Posted by: Marie | September 29, 2012

(719) I can only do what I can do

Post #719
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 1:00am]

I’m still awake. I’m having trouble going to sleep. Since I’m awake anyway, I wrote and sent an email to Edward:

Hi, Edward –

Looking forward to our session in a couple of weeks . . . I wanted to check in . . .

This last weekend was rather emotional for me, in a uplifting way. A lot of small but neat things happened with students and their parents. I don’t think that what happened was really unusual, I think I was in an unusually emotional place – feeling very connected and appreciative of the students and parents. I’m not sure why.

The Flower by Martin Chen

Anyway, this last Sunday, my body finally rebelled against 4-5 weeks of steady night-time binging – my gut clogged up and I felt pretty sick for a few days. That ended the binge eating since I was having trouble eating anything for 3-4 days. Now, I’m feeling 95% okay and haven’t started back in with the binge eating. Because I’m not numbing out as much, I’ve been even more emotional this week – and having nightmares again.

On a different tangent . . . I’m struggling with “what comes next” in therapy. I would like to know what our plans are . . . where we are going, what we are trying to accomplish, how I will know when it is time to stop going to therapy . . .

I know I need to continue for awhile, at least, because I’m still using addictive/compulsive behaviors to numb out . . . I still have lots of trouble handling strong emotion . . . I still have trouble tolerating emotional closeness. If I stop now, I wouldn’t survive very long because my behavior would become fatally destructive, I think.

I keep replaying how, in our last session, I had the perfect opportunity to use my adult voice to stand up to the people who were on TV advocating the beating of children . . . and to stand up to my dad . . and I couldn’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that is not going to happen . . . I’m not going to be able to do that.

I think the part of me that would allow me to do that has been permanently destroyed. I’ve got to be realistic and come to terms with the fact that there has been permanent damage. Some things are not going to be fixed – being able to stand up to my dad so I can heal from that trauma is one of those things – being able to tolerate a relationship with a life partner is another.

We’ve talked about how sometimes I have piano students that I know will never excel at piano. I know they will never really “feel” a rhythm or they will never be able to identify various intervals or chords by ear or they will never have the finger dexterity needed to perform advanced music. But, I’m willing to hang in there with them as they go as far as they can go.

I can see that I am reaching my limits in some areas. And that is okay. I can accept that some things are not going to get better. I’ll do what I can. But, it causes me to question the intelligence of continuing to beat our heads against the wall to make some things happen that are not going to happen. It is frustrating for me. I need to have a conversation with you about where we are going with this.

So, that’s where I’m at with things.

– Marie


  1. Sometimes we can go further than we think. And sometimes we break through to a new level.

    But saying we should and denigrating how far we have come don’t help us do these things.

    I think you are entitled to celebrate how much you do and how far you have come. You have created a thriving business when most start ups fail. You have good relationships with some people and enduring friendships with others and are building stronger relationships – some people who don’t have your background to deal with haven’t done this.

    I think you have come a long way. And look forward to hearing about how far you go.

    • Thank you so much, Evan, for the words of encouragement.

      You are so right . . . I have come so far . . . it is more helpful to recognize and honor that . . . it is less helpful to ponder the “should’s”.

      Thank you for helping me remember that . . .

      – Marie

  2. i can’t say it better than evan (thanks, evan). last year, when i told my counselor in the trauma program that i believed that i would never have a romantic partner, she reminded me that there was a time in my life when i believed that i would never survive, that is live long enough to see my twenties, let alone my thirties, or my forties. it was a reminder that things *have*, indeed, changed for me. i’m still single, yes, and i still struggle with feeling unloveable, but i have come a long way. and so have you. so proud of you!!!

    • Thank you, OBD, for the uplifting words . . .

      There have been many things that felt impossible to me, then they became possible . . . I’m hoping the dating thing is one of those . . .

      – Marie

  3. are you familiar with the japanese tradition of filling cracks in ceramics with gold? it seems a perfect metaphor for our healing process. we don’t hide those cracks, nor pretend that our trauma never happened… we find a way to honour our brokenness. this article, although focused on yoga (which i don’t do), captures some of what appeals to me in this metaphor —

    • Oh, my gosh! What a great concept! I love the idea of filling the cracks with gold . . . I love it!

      – Marie

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