Posted by: Marie | November 3, 2010

(436) My deepest expressions

Post #436
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, May 2, 2010]

Today was a very big day for me.

I held the first recital exclusively for my students.

Fourteen students performed and they all did wonderfully! The little ones were cute, the older ones were impressive . . . it was awesome. I am so proud of them! Everything went off without a hitch.

Photo by Martin Chen

Five of the fourteen have developmental issues such as autism, Asperger’s, dyslexia, cochlear implants, etc. I spoke to some of the parents at the end and they all said they had no idea there were developmental issues with any of my students. They all performed “normally”. That is so cool!

My mom and her best friend attended, as did my housemates and my Hispanic friend who lives here in town. There were about 48 people in attendance – quite a roomful!

My brother and his partner didn’t show up, nor did Mark. I didn’t hear anything from them about coming or not coming, they just didn’t show. No big surprise there. Such is life.

At the end of the recital, I performed the piece I composed – which is the first complete piece I’ve ever composed. I was still arranging it last night, and I was still polishing it this morning. But, I was able to play with without a mistake at the recital. I think it turned out really well. Here is a recording of my piece . . . it is titled “The View from Here”. And, by the way, the violin/cello parts were done with my fancy dancy new digital piano . . . I love that piano!

Yesterday, as I was putting the final touches on the arrangement of my piece, most of my focus was on the closing section. When I played the ending through entirely for the first time, I was suddenly and profoundly moved on a spiritual/emotional level. The ending so perfectly captured what I have been feeling during these past few months. I simply laid my head down on the keyboard and sobbed.

The ending touched me even at the recital . . . as I finished performing my piece, I was fighting back tears.

I guess I’m becoming an extraordinarily emotional person . . . or maybe I have always been emotional and I’m just now learning how to express it . . . and that ain’t so bad.

And in other news . . .

In my work with Edward, I often find myself trying to tell my story in very accurate, concise, linear, comprehensive, factual terms. Part of this is because I believe I have a very limited window of opportunity in which to share my story with him. I believe he is only going to listen to it once and he is only going to listen for a short amount of time, so I had better say what I need to say quickly and I had better make sure I’m saying everything I want to say the first time around because I won’t get a second shot.

I find myself sitting compliantly in our sessions, waiting for Edward to invite me to talk about certain parts of my story. I am afraid if I say I want to talk about a particular part of my story – especially if we have already spent time on that part of my story – he will think I’m stuck on being a victim and not willing to move forward. I believe he thinks we should cover each part only once and then move onward – that talking about it once should be enough for me to get over it and move on.

I also believe he will discount the validity of what I say if I express too much emotion or if I’m too dramatic in my storytelling.

Additionally, I am afraid that, once I do tell him my story, his reaction will indicate to me it was not really as bad as it seemed to be to me. That would be an indication I’m over-reacting and nothing bad really did happen – it was all in my imagination.

I want for him to horrified. I need for him to be horrified. But, what if he has already seen and heard so many ugly stories that mine has no impact on him? What if my story pales in comparison to all the other stories he has already heard – will he still be shocked and horrified at mine?

Sometimes the readers of my blog express horror and shock at my story. Sometimes they express anger at the people who caused my trauma.

Sometimes the emotions expressed by those readers are stronger than the emotions I feel. In that case, I am grateful for their words because they are expressing emotion on my behalf before I am capable of expressing it – or even feeling it – myself.

I can only hope I will receive the same type of support from Edward. From what I have seen of his work so far, I think that is a real possibility. I have been making a point of challenging and shifting these inhibiting beliefs so I can stay open to the possibility Edward will be supportive and will provide the validation I need.

Darlene Ouimet over at Emerging from Broken recently published a post titled, “My Therapist Winced When I Told Him . . .“, on this subject. She describes how her healing began in earnest when she found a therapist who consistently expressed strong emotions about what had happened to her – even to the point of being moved to tears. Darlene says the validation provided by those responses allowed her to validate her own pain. As a result, she was able to move through the pain and begin healing.

I am holding onto the hope I have found the same possibilities in my relationship with Edward.


  1. Hi Marie, Congratulations on the recital. I’ll have a listen to your piece.

    From what you have described of Edward’s past reactions it sounds likely that he will be emotionally responsive.

    • Thank you, Evan!

      About Edwards responses . . . I have been surprised over and over at how much I am affect — how much my ability to make progress in therapy — by the ways Edward does and does not respond. It has a huge impact!

      Thanks for listening to my piece!

      – Marie

  2. I have many of the same thoughts and feelings about my therapy. I feel like my therapist thinks if I’ve talked about something during a session, then that it is it, it should now be resolved. I don’t feel comfortable bringing it up again because he will think I am making such a big deal out of something that first of all isn’t a huge issue and second of all we’ve already covered so why haven’t I gotten over it? And it doesn’t help that he never goes back to previous things I’ve talked about, so I think he isn’t even interested. But my psychiatrist said I should continue to bring these things up, that is what therapy is, talking about the same little (or big) things over and over. I told him this and he says he agrees, but he doesn’t seem to provide any encouragement for me to do so.

    Good luck with your therapy, it sounds like your therapist is very empathetic.

    • Hi, Harriet –

      I wish more therapists would read our blog posts and comments about this . . . it might help them become better therapists if they had a clue what we are thinking and feeling and not saying . . .

      Great input! Thank you!

      – Marie

  3. I just have to tell you that your piano piece is absolutely beautiful! You are very talented. I loved it.

    And I must say that I agree that therapists need to be reading more people’s blogs to help them better understand what is really going on. I have to admit though, that sometimes I freak out when my therapist shows too much emotion when I am not ready to feel anything myself.

    • Hi, Annelisa –

      Thank you for the kind words about my composition . . . it came from a deep part of my soul!

      I think sometimes it is good for us to see our therapists react with emotion about our situation because it opens up the possibility it is “okay” for us to also feel and express emotion.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      – Marie

  4. That is one very intense piece of music Marie.

    • Thank you, Evan . . . when people hear it, they often describe it as “intensely emotional”. It definately came from my soul and not so much my head.

  5. Oops, forgot to tick the box to get notified of comments.

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