Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 107: On A Break

Libra (The Friend): Hey Mom? Have you seen Ivy anywhere?

Mom (Me): Ivy’s taking some space from the family for a while. She’ll be back when she’s ready.

Bloom (The Survivor, concerned): What happened?

Mom (resigned): She realized her marriage wasn’t the font of stability she thought it was, and is starting to imagine life outside of it.

Libra: But… You’re still married.

Mom: I am, and I intend to stay that way. I love my partner. It’s just that there are things I feel like I need that I’m not getting from her, like physical intimacy or certain kinds of emotional support, and I don’t think it’s fair to put the responsibility for meeting those needs on her.

Lark (The Dreamer): Are you thinking about polyamory again?

Mom (hesitant): Yes, but… Well, it’s a work in progress.

Lark (concerned): That feels like a conversation you should have with Ivy… Mom, I’m worried about her.

Mom: I’m worried about her too, but she asked me not to come looking for her, and I’m going to respect her wish. I don’t want any of you looking for her either — if she wants time alone then she deserves to get it, and if she doesn’t, she knows how to find you.

Bloom (deflated): That’s so sad. Surely there’s something we can do for her — maybe we can send her supportive messages?

Mom: That sounds okay to me — if any of you want to write to her, I can make sure your messages reach her.

Aura (The Professional): The desire to be away from people feels familiar… I don’t think Ivy is quite as antisocial as I was, though.

Mom: I don’t think she is either. As I said, she just needs some space.

Aura: I respect that, but why? I know that in retrospect, she didn’t like that you asked her to review our memories chronologically, but she seems like the kind of person who would let you know she’s disappointed and work it out with you. Leaving entirely feels… Severe.

Mom: There’s more to this than just being upset at me. Ivy is The Companion, after all — her identity is wrapped up in what it means to be someone’s partner. If she’s not partnered… She’s probably questioning why she’s here at all.

Libra (shocked): Wait, will she even exist if we aren’t married? I don’t want to lose a sister…

Mom: Of course she will. She’s part of me, whether we have a partner or not. It might take a bit of time before she believes that though. Besides, once she does accept that, she still has to figure out how she wants to live. Her entire identity is rooted in our marriage, so thinking about life outside that context is terrifying right now.

Lark: I can’t even imagine what life would be like without dreams… But why does she have to do that at all? I don’t have to come to terms with life without my domain.

Mom: Fortunately, I don’t think you ever will. But Ivy does, because our concept of marriage is getting in the way of how we relate to other people — it’s even making it difficult to relate to ourselves. I don’t think we actually need to end things; I love my partner dearly, and I still see a long future together with her. But we need to think through what our life is without her so we understand what it means to be ourselves.

Aura (pensive): That sounds sensible. It doesn’t sound easy by any stretch.

Mom: It isn’t. It’s going to take time and effort and anguish. In the meantime, maybe we can help Ivy out a bit.

Bloom: How? She wants to be left alone.

Mom: You wanted to send her supportive messages, and I think that’s a wonderful idea, Bloom. It’s very kind of you, and it feels like a good way to lend Ivy emotional support.

Bloom (blushing): Thanks, Mom.

Mom: That goes for the rest of you too, if you’re willing… But also, we can help her the same way we helped Aura when she was avoiding us — by doing the work to process our feelings and make this headspace feel welcoming to her.

Libra: Of course, anything for my sister.

Bloom: Count me in too.

Lark: I’ll help, naturally. I want our family to be whole.

Aura (tearful): Gosh, it feels… Kind of affirming to be on this side of things when someone’s taking a break. I guess I’m really part of this family, aren’t I?

Mom (smiling): You always will be, Aura.

Aura (crying): Aw gosh, Mom.

(I step forward and wrap Aura in a hug, which she readily returns. After a few moments we pull back from each other and turn to the rest of the family.)

Mom: Okay then, we know what to do. Let’s get to it, shall we?