Posted by: Marie | June 16, 2010

(336) Bits and pieces

Post #336
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, January 24, 2010]

I had a dream last night about a whole bunch of cats on a farm. They were being kept in cages.

I discovered them and realized it was my job to take care of them – this is a recurrent theme in my dreams. Usually, in my dreams, the animals I find are in sad shape . . . usually dying . . . because I failed to do my job. I have learned that the animals show up in sad shape when I am not taking care of myself in real life . . . and they show up in a healthy state when I am caring for myself well.

In this dream, the animals were in great shape – they had been taken care of well and then something happened to their previous caretaker . . . it had only been about a day since they last received care.

So, they were just a little hungry and a little thirsty, but very healthy.

Some of the cage lids/walls had been knocked over and were lying on the cats, but they weren’t hurt, they just needed to have the lids/walls lifted off them. One tiny black kitten kept following me around and meowing this huge meow because she wanted me to hold her . . .

I did hold her and she purred and purred and purred. It was a feel-good dream – a very nice way to wake up.


I have a new 12-year-old student – I’ve given her two lessons so far – who is in her second year of lessons. She is also playing violin in the school orchestra (which she loves).

Sun Moon Lake by Martin Chen

The agreement between her and her mother is . . . in order to continue with violin, she has to continue piano lessons (which she is not so excited about). She doesn’t have a bad attitude (as in, she’s not rude), but I’ve noticed that she is anything but excited during our lessons.

So, I talked to her mom about it . . . the daughter really wants to play keyboard for the high school jazz band in a couple of years from now. The normal piano lesson curriculum I’m using with her doesn’t go in that direction, so I’m going to incorporate some of my own jazz-related material in her lessons in the hope of piquing her passion.

The only problem . . . I don’t have a clue how to play jazz – much less teach it – or develop the material for teaching it. But, that has never stopped me before, LOL . . . so, I ordered two books on jazz – an “Idiots” book and “Dummies” book.

Surely it won’t take me long to figure it out . . . I may even learn to like it! (I like some jazz, it’s just not my favorite genre.)


Today, I read and responded to a comment submitted to my blog by Evan.

A while back, my therapist, Mark, suggested to me that I might do well to not tell “everything” about myself in the early stages of potentially emotionally intimate relationships. However, retarding my natural tendency to disclose “who I am” feels inauthentic to me. It has been suggested that my tendency to be “emotionally promiscuous” comes as a result of my history. I’m not sure I agree.

In response to my pondering, Evan suggested that I consider if I feel nourished after such a disclosure (or not), and if the disclosure seems to be flowing from my core or if I have to push myself to share.

I like his suggestions . . . they are very relevant and valuable to me in addressing this situation.


  1. The dream sounds like progress (I always give myself credit for positive dreams) and it seems like you are in a good place right now. You so deserve that.

    Hey, I just realized today that this week marks the 4-year anniversary of THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. I’m hosting it Friday at my own blog. Have a post to submit? Would love to have you join us for the anniversary edition! Thanks!

    • Hey, Marj –

      Thank you for the kind words! I appreciate the pat on the back!

      I appreciate the invite for the blog carnival . . . I’ll decline . . . but I’m glad you got the word out via your comment!

      – Marie

  2. Thanks, glad what I have to say is helpful.

    • You’re welcome!

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I read your ENTIRE blog from start to finish over the last few days. It’s important work you’re doing. Very important.

    My niece is ten (almost eleven) and she has a very difficult home life. Her mother is bipolar and mentally cruel. Her biological father left when she was very young and she has absolutely no contact with him. My brother is her adoptive father. They have two other very young children and the home is a very poor environment.

    We also believe that my niece has been abused sexually based on a lot of clues but nothing definitive. She is keeping a secret and refuses to tell anyone what the secret is, although from time to time she drops “hints.”

    Anyway, a lot of her issues are confusing. She can be very aggressive and have violent outbursts from time to time.

    Reading your blog really helped me to understand how the abuse may have created some of these bodily issues that make her want to destroy things or act out at times. The way you described it sounded JUST like the way she gets…

    She also has a lot of difficulty expressing any emotion or admitting to having feelings. The way you described your inability to talk or emote reminded me of her, and helped me understand better why she might have these difficulties.

    Just wanted to let you know that this blog of yours had a huge impact on me personally, and I think it will really help me to relate to and understand my niece better.

    I wish you luck on your journey. It seems you have made a huge amount of progress and that your “internal” compass is spot on!



    • Hi, Aaron –

      Wow! What an undertaking! Thank you for investing that kind of time and effort in understanding my story.

      I truly hope what you learned from my story will help you help your niece. Most importantly . . . I urge you to get involved. Please, please, please do whatever you can to protect her.

      When I was growing up, three and four decades ago, no one knew what to watch for. No one knew how to protect kids like me. No one was even thinking that there was a possibility this thing could be happening to me. People thought it was “normal”.

      It is different today — but, not different enough. Chances are very good that something is happening with your niece. There are things you can do . . . you can speak with the leadership at her school . . . if you are seeing signs, then probably her teachers are too. But, sometimes, there is not evidence to justify taking action. If you added your input, it might be enough to cause something to happen.

      Yes, there is a good chance your familial relationship will be destroyed. But, can you live with doing nothing and finding out later that your niece will have to spend the rest of her life trying to rebuild who she is?

      Please . . . take action. Please. Please.

      You can contact me via email ( and I will work with you to figure out a way to help her. I have contacts. I will help you.

      – Marie

  4. Hey Marie,

    I have taken action already, but the suspected abuse is in the past, as far as I know. I can’t be sure who the abuser is, but our suspicions tell us this person is no longer in the vicinity.

    There is NO evidence that warrants us stepping in and taking further action than we have at this time.

    I spoke with social workers, therapists, friends who are guidance counselors to get opinions, etc.

    My wife and I took her in for about 2 weeks at one point, which proved very difficult due to my brother and his wife’s behavior…it’s been hellish.

    The issue is that since my niece will not tell anyone what has happened (she also has a therapist and psychiatrist…I even sent her current therapist a long and detailed email about her situation), there is not a lot anyone can do.

    There is nothing right now but suspicion about the past. What I do know about the current situation is that the mother is mentally ill and home is a very sad environment. But it’s not anything that we can take action on yet…

    My hope is that soon my brother will take action and get the kids safely away from the mother, but it’s a process and not at all simple.

    My family is trying to talk with my brother in ways that he can hear, and trying to stay close to the situation to monitor and make sure we know the temperature of the situation.

    I do appreciate your concern and offer to help, and you have helped, by talking about your situation. Believe me, I am going to protect her, we are already doing so–and if anything concrete arises, anything at all–we will act definitively.

  5. Anyway, just to clarify…my initial post made it sound like I was just trying to “relate” better to my niece. Yes, we are trying to understand her…but I left out a huge amount of detail about the situation and all of my family’s involvement because of the complications. I have done and will continue to protect this girl, and me and my wife are committed to that. As well as others in my family. So she is not alone, and never will be.

    • Hi, Aaron –

      Thank you so much for the additional information . . . it does sound like you are doing everything you can. Let me thank you for that . . . it will make a difference.

      She will have to find her own healing path, in her own time. It sounds like, when she is ready, she will have you to turn to for help.

      Bless you for doing everything you can for her.

      – Marie

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