2.46. The Wounded Soul – My Proudest Failure

This post is not about the many known names who have died over the course of this year from apparent suicide. Their deaths are sad and a loss to the world but there is nothing that can be done for them.  Their chances have ended. It’s sad but what can you do about it now? This is not about the unknowns who are gone from this world. Their story is no different. This is about the ones we can save. 

When I was 26, after my son was born, I suffered from postpartum depression while simultaneously suffering from an infection, which caused me to lose part of my right breast. The fake glue that was holding my doomed marriage together melted away. My world crumbled very quickly. I recall sitting in a bathroom and penning a letter to my child in which I apologized for failing him, for not being strong enough to have the desire to continue. I remember calling a crisis hotline while sitting on the curb of a dark street and telling some stranger I was a horrible piece of shit because I had a child but I wanted to die. I remember going to a hospital and asking for an evaluation. I sat in a cold, bare room, and waited for someone to tell me I was insane. After talking with Tom, he informed me I was suffering from PTSD, from events earlier in my life,  and Postpartum. When I said I wanted to die, he explained, I was simply asking to sleep…for rest…escape from pain I could not seem to get away from. I was released and attempted to pull myself out of that darkness. 

When I was eighteen, after being caught in the act, I admitted to battling Bulimia. It was a slow way out but I often hoped I would just become extremely frail and collapse and that same sleep would come. My mother told me to get over it. 

When I was 13, my father found me in our trailer in Clintondale, New York. I’d swallowed a ton of his painkillers and anything else I could find in the medicine cabinet. I was ashamed of my life. I was scared of being a nothing. I wanted to quit. 

When I was 11, I was admitted to a mental health ward, against my will (and my parents) for a mere 16 hours (a lifetime to an 11 year old btw). I’d gone in after a referral from a childhood therapist. Because I wouldn’t discuss things that were happening but implicated myself in several acts of self-harm, I was held for evaluation. I can still remember the screams and belligerent rants of those held in rooms next to me. After those 16 hours, I conned my way out of that hospital, claiming it was all an act and absolutely nothing was wrong with my home life. I learned how to lie on that day. 

When I was 5, a sibling found me on the ledge of our apartment window. When asked why I was up there, I said I wanted to die. My mother beat the ever-living piss out of me and sent me to bed. 

I have tried to die, thought of dying, hoped for dying…TOO MANY times in my life. I’ve purposefully put myself in dangerous situations, in the hopes that I would find release. Through those years and failed attempts…I never found it. 

I’m not telling you this because I want pity. Because I want you to think I’m epic and strong for “surviving.” I don’t know why I wanted to die from such a young age. I don’t know why I wasn’t “built” to better deal with the hardships of life. I don’t know why the unknown seemed so much better. 

What I do know are two things. 

  1. I was already dead. My body didn’t have to perish. TRULY, I believe I was a walking tomb. My son gave me my soul. I still struggle. I still panic. I’m still a hot mess. But I have never hoped for another breath the way I do now…as I have my son in my life. 
  2. Someday, I will die. I will not try. It will be against my will. And I will not want it to happen. I will feel pain as it all slips away because I will not see the tomorrows of my child, his children, the life I will miss. Someday, I will not have a choice. 

All of that being said…

I AM NOT AN EXPERT but I know the helplessness. I know the desperation. I know that feelings of sad hope that the damn phone will ring and someone…ANYONE will pull me back from the ledge and say, “I care about you. Please don’t go.” We all want to know that someone wants us to stay. That someone NEEDS us to stay. That our fire lights another persons world. We all need a reason to have no desire to step on that ledge. It’s ALL about love. 

The trauma that happened in my life, very early on, stunted my growth in MANY ways (so the doctors say). There are many times that I am stuck back in that mind frame of a child and I am terrified. I am frail. I am lost. It’s a fight to not go back there. To train my brain that I’m not reliving those traumas. That things are not repeating themselves. That I am capable of dealing with it IF they are. 

I am telling you all of this because we all know someone who struggles. Who is fighting. Who may be too quiet. May say the wrong things. May lash out at the smallest occurrence. May come off so angry. May push people away. May be an emotional punching bag. May live a lifestyle that is reckless. May be unaware that they are begging for help. May be pleading for rescue in their eyes but not their words. 

If you are that person…tell someone. ANYONE. Talk until your blue in the face. But keep talking. If you’re talking…you aren’t dead. AND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. If you know someone like that…listen. Listen and really hear. You don’t need to fix it all. Just listen. Sometimes, that is all a wounded soul needs. 

