Posted by: Marie | August 27, 2012

(698) And now I’m changing my mind – Part 3 of 5

Post #698
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Edward: How is your current healing journey not about who you are in the present?

(I made a face and shrugged my shoulders to grudgingly indicate he had a point.)

Me: I just don’t know how to do “this” . . .

Edward: “This” what? What don’t you know how to do?

Me: I don’t know how to not perform . . . I don’t know how to be real. How does one “be real”? What do you do when you are being real? What do you talk about?

On the Walk by Martin Chen

Edward: It isn’t about doing; it is about being.

Me: I know that . . . but, what does that mean? If I would like to “be real” with someone, how do I do that? Do you just sit, stare at each other and say nothing . . . do nothing?

Are there certain things I should talk about – or things I shouldn’t talk about? Is it okay to talk about the weather or is that superficial? Do I only talk about the things that are weighing heavily on my mind – which, by the way, is mostly the therapy stuff? Is that what I talk about?

If so . . . well, that ought to make me really good company . . . always crying, always talking about the pain, always talking about the depression and how I feel I can barely function most days . . . yeah, everyone’s going to be lining up to be friends with me!

When it is not appropriate to talk about my therapeutic journey – which is most of the time – and after I’ve already shared my music . . . what else is there to share about myself? That’s all there is to me right now . . . music and therapy. That’s all I have to share when I’m sharing the “real me.”

There is more to me than just music and therapy . . . although, I don’t know what that would be . . .

(I paused to allow the emotion to rise up and spill over . . . Edward just sat quietly and watched me intently . . . )

Me: Maybe that is all I am right now . . . music and therapy . . . maybe that is all I am . . .

(I stopped talking and the tears flowed freely. Unsure of what to do with my body, I messed with the bottle cap and stared at Edward’s bookcase. Several minutes of silence passed. Finally, Edward quietly broke the silence . . . )

Edward: Marie, there are a lot of unspoken words here . . . I’m feeling anger sometimes . . . and sadness . . . mixed together . . . but I haven’t yet heard what’s behind those emotions . . .

Me: (After a thoughtful pause . . . ) I guess I’m angry that I don’t know how to do “this” . . . to be with people. I don’t understand how to do this relationship stuff.

(We sat silently, he continued watching me, I continued avoiding eye contact by looking around and around the room, messing with my water bottle . . . tears continued running down my face . . . I tried to figure out what to say, tried to make sense of what I was experiencing . . . finally, I shrugged . . . )

Me: I just don’t know . . . I don’t know about any of this . . .

Edward: There is a lot behind your “I don’t know” . . .

(After waiting in vain for me to respond) Can you tell me about the anger?

(I still didn’t respond or even make eye contact)

Edward: Are you angry with me and afraid to tell me?

Me: No, I’m not angry with you. I don’t really know what I’m angry about. I guess I’m angry at the overall situation . . . or maybe at God or at fate . . . I’m just angry about the whole situation.

I’m angry that I don’t know how to have emotionally connected relationships with men.

Edward: I think you have taken a huge step in the direction of learning how to connect emotionally with men by taking the brave step you took with James. You have started paving a way for a connection with him . . . it sounds like that connection has already begun.

Me: Maybe not.

Edward: What do you mean, “Maybe not”?

Me: I think he wants to keep it very professional. I don’t think he wants to have anything to do with me beyond a teacher-student relationship . . . and maybe not even that much.

Edward: I don’t understand . . . I thought you had a very connected moment with him at his lesson a couple of weeks ago . . . has something changed?

Me: He was very distant and disconnected at this week’s lesson.

Edward: Didn’t you say his daughter was with him this week and that it wouldn’t be appropriate for the two of you to discuss what’s going on with you in front of his daughter?

Me: Yes . . . but he didn’t touch me at all . . . and he has been touching me at previous lessons, even when his daughter was in the room. And, he was very formal this week . . . serious . . . distant . . . really disconnected.

Edward: Do you think it is possible he was just trying to figure out how to interact with you in a way that wouldn’t make you uncomfortable . . . maybe he was just being careful and respectful until he has an opportunity to verbally negotiate a new way of interacting with you?

Me: No . . . there was something in his body language . . . he has disengaged . . . he is pulling away from me.

Edward: Tell me more about that . . .

Me: I know that body language . . . I’ve seen it a thousand times . . . I went too far and now he doesn’t want to be around me. I know what comes next . . . he is going to leave . . . I’ve seen it a thousand times . . . I know for sure what is going to happen . . . he is going to leave.

Edward: It is true that there is a possibility he is in the process of leaving . . .

What would it be like for you if he stayed? What would it be like if he stays and remains emotionally available to you?

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Wow, this is meaty material. I’m eager to read about the rest of the session. I’ve found that it is really tough to find people who truly want to connect emotionally, especially at my age (late 30’s). Seems that most people are pretty fearful of emotional intimacy. However, I’m not as brave as you are and rarely even hint that I’ve got ‘a story’. I realize this was written 10 months ago, but I’m thinking that there are lots of pieces of you that can be shared that weren’t evident to you at the time of this session, like things that you value or that make a deep impact on you … such as the treatment of children, or the arts, or the environment and nature and hiking, etc. When I read your blog, you seem to care deeply about quite a few issues that could definitely make for fulfilling conversation. And when in doubt, ask the other person to talk about their story — most people don’t ask and/or don’t listen to the answer. If you ask the right person, they may share and then ask you to share.

    Best of luck with this endeavor. I’m working on some similar issues and no piece of it is easy. Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

    • Hey, Jo –

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It sounds like you have done quite a bit of traveling in your own healing journey!

      I’m curious . . . do you think you will find fewer or more people willing to connect emotionally as you and others of your age group age? In other words, do you think it will be easier or harder to find such people as you age?

      Something I’m learning as I go along this journey is that everyone has a story . . . and, when I share my story, more often than not, people will share their own story. It seems people are waiting for someone to make the first move. I’m getting braver about making the first move, and therefore, I making more connections.

      I hope to hear from you again!

      – Marie

      • This is an incredibly delayed response, but I never forgot about it! To answer your question, I’m not sure if will be easier or more difficult to find people to connect with as I age (and they age). I do have a sense that right now, many in my age group are busy raising children and working and just trying to get through the day. So maybe as children grow older, they will have a little more time for new relationships. Or maybe not. What is your sense?

        I think I’m starting to realize that I may be looking for connections in the wrong groups of people. And that when I do find someone I connect with, I still have trouble opening up as much as I would like. I honestly don’t know what holds me back. Maybe I need to talk to Edward! :-)

        Hope all is going well for you. Again, thank you so much for sharing yourself with your readers.

        • Hey, Jo –

          Thanks for coming back to the conversation!

          I’m finding that, as I get older, my age group tends to consist of people who are commited to ongoing emotional development, healing, growth, etc. and also to people who are content to stay where they are emotionally. I’m finding there are few people in the middle ground.

          Anyway . . . I hope you stop by again!

          – Marie

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