Posted by: Marie | October 15, 2012

(728) Expanding circles of support – Part 3 of 4

Post #728
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Edward: (After a respectful pause) Let me ask you this . . . how does it feel to interact with a man at that level?

Me: It feels . . . easy. And I’m surprised by that.

Edward: If, a year ago, I would have said to you that, in a year from now, you will be able to feel “easy” about interacting with a man at that level, would you have believed it?

Me: (Laughing a bit) No way!

Edward: How does it feel for those words to be coming from your mouth now?

Me: It feels liberating.

Edward: And now you have a new friend – a quality friend, it seems.

Me: Yes . . . and one that is not “safe”!

Edward: True! He doesn’t have that “ring of safety” on his finger!

Me: (Laughing) Yes . . . very true!

The Mountain View by Martin Chen

Edward: So . . . I see that the next topic in your email is about your not wanting to date right now. I guess we already got into that a bit . . . where would you like to go with that topic?

Me: I don’t know that there is much more to say than what I already said in the email . . . I’m not willing to date right now because it’s too triggering for me. I get triggered less if I don’t allow myself to dwell on it.

Edward: Is there more you want to say about it?

Me: No . . .

I’m ready to move onto the next topic in the email . . .

Edward: Actually . . . can we go up to a topic in the first part of the email?

Me: Sure!

Edward: I’d like to touch on the music teachers association conflict . . .

Me: Sure!

Edward: I want to tell you how proud I am for how well you stood up for yourself in that situation. I know it wasn’t easy. But, you stood up for yourself and for your students.

Me: Thank you.

By the way, I have decided to switch to another local chapter. I attended one of their monthly meetings and was impressed with their organization. And, I had lunch with some of the members and I was really impressed with the accepting attitude of the group. They actually trust the individual teachers to determine what is best way for their students to participate in student activities. There are no unreasonable rules . . . I think my experience with them will be much better.

Edward: That is awesome! So, I hear you saying that you removed yourself from an organization whose members refused to take your concerns seriously and refused to honor and respect you and your contributions. I hear you saying that you have maybe found an organization that will treat you with great respect.

Well done, Marie!

Me: Thank you . . . and, yes, I think your summarization of the situation is spot on.

I just don’t understand why my current group had to be so close-minded and arrogant. That is so unnecessary. I don’t understand it.

Edward: Would you like to hear my guess?

Me: Sure!

Edward: I don’t know those ladies, but I can make an educated guess as to why they reacted the way they did . . .

I think they don’t want to write down the rules because then it would become obvious how ridiculous the rules really are. Your insistence that the rules be documented threatened the control they maintain through confusion – it threatened their perceived power.

Me: That makes sense . . .

They were so warm and helpful to me when I first started out, but then they got increasing defensive and rude towards me.

Edward: I’m guessing that they accepted you at first because you were the weakling who needed their help and advice. But, as soon as you started having your own opinions and your own voice and your own power, you became a threat to their fragile empire and they had to knock you down.

It reminds me a lot of the politics and plays for power that can often be found in local church organizations.

Me: Yeah . . . my mentor, Kelly, said the same thing when I turned to her for advice – she said the same thing about me threatening their power and she also said it reminds her of church politics.

I guess I don’t understand how my value as a teacher would ever diminish their value as teachers . . . that doesn’t make sense to me . . . I’m never going to have more education and experience than they have. I’m never going to overshadow them – nor do I want to!

Edward: Maybe they are afraid their degrees aren’t enough . . . maybe they aren’t confident in their teaching ability . . .

Because you don’t have the college degrees to prop up your pedigree, your value as a teacher comes only from your teaching ability . . . at least, that’s what they believe. To acknowledge your value would be to acknowledge that degrees don’t necessarily make the teacher – and, if they aren’t confident in their ability to teach well, they may be threatened by anyone who might have value despite the absence of degrees.

Me: That makes sense, as well. I guess I’m mystified by that way of thinking because I don’t operate in that space . . . I don’t see the education field as a sum-zero field . . . I don’t see the world as a sum-zero world. I don’t think that my excellence diminishes someone else’s excellence.

Edward: That world view is relatively rare. That speaks to your emotional and spiritual maturity.

Me: Thank you . . . again.

Edward: You’re very welcome . . . again.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. I think you overshadow them already Marie by putting your students first and standing up against covert power plays.

    • That may be true . . . I’m sure they don’t see it that way, LOL!

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