My Balcony Flower Pot

I once had a green thumb.  Friends would walk in my home and feel the beauty of the outside in the confines of whichever apartment I currently occupied.  I even recall feeling a tad upset when I visited Utah for the first time after I moved across the country.  My dear friend Adam asked if he could have all my luscious plants because there was no way they would survive the 1,800+ miles in the back of my U-haul.  He promised to take very good care of them so I relented, but when I returned for my first vacation home, there were none left alive to visit.

I once had a green thumb.  Give me any withering, growing thing and I would have it blooming in a short period of time.  Eventually, the relocating and traveling so much in the corporate world took it's toll on my nature friends and they became fewer and fewer.  Then one day I chose to settle and bought a house with many, many stairs and levels.  I worked full-time, part-time, and worked diligently to finish my degree as an honor student.  In my "spare" time, I didn't take care of plants (that required many trips up and down many stairs), but instead volunteered for various non-profit organizations that were near to my heart (or just happened to be short a few hands).  It wasn't long before only one green friend remained.

I can proudly say this one green friend is still thriving in my home.  It might have something to do with being on the same level as the kitchen or with the promise I made to my best friend that I wouldn't kill it.  For fun, I periodically email her pictures so she knows I kept my promise.

On my balcony, however, there is a large flower pot.  I must say it was blooming quite beautifully and for some time!  Of course, the plant had long died and the bloomers were very lively weeds.

That flower pot, now trimmed of Seymour (sounds way better than Audrey II), still sits on my balcony filled to the brim with rich soil.  It, unfortunately, does not hold anything more precious than some cigarette butts (etc., etc.).

"What is that?" asked my neighbor, Audra, to her husband.  Gene picked up something from their yard as I balanced our other neighbor Christy's baby on my hip.

"I think it's a clump of deer fur," Gene replied, analyzing the mass.

With a sheepish grin, I piped up, "No, it's not deer fur.  It's Zeusy fur."  I was brushing him on the balcony and stuffing the fur balls pulled off the brush into my flower pot.  Apparently with strong winds, cat fur travels!  I would have been happier knowing it traveled on the other side of my house (to the neighbor I don't care for), but c'est la vie.

Tonight, my flower pot boasts a fancy blue pen.  The damn thing is practically new but skips like Raggedy Ann on Raggedy Andy's face.  So, I pitched it into the garbage abyss of my balcony flower pot.

And I just felt you all should know.

Recommendations for the Road

It has been interesting, taking a journey going nowhere.  I have fought and screamed, ranted and raved, smoked a cigarette or two while camping out in my aunt's studio apartment.  We were worried about me and there was no one I could trust myself with but her.  I deactivated my Facebook account and praised God many drunken evenings for doing so!!  Tried changing my phone number even, but work and house-hunters have kept me too busy to make it to Verizon.  Instead, it's been turned off most days.

I don't know if I would recommend this to anyone.  Let's face it (or let me face it, admit it): some day I would like to marry and have baby-Raes running around (or baby-whomever is strong enough to marry me).  Yes, love and babies, but ain't gunna happen if I don't let a man in (into my heart, gutters-heads!).  So, I've had to go inside my heart all by myself and IT IS PAINFUL.  It hurts.  It's like everything you have ever felt in your life exploding at the drop of a comment, a sound, my unshed tears.  Swearing became my new language, so offensive, so automatic, and Pandora's box was opened and dumped out on my balcony.  My neighbors know a lot more about me now.

Would I recommend this?  You hate yourself until you realize you hate everyone else instead until you realize you don't hate anyone, you're just really, really hurt.  Bruised, not broken, but's it's the large, dark bruise on your calf that starts turning green.  Unlike the last time, I didn't have a big sister near to rush me to the hospital.

So, although necessary in my life to truly live, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is alone (praise God I had my aunt).  If someone does choose to take this kind of journey (and you have someone like an aunt or a therapist), here is my advice:

When in this phase of your healing, do not listen to metal no matter how much you love Quiet Riot.  I learned from experience, trust me.  I would not recommend it.

I would, however, recommend journaling.  Lots and lots of journaling (especially when your therapist seems to be out of the country every time you need her most).  No need for systems and fancy stuff.  Girlfriend, when you goin' crazy, just grab the nearest napkin and take it out on that.  I wrote some pretty ugly stuff in notebooks, but for once, the ugly stuff wasn't about me.  Yes, there were a few pages directed at the man currently holding my jewelry hostage, but I can't even be mad at him for long.  He has no clue who I am and I have no clue who he is.  I misdiagnosed us from the start, protected myself accordingly, and scared him away like I do best, before we could ever decide if we wanted to give us a chance.  Journal.

Lastly, don't try finding a safe place in someone who has never gone through the stuff you've gone through.  No matter how much they love you, they'll never get it and they'll never be able to understand the chaotic, inner roller coaster you are on.  Seriously, it can ruin a friendship.

Why blog about this?  Really, I don't know.  I believe God gave me the gift of writing for a reason, but when I've shut down all that made me vulnerable, my words couldn't get through the steel demeanors I built around me.  Without vulnerability, I couldn't write, but I'm writing again and I thank God for it.  I even found a poem I wrote forever ago about how writing has saved my life.  Maybe blogging about this is a way to remind someone else how writing can save lives.  And there's no need for me to share all the personal stuff in my notebooks.  I think a nice summary blog post will suffice.  If not, of course, you can always go talk to my neighbors!  ;-)