Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 63: Recurring Decisions

Mom (Me): Hey girls. It’s nice to see the two of you together.

Lark (The Dreamer): Thanks… Ivy has been letting me visit memories with her.

Mom: How’s that going?

Ivy (The Companion): It’s okay? It still feels like there’s some distance between us, honestly.

Lark: But that’s what spending time together is for, right? We’re becoming familiar with each other, so it’s important to stick it out.

Ivy: That’s true — we’ve had some differences, but it’s worth staying engaged through the hard parts.

Mom (smiling): That sounds wise. Which memory are you visiting today?

(A few steps from us, a younger Daphne and her partner are having a conversation. Lark, Ivy, and I stand nearby and observe.)

Ivy: This is one that I’ve visited before — my partner is about to ask me about something that we decided a week ago. It’ll be the third time she brings it up since we made that decision.

Lark (annoyed): Wh… Again!? But we talked through it already! Twice! Three times if you include when the decision was made.

Ivy: Yup, and I remember being pretty upset about that at the time. I hated having to settle the same thing over and over and over again.

Lark: Yeah, I can see why.

Ivy: Still… The last time I visited this memory I felt a pang of regret for feeling this way. Like I’m causing my partner pain again.

Lark: Wait, what?

Ivy: It’s just a feeling, but… It felt like I shouldn’t be getting so upset at my partner.

Mom: That must be your instincts again. You’re right, getting angry isn’t a useful reaction.

Lark: Not useful? What’s that supposed to mean!? We’re entitled to our feelings!

Mom: We are, but our partner isn’t approaching this conversation from a malicious place. She thought of something that might make the decision a bad one, and she’s trying to put her mind at ease about what the two of you decided.

Lark: It’s already been decided! Why is she thinking about it at all?

Mom: There’s a fundamental difference in the way our partner processes things and the way we process things. Say we’re trying to answer a question about something — making a plan about when to go to the grocery store, for instance. Once we make a decision, then we want to file the question away so we can use our mental energy for something else.

Ivy: Right, that helps to keep us from getting overwhelmed.

Mom: Well, our partner doesn’t think like that. Things don’t “settle” in her mind the same way, so instead of filing the question away she keeps thinking about it in the back of her head, trying to make sure she considered everything when she made the original decision. When she’d come up with something that seemed like it threatened the decision, she talked it over with us to make sure the decision was still a good one.

Ivy: At the time it felt like she was nitpicking endlessly, looking for faults.

Mom: Yes, I remember feeling that way. But like I said, it isn’t malicious behavior; she’s not really looking for ways to pick the decision apart. If her decision turns out to be wrong later, she’s going to feel like she’s personally at fault for making the wrong choice, so going back over decisions again and again helps to keep that from happening..

Ivy: So… By talking this over with her a third time, we’re helping put her mind at ease about the decision we made together the week before.

Mom: Exactly.

Lark (shocked): Wh… But what about our feelings!? They’re important too, and they’re being ignored!

Ivy: I don’t think that’s true — Our partner is trying to be mindful of our feelings; she just needs some support from us. That… Feels right, somehow.

Lark: What do you mean, “feels right”? It doesn’t feel right to me!

Ivy: I don’t know how to explain it exactly; it just sort of feels right. It’s like Mom said; I think it’s my instincts.

Lark: Well I don’t feel anything.

Mom: Like we discussed previously, her instinct is related to her role as The Companion, so she has instincts that help her be a better companion. You, on the other hand, are The Dreamer.

Lark: So my instincts are related to dreaming.

Mom: Exactly. Dreaming, having lofty goals, grand plans, being creative…

Lark: If that’s the case, why don’t I have these unexplainable gut feelings like Ivy does?

Mom: Maybe you will someday, but you’ve been here a lot longer than Ivy has, so I also think they’re more tightly integrated into your personality. Or maybe they just haven’t been challenged yet.

(Lark considers my words as the memory plays out near us, fuming silently. She isn’t able to stay quiet for long; she gestures at memory-Daphne in disgust.)

Lark: Look at us! We’re drained and upset in there, I can just feel it! Doesn’t that count for anything?

Ivy: I guess it does, but what do you want to do about it?

Lark (upset): I want to tell our partner! She shouldn’t be making us feel that way!

Ivy: You heard Mom; she’s not doing it maliciously.

Lark: It still shouldn’t happen! If we keep indulging our partner’s digressions they’re just going to happen again and again — are we going to let our partner walk all over us like that!?

Mom (shocked): Lark, what’s gotten into you?

Lark: What’s gotten into you, Mother!? You’re supposed to be looking after us and instead you’re teaching Ivy to roll over when our partner pushes us!

Ivy (upset): She’s not our enemy, Lark!

Lark: I’ve had enough of this! Don’t talk to me again until you’re ready to take this seriously!

(Lark storms off. Ivy and I stand there, stunned.)

Ivy: What just happened?

Mom: I’m not entirely sure. Lark hasn’t acted that way since…

(Ivy waits for me to finish my sentence, but I’m lost in thought.)

Ivy: Mom?

Mom: Ah, sorry Ivy. Lark acted like that more often when was new here. Once she accepted that she was actually a girl she mellowed out a lot, but clearly there’s still something bothering her.

Ivy: Is she going to be okay?

Mom: I think so, but… Leave this to me okay?

Ivy: If you say so, Mom. Let me know if you need anything.

Mom: Of course, dearest.