Posted by: Marie | October 12, 2011

(600) Brave new frontiers – Part 2 of 3

Post #600
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Me: I think I’m done talking about what my dad – well, what both parents – did to me.

Edward: What do you mean?

Me: I mean, I’ve talked about it, I’ve written about it . . . and it seems the emotional charge around it has been released. When we first started talking about it, I got all emotional every time it came up. But, now, I feel like, “Yeah, it happened, let’s move on.”

Photo by Martin Chen

Edward: So, do I hear you saying that those emotional injuries are healed?

Me: I don’t think the healing is complete. I’m just saying that I don’t think we need to sit here and talk on and on and on about the stuff my dad did to me. He did it, I survived, it’s over, let’s move on to bigger and better things.

Edward: I see.

(I could see from his body language that he was totally disagreeing with me. He sat quietly, gazing again . . . I just sat there, returning his gaze for a second or two before having to look away . . . waiting for him to make the next move . . . )

Edward: Would it be accurate to say that your healing has progressed to a place where you are ready to say what you need to say in a conversation with your dad?

Me: (Tearing up . . . ) Well, no . . . I’m not really ready to do THAT yet, I just don’t feel the need to keep rehashing all the details of what happened.

Edward: How is one different from the other?

Me: Well, rehashing what happened is about what happened then. Having a powerful conversation with my dad is about my present-day choices and behaviors. That is what I mean by moving forward . . . I want to address how my current thoughts and emotions and behaviors are being limited now . . . I want to learn a better way. But I don’t need to keep retelling the story of what happened historically.

Edward: Ah! Now I understand. Thank you for clarifying the difference. That helps me know where you are at with things.


We stopped talking again . . . for several minutes, I sat and pondered what it would take for me to get to the place where I could have a conversation with my dad. I tried remembering how many sessions we have worked on getting me to that place. How many weeks – months – has it been? Yet, I still feel as paralyzed and filled with terror at the idea of saying those words to an imaginary manifestation of my dad. It’s not getting any better . . .

The very familiar sense of hopelessness rolled into my spirit like a dense fog. I was keenly aware of the weight of the reminder that I’m forever and irreparably broken. It’s never going to get better . . . I’m never going to be able to move beyond this paralysis . . .

As a few tears rolled down my cheeks, I could feel myself pulling my energy away from Edward and back into myself. I no longer wanted to engage with him at this level . . . it is too painful. It doesn’t make sense for me to keep wasting his time and my money on something that is never going to change.


Edward: Marie, you look sad. Where did you go? Where are you?

(He sat waiting for me to say something . . . but I didn’t)

Edward: Please let me be there with you. I want to be in that place with you, wherever it is.

Me: (Finally . . . ) I feel hopeless.

Edward: Hopeless? How did you go from feeling strong and powerful at the start of the session to feeling hopeless? What happened?

Me: I am angry that I’m hitting up against this wall again.

Edward: What wall?

Me: The wall of feeling like it’s never going to get any better. It doesn’t feel like I’m any closer to being able to have that conversation with my dad despite months of therapy. The trauma is getting processed, but I’m not getting any closer being “healed”.

Edward: Marie, it is true that you haven’t yet been able to have that conversation with your dad. And, it is true that a huge part of your healing will be the act of moving out from under the weight and control of your dad’s demands, and standing up for yourself – and using your adult voice to do so.

However, getting ready for that conversation is a process – and the process is not an easy or quick one, I might add. You aren’t ready yet, but it sounds like you are getting ready . . . think about the flashbacks and dreams you’ve been having. Something is shifting . . . you are shifting into a position of readiness. But, it takes time. You have to give yourself time.

Me: Yeah, I guess you are right about that.

I have this idea floating around in my head about what this therapy process would look like . . . that I’d go to therapy on a regular basis and, after a while, I’d process enough of the trauma that my soul would feel a bit lighter. With a lighter soul, I’d maybe be a bit keener on the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. I figured that, at some point, the anxiety might lessen a bit which means I might pick at my face a bit less and I might eat a bit less ice cream.

By eating a tad bit less, I might have a little more energy and might actually get to the gym to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Then, I might lose a few pounds, which would give me even more energy, which means I might actually take showers on a regular basis. I might even do more than the minimum with my hair and my outfits. I might even start feeling less like a slob.

But, none of that is happening. I’m still binge eating almost every day, I still pick at my face every day and I still have trouble sleeping. I still only do the minimum when it comes to my appearance. I take showers only when not doing so would cause my body odor to be too offensive to others.

It’s not getting any better. I don’t think it’s going to get better.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Hi Marie. I do understand that you feel some things aren’t changing. If I read it right Edward thinks that some other things have changed for you. I hope this is the case.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I think I’ve been looking for outward changes and Edward is watching for more subtle, inner changes . . . I like to see tangible results . . . so, still a struggle for me . . . but, I don’t know how else to get tangible results except to go through the really slow process of changing on the inside first. (Sigh!)

      – Marie

      • Yes the inner changes can be slow. Maybe you and Edward could come up with a way of tracking them. We can miss them because we do things like think “Oh well, I’m just feeling OK” and miss how this is an improvement on how we used to feel miserable a lot. You may already do this.

        • I sort of do track that . . . more with being aware of how many days/weeks have passed since I’ve wished I would die in my sleep . . . I guess because that is my most uncomfortable symptom . . .

          I think actually tracking the improvements could be a very valuable tool . . . thanks for the idea!

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