Posted by: Marie | April 30, 2009

(59) A dream brings memories

Post #59
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Sunday, July 27, 2008 – Part 2 of 2 – continued from previous post]

The piano continues to play a significant role in my healing – when I sit down to play, an hour or two slips by so quickly and I am always shocked when I look at the clock.

I believe the appearance of this piano in my life was divinely orchestrated and perfectly timed.  It is providing deep joy and it is bringing old wounds to the surface – and it is building a bridge between those two aspects.

I last played piano on a regular basis when I was twenty years old – half my life ago.  At that time, the music I played was nearly exclusively Christian music (I played for church/chapel services and also as an accompanist for our college choirs as we performed in churches all over western United States).

My main reasons for playing the piano went away when I left college and when I left the church – that is when I left my music behind.  It was also when my spiritual beliefs began to shift.

Now, when I sit down to play, the music I most readily recall, and instinctively play, are the Christian songs – the old hymns.  I struggle with the appropriateness of my playing the old hymns when my beliefs no longer fully align with their messages – but I love the melodies – and their ability to draw me into a worshipful spirit.

Playing the old hymns takes me back to the times when I struggled through deciding how I would define my relationship with the church, and with God – I find myself reliving that journey.

The piano is also taking me all the way back to my childhood.  I started playing as soon as I was old enough to know not to pound the keys – I must have been two or three.  Everyone in our household played piano and other instruments, so it was just natural for me to play.

The piano was a key part of my relationship with “X” – he played a lot during choir practice (he was the church’s music director).  Sometimes, when just the two of us would be in the sanctuary, he played while we sang together – it was a special treat for me.  So, of course, this new piano is bringing back those old memories.

I mentioned the dream I had where I travel through a “tunnel of time” with a floor made from a long keyboard and with floors and ceilings made of musical tones. In my dream, I relived a childhood moment – specifically the minutes immediately after being molested.

In what felt like real time, I went back to that time – I was four years old.  I was lying on someone’s bed in a basement, in a semi-fetal position.  I could feel the knobby bedspread on the side of my face.  I was shell-shocked . . . raw . . . numb.  I had partially disconnected from my body – still connected enough to be aware of physical and emotional pain, but disconnected enough to not feel the pain fully.  I was very, very alone.

I could feel myself attempting to process what had happened, but having no idea what had happened – no vocabulary, no context.  I wanted someone to come get me and hold me – make the pain go away.  But, no one came.

I wanted to tell someone, but I didn’t know what to call it or why it felt bad.  I also knew something bad would happen if I told.

As I started to wake up from my dream, I felt myself moving back through time – with age came an understanding of what had happened.  I found myself screaming, “I was raped!  I was raped!”  But, as I passed back through the tunnel, the details started getting fuzzy – I started forgetting the “when”, “where” and “who” – I knew the answers to those questions at the start of the dream, but then the answers went away as I awoke.

At the end of my dream, right before I awoke, I knew I should tell someone – I had to tell someone.  But, I kept telling myself there was no value in telling unless I could remember when it happened, where it happened and who did it.  So, I just kept quiet.

The dream was so real – it is still with me now, several days later.  I feel like I could almost travel through that tunnel at will, even when I am awake.


In our last several sessions, I have gotten the sense that you are waiting for me to be ready to express myself physically.  I would really like to do that – I spend much time fantasizing what it would be like to do that – to yell, to throw things, to lie on the floor and throw a temper tantrum, to curl up in a fetal position under my blanket in a corner and sob, to hug you in our sessions at some time other than hello or good-bye . . .

I have heard you say several times that I will do it when and if I am ready to do it.  Right now, it feels like I will never be ready to do it – I feel so paralyzed.  I want to, but I am paralyzed.

The day you had me tap the bricks with the hammer, I felt a huge sense of relief – you had gotten me out of my chair and into action.  Granted, I was following your instructions, but it felt like a potential opening for me – that maybe I could be brave enough to continue it and move in my own way, express in my own physical language.  But then, we quickly finished the exercise and I felt compelled to slide back into the chair – then I was stuck again.

I ache to stand up and move, or at least get down on the floor and crawl.  I want to feel my body move with emotion.  Sometimes I think about just asking you to take my hand and pull me out of the chair – and to instruct me on how to get started – but I feel too paralyzed to even ask for that.  It is very difficult for me to even write about it here – several times I have started to write it and then have removed it – I’m struggling to keep it in this time.

Every session I come into your office hoping that “today will be the day” . . . but then I leave without that happening – and I go home and cry about it, frustrated and angry.

I guess my point here is that, if you continue waiting for me to make the first move, I am doubtful that time will come anytime soon – I just don’t know how to make that happen.  I might need help with this.  I think it might feel stupid to have you direct me on what to do, but maybe that would be less painful than being stuck.  Maybe, once I got moving, I could continue . . . just a thought.


I haven’t been doing so well these last two weeks – and my scores/points/charts really reflect it – but, that is okay.  A wise man recently reminded me “this too shall pass” . . . 

– Marie


  1. I’m really glad that music and the piano is bringing you comfort.

    Can I ask – is the “wise man” who said “this too shall pass” your therapist? I often say “a wise woman” to my therapist when repeating something back to her. LOL

    • Hi, Kerro –

      Yes, the wise man was my therapist, LOL . . . I like your suggestion, though!

      – Marie

  2. This is really nice. For sure I’m adding you to my blogroll. All the best.

    • Thank you, therapy doc!

  3. Marie, I am new to your blog. Found this post very interesting and I am truly truly sorry for the pain you had endured and still do to this day! Glad you are able to escape through your music for a while. Thank you for sharing, and I will continue to look around your blog dear one. Blessings.

    • Thank you, JBR –

      I’m glad to share my journey — it always helps to know someone else is walking a similar journey! Thank you for reading!

      – Marie

  4. I play the piano as well. Music has been such a saving grace for me. My grandmother taught me piano lessons, and when I was older I always told her that the best gift she ever gave me was the gift of music. It is something I hold dear to my heart and it can never be taken away from me. My grandmother passed away about 3 years ago, but I think of her every single time I play the piano. She was the most genuinely loving person in my family. She was my safe place. I knew I was safe, loved, and cherished with her. I miss her, but I know she is in a special place.

    • Hi, Secret Shadows –

      I agree — music can be very healing! How neat that you have such a tangible way to remember your grandmother! I’m glad you had her in your life!

      Thanks for adding me to your blogroll!

      – Marie

  5. PS—I added you to my blogroll. :) I had never seen your site yet. It’s really good. I enjoyed reading it.

  6. sure :-)

  7. Wow. Music is so powerful. I have similar connections with it.

    Is that last part a letter to you T? It seems important that you share your concerns about being able to make that first move. (I struggled with this for ages – last week we were laughing about how hard I found it to do anything physical at all, – it does come with time. I think sometimes though you have to push through it a bit.)

    • Hi, Rachel –

      Thanks for reading my blog! Yes, Mark is my T. Most of my journal entries were written to my therapist as part of my therapy homework . .

      I have been getting quite a few questions about “who are you?” “who is Mark?” etc. So, I have added a new page (About the People) in response/anticipation . . . . I’m beginning to feel less paranoid about having to disguise my identity — I guess that comes with the fading of the shame — I am starting to believe I won’t just absolutely die if one of my 3D acquaintances discovers my blog.

      I agree about the physical blocks — I’m still working on that part . . . it will come, I’m sure!

      – Marie

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