Taproot (Photo credit: Vietnam Plants & America plants)
My blogging friends and community have done it again. We are all connected here on our personal healing journeys, but what we find is so similar and helpful to each other. I feel supported and understood for the first time in my life. Look at how we are working together. One blogger reads a poem I found meaningful and adds on to that with another blogger’s post and it all combines to something very powerful indeed. We have the power to heal ourselves. We really do.
Excerpt from above link: “The monster has a tap root. One that he uses with cunning skill. Gaslighting, manipulation and brainwashing. He uses it to grow that tap root straight through what makes US strong, healthy trees (I know…bear with me). It’s like a parasite that uses all life energies around it to survive, while sucking that same life force dry from living things around it. The damage he caused also has it’s own tap root. Separate from him, it’s developed into it’s own ‘living’ breathing entity, in a way. That’s what gaslighting and psychological abuse creates in the survivor. It’s it’s own seed, that grows when we ‘feed’ it. Another thing, with the tap root firmly placed, you can cut the tree without killing the tap root. Often times, a new tree will grow from the root. The only way to kill it entirely, is to sever the tap root. See where I’m going with this?”
My response to this blog: “This has really made me think. I often don’t trust my own perceptions and judgments. I know it was started from my abusive parents, but that root remained. So when I met someone who was not abusive, or did not mean to be abusive, I still got hurt, because that root was so deep in me and still feeding me putrid, rotten thoughts. And then, when depression got its grips on me, and the first thing the doctors and therapists tell you is that depression makes your brain lie to you, causing you to mistrust everything in side your own self. It was from that place that my husband unintentionally emotionally abused me. My situation set him up to gaslight me, Wow. I see this now. He became the one I trusted, more than myself, and that unhealthy boundary has caused an imbalance and much resentment between the two of us. My diseased root is so strong within me, that even though it has been hacked and severed, it only takes one drop of malnourished activity to set it growing again. I am so grateful to have found such a supportive environment here to discuss these issues. I am determined to kill that root, once and for all. I thought I could grow blossoms on my diseased root, as I named this blog. But now I’m thinking I need to grow new roots completely. Hmmm.”
Hubby is gone, staying at his parents to give my mind and body space to heal and grow. He is so hopeful that we are close to actually making me “better” and I love that he is so enthusiastic and supportive, but honestly not as hopeful as he is right now. The problem seems too big, that monstrous root still holds me down. I don’t want to keep Hubby away from his home and children, but now that I see it isn’t his actions, but his presence that makes me doubt myself, makes me rely on him, and makes me afraid and guilty and shameful – well I know now that I need to kill that root too. I’m afraid to hope about forming a new one there, can’t even think about that right now, as it feels too far away, too many steps. He can hope about that for us. Right now my hope is a selfish one for me alone. I am hoping to be me, free from the evil that raised me.
See, take this taproot imagery a step further. My dad placed that initial damaging, parasitic root, but just like any invasive plant, those roots spread to every relationship I have. The foundation of my marriage is nourished on a diseased root. That is why we can change all these external actions, change so many of our interactions, and why we appear to be growing, but we are not yet thriving.
I am committed to killing the root, and growing my own. I really am. It will take time and self-love.
The rest of this is intense and triggering
I bought a new book yesterday, The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Wendy Maltz. I am afraid to read it, but based on what I have read already, it claims it is going to help me heal the sexual wounds of being sexually abused for so many years by someone who should have protected me. As I write this, I don’t believe I can heal that part of me. I feel too hurt and broken. And afraid. I feel naked and exposed and so, so vulnerable. As the first new root extends from the seed, it needs just the right conditions to continue to grow. I have no instructions for what these conditions are, and so I keep trying something new. And although plants need fertilizer, they die when too much shit is dumped on them too, and I have always had way too much. That’s really all I’m asking for right now, is just the right amount of tolerable shit. What a funny thing to wish for.
So far I am reading about blocks to healing, and that false explanations by an abuser lead to false beliefs that we carry into adulthood. I was bale to believe it was not really abuse, not really that bad, just how daddy showed his special love for me. I allowed that belief to remain for a very long time as I grew up, because I had to. The alternative was just not acceptable. My reality was not acceptable, so I believed the one he created for me. That was how after grooming me since, what I now think to be, since birth, I had no other reality and never knew to resist or even try to stop him. There was nothing wrong with it, except how it made me feel inside. I also did not like taking medicine or brushing my teeth. I remember thinking it was just another part of life like that. Shedding that other reality took me so many years after the abuse ended. And I created my own, new reality then, that still was just as false. It was the world where I was OK. Everything thought I was OK. Even me.
Until I wasn’t.
So it has been 10 years since I attempted suicide, and only now am I ready to get real. We’ve been trying to fix our marriage as if it is a “normal” marriage with petty issues that everyone has. I have been playing a role of wife and mother, keeping my emotions in check, and displaying what I thought I should. And crying privately. I have been showing Hubby I was all better by being wild in bed. Because if I can do all those acts, then surely I am OK? No. No I am not. Those acts leave me feeling cheap and violated. If he initiates, I internally panic, and then force my body to respond by placing my mind elsewhere. When I initiate, it does not come from love or even emotional desire, but some sense of power to be able to seduce someone, and a sense of needing to please him. I don’t feel attraction for him. If I do, I wouldn’t feel safe or in control. When I go out dancing with my crazy girls, I feel intensely attracted to other men. Not usually random strangers, but men I know from our circle that we hang out with. Someone who knows my name and greets me, and is kind to me, but we don’t actually know each other. I feel wild inside, rebellious perhaps, and love that out of control feeling as I fantasize about going home with them and enjoying each other’s bodies with no hang ups, no past baggage, no hesitation. I think this is the ultimate fantasy for me, because it can never happen. First of all, I have never, and will never cheat on my husband. Second, I would be terrified and run away even if I somehow managed to go home with someone. My pain and baggage will always be there, (although this book says I can remove it eventually) and so this is purely fantasy. I have no guilt over this – any more. I used to think I was a terrible person and wife for having these thoughts and feelings.
So what if I can feel that attraction for my own husband? What if?