It’s a beautiful thing, seeing four generations of the same sunflower that towered over you four years ago. Four years ago, before the pandemic changed our world, back when I had all of my organs, back when I used to travel several times a year and thought I had the path of my future all figured out.
(the original “Sunflower’s Story” here: https://adonkumentary.com/2019/07/13/sunflowers-story/ )
I find myself often grieving that person–that person who had packed away in neat, little organized boxes, the trauma from her past so that she could [convince herself that she was] at least functioning in a publicly and socially acceptable way. That person who didn’t realize she was being love-bombed by a narcissist and actually, for a while, truly believed she was as special, lovable, and worthy of the world as she was being led to believe, even if by sheer ignorance.
I thought that year, maybe I was blooming and in many ways, I guess I was trying or starting to–but four generations of that late-blooming sunflower later, I feel more like a rooting seed unground, still crawling through the dirt and shit, trying to find which way is up so I can finally, finally feel the real sun on my face. The kind that, if it’s been a while, makes your skin tingle.
(here’s a link to “Sunflower’s Story 2” — https://adonkumentary.com/2021/07/01/sunflowers-story-2/. I never wrote a third, but perhaps I can find a picture of the third generation lower from last year.)
Four years ago, I was still in the dark and just didn’t realize it. Cracks in the dirt made me think I’d reached the surface, but a seed can’t properly root itself if it’s not planted in the right kind of soil and if it’s not being watered in the unique way that particular plant should. They might start growing, but they won’t last; not like that otherwise could’ve.
To step out of the metaphor, I have spent the last four+ years literally fighting for my life, and not just physically. Physically trying to make it has certainly been the biggest fire I’ve had to (and continue to) fight, but I’ve started fighting for my emotional life, too. Trauma doesn’t stay packed neatly in boxes–that’s like leaving wet clothes in the washing machine. You won’t notice it for a while but eventually, it’ll start to smell like mildew and you’ll have to deal with it. And it suuuuucks.
And if I want to believe that I’m worthy of love, that has to come from myself first before it’ll ever mean anything coming from someone else. No one else gets to decide your worth but you, and that’s worth digging through shit day in and day out to discover that truth. Have I found it? Freaking no. I still lay in bed most nights berating myself for saying something stupid, for avoiding hard conversations, for this, that, and everything else but I guess the difference is, I know that’s what I’m doing now and the stronger part of me meets that beratement and tries to tell it to stop. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I still think that’s progress. It’s better than ignorance, anyway.
Every year, the next generation of that original sunflower looks a little different, which baffles me because I don’t understand the genetic makeup of sunflowers / the pollination process by which their physical characteristics are determined…but then again, I look a little different every year, too, and that, I do understand.
I wonder if there will be a sunflower’s story 5 next year? I save the seeds every year and replant them. I wonder what she’ll look like?
Anyway, I love you, whoever you are. If you’re rooting around in the mud like me, at least you know you’re not alone. Maybe we’ll run into each other underground somewhere. You’ll know it’s me because when I realize you’re there, I’ll wind up really tight like a kid on a swing who twirls around and around and around until the two chains have reached their limit and then I’ll let go and spin completely out of control because I’m honestly just that excited to see you. Authentically, I think I’m far more over the top that I’ve allowed myself to be for most of my life. I’ve tried to contain a Tasmanian Devil inside myself for fear of drawing too much attention, but like any caged animal, I’ve become completely depressed.
The Sandman in that glass case.
Maybe this year, someone or something will finally break that circle drawn around me.
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