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Becoming a substantial self : a case study Brunton, Kathy 1988

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BECOMING A SUBSTANTIAL SELF: A C A S E STUDY By KATHY BRUNTON M.A., Antioch University, 1981 B.A., Queen's University, 1967 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES" ~ Department of Counselling Psychology W e accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A c  September, 1988  In  presenting  degree  this  at the  thesis  in  partial  University of  fulfilment  of  British Columbia, I agree  freely available for reference and study. I further copying  of  department publication  this or of  thesis for by  his  or  her  representatives.  requirements that the  for  an advanced  Library shall make it  agree that permission for extensive  scholarly purposes may be It  is  granted  by the  understood  that  head of copying  my or  this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written  permission.  Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  the  September, 1988  ABSTRACT  The phenomenon of becoming a more substantial self w a s investigated using the c a s e study method. The co-researcher, Mary, w a s interviewed to elicit her experience of the phenomenon. Understanding w a s built up through collection of data from a variety of sources including early recollections, a diary, and interviews with friends and associates. The data were analyzed and Cochran's dramaturgical method w a s used to discover the coherent pattern of meaning. A rich, detailed description of the c a s e w a s then written and summarized. It w a s found that, for Mary, ^substantiality involved childhood experiences of powerlessness, incompetence, and lack of social acceptability. In response to these experiences she had formulated the position that she must defend against those painful vulnerabilities by presenting herself as strong person. Implicit in this was the assumption that she w a s powerless, incompetent and unacceptable and, as a result, dependent on external support. At the age of 33, Mary reached a point where her life circumstances defeated the viability of this position. S h e felt humiliated and deafeated and could s e e no solution. It w a s then that she had a supportive spiritual experience and, at the s a m e time, an experience of gentle confrontation from a supportive authority figure. This w a s the beginning of a 7-8 year transition period which involved two central processes. O n e process involved a kind of letting go or opening up, the other involved a movement forward involving risk, effort and action. Through many and various experiences Mary experienced that if she let go of her social mask of invulnerability and accepted herself as  iii she w a s , with painful feelings and imperfections, she arrived at an experience of harmony with herself, other people and the world in general. Profoundly interwoven with this w a s the process of risk, effort and action. In supportive contexts, Mary began to apply herself and to discover her capacities. S h e began to take larger and larger risks until she c a m e to experience herself as a competent person capable of persuing her goals. T h e emergence of the substantial self was marked by the experience of the self as a capable social being and a harmonious spiritual, physical, and emotional being. Mary's life is no longer oriented around protecting vulnerabilities but around using her full capacities to accomplish social goals while staying in touch with her spiritual self.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  i i vii  C H A P T E R I: INTRODUCTION  1  C H A P T E R II: L I T E R A T U R E R E V I E W  4  INTRODUCTION  4  PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES  5  Carl J u n g  5  Eric Erikson  7  Carl R o g e r s  10  Murray Bowen  13  Stanton P e e l e  17  S U M M A R Y O F THEORIES  21  APPROACH TO RESEARCH  2 5  C H A P T E R III: M E T H O D  2 8  SELECTION O F THE CO-RESEARCHER  2 8  P R O C E D U R E S ADOPTED FROM THE DRAMATURGICAL METHOD  2 9  C A S E STUDY PROCEDURE  31  EARLY RECOLLECTIONS  3 8  T H E LIFELINE G R A P H  3 9  C H A P T E R IV: R E S U L T S  4 0  A C A S E O F BECOMING A SUBSTANTIAL S E L F  4 0  ACT I  44  A C T II  64  A C T III  85  V  CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION  91  S T A T E M E N T O F FINDINGS  91  LIMITATIONS O F T H E S T U D Y  94  T H E O R E T I C A L IMPLICATIONS  94  Jung  95  Erikson  96  Rogers  97  Bowen  ..9 9  Peele  101  P R A C T I C A L IMPLICATIONS  1 02  The  102  Individual  Therapeutic  Practice  103  Society  1 04  IMPLICATIONS F O R F U R T H E R R E S E A R C H  1 04  SUMMARY  106  :  BIBLIOGRAPHY  108  APPENDIX I Interview  with  Mary  111  A P P E N D I X II Interview with T h e r e s a  1 70  Interview with Donna  1 84  Reply from the R e c t o r  ...197  A P P E N D I X III Early  Recollections  199  A P P E N D I X IV Subject C o n s e n t Form  211  vi  Letter to F r i e n d s  212  R e s p o n s e from O u t s i d e Expert  213  APPENDIX V Lifeline G r a p h s  214  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would like to thank my co-researcher, Mary, and my advisor, Larry Cochran, for being important teachers in my life.  1 C H A P T E R I: I N T R O D U C T I O N  S o m e people experience a profound transformation in their experience of themselves. For a long period of time they feel insubstantial in relation to other people. They do not have a s e n s e of themselves as individuals with full identity and autonomy. They are endlessly focused on the opinions of others and feel very affected and unbalanced in the presence of others. Then they begin to change. They develop identity and autonomy and c o m e to experience a s e n s e of themselves a s substantial in relation to others. For disciplines whose primary goal is helping people change, it s e e m s obvious that efforts would be made to understand this important phenomenon in detail. Many, if not most, counselling theories propose explanations for the experience of insubstantiality as well as descriptions of the process involved in change. However, research has not attempted to rigorously describe this phenomenon or to inquire into the meaning of the experience in people's lives. Unfortunately, research approaches have tended to exclude a description of experiential phenomena from the domain of study. In the search for causal explanations, only aspects of experience that can be duplicated and measured have been considered suitable subjects for research. Thus, complex experiential phenomena have been fragmented and reduced to variables and operational definitions. Instruments have been devised to measure the presence or a b s e n c e of a phenomenon as defined. However, the question of the meaning has not arisen and experiences have been defined before they have  2  this study is to address the question of meaning by attempting ietailed description of the process of becoming a substantial self  to pro-  J other people.  •in re'  Such a description is considered central for  g, disconfirming or broadening existing theory and for reflecting on cor ,lling models which are based on those theories. cr  f he c a s e study has been chosen as the method most sensitive to ascription of a complex phenomenon.  Research is conducted by selecting a  co-researcher who has had the target experience and then by collecting all available data which serves to illuminate the experience as it is lived. The co-researcher's account of the experienced is obtained. A n effort to elucidate the underlying pattern of meaning and to substantiate conclusions leads to the search for additional data. Friends and associates might be interviewed; relevant documents might be obtained; other techniques might be used to elicit additional information from the co-researcher. W h e n the researcher has completed a coherent account which strives to maintain fidelity to the data, it is given to the co-researcher for validation. The boundaries of the c a s e are considered to enclose all data that is relevant to the process of becoming a substantial self in relation to others. . This is taken to be merely an entry topic. The evidence of the c a s e is allowed to refine the appropriateness of the beginning conception. Two approaches inform the c a s e study method employed in this research. T h e existential-phenomenological approach guides the researcher to bracket presuppositions and allow the co-researcher to tell her own story (Colaizzi, 1978). Cochran's (1987) dramaturgical approach guides the process of  3 synthesizing and finding meaning structures in the collected data. T h e study begins with a review of the assumptions which have been made about the phenomenon in the theoretical literature. Upon completion of the c a s e study, the findings are used to point to areas where theory is confirmed, disconfirmed or qualified. A model for counselling based on the findings is proposed.  4 C H A P T E R II: L I T E R A T U R E R E V I E W  INTRODUCTION  The central task addressed in this chapter is the uncovering of assumptions which have been made about the phenomenon of becoming a substantial self in relation to others in the theoretical literature. This review is restricted to the range of theories which have had a strong influence on psychological theory and practice. Religious and wisdom traditions are outside the s c o p e of this study. Becoming a substantial self in relation to others can be located within a larger theme of becoming a self. Three aspects s e e m to be central to this broader conception: a concern with the phenomenal exerience of the self; a change process; and an implicit notion of a non-self. Exemplars have been chosen w h o s e theories seem to bear most directly on the question according to these three aspects. E a c h approach will be explicated by distinguishing important aspects of the philosphical approach to the question and then by discussing the assumptions made about the nature of the non-self and the steps involved in the c h a n g e process. Theories are presented chronologically. Presentation of the exemplary theories will be followed by a summary of the salient assumptions of each theorist and a discussion of the proposed approach to research.  5 PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES  Carl J u n a  For J u n g (1940), becoming a self, or individuation, is the process of integration of the personality.  It is not an automatic process of development  but rather a challenging and difficult path which not everyone would wish to undertake. T h e difficulty of individuation lies in the incongruity of the two halves of the personality which are to be integrated. The ego, which is the centre of the conscious mind, s e e s itself as the centre of the totality of psychic life. It defends against awareness of the unconscious mind. The conscious mind accepts only the favorable aspects of the personality and presents to the world a social mask or persona. The person is not aware that he or s h e contains within the unconscious mind the counterparts to all of the conscious aspects of the personality. The unconscious contains the dark side of life, the imperfection and opposing principles which the ego denies. The shadow represents all those less commendable aspects which we dislike in ourselves and which are masked by the persona we present to the outside world. The animus and anima are the counterparts to the feminine or masculine image we present. At the beginning of the change process, the person thinks of himself or herself as only an ego who is responsible for everything and has to do everything alone. Eventually this belief becomes a burden that is unbearable. He or she reaches a kind of blind alley, and in defeat, turns towards the  6 unconscious and s e e s the face that w a s previously hidden from the world. This confrontation with the aspects of the self which were previously denied is a test of courage "sufficient to frighten off most people" (p.69). W h o l e n e s s and integration evolve if these aspects of the unconscious are reclaimed and integrated into the personality. The self that evolves has a s e n s e of completion which c o m e s from the integration of complementary principles-darkness and the light, perfection and imperfection.  W h e n the  integration process is complete, the ego is no longer the centre of the personality. The new centre lies between the conscious and the unconscious mind. Dreams are considered valuable for guiding the change process as they contain the projected aspects of the unconscious. Individuation is essentially a process of spiritual growth. The aspects of the unconscious only superficially derive from the individual's personal history. At a deeper level, the aspects of the unconscious are impersonal. They are universal meaning structures or archetypes. T h e spiritual experience begins when the individual integrates these unconscious archetypes and thereby experiences his or her connection with the whole of humanity. H e or she b e c o m e s a part of the universe and no longer responsible for everything. This conception is fundamentally different from the Freudian view. For Freud, the material in the unconscious is entirely a result of personal childhood history. Jung's conception protests against the Freudian conclusion that the highest achievements of mankind are nothing other than sublimated childhood wishes. For Jung they are expressions of universal meaning structures. Also, in the Freudian conception there is no t e l e o l o g y - n o "becoming". For J u n g , individuation is a universal process of becoming a  7 spiritual being. H e found this s a m e process described in such diverse wisdom traditions as cultural mythologies, medieval alchemy, Gnosticism, and T a o i s m . Jung had three brief comments to make about the time and level of difficulty involved in this process. First, according to J u n g , the process takes longer for a person who is neurotic. S e c o n d , the harder, the more disappointing the conditions of life, the larger the shadow grows. Third, the change can be completed in a short moment of experience or it can take months or years "according to the initial situation, the person involved in the process and the goal to be reached" (p. 90). There has been no formal research on the individuation process. In "A Study of the P r o c e s s of Individuation" (1940, pp. 30-51), J u n g presented a c a s e history of a female patient, 55 years of age. He described a series of paintings completed by the patient and thereby explained the stages of the individuation process. The c a s e is less of an inquiry and more of an illustration.  Erik Erikson  For Erikson (1959), becoming a self involves developing a s e n s e of eao identity. Identity formation is part of the normal process of ego development; however, such development is dependent on the support of the social environment. Erikson's concept of identity demonstrates the relationship between the s e n s e of self and the social context. Identity has a dual aspect. It refers to a  8 s e n s e of oneself and also to a s e n s e of what others take one to be. "The s e n s e of ego identity is the accrued confidence that one's ability to maintain inner s a m e n e s s and continuity is matched by the s a m e n e s s and continuity of one's meaning for others" (p.89). In developing identity, one develops confidence that one's "individual way of mastering experience is a successful variant of the way other people master experience and recognize such mastery" (p.89). T h e achievement of identity is the task of the fifth stage in a s e q u e n c e of eight stages of ego development. This fifth stage is a central and pivotal stage b e c a u s e it occurs at the end of adolescence and marks the beginning of adulthood. E a c h of the eight stages is characterized by a crisis that is psychosocial in nature and each of these crises has a normal time of a s c e n d a n c y from early childhood to old age. If a crisis in one stage is not adequately solved, the individual cannot adequately manage the next stage of development. H o w a child meets each of the crises of the early stages depends on the support available from the social environment. The attitudes and values of parents and teachers are seen a s reflections of the larger culture. T h e following is a brief summary of the stages of development: 1.  Trust vs mistrust: first year In this period the infant must learn to develop a s e n s e of trust in himself and the world. This sense of trust becomes the basis for a s e n s e of identity. Resolution of this problem depends on the mother-child relationship.  2.  Autonomy vs shame and doubt: early childhood After a basic faith in self a n d the world had been established the child moves on to the challenge of achieving autonomy.  Success  9 involves establishing a s e n s e of self-control without loss of esteem. 3.  Initiative vs guilt: 4-5 years In this stage the child must learn to initiate and follow through without feeling guilty.  4.  Industry vs inferiority: pre-adolescence T h e child must want to be shown how to do things and be able to do them.  5.  Identity vs identity diffusion: adolescence T h e task of the fifth stage is to find an acceptable social role. The person is preoccupied with how he or she appears to others. D o e s his or her way of mastering experience correlate with the w a y s other people master experience? Is mastery or achievement recognized by others? W h e n identity is achieved it is experienced as a s e n s e of psychosocial well-being and a s e n s e of belonging.  6.  Intimacy vs self-absorption: young adulthood W h e n identity has been achieved then real intimacy is possible. Real intimacy involves "twoness".  7.  Generativitv vs stagnation: middle age T h e challenge of this stage is to learn to live creatively and productively.  8.  Integrity vs despair: later life Achieving integrity involves accepting resonsibility for one's own life as lived, without regrets and without blaming others. Death is not feared but  is s e e n as part of the process of living. There are four processes necessary to the achievement of the important fifth stage. First, the person must solve the crises of the first four stages of development and achieve a s e n s e of trust, autonomy, initiative and industry. S e c o n d , the person must have successive experiences of "psychosocial fittedness", or belonging, beginning in early childhood. Third, a s an extension of the s e c o n d step, the person must find an acceptable social role. Fourth, in order to adequately accomplish all of the above processes, the person must experience support from his or her environment There has been no direct descriptive research inquiry into the nature of Erickson's conscepts of ego identity and ego development. Erikson (1963) made use of informal c a s e studies of people from a variety of cultural settings to illustrate that the ego is bound up with social context. Marcia (1967) operationalized the ego identity stage into four "identity statuses": identity achievement, moratorium, foreclosure, and identity diffusion. The statuses were defined and a method was developed for establishing status category by means of a 30-minute semi-structured interview.  