Why I Can’t Allow My Sunflower To Die

Dear, Dear Sunflower sitting on the top shelf in the corner of my apartment.  You have sat there above my old tv for months like the loyal flower you are.  You were the only thing in this goodness forsaken apartment left that was cheerful. Dear, you know how my depression gets me and puts me in a coma-like state for years, days, months, hours, minutes, seconds, weeks. But I look to you dear for happiness, a happiness that begins to creep in ever so slowly, imperceptibly, like light from a sunrise after an insomniac-tic night.  Your cheerful yellow petals were all I ever needed.

Dear you know how I have worked to keep you with me while I have allowed other flowers to fall by the wayside.  None of them compared to you.  None of them made me feel the way you did.  You would make me put you in new pots over and over again as you grew.  You know how I hated the process.  The disgusting feeling of dirt sticking to my fingers.  The smell of the dirt after I had watered you.  I could almost never water you enough.  I think you have a serious addiction to water.  You probably needed help, but it was help I couldn’t give you. And heaven knows I couldn’t afford a real gardener to come and help you out.  So we muddled along.  You have always been so patient with me, as I grumble and grab a stool so I can reach you.  You know that asking me to climb up that stool and water you was practically like asking me to climb mount Kilimanjaro.  But I did it for you. 

Do you remember the time you fell off the shelf and broke your pot?  You were so mad and I was so scared.  I nearly lost you.  What would I have done without you?

Don’t make me go back to those stupid, stuffy old fake plants I used to buy.  For the longest time I wasn’t able to tell the difference between a fake flower and a real one.  Now I can’t live without a real Sunflower my dear.  I need the realness, the softness of your petals against my finger tips.

I can’t replace you with any other Sunflower my dear.  You are the one who has captured my heart and soul.  No other sunflower cheers me quite like you do. 

Please, don’t kick the bucket, dear.

Advertisements

“Oh my gosh, _____ , you can’t just ask people why they’re yellow.” – Mean Girls

This would make a pretty interesting episode of “What Would You Do?”

Most people feel compelled to stop me based on some medical knowledge they posses or some experience they or a friend or family member went through.

They are genuinely concerned.
It’s a moral obligation they are fulfilling.
Some people are just curious.
Like little children they can’t help asking.
Maybe the not knowing drives them crazy.
Maybe they are concerned for their own health.
No I reassure, it’s not contagious.
Fewer still are rude.
I guess their own fears and insecurities get the best of them.
If they don’t understand it they burn it.
Destroy it.
Maybe it makes them look cooler.
Even the kind and noble intentions sting.
What to say in those moments?
Nothing.
Reassurance.
Give them the knowledge they are thirsting for.
Revel in the rareness.
Play it up.
Shrug it off.
No big deal.
Shocked silence.
Sarcasm.
Make them feel guilty.
It all depends.
What answer are they looking for?
None of it really makes me feel any better.
It comes along with the territory.
No reaction or response changes the facts.
It’s all part of being the show.
I know I shouldn’t care.
I didn’t use to care.
I didn’t know that I cared.
I’d rather they ask then come up with their own wrong answers and assumptions.
I’d rather they talk to me then about me.
I think.
Not that I can control it.
The wrong perceptions spiral anyways.
Maybe she’s dying.
Maybe she’s a drunk.
Maybe it’s cancer.
Maybe it’s drugs.
Maybe it’s makeup.
Maybe it’s not her fault.
Maybe it is her fault.
Even those who might know don’t know.
It’s her liver.
House would know.
Does she know?
It can’t be stopped.
I see myself through others eyes.
They tell me what they first thought.
They tell me what they hear others say.
They experience the awkwardness with me for the first time.
They wonder how to respond.
How to react.
Nothing to say.
It’s old news to me.
Even those who know me ask me questions.
Make comments.
Unthinkingly.
I know.
Concerned.
Commenting on the weather.
The storm they see brewing on my skin.
Or the clear skies displayed on my face, eyes, and body.
As simple to notice and comment on as a new hairstyle.
Or new eye color.
It’s all in good fun.
Which is why I say nothing.
It wouldn’t help.
It would just change the guilt from them to me.

Terror (noun):

 intense, sharp, overmastering fear or anxiety. (Dictionary.com)

The word terror is such an interesting word.  Just hearing that word strikes fear in my heart.  There is an intensity to the word terror.  Terror is more than fear, horror, anxiety.  Terror is worse than your worst nightmare.  I think of “terrorist attacks” and the “war on terror”.  9/11. Iraq. Afghanistan.  I think of school shootings.  Columbine. Sandy Hook.

I was told in my creative writing class that everyone should write about what terrifies them the most.  I guess that’s why I spent so many years writing about my blood disorder and the treatments that I went through in childhood.  As a child my biggest fear was easily needles and the pain associated with them.  That is why I lost it every single time I entered a doctors office, I was literally terrified and I literally couldn’t handle it.  The terror I felt pushed me into fight or flight mode and it all went down hill from there.  And to me the needle represented all of my fears, the rest of the experience wasn’t pleasant but that needle was the concrete object that I could identify as the cause of the pain that I hated.  I couldn’t really express it then which is why I have written about those experiences over and over and over again, giving myself some form of therapy, trying to come to grips with that primeval fear of my childhood.  I was always a cautious child and it was because there was always in the back of my mind this fear that I might do something that might cause myself to go to the hospital and have to get needles and confront that fear again.  If I ever sensed even the slightest possibility of pain coming from an activity I wouldn’t do it, whether it was the possibility of falling off the monkey bars and hurting myself or crashing my bike and hurting myself.