Dear Suicide – I am proud to have failed you. 

Sincerely not yours…this girl. 

Advertisements

2.38. I Am That Mother…

I will laugh with my son for hours.

I will encourage my child to make a mess just because we don’t always have to live inside the lines.

I will blast the music mid-afternoon and dance with my boy until we can’t stand anymore.

I will sing with my boy, at the top of our lungs, until our throats are hoarse…while driving down the highway.

I will spend lazy days, on the couch, in our pajamas, eating cake and ice cream for lunch because we can.

I will have an all night movie fest with my boy while eating popcorn and telling stories under our make-shift tent.

I will not have a heart attack when my son draws on the walls…his art isn’t doing any damage paint can’t eventually fix.

I will let my boy pick out his clothes, even if they don’t match and they include my pink cupcake bandanna.

I will enjoy listening to my son tell me stories, sing me songs, read to me in his own silly language.

Nevertheless,

I am that mother that will pay the bill at a restaurant and leave without eating a bite if my son gets out of hand.

I am that mother that will put back an entire cart of groceries if my son decides to have a full blown tantrum over not getting the ice cream he demands.

I am that mother that will take my son to the restroom for a moment of discipline if he decides the aisles are a good place to throw himself on the floor, hit, kick, or throw things.

I am that mother that does not believe in hitting when angry BUT I will give my son one swat to his behind if he remotely thinks it’s okay to say a potty mouth word he’s heard from who knows where. (I know my curse words of choice and those are not it).

I am that mother that will send my son to his room and leave the tv off all day as punishment.

I am that mother that will raise her voice when my boy does the exact opposite of everything I have asked him to do.

I am that mother that will ALWAYS talk to my son about why he has been disciplined/punished. I will ALWAYS explain to my son that I love him and I want his behavior to always reflect the wonder of his amazing spirit.

I am that mother that will correct my son when he is misbehaving AND reward him when he is doing wonderfully…or at least trying to.

I am that mother that doesn’t have all of the right answers.

I am that mother that struggles to find the line of nature and nurture.

I am that mother that tries every day to strengthen my sons ability to communicate his feelings instead of acting them out.

I am that mother that talks to her son like he is a human being. Not a puppet. Not a dog. Not a baby. A human being. With a heart. A soul. Feelings. Thoughts. Emotions. Opinions.

I am that mother that will never stop working at being better and encouraging my son to do just the same.

2.25. Like A Stone

“They always leave. Everyone always leaves.”

Not one of my finest moments. Not one of my happiest. But definitely a moment that has replayed in my mind over the last couple of days.

I’ll be turning 29 in just a few weeks. No, I’m not one of those people that feels gross because I’m getting “old.” I’m okay with my age. I accept that nine times out of ten, people can’t even guess my age appropriately. When I’m 40, I’m sure I’ll appreciate that even more so. But I do feel…something.

As a kid, I was awkward. Physically, mentally, emotionally awkward. I was the girl that had crushes on the neighborhood boys and wrote poems so they could give to their girlfriends. I was the girl, in high school, who stayed up all night pep talking the guy I had the biggest crush on ever so he could go to school the next day and say just the right things to his crush.

“Hey, how you doin? No, not you, your friend.”

I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t dress. I couldn’t talk to the opposite sex in a way that compelled them to want to know me. I was the secret friend who gave advice (why anyone took advice from me…I still don’t get it). The only thing they begged me for was to know what I wrote about them in my journals. The pages filled with wishes and hopes and dreams. Pages filled with what-ifs. Wondering what it all would have been like if my life was…not mine.

And that was who I was. That girl that read books on the fire escape. That girl who tried so hard to impress and failed time and again. I tried different identities to appease new faces. Still failed.

And now, I’m going to be 29 and still have no clue who I am. Who I want to be. It’s sad, I know.

After being married, I was informed that the only reason it happened was because “it was the next step.” (And I was told this during the good times). Not out of desire but out of obligation to fulfill the timeline of life. You meet someone, you can deal with them, you marry them. I now know, that situation was not love. And I’m okay with that.

Looking back, I know the greatest love I ever had. In such a pure, untouchable sort of way. And that person died. It wasn’t by choice and I understand that. But the part of me that has always wanted that unconditional is still broken from it.

I tell myself to not be vulnerable. To not show anyone my soft side. To remain a “I don’t give a fuck,” type of entity. But, at that, I have failed, which only makes me feel worse. Weak.