Carl Rogers  Rogers' theory exemplifies psychological theories which e m p h a s i z e experiencing a s a basis for personality description and personality change. Rogers (1951) describes his theory as basically phenomenological in character. It also contains features of organismic psychology and interpersonal theory  11 (Hall & Lindsay.l 970). For Rogers, the inherent goal of all psychological growth is to become one's real or congruent self. When we are not real or congruent or authentic, w e do not know who we are or what w e want. In O n Becoming a Person. Rogers (1961, pp.108-124) explained what is involved in the process of growth towards a congruent self. Overall, the process involves healing the gap between the organism and the self. The gap is c a u s e d by experiences in childhood which are evaluated negatively by others and considered unworthy. T h e s e experiences are then excluded from the self-concept and a social mask is gradually developed which is out of line with organismic experience. The process of healing the gap is evoked by a therapeutic relationship with another person. Within the safety and support of the relationship, the mask or false front begins to dissolve. There is first an awareness of having no self of one's own, of having guided one's life in response to the demands of others. Then there is a decision: a choice is made to become one's real self. The next important step is the organismic experiencing of the previously denied feelings such as pity, hatred, or love. "Thus to an increasing degree he becomes himself - not a facade of conformity to others, not a cynical denial of all feeling, nor a front of intellectual rationality, but a living, breathing, feeling, fluctuating process - in short he b e c o m e s a person" (Pg. 114). Eventually, Rogers c a m e to s e e the therapeutic relationship a s one instance of all possible interpersonal relationships (Hall & Lindzey, 1970). He still felt that a safe relationship w a s required to integrate the previously threatening feelings but felt that any congruent or genuine person could fill  the role. Actualized people, according to Rogers, have a number of distinct characteristics (1961, pp.115-124). They are more aware of their own feelings and attitudes at an organic level and they experience an increased range of feelings from pain to love. They are less defensive and more aware of the external world. They can tolerate ambiguity and their beliefs are not rigid. They look less and less to others for their standards and values and they develop more and more trust in their own organism as a guide for action. They become content to be a process rather than a product. Although Rogers made extensive use of transcripts of sessions with clients to illustrate his theory, there has been no research which s e e k s to describe the process of becoming a person. In "The C a s e of Mrs. O a k " (Rogers & Dymond, 1954), the aim of the c a s e study is not to investigate the nature of the personality change in the client but to substantiate that a c h a n g e had taken place as a result of the Rogerian approach.  Murray Bo wen  Bowen described a process of individual change from the perspective of family theory. His theory is described as integrative b e c a u s e it combines an individual with a relational systems perspective (Kuchenmuller,1984). The development of thinking about family relationship systems began in the 1950's when, for the first time, whole families were seen as clients (Bowen, 1966). Theorists within the integrative model used the concept of self from Object  Relations Theory and combined it with new thinking about the functioning of relationship systems (Kuchenmuller, 1984).  In systems thinking, the  individual is understood in terms of his or her role in perpetuating the circular causality of system's interaction. Bowen's concept of differentiation of self is not a formal theory of personality development, neither is it a teleological conception such as becoming a person or individuation.  It is a strategy for dealing with a  problem maintaining autonomy in relationship systems. The individual's problem with autonomy or differentiation is s e e n to have originated in the family of origin. Kuchenmuller (1984) explained the roots of the differentiation construct. According to Object Relations theorists, the self develops in relation to others; in particular, it develops in childhood in relation to the mother.  For  healthy development of the self, the child must have the two relational experiences of attachment and autonomy. In the beginning, the child needs to experience attachment or bonding with the mother. Later, the child needs to experience being a potent and separate individual in relation to mother without losing the constancy of the positive bond. If the child is deprived of the experience of autonomy with support, this lays down a pattern of relating to others which continues into adulthood and creates an irresolvable need for clinging.  The child or adult then looks outside rather than inside itself for  support and is prone to feeling either smothered or abandoned. Also within Object Relations Theory, there is a concept of generational transmission. Adults who were dependency attached, seek out others for intimate relations in order to recapture lost parts of themselves. They are attracted to the  pseudo-characteristics in each other which they were not able to develop in themselves. W h e n these dependent adults become parents they are not able to support their own children's moves toward autonomy. From this theoretical base, integrative family theories conceive of a family system which is e n m e s h e d . Ego boundaries are diffuse and individuals have roles in maintaining the dependent system. Bowen added the,concept of trianalina: that is, unexpressed conflict between two people results in a third person being drawn in to balance the relationship system. Unexpressed conflict between marriage partners could result in a child (or children) being brought in, to balance the functioning of the group. For B o w e n , differentiation of self is the process of the individual's gaining autonomy from an e n m e s h e d system. W h e n individuals have differentiated, a number of characteristics can be discerned. They can be identified by "...such T position stances a s : T h e s e are my beliefs and convictions. This is what I a m , and who I a m , and what I will do, or not d o ' " (Anonymous, p.118). They can be in contact with others and maintain objectivity if they wish. They can also c h o o s e to lose themselves in intimate relations-the important aspect being the capacity for choice. Differentiated people also have more energy available for goal-directed activities and their relationships have a different quality : they are calmer and have more room for individuality. In 1967, Bowen gave an account of his own process of differentiation to a national conference of family therapists. This account was later revised and published anonymously under the title, "Toward the differentiation of a self in one's own family" (Anonymous, 1972).  The following is the account Bowen gave of his personal process of differentiation of self. A s a young adult, he felt that his relationships with his family of origin were ideal. W h e n psychoanalysis revealed to him previously hidden conflicts, he tried to deal with these new feelings by expressing the conflicts openly. W h e n this tactic did not work, he gave up for a time. He concluded that his parents would never change. During this period, he tried to keep a detached emotional distance from his family but whenever he went to visit he found that he quickly developed uncomfortable feelings. He noticed that the s a m e pattern occurred in relation to his "family" of colleagues at work. He described his experience in various ways. H e said at one point, "It w a s a s if the emotional system 'closed in' a s I entered the building" ( p.130). At another point, he said that he felt unable to be in contact wrth either group of people without becoming "fused into the system" (pg. 131). Being in contact s e e m e d to automatically involve a certain "loss of objectivity" (pg.130). It w a s through the conscious application of a principle he had been developing that he felt he w a s able to successfully differentiate himself from his family of professional colleagues. H e w a s later to call this process detrianalina. H e decided that he would define where he stood in relation to o t h e r s - h i s role as leader, his goals and his intentions. A s a result of this defining move, almost immediately there w a s less gossiping and complaining and the staff began a similar process of defining their own responsibilities. H e realized that he had previously infantilized his staff by functioning for them in s o m e areas and not functioning appropriately in other areas. After the s u c c e s s with his professional collegues and after he had further  developed his concepts about the functioning of interactional systems, he began a systematic effort to differentiate from his family of origin. H e basically applied two c o n c e p t s - t h e concept of a person-to-person relationship and the concept of detriangling. First, he set about establishing person-to-person relationships with his family members a s individuals; for example, he worked on building a relationship with his mother and father separately rather than relating to them a s a fused couple. S e c o n d , a s in his differentiating tactic at work, he decided to define his position on important family issues and to avoid being drawn into the old patterns of family triangling. H e c h o s e the opportunity of a family dispute to further his differentiation. At this time, he went to considerable effort to define his own position in the dispute and to s e e that other family menbers would not be drawn into an alliance with him against other members. The result w a s that there w a s an immediate reduction of tension in the group and his relationships with all individual members improved. "The end of that S u n d a y afternoon w a s one of the most satisfying periods of my entire life. I had actively participated in the most intense family emotion possible and had stayed completely out of the 'ego mass' of my very own family" (pg.159). Generalizing from his own experience, Bowen concluded that the following steps are involved in becoming a more autonomous or differentiated self. In the beginning, one feels discomfort in relationships, a certain loss of objectivity and a sensation of being drawn or fused into relationships. Sytstem's thinking allows one to s e e one's own role in perpetuating repetitive interaction patterns. O n e is then able to take personal responsibility for change and act from this responsible position to define beliefs, feelings, and  roles in relation to others and to avoid alliances. Gradually, one is able to relate closely to others and maintain emotional autonomy if one c h o o s e s . Although there are many relationship systems in which a person can be e n m e s h e d , it is most important to differentiate from one's family of origin. C h a n g e s in one's family of origin translate almost immediately into parallel c h a n g e s in other relationship systems. Children who have been triangled in to stabilize an underlying marital conflict will have a lower degree of differentiation.  Bowen reports that it took him 7-8 years of active effort to  differentiate from his family, however he w a s able to c o a c h others to do it in 2-3 years. Recently there have been attempts made to operationalize the differentiation of self concept (Bray, Willianson & Malone, 1984; G r e e n , Hamilton, & Rolling, 1986). In both c a s e s , instruments have been designed to measure the extent of a person's achieved level of differentiation.  Bowen's  description of his own process stands as the only account of the nature of the process of differentiation of self.  Stanton Peele  For social psychologist Stanton Peele (1975), the process of becoming a self involves growing out of dependent relationships. H e refers to these relationships a s addictive because they follow the s a m e pattern as drug and alcohol addiction. Peele's prescription for change becomes clear in the light of his  conception of the initial problem. In the beginning, the person is addicted to or dependent on a relationship. He or she has a diminished s e n s e of self and d e p e n d s on the other person in the relationship a s an external or outside source of assurance. Over time, this dependency or over-reliance isolates the person from new, potentially growth-enhancing experiences, and the relationship b e c o m e s a closed system preventing further growth of the self. T h e relationship can't be given up b e c a u s e identity and security d e p e n d on it and b e c a u s e no other avenues have been cultivated. In such c a s e s , both members of the relationship are equally dependent and act to prevent the growth of autonomy and self-reliance in the other. Peele's explanation of the c a u s e of addiction is framed within a model of human behavior and motivation which is a blend of cognitive and existential perspectives. The problem underlying addiction is a diminished experience of self and the c a u s e s of this experience are the unhealthy cultural attitudes and beliefs which we have learned. Peele described his theory a s a cross between Carl Rogers and Albert Ellis. According to Peele, parents all too frequently hinder the development of a s e n s e of self-confidence and internal direction. They tend to over direct children, to s q u a s h independent judgement and to teach reliance on external authority. Out of a concern to do the best thing for their children, the standards of the general culture are applied to their children without an appreciation of the importance for psychic growth of a s e n s e of independence, competence and joy. The source of the problem is the larger culture and not the families which are mere instruments of cultural values. The social structure is not sensitive  19 to people's need for influence. Schools teach reliance on authority rather than encouraging and supporting individual thought. Positive reinforcement is given for memorizing and following directions. Romantic love is idealized: we are trained from an early age to look for one special person as the answer to our happiness. W o m e n are taught to rely on men. Men are taught that they have to be strong and independent so that they are forced into dependent relationships to resolve the contradictions created by this one-sided ideal. Also, Peele suggests that television promotes passivity and teaches us that normal existence is not exciting. Peele's description of the change process is also a blend of cognitive and existential or humanist perspectives. W e can set about encouraging c h a n g e in our lives by actively examining our attitudes, adopting s o m e new attitudes and by taking action. With the combination of our active involvement, and a slow p a s s a g e of time, a new experience of self begins to build and grow. Since, in Peele's view, the underlying process is the s a m e for all forms of addiction, the cure is a general one and d o e s not apply specifically to interpersonal addiction. The following is a summary of the steps involved in becoming non-addicted: 1.  To begin, responsibility for change has to be a s s u m e d by the individual who recognizes the need for change.  2.  T h e next step is action. Using trial and error, persistent effort is applied to cope with real life situations and to build on strengths.  3.  Eventually the non-addicted self emerges and there is less need for d e p e n d e n c e on external support. There are a number of  20 feelings which constitute this new s e n s e of self.  Feelings of  competence and confidence eventually emerge from taking responsibility and applying persistent effort. Pleasure results from, being interested, engrossed, committed. A s e n s e of stability results from caring about more that one thing. 4.  The experience of accomplishing things once considered out of reach provides a model for making further changes and taking further risks.  5.  Throughout the process one learns to accept imperfection and have less need of perfect solutions. There has not been any research investigating the constituents of this  process of becoming non-addicted.  In Love and Addiction. P e e l e (1975) used  informal c a s e histories to illustrate his theory. T h e s e are not c a s e s of specific individuals, rather they are composite c a s e s drawn from the lives of people he had known.  21 SUMMARY OF THEORIES  E a c h of the theories will be summarized according to two categories: a) the dimensions of the self before change and b) the steps involved in the process of change. What prevents a person from being a self in relation to others and how d o e s change c o m e about?  Jung  a)  Prior to individuation or the achievement of the self, the conscious and  unconscious minds are not integrated. The centre of the personality is the ego which is the centre of the conscious mind. The conscious mind accepts only the favorable aspects of the personality and presents to the world a social mask or persona. The person is not aware that he or she contains within the unconscious mind the counterparts to all of the conscious aspects of the personality. T h e s e counterparts are universal meaning structures or archetypes and in cutting off awareness of these archetypes, the person is without the experience of themselves a s spiritual being. b)  Individuation is a universal process of personality development but it  does not happen automatically. It is difficult process which requires courage. Integration or individuation begins when the ego experiences a major defeat and without a solution turns to the unconscious. The counterparts to the conscious persona are one by one recognized and integrated. The self emerges when all the opposing characteristics are recognized as part of the whole. The process is recognized as impersonal rather than personal and the result is an  22 experience of oneself as a spiritual being.  Erikson  a)  A person who lacks the experience of ego identity either has not solved the  crises of the four foundational stages or has not yet solved the crisis of the identity stage of ego development. In the prior c a s e , the person may be stuck at any of the foundational stages. If there w a s not support from the social context, the child may not have achieved a s e n s e of trust, autonomy, initiative or industry. In the latter c a s e , the person has not solved the crisis of adolescence which involves having achievements recognized by others and finding an acceptable social role. Without identity, the person lacks the s e n s e of psycho-social well-being. b)  Identity achievement involves four processes: 1) solving the crises of the  first four stages of development and achieving a s e n s e of trust, autonomy, initiative and industry; 2) having accumulated experiences of belonging beginning in early childhood; 3) solving the identity crisis of a d o l e s c e n c e and achieving an acceptable social role; 4) receiving support from the social environment throughout.  Rogers  a)  B e c a u s e of negative evaluation by others, unwanted feelings are excluded  from the self-concept. The self concept which develops is a kind of social mask which is not congruent with the organismic experience.  23 b)  Becoming a person involves healing the gap between the self-concept and  the organismic experience of the self. Within a therapeutic relationship the false front begins to dissolve. People b e c o m e aware that they have not been their real or congruent selves. They have been living their lives to please others. A decision is made to become congruent. This is followed by the expression of previously denied feelings. Gradually, organismic experience is trusted as a guide for living.  Bo wen  a)  Undifferentiated individuals experience a lack of autonomy in relationship  systems. They do not state their beliefs and take separate stands. They get drawn into patterns of alliances. They unwittingly play a role in perpetuating e n m e s h e d systems. They learned this pattern in their family of origin and play it out in other relationship systems. Children who were triangled in to stabilize an underlying marital conflict will be less differentiated. b)  In order to differentiate, individuals must s e e their role in perpetuating  the system. They must then begin to define their beliefs, take stands, refuse to perpetuate alliances, and establish person-to-person relationships with others. It is most important to differentiate from one's family of origin as this will translate to other systems. Differentiation from one's family of origin c a n take many years of active effort.  24 Peele  a)  Individuals in addictive relationships have a diminished s e n s e of self and  therefore rely on their partner for external support. Continued over-reliance isolates the person from new experiences and prevents further growth of the self. T h e diminished s e n s e of self is originally c a u s e d by cultural attitudes. Parents and schools overdirect children and inhibit their s e n s e of internal control. The social structure generally is not sensitive to individuals' needs for influence. b)  T h e social value placed on romantic love promotes dependency.  