Posted by: Marie | October 14, 2011

(602) Contrasting emotions

Post #602
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, April 10, 2011]

I had an email exchange with Edward today:

Hi, Edward –

I just wanted to check in with you sooner rather than later (as I promised I would) . . .

After the initial rush of emotions settled down in the hours after our session this week, I found myself feeling lighter in my spirit. And, the feeling has stayed with me in the days since.

So, unlike the last several sessions, I didn’t get hit with the shell-shocked, not-sure-if-I’m-gonna-make-it-through-this feeling. And, that is very nice!

Thanks for being an awesome therapist . . . every time I get to feeling that things are hopeless, you find a way to encourage me to take a few more steps. I greatly value that about you.

– Marie


Dear Marie,

Thanks for the follow up.

I’m delighted to read you’re experiencing a sense of lightness. You certainly deserve the relief.

And you’re most welcome for the therapeutic support – it’s my pleasure to be here with you in this journey to wholeness.



[Private journal entry written on Tuesday, April 12, 2011]

I have a piano student who is significantly more advanced than the majority of my students. He has been preparing two contrasting Bach inventions for a piano competition scheduled for May 7th. I learned yesterday, upon submitting his registration form, that he has to have two pieces from two different time periods.

Photo by Martin Chen

I raised a stink about it . . . that is not in the written rules . . . but my protests were squashed and I was told that he must follow that unwritten rule or he would be disqualified. And, I had to get his registration form turned in yesterday with the new second piece listed on it . . . or he would be disqualified for late registration . . .

During the afternoon, while he was still in school, I frantically dug through the music I have in my personal library to find a piece from a different era that he could get prepared in less than a month. I didn’t find anything.

Then, it dawned on me that he could play the piece I had composed – clearly, my era is different from Bach’s era! I knew that, if my composition was too difficult for him, I could par it down as far as he needed it pared down.

I ran the idea past my student and he agreed. (I’m sure getting my mileage out of this composition, LOL!) So, I stayed up most of the night and created a simpler arrangement. Oh, and, I put an ending on it. I emailed the music to my student early this morning so he could get going on it right away.


[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, April 13, 2011]

This morning, my mom and I, along with my friend, Maria, had breakfast and then went to a piano duet concert given by two local piano teachers. They performed pieces from all over the world. I really enjoyed myself and I think my mom and Maria did, too. It was nice to have a relaxed, social morning.


In the week since the last therapy session, I have been rolling around in my head what “using my adult voice to stand up to my dad” might look like. I have no idea what I would say if I were to do that.

I have been hoping Edward would set the parameters around what that “should” look like. But now, I realize that Edward can’t give me those parameters. I have to come up with them myself.

Maybe I can come up with those parameters by identifying what I fear. Whenever I open my mouth to direct my words at a imaginary manifestation of my dad, terror overwhelms me.

What am I fearing? What exactly causes terror in my soul?

I’ve already written a letter to my dad in which I “confronted” him with a description of what he did to me. I even read it out loud to Edward. That was scary, but doable.

Why would speaking those words to a manifestation of my dad be so different from reading them out loud from a prepared script to a third party?

Are there words I need to say that weren’t included in the written letter?

What am I so afraid of?


I’ve also been pondering Edward’s comment towards the end of the session in which he stated my dad wasn’t a good man. That has been sticking in my craw.

I’m surprised he said that. I think my dad was a good man . . . misguided, yes . . . damaged, yes . . . desperate to produce “good” children, yes . . . but still a good man with a good heart. I don’t understand why Edward would say that about him.

The only possible reason I can come up with is that he wants me to stop keeping my dad up on a pedestal . . . where I see my dad as “perfect” and myself as “bad” and “broken”. I guess I’ll have to ask him about it.


[Private journal entry written on Sunday, April 17, 2011]

My local music teachers association had our big, annual “Achievement Day” yesterday. We rent out a wing of the music department of the local university and bring in professional musicians and music educators from the area to work one-on-one with our students.

This year, we had about 135 students participate from about 20 music studios. Fifteen of my student participated. The kids each performed 2-3 pieces of music (some memorized), then theory tests and ear training tests and dancing and singing and scale demonstrations and chord demonstrations, sight reading demonstrations . . . and we had maybe 40 art pieces and/or reports and/or music compositions displayed all around the big room. Whew! It was fun!

It was a huge day . . . so much work to get it set up. We set up everything on Friday evening, ran evaluations from 8:30am to 4:45pm on Saturday, then tore down on Saturday evening. I personally hauled about 400 pounds of stuff (food stuff, water, microwave, hot plates, teapots, art projects, music books, computer, etc.) to the university in my car, put it on a hand truck that I borrowed from my studio’s landlady, set everything up, then tore it down and hauled it back home.

This morning, I noticed my muscles were hollering! I had a hard time getting moving! But, it was worth it! What a fun day!

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