Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 80: Isolating Myself

Mom (Me): Good morning girls.

Bloom (The Survivor): G’morning Mom!

Libra (The Friend): Hey Mom.

Mom: How’ve you been holding up lately?

Bloom: I’m feeling a lot better now that Lark’s talking to us again. I know she wasn’t avoiding us and she just needed some space, but it’s good to see her around.

Libra: Agreed! I imagine having another person pushed out of your body feels… Traumatic. What about you, Mom? Are you okay?

Mom: I’m fine Libra; thanks for asking. Realizing that Lark had a twin was quite the revelation for me — I remember sending a shocked message to my sister the night I realized it. On the other hand, when the time came to actually separate the two, I’d already processed my feelings around doing that.

Libra: Oh, that makes sense. I’d been a little concerned with how little the Incident seems to have affected you.

Mom (smiling): I appreciate your concern, daughter.

Libra: Though that still leaves Lark’s Twin. She’s still out there somewhere — What if she’s lost?

Mom: She isn’t. Like all my daughters, she instinctively knows how to navigate this place.

Bloom (surprised): Wait, is that how that works? I figured that I understood where to go because I was reliving *my* memories. Now that I think about it though, even when I was visiting memories from after my time, I always knew where to go without having to think about it.

Mom: Yup. Even though you girls can’t teleport around and reshape this space like I can, you’ll still never be lost here, even if I change the world around you.

Bloom: Oooh, that’s handy.

Libra: Okay, but that means Lark’s Twin is avoiding us. I guess we knew that, but it still makes me sad. She’s literally a part of this family and she feels like she can’t be around us.

Bloom (apprehensive): Yeah, but… Is that so unusual? Even at my age, we felt like that pretty often.

Libra (pensive): I suppose we did. Connecting with others is my whole deal and sometimes… I just can’t. We feel excluded a lot, even when we’re surrounded by friendly people.

Bloom: Gosh, that’s true, isn’t it? We almost feel more like an outsider when we’re part of a group. When we’re literally *in* the group.

Mom: It is true. Heck, they might have been talking with us moments before. But when the conversation moves onto something I’m less interested in or splits into two smaller conversations and I feel like I can’t follow it, I start to panic and feel isolated.

Libra: Situations where we’re expected to make shallow social connections have always been challenging. Parties were the worst — many of those are just shallow connection after shallow connection, and I wanted no part of it.

Bloom: Maybe that’s why I hung out with the same three people for much of high school.

Libra: Even in college, I spent most of my free time with the same core group. Making new connections is hard.

Mom: It’s very hard, and what did we do when we felt isolated and alone? We withdrew into ourselves, disconnected from the people around us, and left as soon as we could.

Libra (nodding): Right… We tried to disappear without drawing any attention to ourselves.

Mom: Exactly. So it’s it any wonder that Lark’s twin is avoiding us?

Libra: Hang on, that’s different! We’re not just another group of friends! We’re her family…

(As Libra’s trails off suddenly, I let her words hang in the air for a few moments.)

Mom: “Family” doesn’t mean as much as it used to, does it?

Bloom: We definitely feel isolated within our birth family now, and that isn’t just a quirk of our mind. They still haven’t accepted us for who we are.

Mom (ashamed): For Lark’s twin, we’re her birth family. I’m her mother, but if I’m being honest, I haven’t always been very accepting of her.

(Bloom and Libra are silent with shock at my admission.)

Bloom (stunned): You haven’t always… I have a hard time imagining you as a bad mom.

Mom: You shouldn’t. I’ve talked more than once about how much I used to beat myself up over perceived failures, haven’t I?

Bloom: Well sure, but…

Mom: What does that mean here, in this place? It means I’m beating up on one of you.

Libra: But you’re suffering too…

Mom: It’s beating up on me and you, in a way. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but it *is* a real one, and I think Lark’s twin took the brunt of that.

Bloom: But… I’m the Survivor. When we feel threatened, I’m the one who protects us. Who protects Lark’s twin?

(I start to answer, then stop myself and hang my head in silent shame.)

Bloom (tearful): Oh no.

Mom: That’s why I don’t want to chase after her. As I said before, I don’t want her to feel hunted. She’s not going to be punished. I want this to be her home, and it’s our job to make this place safe and welcoming for her.

Bloom (crying): Of course, Mom. I’ll do everything I can.

Libra (tearful): I already promised, but… I’ll promise again. I want to do everything I can too.

Mom: Thanks girls. And maybe… Maybe learning to accept her will also help me feel more secure in myself when I’m in a group of friends too.

Libra (smiling): It’s worth a try.