In order to become non-adddicted, individuals must make a decision to  change and take responsibility for change. Will power, and persistent effort in areas of strength will eventually result in a new experience of self. The new s e n s e of self is characterized by feelings of competence, confidence, joy and stability. A s these feelings increase more risks can be taken. Gradually acceptance of imperfection is learned. With this new s e n s e of self, over-reliance on an intimate partner b e c o m e s unnecessary.  25 APPROACH TO RESEARCH  What is really called for is a rigorous descriptive study of the process of becoming a substantial self in relation to others. T h e c a s e study is considered appropriate b e c a u s e it is the method which provides the most sensitive treatment of an extremely complex phenomenon (Yin, 1984). Stake (1979a) describes four salient aspects of the c a s e study. First, although it is commonly used to study one individual, the c a s e can be whatever bounded system is of interest. Boundaries are set by one's conceptualization of the problem. S e c o n d , the examination of a single c a s e allows the researcher to deal with complexity, idiosyncracy and richness of detail. Third, the detailed data from a variety of sources are analyzed inductively in order to find the pattern of meaning. Understanding is build up as in a T V documentary. Fourth, the c a s e study is not limited to descriptive studies but descriptive and experiential understanding are it's best uses. In this way, it is very compatible with the phenomenological approach. T h e c a s e study a s developed in this research is heavily influenced by the existential-phenomenological approach to research (Colaizzi, 1978; Valle & King, 1978) and also by Cochran's (1987) dramaturgical method. Efforts have been made recently to elucidate procedures which introduce rigour to the c a s e study method (Kazdin, 1981; Y i n , 1984); however, these materials do not provide clear guidelines for c a s e studies which are not concerned with c a u s a l analysis. Kazdin's (1981) recommendations, for instance, are useful for c a s e studies which are designed to show that treatment procedures produce therapeutic c h a n g e in a client. The existential-phenomenological approach is  26 employed in this study b e c a u s e it provides a clear approach to descriptive studies of experiential phenomena. Cochran's (1987) dramaturgical method is used to provide a more rigorous, systematic approach to the collection, and understanding of the research data. In the existential-phenomenological approach to research, the concern is with understanding meaning rather than with establishing causal relationships (Colaizzi, 1978). The investigation of meaning requires a different goal and a different attitude on the part of the researcher. The goal is the investigation of p h e n o m e n a a s they are lived and research typically begins by richly describing lived experience and concrete situations rather than by abstracting a set of measurable variables. The researcher brackets his or her presuppositions and approaches the research with an attitude of questioning and inquiring. Objectivity is taken to be "fidelity to phenomena. It is a refusal to tell the phenomenon what it is, but a respectful listening to what the phenomenon s p e a k s of itself" (p. 52). In this way, the existential-phenomenological approach serves as a valuable guide to the c a s e study researcher. It reinforces the attitude of inquiry and assists the researcher in resisting what s e e m s to be an all too human tendency to seek to validate presuppositions. A l s o , in the existential-phenomenological view, experience is not merely an internal state (Colaizzi, 1978; Valle & King, 1978). "I a m always already involved in the world b e c a u s e I a m never locked up in myself" (Colaizzi, 1978, p. 52). In this way the objective and subjective are inseparable. "The person and his or her world co-constitute one another" (Valle & King, 1978, p. 14) and form an subject-object unity. In this study, observers are not used to validate  27 the account of the co-researcher. They are used to validate the conclusions of the researcher and also to add detail to the picture of the co-researcher's experience. Through the obervations and interpretations of friends w e s e e aspects of the outward manifestation of the co-researcher's experience. In C o c h r a n ' s (1984) dramaturgical approach there are two general principles informing the methods. First, according to Cochran, the patterns of meanings in our lives are organized into dramatic structures; that is, w e live our lives in stories with beginnnings, middles and ends. S e c o n d , w e take positions or stances in relation to our life contexts. A position is a blend of cognition and feeling. It is a "dramatically integrated complex of judgements about how things matter" (p. 24). Position follows from context and is supported by context. Further, it implies a direction-it points towards that which would offer completion, " A story is an enactment of position, the working out of position in actual circumstances" (p. 24). In the present study, the pattern of meaning of the data is synthesized using the concepts of dramatic structure and position.  28 C H A P T E R III:  METHOD  SELECTION OF THE CO-RESEARCHER  Two procedures from the existential-phenomenonological approach to research were employed (Colaizzi, 1978).  First, the subject involved in the  study is referred to as a co-researcher. T h e term establishes that the researcher is not the expert. Both are equals in a search for the truth of the co-researcher's lived experience. S e c o n d , the co-reseracher was selected according to two main critera: 1) the person must have had the experience in question; and 2) the person must be able to articulate the experience. Three people were referred to the researcher from her network of personal contacts. Letters were sent to each person and were followed up with a phone call. After discussion and clarification, all three people said that they had had the target experience. T h e experience w a s described in a variety of ways. A n initial description w a s given followed by a series of alternate descriptions. T h e initial description w a s a s follows: I a m interested in how a person c h a n g e s so that they experience a more definite or substantial s e n s e of self in relationship to others. In the beginning, the person feels indefinite, insubstantial and very affected and unbalanced by other people. In the end, others do not have such a great impact and the person feels more substantial in relation to others.  29 In the process of expanding and clarifying this description, two alternate phrases were used: 1) feeling inferior or superior but not equal, and 2) lacking a s e n s e of one's own identity. A decision w a s made to exclude one person from the study b e c a u s e the investigator had regular social contact with this person. A short visit w a s held with the remaining two people to ensure that they understood the research question and had had the experience in question. Mary w a s selected b e c a u s e she appeared to most completely model the target experience. Mary said that in the past she had been married to an alcoholic and felt s h e lacked an identity. S h e talked about going through an important change process which led to a new s e n s e of herself in relation to others. S h e said that s h e w a s presently attending university and intending to enter theology school to b e c o m e a priest. S h e demonstrated openness and self-confidence and appeared to be in a good position to articulate the experience b e c a u s e s h e w a s not immersed in a period of intense change.  P R O C E D U R E S ADOPTED FROM THE DRAMATURGICAL METHOD  The following procedures were employed from Cochran's (1987) dramaturgical method. 1.  The co-researcher was requested to give the account of her experience of  becoming a substantial self in the form of a story with a definite beginning, middle and e n d . The beginning of the story w a s understood to be the point at which the process of change began. The middle w a s the account of the factors  30 and turning points which accounted for the change. The end w a s considered to be the present time. 2.  T h e concepts of dramatic structure and position were used in synthesizing  the meaning of the co-researcher's account. Both concepts were used to help the researcher to find the pattern of meaning--to find the coherent s e n s e of the whole that is necessary for interpreting the parts. a) Dramatic Structure After the initial reading and reflection on the transcript, the researcher began a dialectical process of inquiring about the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Questions were a s k e d such a s : What constitutes the beginning? What are the dimensions of the beginning and the e n d ? What themes characterize the beginning, middle and end? What are the turning points that constitute the middle? W h e n d o e s the change process e n d ? T h e s e questions were reflected on throughout the c a s e study procedure and guided the search for converging sources of information to illuminate the coherent pattern of the c a s e . b) Position The concept of position w a s used to understand what constituted the beginning and end of the story. A s the researcher reflected on the transcript the question w a s a s k e d , "What is the co-reseacher's position or stance in relation to others and to her context?" The attempt to answer this question  .  guided the search for new information. The data collection process w a s considered to be complete when the researcher had gained a coherent s e n s e of the whole account and notions about position and dramatic structure were substantiated.  31 3.  In the written description of the c a s e , material from diverse sources  w a s integrated using the aspects of dramatic structure to provide structure. Beginning, middle and end were referred to as Act I, Act II, and Act III.  CASE STUDY PROCEDURE  After the initial contact by letter, telephone and in person, a meeting w a s held at Mary's home to explain the c a s e study procedure and to obtain her consent to participate in writing. A time w a s set for a taped interview in which Mary would give the account of her process of becoming a substantial person in relation to others. S h e w a s a s k e d to consider what other avenues might be useful for illuminating her change process such a s , letters, journals, observations of longtime friends and requested to contact the researcher with any suggestions. T h e taped interview was held in a private and quiet setting in Mary's home. Her account w a s elicited in dramaturgical form and the phenomenological method for interviewing w a s used.  The researcher "bracketed" her own  presuppositions about the phenomenon and allowed Mary to tell her own story (Appendix I). Empathetic listening w a s used in order to be present to Mary's experience and to assist her in reliving it. Paraphrasing w a s useful for gaining clarity. Mary's account covered the last ten years of her life and took 3 1/2 hours to complete. T h e tape w a s transcribed deleting identifying information and selecting pseudonyms or initials for the names all people mentioned in the account.  32 After reading the transcript and becoming familiar with it, C o c h r a n ' s dramaturgical method w a s used to begin a process of trying to grasp the meaning of the story. The transcript w a s studied in detail and extensive notes written in an initial effort to discover what constituted the beginning and end of the story. What w a s Mary's position at the beginning and the e n d ? What were the turning points in the change p r o c e s s ? What themes characterized i  each section? This process w a s conducted in a tentative and questioning mode. The researcher engaged in a dialectical process with questions posed and possible solutions generated. Prominent areas of uncertainty were considered to be areas which needed more illumination through further research. Notes were kept systematically in a logbook with two s e c t i o n s - o n e section to record notes, comments, questions about methods and procedures, the other to record all notes about the substance of the c a s e . Turning points in the change process were readily identified, however the meaning of insubstantiality and the coherent pattern of the story remained more difficult to grasp. A decision w a s made to interview s o m e of Mary's longtime friends and associates in order to discover what Mary w a s like when they first knew her and what c h a n g e s they had s e e n . A consultation w a s held with Mary and a plan w a s worked out to contact those people who lived in Vancouver and had known her the longest. Mary agreed not to d i s c u s s the study with these people. Just prior to contact from the researcher, Mary telephoned them to give her consent to their participation in a study of "the adult c h a n g e process". Various strategies were used for obtaining information from three different people. A decision w a s made to use a questionnaire or a taped  33 interview as it s e e m e d appropriate. The questionnaire a s k e d for a written response to the following: What are the most significant personality c h n a g e s you have noticed in Mary since you have known her? It will be most helpful if you c a n give specific examples of situations to illustrate and make your points more vivid-giving examples of situations which typify Mary's stance in the present and when you first knew her. A friend who had known Mary for 17 years w a s a s k e d to fill out the questionnaire.  W h e n her written answer turned out to be somewhat abstract,  a taped interview w a s conducted. The interview w a s found to be more satisfactory in eliciting rich, concrete detail. This interviewee commented that the task of answering the questionnire before the interview had allowed her the opportunity for reflection and enabled her to be more focused in the interview. A s e c o n d friend who had known Mary for 7-8 years preferred not to complete a written response and a s k e d to be interviewed in person. T h e rector of Mary's church who had also known her for 7-8 years kept the questionnaire for two w e e k s and returned it with an obviously well-considered response. He commented that the question required " a fair amount of time in reflection in order to answer with s o m e degree of accuracy". After the tapes of the two interviews were transcribed, they were studied to discover what information they contained regarding the c h a n g e in Mary.  All  contained valuable detail which served to enrich the portraits of ^substantiality and substantiality; however, the researcher still lacked an understanding of the coherent pattern of meaning in the story. A s the dialectical process continued concerning the pattern of meaning in  34 the data, a question w a s raised about the appropriateness of the original research question. T h e original question referred to an experience of the self in relation to others and it w a s apparent that Mary felt insubstantial much more globally: in relation to others, to herself and to the world in general. ~ Mary w a s consulted on this point and she said that her experience of herself in relation to others could not be separated from her reflexive experience of self or her experience of herself in relation to the physical world. In her words, "If you drew it a s colours . . . they would all blend into each o t h e r . . . and you'd get a different colour where they overlap." In order to maintain fidelity to her account, the focus w a s enlarged to the more global experience of becoming a substantial self. The process of reflection then continued regarding the meaning of ^substantiality. Questions were a s k e d such a s : What w a s Mary's orientation to living before she began the change p r o c e s s ? What was her stance in relation to the context in which she found herself? What w a s the direction or goal implied in her position? Extensive note taking and questioning led to s o m e tentative conclusions which, if substantiated, would lead to a coherent picture of the whole change process. It appeared that in the beginning Mary felt that control w a s not in her hands. S h e felt dependent on others for support and lived in fear of not being acceptable. A continuation of the inquiry process led the researcher to the idea of obtaining information about Mary's childhood. Questions were aked such a s : What were her childhood circumstances? What stance did she develop in relation to her circumstances?  How could this information be a c c e s s e d - c o n s i d e r i n g that  her family w a s in England?  35 A decision w a s made to use early recollections and a lifeline graph. Mary w a s consulted and a date w a s set for a convenient time when she would be able to relax and give her full attention to the procedure. T h e instructions for the lifeline graph were left with her to be completed at her leisure. S h e w a s requested to draw a graph depicting the s u c c e s s e s and obstacles of her childhood (Appendix V). A s this graph turned out to be a simple and useful tool for substantiating conclusions.about major turning points and for organizing the report chronologically, Mary was later a s k e d to complete a similar graph of her adult life. The early recollections were found to be very fruitful in penetrating the meaning of Mary's experience of insubstantiality and substantiating earlier conclusions.  In a relaxed and trusting atmosphere, Mary vividly  re-experienced and recounted nine significant incidents from her childhood. The process w a s a moving experience for both Mary and the researcher. Time w a s taken to process feelings after e a c h memory. No attempt w a s made to interpret the memories, with the exception of spontaneous interpretations offered by Mary. After the tape w a s transcribed, the transcript w a s analyzed by trying to grasp the stance or position illustrated by the memory. K e y words were underlined which captured the statement of position. At times a key phrase or word w a s retained that represented the whole. At other times, the researcher used her own words to formulate a general statement of meaning from the key words. What resulted w a s a clear conception of position. This conception fit with the pattern which had emerged from the other data and Mary's story took on a new coherence in terms of the unfolding of her childhood position. Her insubstantiality made s e n s e in the light of her childhood context  36 and the position she took in relation to it. With this s e n s e of the whole it w a s possible to return again to the other data. A systematic analysis w a s then conducted on all of the data collected, including a diary which Mary had delivered to the researcher s o m e time earlier. All statements significant to the process of becoming a substantial person were extracted from all transcripts and written on index cards. T h e s e cards facilitated the organization and integration of the material. C a r d s were labelled according to the source of the data and whether it belonged to the beginning, middle or end of the account. The cards were then sorted into three g r o u p s - b e g i n n i n g , middle and end. The cards in the middle section were labelled and subdivided into the major turning points and experiences influencing change. The cards in the beginning and end sections were grouped according to themes. The method used for the early recollections w a s found useful for deriving the general meaning from the individual statements. Key words signifying underlying meaning were underlined. Either a word or a phrase w a s retained to represent the meaning of the whole or the researcher used her own words to formulate a theme. The integrated decription was then written. The grouping of the cards according to the dramatic structure provided the necessary organization. T h e m e s , turning points and experiences influencing change provided subcategories. A s the variety of sources were grouped together according to theme, divergent sources were readily available to demonstrate and substantiate conclusions. Quotations were used to illustrate and substantiate points. The middle section of the account consisted of a narrative description  37 which w a s essentially an explanation of how the change process occurred. It w a s found useful, before writing, to draw a diagram of the middle section to visualize the overlapping and intersecting of the turning points. The beginning and end sections were static descriptions. W h e n the written account w a s complete, a copy w a s given to Mary for validation. S h e w a s asked to consider it at her leisure and to make written amendments, clarifications, elaborations. T h e finished copy of the c a s e study incorporated all of Mary's changes. A s a final step, the completed c a s e study and all supporting documents were given to an outside expert for validation. A registered psychologist with nine years counselling experience was a s k e d to reply to the following questions: 1.  