Posted by: Marie | July 12, 2010

(354) We speak the truth

Post #354
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, February 7, 2010]

Today, my friend, David, gave me some great food for thought concerning my post on the struggle to hold my parents responsible for the physical abuse they inflicted upon me:

Maybe the conflict for me comes from not knowing what it means to “hold them responsible”

I think it can mean many many things. I think one of the most important things it means is to correctly identify where your defining beliefs and wounds came from. Because, like all abused children, you arrive in adulthood thinking they were the inevitable result of your inherent badness. And that’s not the case at all.

The reason to identify the ways in which parents contribute to our defining wounds is *not* to blame them, although once those things are clearly identified, there will be present-day anger to work through. The reason is more along these lines:

Let’s say that during your childhood, your parents told you the earth was flat. You became so deeply convinced of this that other people didn’t bother to contradict it. Suddenly, in adulthood, you are confronted by someone who proves to you, with empirical evidence, that the earth is round. You are horrified and embarrassed that you thought the earth was flat all these years. You have two choices: you can decide it’s your fault that you thought the earth was flat, or you can correctly identify the source of the misinformation, and know it’s not your fault, and not really about anything you did.

You wouldn’t be blaming your parents for telling you the earth was flat — clearly, that must have been what they thought, for whatever reason — but you would be recognizing that your view on the world was shaped by them, and that it’s not correct.

That’s what we do in therapy as adults. I arrived in adulthood with the belief that bad things will happen to punish me if I am happy. This is clearly a nonsensical belief, since I know plenty of people who are happy and who don’t get punished. But in looking back through my life, I see that the reason I think this is because my father actually did this to me … he managed to break and soil everything that made me happy. And I could go on about the probable reasons why he did this, but that doesn’t matter; it doesn’t matter whether he did it out of hate, or out of misguided love.

What matters is that I am able to see he is the source and origin of this belief which stops and hurts me in my adult life. I cannot begin to work on letting go of that belief until I know where it came from and why it is incorrect.


I’m not exactly sure what happened in my “meltdown” a couple of days ago . . . but, I have experienced a clear shift in how I am showing up in the world. A quiet tornado has started intensifying inside of me. For whatever reason, this shift has caused to me to start speaking my whole truth.

I like it.

Yesterday I wrote out everything I have needed to say to Mark – two years worth of squashed words.

I refuse to hold back my truth with him anymore. He is going to hear everything I need to say.

Photo by Martin Chen

He probably won’t like it, but that is not my problem.

Looking back, I can see that I refrain from telling my truth . . . I just hold it in, hidden under my poker face – Mark was right about my poker face.

I think my “holding it all in” is doing great damage to me and to my relationships.

So, that has changed.

I wrote “everything” down in a script format. I’m going to read it to Mark at our next session.

Today, I sent the script to my best friend, Melodie, to have her do a “gut check” on it . . . to see if she thinks I am still heading in the right direction. She doesn’t like Mark one iota, so I figured she’d be tickled to see that I’m really laying it on the line with him . . .

Here is what she wrote in response:

Hey, Lady –

I always have time for you…

I agree with what you have written. It is important that Mark, as the therapist, listens to what you are saying without judgment or interjecting his own beliefs. The session is about you and how you are going to strive to heal yourself with his help and above all helping you feel safe.

However, it is equally important that, when this boundary is established, you also listen to Mark.

I love you, but sometimes you react to something you do not like by pushing people away because the subject is uncomfortable for you. That is part of you protecting yourself.

In order for Mark to help you, you may have to listen to things that are uncomfortable and deal with it one issue at a time. Dealing with a whole bunch of issues at the same time will not accomplish anything except make you and Mark frustrated.

If, after all of this, the two of you still cannot work together towards a common goal, then I really believe that you need to find a therapist who will – because it is not helping you.

I know that we had a good laugh about using the big cards: “Here’s your sign”. But all kidding aside, maybe using the cards to refocus when Mark gets sidetracked may go a long ways to helping. I would see how Mark feels about.

I Love You and only want what is best for you; I hope you know that.

Go ahead and call me to yell at me if you need me because I will always be here for you.

Love you


  1. I do hope we get to see the script, or at least part of it. :-)

    I love the idea of therapist cue cards. That would really have helped me with my therapist, and she was great … but I still would get “locked” and unable to say what I really needed to say.

    • Hey, David –

      You’re in luck! Yes, I will post the script . . . it’s coming . . . it’s very L-O-N-G . . . five parts worth!

      My friend, Melodie, is a big fan of Bill Engvall . . . I guess it says something when my best friend thinks I need to keep a sign handy for my therapist, LOL. The good news is that she wasn’t thinking of just the “I’m stupid” sign, she had other ones in mind . . . LOL. Nevertheless, she made me laugh at a time I was really mad at Mark!

      – Marie

  2. I think I need some signs for my clients, with explicit instructions about what exactly they can do with the sign, and where they can put it for maximum impact.

  3. I’m really looking forward to hearing how the session went.

    I think the stuff on responsibility from David puts it very well.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I appreciate your continued interest! Thanks for sharing your thoughts . . .

      – Marie

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