Posted by: Marie | September 1, 2012

(702) Letting things stand as they are

Post #702
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, October 6, 2011]

Well, I’m feeling a bit better today.

All the stuff I wrote in my journal last night still applies. I still have the same “fuck it all” attitude. I still have no hope for having a “better” life.

On the other hand, I’m feeling a huge sense of relief because I no longer am squashed under the weight of trying to be enough to be worthy of a romantic partner.

Maybe this upset is a good thing. Maybe it is a good thing to let go of the performing. Maybe learning to not perform could be a step forward in my healing.


A couple of therapy sessions ago, Edward acknowledged that it would be a risk for me to say something to James about touch. At the time, I was okay with the risk. But then, as it seemed the consequences of taking that risk were going to be costly, I regretted taking that risk. It seemed the end of a friendship with his entire family and I hated having to face that possibility.

But, I had an email exchange with James today about a lesson of his with which I had a scheduling conflict. When I asked if he could reschedule, I was sure he would take it as an “easy way out” of our professional relationship. I was very sure he would say he wanted to just skip the lesson . . . then, he would find a reason to skip the next one . . . and that would be the beginning of the end.

That didn’t happen . . .

James said he was happy to reschedule, especially since I often reschedule on behalf of their family’s crazy schedule. He gave me every reason to believe he intends to continue taking lessons for the foreseeable future.

Skyline Drive in Taiwan by Martin Chen

I was pleasantly surprised . . . and my doom and gloom attitude lifted a bit . . . maybe not everything is so hopeless. Maybe it is possible for me to show up authentically and not chase away the quality men in my life.

Also, James and his daughter stopped by the studio this evening . . .

A couple of days ago, his daughter lost her favorite stuffed animal behind one of my pianos at the studio . . . but none of us knew that at the time. Later that day, Cindy called to see if I happen to have found it . . . I hadn’t at that point, but today, I found it and called her immediately with the news.

She said she was at work and that James had their daughter . . . Cindy said she would call James and let him know . . . she was sure he would drop everything and come right over to get the stuffed toy . . . it was that important.

Cindy called James, and he and Sara did come right over. I was so blown away that they would take Sara’s concerns so seriously . . . I know my parents would have not gone out of their way to retrieve a toy I had lost track of . . . and they would have used it as an opportunity to teach me the pain of not acting responsibly.

James had a conversation with Sara about how important it is to keep track of one’s belongings in a responsible way. He treated the situation as a teaching moment, not as a shaming one. And, he simultaneously demonstrated to Sara that her pain from the loss of her favorite toy is valid and important and worthy of attention and care.

I had to think about it for a while . . . I wondered if they were teaching her she is not accountable for her actions . . . but then, I realized that teaching a child a life lesson does not necessarily involve inflicting the most pain possible. That’s when I really started appreciating the quality of Cindy and James’ parenting skills.

Cindy recently told me that Sara has been expressing some extraordinary phobias in the past few months. They decided the best way to deal with it is to provide an extra strong sense of security . . . to consistently demonstrate to her that they love and accept her . . . to validate her fears and assure her that she is protected and safe. I think that is one of the reasons they treated the situation with the stuffed animal the way they did.

So . . . bottom line . . . any man who is takes such care with his eight-year-daughter’s feelings surely can be trusted to stick around when I make a habit of showing up authentically in a lesson.

And, James was very warm, playful and friendly when they stopped by. He genuinely seemed glad to see me. If he were trying to pull away from me, he wouldn’t have been so relaxed and friendly.

I’m feeling better about the chances he will stick around – but, I’m still thinking he only wants a professional relationship . . . I’m quite sure I shouldn’t take things further and share my story with him. I’ll let things stand as they do right now. I’m not willing to take on more risk within that relationship.


  1. It sounds like taking the risk worked out well. I hope to hear more of how the relationship goes.

    • You will hear more, I promise! It has become a significant component in my healing journey . . .

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