Is the c a s e study an accurate summary of the supporting documents. Are  there instances of exaggeration or misinterpretation of data? 2.  Is there any important information in the supporting documents which has  been omitted from the c a s e study (with special reference to Mary's journal which w a s not included in the thesis appendix for reasons of confidentiality)? 3.  W a s the co-researcher allowed to tell her own story in the initial  interview? Did the interviewer bias the account by means of leading questions? T h e outside expert's response is included in Appendix IV.  EARLY RECOLLECTIONS  The goal w a s to obtain six significant childhood memories starting from as early as the co-researcher could remember. There w a s no effort to press for especially early memories or glimpses. The session w a s arranged at a time when the co-resarcher could relax and give her full attention. The intention w a s to obtain the stories on tape not to interpret them with the co-researcher. However, as the memories aroused potent feelings, it w a s found necessary to spend time after each memory allowing time for debriefing and support. The following were the instructions used to elicit the memories: It would be very helpful to the study if you were able to provide a collection of your important childhood memories. I'm going to give you a brief relaxation exercise then ask you to start as early as you can remember and work forward in time telling me the memories that c o m e to the surface for you. I would like you to tell them in the present tense in as much detail as you c a n . W e will record them one at a time and then stop for a few moments before continuing with the next. W e will not be discussing them at any length. T h e purpose is to obtain the memories. M a k e yourself comfortable. Allow yourself to relax-letting go of any tensions and allowing your breathing to d e e p e n . Notice your breathing slow down and d e e p e n . Imagine yourself at the top of s o m e stairs. In a moment you will go down the stairs. W h e n you have reached the bottom you will be back in time as early as you can remember. Take your time. Notice the detail with all your s e n s e s .  39 W h e n you are ready, tell what is happening in the present tense.  THE LIFELINE G R A P H  The co-researcher was given a sheet of paper on which to complete the graph. The X and Y axes had been previously drawn in and labelled in black ink. The X axis w a s labelled "+" at the top and "-" at the bottom. The Y axis w a s labelled " A g e " (Appendix V). The co-researcher w a s given a pen with suitably reproducable ink and the following instructions: Using the attached graph format, draw a lifeline which depicts your experience of growing up until the time you left home. Label the peaks, valleys and plateaus, the s u c c e s s e s and the key obstacles.  40 C H A P T E R IV: R E S U L T S  The c a s e study which follows w a s reviewed by an outside expert who concluded that the researcher . . . simply related what w a s told to her and summarized it chronologically. I could find no evidence o f . . . misinterpreting or exaggerating the data. Nothing from the supporting documents w a s omitted from the summary.  A C A S E OF BECOMING A SUBSTANTIAL SELF  It's so neat to be able to go out and visit people and talk with people and not feel self-conscious! Just to feel perfectly at e a s e and interested in who they are . . and exchange stories . . . . It just makes such a difference! It's less stressful. It just makes life worth living, (long pause) What a struggle! They say, 'Life begins at forty,' and it did for me! [Mary, 43 years]  It w a s clear in the initial interview that Mary had gone through a profound change process. S h e w a s an attractive, self-possessed w o m a n who conveyed a s e n s e of purpose and direction. S h e was completing an undergraduate degree at university and w a s planning to enter theology school to b e c o m e a priest in the Anglican C h u r c h . S h e said that ten years previously she had been a shy, withdrawn person who had great difficulty relating to others. At that time,  41 she worked a s a secretary and was married to a man who w a s an alcoholic. A l s o , there w a s a certainty and conviction in Mary's response to the research question. S h e said that becoming a substantial self w a s a matter of deep significance in her life. It had made the difference between a life that was "worth living" and one that w a s not. O n c e the research began, Mary b e c a m e a true co-researcher. S h e demonstrated an attitude of questioning--an eagerness to draw out the meaning of her e x p e r i e n c e - t o turn it over like a stone in the palm, examining all it's surfaces. S h e participated in discovering a variety of methods and sources of information to illuminate not only the well-known but the less familiar and darker places in her life. S h e made herself available for three intensive interviews a s well a s for on-going consultation throughout the research process. S h e arranged for interviews with her friends and associates. S h e provided a diary. S h e completed lifeline graphs. A n d finally, s h e permitted the investigator, and the reader, to have a c c e s s to the challenges and fears of her childhood by re-experiencing, and recounting on tape, her potent childhood memories. Although the initial aim was to investigate the process of becoming a substantial self in relation to others, it b e c a m e obvious during the interviews that the original research question was not feasible. Mary did not feel insubstantial only in relation to others. S h e felt insubstantial much more generally: in relation to others, to herself and to the world in general. To present a story which focused narrowly on her social experience would have been an undue distortion of the way her life was lived—holistically rather than in neatly categorized topics. Thus, in order to maintain fidelity to her  42 account, the focus had to be enlarged. The story as it will be presented is the story of a change from feeling insubstantial a s a person to feeling substantial a s a person. Mary said the story of her change from insubstantiality to substantiality began when she w a s 33. It w a s then that she b e c a m e aware, for the first time, that she w a s "nothing"--"an appendix" of her alcoholic husband, powerless to get him to stop drinking. It is interesting that s h e did not have this insight until after she had taken the first step out of her state of non-personhood. It w a s only after she had committed herself to an Alanon group, where s h e discovered that she w a s not alone, that she admitted to herself that s h e w a s "nothing". But more of that later. T h e point is that Mary's description of the meaning of her experience is a dynamic one: insubstantiality a s s u m e s its meaning and significance in contrast with substantiality. In her account, meaning evolves through the fabric of her life a s lived. Her account is an account of events, experiences, relationships, and insights that enabled growth. A n d through her narrrative s h e reveals the meaning of the change process in her life. Before turning to Mary's account of how the change process began and evolved, how much detail can be filled in on the portrait of Mary prior to the c h a n g e ? What did it mean to feel insubstantial in relation to others? What were her life circumstances? What feelings, fears and ambitions constituted her orientation to these life circumstances? What w a s she like and how did s h e behave in the world? Understanding the change process involves understanding not only the "change to" but the "change from". Appreciating the significance of the end of the story involves understanding the beginning.  43 Mary's early recollections are a particularly moving testimony to the fears and dilemmas of her childhood.  In addition to data from other sources,  extensive sections of her memories have been included here b e c a u s e they speak more clearly than any interpretations or third person reports. They allow empathy with the child and appreciation of the meaning of feeling incompetent, of feeling powerless, of feeling "like I didn't fit in". T h e s e memories also provide an invaluable s e n s e of continuity between Mary the child and Mary the adult. They depict the child's developing stance in relation to others, the orientation to living which is later acted out in her adult life. W e don't tune in on the last act of the play and expect to understand it: we find out what has gone before. Without further explanation, let us proceed with Mary's story in three acts: the beginning portrait of the insubstantial self forms Act I, the transition period Act II, and the closing portrait of the substantial self, Act III.  44 ACT I  Mary w a s born in England, the only child of a working c l a s s family. Neither parent had the opportunity to advance educationally. Mother went to grade 6 in school and father completed several more grades before going to work at age 15. W h e n Mary was growing up, there were difficulties in the marriage. It s e e m s likely that both mother and father looked to each other for their primary support and found it lacking. Mother s e e m s to have expressed her frustration primarily aggressively and father passively. Mary w a s fond of her father and experienced her mother a s overly controlling. Mother w a s asthmatic and her health was not good generally. Father's recommendation to Mary w a s to avoid "upsetting" her mother. W h e n Mary w a s asked to recall her most prominent or significant childhood memories, she recounted nine different s c e n e s or stories which were tape recorded and later transcribed (Appendix III). Two of the memories were happy s c e n e s , the remainder were more difficult experiences. The transcript of these memories will be used, along with two lifeline graphs which Mary completed (Appendix V), to reconstruct the chronology and d r a m a of her early years. The memories will be presented and d i s c u s s e d in terms of the themes which carry on throughout her later adult life. The happy experiences occurred during the first six years of Mary's life. In the first s c e n e , she is four years old and the family is on one of their frequent holidays at the seaside. Mary is digging in the s a n d by the ocean making sandcastles with her father and her uncle. S h e can hear the o c e a n , feel the wind and experience the warmth and laughter. The second s c e n e , a frequent  45 memory between the a g e s of four and six, is of a peaceful time of security and solitude playing alone in the secluded garden at the back of her house. Mary is making little villages in the sandbox and ingeniously constructing miniature hedgerows and roadways that she drives along with Dinkey toys. T h e first of the difficult experiences occurred at a g e ten. In her early years, Mary often played with boys. S h e had seven c o u s i n s - a l l of whom were boys and s o m e of whom usually went with her family for s e a s i d e holidays. O n one o c c a s i o n , Mary w a s kicking a football around with a group of these boys when s h e suddenly found herself confronted with an uncomfortable situation. A group of girls arrived on the s c e n e and the boys decided it would be great sport to c h a s e the girls and try to kiss them. A s a result of this e s c a p a d e , Mary discovered first the first time that she w a s "an outsider". S h e felt like she belonged neither with the boys nor with the girls. I just joined in the c h a s e . It w a s like I w a s one of the boys. It never occurred to me that I was a girl! (nervous laugh) A n d I remember chasing these girls—with the b o y s - a n d we sort of caught up with them and w e grabbed one e a c h . A n d the one that w a s closest to me, I remember grabbing her and pulling her down to the ground and trying to kiss her. A n d s h e w a s laughing. They were all laughing. A n d all of a sudden she just s c r e a m e d and said, " U g h ! . . . You're a girl!" A n d pushed me off.  (nervous  laugh) A n d I just remember it was an awful shock. I w a s just being one of the boys and all of a sudden I wasn't a boy  I remember it w a s kind of a  rude awakening. It has always stuck in my mind. I felt most p e c u l i a r ! . . I think that's where I began to feel sort of a bit strange and alienated. I suddenly didn't fit in anywhere. I didn't fit in to the boys' world and I  46 didn't fit in the girls' world either b e c a u s e I didn't feel like I w a s one of them This theme of not fitting in, of being an outsider, with it's implied isolation and loneliness continues and b e c o m e s more prominent during early adolescence when she entered an all girls' secondary modern school. S h e missed her easy cameraderie with boys. "I had to learn piano and d a n c e while I would have preferred football and scouts." It w a s at the secondary modern school, age 13-14, that the next significant experience occurred. The boys' school shared the s a m e athletic field with the girls' school and Mary wanted to play soccer with the boys instead of netball-the designated girls' g a m e . S h e went to s o m e effort to speak to both the boys' and the girls' P . E . teachers and only s u c c e e d e d in causing a row between the two and incurring the wrath of the male teacher. S o I stand on the sidelines there and watch the boys playing . . . soccer. I'm feeling really . . . . just left out. Just confused and s a d . . . and disappointed. I just don't understand this. It just doesn't make s e n s e . W h y can't girls play s o c c e r ? Nobody will tell me why! Everybody just s a y s , "Girls play field hockey and netball and boys play soccer." But why! If I ask why, I just get yelled a t . . . . S o what's the point of asking about anything! If you ask why, you get yelled at. S o you might a s well just keep your mouth shut and just listen  Just keep all your thoughts and  feelings to yourself. Later, when she was around 15, Mary suspected that she w a s more sexually attracted to women than to men. It complicates but also clarifies the picture to keep the larger social context in mind. Here, as in the later school  47  memories, behind the actions of individuals are the social systems and social values which are perhaps the more formidable obstacles. Mary's sexual preference w a s socially unacceptable. The "keeping your feelings to yourself" theme continues in another memory around a g e 11-12. After suffering an experience which frightened her and seriously endangered her life, she pretended that everything w a s just fine to avoid incurring her mother's anger. S h e was in the o c e a n , taking a surfboard back to a rental booth a long distance down the beach from her parents' blanket when a man e x p o s e d himself and then proceed to follow her. In frantically paddling to get away from him, she fell off the board and b e c a m e trapped under it. I'm trying to get up and I keep banging my head on the paddle board . . and so I try to get around the side of it to c o m e up for a i r . . but the way the w a v e s are going, it keeps . . every time I try to c o m e up, the paddle board is over m e . . . . . I can hardly breathe and I'm running out of a i r . . . and I start to c r y . . . . and I suddenly realize I'm going to die! (soft voice) This is it! . . . . A n d then I have no more air l e f t . . . so I just sit down on the s a n d , under the w a t e r . . . and I know I'm going to die. I feel upset, 'cause my mom and dad will be really u p s e t . . . . and then I just give up. I just open my mouth and let the water c o m e in. A n d it feels really peaceful. All of a sudden it doesn't matter anymore. I know it's okay. It's okay to die like that. It's not going to hurt or a n y t h i n g . . . . A n d then everything's black  A n d now I'm on the beach. A n d there's a  man . . . I don't know, just a man . . and he's hitting me in the middle of the back and I'm coughing. A n d then I'm breathing. A n d then I look  48 around and . . . I'm still alive. I'm surprised. I don't know how I got there. I g u e s s somebody pulled me o u t . . . and the other man has vanished. A n d I feel really . . uh . . scared . . and I thank the man that pulled me out. I get the paddle board . . . it's up on shore now . . and I get the paddle board and I take it to the rental place and I walk back to M o m and D a d . (clears throat) A n d I have to pretend that everything's okay and smile and be happy. I daren't tell them b e c a u s e I think my mom'll be angry at me . . and so . . and so I don't say anything. The frightened child's heroic and lonely stance c o m e s so painfully alive in her decision to "pretend that everything's okay"--to maintain an invulnerable facade and to deny her feelings. Also, the powerlessness and submission themes which are in all the remaining memories are most poignantly in this one. Mary has had the experience of desperate struggle and ultimate submission. After this painful experience, at age 12, Mary remembers bursting out in impotent rage against her mother and later receiving s o m e degree of validation from her long-suffering father. (She cannot remember a specific precipitating incident.) Her father advised her to follow a course of action of "being nice" so a s not to upset her mother who w a s prone to being "easily upset". Okay, I'm in my room and . . . I'm just shaking. I'm so angry, I'm just shaking with r a g e ! . . . . I keep walking back and forth. A n d . . . . I'm shouting at her, 'Why don't you leave me alone! Why are you always bugging me!' I want to hit something! I punch the pillows . . . and I pull all the drawers out. (nervous laugh) O h that was it! I pull all the  49 drawers out of my dresser. It has five drawers and I yank them all out!. . . . . I'm taking all the clothes out of the drawers and I'm throwing them around the room. I'm shouting.  A n d then I finally . . . feel calmer now.  I'm calming down and I feel kind o f . . . a little bit embarrassed and . : . . a little bit scared b e c a u s e I've never been out of control before and it's such a strange feeling. It kind of scared me. I could easily have killed h e r ! . . . . I feel kind of silly. I'm putting everything back in the drawers . . . . My M o m is shouting up the stairs, 'Wait 'til your father c o m e s home!