Posted by: Marie | August 14, 2011

(575) In search of hope – Part 1 of 6

Post #575
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, February 2, 2011]

I am amazed how quickly time has passed – I can hardly believe it is already time for another therapy session. Those three weeks went incredibly fast.

I thought I would be able to pull back my throttle a bit at the start of the new year because I would no longer be working at the bus barn. Well, that has not been the case.

I mean, it is true that I’m no longer working at the bus barn. But, the number of piano students has jumped from 32 to 42 in the last three weeks. I guess people were waiting to get through the holiday season before starting lessons. That seems like a good idea . . . but it is keeping me hopping!

It is so cool to have all that business – and income. And, the days are flying by in a blur! Even with the emotional upset I have been experiencing, time is passing quickly.

So, this morning, I jumped into my car and made the 25-minute trip to Edward’s office. He met me in the lobby and walked with me up the stairs . . . as usual, he swung by the restroom while I settled in on his couch . . . then he joined me in his office and we got down to business . . .


Edward: It is really good to see you! How are you doing?

Me: I’m actually doing pretty well today. This is the first chance I’ve had in about four days to catch my breath . . . my mom had cataract surgery two days ago so I took her to that appointment and stayed with her for the 24 hours following. I’m glad to do it . . . but, it was challenging to fit that into my newly and dramatically increased teaching load. So, my schedule has been rather crazy.

Last Wednesday, when I sent you my status report, I was still feeling like I was trying to catch my breath after our last session. I was still feeling like I was really pushing through stuff. And, today, I’m finally feeling like I have come out on the other side . . . like, well, forgive the baseness of my example . . . a bowel movement that was hard to get out and that has finally come out – I’m experiencing that kind of a sense of relief.

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: Well, good! I’m glad to hear that! When did things shift for you?

Me: I don’t think I can pinpoint a moment . . . I was so busy, so focused, too busy to feel . . . then, this morning, as I was sitting quietly in the moments before our session – before you came in, I realized that the sense of “pushing” is gone and that I’m feeling relief. So, this is the first I’ve really been aware of it. But, I think that relief arrived several days ago, I just hadn’t taken the time to acknowledge it.

Edward: I read in your email that the last session really stirred things up for you.

Me: Yeah . . . it felt like I had the breath knocked out of me. I was surprised by that . . . I mean, we didn’t talk about that much, we only read one sentence out of that script I wrote for Mark, but it was enough to set me back hard on my heals.

I don’t understand that . . . I thought I had gotten to a good place with the stuff with my dad . . . why did it all come back so hard in the last session?

Edward: Do you have any ideas? Any guesses?

Me: Well, I have a guess . . . I think it is because we have been focusing on what happened . . . events that an outsider looking in might see. And, I think this last session we got to the part of the story about the effect it all has had on me . . . the part an outsider looking in wouldn’t be able to see – the hidden damage.

Edward: That sounds like a very good guess . . .

Would you like for me to tell you what I think the answer to your question might be?

Me: Sure! Of course!

Edward: It has been my experience that the healing process is much like peeling an onion. Every time we reach a solid place in our healing, something happens that triggers pain that has been stored at a deeper layer. Once released, that pain comes to the surface with a fresh vengeance.

When that happens, it often can feel like we aren’t making any progress – in fact, that we might actually be moving backward. But, let me assure you that you are moving forward. You have been releasing deeper layers of pain. It can feel really terrible as you go through it, but it is a beneficial and healing experience.

Does that make sense?

Me: Yeah, it does. I’d never thought about it that way. Thanks for the insight . . .

Edward: You’re very welcome! And, welcome to the onion!!

(We both laughed)

Me: (After a pause) Can I address something that happened in the last session?

Edward: Sure!

Me: I lost some time in the last session – as in, I dissociated. It wasn’t that much time . . . but a little bit.

It doesn’t freak me out now as much as it did the first time it happened because we’ve talked about it and I understand it is nothing to freak out about. Nevertheless, it still is a pretty disconcerting experience for me.

(I tried to not allow myself to get emotional when I said that, but my voice started quivering and my eyes got teary despite my best efforts to remain unaffected.)

Edward: In what way is it disconcerting?

Me: It scares me still . . . I don’t why. I mean, it’s not like I’m even aware it is happening until all the sudden I look at the clock and realize that more time has passed than I was aware of – that 25 minutes have passed and I thought it had been like seven or 10.

Edward: Are you afraid that bad stuff is happening during the time you don’t remember?

Me: No . . . I know I’m safe in here . . . and I’m quite sure I’m not running around crazy naked or anything. I’m sure I’m just sitting here zoned out. I don’t know why it scares me . . .

(I sat quietly for a moment and finally allowed the emotion to take over while I tried to figure out the answers to his questions.)

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Great to hear the business got busier.

    I’m looking forward to hearing your answer to the question.

    • Hey, Evan –

      Sometimes I have a hard time answering his questions . . . but I think having the answers, per se, is not as important as the simple act of learning how to check in with myself.

      Thank you for your interest!


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