Rooted, I used to think.

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Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2020 @ 12:39 pm

When will he stop haunting me? When will a day go by in which my mind does not flicker to something that he said or did?

I go through my closet, getting rid of things that I don’t need.

I find an old notebook with jottings from counselling sessions. Notes about my triggers, things to bring into session to discuss.

"You won’t get your needs met until you listen to the words coming out of my mouth."

Fuck. He said that to me, and I stood there and listened to him and believed that it could be true. That it was my responsibility to find a way for his actions and words to meet my needs, rather than it being his responsibility to understand my needs and learn to tend to them.

My needs were dismissed by him, and by myself, for so long that I have a hard time knowing what they are and whether they are being met. To be honest, maybe I never have known what my needs are. Maybe I never was allowed to have any as a child?

My father calls me, nearly in tears one night. He’s suffering, spiraling, at the loss of control in his life. Regrets and past mistakes haunting him. I think in a way he might be dying. I listen to him and realize that he has dismissed his own needs and has spent his life making decisions to please some abstract being (“I should do this, I should do that.”) I, of course, unconsciously absorbed and internalized this from him. The sad, sad legacy of generational inheritances.

Translucent boundaries. Absent needs. If only I am good enough, then I will be lovable.

When I work from home alone, I bite my nails and suffer from nervous anxiety.

When I’m clipped into a rock face, fifty meters above the ground, I feel calm, secure, and happy. My best friend on the other end of the rope. Sunshine or drizzle, I am happy. When climbing, I know my needs explicitly - more rope, less rope, another piece of protection, a rest. And I know how to have these specific needs met, by yelling take or slack, by asserting my voice confidently. If only I was able to have this clarity in the rest of my life.

How do I learn to move beyond this? How do I begin to understand my needs?

Roots | Shoots