Posted by: Marie | July 29, 2009

(114) Saving me from myself

Post #114
[Journal entry written to my therapist on Saturday, March 28, 2009]

Hi, Dr. Barb –

Okay . . . another nose dive this week. I have been cruising along, feeling really good for the last week. Then, on Thursday, I got an e-mail from a childhood friend . . . I haven’t had contact with him for more than 25 years . . we started chatting on Facebook last month. All I know about his life in the last 25 years is that he went into the Marines for a few years after high school, he has lived in California for 20 years after the Marines and just moved back to our hometown (where we grew up) . . . and he is single and still handsome.

This was the second e-mail I received from him. He “flirted” a little in the first e-mail and he really “flirted” in this second e-mail (like telling me that he thinks I’m cute). As has been my motes operandi of the last 40 years, I immediately became infatuated with the idea that we would fall in love and he would be my knight in shining armor – he would provide all the love and acceptance I have been craving all my life.


On the Hike by Martin Chen

By Friday afternoon, this possibility was consuming all my brain power – and the familiar, inevitable counterpoint began playing in my head: “That is ridiculous, you are setting yourself up for disappointment yet again, just stop it! You know this is a waste of energy to create this fantasy that will never happen. No man can provide what you are hoping for, you have to create it for yourself. Quit trying to find a hero – he’s not coming!”

That familiar “dark cloud” feeling started rolling in and my mood started nose-diving. I had committed to attending a social event (dinner and dancing) Friday evening, but it is usually not a good idea to attempt social events when I’m under that black cloud. However, I could also feel that my blood sugar was low from having just worked out. So, I decided to eat and to curl up under the covers for an hour to see if that changed my mood. It did . . . some . . . enough that I thought it would be okay to go to the social event.

I didn’t know any of the people at the social event, but that is not an issue for me – I am at my best in a room of strangers – they don’t know anything about me so I have a fresh slate with everyone. When I arrived at the restaurant, I discovered that a good friend of mine was at the event – I hadn’t seen her in over a year, so I wanted to connect, but she was at a booth that was already full. So, I found a spot at a booth that had one spot open and settled in.

I ended up next to two ladies who stated they “do energy work”. Because I am trained and certified in one discipline of energy work (Reiki) and because of my paranormal experiences, I was interested in what they “did”. So, I asked a few open-ended questions.

Well, that got them going . . . they explained that they could diagnose people’s emotional and physical problems by “feel” (translation: medical and empathical intuition) and then could “fix” those problems by clearing the energy. They ran diagnostic “tests” on me, declared my ill and “fixed” it.


Going White by Martin Chen

Normally, I would be interested in what they had to share. However, they had been drinking and were a little “happy”, they both had very overbearing personalities, we were crammed into the booth so tightly that the one lady’s face was about eight inches (20 cm) from mine (our bodies were smashed together so tight that I only had one arm free), we had to yell over the music . . . . and they did all of this without knowing anything about me or my beliefs, without asking permission, without leaving any space for discussion or debate . . . it was clear that they were not interested in my experience, they were focused on showing off their abilities.

In my Reiki training, we were strongly advised to keep in mind that we, as practitioners, do not “do” anything except to act as a conduit. We don’t diagnose and we don’t heal. We simply facilitate the flow of healing energy from God (also named “the universe” in many disciplines) to the client. The healing energy comes from God and it is utilized by the client’s body. It is our job to form a strong connection between the two. The client’s body knows what should be healed and how to do it. Sometimes we receive guidance from ethereal forces on how to best position our hands to minimize resistance on the flow. That is it. It is not about us, or our egos.

We were also strongly advised to establish a rapport with our clients before attempting any energy work – to develop a bond of trust first – to make sure we behave and speak in a manner that is respectful of their beliefs and their boundaries. We were also strongly advised to ask for and obtain permission, on both a physical/verbal level and on a spiritual/ethereal level before proceeding. To behave any less professionally would be considered malpractice.

So, given the disrespectful and egotistical spirit of the ladies’ behavior – and the very tight quarters – the conversation was very uncomfortable for me. When they asked for feedback (“Is it fixed yet? Did we get it?”), I just smiled and agreed – hoping it would bring the conversation to a close sooner. It worked.

Then, I turned my attention to others at the table – and found myself in the middle of a risqué conversation. The guy to my right was reaching across me and sticking his finger through the “peek-a-boo” hole in the shirt of the lady sitting to my left (one of the “energy work” ladies) while she was holding her shirt away from herself so everyone could get a glimpse.