* A n d I just tidy up the room and sit on the bed and just wait for my d a d . . . . . . My d a d c o m e s home. H e c o m e s in the room and . . he just looks really s a d and he says, 'What's up then? Why did you upset your mom?' ' S h e ' s always bugging m e . . . S h e ' s always nagging at me. S h e won't leave me a l o n e ! ' . . . . A n d my dad . . . he doesn't get angry! H e surprised me, 'cause he said, ' S h e . . u r n . . s h e ' s not very well. Y o u have to understand. Y o u r mom's not very w e l l . . and so she doesn't have much patience. S o w e have to just try and be nice to her and get along with h e r . ' . . . . I just remember being surprised that he didn't stick up for her and tell me off. . . . H e just looks kind of sad and tired. H e just patted me on the head . . and said . . . I can't remember now . . . j u s t . . he w a s okay about it. T h e powerlessness in this memory is continued in other comments Mary made about her mother: [She made] all the decisions for me. I remember a s a kid wanting to c h o o s e my own clothes and she wouldn't let me. S h e w a s buying the clothes and so she would choose what I wore! . . . . I never learned early on . . . to find out what suited me. S h e ' d just tell me what to wear! A n d  50  it s e e m e d to me everybody all my life w a s telling me what to do and I never had a chance to find out what I was capable of. The final three memories are school experiences. It is significant that this is an English school system. Mary was working class and a university education w a s neither an expectation nor a financial possibilty. "The upper class kids were the kids that went to university. Working c l a s s only went if they got a scholarship. A n d I knew I was not bright enough to get a scholarship." At age 11, she wrote the national exam which sorted children into a c a d e m i c and technical streams. S h e entered the technical s t r e a m - t h e secondary modern school. I really thought I w a s a dummy! I really did! I mean I just went to a secondary modern school and they more or less told y o u - w e l l not straight to your f a c e - b u t between the lines, they told you that the only thing you were good for was to get married. S o you better learn to s e w and cook! (laughs) Both things didn't interest me too much! The first of the three school memories occurred at age 15, the latter two at 18. O n her lifeline graph (Appendix V), Mary indicated that the period of her life between 15 and 17 w a s one of the most unhappy periods of her life. A s w a s mentioned, this w a s also the time she b e c a m e aware of her socially unacceptable sexual preference. During this time her hair fell out. S h e started getting bald patches and she put on weight. S h e did have two happier periods after she left secondary school, at business college a n d in the airforce although both were short lived. T h e s e c o n d and third memories occurred at age 18-19 after s h e left the airforce and was in nursing school. In each of the three memories, there is an experience of public humiliation at the hands of a  51 powerful authority figure. In the s e c o n d two there is a clear and strong theme of incompetence. In the first memory, Mary w a s repeating her final year at the secondary modern school b e c a u s e she had failed her college entrance e x a m s . S h e found herself assigned to the class of Miss Spaulding. S h e had never had this teacher before; however, the previous year an unfortunate incident had occurred. O n e day Mary's teacher w a s called out of the room and after awhile the class began to get noisy. Miss Spaulding, who w a s passing by in the hall, c a m e in to settle the group. Although Mary had been reading quietly, for s o m e reason Miss Spaulding selected Mary a s the one to get a detention. Mary had never had a detention before and when she went to Miss Spaulding's classroom after school she w a s too frightened to go in. Miss Spaulding didn't speak to Mary later about the incident but she apparently didn't forget. S o it's the first day of that term  and she [Miss Spaulding]  gets down at the end of the register. S h e gets to the e n d - M a r y S . A n d I put my hand up, 'Here Miss'. A n d . . . (sighs) 'I'm not having vou in mv c l a s s ! G e t o u t ! ' . . . 'But I'm supposed to be in your c l a s s ! There isn't anyother c l a s s for me to go i n . . . . 'Get out of my classroom!' she said. 1  My heart's thumping really fast. I'm going red and everybody in the class is looking around at me and I'm feeling really trapped . . . . and embarrassed . . . . I'm so horrified that I'm sort of stuck in my seat, (nervous laugh) I'm afraid . . . I'm just paralyzed with embarrassment. People are snickering and looking at me  and finally I get out of  my desk and go towards the front of the classroom. I w a s sitting at the back b e c a u s e I knew there w a s going to be trouble anyway. S o I'm  52 getting towards the front of the c l a s s and she's just as mad a s hell and I . . . finally (clears t h r o a t ) . . look at her and say, 'You have no r i g h t . . to make me l e a v e ! ' . . . and then s h e grabs a hold of me . . by the back of my sweater. S h e ' s very tall. A n d she opens the door and throws me o u t . . across the h a l l . . right across the c o r r i d o r . . . and I hit the wall of the other side . . and I start to cry. A g e 18: W h e n I went into nursing s c h o o l . . . I w a s there for a year. I couldn't hack it  for the s a m e reason. There was another old bat there . .  just the s a m e ! Another Miss Spaulding! Tall, skinny . . . black . . . they always wear b l a c k ! . . . . O l d bitch spinster! (laughs) Caricatures! Y o u only s e e them in movies! In England they exist!  this old bitch . . .  used to perch on a high s t o o l . . . . I w a s terrified of her! S h e a s k s me a question . . that I can't answer. I'm feeling really embarrassed b e c a u s e I should know the a n s w e r . . and I'm trying to look at S u e . S u e ' s my friend . . . who's also in nursing school a n d she's really bright. I'm not a s bright as her. I remember wishing I w a s a s bright and a s fast a s her with answers. Everybody liked h e r . . b e c a u s e she w a s quick with her answers . . . where I always had to t h i n k . . . . I'm trying to think of the answer to the question . . and I know it but I'm getting panicked. Stupid damn w o m a n ! S h e ' s yelling at me  ' Y o u should  know the answer to this. C o m e now child. Think! Think! W h e r e are your brains!' A n d I just feel like saying, 'Will you shut up and let me think!' But I try to sort of drown out her yelling while I try to think of the answer. I know the answer to the question . . . if she'd just shut up and  53 give me a minute to think but she doesn't. S h e keeps putting me down all the time . . telling me I'm stupid and slow and what the hell a m I doing in nursing school! A n d now I've forgotten what the question is and I'm just feeling totally depressed and I want to cry . . . and I just want to get out of there. A g e 18: It w a s a lab . . where we had a piece of tubing. A piece of rubber tube . . a catheter, I suppose! (sounds surprised) It would be a c a t h e t e r . . something like t h a t . . that w e had to insert in something . . I can't r e m e m b e r . . . but I had to put it into something and it wouldn't go in . . .  S o I've got this stupid catheter in my hand and he's  bellowing at me, (nervous laugh) 'Well, what would you do to put it in? What would you do!' A n d I'm frantically looking around because I know I need to wet it. I also know it has to be sterile . . so I just can't stick it under the tap . . . and I'm trying to t h i n k , . . . 'What the h e l l . . . what a m I supposed to do with this thing?' I'm trying to remember what it said in the book. I know I've read it and I should know it. A n d again, everybody is staring at me. I'm feeling very hot and my face is going red and my heart's thumping . . and I'm getting . . . my mind's going b l a n k ! . . . . ' C a u s e he's badgering me with words. He's going on and on . . . about how stupid I a m and . . T h i n k ! U s e your brains! Y o u haven't got any b r a i n s ! ' . . . A n d I know I have to wet the damn thing. I have to wet it. (nervous laugh) A n d I want to stick it in my mouth and wet i t . . and I know if I stick it in my mouth and wet i t . . . that's not the thing to do! He's going to go berserk! A n d in all the panic and in the . . . I don't know what to d o ! S o  54 in the end I wet my fingers . . . (nervous l a u g h ) . . . (gestures putting fingers in mouth and moistening imaginary t u b e ) . . . like t h a t . . and wet the end of the damn thing! Of course the whole class cracked up laughing. I laughed too. (laughs) I didn't know what else to do so I laughed. Boy w a s he mad! (soft voice) He w a s so. angry! H e w a s s f i angry! ' C a u s e the stupid thing's supposed to be sterile and I wetted it with s p i t . . . . worse than if I'd gone to the tap and wetted it!  (sniffs)..  . . Anyway, he ordered me out of the classroom . . . . (loud voice) 'Get out of the classroom! G e t out of my classroom you stupid g i r l ! . . . . Y o u ' r e not fit to be a nurse. Get out! (strong emotion) How did you get in here in the first place!' (derogatory laugh)  (sniffs)  Immediately after this painful incident, Mary quit nursing school. Her friend S u e , who w a s in the s a m e class, quit with her. Not long after, s h e had a more positive experience working at a gas station but she didn't stay at it for long.  Her mother didn't like the idea. "I think my mother made all my  decisions. S o I never really decided anything. I just s e e m e d to drift." Mary characterizes the whole of her early adulthood in terms of drifting. "I w a s just blown about by winds of c h a n c e . I never had a g o a l . . . any direction . . . nothing! S o it didn't matter, I would go anywhere." At 20, Mary travelled to Germany, and then Spain, working a s a mother's help. It w a s in G e r m a n y that she met a lesbian woman and discovered for the first time that s h e wasn't alone. W h e n she w a s 25, she emigrated to Montreal but didn't stay there long before s h e moved to Ottawa. In one s e n s e Mary wasn't entirely without a goal. S h e appeared to be looking for love. A n d yet even her search for love had a drifting quality about  55 it. Love c a m e gratuitously from outside and w a s not something she could control. Love "happened"--or it didn't. I'd be in a relationship with somebody and it would be finished and so I would just sort of move on. I remember being in M o n t r e a l . . I can't remember who I w a s with there . . . somebody . . anyway . . and that ended so I just sort of left town and went to O t t a w a . . . . W h y not! T h e r e s a , a longtime friend of Mary's, who has known her since she lived in Montreal, confirmed Mary's singular orientation around intimate relationships and the passive mode of her search for love. "Mary . . . w a s going to drop into s o m e relationship and that w a s going to solve . . . her whole life just by being in love." "[Instead of approaching people she w a s attracted t o ] . . she would just sort of sit around and fantasize, like we all did when we were kids about movie stars." S u c h observations from outside observers add a new dimension to the picture. The early memories allowed a c c e s s to the experience of the child. They demonstrated that Mary had experiences in which s h e felt powerless, unacceptable and incompetent. It s e e m s clear.that in the face of these experiences, s h e took the position that she could do nothing to improve her situation except deny her feelings, a s s u m e a mask of invulnerability and wait for redemption. Interviews with friends provide details of the external manifestation of this stance a s it developed in young adulthood. T h e r e s a saw a quiet, polite, inoffensive and solitary Mary. Mary is not offensive . . . Everybody likes Mary, you know  But no one  would necessarily phone her up and say, 'Listen, we're all going to why don't you [ c o m e ] ? ' . . . A n d so Mary sort of did things-like s h e went  ,  56 skiing—but on her own, I recall h e r . . . as being someone who was always quiet. W e loved having h e r . . . b e c a u s e she certainly didn't, what can I say, create any negative anything. S h e w a s just always quiet and polite. But, for example, i f . . . friends would c o m e over, Mary would not necessarily join. It w a s not what she w a s interested in. S h e w a s quite isolated in her behavior with other people. Another friend of Mary's, highlighted her shyness and discomfort in relating. D o n n a has known Mary for about eight y e a r s - f r o m the time, just at the end of her marriage, when she joined a women's outdoor club. I can remember her walking into the first meeting . . . and being very shy and not really participating. Mary's way of communicating w a s . . . laughing at things, smiling a l o t . . . which w a s a nervous laugh. I think she really . . . for a long, long time felt she wasn't good enough you know. The rector in Mary's church filled out a questionnaire which a s k e d for his observations of Mary. In describing the person he first knew, 7-8 years ago, he highlighted her "hesitancy". He said that he "found her to be somewhat tentative and even shy in her personal relationships". T h e r e s a said that "she w a s very good one-to-one . . if you could draw her and talk with her and do something with her. Mary is a very doing person." It makes intuitive s e n s e that one-to-one relationships provided more security and comfort and it makes s e n s e also that she was more at e a s e "doing" than talking. S h e wasn't going to talk about her feelings and she didn't feel she had anything worth talking about. S h e felt inadequate and incompetent. "There  57 w a s nothing happening in my life! What the hell did I have to talk about? I didn't do anything. What did d o ? I mean I worked in an office typing. It w a s a boring job." It s e e m s likely that s o m e people meeting Mary might have encountered, in addition to the s h y n e s s and niceness, a certain diffidence or aloofness. The following comments imply a defensive strategy of rejecting others before they reject her. "I liked cats and dogs better than I liked people." O h , I couldn't communicate! I mean I only had basically grade 11 education . . to start with. I w a s very unsociable so I didn't really talk to people very much . . anymore than I had to. . . . in Britain . . . where I w a s working class . . . the working class, middle class and the upper class never mixed . . . and all the professional people are in the upper class . . . . and it w a s very difficult for me to have anything to do with them. I would think, T h e y ' r e a bunch of snobs!' A l s o , Mary w a s self-focused. It didn't occur to her to find out about other people's experience. I didn't talk to people. I just said y e s and no and that w a s it. I had no social skills. I couldn't go anywhere. I wouldn't go to parties or anything. I didn't go anywhere b e c a u s e all I could sort of say w a s yes and no and if people a s k e d me questions I would answer but I would never make a conversation. It would never occur to me to say to somebody, 'What do you d o ? Where do you work?' [I w a s f e e l i n g ] . . . terrified! O b s e s s e d with s e l f . . . . I was too busy thinking about m y s e l f . . . . I think I w a s so busy worrying how I looked and what I w a s doing that I couldn't enjoy myself.  Niceness, diffidence and avoiding others may have been partially successful strategies but they apparently didn't produce feelings of well-being. A s in the above quotation, words such as "terrified" and "worried" feature prominently in Mary's retrospective description of her experience at that time. In the presence of others she was afraid and self-conscious. There are themes of safety, security and hiding running through Theresa's description of Mary. T h e r e s a used the gesture of sucking her thumb and twirling her hair to indicate Mary's stance in the past. W h e n I a s k e d her to clarify, s h e said, "That's a baby . . . you know, twist the h a i r . . . and this [the thumb] comforts you . . . . It's just too much out there!" " S h e lived with me and hid [after s h e w a s rejected by a woman she was in love with]." "Her reaction to things that didn't go her way . . . was that she would simply withdraw." "She's always been a safe person. S h e doesn't take risks." " S h e sat in a job downtown for far too long! S h e was perfectly happy with what she w a s doing! Totally underpaid! Y e a r after year after year." It is significant that it w a s only in retrospect that Mary w a s able to recognize that her life had been governed by fear. S h e said that, at the time, she thought of herself as a strong person. In the s a m e manner that the child denied her fear after the drowning experience, she denied her fears and vulnerabilities generally in her life. "I had this wrong . . this misconception . . that I w a s kind of okay and strong. I don't know where I got that from because I wasn't. I really needed help. It's almost like . . . I w a s wearing a mask. A n d the mask w a s all I could s e e . " Mary's defensive social behavior makes s e n s e i the light of this contradiction. If she w a s going to be successful in validating her mask of strength, she had to act in such a manner that s h e avoided any  59 threat to her underlying vulnerability. Let's pause for a moment here to clarify what s e e m to be the significant aspects of this portrait of insubstantiality as it now stands. In her family, school and larger social environment, Mary has had painful experiences in which she has felt powerless, incompetent and unacceptable. Her response to these experiences has had several aspects. At a deep level, she has a s s u m e d that she is indeed powerless, incompetent and unacceptable. Superficially, she has denied this and a s s u m e d a stance of invulnerability.  S h e thinks of  herself a s a strong person and yet her actions indicate her deeper assumptions. S h e lives in fear of being rejected and organizes her life around the need for protection, safety and external support. S h e fantasizes about ideal love relationhips. S h e doesn't set goals and try to achieve them. S h e s h o w s a pattern of passivity and drifting in relation to her environment. Apart from certain one-to-one relationships, she avoids people generally and is shy and nervous in their presence. S h e is self-focused and doesn't initiate conversations with others. Friends s e e her a s nice, polite and inoffensive. S h e rejects others to whom she feels inferior. It is a tragic portrait. A n d it is the ground against which the emerging growth and change a s s u m e s its shape and meaning. But to return to the story, what w a s it that happened in Mary's life to initiate a c h a n g e ? W h e n Mary w a s 28, she married L. It s e e m s likely that a socially sanctioned relationship with a man w a s an effort to secure the acceptability s h e so desperately needed. Mary did not say a great deal about this relationship.  S h e did say that she felt sexually inadequate, that she tried  60 everything she could think of to get him to stop drinking and that she did not consider it an option to leave her husband. T h e r e s a said that they both appeared to be in hiding: I w a s very reluctant to be with them . . . . Mary w a s always nervous with this man. A n d although the man w a s friendly, he would sort of stand back . . . you always felt you were intruding somehow. Mary said s h e made e x c u s e s and told friends not to c o m e around. "I didn't want anybody to know that I w a s married to an alcoholic--that I had this problem in my life." A s her efforts to improve her situation failed, she b e c a m e progressively more d e p r e s s e d until, after five years of marriage, she could s e e no future. H e w a s drinking and I w a s getting more and more emotionally u p s e t . . . didn't know what to do about i t . . . didn't even have the s e n s e to, or didn't even know how to reach out for help. A n d . . . I just b e c a m e really emotionally sick. I mean to the point where I can remember thinking, ' Shall I kill him or shall I kill myself?' A n d that's pretty much at the bottom of the heap. I never thought, 'Why don't I just walk away!' It w a s when she was at the bottom that the first transforming experience came. S h e w a s walking down the street when she heard familiar music coming from a church and went in. Much to her surprise, she found that she felt immediately at home. It w a s an Anglican C h u r c h - t h e C a n a d i a n version of the Church of England which she had attended regularly as a child. The prayer book and the music were the s a m e . Mary found herself enjoying this familiarity and experiencing a spiritual peacefulness which w a s to draw her back to church  61 from that time o n . It w a s the only place I w a s happy . . . there, on S u n d a y morning. It w a s , at that time, definitely a place to e s c a p e to. To get in there . . . . and I felt at p e a c e . . . and centered . . . as much a s I could. I definitely always felt okay in there. I hated to leave. I would have been happy if the service went on for two hours instead of one hour. That's how I felt about that. T h e n , against the background of this new found p e a c e and spiritual affirmation, something else h a p p e n e d - t h i s time a more social experience. A priest, w h o m she liked b e c a u s e of his kindness and concern, confronted her and challenged her to begin to take responsibility for her life. S h e had been sitting at the back and bolting out the door after the service, deliberately avoiding the necessity of speaking to this priest. However, he c h o s e to actively seek her out and to try to be of help. W h e n he first spoke to her, he said he w a s concerned that she appeared unhappy and wondered if she wanted to talk. S h e denied any problems. The next time, he asked her if she would be willing to replace a woman who w a s ill and to carry the c r o s s in the procession. S h e declined. "No way! I wasn't going to do t h a t ! . . . G o d I was just terrified doing such a thing!" O n the third try, he got through to her. H e gave her a book to read about lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Her first response w a s anger, then a degree of acceptance and a readiness to attempt s o m e action. I thought, ' Y o u son-of-bitch! How dare you say I have low self-esteem and lack of confidence!' B e c a u s e I realized the book w a s not talking about L. [husband]. It was talking about me! I was mad a s a hatter! I  62 just wanted to go and hit him over the head with it. A n d then I thought a b o u t . i t . . . and then I really started to think about my life and what was going on . . . . and all of a sudden I suddenly realized it w a s t r u e ! . . . 