a garden of succulents by @pawspaintsnthings
Haylee drew Kent Parson for me for Fandom Loves Puerto Rico. I’m so happy and so emotional every time I look at this art.
The metaphor I ended up putting onto Kent is–growing up lonely and emotionally maltreated can kind of feel like being a plant in the desert. Parts of you wither up and die from lack of love and even if more rain comes, you’re so used to making do with very little that you honestly don’t know how to take more in. You’ve turned into a desert shrub. Your childhood set your level of emotional intake as an adult, and it’s hard to let people in or relate normally to them. And yet, and yet, there are small oases, people who are like sweet cool water. The hard part is not getting caught up on them, thinking that if you lose one, you’ll be thirsty for the rest of your life.
So a garden of succulents means, for me, accepting that I might never “recover” from my childhood, in the sense that I will probably never be a normal, neurotypical, traditionally social person. But I can find people I feel akin to, and work to surround myself with people who are social in a way that works for me. I can find other cactuses and slowly work our way together past each other’s defenses. Nothing can totally undo the damage, but I can find ways to be happy as the person I am now.
I hope my boy gets that too.