Posted by: Marie | September 25, 2012

(717) That’s why I cry

Post #717
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, October 30, 2011]

It’s the end of a busy day . . . I’m sitting on my bed, relaxing and reflecting . . .

I’ve been an emotional mess for the past month or so. I get teary-eyed at the drop of a hat – mostly “good” emotions, though . . .

I think my emotions are coming to the surface more because of the risks I’ve been taking within the context of relationships with men – and because of the fears and hurt that are coming up as a result of my taking risks. Some of my emotions have been painful, but by feeling the painful emotions, I’m starting to work through them a bit.

The Flower by Martin Chen

This morning, I stopped by one of our local churches to see one of my students perform a piano piece in the service. A couple of weeks ago, the student’s mom invited me to stop by for the service. I took down the information and said I would check my schedule. I didn’t commit either way.

It worked out this morning that I had some open time and was able to stop by for the first 30-40 minutes of the service. The church is only about four blocks from my house, so it was easy to buzz over there.

I walked into the church and made my way over to the family. The mom looked so shocked to see me – she said she never dreamed I would actually show up. I told her that it was an important event – a big milestone – this is her daughter’s first solo performance at church – the first of many, I’m sure. The mom expressed her gratitude for my showing up.

At the appointed time in the service, my student stood up from her seat and started down the aisle. I was immediately hit with a wave of strong emotion – I was feeling great pride in her, but I was also being reminded of how far I’ve come since the dark days from before the day I taught my first piano lesson.

I tried really hard to not cry . . . but, of course, I cried during the entire piece. I tried to stop crying before she finished . . . before she made her way back up the aisle to her seat. But, I couldn’t. So, instead, I gave her an enthusiastic “thumbs up” and a sappy grin as she took her seat.

Maybe it is okay to let her see me cry. Maybe it is okay for her to know how moved I am by her music.

I didn’t know I would be so profoundly impacted by watching her perform at church. As she played, I kept thinking how I have walked alongside her as she has worked her way to this level of proficiency . . . as she has gotten to the point of being able to perform at church. And, I’ve done that without inflicting the shame and pain to which I was subjected as part of my childhood experience of music within the church.

That feels incredible to me – that’s why I cried.

Anyway . . . I didn’t stay for the entire church service because I needed to get to the studio. James, the cop, was scheduled for a noon lesson . . .

When James showed up for his lesson, I offered him some coffee (as I always do). As I poured his cup and set it in the microwave to heat, he mentioned that his daughter told him she had really enjoyed yesterday’s master class. (She is one of my piano students, also.) I told him I was glad she had participated and that he and Cindy had both been in the audience.

Then, I asked James if he could baby-sit the microwave as I headed across the room to turn on the lights around the piano. He said he would be glad to do so. As I headed over to the piano, he looked across the room at me and said, “So, I’ve come to a decision . . .”

I thought, “Oh, no! He’s done with lessons . . . just when I was getting comfortable with him . . . just when I was beginning to really learn to trust him on an emotional level . . . now he’s going to go away.”

I held my breath . . .

James continued, “Do you remember that, when you asked me if I wanted to perform in a recital, I answered ‘no’ because playing the piano is only for my own personal enjoyment and I don’t care to share it with other people?”

“Yes . . .”

“Well, the teacher of yesterday’s master class said something during the kids’ performance that hit home for me . . . I’ve been mulling it over and over for the last 24 hours . . .”

“Okay . . .”

“She said she wouldn’t ask her students to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. That made me realized that I can’t, in good conscience, ask my daughter to perform in a recital and then not do it myself. I shouldn’t excuse myself from that part of this experience just because I’m an adult. If anything, being the adult gives me all the more reason to do it . . . I need to set an example for her.

“Furthermore, this experience of learning to play the piano is all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone . . . and a recital will certainly do that! There’s no way I’ll be ready to play at the recital coming up in three weeks, but I’m officially committing to play in the spring recital.”

I broke into a huge grin . . . how neat! I’m so tickled!

And . . . he is not quitting lessons . . . in fact, he’s making plans to stick around for the long term.

That’s awesome!

Anyway . . . after James finished his lesson and as he was packing up to leave, my next student came in – a little seven year old girl. She came in with a big grin . . . she had a candy-covered marshmallow that she and her mom had made. She was so proud to give it me . . . she said it was because she really likes me.

I got all emotional again . . . it caused me to realize how much people do like me.

I may not have a sexy body, but I’m an awesome person and people really do like me.

So, anyway . . . as I said, I’m now relaxing at the end of this busy day . . . everyday for the last month, I’ve eaten a pint of ice cream so I could numb-out enough to go to sleep.

I didn’t do that tonight – partly because I’m feeling good emotionally – and partly because I have a significant pain on the right side of my abdomen. Maybe it is my gal bladder . . . appendix . . . intestine . . ?? I don’t know. But, I don’t feel good and the thought of ice cream makes my stomach turn. So, I guess that’s a good thing . . . the end of a month-long binge, I mean . . . at least, it’s a good thing as long as this pain is nothing serious . . .


  1. What a great day. Hope the pain got sorted out.

    • Thanks, Evan . . . yes, eventually the pain went away (I’m still alive, LOL)

  2. I love this: I’m an awesome person…. keep repeating that to yourself. Hope it wasn’t your gallbladder. I just went through two months of gallbladder infection, and in the end had to have surgery… (much better now, no worries). Anyhow, glad you are feeling such self-love!

    • Hey, OBD –

      Yikes! That sounds like a painful and drawn-out medical drama!

      Thanks for the encouraging words!

      – Marie

  3. Great post — glad you realize that people like you! I can relate to this post so much. I believe that people like me, but only for certain kinds of relationships. And that no one would consider me for a serious relationship. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes I feel like people view me as a cartoon character, fun nickname and all. Hopefully we will both outgrow this view.

    • Hey, Jo –

      Yeah . . . it’s funny how we get hard-wired that way . . . Edward says it’s because my childhood experiences taught me that I only have value if I’m producing something or adding value, that there is no value in my “just being”. That makes sense to me. And, I have no idea how to rewire that part of my thinking.

      I’m on-board with hoping we both outgrow this view!

      – Marie

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