Posted by: Marie | October 21, 2011

(605) Hitting back – Part 1 of 5

Post #605
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, April 27, 2011]

Today was therapy session day . . .

As usual, Edward began by asking how I am doing . . .


Me: I’ve been very busy this week! A week ago, my former boss at the bus barn called and asked if I could help him out during the last month of the school year because several people resigned recently and he didn’t have enough employees to get the buses out the door – he was pretty desperate. He can’t really hire someone this late in the year . . .

I told him I could work 75% of the shifts . . . I had to rearrange my teaching schedule a bit, but I can make it work. He was really appreciative.

Photo by Martin Chen

But, it has created a really tough schedule for me. I’m already dragging a bit. My studio’s big spring recital is this weekend, so I’ll be glad when that is done. That will take some of the pressure off!

Edward: Are you able to take care of yourself with such a busy schedule?

Me: Not very well . . . but, I wasn’t really taking care of myself before I went back to working at the bus barn. Going back hasn’t impacted that either way.

Edward: Ah . . .

Maybe there will come a point in time when you feel confident enough in your teaching career that you can let go of the bus driving option.

Me: Well, I think it makes sense to keep it around as an option . . . it’s not inconceivable that the economy could tank again and I could be looking for a little extra income. The bus driving schedule works well with the piano teaching, at least when I don’t have so many students. I think I don’t want to burn that bridge!

Edward: Would you be burning that bridge if you said something like, “I appreciate the offer but I won’t be available to drive this year” . . . ??

Me: I don’t think my boss would be mad . . . I mean, I think he would be glad to hire me back if I needed him to and if he had an opening. It’s more about being available for the annual training and testing for a week each fall so that my licenses and certificates are kept current. That way, it would be easy for me to step back into the job.

Edward: What would happen if you declined to attend that annual training?

Me: Other people who do have kept their licenses and certificates current would be given preferential consideration if and when a position came open. It would take away my safety net. I think it would be an irresponsible move. It makes sense to me to keep that safety net in place.

Edward: Could you consider the possibility that keeping a single focus in your employment – and having faith in your ability to generate sufficient income through that single focus – might be healthier than being divided in your focus?

Me: I guess I’ve never seen having a single focus – or more specifically, a single revenue stream as a responsible and healthy option. I suppose that is a possibility. I’ll have to think about that some more.

Edward: I’m not saying that it is the healthiest option for you . . . I’m just throwing out some possibilities for you to consider.

Me: I can see what you are saying . . .

I guess I’ve been thinking about this from a place of fear . . . a fear of not having enough. So, I can see where I could consider it from a place of strength. I’ll have to think about it some more.

(Thoughtful pause . . . )

Me: And on a different topic, I’ve been having some fun with the composition I wrote after waking up from some nightmares . . . I think I wrote about it in the status report for the previous session . . . I don’t know if you remember me writing about it . . .

Edward: I do remember . . . I haven’t listened to it yet, but I remember you writing about it. Tell me about the fun you’ve been having with it . . .

Me: My most advance student is going to play a simpler version of it for a competition in a couple of weeks. And, I’ve been working up a full-blown version of it for myself. I’ve gotten a really cool introduction developed, but I haven’t created an ending yet, at least not one beyond the simple one I created for my student. I have some ideas, but my version of it isn’t finished yet.

Edward: Maybe it doesn’t need to be finished . . . maybe it is complete just as is it.

Me: Is that another possibility you are throwing out for me to consider?

Edward: (Grinning) Yes.

Me: (Also grinning) Okay, got it!

Edward: I remember from your last email that you’ve been processing some feelings about the hug we shared in the last session.

Me: Yeah . . .

Edward: Tell me some more about that . . .

Me: The hug felt really good to me. It was a big step for me to initiate a hug . . . and it felt really good. Then, as I was driving home, I started feeling fearful that I’m now going to be obligated to always hug you – that, now that we’ve “gone there”, there is no turning back.

I know that’s not true, of course. It’s just residue left from my days of promiscuity where I felt I had no right to set boundaries . . . and that once I gave a man access to my body, I was obligated to always give that man access per his wishes.

Edward: I hear you saying that it is important to you be in control of whether we hug or not.

Me: Yes, that is correct. However, of course you have the right to decline a hug . . . you aren’t ever obligated to hug me!

Edward: Thank you for giving me the space to decline a hug. I really appreciate that. However, I can’t remember a time I’ve ever declined a hug. I always welcome hugs.

Me: That’s good to know . . . thank you for that reassurance.

Edward: May I propose that we leave the ball in your court. If you would like a hug, you can initiate one . . . ?? If not, no problem.

Me: That sounds good.

Edward: Let me ask you something . . . sometimes I have a sense that a client has a need or a desire for a hug but is hesitant to ask for one for whatever reason. If that were the case in one of your sessions, would it be okay for me to invite you to share a hug? That invitation would be an encouragement to do something and not any kind of pressure to do something.

Me: I would be okay with that because I am very clear it would be okay for me to decline in that case, if I chose to.

Edward: You absolutely would have that option. I’m glad that feels okay to you.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. That seems like a really nice way of negotiating a boundary around touch.

    • It felt good to me . . . full of possibility without pressure . . .

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