'It's not only all my husband's fault, right? What a m I supposed to d o ? ' Later she said, "I can't say that I totally swallowed it, but I said, 'Well m a v b e ! ' " It wasn't total committment, but it w a s the first time s h e considered that there might be s o m e action she could take, independent of her husband, to improve her situation. The first thing that c a m e to mind w a s an Alanon group. A year earlier, a neighbour had confronted her as well. S h e had pointed out that L. w a s an alcoholic and suggested Mary try to get him to go to A A . Failing that, she suggested that Mary go to Alanon--a group organized for family members of alcoholics. Alanon w a s to be a profoundly transforming experience. It w a s in Alanon that she b e c a m e deeply a w a r e - a w a r e of her ^substantiality, aware that she w a s an "appendix" of her husband. Alanon w a s the beginning of the emergence of a new stance in relation to other people. Before going on to Act II and the story of the transition period, let us take a moment to summarize the circumstances which brought Mary to the threshold of major change. S h e had reached a point of defeat and s h e could s e e no hope for a solution. Her orientation to life had led her into a dependent relationship with an alcoholic h u s b a n d - a marriage which w a s incompatible with her sexual orientation. S h e felt powerless to stop her husband from drinking, powerless to improve the relationship and she had no conception of a life independent of the relationship. Then in that dark place two things  63 happened: she had a spiritual experience of peacefulness and affirmation and a supportive authority figure gently confronted her with taking responsibility. T h e result w a s that for the first time, Mary b e c a m e aware, however tentatively, of her low self-esteem and lack of confidence and of the possibility of improving her life by taking action on her own behalf. Act II, which covers the next six years in Mary's life between the ages of 34 and 40 is the story of the transition period-the transformation of the old into the new, the emergence of the substantial self.  64 A C T II  Two documents are relied on for this section of the story: the transcript of the first interview with Mary and Mary's journal. It w a s in the first interview that Mary told the story of the transition period in her life. S h e told about the pivotal experiences, how they promoted change and what they meant in her life.. The journal adds a close-up look at the process of change during a crucial eight-month period at the end of the transition period-just before she turned 40 and enrolled fulltime in community college. Although profound c h a n g e s had occurred before this period, Mary had b e c o m e temporarily stuck and had gone to a therapist for help in getting moving again. The journal records her progress through pain and confusion to action and control. Before returning to the narrative, it should be mentioned that the image of the transition period is no longer a portrait. It sufficed to use the portrait metaphor a s long a s there was a static picture. During the transition, the image is more biological, more life-like, with movement growth and change. O n e c a n s e e old patterns and colours fading, new patterns emerging and colours deepening. A l s o , there is interpenetration, overlapping and intersecting. Different life experiences overlap and influence each other. O n e pivotal experience can't be extracted cleanly without having s o m e of the coloration of the nearby d e s i g n s - a s the experience of going to church can't be cleanly separated from the experience of going to the Alanon group. N o w to return to Mary as she sets off for the Alanon group. Although she had giimpsed the possibility of taking action on her own behalf to improve her situation, this vision quickly faded. W h e n faced with actually committing  65 herself to the Alanon group, her old pattern resurfaced. "It w a s L.'s damn fault anyway and why didn't he go to A A and what the hell w a s I doing here? I w a s doing it for him. I wasn't doing it for me!" "They're a bunch of jerks and I don't .belong here. I'm not like them. I'm different." W h e n s h e found out that everyone had to take turns chairing the meeting, this gave her further reason to reject the situation. I couldn't do anything like t h a t . . . . I j u s t . . . I just felt that I didn't have . . . I w a s too shy. I didn't have any skills. I couldn't do anything like that, I mean what w a s I? A housewife . . you know . . and a secretary. T h e group had a well-considered rule that new members should attend five meetings before they decided whether or not to stay in the group. Mary's plan w a s to quit after the requisite five sessions but by then a change had occurred. S h e discovered that she was not unusual! "I'd suddenly found all of these people with the s a m e problem." "I was not unusual. I w a s very usual" . . . All these couples in Alanon . . . . have the s a m e problems. They all think about, 'Shall I kill myself or kill him!' They never think to leave. It just doesn't occur! A n d in finding out that other people had the s a m e problem, she b e c a m e aware of herself. I b e c a m e aware that I didn't have any substantial self. That's where the awareness c a m e that there wasn't any Mary. I w a s just nothing. I w a s just a physical body walking around. They all go through t h a t - s p o u s e s of alcoholics. They just lose themselves and they don't realize they can walk away. It's a real emotional entanglement. Y o u don't have enough distance to look at  66  what's going o n . In achieving awareness of herself, and in realizing that other people had the s a m e problems, for the first time she took a different stance in relation to other people.  S h e began to remove the mask of invulnerability which she had  fashioned so long ago. I definitely learned to be humble . . . . That was one of the hardest things, I think . . . having to accept that I couldn't do it on my own! That I needed help from other people and that they could give it and that it would help . . . that it would help me to b e c o m e . . m y s e l f . . . . . I had to just take that mask off and c o m e out and say, 'Help!' Before, I always tried to do it myself. I didn't think I needed help from anywhere . . any outside h e l p . . . . I mean I thought G o d w a s out there somewhere. A n d in Alanon I Teamed that God--or whatever you want to call the higher p o w e r - w o r k s through people . . . that if I needed help I had to reach out and ask for it from other human beings . . . and I g u e s s I w a s too proud. Too proud to reach out and ask. S h e experienced her admission of need in terms of a "coming down." "It felt like I had to c o m e down off a pedestal that I'd built for m y s e l f . . . I had to sort of c o m e down to where everybody else w a s . . . and it w a s a humbling experience." A n d when she c a m e down and joined the others, she began her journey from the position of "outsider" to "insider"-from loneliness to contact and belonging. S h e stayed in Alanon for two years and during that time, both in Alanon and in the church, she "started to really partake in the community". I began to feel that I wasn't a l o n e - a n outsider, that I didn't fit in. I  always thought I didn't fit in any where. I always thought I w a s on the outside looking through a window in. A n d all of a sudden I was beginning to be part of the community-the Alanon community and the church c o m m u n i t y - w h i c h were very similar. At the s a m e time a s she risked letting others know that she needed help, s h e started taking risks with her fear of incompetence and failure. I had to be chairperson . . . scared myself half to death! But I w a s surprised that I managed. Also I felt that's where I grew a little b i t . . . that I began to have a little bit of confidence in m y s e l f . . . ' O h ! I could do this! What a s u r p r i s e ! ' . . . M a d e me feel good . . . and I felt confident to try something a little bit harder, a little bit more difficult. . . . I started low on the totem pole [in the c h u r c h ] . . . just being a s e r v e r . . . and then one of the guys that w a s the head server said to me one day that he wanted me to be head server and I just about died! M e ? . . . . H e felt I could do it and I just felt I couldn't. But anyway, he talked me into it. A n d so I did do i t . . . and did fine! Clearly s o m e new patterns are beginning to emerge. Through beginning to admit her vulnerability in a supportive context, Mary is finding out that vulnerability is acceptable and, what is more, that it brings her into contact with other people. S h e has a new awareness of her dependence and lack of autonomy in her marriage. Her confidence is increasing as she takes action and discovers her capability and c a p a c i t y - s h e s e e s the possibility of moving up "the totem pole" by her own efforts. Finally and importantly, she has the nurturance that she gets from her spiritual experience. A n d yet the new patterns are, in a sense, still in nascent form. The fact of  68 their presence is profound but they do not yet dominate Mary's experience of herself. They co-exist with the old fears. In the metaphor Mary uses to depict her experience at that time note the juxtaposition of both hope and fear. I knew . . . that I w a s beginning to slowly change . . sort of like a butterfly coming out of a crysalis . . . . I really had this vision that there w a s this really neat person that I w a s going to be . . and yet I dug my heels in. I w a s really scared about it. A n d it is in the context of this fear that the courage of her next two actions can be appreciated. At age 36, two years after she had started Alanon, Mary left her husband and "came out" a s a lesbian. S h e s a y s that she could not accept her lesbianism previously b e c a u s e it w a s simply unacceptable socially. I'd always known I w a s gay but I didn't accept it. I couldn't accept that. To me it w a s , I don't know, I think I had been brought up to think it w a s a bit of mental illness really. It [lesbianism] w a s socially not acceptable. It wasn't in England at that time or when I first c a m e to Montreal. It was just not acceptable. It w a s wrong, dirty and all the rest of it! S o that's why I just sort of pushed it out of my mind. Vancouver in the 1980's w a s a more hospitable time and place and Mary had evolved to the point where she w a s ready for further unmasking--the unmasking of a crucial vulnerability. W h e n s h e joined an outdoor club for women and met other lesbian w o m e n , s h e knew immediately that she belonged. A s soon a s I saw them and got talking to them . . I just had this  ....  69 feeling of camaraderie . . . closeness . . . . and I felt the s a m e as them. I felt they were like my sisters. I felt that these were my people. I mean it would be like a black person who has always been in a white world and seeing another black person  Suddenly there w a s all these  women and I knew that I w a s exactly the s a m e as they were! T h e s e women were healthy successful people, unlike the women she had met in the Montreal bar s c e n e . A n d to belong to this group of women offered the possibility of the long sought after prize of acceptability and normalcy. If they were acceptable, maybe she could accept herself. T h e women in the club were sort of like m e - t h e y were outdoorsy. A n d they s e e m e d perfectly normal. They had jobs. There were even s o m e professional women in that group . . like psychologists, lawyers and doctors! S o I thought, 'You can't be crazy and weird and [have] something mentally wrong with you if you're a psychologist, lawyer or doctor!' [I felt] r e l i e f . . . absolute r e l i e f ! . . . M a y b e I'm normal! M a y b e for me this is normal! M a y b e I c a n be gay and have a normal life and feel okay about  myself.  Mary didn't explain her thoughts and feelings about leaving her husband; however, a pivotal experience which happened within the year after she left him g o e s a long way towards filling in the picture of what it must have been like for her both to leave her husband and to c o m e out a s a lesbian. S h e w a s at a women's weekend organized by the church. It was a warm, accepting environment and Mary felt happy and relaxed until the leaders began to prepare the group for a confession experience. W h e n other members of the  70 group started going forward and, with a great release of emotion, confessing their guilt, Mary b e c a m e highly threatened and angry. S h e donned her running gear and left the building to go for a run along the paths in the nearby w o o d . After awhile she stopped running and stood in the woods crying. S h e b e c a m e aware of her fear of the emotionalism back inside. At the s a m e time, s h e realized that s h e didn't want to be out there on her own. S h e wanted to be part of the group. S o s h e returned to the g r o u p - o n l y to find that her physical presence did not ensure her belonging. S h e had the feeling that the others who had gone through the confession experience were "on the inside" and s h e had been left out. This w a s enough to galvanize her into going into the chapel with one of the priests whom she particularly trusted. A s I knelt down to pray . . . I didn't really know what I w a s going to say but a s soon a s I got down there I suddenly realized what I wanted to say and that w a s that I had this tremendous burden of guilt that I w a s carrying around . . . about being gay still  I didn't realize it w a s still  there in the back of my mind. Actually that was number two. Number one w a s definitely leaving L. [husband]. I felt terribly, terribly guilty about leaving this guy. He w a s sick. H e w a s an alcoholic. A n d then . . . I just started to sob and sob . . oh . . s o b . . . right from 4  down here. It w a s just coming up and up. I w a s just sobbing and this guy held me . . . . and then there was sort of a silence. I will never forget it! It w a s just incredible! It w a s just this . . . I heard him saying, ' . . . a n d you're fine the way you are. G o d loves you the way you a r e . ' . . . . T h e n I just felt this tremendous peace. I thought of it in the Bible where it s a y s , 'The peace that passeth all understanding.' A n d I  suddenly realized that it does e x i s t . . . . and then it w a s just like something bubbled up inside me and I just started to l a u g h . . . . W e stood up and we just stood there hugging each other laughing out heads off! A n d I felt about 20 pounds lighter. W h e n she returned to the group, she felt like she belonged. A n d after the weekend w a s over, it w a s obvious that the experience had profoundly affected her life. That weekend really did something . . . . it just gave me so much confidence and strength that I would try . . . I would more or less just try anything. I mean . . . and I also knew that I might f a i l . . . but it didn't matter.. that I didn't have to be perfect. I would just do the best job I could . . . I lost the fear on that w e e k e n d . I also realized on that weekend that my life had been ruled by fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of god knows what! I w a s just afraid of everything. Afraid of failure. I just started to be more honest and more open. I shared my feelings more and discovered that people had feelings too . . . If you start sharing what's bothering you and you hear coming back that the other person basically has the s a m e sort of problems . . it's quite a shock to you! I always thought everybody was different-different to the point where they didn't even have the s a m e feelings . . or the s a m e things happen to them. This new stance in relation to others has a more substantial feel about it. T h e pattern begun in Alanon has a s s u m e d more form. Let's review the features of the pivotal experience that led to this change and growth. Mary deeply felt the unacceptability of her sexual orientation. S h e also apparently had a deep  72 s e n s e of responsibility for her husband which made leaving him unacceptable. In a supportive context, when she felt completely acceptable, she allowed herself to b e c o m e fully aware of her feelings and to fully express them. After this experience, acceptability no longer involved perfection and invulnerability. It w a s okay to be imperfect and vulnerable and this made for a different ground on which to stand in relation to others. S h e b e c a m e less self-focused and aware of other people as "the s a m e " . Others b e c a m e friendly rather than threatening. S h e could relax  sometimes.  