Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 118: Space For Lightness

Mom (Me): Hello girls.

Lark (The Dreamer): Good morning, Mother.

Ivy (The Companion): Hey Mom. What’s on your mind today?

Mom: I was about to ask you the same thing. I wasn’t expecting both of you together.

Ivy: I wanted to see Lark… She’s been helping me reconnect with my desires.

Mom (smiling): She’s pretty good at that.

Lark (happy): It’s my specialty, after all. What about you, Mom? It feels like you were coming to see me too.

Mom: Yeah, I was. I’ve been thinking about the last scene I published… I wanted to reflect on it with you.

Ivy: You were pretty vulnerable in that scene… Lark pushed you pretty hard.

Lark (apologetic): I’m sorry if it was too much…

Mom (firm): It wasn’t. That’s why we’re here, after all — to push ourselves. But still… It was very heavy.

Ivy (solemn): Oh.

Lark: Are you surprised? We’re doing pretty taxing emotional work here; things are going to get heavy sometimes.

Ivy: It’s not just sometimes though, is it? We seem to thrive on emotional weight. Big, heavy feelings just feel *amazing*, probably because we never had a chance to really feel them before… Oh crap.

Lark: You just figured it out, didn’t you?

Ivy (sighing): Yup.

Mom: In retrospect it’s not so surprising, is it? We went through life emotionally suppressed for so long, and now everything feels *so good*. I *love* being able to feel my feelings without guilt now — sometimes I wish I could fill a pool full of those thick, heavy feelings and swim in it forever.

Ivy (hurt): But our partner can’t. She can’t handle as much heavy emotion as we can. She keeps hoping for light, playful interactions with us, and we’re always looking for weighty, meaningful connections with everyone.

Lark: That’s the thing about suppressed desires — they don’t go away just because you can’t see them. They just grow in the back of your mind, taking up more and more space. We know that fact pretty intimately.

Mom (dismissive): Yes yes, we’re still trans.

Lark: Indeed, but there’s another side to that too. Once a long-denied desire is finally fulfilled, all of the pent up longing doesn’t just vanish. It takes time to work through all of it, and in the meantime, working through it becomes a fixation. I think of that longing sort of like fuel: Your newly actualized self will burn through it quickly, but it still only burns so fast. And when you have an *entire lifetime* of fuel saved up… It takes time.

Ivy: And as long as there’s some fuel left, it feels like there’s no room in our head for light, playful experiences. Any experience that doesn’t simulate our long dormant emotional muscles feels somewhat empty. We’ve experienced that with friends we used to be close to, games we used to enjoy playing, books we liked to read…

Mom (sighing): And interactions with our partner.

Lark: You get it.

Mom: I wonder if we can deliberately set that longing aside though.

Lark (skeptical): You mean suppress it again? That feels unwise.

Mom: Not suppress it again. I don’t want to block those feelings entirely. I just want to make room for other experiences.

Ivy (curious): I’m listening…

Mom: Consider this series I’ve been writing. It’s been running a long time, and it covers a lot of heavy material. A story like this could easily become an interminable slog through emotions thick as molasses.

Lark: Maybe people already see it that way… Your website metrics haven’t been great lately.

Mom (dismissive): Those don’t really work, and they’re beside the point anyways. What I’m saying is having heavy scene after heavy scene wouldn’t work as a story — it would feel like too much.  I need to write lighter scenes every so often to keep the mood palatable; to remind readers that despite our challenges, things for me are better than they’ve ever been. We love our life, and we want to share our joy with our readers too.

Ivy: So we get scenes like the seasonal celebration, or the occasional scene where we’re just hanging out with our sisters and our Mom…

Mom: Exactly.

Ivy: So how do we turn that feeling towards our partner? How do we make sure she gets to experience some of the lightness and joy in our life?

Mom: I guess… We have to plan it.

Ivy (skeptical): You can’t just *decide* to have a joyful day. Mood doesn’t work like that.

Lark (hopeful): No, but I think I see what Mom’s saying. When she plans out what to write, she looks ahead to get a sense for how heavy things have been lately. That way she can sprinkle lighter scenes here and there so the story doesn’t get too mired in hard feelings.

Mom: Or neutral scenes; those that end in a place that isn’t too far from where they started, emotionally. Like this one, I suppose.

Ivy: So you want to manage our life’s emotional journey like that too.

Mom: I know it’s not that simple. Here in this fiction I have control over every element of the story, every event that takes place, whereas that’s hardly true out there. Still, I think I can make space lighter experiences: things like date nights, or dedicated hangout time that’s not burdened by high expectations. It might take a few tries to feel worthwhile, but I’m confident that if we give ourselves space for lighter experiences, we’ll learn to have them.

Ivy (pensive): Huh. I like that… It feels achievable.

Lark: It feels kind of hopeful!

Mom: See? Neutral.

Ivy (eye-rolling): Geez, we get it, you’re a good writer.

Mom (smiling): Good to know I’m a fan of my own work, I guess.

Lark (playful): You’re both dorks.

Ivy (defiant): Takes one to know one. Thanks for the discussion Mom… I’m going to ponder this “making space” concept for a while.

Mom: Good; I’ll keep it in mind too. Until next time?

Ivy: Of course. Love you Mom. You too, sis.

Lark (grinning): Love you Ivy.

Mom: I love you both, dear daughters. Goodbye for now.