Blog #2 – UNROOTED: A Podcast About Sibling Abuse … Why “Unrooted”?!

I have always felt unrooted, though I didn’t really see it until recently. After many years of therapy, self-exploration, working at trying to connect with that deeper, truer “Self” inside – and moving more times than I can count – I’ve begun hearing that word rise from some deep, subconscious terrain – unrooted. It’s probably because I’m currently moving, again, and I am scared, uncertain about where I’ll be. In later years, many people choose to move back to where they grew up, to where their roots are. That’s certainly not my plan … and I realize in an instant: that feeling has always been with me, and it comes from feeling unsafe for much of my childhood.

When we are born into and grow up in safe, nurturing homes, where each child is seen as their unique, individual selves, and they feel heard, their words and messages honoured and respected, they have a good start to growing into healthy, vital adults, connected to their ‘true Selves’, feeling safe in their bodies, secure in who they are, able to connect to others. It doesn’t have to be perfect – all parents make mistakes and have their own childhood programming and patterns, dark places and unresolved trauma that gets in the way of connecting to themselves, much less their children. But many homes are ‘safe enough’ – not perfect, but safe enough – to ensure that kids are rooted, connected to themselves, to each other, to their families, to their home and to the earth. Research in attachment theory finds that it only takes one strong, loving connection to nurture the strengthening of those roots.

When you grow up with abuse, witnessing it or experiencing it directly, whether it’s emotional, physical or sexual abuse, or if you experience neglect, ‘safe enough’ is seldom present. If a sibling is harming you, and the adults in charge are not stopping it, you are experiencing both abuse AND neglect.

The fear a child faces knowing that their perpetrator, their sibling, could, at any moment physically attack, mock, or threaten them, destroy their things, or touch them in a way that they know is not right … that fear doesn’t go away. And with a sibling essentially having 24/7 access to their victim, home is never safe. The victims are always on the lookout, ready to run or hide, or accept their attack. Their security, their roots, don’t develop; they cannot thrive.

Who we are is so deeply formed in our childhood that even as we become adults, our connection to our “true Self” may feel out-of-reach, impacting our ability to connect with others, to home, to safety. We may still feel unrooted.

Canadian playwright and novelist Thompson Highway wrote, “Before the healing can take place, the poison must be exposed.” Exposing the poison that is sibling abuse may be uncomfortable and frightening. But, as difficult as it is, I know that our challenges are our greatest gifts – they are the seeds to change, to growth, to becoming conscious. As we make conscious effort to learn, do the work, go to therapy, talk about it, expose the poison … each step is feeding and nurturing those seeds, helping us to connect with ourselves and others.

As I became aware of the ‘roots of my unrootedness’, I also began to feel the desire to root. I think I’m becoming conscious enough to choose to root.

Even as I write this, from my beautiful new little home, I feel the bottoms of my feet tingling, yearning for the earth, for my feet on the ground. I just may have found a place where my roots can flourish. So I honour my UNrootedness for getting me here, for pointing me to what it is I need.

It is that honouring of our journeys, that exploration of unrootedness, finding and nurturing connection, roots to our Self, that I am hoping to bring forward in conversations on my podcast. It’s still a bit of time away – I’m currently surrounded by a lifetime of bins and boxes. But as my roots deepen, and my connection to my Self strengthens, I know it’s coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog #1 – The Audacity!

“The AUDACITY!” That’s what I’m hearing these days. It’s the latest in a lifetime of criticism from one of the many voices in my head. I’m happy to say, they’ve diminished significantly, in frequency, tone, and weight. But every once in a while … I hear them … whispering to

Read More »