I don’t really know where I was going with this one. Who cares. No one reads these things anyway.

My life has always been the fear of people leaving me. But I have to accept that. Everyone IS going to leave. No one is meant to stay forever. No matter how much my heart wants it. Wants to believe that it’s possible for me. Because maybe it just isn’t.

Do I allow these realizations to harden me? To turn my heart colder than it already is? I want to say no but I already feel like a stone.

2.24. Parental Efforts

If you’ve gone through a divorce, you know life can be hard. If you’ve gone through a divorce with a child in the mix, you know life can be gut wrenching. But I have to tell myself, time and again, this isn’t about me. Revenge cannot exist when you have a child with someone because the only person you’d be punishing is the innocent. The one who didn’t ask for two parents who couldn’t resolve their shit.

I’ve been on the receiving end of the spiteful intent many times over the course of this divorce. I’ve been deprived of hearing my sons voice solely for the fact that it means so much to me. And as much as I want another to know what that agony feels like…I can’t.

He calls and I answer. But my son is somewhere between sleep and annoyance. He doesn’t want to talk on the phone and screams instead. The call ends. It could be just that. I answered. I did my duty. But is that all my duty entails? In my eyes, no. I sit with Hunter and talk to him. I ask him why he doesn’t want to talk on the phone. “I don’t want to talk to daddy because daddy is mean.”

And that breaks my heart. But I know my son can also say I’m mean because I won’t give him 5 cookies. So, I try again. I tell him that his daddy loves him. That his daddy called because he misses him and thinks he is very important. I tell him that his daddy is happy when he hears his voice just as I am when I call. I ask him if it’s okay to call daddy back and try again. He says okay. He calls and they share a moment on the phone. They laugh and say I love you. The conversation ends and it is good for them.

Now, my duty is fulfilled. At the end of the day, I may not like the person on the  other end of the line. I may feel that my son is being used as a pawn to punish me. BUT I know that despite my feelings, I cannot do the same things and feel good about the state of my soul. And so, I will encourage every phone call. I will encourage every visit. Because encouraging my son to love and know his father does not take away from our bond. It simply says that my son will know that I always put his needs before my own.

I can’t force anything. I can’t make strong bonds form. I can only nurture what is there. I can be strong for my angel and be there for him, to talk and work through the good and the bad.

Bottom line, we didn’t get stuck with each other. He got stuck with us.

2.13. Tragedy Is Our Reality

There is NOTHING that justifies killing a child.

There is NOTHING that explains away how someone could rip a gaping hole into the future,

There is NOTHING that makes me believe in the concept of pure evil as the capability of slaughtering the innocent.

There is NOTHING that makes me lose faith in human kind more than innocence being so blatantly debilitated.

There is NOTHING that scares me more than knowing NO ONE is safe from the insanity of an angry, over-privileged, self-righteous, greedy, egotistical world and its inhabitants.

There is NOTHING anyone can say to make tragedy better, easier, calmer, more bearable.

There is NOTHING that will bring those children back.

There is NOTHING that will erase the nightmares, terror, fear, and trauma from the survivors.

There is NOTHING that will ever make this make sense.

My heart breaks for the pain, the sorrow, the agony shrouded over the memory of those lost. My mind reels in pure loathing for the despicable disregard for others so easily displayed by the shooter(s). The facts are still unclear. But the only fact, the only relevant piece of this puzzle, is that children are dead.

The media is going to dive down on this like vultures. They will analyze the killer(s) as if they are specimens to be understood. They will try to make sense of this just as they have tried with every other act of terrorism on our soil. They will blame mental illness, the economy, music, TV, movies, a failed marriage, the turmoil in the lives of the assailants. They will put a stamp on it and in six months…no one will be talking about the 18 dead. No one will remember their names, what they wanted to be when they grew up, their favorite foods, their letters to Santa. No one will remember.

And the day after WE forget…THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

This is not an epidemic. This is not something to work toward curing. This isn’t Cancer. This is Death. This is now an inevitable part of our reality. Because when you do the same shit – you get the same results. This is something that isn’t going away. No matter how many poor attempts at understanding and discussion we pretend to have.

With every form of social media sending out condolences and cries of dismay…ask yourself…what are YOU going to do to stop this? What are WE going to do?

Because I will be damned if my son is going to be shot up at a movie theater. I will be damned if my child is shot up in the halls of his elementary school, his high school, his college. I will be damned if my son leaves this world before I do! Point blank period.

