Posted by: Marie | October 24, 2012

(733) Managing emotions – Part 1 of 5

Post #733
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, December 7, 2011]

Today was therapy session day . . .

But, prior to therapy, I attended the conscious business group meeting . . .

The group’s guest speaker was a local CPA. She spoke on the topic of business finances. She covered some of the more technical matters such as how to keep personal and business finances separated, what kind of paper and electronic records one should keep and for how long, etc.

The Red Ball by Martin Chen

She also touched on how it is beneficial for us to maintain an attitude of abundance . . . to be aware of how much we do have and to be grateful for that. She emphasized that it is a privilege to circulate money, and that we can be grateful for the opportunity to pay bills because it allows us to circulate money, and that the circulation of money facilitates an every-widening circle of abundance for everyone in the community . . .

As I was listening to her, I realized I could take on that mindset concerning the possible increase in my rent. If I end up having to pay more rent, either to my current roommates or to a different landlord, I can be grateful for the opportunity to circulate even more money. I realized that the anger and angst I’m feeling around the rent increase is really rooted in the fear that I won’t have enough – and operating from that place of fear does not serve me well.

Anyway . . . after the business group meeting, I buzzed over to Edward’s office for my therapy appointment. Our greetings took the predictable course, and we eventually got settled into our therapeutic process. For starters, I told him about the business group meeting and the insight I had gained around abundance. And, I told him a bit about the music composing exercise I led the business group members through last week, and how much fun that had been, at least for me.

His response was to mention that the group seems to be providing some valuable information as well as valuable relationships and community support. I agree with him – I think I have stumbled onto something awesome within this group.

He then switched topics . . .


Edward: I didn’t get an update from you this time . . .

Me: I know! I just didn’t have anything pressing to write about!

Edward: What a refreshing change for you!

How did it feel to not send an update?

Me: Well . . . I normally compose and send emails to you when I’m in turmoil . . . so, it was very nice to not have any noteworthy turmoil during these past few weeks. I’ve been feeling rather calm lately.

Edward: That’s great!

Me: (Laughing a little) Yes, it is great!

Edward: So . . . tell me what has been going on with you these past few weeks . . .

Me: Well . . . I guess I have to take back what I just said about there not being significant turmoil . . . something significant did happen . . . (quick laugh) I just wasn’t in turmoil over it . . . I didn’t need to write to you about it because I handled it on my own.

Edward: Well done!

(Laughing a little bit) So, tell me about that! I’m very curious!

Me: On Saturday, one of my students disclosed physical abuse to me during a lesson . . . an eight-year-old girl . . .

Edward: (Suddenly serious) Oh, my! What happened?

(I gave him a brief description – with few details – of what had happened . . . when I finished, Edward assured me I had handled it well. Then, he sat watching me carefully without saying a word. I had one of those moments where I feel the need to point out that I’m finished talking so he will start talking . . . )

Me: So . . . that’s all I have to say about that . . .

Edward: What was it like for you to have a little girl disclose abuse to you?

Me: Well . . . it was tough . . . I didn’t really know what to do . . . I mean, I’ve had all kinds of training when I was driving the school bus on how to recognize the signs of child abuse and how to respond appropriately to a disclosure . . . but it was tough to actually take those steps.

I knew that, by filing a report with law enforcement, I would be opening up a huge can of worms. I knew that it would cause significant upset in their family – deserved or not. I knew that it could cause additional trauma to Bailey if things were not handled well by the law enforcement folks – and there was nothing I could do to help her once I handed off the case to law enforcement.

I actually considered the possibility of not going to law enforcement and trying to handle it all by myself . . . just so I could maintain control of things. But, I knew that wouldn’t work.

Edward: What do you think might happen to Bailey when you turned the case over to law enforcement?

Me: She begged me to not tell anyone . . . she said she would get into even bigger trouble with her dad for telling. I promised her that I would make she would be protected when things come to a head within the family.

After I made that promise, I wondered how I would ever be able to keep that promise. I have to trust that the officials will do that . . . I like to think they will, but I don’t really know that they will. I’ve heard horror stories . . . I want to believe that things will be better because we live in a small town. But, I don’t really know that is going to be the case. I can only hope.

That scares me . . .

When I was talking to the cop on the phone, I made him promise that she would be protected . . . I made him explain to me how she would be protected . . . before I was willing to give him their identifying information. He had to convince me I could trust him.

Edward: Would it be okay for me to ask what she specifically said to you . . . what details she offered . . . what words she used . . . ??

Me: Oh, sure . . . she said things like, “My dad throws me against the wall, he gets angry and throws me against the wall and it hurts and it scares me.” She also indicated that the same thing happens to her six-year-old brother, and that all the kids are afraid of him. I don’t know if that means that he is physically abusive towards the two really young kids.

Edward: I’m hearing that you feel very protective towards her . . . towards all four kids . . .

Me: Yeah . . .

Edward: Tell me more about that . . . what do you think causes you to feel so protective?

(Even before I spoke the first word of my answer, I started getting emotional . . . )

Me: I could imagine what she was going through – it was like I was in her body and I could feel her emotion – I could feel her terror – when she was crying, I could feel her pain.

When she begged me to not tell anyone, I could feel that terror . . . she would rather suffer what she was already suffering – to let it continue – than to ask for the help that would stop it. I totally understand that kind of terror.

(We sat quietly as I wiped my eyes, blew my nose and caught my breath . . . )

Edward: Did I understand you to say that this just happened a few days ago . . . ??

Me: Yes . . . like four days ago.

Edward: What is the status of the case now?

Me: I don’t know . . . I need to follow-up with the police because I have lessons with them scheduled for this Saturday evening, as in three days from now. I don’t know what has happened . . . I don’t know if the police have interviewed the kids, if the parents are aware of my report . . . if I don’t hear from the police and if I don’t hear from the parents, I don’t know if I should show up for the lesson or not.

If nothing has happened with the police, then I guess I should continue with lessons as if Bailey never disclosed to me. It’s not like I can be the one to make the parents aware of the disclosure . . . it would put Bailey at risk.

And, if the parents are aware of my report, they might think be expecting me to not show up . . . I mean, what person would dare show up for a lesson after filing a report like that with the police? I might be walking into a really bad situation . . . maybe a dangerous situation.

So, I plan to contact Officer Lopez today to get some kind of update.

Edward: Are you feeling okay about where things stand right now? Is there anything I can do to help you?

Me: For now, I feel okay. I just need an update to know how to move forward from here.

Edward: Will you call me if things go south or if you need some support or advice?

Me: Yes . . . absolutely.

Edward: Good.

(We sat without speaking for a few moments. Again, Edward was watching me carefully. Again, I felt the need to indicate to him that I was done talking and was ready for him to say something . . . )

Me: That’s all I have to say about that . . .

Edward: Okay.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

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