“So now that you understand the scapegoat role that your family of origin assigned to you isn’t real and you understand the toxic family system, you can choose to behave differently.” Kaz the lesbian counsellor leaned forward in her seat. “How do you feel about that Frankie?” She asked gently. “Well…I understand the theory behind what you’re saying… but I need to think about it. I feel a lot of guilt about my mum actually.”
“And going back to Italy for Christmas after wha
“So how did you go this fortnight? Did you both survive Alex’s birthday?” Jules the lesbian couple’s counsellor enquired at the start of our session. “Sort of. She was a train wreck on the Thursday night,” Frankie blurted before I could answer. “And then Frankie cried…” I added as she stared me down. Realising that Jules would think we were competing instead of seeing each other as allies, I arranged my face into a serene smile. “I was really proud of both of us this week. I
So you’ll just listen to what Alex says without interrupting. Listen and reflect back what she says,” Jules the couples counsellor patiently instructed Frankie. “But sh..” “Without saying but at the end.” “But when does she listen to me?” Frankie demanded. “You’ll take turns. Alex will listen to you and you’ll listen to Alex, without judgment or justification. That will be your homework. When we fight we aren’t listening, we’re just waiting to make our next point and…” “She’s
Alexandra, I’m establishing an email link. It was great to speak to you when you were in Albany. I shall be keeping you abreast of the situation with granny. About dinner in Melbourne, it looks like we won’t have time as we’re really just popping in to see Jai. All the best, James (Uncle?) Hello Uncle James,
I like the uncle bit. Thanks for the email. It’s fine if you don't have time.
It was great to chat to you too and I appreciate you keeping me updated about Granny.
“Alex?” “Yes.” “It’s Jai…your cousin…from Perth. So I would’ve called earlier but I heard you were in Italy…” For one month, not for the eight months you’ve been living in Melbourne, I thought, before reminding myself that Jai and his sister were children when my mother threw me out of the family for being gay. He wasn’t to blame for the space between us. I spent a few minutes teasing Jai about his new life as a vegan Fitzroy hipster before he got to the point of his call. “
“It’s like we’re in a Game Of Thrones episode!” I exclaimed, hiding behind an ornate stone column in the courtyard of the Palazzo Comunale and spying on the people walking by. “This is a medieval building from 1206,” Frankie replied, ignoring my drama and focusing her camera through the foggy haze obscuring her view. “Danger lurking in the shadows, traitors scurrying by...” I narrated, attempting a sinister voice but sounding like E.T., instead. The palazzo’s courtyard had be