Now, I have participated in my share of risqué conversations in my lifetime – I have often been at the heart of them. That type of conversation is consistent with how I used to show up the world – as a woman willing to give up my body to any man who paid me any attention. I stopped that type of behavior a few years ago because it is now disgusting to me. I really don’t mind it happening around me – as long as I’m not wedged between the people dancing that dance.

Inline Teasers_Page_4

Finally, the quality of the conversation improved and I was able to have some respectful conversations with people at the table. Then, it started going south again, so I excused myself, worked my way out of the booth and went looking for my friend I had seen earlier. We visited for quite a while until she had to go to the restroom.

At that point, I looked back at the booth at which I had started the evening – there was only one person sitting at the booth, so I went over to visit with him. It turns out that he is a “player” and has slept with a significant number of the women in the group (he was happy to brag). He started hitting on me.

Now, given the evening, one would think I would be disgusted and just walk away. Nope – my mood had gone way south and I found myself slipping back into that self-disrespecting mode that is so familiar to me. I matched his disgusting conversation, word for word. It was a familiar (even comfortable, to some extent) space for me – the dance that precedes one-night stands. It felt good to be getting some attention, even if it was attention that anyone with boobs could get.

During the course of our conversation, he informed me that he regularly hosts “swinger” parties and invited me to join in. When I indicated that I was getting tired and was thinking about going home (I had managed to be social for a whole 90 minutes), he asked if I wanted company for the night. I declined. He offered to walk me to my car – I agreed – I even considered letting him kiss me – just because it has been so long since a guy has shown interest in me. But, by the time we got to the car, my level of disgust with the whole scenario had returned to the forefront and I didn’t want to be touched. I gave him a polite brush-off.

On the drive home, I hit the depth of my nosedive. I so desperately wanted to stop somewhere and get a drink, or stop at a store and pick up some ice cream – just anything to get numb. But, I didn’t. I just kept driving towards home. When I got home, I flossed/brushed my teeth, washed my face and climbed into bed. I am amazed – I got myself home safely – I didn’t drink, I didn’t binge eat, I didn’t get sexual with anyone (at least not physically) – despite feeling like shit in my heart and head – I took care of myself. I am amazed.

When I looked in the mirror, en route to bed, to say my daily “I love you”, it felt real to me for the first time. I did what I did (getting myself home safely) because I love me. Wow.

On a side note, I am realizing that I may not be ready to tackle social situations yet (outside of professional ones).

– Marie

Quotes 055


  1. A great achievement! Well done!

    Btw – it is those kinds of ‘healers’ who give healing a bad name.

    • Thank you for the recognition, Evan!

      I appreciate you being such a regular reader and commenter! It’s nice to see your smiling face!

      – Marie

  2. Wow, Marie, this is really a great experience you had.

    When I read this, I cannot help but think this is a step forward in your healing. What a wonderful step it was!

    I know you will not always be able to do this, but that night you did. And this is something to be terribly proud of.


    • Thank you, Paul –

      I agree with you about this night being an important step forward in my healing!

      I like the point you make in your last paragraph . . . I find my own black & white thinking tries to tell me that there is no value in a single incident of taking care of myself (like this event) unless I am making it a regular habit to take care of myself — that one isolated success will be cancelled out (made worthless) by a greater number of non-successes.

      I find it critical to give myself credit when I do have even “small” successes . . because I have to work so hard for each “small” success, I deserve “big” credit every time.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      – Marie

  3. I am so proud (and relieved)!

    As I read this I found myself worrying that you went home with the guy. I was chanting to myself, “No! You have more respect for yourself than that!”

    I am so glad you made the right choices! So very wonderful! At this point – I love you, too!

    • Hey, Ivory –

      I so value your continued support and kind words . . . it warms my heart that you were worrying about me!

      It was a victorious night, to be sure!

      Thanks, again!
      – Marie

  4. Hello Marie,

    I found your blog through Evan’s post recommendation. Your honesty humbles me, and I just want to say you’re some woman for writing about your experiences in such vivid detail.

    In case it helps, I find myself flirting against my better judgment sometimes, just that I never wrote about it like you did. Keep up this wonderful blog you’re writing!

    • Hi, Daphne –

      I am honored that Evan mentioned my blog in his latest post ( and I am glad you came over to visit!

      Thank you for your kind words — I hope to see you again in the future!

      – Marie

  5. Marie,
    I know I haven’t commented in a while, just needed you to know your story is fascinating.

    This post is amazing, what a Strong Woman you are!
    Take Care,

    • Thank you, Vicki! I appreciate your continuing to read and comment — it is good to hear from you!

      – Marie

  6. Each success is worthwhile regardless of how you measure it. You deserve validation for the steps you took to look after yourself. Way to go!

  7. Thank you, lostinamaze!

    I appreciate that you gave me credit!

    – Marie

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