I am a 55 year old woman, who has integrated from having over 29 personalities from severe child abuse. The title of my story has significant meaning because an entire grove of Aspen trees have but one root structure. The grove symbolizes what it feels like to have Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). One body (the root structure) and many personalities (the trees). Each tree unique unto itself yet connected by one root.
Another intriguing co-incidence about the Aspen is that the grove will only grow where there has been a natural disaster, such as a forest fire or avalanche. The Aspen grows quickly, acting as a cover and it is Mother Nature’s way of protecting the new growth of evergreen trees. I am not able to say that my childhood was in any way natural, however; it was definitely a disaster.
Writing my life story was always a goal. I now know that it was simply another tool I used so that when the uncontrollable behaviors were happening, I had a plan. I believe we all have a purpose, and sometimes we have a hard time figuring out what it is. Let me tell you, when you have at least 29 personalities, and all of them have their individual opinions, it takes a long time to do find your purpose much less to do something as intense as writing my story. Every time I would start to write, one of the personalities, especially the ones that were convinced we would be harmed by telling anyone what happened, they would burn my writings. Every time I tried, there was conflict within my system or the timing wasn’t right, so the writing remained a dream that may happen, or to be completely honest with you, a wish that would never come true. And then I recovered.
Today, I am the evergreen, I am celebration of new growth, and I am proof that the past does not control the present. I have been through the fires, the avalanches, the heartache and now the recovery. I have survived scraping for the scraps thrown my way, the dark times when death seemed the only option. Today I do not have to accept the unacceptable. Today I can revel in the fact that I am still here! Today my life is celebration of merriment and a jubilee of love, forgiveness, gratitude and humility and oneness.