Posted by: Marie | January 5, 2011

(482) Thoughtful reflections

Post #482
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, August 12, 2010]

I had an email exchange with my therapist today in preparation for our upcoming session:

Hi, Edward –

First, I want to thank you BIG TIME for this last session . . .

I was absolutely amazed at the sensation I experienced in the moments after I pulled the blanket out of my bag and struggled with what to do next. In those moments, I felt like I had space to “just be” . . . no expectations, no roles to play, no judgments, no pressure to perform . . . it felt like you had cleared a space for me in which I could find peace and acceptance. It was breathtaking.

Photo by Martin Chen

Do you know how, when something shows up in your life that you have desired “forever”, you have to go back to the place where that thing is sitting and keep looking at it . . . to make sure it is real, to make sure it still is there? That is how I am feeling about those moments with you.

Did I really feel that free? Was it just my imagination or did I feel whole and intact as I was in relationship with you?

Yup . . . it was very real. And very awesome. It has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me.

I realize I have been in search of that experience for a lifetime. It is the experience I have been searching for as I’ve slept around, flirted inappropriately, silently hoped to be “seen” by men . . . and now I have found that experience . . . and I didn’t have to flirt or take off my clothes or give myself away.

What a concept.

So . . . that was a biggie for me. Thank you.

Also . . . concerning the conversation we had about my parents being partly ignorant about what they were doing and being partly aware about what they were doing . . .

That conversation was very helpful for me. It validated both my compassion and my anger. I have been waffling between those two emotions, trying to figure out which one is “right”. You helped me see that both are appropriate. That settled a lot of angst for me.

So . . . anyway . . . while I don’t have much to write, the stuff that happened for me was all major. I am very pleased!

See you next week!

– Marie

* * *

Dear Marie,

Thanks for the report.

I actually had a few free minutes and read it over. I wanted to both thank you for the kind words, and to share:

You are most welcome!



There is something that keeps coming up for me as I reflect on the work Edward and I have been doing pertaining to the methods of punishment my parents used in my childhood . . .

Yes, there were some really ugly instances of violence and there was plenty of inappropriate guilt- and shame-generating use of psychology and religion. It may have been harmful to me in many ways. Yet, my childhood home was always there. I always had a place to live and food to eat and clothes to wear and a warm bed for sleeping. My childhood home was consistent. I had a pretty good idea of what was there.

I believe that consistency is what gave me the tools to survive the bad parts while still becoming a contributing member of society. That has to count for something.


Today, I happened across a couple of excellent posts written by Paul at Mind Parts. One of the posts, titled Trauma and Sexuality, was published about a year ago. The second one, Sex Injury: Past and Present, was published a couple of days ago.

Both posts address possible issues that might be experienced by a survivor of childhood sexual abuse concerning the current condition of his or her present-day sexuality. For example, the posts discuss what thoughts and behaviors might or might not cause arousal and what happens when those thoughts or behaviors are considered “deviant” by most standards. The posts also examine in what ways a person’s sexuality might be expressed or suppressed in a hyper or hypo manner. Another example of an issue the posts discuss is the difficulty a survivor might have in attempting to discuss the abuse within the context of therapy.

I am dealing with all of the issues I listed above. Paul’s posts have given me some food for thought . . . and, some much needed encouragement.


I learned today that my sister’s one-year-old puppy named Charlie (the one I visited last summer in Washington state), disappeared a few days ago. They live in a remote area surrounded by natural woods. The woods are filled with all kinds of wild creatures. My sister and her husband are quite certain Charlie was dinner for some wild creature because he was last seen down by the creek, digging a hole in the thick underbrush . . . then, there was a ruckus . . . and no more puppy.

So, that is sad news – he was quite the dog.

This has been a tough summer for the dogs who belong within my circle of friends!


  1. Security is a big need for us I think. In some ways more important than happiness (especially for children). So a secure home is a big thing I think.

    This is not to excuse abuse. It is a way of saying that neglect and a random environment where a child’s needs aren’t considered are also forms of abuse.

    I’m glad you like Paul’s blog too. I find it both insightful and brave.

    • Hey, Evan –

      Yes, security is important . . even as adults. I think a stable home environment can mitigate some of the damage that is done by abusive behavior of the parents . . . and, as you said, it doesn’t make the abuse that occurs less terrible.

      – Marie

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