Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 58: Lifelong Goals

Mom (Me): Hey girls, how’ve you been?

Libra (The Friend): Hey Mom — Bloom and I have been talking about Ivy.

Bloom (The Survivor): Well, not exactly about Ivy — More about what she did.

Mom: What did she do?

Bloom: She found someone. She got married. I never dated anyone.

Libra: Even the cleanest relationship I had only lasted about a year. The relationship Ivy started is still going.

Mom: So it is — over a decade later.

Libra: I’m just… I’m kind of in awe of her. Starting our own family was a life goal for us. It’s something we’ve wanted as long as I can remember, and she did it.

Bloom: Starting a family was one of our two life goals, after all.

Mom: Indeed it was! As you’ve observed, she accomplished that goal.

Libra: It’s truly amazing to consider. It’s a little funny though…

Mom: What is, Libra?

Libra: I know we’ve always wanted to start a family, but the idea of settling down with a single person for the rest of our lives always felt a little foreign to me. I mean — I feel attraction to so many people, you know? It makes me wish partnership could be more… Casual, you know?

Mom (uneasy): Ah, I see…

Libra: I guess that’s not how people see romantic relationships, is it?

Mom: Well, our concept of relationships have changed a lot over time. Do you remember how things were for you, Bloom?

Bloom: I remember that there weren’t many girls I was really interested in dating, and the girl I was most interested in had no interest in me. At the same time I found myself attracted to *so many* girls, just like Libra mentioned. The longer I was around a girl, the more I’d find myself drawn to them.

Mom: Yes — long before I understood that to be gender envy.

Bloom: I think some of it was attraction too…

Mom: Well, granted. We are into girls, after all, and not having a girlfriend introduces a sort of urgency where we’re more willing to take a chance on someone we don’t necessarily vibe with in order to make a connection. But I think that if we’re really honest with ourselves, we often just wanted to be friends with and hang out with girls rather than dating them.

Bloom: Isn’t that what dating is though? It’s mostly hanging out everywhere… Holding hands… Sometimes kissing…

Libra: There’s more to it than that — there’s also spending the night with each other.

Bloom: You mean sex?

Libra: Sometimes! Sometimes it’s nice to just curl up on the couch and cuddle.

Mom: There’s less to it than that too. You don’t have to hang out with your girlfriend all the time. You don’t need to make every decision together.

Bloom: But shouldn’t you *want* to hang out with your girlfriend all the time? That’s the whole point of having a girlfriend; you have someone to do things with!

Mom: There’s a line that needs to be maintained. You and your girlfriend are two distinct people, with distinct interests and distinct needs. If you remove that line you get enmeshment — neither partner can do anything without dragging the other with them. That breeds codependency and eventually it can become resentment.

Bloom: But you don’t want to be apart all the time; that’s the entire point of getting together in the first place!

Mom: Granted; you don’t want to stay completely apart together. But you can be together sometimes and apart other times — that helps create mystery in a relationship, which leaves space for romance. You need to find a balance.

Bloom: I don’t remember anyone finding a balance like that at all.

Mom: I mean, you’re pretty young. All you ever saw of relationships was people holding hands in hallways and kissing occasionally, and all you heard of relationships were messages in popular media about how love was supposed to work.

Bloom (embarrassed): I know it wasn’t much, but I tried to date…

Mom: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it as criticism. You did your best, but we were hamstrung by being gay and trans. You were expected to interact with girls like a boy would, but you weren’t a boy, so that never felt right to you or the girls you were interacting with. In your heart, you were trying to relate to girls as another girl, but not only was society outright hostile to lesbians back then, your relationship would have been read as straight anyways.

Bloom: So it took a long time to actually find someone to date.

Libra: I eventually did, a few times, though those relationships must have looked pretty strange. I wonder what my girlfriends saw in me.

Mom: I… Hm. I’m not exactly sure? In at least in one case, I feel our girlfriend felt a sense of dominance, knowing they could use their emotional prowess to exert control over the me. Ironically, she was terminally submissive sexually, to the point where I actually started to get uncomfortable with how I never got to receive sexual attention.

Libra: I remember that, but I thought topping was my job as the “man” in the relationship. Besides, she was my first, so I figured that’s just what sex was.

Mom: After finishing college, some people told me what I really needed was a woman to take charge and dominate me. While there was a certain appeal to that idea, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted either — I wanted to be equals with my partner, without a hierarchy one way or the other.

Libra: Lark probably has plenty to say about that… Where is Lark, anyways? I’m kind of surprised she isn’t discussing this with us.

Mom (uneasy): She’s… Working through some things.

Bloom: I hope she’s okay.

Mom: I think she will be, but please support her where you can — summoning Ivy hit her a lot harder than she was expecting, I think.

Libra: Of course, Mom — always.