I don’t have the answers. I have only one suggestion. WE, as a society, need to realize that EVERYTHING we think we’re doing right – nix it. EVERYTHING we think we know – null and void. Throw away all of the options of normalcy and forget it. It’s gone. It’s time to think outside the box – because innocents are being shot up inside that box. Inside the confines of our little minds and our shortened attention spans. Inside of the walls of a world WE have built.

It’s bullying, it’s hatred, it’s killers, it’s the anonymity of evil. It’s that we live in a world in which ANYONE is capable of covering our children’s lives in veils of red. Ending a better future before it has a chance to replace the reality we SHOULD BE ashamed to call our own.

This post means NOTHING in the grand scheme of things.

These words are just those of a heartbroken, shocked, appalled, terrified mother. A woman who doesn’t know how to save her child. A woman who wants to figure out how.

 

1.188 – Beyond Scared

Watching Beyond Scared Straight on A&E and I suddenly broke into tears. Teens filled with anger and self-hatred. Teens committing crimes with no sense of remorse. Teens shrugging off drug use, drinking, being expelled from school. Single parents sobbing while their children are carted around a penitentiary…sobbing with hope that something will change.

And I am shattered. After five years of marriage, I chose to walk away. I felt like I was doing the right thing – avoiding a tumultuous relationship that would only teach my son what harm a match and gasoline can really do. I walked away, thinking change would come, either in the form of growth or divorce. I had always secretly hoped for growth but it never came.

I wanted to be free of the fighting. But what has my freedom cost me? My son is a statistic. My son is a product of my failure to fix the broken. I am the first to say it takes two people to make a marriage work and two people to make it crumble. But I am a mother before anything else. And I will carry every burden that is put upon my son in the wake of my actions.

I am scared. The world is a cruel place. The world is hard and unforgiving. My son was born with a united front and now will live with a scattered army – more focused on hurting each other than protecting him from the tyranny of the worlds inevitable pains.

My heart is breaking, breaking as I type. Because this was not supposed to be his start. I prayed for my son. I begged for him. I planned my pregnancy in marriage. And delivered my son to a broken home.

I can try my hardest. I can do everything humanly possible of me to show him love and to give him opportunity. But it will never be enough. He will hate me. He will resent me. He will be ashamed of the fact that I am not an accomplished individual. He will feel for me what every teen feels for their mothers at one point in their lives. And all I will be able to do is say how sorry I truly am. Because he didn’t ask for this. He didn’t ask for me.

I love my son. More than this blog, any blog, words, thoughts, tears or screams can convey. My son is my only reason to breathe. I failed in saving my marriage. I failed in giving him the dream. The dream of a child who came from a broken home.

All I can do is spend the rest of my life showing my son unconditional love, supporting his dreams, listening to him and respecting him as the unique individual he is.

But is that enough to give him the light he needs to avoid the negative influences so prominent in our world?

1.175 – When You Are Happy

When you are sad, I will swim with you in an ocean of tears and become your life jacket when you are ready to let go of the feeling.

I will listen with an open heart..an open mind and hold your hand through every storm. 

When you are cold, I will become the fire that heats you…embers gifting you with a warmth to remind you that you are never alone.

I will cast away all shivers of doubt and worry with a blaze of assurance at a moments notice. 

When you are sick, I will make you the foods that fulfill your soul, play melodies that will morph into blankets of healing, and sing sunshine back into your frail little body. 

When you are lonely, I will appear in the twinkle of the stars, the sway of the leaves and the blossoming of every flower. Every raindrop will be a kiss from me to you and every tick of a clock will be my I love you. 

When you are afraid, I will slay every monster and capture every dragon. You will live atop a mountain of safety as I shatter the glass of darkness, turmoil and pain of this world. Glass you will never have to touch. 

When you are tired, I will lay down a thousand and one bedtime stories of your happiness, your love, your growth and triumphs. You will lay upon the stories of joy and wonder and fall into dreams of hope. 

When you are grumpy, I will do all the silly little things that make you giggle and tickle you until you hit the highest pitch of laughter known to man. 

I will shower you in jelly belly droplets and strawberry shortcake swirls, in fruit punches and sun kisses. 

When you are lost, I will shine upon you the radiant beam of the moon, to find you in the darkest hour. Whether a lifetime away or simply two feet…whether you are unfound or just feeling unseen…I will hold you in my heart and cast love and light upon your name. 

