I grew my thorns at a tender age before my flower was even in bloom.
I grew them with clenched fists, in a fetal position, sobbing into my pillow while the rest of the household ignored me.
“Take that mood to your bedroom and don’t come out till you are over it,” my father would say.
“I don’t need anyone!” I would tell myself, over and over again, and chastise myself for forgetting in between. If I didn’t need anyone, I reasoned, I could never be hurt like this again.
I reinforced those thorns throughout my second marriage, changing my mantra to “I don’t need anything.” Married to a man who either made me pay for everything I got or deprived me of my wants, I decided that the answer was to just not want for anything.
No matter how strong I thought my defense system was, it didn’t work. I still suffered.
In retrospect, maybe I suffered more because of the thorns.
My flower is long past bloomed, and I no longer have need of the protection, but it is not easy to let down one’s defenses.
Maybe by writing, I can one by one, strip the thorns.