As a teenager I was better able to understand my terror.  I realized that my fears stemmed from a fear of pain.  In my young teenage years I still was not able to handle my fear, but as I grew older I became better able to manage my anxiety in hospital situations.  I began to feel more control as I learned more about the health care world, my own body, and the “why” questions that had somehow plagued me without me really even knowing it.  I still had moments late at night where I would be paralyzed in the fear of possible future hospitalization, with my muscle memory taking me right back to the hospital, but they came fewer and further between until they ended. Through the information I was learning, picturing myself in a place of power in the health care world, and writing I was able to identify and manage my fears more effectively.  They still bubble up from time to time, and certain experiences can still bring up new fears and anxieties associated with my childhood experiences that I had either forgotten, never dealt with, or never even realized were there.  But I’m better able to handle them now.  The hospital is no longer a place of terror for me.

I have new terrors now.  Can I write about them?  I’m not sure.  It might be too close to me now.  The distance of my teenage years were able to give me a lot of perspective of my school age days.  Maybe I’ll try.  My current fears still stem from that original fear of pain I have struggled with my whole life.  When I was a kid that fear focused on physical pain, I would do anything to prevent physical pain.  Now my fears revolve around social and emotional pain.  What terrifies me the most in this exact moment is my fear of rejection.  I have gone through my life with very few, outright rejections.  But I’m always afraid that people will see through me and reject me.  This fear especially comes into play in my relationships.  I’m sure that many people from my friends and family have wondered why I don’t date a lot, and they probably have some really insightful theories as to the why.  When I was in high school I thought it was because boys were stupid and I was really hurt and angry and bitter about the whole experience.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that the problem isn’t the guys.  In the past year especially I have met some absolutely amazing men.  And I realized they weren’t the problem, I was.  It could be my lack of flirtatiousness (which I’ve tried to learn many, many times).  It could be my shyness.  It could be my lack of beauty.  And I think those things probably do play into it to a certain extent.  But I think more than that, the problem is my lack of confidence, the negative way I view myself, and my crippling fear of rejection.  I just assume all guys that I meet couldn’t possibly be interested in me.  And I don’t want to go through the pain of actually being told that they just aren’t that into me.  So I tell myself that they aren’t interested in me.  I slam the door shut on any possible relationship before they have the chance to shut the door on me.  Because I don’t think they could be interested in me and I don’t want to go through the pain associated with rejection.  I don’t think I could handle the pain of the rejection.  So I reject myself in order to prevent the pain.  I have a mile long list of reasons why a guy would want to reject me.  At the top of the list is the fact that I even have the list.

I’m in a sort of relationship? right now.  And it terrifies me.  He’s amazing.  I really want it to work out.  So badly.  I’m terrified it won’t.  Can I put myself out there enough to actually go through a rejection? Can I take that risk? I’ve never been a risk taker.  If it doesn’t work out I’m sure it’ll be because of me.  And my baggage. Maybe I should make a list of reasons why he wouldn’t want to reject me?

Insecurity.  That’s the root of it.  I know what the problem is.  Now how do I fix it?  How do I break myself out of this cycle of dysfunctional thinking?

Oh the terror.

“It Is What It Is Till It Ain’t Anymore” – Kacey Musgraves

Ain’t that the truth?

Feelings are complicated. Feelings are hard. They’ll bubble up organically and sometimes you can get them under control and sometimes you can’t control them, one might even deem them uncontrollable. But regardless of the control-ability of said feelings you can control your actions. Which is good.

Sometimes trouble beckons. It’s terrifying and exhilarating  The thought of “what if?” can be so helpful and so damaging. God I never thought I’d be this girl, longing for something I know isn’t right. I know it could never work. There are things I can change and things I can’t change. The things I want to change I can’t change. The things I can change I don’t want to change. Maybe in a different life, a different world, it could work. But then it wouldn’t be the same. Why do humans always want the forbidden fruit? We live in two different worlds and yet the same one. We couldn’t be more different or more similar. I don’t really want to join his world. And he doesn’t want to join mine. I guess I’ve watched too many Disney movies. How many of those movies begin with the idea that they were from two different worlds but fell in love and rose above it all. Silly movies.

Quotes

“I’m just a little girl lost in the moment.  I’m so scared but I don’t show it.” – Lenka The Show

“Right from the start you were a thief.  You stole my heart.  And I your willing victim.” Pink Just Give Me A Reason

“If you’re ever gonna find a four leaf clover, you gotta get a little dirt on your hands.  And if you wanna find a head that fits your shoulder you’re gonna have to go to the dance.  If you wanna find the honey, you can’t be scared of the bees.  And if you wanna see the forest you’re gonna have to look past the trees.” – Kacey Musgraves Silver Lining

“Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight. Just a touch of the fire burning so bright. No I don’t want to mess this thing up I don’t want to push too far. Just a shot in the dark that you just might be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life. So baby I’m alright, with just a kiss goodnight.” – Lady Antebellum Just A Kiss

“There’s been no one like him anywhere, anywhere, where he is.  If he asked, I’d be his.” – Eponine In My Life

“It’s like I’ve got a love and I know that it’s all mine.” – Easy A

“In my life there is someone who touches my life.” – In My Life Les Miserables

“I think I’m falling in love with you.” – Chad Sugg Shake Shake

“If you’re going to be somebody’s heartbreak be mine.” – Hunter Hays Somebody’s Heartbreak

“Some hearts just get lucky sometimes.” – Carrie Underwood Some Hearts

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a girl of a certain age, and in a certain situation in life must be in want of a husband.  I guess I was in that situation and according to my mother I had passed that age quite some time ago.” Pride and Prejudice Pink Bible Version

“And rain will make the flowers grow.” – Les Miserables