Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 92: Dreams and Desires

Lark (The Dreamer): Hey Mom.

Mom (Me): Hello Lark. Are you alright? You look upset.

Lark: I’m still thinking about the conversation we had with Aura. I’m not very happy about where that ended up.

Mom (sympathetic): I wouldn’t worry too much about it, dearest. I’m sure Aura will come around on making choices as a family.

Lark (uneasy): I’m sure, but should she have to? I *am* very persistent, and I *do* get my way a lot. Almost always.

Mom: Oh, I see. I noticed you got quiet at the end of the conversation… I guess this is why.

Lark: Yeah. I mean, I understand Aura’s frustration with me. I remember Libra getting upset at herself for the same reason, back in her day. Bloom did too sometimes. Even Ivy used to get frustrated with me occasionally.

Mom: Yes… It’s something I’ve struggled with for a very long time, wrestling with desire and distraction.

Lark (embarrassed): And you always seem to side with me in the end.

Mom (amused): You’re very persuasive, sweetheart.

Lark (upset): I’m very persistent. I don’t take “no” for an answer. I don’t let things go. Maybe Aura was right — I’m just like a petulant child.

Mom: I don’t think that’s fair, Lark. The Dreamer’s domain is dreams — dreams are an expression of desire, and desire is an expression of need. Sometimes there’s more than one way to fulfill a need, or sometimes needs have to be deferred to manage other needs… Making decisions like that is my job. But generally, if needs go unfulfilled they just make my life worse. Unfulfilled needs cause stress in the body, and build up over time. Your persistence is something *I* need in order to keep myself healthy.

Lark: That’s very kind of you to say, but I know my pestering is inconvenient in the moment. I get in the way, and I cause you distress.

Mom: Sometimes I need distress. Sometimes it’s hard to face what I need, but it doesn’t change the fact that I need it. When I lost sight of who I was, you still held me — the real me — in your heart.

Lark: You mean… Being a girl.

Mom: I dreamed of being a girl for years. For literal decades I went to sleep wondering what life would be like if I were born a girl, or I woke up as a girl, or I somehow turned into a girl. I read story after story about gender bending, trying to satisfy that need with one pale imitation or another before finally dropping the pretense and transitioning. Throughout all of that, you held on to what I really needed, and you never stopped reminding me.

Lark (sheepish): I didn’t know what we needed to do about it. If I could have told you that, maybe you could have transitioned much sooner.

Mom: Maybe, but knowing exactly how to fulfill a need isn’t your job. It’s my job to interpret and prioritize my needs — I don’t hold you accountable for that at all.

Lark (hesitant): I… I guess you’re right about that.

Mom (smiling): So you, dear daughter, have my eternal gratitude. I literally could not have become myself without you.

Lark (blushing): I’m flattered, Mom. But I still know that I can be annoying, and that I make life hard for you sometimes.

Mom: Well, it’s like I was telling Aura… I have limits. It’s very difficult for me to focus on more than one thing at a time. I also get fixated on things and have a hard time thinking of anything else until my fixation wanes.

Lark: So when I get really focused on something, that thing is all you can think about.

Mom: Sometimes, yes. And sure, sometimes that’s inconvenient, and I’d rather spend my time focused on other things. But fighting that fixation takes a lot of emotional energy. Even when I manage to do something else, my new fixation is just waiting in the back of my mind, and denying it becomes a recipe for frustration and exhaustion.

Lark (surprised): And you’re okay with that?

Mom (tired): I don’t really have a choice, do I? It’s how my brain works. I spent decades denying that, and I just tired myself out over and over. I feel like it’s more productive to accept how my brain works and learn ways of working with my limitations so I can manage those fixations more effectively.

Lark (embarrassed): That sounds like a lot of work I’m making for you.

Mom: My needs don’t change if you keep them from me. You’re not *making* work for me, you’re *keeping track* of my work for me. So again, I don’t hold you responsible. Getting distracted when you notice something I need is just part of who I am, and that’s okay.

(Lark takes a moment to absorb the concept.)

Lark: Okay… I think I can live with that. Thanks for talking this through with me, Mom.

Mom: Always, dearest.