Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 122: Forging The Chain

Mom (Me): Good morning, girls.

Libra (The Friend): Good morning Mom.

Bloom (The Survivor): Good morning, new sister!

The Parent (uneasy): I’m still getting used to that…

Bloom (excited): Oh, you need a name! You’re a woman and a parent, so that makes you… Wait, hold on.

Mom: Let’s slow down just a touch. How are you settling in?

The Parent: I have so many questions… Though this name thing feels important; maybe it’s best to start there.

Lark (The Dreamer): Nickname thing, technically. Since we’re all the same person, all of us share the same name.

The Parent: Okay, which is…?

Mom: We’re named Daphne.

The Parent: Daphne… I don’t mind that at all. You named us that, right College Daphne?

Libra (happy): Yes, you remember! But as you’ve just noticed, it would be very confusing if we all tried to use that name, so we all have nicknames that we use instead. Instead of “college Daphne,” I’m Libra: The Friend.

Bloom: I’m Bloom, high school Daphne and The Survivor.

Lark: Lark; The Dreamer.

Aura (The Professional): I’m Aura, the Professional… I’m twenty-ish.

Ivy (The Partner): And I’m The Partner, Ivy… I’m in my early thirties. 

The Parent: I get it. I’m The Parent, I suppose… Late thirties, I think? I feel like we stopped being me at… 39 years old.

Bloom: We can’t just call you The Parent; you need a nickname!

The Parent: Right, right. Is there a process of something, or…?

Libra: Mom usually gives them to us.

Mom: Right. As The Parent, you were quickly adapting to becoming a caregiver. You’re responsible for bringing a new life into the world, and suddenly you’re everything to them; you’re their entire world. You feel like you barely know what you’re doing, and yet you have to be their constant companion, shining like the brightest star in their night sky… How do you feel about Twyla?

Twyla (The Parent): Twyla… That feels right, somehow.

Ivy (smiling): It’s so good to meet you, Twyla.

Twyla: It’s… It’s really good to be here. I feel like I belong here… But I still have so many questions.

Mom: Ask away, dear.

Twyla: Okay… I guess I’ll start with the big one then. Why bring me back here?

Bloom: Because you’re family! That’s reason enough, isn’t it?

Twyla: I suppose, but I feel like there’s more to it than that. Conversing to my past selves isn’t something *I* tried to do, after all.

Lark: None of us did, no. We were all summoned here to the Headspace to help Mom process her past and connect her past life to her present. This series has grown into so much more than that, but that’s how things started.

Twyla: I see. After Ivy, I’m the next link in our past.

Ivy: You are. You’re my older sister. On top of that, Mom has a plan for processing criticism that you’re a key part of.

Mom: Not just processing how we manage criticism… I have a feeling my plan is going to shed light on quite a lot of my life.

Twyla (thoughtful): A plan to manage criticism? I feel like I already manage criticism well enough… I got a lot of it, after all.

Libra (embarrassed): We all did.

Mom: We still do, and always have… As long as we can remember.

Bloom: *Before* we can remember. Every time I try to think back that far it just hurts.

Twyla (confused): So then what makes me special, if I’m having the same troubles as the rest of you? If anything I’m further from that past than just about everyone here.

Mom: Because you’re The Parent. We may not be able to remember our childhood, but by thinking about your time, I think we’ll be able to get a feel for the parent/child relationship… And maybe we can use our relationship to our own child to understand how our relationship to our parents may have worked.

Twyla (focused): The details are fuzzy, but I remember when I started understanding how my parents must have felt when I was little.

Mom: Don’t worry, the details are only fuzzy because you arrived recently. Your memory of your time will feel solid soon enough.

Twyla (proud): Even with fuzzy memories I remember how powerful that realization felt, like I was the latest link in a chain of parents going back generations. I’d finally taken my place at the end of that chain. I felt really connected to my parents. But…

(Twyla falls silent. After several moments I speak up, prompting her to continue.)

Mom: Yes?

Twyla (distressed): There were these upsetting gaps in my connection to them. Things that my parents did with me that I *couldn’t* understand, even after becoming a parent. And the longer I thought about those gaps, the less sense they made.

Mom (gentle): Yes. That feeling only gets stronger as we age, and it gets *especially* stronger after we transition.

Twyla (concerned): Why, what happens when we transition?

Mom: Let me ask you this: Do you think our parents were excited to hear about our transition?

Twyla (uncomfortable): Well… You can never know for sure how someone’s going to react, right? I feel like they’d have trouble with it… That they’d take some time to come around. But I can be patient, you know? I can’t expect them to get my pronouns right on day one!

Lark: That’s a lot of words to avoid saying “yes.”

Twyla (distressed): Well… It’s complicated…

Mom: It’s a story for another time regardless. There’s quite a lot to delve into, but for now, just focus on feeling at home here. Get comfortable; get reacquainted with your sisters. Revisit a favorite memory or three. When you’re ready, we’ll start working through things.

Twyla: Okay… I think I can do that. I’ll try, in any case.

Mom (smiling): That’s all I ask.