My Secret Garden

my-secret-garden

Would you like to know what my garden is like? Before I tell you, why don’t you stop and close your eyes and picture in your mind’s eye what you think my garden looks like? That’s right, conjure up the image that forms when you think of me and what my garden might be like. Take your time, move around it and ensure you have given it due consideration as you generate the image. Have you done it? Did it take you long? I suspect you managed to envisage it rather quickly didn’t you, after all, you are well-known for your amazing imagination aren’t you? I often find I have to apologise for your fantastic tales and over the top comments, but that is to be expected of somebody like you. Anyway, let’s leave your behaviour to one side for the time being (although I will return to it when nobody is looking, you can be assured of that) and let’s consider what you created in your mind.

I should imagine that the landscape you have formulated is one of two outcomes. I expect that some of you will have pictured nothing but concrete. All plant life and flora banished by a solid slab of grey cement that has solidified into an impenetrable barrier that stretches in all directions, lifeless and uninspiring. Once there might have been a flourishing and verdant garden but it has been banished by this concrete covering which has extinguished anything that grew or blossomed. If the concrete carbuncle is not what you saw in your mind then you will have opted for the alternative. You will have pictured solid, barren and lifeless soil which will not sustain anything of beauty. A toxic and poisonous stream flows through the centre of it, dead fish floating on their backs as they drift lifelessly along. Not even algae grows on this polluted stream. The few trees there are in this garden are dead. The bark grey and lifeless, forlorn limbs stretching into a dark grey sky, where there is always cloud. The branches and twigs are leafless. The bushes consist of brambles which hinder anybody who might try and move through this uninviting place. There is no grass and there a few brown, dried-out husks which suggest there might have once been something greener and vibrant. There are no sweet smelling flowers here, only the awful stench which rises from the slow-moving stream which looks more like treacle than water. Even the weeds are few and far between, struggling to find any sustenance from the sterile soil.

Is this what you saw?

Come and follow me as I take you into my secret garden. I produce a key from my jacket explaining that very few people ever get to see my secret garden but I am letting you inside because you are special and I like you. I open the thick gate and usher you inside. You do not see me hurriedly lock it behind you since you are busy staring at the beautiful garden that rolls out before you. Capability Brown must have laboured long and hard here. The lawn is flat and even, the grass has been rolled so that stripes have formed and there is not one blemish to be seen amidst the green, green blades. The edges of the lawn have been carefully cut so that no grass overhangs so that there is a distinct line between the lawn and the flower beds. The soil looks fertile, well-nourished and is free of weeds. A dazzling array of flowers grow from this well-tilled soil. Strong stalks reach up towards the azure sky, shiny leaves sprouting from the stalks before the injection of colour appears. Every shade of the rainbow is represented amongst the many varieties of flower that flourish in my secret garden. Brilliant blues, fiery oranges, ruby reds and sunshine yellows abound. The flowers have short petals, long petals which move in the gentle breeze, there are bell-shaped flowers, trumpet shaped flowers and others shaped like stars. White, purple, scarlet and ochre all combine to create this tapestry of beauty. A stream gurgles as it passes through the garden, cutting across the magnificently manicured lawn, so that an intricate bridge has been created allowing one to traverse from one side to the other. Bushes ring the flowers, an expert in topiary having crafted them into sensational shapes. Beyond the bushes are the trees, tall and trimmed so that they form a fence around this paradise. You stand on the edge of this magnificent garden utterly transfixed. The scents waft from the roses, from the lilies and the sweet William combining to create a heady concoction of fragrances. You are over awed by this display.

“Do you like it?” I ask.

You are dumb-founded, unable to speak. All you can muster is a slow nod as you feel a tear trickle down your cheek from your left eye as you are overtaken by how beautiful it all is.

I beckon to you and you follow me to a nearby apple tree which is festooned with fruit. The red and green apples hang from the branches and I pluck one and pass it to you. You smile and take a bite anticipating how fresh and crisp the apple will be. Your teeth easily sink in as you are surprised to find the flesh of the apple soft. You taste bitterness in your mouth and instinctively spit out the piece of fruit.

“What’s wrong?” I ask as I select an apple too.

“It is sour,” you explain. I take a bite from my apple and you hear the crunch as I take a chunk from it. I chew and through the mouthful explain that mine tastes fine. I hand the apple to you and you bite into it. It is soft and again tastes sour. Confusion rises inside you as you look at the apple and see a maggot wriggling beneath where you have bitten into the apple. You hurl the apple away as I invite you to sniff a magnificent rose nearby. You lean in and inhale its perfume, pulling the petalled head towards you. There is no scent and instead you sneeze. As you let go of the rose you give a short cry of pain and find that a thorn is wedged in your finger, the blood already spooring from the wound and trickling down your finger. You sneeze again,your nose irritated by something and you keep sneezing as your eyes water. You stagger away from the rose still sneezing and into a bush but it is not the sculpted creation you saw moments earlier. Instead, you feel a prickling sensation as you are stung and realise you have stumbled into a bed of nettles. Pain rising you stagger away, eyes streaming and make for where you recall the stream is hoping to use the cool, clear water to wash away the irritation you have suffered. You can just make out where it is through your blurred vision as you drop to your knees only to cry out again. You have knelt on some thistles.Where did they come from? This lawn was flawless before. You reach out flailing for the stream but there is nothing, The water has gone and the stream has dried up. You feel something wrap around your left wrist and as you try to wipe away the tears from your eyes with your free hand, you feel pain as a vine begins to tighten about your wrist. You pull trying to free yourself from it and twist around to call to me for help.

