Posted by: Marie | September 24, 2011

(591) A picture is worth . . . Part 1 of 5

Post #591
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, March 16, 2011]

Edward and I had a therapy session today . . .

For the past few days, I’ve been rolling around in my mind the idea that it is no longer necessary for me to prepare for sessions. I want to believe that I don’t have to – that Edward has it all under control. I want to believe that, when we reach the point that we’ve covered all the obvious/urgent issues and are deciding which less urgent issue to discuss, Edward will say something like, “I’d like to spend some time on issue XYZ, if that is okay with you.”

But, part of me is so sure that he isn’t willing to put the time and effort required for preparing to be that proactive in the session. Part of me is so sure he can’t be bothered . . . that he is really no different than most men in my life . . .

I know he has shown up for me in awesome ways over and over . . . but there is this small part of me that can’t believe he will continue being that awesome . . . that, at some point, the “real” version of Edward will show up and I’ll be disappointed.

I guess time will tell . . . one way or the other.

Today, we started our time together with the usual routine . . . he met me in the lobby and we walked up the stairs together . . . he stopped for a comfort break while I settled into my comfort zone in his office . . . he came in a few minutes later and settled into his chair . . .


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

Me: Actually, I’m feeling far more settled than I was a week ago when I sent my status report. During the two weeks following our last session, my emotions were all over the place. The body memories that we stirred up last time were playing havoc on me. But, this week, things have settled down quite a bit.

Edward: Well, good!

Me: And, I didn’t prepare for today’s session – it was nice to not have to worry about that responsibility.

Edward: How does it feel to show up to a session where you don’t have to be in charge of planning what is going to happen?

Me: (After a thoughtful pause) I feel valued for just being here, for just being me . . . rather than for how well I perform.

Edward: Do you feel you mostly have been valued for your performance throughout your life?

Me: Yeah . . . and, if I don’t perform well, I’m a disappointment and a waste of time and energy.

Edward: And how does that make you feel?

Me: It makes me feel anxious . . . because I always have to be “on”, I can never relax and just be . . . or, if I do relax and “do nothing”, I’m afraid someone will see me and think I’m a slacker . . . that I’m lazy.

Edward: So, people who have been important to you have required that you show up a particular way?

Me: Well, yeah.

Edward: What happens if you don’t show up in that particular way?

Me: They don’t want to have anything to do with me . . . well, first, they punish me in an attempt to shame me into performing better. Then, when that doesn’t work, they give up on me and leave.

Edward: So, you’ve not been given the space to show up in your natural state . . ??

Me: No . . . but, I don’t really even know what my natural state looks like . . . I don’t know how to show up naturally . . .

Edward: (After thoughtfully watching me for a minute) In what ways do you feel you have been required to show up for other people?


At first, my thoughts went to the requirements placed upon me by my dad, by my ex-husband, by the various men I’ve dated . . . how I was required to be hard-working, organized, always in a good mood, sexy, domestic, healthy, always ready and eager for wild and crazy sex, financially responsible, well-groomed, moral, religious, independent . . .

Then, I started digging a bit deeper and trying to identify what I experience when I am “performing” – after all, it’s not about the specific requirements that have been placed on me. Rather, it is about what I experience when I’m trying to live up to those requirements, whatever they may be.

I purposefully moved myself into a place of remembering such experiences. I could feel a distinct separation between my soul and the part of me I put “out there” for people to see. I could feel my spirit energy held in reserve while a sanitized, perfected version of myself poured out through a portal in the top of my head and spread out into the physical world.

As this image took shape in my mind, I realized the image was very similar to a drawing I had tucked in my therapy notebook . . . I reached into my therapy bag and pulled out my three-ring binder . . . flipped through the pockets until I found the drawing . . . pulled it out and held it up for Edward to see . . .


Me: I can better answer that with a drawing I made several months ago . . .

One night, in the middle of the night when I was in a half-asleep state, I could easily feel how I organize my spirit, mind and body in relation to each other at times when I feel disconnected from my body – like when I dissociate. So, I turned on the light and drew the picture so I’d have it captured in case I might need it later. This is that drawing – it’s what happens inside of me when I go into that “little girl” space where I lose my adult voice and vocabulary.

(I paused for a moment while I looked over the picture and recalled the meaning of all the details. Then . . . )

Me: Well, I guess this picture is really the opposite of what I’m picturing today . . . the image I got today was where I hold my spirit and body back while I put out a façade of my body for people to see – when I’m proactive about putting myself “out there” on a day-to-day basis.

This old drawing is what happens when I’m forced out of my body when my body is experiencing abuse. My body stays behind while my spirit leaves.

When I look at this old drawing, something is confusing to me. I’m thinking about my voice . . . how I often lose access to my voice during some of the work we do when I’m reliving the abuse . . . I wonder why I would have no voice in those times – see, I wrote “I have no voice” in the spirit part of the drawing . . . it seems my voice should be able to travel with my spirit even if my body stays behind . . . hmmmm . . . I don’t understand that . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. That’s a very vivid drawing.

    I’m hoping Edward has kept showing up for you since this session.

    • Hey, Evan –

      Isn’t it interesting the clarity that comes in the middle of the night? When I drew that picture, I was half-asleep but the image was vivid.

      Thanks for the positive wishes!

      – Marie

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