I will dim the light when you do not want to be found, though I will never turn my back, I will give you the space and time you need. 

When you are happy…oh when you are happy. I will bask in the glow of your joy and relish in the wonder of your smile. I will count my lucky stars for having the opportunity to be your mother and thank my lucky stars that you chose me. Saved me. Taught me what love means. 

When you are happy.

Inspired by When You Are Happy by Eileen Spinelli.

1.142 – Away We Go

Tomorrow will be my first time ever visiting Disney World. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m antsy. I am many things. I look forward to feeling like a kid again. I look forward to seeing my son laugh and have a level of joy I have yet to gift him with.

But this trip means more to me than dressed up characters and amusement park smiles. If you told me, one year ago, that I would be taking this trip with my sister and her family…I would have told you that you were full of shit.

My family has always been broken. Someone is always not talking to someone else. The words “you’re dead to me,” fly around like a normal family’s “hello.”  I can’t count the number of times I was disowned in my adolescence. Hell, it still happens now. It’s as easy as saying “go ahead and block me,” on Facebook. Because, apparently, social media determines whether you act like you give a fuck about your family or not.

But this isn’t about the dark shadows. THIS is about something much more important. You can always talk about what you don’t have or you can treasure what you do. And what I have is a family vacation. A family bonding time. Children unified because their parents could get over their shit. Because everyone can look back and say, “I did fuck up and I’m sorry.”

When I was a kid, my mother was accused (and rightfully so) of stealing something from my dead uncles casket at his wake. That was the final straw and she was banished. Her siblings and her own mother detested her. In turn, my sister and I lost just about lost all contact with our family. Uncles and aunts vanished from our lives…not that we were ever close but fuck if we didn’t become nonexistent. Years passed without hearing a word about our cousins, babies born or any happenings of these people that were supposed to be family.

I blame my mother for this. I equally blame the adults who chose to give a fuck less about children who did nothing wrong. You don’t have to think I’m a great person…you don’t have to like a damned thing about me but at the end of the day; I was a child and those people gave up on getting to know me, being an influence or showing an inkling of humanity. For that I say: FUCK YOU AND THE EXCUSES YOU LIVE ON.

I swore I would not be like those people. But I was. I harbored pure hatred for my own blood. I swore I would never forgive for the pain I felt.

And then my father died.

I will protect my son from every source of pain, anguish, and unnecessary stress. That includes me. There is no reason to burden my child, no reason to stifle him, punish him, or deprive him because of mistakes made decades ago. And for that…in knowing that no day is guaranteed and I may never get the chance to be forgiven for all of the wrong I’ve done…I opened my heart to the possibility of things being okay. Of breaking the cycle. Of refusing to be like them.

I’m going to Disney World tomorrow. I’m going to share experiences with my family. I’m going to make memories. I’m going to see my son bond with his cousins and laugh the greatest of laughs. That is worth hours of self-reflection and compromise. Of hashing things out and admitting to mistakes. That is worth every damn tear I have ever shed. He is worth it.

Thank you Dad…for showing me what’s really important. For giving me back my sister. For giving my son family. For all of your love. I will do my part to keep this bond strong and return the favor.

And now…I’m off to my vacation. SEE YOU IN A WEEK!!!!

Much love, readers. To each and every one of you.

1.137 – Invisible

When I was seventeen, my mother figured out that I was living with an eating disorder. I don’t say suffering, I don’t say struggling, I don’t say battling. I was living with it. I ate. I threw up. I hovered over the fridge at 3am and engulfed everything in sight only to vomit it in a toilet five minutes later. I’d gotten so good at it, I evolved from using my fingers to just thinking about it.

“Vomit, damn it.”

BOOM.

It was that simple. But I was discreet. Yeah, I’ve always been skinny but at that time, I was convinced I’d only stay that way if I kept my body as empty as my heart felt.

But she figured it out. She sat me down in her poor attempt at being a mother and asked “why are you doing this? What do you want from me?”

I never threw up with my mother in mind. I never thought, “this chicken thigh is for you, ma!” I threw up because it felt good. I threw up because I could control something. I threw up because I’d failed at trying to be a cutter so I needed something that was mine. I threw up because I didn’t feel so dirty. I threw up because I was convinced someone would love me if I was tiny. I threw up because  I didn’t have any other great attributes. I threw up because it felt good to flush away garbage and not have to carry it for years on end. I told myself I didn’t do it for her. I didn’t do it because I hated life, the world, myself.

“I just want you to see me,” I replied.

