Posted by: Marie | November 30, 2014

(966) Surprises

Post #966
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, October 4, 2012]

So, I noticed something interesting last week when I was making my weekly bank deposit . . .

The place where I had therapy with my first therapist, Mark, shares a parking lot with my bank . . . the two businesses are maybe 200 feet from each other. When I went to the bank last week, I noticed that Mark’s therapy office is vacant.

I haven’t seen Mark at the chamber of commerce events for the last couple of months . . . I assumed he was missing from action because of scheduling conflicts. But seeing his office vacant raised questions for me . . . so, I went out to the chamber website and looked him up . . . he is no longer a member. So, I guess he is going out of business . . .

I don’t want his business to not do well . . . I’ve never wished him ill. However, this outcome doesn’t surprise me . . . if he has been pulling the same kind of stuff with other clients that he pulled with me, of course his business wouldn’t thrive. I tried to tell him way back then that he needed to conduct himself differently, but he didn’t want to give any credence to what I was saying.

I wonder if he now thinks about what I said back then . . . probably not. He probably still has zero insight into his own behavioral patterns.

Well . . . I guess that means he’s pretty much out of my life for good. I wish him the best.


This past week, One Brave Duck left a comment on my blog about honoring our brokenness by filling our “cracks” with gold . . . there is beauty to be found through this practice . . .

OBD’s comment


I was watching Dr. Drew on TV this evening and he had Gloria Loring on as a guest. She is a soap opera star who recently wrote a book, Coincidence is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous, about her dad raping her as a child, how that abuse affects her still, and how she is healing from it.

On the show, Gloria talked about how her body felt unsafe to her. Dr. Drew reinforced that concept, stating that it is common for someone to feel that way after being sexually abused, especially when the abuse occurred early in childhood. Gloria described how she has become more attuned to her body through yoga and meditation. Dr. Drew called that growing awareness “moving back into our bodies”.

As I watched the show, I found myself nodding my head in agreement over and over. I am dealing with the sense that my body is unsafe to me . . . it still feels very unsafe to me.


I’m still struggling with how to handle things with Kris and Bella. Kris seems to be doing better, but still not as well as I’d like . . . but, she’s trying . . .

Two weeks ago, I texted a reminder to her in the morning about their lessons in the evening. Kris texted back, saying that Bella would still be doing her lesson that evening but that she (Kris) is having a hard time finding time to practice and would like to drop lessons for now . . . maybe pick them up again when her youngest child gets a little older.

It would have been nice for her to have decided that at least 24 hours before her scheduled lesson time, but . . . oh, well. It didn’t really affect my schedule that much as no one else wants lessons on Friday evenings.


Photo by Martin Chen

And, they did show up, although they were seven minutes late . . . not a big deal as I didn’t have anything scheduled right after . . . I can live with that.

Then, this week, Kris texted me 90 minutes before Bella’s lesson and said she (Kris) had a terrible headache and wanted to reschedule to Monday at 11:45am, which is right after Bella gets out of her half-day kindergarten. I had that time slot open, so I agreed to reschedule the lesson to that day and time.

I had already decided that, after last week, I would charge Kris for no-shows. But, I didn’t charge her for this week’s lesson because it was due to illness, she rescheduled, and it was early enough that I could adjust my schedule without a problem. But, I still plan to charge for no-shows, in general . . .

On Monday, Kris texted me at 11:45 saying she was running five minutes late. She actually got to the studio at 11:55, ten minutes late. I wasn’t running a tight schedule, so it didn’t affect my schedule. I didn’t say anything . . . I appreciated that she let me know she was running late . . . it’s better than a no-show . . .

Kris didn’t come into the studio for Bella’s lesson. She stayed in their mini-van with her two younger kids because they could watch a movie in the van. I was actually glad about that because Kris is such a high-energy person that her presence in the studio causes Bella to get even more wound up than she is otherwise. The lesson was much calmer without Kris in the studio. I’m hoping Kris continues letting Bella come in by herself in the future . . . that would be nice.

At the end of the lesson, I sent a note with Bella asking if she could participate in the upcoming student recitals . . . the recitals are scheduled for mid-November, six weeks from now.

Today at lunchtime, I got a text from Kris stating that their family is going to Disney and they are leaving in the morning; therefore, Bella won’t be at her lesson tomorrow. So . . . I got a 24-hour notice this time . . . Kris is getting better at remembering and communicating . . . she’s really trying . . .

Oh, and, Kris said that Bella could participate in the recital . . . so, we’ll see how that goes . . .


There has been some interesting developments with Renee . . .

At her lesson last week, she showed up seven or eight minutes late. I had a potential client coming in for an interview right after Renee’s lesson, so I had to knock five minutes off her lesson time so I wouldn’t run late getting started with the interview.

