Posted by: Marie | May 4, 2011

(537) Joy and fear and other fun stuff

Post #537
[Private journal entry written on Friday, November 12, 2010]

In thinking back on this week’s therapy session, I have been pondering the exchange between Edward and I concerning how I might feel if we didn’t have a plan in place for our next session . . .

On the surface, it might look like Edward is encouraging me to be wasteful with our session time. Indeed, that is the thought that crossed my mind when he first started down that path. However, I have come to the conclusion that is not the case. I believe he wants me to be consciously aware of my motivations, especially when it comes to performance-oriented behaviors.

I have a long history of being motivated primarily by the fear of appearing to be “not enough”. Much of my behavior has been driven by my attempts to win the approval of my dad (or whatever alpha male is presently in my life). I think Edward is instead trying to teach me to be motivated by healthier internally-focused intentions like health and well-being.

Photo by Martin Chen

And, something else about the session . . . I didn’t cry at all during this session and I feel good about that – not because I want to avoid crying, but because I am relieved to find myself feeling “finished” with the stuff pertaining to my parents (at least for the most part). I have been concerned that the reason it is taking me so long to process this stuff is possibly because I might be subconsciously malingering. But, I feel that is not the case because I didn’t feel emotionally overwhelmed with the remembering in the last session. The lack of tears and the lack of strong emotion are proof to myself that I am not malingering – and that is good.


We had our first snow of the season yesterday. It only amounted to a tad more than a skiff; but nevertheless, it was snow and it turned the grass white for a few hours. I’m so glad to see the snow . . . I love the warm weather but I’m always tickled to experience the changing of seasons because the change always feels like nature’s “reset” button has been pressed.


I bought some really cool software yesterday. It is music composing/writing software. You bring up blank staff paper in one window, and a piano keyboard in another window . . . you “play” the notes on the keyboard with your mouse and the music appears on the paper. Then, you can go back and fine tune what you have written with all kinds of articulations.

The really cool thing is that the software will play the music real-time. It will play whatever instruments you have selected and included in the score . . . piano, trumpets, wordless voices, drums . . . so, you don’t have to go learn how to play it on the real piano in order to see if you like what you have written. Instead, you can have the synthesizer play it back and tweak it on the spot. COOL!!!

Furthermore, it will interface with my piano (digital keyboard) through a MIDI interface, so I can have my piano play what I have written or I can play the piano and have the software capture what I have played.

SO DARN AWESOME!!!!! The students are gonna love working with this new toy!


And, finally . . . an update on my friend Larry . . .

This afternoon, Larry told me “thanks, but no thanks” with regards to my invitation to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. He said that his ex-girlfriend invited him to her house and he wanted to accept her invitation instead of mine because he is thinking there is a chance they might get back together.

He told me more about his relationship with this gal . . . how she has treated him pretty badly but that she has promised to not be like that anymore . . . hmmmmm. He has previously told me about how his wife treated him very badly, as well . . . and, assuming he is telling truthful stories about both women, it seems he is willing to allow women to treat him badly and to take advantage of his willingness to support them financially.

I want to be careful about with whom I am creating significant relationships. I want to make sure I select people who are committed to being as healthy as possible on all levels and who are psychologically “awake”. I’m starting to think that maybe he is not someone who fits that bill . . .

Furthermore, I recently invited him to join a group of us for a piano recital given by the music professors from the local university scheduled for this weekend. He declined that invitation and is not showing any inclination to initiate a get-together. Maybe I’ll just back off of this possibility – he can extend an invitation to me if he cares to do so. Otherwise, I’m done trying to initiate a relationship with him.


  1. i rarely go into therapy with a topic planned out. sometimes something has happened to trigger me between sessions and i want to talk about it, and sometimes i have a disturbing dream i want to share. but mostly we see what arises organically. it requires a lot of trust to work this way. it’s very intense work, as i have to be willing to go deep, very quickly, without censoring myself so that we can have a good and fruitful conversation (it’s so different than having “prepared” something, or doing “homework” ahead of time). this way of working is good for me. it would never occur to me that not having something in place for a session is being wasteful. i am lucky enough to be able to see my therapist twice a week, so i think i don’t have the pressure you have to make the most of your limited time. it’s too bad you can’t see him more often. p.s. glad to hear you are committed to surrounding yourself with worthy people. p.p.s. i would never consider you a malingerer. you are a very brave woman.

    • Hi, Catherine –

      Isn’t it funny . . . how different we are in what we fear and what comes easily to us . . . it seems I could take lessons from you on how to not prepare so much for my sessions!

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement . . . I think all of us who are fighting for a better existance are brave!

      – Marie

  2. I think one theory is if the client plans what they’re going to talk about in therapy, then things they are resisting or not aware of can’t emerge as easily. Don’t know it that’s Edward’s rationale, but it’s something to consider. Of course in your case, you come prepared with very troubling and damaging memories that you need to talk about, so not sure if this applies or not.

    Too bad about Larry – I was wondering about him, being a romantic. It could be that thanksgiving with family was too much for a beginning relationship? But I agree after two tries, the ball would be in his court in terms of getting together. Sigh. Too bad. Take care

    • Oooo . . . you make a great point, Ellen! If I’m all “prepared”, I don’t have to pay so much attention to what is coming up for me in the moment! (Of course, that’s not such a great thing!)

      Yeah . . . too bad about Larry . . . but, there is this little voice inside of me that whispers, “Well, what did you expect? Why should this time be any different?” That’s the little voice that needs to go to therapy with me!

      Thank you for your input!

      – Marie

  3. Hi Marie, sounds like you are going great guns in therapy. Letting go of those plans I think will be a big thing.

    What is the name of that software? I have a friend who writes music and I think that is the kind of thing he is looking for.

    Sounds like Larry might have some stuff to work through.

    • Hey, Evan –

      The software is Sibelius and it costs $139US or $99US for students. I’ve been able to do some really cool stuff with it!

      I have continued to do some great work in therapy with Edward . . . and I am beginning to understand how my fear of looking unprepared has ruled my entire life. It is a relief to start letting go of the need to be so well prepared!

      Thanks for your continued support!
      – Marie

  4. Thanks

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