FUCK ME RUNNING…IT WAS ABOUT HER!!!!

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just wanted her to see me. To acknowledge me. To say I was wanted. To say I was loved. To admit she messed up but she did care. To show one ounce of loving me more than she loved herself. To show some sense of pride in having had me. I wanted her to see me…as something good. She never did.

The story of my mother is a book all on it’s own. One I could not write because it’s one I couldn’t ever reread…relive. Not just for me. For my sisters. For my nieces. For my nephews. For my son. I cannot relive it all. Because poison kills. I made it threw once…just barely. I wouldn’t take my chances with a second go-around.

I haven’t forced myself to throw up in years. I think about it. Sometimes, I know this sounds stupid as all hell, I miss it. But I haven’t. Because I don’t care anymore.

Quite frankly, sometimes, I’d be happier if no one saw me at all.

1.129 – A Million Petals

“Someone gave you flowers”

When I was in middle school, I had a really grouchy music teacher named Ms. Diaz. This woman scared the ever living piss out of me and everyone else I knew. But she loved what she did. And that was making us sing and dance like friggen smiley puppets. For our first performance, we had to sing some god awful song that I can’t even remember. But that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that my parents didn’t show up. Yeah, that sucked.

The second performance of the year was the holiday set, which I was unbelievably excited for. My father was a self-proclaimed JewBan (Jewish and Cuban) and I was thrilled to have learned “This is Hanukkah.” The curtain went up and I was ready. We sang several holiday songs and I could see my mother and my father sitting toward the back. We’d just finished a set and the Hanukkah song was next. And that’s when my mother stood up, whacked my father on the shoulder and made her way out of the auditorium. Trying not to cry, I watched my father follow my mother out of the crowded venue. “It’s not really my thing,” she’d explained later. My father apologized when she was out of earshot. Yeah, that sucked too.

My mother and I fought the morning of my senior graduation. She’d called my father some awful names and I came to his defense. She slipped into the typical martyr act and hooped and hollered about how I showed her no love or respect…how I only regarded my father as if he were a saint. We went to my graduation and I left my parents in the car. The music played and I made my way to my seat. I got in line to receive my diploma and noticed that my father sat alone. My mothers seat was empty. When I got onstage, I looked around the gymnasium…only to notice my mother standing by the back entrance for a second. And then she walked away. Right before my name was called. Yeah, that sucked.

When I was in college, I was elated to get the role of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie. I invited my mother. Why, I still don’t know. She called with 20 minutes to showtime saying she couldn’t make it because she was in the hospital after suffering a stroke. “Well, you sound fine,” I’d said. “Well, I don’t feel fine.” The show must go on. And it did. After the show, I called my mothers friend…to check in on her progress. “What do you mean hospital? I just got off the phone with her…um…she’s been at her boyfriends.” By the way, opening night was my birthday. Yeah, that blowed.

What the hell does any of this have to do with flowers?

Nothing.

And everything.

Before he passed away, my best friend used to listen to me talk…allowed me the chance to vent and babble on about these types of moments in my life. He listened until there was nothing left to say. And then, he’d say the same thing: “Here’s a flower.” It was an imaginary flower…a figurative flower.

The first time, I asked what the hell was I supposed to do with a pretend flower and I am trying to tell you why I am upset and you are not being a very good friend right now you butthead.

I’m giving you a flower, he said, because you cannot see the beauty in the world. You are too fixated on picking apart everything until all you see if something of uselessness…of ugliness. Even in the bad, there is good. I’m giving you this flower so you can pick at it to your hearts content…and then you can let it go.

He gave me a field of flowers.

But he was right. In every performance, I got to perform…despite seats being empty. In graduating, I reached a goal so many in my family did not. In theater, I got to play a part I respected and worked hard to get. I did not see the beauty and wonder of each moment because I allowed myself to tear it apart and fixate solely on the negative of it all.

Very shortly before he died, my BFF said something that sticks with me even now. “I hope there comes a time when I never have to give you a flower again. Not because I don’t want to but because you will have no reason to pick any petals away.”

A time when I can just admire the beauty and find no reason to dwell on the bad. Sadly, I think I live in that field…continuously dwelling, worrying that something terrible is just around the corner. Because things don’t go well…can’t go well for people like me.

Despite a lifetime of being a Nervous Nelly…I hope there comes a day when I can walk in my field of flowers…and just enjoy the view.

Prompt taken from A Creative Writers Kit by Judy Reeves