[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – continued from previous post]
I took notice of a gnarly old pine tree near the front end of my car. It looked like it had experienced a tough life . . . it was short and twisted, knotted and bent over . . .
I found myself wondering about that tree . . .
Why is it right there, in that particular spot? Why not 100 feet to the south or west . . . ?? Does it care where it is?
Is it happy? Does it want to live for years and years to come? Does it wish it could die?
Is it content with its station in life? Does it feel it is enough?
It’s not the tallest tree. It’s not the prettiest tree. Is it okay with that?
Does it feel lost in the forest? Does it wish it was more prominent?
Does it have aspirations? What does it want to become?
Maybe it wants to have legs; maybe it wants to go exploring.
Maybe it wants to have animals live in it and it’s jealous because the tree next to it has animals living in it and it does not.
What does the tree feel on a regular basis? Does it feel the same way I do?
I think I could learn something from this tree . . . I guess . . . it’s like . . . I’m one tree in a forest, trying to figure out how I fit into the forest . . .
I’m sure this tree doesn’t have a bigger plan . . . it’s already everything it is ever going to be . . . except maybe taller. Maybe some day it will get cut down for fuel or to build somebody’s house. Or it might just die and fall over silently . . . its death noticed by no one. Is it okay with that?
I decided to ask the tree . . . how is it feeling right now? Is it okay with how and where it is right now?
The tree didn’t answer with words . . . it answered only with emotions . . . it shared with me its sense of peace and contentment.
I don’t understand how that can be. How can it be peaceful and content? It doesn’t have plans for the future. It isn’t trying to be more or better or prettier . . . it just “is” . . . and will be until it “isn’t”. How can that be enough?
I wish I could feel peace and contentment like that . . . but, I think I have to fix some of my biggest issues before I can feel that way about myself . . . about my life. I have to be more and better before someone will want to be my life partner . . .
There have been times when I’ve doubted my ability to survive tough times. I know one of the worse times was when I was down and out, living in my sister’s basement. I didn’t see how I was ever going to pull myself out of the hole I was in.
I went into therapy as soon as I could after that because I knew I was spiraling down and I would survive for long if I didn’t get help – either I would shrivel up and die, or I would commit suicide . . .
Even today – on most days – I feel like I don’t know if I’m going to survive this. I don’t know if I can keep finding reasons to get out of bed. Recently, I’ve been slamming up against hopelessness over and over again. Can I survive this? Can I find a way through? Can I reach my full potential . . . preferably sometime before I die of old age . . . ??
I believe I can’t freely invest in the future . . . I don’t have the ability to do many of the things that would allow me to be a better person . . . to be healthy . . . to not be depressed . . .
I think my dad killed off that possibility when he squashed my spirit in my childhood. I know I can heal a lot of that damage, but I think some things cannot be healed . . . some damage is permanent. I think I don’t have the ability to heal to the extent that I no longer need binge-eating to deal with the pain. I think I will always be dependent on that – my drug of choice.
And, as long as I’m dependent upon that drug, I’ll never have a healthy and attractive body . . . which is something that is required in order to be in a romantic relationship. It is okay for a woman to be clear crazy and a selfish bitch as long as she has a sexy body. But, being overweight is the kiss of death in the world of dating. Spiritual depth, solid self-awareness, kindness, compassion . . . they have no value unless paired with a slim and sexy body.
The bottom line is that psychologically healthy guys don’t want fat chicks – and I somehow ended up with binge-eating (and the resulting obesity) as my main wildly persistent and resistant issue.
Thanks, dad, for that wonderful legacy.
As I reflected on the damage created by my dad’s behavior, I felt anger start rising up in my gut. I stayed with that feeling . . .
In the past, I’ve had trouble allowing myself to experience anger in relation to my dad’s behavior . . . for whatever reason, I felt like I would be able to tolerate that anger today . . . so, I let it come up in full force.
All the sudden, a scream rose up from deep inside me and tore out of my throat. It wasn’t a very loud scream . . . but it was loud enough that it surprised me. Then, a second scream came rushing up and out . . . and it was louder . . .
I paused for a second, worried about who might hear me . . . then I realized it was just me, God, the pine trees and wildlife . . . and I decided they all could handle anything that might come ripping out of me . . . no need to hold back . . .
More and more screams came out . . . louder, longer . . . totally out of control . . .
The rage exploded in my body . . . I started kicking . . . I started slamming my fists into the steering wheel . . . in every fiber of my body, I felt like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.
I cussed, I cursed my dad . . . I said all the things I’ve been aching to say to him . . . I screamed at him that he had to right to do what he had done to me . . . there was no excuse . . . I was just a little kid and no match for him . . .
All that rage kept exploding and exploding until I could find no more rage to release . . .
Then, I fell silent – silent except for my heavy breathing.
For several minutes . . . maybe 7 or 8 minutes . . . I just sat quietly . . . just breathing . . . catching my breath again. My throat was raw . . . it felt as raw as it would if I had just vomited violently. But, I also felt a sense that I had purged rotting emotions . . . putrid emotions that have been in my body for far too many years.
So . . . I guess that’s what it feels like to find and use my voice in a powerful way with my dad. It feels like I said what I needed to say to him . . . maybe that is true . . . maybe I don’t need to do that again . . .
It’s okay if I do need to do it again; but, right now, it feels like I don’t need to stand up to him again in that way. It feels like I’ve expressed everything I need to express to him.
I felt so relieved . . . so light . . . a feel a sense of freedom . . .
[Continued in the next post . . . ]