me): Of course; what’s up girls?

Libra: It’s about Lark. It feels like she actually accepted herself as a girl for a little bit.

Mom: Yes, I agree. It didn’t stick, but it’s progress.

Bloom: But that means she’s ready! She just needs a big push, and then…

Mom (interrupting): No.

Bloom (whiny): But Mom!

Mom: Absolutely not. I told her I wouldn’t push her.

Libra: But she’ll feel so much better afterwards!

Mom: No she won’t. To her it would feel like a horrible violation. I’m not sure she’d trust us again after that, and she’d be right not to.

Libra: She’s so close though…

Bloom (crestfallen): I just want to see my sister.

Libra: It would make everything easier. It’s for her own good!

Mom: Okay, let’s slow down. I know it feels like she’s almost there. That she’s so close she might hatch at any moment. That with the right push she’ll come tumbling out of her shell a new woman. And that’s true, but that push has to come from within.

Bloom: But why? What does it matter where the push comes from?

Mom: Because her sense of safety is deeply tied up in her identity as it is now. Letting go of that identity is going to feel unsafe, and she has to have enough confidence that it’s worth the risk or she’ll slide back into the closet. She’s still building that confidence; if she had it she’d be out already.

Libra: So we help her build that confidence?

Mom: We have been. Or rather, we’re giving her an environment where that confidence can flourish. If she wasn’t trans, she wouldn’t change — she’d be living her best life and feeling wonderful. But she *is* trans, so she’s feeling the social friction of maintaining her gender grow and grow, and she’s starting to understand the gulf between what she presents to the world and who she really is.

Bloom: But we’re all together here in your mind. We know where she’s going to end up because of you, so I still don’t understand why you can’t just give her a push.

Mom: It’s true that we know the outcome since she’s me from my past, so we have a lot more leeway to talk openly about her trans identity. Certainly more than we would with any closeted person in the real world, where we couldn’t be sure if they were trans or not. But even here, the will to push through her shell has to come from inside her. The entire point of this space is to reconcile and reintegrate with my younger selves, so going through this process is absolutely vital.

Libra (resigned): So if we push her too hard, she’ll just panic and retreat into herself. That’s what I would have done had I not felt safe here.

Mom: Exactly. So please, don’t push her. Be welcoming, be affirming, be comforting. Be her sister. Try to help her feel safe. But don’t push, or her guard will come back up again. I promise she’ll come to understand on her own terms.

Bloom (sad but hopeful): Okay Mom. I trust you.

Libra: I trust you too. I hope we get to meet our sister soon.

Mom: Me too, Libra. Me too.