Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 74: Recurring Scenes

Lark (The Dreamer): I just think she should have to consider our feelings too; why is that so much to ask!?

Ivy (The Companion): Because she doesn’t know what we’re feeling at all. We haven’t told her.

Lark (annoyed): Why should we have to *tell* her?

Mom (Me): Hello girls, how are you today?

Ivy (exhausted): Lark brought it up again.

Mom: Brought what up again?

Lark: I’m just saying that when our partner brings up things that we’ve already settled, she isn’t thinking about how that makes us feel, and she should be more considerate.

Mom: Oh, the discussion about our partner reopening “closed” issues.

Ivy: Ironic, isn’t it?

Lark: What do you mean, ironic?

Ivy: I mean that this is the fourth time you’ve tried having this conversation with me. You barely talk to me for weeks and all of a sudden you’re bringing this up again and again.

Lark (defensive): Well… It isn’t settled yet!

Ivy (annoyed): It isn’t settled yet because you keep getting angry and stomping off in a huff!

Mom: Hang on, you two. Let’s try to talk this through calmly; I’ll do my best to support you both.

Ivy (exasperated): Fine, let’s get this over with. Lark, you were saying that our partner wasn’t considering how we felt by bringing up an issue that we’ve already settled, right?

Lark: That’s right! It makes me angry because it makes me feel like nothing is ever decided until it’s over and completely behind us. Up to that point she just comes up with other concerns again and again that *have* to be considered, and every time we have to un-decide whatever it is, talk through whatever her concern was, then redecide it again. It hardly ever changes our decision — we’re just indulging her imagination!

Mom: It often doesn’t change her decision, that’s true. But she’s not really trying to relitigate the decision, she’s looking for emotional support. It’s difficult for her to feel like something is truly settled, so when she realizes new concerns, she’s hoping we can reassure her.

Lark (exasperated): Okay, but that’s hard for us! When we decide something, that’s a big relief because we can file that decision away and not have to think about it again. We get overwhelmed if too many things are up in the air at once, so it’s important for us to shelve topics that we’ve already decided. It’s not trivial to take a topic off the shelf to consider it again.

Mom: Good news then! Transition frees up a bunch of emotional capacity, so we don’t have to be so aggressive about making decisions and closing the book on them.

Lark: So what, that’s it? We don’t bother to fix the root cause of that tension? We’ve got a bunch more energy so it’s just not a problem anymore?

Ivy: Is it really a problem if we have the energy to deal with it?

Lark: Yes it is! There’s still tension — it still costs us time and energy!

Mom: Granted, but we’re not just throwing that energy into a void. When our partner brings up a new concern, it’s because she thought of something that’s causing her genuine stress. She’s reaching out to us, and by talking through things with her, we can comfort her and set her mind at ease. I feel like we’ve talked about this before.

Lark (sullen): And we’re just going to do that again and again.

Mom: Yes, again and again. That’s part of what being in a relationship *is*, Lark. Caring for your partner when she needs care.

Ivy: Look Lark, we’re not saying this process is free for us, what we’re saying is that our partner is worth the energy. She’s a wonderful companion, and she deserves our emotional support.

Lark (angry): So what about emotional support for us!? Why can’t she consider how much emotional energy this costs me? You should be sympathetic, Ivy! I know you feel angry too!

Ivy (annoyed): Sure, I *felt* angry, but I’ve realized that she’s genuinely trying her best and she wasn’t getting what she needed from us. *Now* that we understand this dynamic, we can better provide for her needs. She needs emotional support, so we provide it.

Lark (enraged): *I* need emotional support! Why can’t either of you see that? Why can’t you provide it for me!?

(Lark whirls about, ready to storm off.)

Mom: Lark, wait!

Lark (furious): *What, mother?*

(Lark whips back around with an indignant expression, barely willing to wait for a reply. Instead of speaking, I step quickly towards her with my arm fully extended, pushing her hard in the chest. Lark gasps in shock as my arm slides through her body, passing clear through her and forcing another twenty-something girl out through her back. The girl stumbles backward and falls as I straighten up.)

Lark (stunned): Wh… What was that for!?

(Lark gapes at me only to see both Ivy and I staring at something behind her. Lark turns around and gasps loudly — the new girl is sitting up now and Lark realizes she looks identical to her, as if the girl were her twin sister.)

Lark (dumbfounded): Wh… Who are you?

(The new girl looks up in a daze to see the three of us staring intently at her. She wears a deeply annoyed expression and is about to speak when her eyes settle on Lark and her face moves from anger to shock. After a moment, she looks down at herself and then back up at Lark, as if trying to understand something. The two of them stare at one another for a few moments, lost in each other’s eyes, when the new girl suddenly scrambles to her feet and bolts into the distance. Before any of us can call after her, she’s gone.)