I inquired as to why she was running late . . .

Her parents believe she is coming straight from school to my studio. The thought crossed my mind that, if she runs late getting to her lesson, it could be because she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing. If she is not coming straight to the studio from school, I feel like I need to report that to her parents. So, I wanted to know the reason for her being late . . . I needed to make a judgment call on whether her lateness was cause for me to report it to her parents, or not . . .

I don’t want to report it to her parents because I think it could place a wedge in the relationship between Renee and me. I want to trust her. I want to have reason to trust her. However, I recognize that she tends to be incredibly manipulative . . . she really is not very trustworthy . . . but I’m hoping that, by my treating her as if she is trustworthy, she will step up to that expectation. But . . . I’m still very wary . . .

In answer to my inquiry, Renee said that she had to stay after school for detention. I asked the reason behind her detention . . . she said she had been late to class a few times . . .

She explained that one of her teachers doesn’t dismiss on time which causes her to be late to her next class, which happens to be on the other side of the building. I asked more questions . . . how many times had she been late? (Three) Did she report to the principal that the one teacher is not dismissing the class on time? (Yes) How did he respond to that? (He said he would look into it.)

I came to the conclusion that she was not telling me the full truth . . . I suspect she did get into trouble for being late to class, and there may be some legitimate issues that contribute to the problem. But, I think she is not doing all she could be doing to get to class on time.

I also think it is rather suspicious that she was held in detention only long enough to make her 7-8 minutes late to her piano lesson. If she really did have detention, I suspect that they would have held her for something like 30 minutes, not just five or ten. So, that does not ring quite true for me.

I decided to not report her lateness to her parents this time, but I will most certainly keep tabs on it . . . it warrants close monitoring . . .

Anyway, during the lesson, I told her about the upcoming student recitals and I invited her to participate. I about fell out of my chair when she said she would like to participate. I never imagined she would actually be interested in performing! How neat!

So, we picked out two pieces for her to play in the recital . . . she picked a duet that she and I had played in a previous lesson – she wanted to know if I would play the duet with her in the recital – I said I would. Then, she also picked Ode to Joy by Beethoven, which she had not played before. We spent some of the lesson looking at the Beethoven piece, and she was able to play the right hand all the way through without a mistake . . . very slowly, but flawlessly. I was amazed!

Renee was so excited about the two pieces and about being in the recital . . . as she packed up to leave, she was beaming with excitement. Before she headed down the stairs to meet her step-mom, April, in the parking lot, she gave me a big hug . . . how neat . . .

I had another lesson with her this week . . . I was tickled when she showed up on time . . . that’s a good sign . . .

As soon as she got settled on the piano bench, I asked her how things were going with her grades, grounding, detention, etc. . . .

She said that she has been doing her homework and her grades are improving . . . and that her overall attitude is improving . . .

She said that she had pointed out to her dad and to April that her attitude was improving . . . that it has improved a lot since last year . . . her dad responded by asking her why she is still dressing Goth if her attitude was improving . . .

She explained to him that her style/color of clothing doesn’t necessarily reflect her attitude. I asked her to tell me more about that . . . I inquired if her clothes were more of a style thing (what she esthetically likes) or more of an expression of what is going on inside her. She said it was both.

I didn’t push her further on it . . . I just wanted to ask the question so that she might begin to think about the answer . . . thinking about the answer might have an impact on her attitude, her dress and/or her relationship with her parents. I figured my calling her attention to it surely couldn’t hurt anything.

I checked in with her on her feelings about being in the recital. She said she still really wants to do it, and she said that both her dad and her step-mom had asked her several times over the last week if she REALLY wants to do the recital. She kept assuring them that she did. She said she wants to invite both sets of parents/step-parents and her siblings, as well as her best friend. She said her best friend has never heard her play a “real” song and she wants her friend to see her play in the recital.

Since last week’s lesson, she had been practicing a lot . . . she was able to play both pieces, hands together. I was amazed. I told her that she is learning how to play so quickly, more quickly than most students. She was so tickled with knowing she was progressing so quickly that she told April about it when she came into the studio towards the end of the lesson. I like that April made a big deal of it . . . she gave her lots of energetic praise for doing so well.

I keep thinking about her playing in the recital . . . what it would be like for her dad to see her do something constructive and uplifting? What it would be like for her dad to acknowledge her progress and her success? I think that could be healing for both of them.

Thinking about that brings tears to my eyes . . . yikes . . . if I’m this emotional six weeks before the event, how big of a mess will I be at the actual recital?

I guess it doesn’t really matter, does it . . . ?? It’s not about me.


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