It is difficult to capture the complexity of her life during this period. There were profound changes happening but there were also areas where the old orientation w a s very much alive. Four months after she left her husband, Mary moved in with a new partner-this time a w o m a n . B. w a s a serious athlete and a forceful personality. After the initial bloom of infatuation had faded, Mary w a s face to face with her old issues of powerlessness, and repression of feeling. Also, for many years now, she had been working as a secretary: in her view, this w a s nothing to be proud of. It s e e m e d to symbolize her inadequacy and incompetence, especially in relation to B.'s professional friends. Later, it is these issues that bring her to a h a l t - a s we will s e e in the journal-but in the meantime, she continued to grow and develop. A r e a s of difficulty coexisted with steady growth of new patterns. There were two areas of growth and change which were on-going: running and religion. Mary didn't talk a lot about running. S h e gave the impression this w a s not b e c a u s e it w a s unimportant but b e c a u s e it was a long and complex story in itself. T h e few comments she did make will be pieced together to convey a  73 s e n s e of the meaning this activity had (and still has) in her life. S h e spoke of the time when she was just beginning to run. This w a s at the very beginning of her relationship with B. and before the confession experience. S h e said running w a s important in terms of giving her a s e n s e of personal competence and acceptability and of providing a bridge for communication with other people. I didn't want to talk about the church at a party b e c a u s e I wasn't very confident about the church . . . b e c a u s e people laugh at you if you go to church! A n d at that time, I didn't have the self-confidence to accept being laughed a t . . . but you could talk about running . . . that w a s acceptable! All of a sudden I had something to talk about! It w a s one of the best things that ever happened to me. B e c a u s e it gave me something that w a s m i n e ! . . . . It w a s just something that belonged totally to me and it was also something that I could share and talk about. It gave me a communication bridge with other people. Mary also said that, a s a result of her running, she began to lose weight, to b e c o m e healthier and to feel more attractive; that she built up her committment to the point that she eventually ran two marathons; and that she discovered "through running that a spiritual harmony w a s possible, a o n e n e s s with the natural world of which I a m a part." The c h a n g e in health and self-image, the remarkable accomplishment of running the marathons and the statement about spiritual harmony all suggest realms of meaning which need further illumination. Suffice it to say that running constituted another pattern which w a s interwoven throughout the whole of her change process and which permeated and coloured all other areas  of her life. Religion had a similarly profound, enduring and complex influence. The church w a s the context for a growing s e n s e of confidence as Mary took on increasing challenges and responsibilities. It was important also b e c a u s e it w a s a social context where she w a s developing a s e n s e of community and belonging. But most importantly, the church w a s the context for the spiritual regeneration and renewal which became central to her growth process. Maybe I've been really busy . . . . so all of a sudden, I start realizing that I'm not feeling very good! Y o u know? A n d I'm d e p r e s s e d . A n d so I think, 'Well g e e , y e a h ! I haven't prayed for about a week.' S o maybe I'll sit and pray or put on a mediatation tape . . or I'll just s i t . . . and j u s t . . . well, I g u e s s meditate really . . . . There's stuff whirling around and I shove it out of the way and just think about nothing and just allow . . . G o d . . . well whatever it is . . that if you allow yourself that s p a c e . . . it gets filled with G o d . . . . and it's in that silence somewhere that . . . I can't even put it into words. It's really hard, (long silence) I don't know, things just sort of s e e m to get sorted out and begin to feel grounded again and centered . . and at peace . . . and I feel okay to go on again. It's an inner cleansing . . . . hard to articulate . . . . just a terrific calming down . . . . sometimes I cry . . . . sometimes I'll laugh . . . . sometimes I speak in tongues. That's a bit weird but it sometimes happens. A release of tension and my confidence c o m e s back. If I'd been feeling scattered and upset and worried about something, it's all gone and I feel a sort of new strength.  75 I can go into church and maybe I'm all scattered . . . and I'm confused . . . and I get to church and sit down and it's such a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere . . . . the music . . . the prayers . . . wafting incense going by. It's all very calming down. For a whole hour I don't think a b o u t . . . . school or my financial problems or anything like that at a l l . . . . I'm just centered on the service . . . . and the music--the whole thing together s o m e h o w just settles me down. It centers me. I have this feeling of peace . . . c o n t e n t m e n t . . joy . . . I can go in there feeling miserable and c o m e out feeling on top of the world. Like all my problems are gone. I have this just abundant joy. This powerful regenerative process, combined with all the other emerging new patterns, eventually brought Mary to the point of confronting her areas of greatest difficulty: relationship and career. The underlying issues appeared to be powerlessness and a lack of purpose or direction. Mary's journal records the process of coming to terms with these issues of d e e p importance. S h e had apparently been grinding to a halt in the face of them. S h e w a s dissatisfied with her job a s a secretary. S h e did not feel well physically and frequently had "flu-like" symptoms. In her intimate relationship, neither Mary nor her partner were able to deal effectively with conflict. B. w a s frequently angry and Mary retreated into a depression that neither her religious practice nor her running s e e m e d ultimately to solve. Something additional s e e m e d to be called for and Mary turned to her therapist, S . , for support. Mary said of S . that she played an important role in facilitating and supporting the emergence of her new s e n s e of self. S h e said S . "grounded" her,  76 and helped her to be unafraid of growth and change. "There are two things that helped [me become less afraid.] One's the church and one's S . " S . helped her to become aware of her feelings and to feel safe to communicate them. "When I got to S . , S . would say, 'Well how are you f e e l i n g ? ' . . . A n d I suddenly realized . . I hadn't a clue how I w a s feeling!" "I'd never talked to another human being about my deepest feelings . . . . so it w a s difficult at f i r s t . . . for awhile I just w a s on the surface with her and feeling her out. And then I realized that she w a s safe and that I could talk to her about anything!" T h e journal w a s kept during the eight-month period when Mary w a s seeing S . The entries begin in March and they indicate the powerlessness Mary was experiencing in her relationship. March 7: B. c a m e home very hostile . . . I went to bed and cried. Felt disappointed as I wanted to share my day with her. March 9: I am angry and want to kick somebody. I'll just have to stuff it down until I s e e S . If I say anything tonight. B.'ll just get in a worse mood. March 2 1 : I feel lonely these last few days . . . . Also putting on weight and have a bald patch-all warnings no doubt. Sometimes I feel like a pet dog. Also during this period, the entries show the fear Mary experienced speaking in public, the difficulty she had in admitting her vulnerability to others, and her determination to change. March 6: W a s upset re having to chair meeting at outdoor club. Felt sick. S h a r e d my feelings with B. and felt a bit b e t t e r . . . The inner dialogue in my head s e e m e d to quiet down and so felt more centered.  77 Must learn to share my feelings more. It's O K , not a sign of w e a k n e s s . March 11: Trying not to withdraw but failed at church. H a d stuff to share at Healing Workshop but couldn't get it out. 18 people a bit much for me on good days. Then there is one entry which indicates a change. S h e responded with care and concern to her partner's withdrawal. March 18: Realized that before, when she closed up [because feeling physically unwell], I would ask for a hug as I felt rejected but wanted to be sure. W h e n my request w a s ignored, I knew I w a s rejected. This time I just gave strokes and T L C and asked for nothing. S e e m e d better. T h e rest of March and April are marked by depression and Mary s e e m s to be searching for the reason: "Felt a bit lonely this week, not sure why." "Draggy week. Feel tired out." "I'm just blue." "Still bored and depressed at work, not sure why." "I'm not centered and not sure what I'm not doing T h e n , at Easter, she got quite sick. O n G o o d Friday, she didn't go to church. S h e stayed home and performed her own church service, reading the priest's part herself. The following journal entry was written a few d a y s later. April 22: More and more now I feel the urge, push, nagging feeling. Drawn towards being a p r i e s t . . . .half of me wants to pursue this and the other half wants to run away and hide. T h e next few days were marked by a mixture of hope and fear-with hope finally winning out. April 22: [After she told the Archdeacon that she wanted to be a priest] O h god what can of worms have I opened. O r maybe the door to heaven, who k n o w s . . . . I wonder if they think I'm a religious n u t . . . . my pride  78 can't be hurt anymore it all went in Alanon. S o what's the big deal really. April 24: I'm crying very easily. Don't know if it's b e c a u s e of my cold or if I'm d e p r e s s e d or what. The next entry is undated. It is not clear if it refers to the s a m e night. S h e describes a dream in which she is being rejected by both B. and her husband. S h e is standing between two beds "like a child stands with toes turned inward and hanging head". Immediately following the dream she writes: Where I got the 'balls' from to ask to be a priest I don't know.  I'm  expecting rejection but also I'm filled with hope. What will I do if they reject me. I feel, in looking back, that all my past has brought me to this door! Surely it must open. There is a new s e n s e of identity, confidence and control. In chosing to pursue her dream of being a priest, it's as if she is dealing with all the major obstacles with one blow. S h e is dealing with her s e n s e of incompetence, her powerlessness and with the previous a b s e n s e of purpose and direction in her life. After Mary took the risk of making contacts to get references and information and she began to develop a vision of the feasability of her plan, she writes, "I've finally found my tongue." S h e had begun to be more assertive in her relationship with B. and she spoke up for herself in other contexts as well. O n e entry notes that she defended her sexual orientation in a church group. May 27: [After two members of the group referred to "curing"  79 homosexuality] Spent an hour telling my experience. Don't think I changed their minds but I felt better. They thought I had great courage! A s her plans proceeded, her vision and sense of purpose gained substance. A n d with this, there was the beginning of some autonomy in her relationship, a s well as a new social confidence. J u n e 4: Feel like there's been a shift in me. Like G o d and I were walking side by side and then-we merged and b e c a m e one. J u n e 16: B. is fed up with m y ' S u n d a y S c h o o l ' o b s s e s s i o n . I w a s surprised the only emotion that c a m e up was warmth, understanding and s a d n e s s ! . . . . True religion is the centre of my life . . . . I don't remember if this way c h o s e me or I it but I'm on it and I cannot give it up or go back. J u n e 19: I led prayer session totally unselfconsciously. July: Great weekend. I s e e m to be more popular than I thought I was. Since I got my head out of the sand. The following entry suggests that she can feel herself changing and is a bit unsettled by it. July: I feel like I'm in a transition period going from something to something and it feels a bit strange. Then at the beginning of August (August 2), there was an episode in which B. had a outburst of rage and powerlessness. Mary handled it by retreating into depression for a couple weeks. August 10: Feeling depressed . . . . Why won't I leave B.? Then c a m e a change, first marked by a dream in which there was a vicious animal threatening. Her place of refuge was a small shack where she was  80 "standing in corner holding the walls which were being pushed in by forces outside". Her next and final entries (undated) in this journal show that her s e n s e of internal control has returned. August: S h a r e d my confusion [with B.] over whether to stay or leave. S h e feels s a m e way. W e agreed to hang in and keep trying for a bit longer. It's not so bad being totally honest a s I thought it might be. Langara-next week. R a n , s w a m , helped at e a c h eucharist, square d a n c e d , s a n g . J o i n e d unselfconsciously in everything. Mary discontinued with her therapist at this point. With an emerging s e n s e of control and purpose, she no longer needed S . S h e had a plan to return to school in a year's time. In the meantime, she would stay with B. and s e e what evolved from her new found position of internal control and s h e would prepare herself for school by taking a night course. Mary w a s coming near the end of the period of her life that had been dominated by fear. The year she turned 40, she quit the secretarial job she had been at for 10 years and began a s a fulltime student at a community college. Through this courageous step, she w a s to confront the unacceptable student of long ago. "When I first went to L a n g a r a . . . O h , I w a s so s c a r e d ! I didn't think I could do it!" "I expected maybe to scrape through." S c h o o l w a s the place that she tested herself--and found out that s h e w a s capable afterall! "I'm not stupid." "I'm more intelligent than I thought I w a s . " "I thought you had to be perfect  but I realize now that people just do the  best they c a n . Y o u know, you have skills, and the skills are not something that  81 you're born with--they develop as you develop." S h e began to develop the confidence that she really could accomplish her goal of becoming a priest and she found that it was her willingness to change that w a s going to get her there. "I've c o m e this far and changed this much . . . I'm sure I can go on and change enough that I can do that job." In taking on the challenge of proceeding with her goal and in losing her fear of change, it s e e m e d that her developing sense of substantiality w a s brought to fruition. It w a s during the first two years in school that she had the s e n s e that she had "emerged". Mary is presently attending university and has one more year there before she applies for theology school. S h e left B. a year ago. S h e described that decision as a "tying off". It sounded as if it w a s a move that had been overdue for s o m e time and one that she needed to take to concentrate on her chosen goal. There were two other experiences that fell into this category of tying off. S h e established a good connection with her mother and she did s o m e additional work with her therapist to resolve her feelings about the death of her father. Just prior to leaving B., Mary travelled to England to visit with her mother. . At that time, she initiated a conversation about her childhood feelings of being overly controlled. Her mother was open to talking and told Mary about her marriage and relationship difficulties. For the first time, Mary understood her mother's situation. The result was a new s e n s e of equality and connection. "My M o m treated me like I was a human being, not like . . . a kid! A n d in the s a m e respect, I treated her like she was another woman and not my mother. . . . W e just had this wonderful time!"  82 Mary reconnected with her father as well. During a temporary period of loneliness, just after she left B. and moved from community college to university, she returned to her therapist for guidance and support. The end result w a s that she dealt with a restricted feeling she had had in relation to her father and her father's death. W h e n Mary's father was dying of cancer, 10 years earlier, she had not been able to connect with him and tell him how much she had appreciated the times they had together when she w a s a child. S h e said that her mother didn't want him to know he w a s dying and consequently Mary felt unable to talk to her father except in a superficial way. A s it happened, she had to return to C a n a d a before her father died and since that time she had had a peculiar feeling that he "was miles away"-although previously she had always felt very close to him. During a guided imagery experience with S . , Mary had an imaginal experience in which she regained that closeness to her father. S h e experieced that her father's love or e s s e n c e was inside her and the sensation of "distance" disappeared. During this whole period of emergence, Mary s e e m s to have developed the position that if something isn't working and she isn't feeling herself, she will involve herself in s o m e change that will bring about renewal and reorientation. It's as if she has started on a journey that requires a great deal of energy and if that energy b e c o m e s blocked she has to do something--to c h a n g e - i n order to continue on. I just have this feeling that there are all these things that I'm neatly tying off and finishing off because I'm going somewhere . . . . it's sort of  83 like putting all your armour on because you're going out to battle . . . . getting ready to move onward. Onward and upward . . . as I say . . . I'm aiming to be a priest, which is a long, long journey. A n d if I think about where I am right now, I realize I still have . . . a lot of growing to do . . . . because I mean right now I couldn't stand up in church and preach. Actually I wouldn't be afraid to do it anymore . . . . but I know I don't have the skills for that yet. It's going to be a lot of years of school and a lot more growth before I become the type of person who can do that. W e recognize in these words the kind of confidence that endures, that is substantial, that doesn't disappear in the face of obstruction and difficulty—and we appreciate what a long route she has travelled to get there. In closing Act II, let us set out in summary fashion what s e e m to be the underlying patterns of the transition period of Mary's life. The process of change, taken as a whole, s e e m s to consist of an interweaving of two central processes. O n e process involves a kind of letting go or opening up. Through many and various experiences, Mary discovers that she if she lets go of her social mask of invulnerability and accepts her painful feelings and imperfections, she achieves at a s e n s e of harmony with herself, with other people and with the universe. In the beginning, and later in a time of crisis, this experience c o m e s through the support of other people. Mary finds also that running and spiritual practice return her to this harmonious experience of self. The s e c o n d process involves action in the world. In supportive contexts Mary begins to take small steps to apply herself and discover her capacities. Each step involves a risk and each successful result involves an increasing  84 experience of competence and internal control. A s she s u c c e e d s at one step, she takes on progressively larger tasks until eventually a new s e n s e of self emerges. T h e two processes s e e m to be profoundly interwoven. Letting go facilitates action and vice versa..  W h e n Mary encounters obstacles, she finds a  way to get moving again by returning to the experience of herself as a harmonious being. A n d this spiritual experience provides direction for the application of effort. The pattern is complex and configurational rather than one dimensional and linear. Supporting experiences interpenetrate and overlap. Acceptance of self interacts with taking responsibility and action. Acceptance of self interacts with social acceptance. Also, there is variation in the rate at which the substantial self evolves. There are spurts forward, regressions and plateaus.  85 Act III  Act II w a s the account of how substantiality evolved. It remains for Act III to gather together what s e e m to be the really essential aspects of the substantial self and to consider the end of the story and how it relates to the beginning. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the closing picture is that all the details s e e m to blend and inter-relate. Shift and movement are no longer the dominant aspects, however interpenetration of pattern remains. Aspects of experience blend one into the other like brush strokes on a c a n v a s . The image of a portrait applies once again. Since no one brush stroke has priority or is intelligible on it's own, let's start where we began and recall the opening quotation. It's so neat to be able to go out and visit people and talk with people and not feel self-conscious! Just to feel perfectly at e a s e and interested in who they are . . . and exchange stories . . . . It just makes such a difference! It's less stressful. It just makes life worth living. What a struggle! They say, 'Life begins at forty,' and it did for me! For Mary, feeling substantial involves feeling as if her life has just begun. It has finally become worthwhile. There is a s e n s e of pleasure and enjoyment rather than struggle--of feeling at e a s e rather than stressed, anxious or fearful. Substantiality also involves being interested in others rather than being self-conscious and self-focused. According to Theresa, S h e even said to me . . . 