Posted by: Marie | August 26, 2011

(583) What else can I conclude?

Post #583
[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, February 22, 2011]

Well, I went shopping today. I bought a new digital keyboard for my studio.

The one I’ve been using has developed a slight buzz – it rattles the speakers a bit whenever someone plays the G above Middle C. That note gets played a lot, so I hear the buzz daily.

It’s not a huge buzz, but it is enough that my students stop playing and ask, “What was that?” It’s not very professional to have a piano that buzzes.

Photo by Martin Chen

I bought my first keyboard used – it already had some miles on it when I got it, and I’ve hauled it all over the place to do concerts at various venues. It is no wonder that it developed a buzz.

Also, it only has one pedal and it is an off/on pedal. It’s either full off or full on, there is no way one can use a half-pedal effect. So, I don’t have a way to teach the half-pedal technique and I don’t have a way to teach the use of the other two pedals.

So, it was time to buy an upgraded keyboard (which is still cheaper than an acoustic piano). That’s what I did today. I paid cash . . . I used the $100 my mom gave me for Christmas/birthday two+ months ago plus money I’ve been saving up.

Now I can teach without worrying about the buzz, and I can teach the full functionality of all three pedals . . .

I’ve spent a good part of the day assembling the piano. For now, I’ve put it back-to-back with my first keyboard . . . I’ll need to sell my first keyboard soon, but for now, they can sit back-to-back in my studio. I’m very excited about having this new piano!!!!

And, in other news . . .

I have a therapy session tomorrow. I’m feeling tremendous turmoil about it. I’m in a really bad place and I’m trying to find the words to explain to Edward what is happening inside of me. Here a draft of what I’m thinking of saying . . . maybe I’ll just read it to him in the session:

I’ve been thinking about today a lot in the last few weeks. I anticipate that you’ll ask me to reiterate and to further explain the conclusions contained in my last email. I’ll struggle to do that . . . and then you’ll tell me that you disagree with my conclusions.

And what can I say in response to that . . ?? Of course you are right about all of it. You are right to have all kinds of hope for what is possible for me.

I do have hope that someday I’ll reach a point in my healing where the few hours of joyful activities I insert into the daytime outweigh the hours of desperate despair that fill my nighttime. I do have hope that someday it will be easier to get out of bed and put on my clothes.

But, I don’t have hope that I’ll ever participate in the type of relationships you say are needed in order for me to move beyond a marginal experience into one full of love and joy.

I want to have hope for those types of relationships, but I don’t. I wish I could wave my hand and change it. But, I can’t. Having hope – feeding it, tending it – just to have it dashed time after time proved too painful to tolerate. I gave up on hope a long time ago and allowed that part of me to die.

I’ve have delayed exposing to you the depth of my despair, but I guess we are to the point that I can delay no more. I can’t dance around it anymore. And, now, I have to face the consequences of allowing you to see . . .

You speak of relationships where acceptance is not earned; it is freely given without expectation. That sounds really nice. But, in my world, there are no relationships with unconditional acceptance. There are always conditions – there are always standards that have to met in order for the relationship to continue.

For example, when I have cohabitated with guys, I have required that they help with the domestic chores. In turn, they have required that I stay sexy and available and willing – and that I be cheerful and upbeat about it. Well, in those cases, the guys have never helped with the domestic chores and I have always ended up in a deep depression – just a stinky lump curled up in the bed, too exhausted to deal with trying to get the guys to carry their share of the load and too exhausted to deal with the shame of failing to meet their expectations. In order to survive, I make sure the relationships end, either by the guys’ choice or mine.

There is always a standard . . . and there is always a never-ending test to determine if I’m meeting the standard or not. And, at some point, I always fail the test. Then, I have to leave – or wait to be pushed out. It is easy for me to know when I’ve failed – the other person’s body language is so easy to read. So, I usually leave because I can’t tolerate the waiting to be pushed out.

Well . . . let me qualify that . . . there is always a test in relationships with people. I think there are no tests in relationships with animals and maybe with God. But, with people, there is always a test and I am guaranteed to fail at some point – it’s just a matter of time. At any given moment, I have a handful of people who are upset with me for not meeting expectations.

And, I fear that here, with you, the standard for your clients is that they have at least a little hope, or at least the willingness to hope – that is what I have surmised from our last session and our last email exchange.

I fear my lack of hope causes me to be a hopeless case. After all, what good to a therapist is a client who has no hope – and who has no hope of finding hope and no willingness to try finding it? But, that is the point at which I am now.

And now you know.

So, what else can I conclude except it is time for me to leave . . ??


  1. I guess I think that it is for those without hope that therapists are in business.

    I’ll be interested to hear how the session went – you are certainly dealing with core stuff

    • Hey, Evan –

      You do make a great point . . . if I had it all figured out, there wouldn’t be a reason to do business with him!

      – Marie

  2. It’s kind of funny Marie that you turn this around, the idea that if you have no hope, and have despair, you are not ‘suitable’ for therapy! I’ve never heard anyone say that….usually that is a criteria for going to therapy….You are especially in need of what Edward has to offer.

    I’m pretty sure you have sought out the wrong type of man. They just don’t sound nice at all. Doesn’t mean it’s your fault. There may be another kind out there after all. Not that I am a good role model in this, but theoretically, that’s what I believe.

    Interesting that you’re trying to communicate more with Edward by email. I find that helpful also, and sometimes I find it can focus or deepen a session, if I’ve talked about something difficult by email, then I can’t avoid it during the session itself.

    • Hey, Ellen –

      I guess I feel the need to be even a “perfect” client!! It’s almost funny, isn’t it??

      Actually, about communicating more by email with Edward . . . I am doing that more now, but at this point in the story, I still would only allow myself to send one email between sessions — the one a week prior to give him a feel for where I’m at with things. The letter here is one I didn’t send — I was just thinking out loud.

      I think you are correct about making poor choices in men . . . I’m still working on understanding how to better in that area . . . and the story continues, LOL . . .

      I guess it’s a good thing there is so much to work on in therapy . . . what else would I do with my blog?? LOL

      – Marie

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