The smooth lawn is no longer there. Gone is the rolled grass. Instead you are looking at a mountainside, rugged and steep. You yank your arm as the vine is trying to pull you and look upwards. You can see me standing there smiling at you, looking down from my lofty position atop this mountain which has sprung out of nowhere. A cold wind begins to blow as you shout for help, another vine beginning to snake towards you. I tilt my head as if I cannot hear you, a smile still plastered across my face.

“Help me, what is happening?” you shout.

“Nothing,” I call back, ” I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“This. The garden, it has changed,” you yell above the gathering wind. You see that I am shaking my head.

” Not it’s not, everything is just the same, Beautiful isn’t it?” I reply.

You frown. How can I not see what has altered? The beautiful glade has become a hostile and hurtful place. How has this happened to you? You try and crawl forward and I stand watching you, offering no help as more vines snake towards you, the ground beneath you hard and stony. The vines wrap about you and threaten to pull you into the abyss below you. All the while I stand and watch smiling.

Welcome to my secret garden.

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18 thoughts on “My Secret Garden”

  1. Haha nice. I pictured the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Bright, happy, beautiful colours, elaborate costumes….all of it just for show; no more real than a theatrical set. Look around the back and it is raw, splintery, unpainted plywood. Those fancy costumes are made of cheap, flimsy materials and are uncomfortable as fuck to wear.

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  2. Great mental picture of where you truly believe you are. Then there is the complete and utter confusion… Am I not seeing things properly, Did I change, did I miss something? Surely the problem must be with me right…? OMG thanks for freeing us from this hell.

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  3. HG, I cannot say thank you enough for your site. It feels like the Holy Grail of understanding that I was never going to get. This is a great article and so very true. What is interesting is that when you asked at the beginning to describe the garden I did not pick either of your answers…Instead I picked exactly what you described afterward… the true secret garden. Scary how much I’ve learned, thank you for giving me a new lens to see the reality I found myself in for 2 years. I have escaped HELL.

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  4. The garden looked so beautiful at the beginning, then everything became wretched. My narc offered me everything in the beginning, only to take it all away. I am still in contact with him, but only because i have accepted being in this unpredictable place.
    Fantastic imagery HG!

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  5. I didn’t see either option. I saw the picture you posted because I don’t have one of my own. I needed yours. My father always created mine for me.

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  6. I pictured the garden beautiful, green lush lawns, thousands of fragrant, blooming flowers with serene water fountains.
    Why would it be anything less? After all it’s YOUR garden.
    It’s imperative that your false reality always remains lovely.

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  7. I can relate to this on so many levels. I understand exactly.

    Our reality only meshes with yours (if you’re lucky) for a very short period of time. Once that time period comes to an end, it is our reality that invades and permeates everything.

    We do not see or feel or experience anything the way you do.

    Empath + Narc does not = two worlds colliding
    Empath + Narc = your world imploding as ours consumes yours.

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  8. I knew you would only have and show me the very best so I envisioned it lush and beautiful and was not disappointed. And oh how I longed to tend to it so you could continue to appreciate its beauty even if not at your own hand. But I knew in my heart that you would block out the sun, turn off the water, and take away the tools so I would be left to use my bare hands until they bled and everything died. So I thanked you and left to tend to my own garden so that if you could not have your own, you could still see the beauty in mine if you chose to,……. but from afar.

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  9. I also thought I would share that I read the part about the nettles and recalled a particularly scintillating post in which you mentioned something quite naughty about nettles.

    And it sent shivers and chills from the nape of my neck to the base of my spine.

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  10. From my experience, the garden seems to only change every so often… even a seasoned gardener has to battle to keep the garden beautiful from time to time, sometimes it is worth the battle and sometimes you tire of the marks left behind.

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  11. It’s so Heartbreaking to read this . It’s hard to believe or imagine that when you Se tears in another’s eyes and see that they are in pain you can’t feel the pain as well and don’t feel bad for them .

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  12. I remember that post first time I read it… and I knew from the beggining it was going to be a trap… and it was. I LOVE IT and Your garden I’d work hard in it to keep it neat and nice tho…

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  13. It seems to me the wonderland of Alice… a ace of dream at beginning, where everything is better than in the reality, but it changes when she start to know better that place. It not was so wonderful like she believed, there were a lor of dangers but she shares the idea that everything was wonderful, because of this assumption she was not on guard and could not defend themselves well. While the characters were amused to see her confused, frightened, disappointed, angry, sad…. Everything was very different and now Alice was scary to stay there and wants only to escape.

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