Posted by: Marie | September 5, 2011

(588) Rollercoasters and puzzles – Part 1 of 3

Post #588
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, March 10, 2011]

Well, apparently I’m still on the rollercoaster.

One piece of the last therapy session keeps rolling around in my head . . . the part where I half-seriously asked Edward if we could pretend my dad never existed . . .

I wonder what it would feel like to be a parent – a parent who believes he did the best he could do in raising his children – and to hear your child say something like that.

I can imagine it would rip your heart out.

I almost feel bad for saying it.

But, it must be something I think/believe/feel at a deep level . . . it rolled off my tongue so easily . . . I didn’t think about it before I said it, it just popped out of my mouth.

I guess that says something about the trauma that he inflicted on me through physical abuse.

Shame on him.


I’ve been having a very rough time processing all the body memories that are coming up for me as a result of the last therapy session. I’ve continued having flashbacks to the physical abuse. At night, I jerk awake with the feeling I’m being hit with the belt or that I’m about to be hit . . . during the day, I get slammed with waves of terror for no apparent reason . . . then I hyperventilate or cry or pray to die . . . it’s making it rather tough to function.

Photo by Martin Chen

But, I am doing better than I was a couple of weeks ago – right after the session. That’s when I posted a blog post in which I advised people I might not be posting as often because I was dealing with all of this stuff.

I’m feeling quite a bit better now . . . well, more stabilized, at least. I’m starting to function more normally. I published a blog post yesterday to that effect . . . I’m hoping I’ll stay in this more stabilized place for a while. I’m really behind – my piano studio is continuing to grow and I really need to be on top of my game. In yesterday’s blog post, I said that my posting would still be slow because I needed to catch up on my to-do list.

Speaking of my piano studio . . . some really cool stuff is happening there . . . stuff that makes me feel good.

The day before my last therapy session, I bought a new digital piano. I’ve so enjoyed having the new piano . . . and I’ve discovered that it is very beneficial to have two pianos in the studio. Several times, when students have been struggling with some passage of music, I’ve jumped onto the second piano and played along with them. It has worked like a dream . . . I have the two pianos back-to-back so the students and I can look across the music stands at each other.

So . . . I’ve decided . . . I’m not going to sell the old piano. Because it has a slight buzz, I probably couldn’t get more than $200-300 for it. For that amount, I’ll just keep it. Plus, it will give me a piano that I can haul to other venues. The new piano is much bulkier and heavier, and I don’t want to subject it to travel . . . I want to keep it in very good condition. So, the old piano will be my travel piano.

Plus, I’ve discovered that when I have two or more siblings taking back-to-back lessons, one of the siblings can play the old piano with earphones while I’m teaching the other sibling. This allows the kids to have a whole 30-minute block of time to play with all the fun voices and drum kits and recorded songs . . . as opposed to the two minutes I usually give them at the end of random lessons . . . which is not enough time to really investigate all that the piano can do. So, my students are LOVING this new arrangement!


I don’t know if it is because I’ve been so emotionally raw these past few weeks, but I’ve been more emotionally connected with my students lately. One female student – a 14-year-old – has a great ear for music and she has been learning to play by ear. She picks out pieces she knows and adds her own bass accompaniment – oh, and, she composes music all the time . . . music pops into her brain, she develops it for a few weeks, then she moves onto something new. I am really enjoying working with her because she seems to be taking a musical path similar to mine. I see a lot of myself in her.

Anyway . . . she was so excited when she came in for her lesson last week . . . she had a new composition worked up . . .

She played it for me . . . and as she was playing, she was absolutely absorbed in creating the music. The gentle music flowed out of her fingertips like satin ribbon being laid onto silk. She swayed back and forth, and hummed along . . . seeing her be one with the music of her soul moved my soul. I sat back in my chair and quietly let the tears roll down my face.

When she finished, then turned to see my reaction, she was surprised to see my tears. I tried to explain . . . but when I tried to talk, I got even more emotional . . . I finally got a few words out that let her know her music had touched my soul and that I was okay . . . just deeply touched.

Maybe she had never known her music was that powerful . . . well, actually, it wasn’t really her music . . .

I mean, the piece she created was not a masterpiece of theory and her technique is pretty run-of-the-mill . . . it wasn’t her piece of music that moved me, it was her. It was her being so connected with her creativity . . . it was her being so powerfully and naturally expressive. It was her being her in all her perfect human-ness.

How lucky am I . . . ?? Amazingly lucky – and so blessed to have such incredible students.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Great to hear the teaching is going so well.

    • Thanks, Evan!

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