'How do I come across to you?' Y o u  86  know, taking my breath away! Before, she wouldn't dream about even thinking about asking, 'How do I c o m e a c r o s s ? Do I c o m e a c r o s s like an army tank or do I look like a desirable person? Do I look like s o m e o n e you want to be with?' This w a s what she wanted to know! I w a s loving this kind of communication from Mary b e c a u s e it just means that she's concerned a b o u t . . . being for other people . . . something. Mary's position in relation to others has changed. S h e has moved "beside" rather than "on top of" or "underneath". In the past, her s e n s e of herself s e e m e d to be determined by other people. S h e was oriented towards finding accceptance and avoiding rejection.  Now she is not so dependent on outside  approval. S h e has s e n s e of autonomy, inner control a n d , importantly, a s e n s e of belonging. S h e is no longer concerned with seeking safety and protecting vulnerability. Her relationship to others has become more equal, more a matter of dialogue, of negotiation. Relating has become something other than an enterprise in seeking acceptability and approval. It has b e c o m e a matter of greeting an equal partner. I feel that more or less I've found m y s e l f . . . . I can still grow and change . . . . but I feel very comfortable with myself. A n d I feel that I have a lot to give and a lot to share. W h e n I'm with people it's like give and take. I feel very equal to people now. I never felt equal before. According to Theresa, Now I believe that Mary could c o m e into the house and chat with whoever the heck's here! ' H i ! What do you d o ? What's your n a m e ? ' . . . S h e would initiate now . . where she wouldn't before. Y o u know, she's healthier. S h e includes herself. S h e doesn't  87 d e m a n d but she asks. If somebody says 'no', that's cool with her. At one time, it wouldn't have been cool. S h e would have hid. It hurt too much. In fact, in a synopsis, that's what I've seen in her. Mary s e e m s to have acquired a new flexibility. S h e doesn't have to "hang on" to her mask of perfection. S h e can "let go", be imperfect, change, relax. S h e is perfect and imperfect-a human being. Last week I had to give a seminar at school. I had to stand up in front of the class and talk and . . . I didn't even get anxious about it! It w a s such a shock! I mean, I just did it! A n d I thought, "Well, I'll just do the best I c a n . I mean, it's not going to be perfect. It's going to b e . . . where I'm at right now! Obviously not going to be perfect." W h e r e a s hiding and a desire for security were significant aspects of the portrait of the insubstantial self, trust, courage, and an orientation to the future are characteristic of Mary in the present. And all of these s e e m to be related to feeling unafraid of obstacles and uncertainty. Perhaps this is what Mary meant when she said that she became unafraid of change. S h e had developed a trust in the process of growth and change, of risking in order to move forward. T h e r e s a speaks of her courage and independence: S h e ' s taking what I consider a very large risk. I believe it's very courageous . . to go to university. S h e doesn't have a mom and dad behind paying the bills . . or lovers or husbands or anybody else. S h e ' s doing it all on her own! The following exerpt is from a questionnaire filled out by the rector at Mary's church. It is an anecdote that reverberates with e c h o e s of her  88 childhood experiences and s p e a k s clearly of her courage. Her first interview with the examining chaplains (a kind of selection committee) w a s disappointing in that the chaplains felt that s h e w a s not yet focused enough to pursue her vocation (to be a priest). I believe that she w a s intimidated by that committee and found it difficult to articulate the vision that she has. However, this has not deterred her and she has pursued her vocation further by approaching another bishop in the province. This shows resolve and strength of character that w a s hidden in her psyche until recently. There are many characteristics that s e e m to be inter-related here: Strength of character, resolve, capacity, courage, potency and an orientation toward a future goal. In the rector's anecdote, and in the following statement w e can s e e the relationship between her s e n s e of capacity and her orientation to the future. B e c a u s e she feels capable of handling obstacles and uncertainty, she s e e s the future a s a challenge. S h e is no longer dominated by fear, powerlessness and the need for protection and safety. I feel so much s t r o n g e r . . . and capable . . . I mean, I may need help from people certainly . . . . but I feel that I really c a n . . sort of carry on towards my goal. A n d who knows what's going to happen  .1 mean  anything could happen and I might not get there but I certainly have the potential to get there. A n d capacity s e e m s also to be related to a s e n s e of identity and a s e n s e of wholeness rather than a feeling of fragmentation. I really feel I know who I am now. A n d so I have a whole person . . . . whereas before, I mean, I w a s just . . . w h a t . . nothing. I w a s just  89 fragmented all over the p l a c e . . . . S o yeah, it feels really good! I really feel excited about the future . . . . whereas before I was just always sort of f e a r f u l . . . and I hadn't even thought about the future. Implicit in all of this is that Mary has chosen a goal. S h e has decided what matters to her, what she will work at, what she will strive to accomplish. Life has a direction, a meaning and a purpose. A n d yet, for Mary, being substantial doesn't always involve feeling harmonious. In addition to the recurring states depression or confusion, she referred briefly to three other problems. At one point, she mentioned having "to be careful not to get too inflated. Too puffed up." At another point, she said that she has a problem dealing with her anger. Her friend Donna confirmed this. " S h e will try to avoid uncomfortable feelings and just not acknowledge it." "[She]  still has problems sometimes in saying . . . I don't like  this or that." Also, Mary said that she becomes afraid at times-afraid particularly of the hurdles which school presents. Being substantial s e e m s to involve an overarching approach to life-one that not only makes room for difficulties but considers them a part of the process of growth. Religious practice and running are strategies which Mary uses regularly to move through unresolved negative feeling and to recontact the experience of herself as a spiritual being. This experience of spiritual harmony is central to Mary's sense of purpose in life. A n d it is interwoven with her desire to successfully accomplish goals. In fact, it s e e m s that her s e n s e of purpose involves a dual movement. It involves both a reaching out to test abilitites and capacities and a returning to the ground of her experience of spiritual harmony.  90 This portrait is a long way from the pain and confusion of the young girl watching the soccer g a m e from the sidelines. Let us close Mary's story by reviewing the central aspects of her new s e n s e of herself a s a substantial person. Mary no longer a s s u m e s that she is dependent on external support or that she must present a mask of invulnerability. Her life is no longer oriented around self-protection but around using her full capacities to accomplish goals.  S h e conceives of a dual movement in her life. At the s a m e time that  she strives to fulfill social goals she strives to stay in touch with her spiritual self. Obstacles are considered to be part of the process of growth and Mary has strategies which she uses for regeneration and renewal. Her life is no longer characterized by fear and anxiety. S h e feels a s e n s e of equality with other people and takes new pleasure in living. This portrait is the conclusion to a struggle for change which began in Alanon. A n d there is a symmetry to Mary's story. P o w e r l e s s n e s s , incompetence and lack of acceptability have become potency, competence and belonging. T h e story is there. The end completes the beginning and is it's opposite. Under heaven all c a n s e e beauty a s beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only b e c a u s e there is evil. Therefore having and not having arise together. Difficult and e a s y complement each other. Long and short contrast each other; High and low rest upon each other; Front and back follow one another.  (Lao Tsu)  91 C H A P T E R V: DISCUSSION  S T A T E M E N T O F FINDINGS  The process of becoming a substantial self has been studied using the c a s e study method of research. Disciplined analysis and synthesis of converging sources of evidence, resulted in a rich, detailed description of one c a s e . The description was structured in three sections: Act I, Act II, and Act III. The underlying pattern of each section was discussed in a summary at the end of each act. What follows is a compilation of the summaries of each of the acts. In her family, school and larger social environment, Mary had painful experiences in which she felt powerless, incompetent and unacceptable. Her response to these experiences had several aspects. At a deep level, she a s s u m e d that she w a s indeed powerless, incompetent and unacceptable. Superficially, she denied this and a s s u m e d a stance of invulnerability. S h e thought of herself a s a strong person and yet her actions indicated her deeper assumptions. S h e lived in fear of being rejected and organized her life around the need for protection, safety and external support.  S h e fantasized about  ideal love relationships. S h e didn't set goals and try to achieve them. S h e showed a pattern of passivity and drifting in relation to her environment. Apart from certain one-to-one relationhips, she avoided people generally and w a s shy and nervous in their presence.  S h e was self-focused and didn't  initiate conversations with others. Friends saw her as nice, polite and inoffensive. S h e rejected others to whom she felt inferior.  92 The change process began when she reached a point of defeat and humiliation and could s e e no way to proceed. S h e then had an experience of spiritual affirmation as well as an experience of gentle confrontation by a supportive authority figure. This person pointed out that she needed to become aware of her low self-esteem and begin to take responsibility for her life. What followed w a s a 7-8 year period during which she gradually changed her orientation to living and evolved a s e n s e of herself as substantial person. The overall pattern of the change process can be described in terms of the interweaving of two central processes. O n e process involves a kind of letting go or opening up. Through many and various experiences, Mary discovered that if she let go of her social mask of invulnerability and accepted her painful feelings and imperfections, she achieved a s e n s e of harmony with herself, with other people and with the universe. In the beginning, and later in a time of crisis, this experience c a m e through the support of other people. Spiritual practice and running were also important in returning her to this harmonious experience of self. The s e c o n d process involves action in the world. In supportive contexts Mary began to take small steps to apply herself and discover her capacities. E a c h step involved a risk and each successful result brought an increasing experience of competence and internal control. A s she s u c c e e d e d at one step, she took on progressively larger tasks until eventually a new s e n s e of herself emerged. The two processes s e e m to be profoundly interwoven. Letting go facilitates action and vice versa. W h e n Mary encountered obstacles, she found a way to get moving again by returning to the experience of herself as a  harmonious being. A n d this spiritual experience provided direction for the application of effort. T h e pattern of the change process is complex and configurational rather than one dimensional and linear. Supporting experiences interpenetrate and overlap. T h e experience of harmony interacts with the experience of the self a s capable and socially acceptable. Also, there is variation in the rate at which the substantial self develops. There are spurts forward, regressions and plateaus. T h e emergence of the substantial self is marked by a new orientation to living. Mary no longer a s s u m e s that she is dependent on external support or that s h e must present a mask of invulnerability. Her life is no longer oriented around self-protection but around using her full capacities to accomplish goals. S h e conceives of a dual movement in her life. At the s a m e time that she strives to fulfill social goals she strives to stay in touch with her spiritual, emotional and physical self. Obstacles are considered part of the growth process and Mary has strategies which she uses for regeneration and renewal. Her life is no longer characterized by fear and anxiety. S h e feels a s e n s e of equality with other people and her life is more pleasureable.  LIMITATIONS O F T H E S T U D Y  It is not possible on the basis of this study to generalize the findings to a population.  The findings apply to the c a s e alone and we do not know which  aspects of the c a s e are purely idiosycratic. W e do not know that the dimensions of ^substantiality and substantiality are the s a m e for other people or that change involves the s a m e kinds of processes. The c a s e raises many questions which remain unanswered. Do all experiences leading to an insubstantial s e n s e of self fall into the three categories of powerlessness, incompetence and unacceptability? Do different kinds of negative experiences necessitate different kinds of change p r o c e s s e s ? Does ^substantiality always manifest itself in the s a m e behaviors? T h e s e are all important questions and they must be answered by future investigations.  THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS  The c a s e study provides a vivid instance to which theories should be capable of applying. It can be used to generate questions about existing theory. Is the theory confirmed ar disconfirmed? Does the c a s e suggest areas where theory could be qualified or extended. In general, the findings of this study present a picture which is more complex than any of the existing theoretical descriptions. No theory is completely disconfirmed by the c a s e ; however, there are themes and concepts present in the c a s e which temper, broaden and extend each theory. The  95 discussion which follows will deal with each relevant theory in turn. Discussion will begin by dealing with aspects of the theory which are confirmed or disconfimed by the c a s e . This will be followed by a discussion of important aspects of the c a s e which are not covered by the theory.  Juna  Mary's c a s e confirms the central Jungian concepts: the formation of the social mask or persona which cuts off the negative aspects of the self from awareness; the process of change beginning with an experience of defeat and humiliation; the emergence of the self through the acceptance of the previously denied aspects of the personality; the courage required in the process; and the experience of the integrated self a s the experience of spiritual harmony with the universe. There are, however, aspects to Mary's process of change which are not prominent in the Jungian account. Two aspects s e e m important. First, we do not get from J u n g a clear s e n s e of how the individuation process is worked through in the context of a person's life a s lived. Spiritual experience in Mary's c a s e interacted with her need to achieve a s e n s e of herself a s a capable person in.society's terms. S h e grew spiritually as she accepted her own imperfection. S h e also grew as she took on challenges, learned new skills and discovered that s h e could compete successfully with others. S e c o n d , for Mary, accepting imperfection and experiencing wholeness do not s e e m to be continuous experiences. The spiritual experience sustains, renews and gives meaning to her life but it is episodic rather than ongoing.  It  96 s e e m s that in the course of dealing with the normal challenges of her daily existence s h e routinely gets off track and has to use a variety of means of recontacting her spiritual self. S h e uses running, prayer and church ritual to return her to this place of centering and connection. Jung's description tends to give the impression that the spiritual self is more permanent and less fluctuating.  Erikson  Erickson's concept of the self evolving in the social context is confirmed by the c a s e . It w a s lack of support from the social context that led to Mary's experiences of powerlessness, unacceptability and incompetence. A n d these experiences did have a formative influence in her developing s e n s e of self. The failure to achieve a s e n s e of autonomy and social acceptability were especially important. There are several aspects of Mary's process of becoming a substantial person which are not accounted for in the Erikson theory. Three  emerge as  most significant. First, Erickson's theory d o e s not tell us how an adult who has failed to achieve ego identity g o e s back to solve the crisis of the earlier stages. His is an epigenetic conception: his stages are a kind of fixed sequential groundplan. There is no prominent role for individual intervention, control and action. There are no concepts of risk, courage, decision-making and action. W e do not have a s e n s e of how the identity-diffused adult can take control to move towards ego identity. In Mary's c a s e , social recognition did not happen  97 automatically with external support. S h e had to take r i s k s - m a k e decisions, try things in the face of uncertainty and doubt. S h e had to be persistent in the face of obstacles. S e c o n d , self-awareness is also without a prominent role.  There is no  notion of the formation of the social mask and how it prevents growth. There is no concept of inner healing or acceptance of imperfection that both preceeds and accompanies the action, effort and striving. Third, in Mary's c a s e , the crises of the earlier stages were not solved sequentially. Autonomy, initiative, industry, identity were all important in the evolution of the substantial self. However, the pattern of growth could not be called sequential. It w a s more configurational.  Daily living required that  all of the crises be dealt with and s u c c e s s in one area influenced another. For example, a s e n s e of autonomy was accruing as Mary worked, applied herself and developed a social role for herself.  Rogers  Rogers concept of becoming a person is a centrally important part of Mary's change process. There are three clear examples of the process. First, with the support of the Alanon group, she became aware of her non-self and learned to accept and express painful feelings which had been previously out of awareness. S e c o n d , with the support of the priest in the confession experience, she allowed herself to fully experience the pain which she had previously been suppressing.  Full organismic expression of the feelings in  the supportive context brought her to an experience of peacefulness and  98 wholeness. Afterwards, she found she was more able to take on new challenges. S h e had less fear and didn't have to wear a mask of perfection. Third, in one-to-one therapy, Mary felt supported to confront painful feelings and to experience herself fully. It was in the context of this therapeutic relationship that s h e was able to confront her powerlessness both in her intimate relationship and her job. However, Mary's change process is more complex than Roger's description and there are two aspects which emerge as particularly significant. First, becoming a person doesn't account for the significance in Mary's c a s e of achieving social acceptance and a s e n s e of capacity. Negative feelings about her incompetence in the past continue in her adult life a s she considers her job as a secretary. S h e has to take risks, apply herself and find out that she is a capable of going to university. S h e has to find out that she is indeed in control of her life and she can make a difference by her own actions. Self-healing is centrally important. S h e d o e s use her organism a s a guide for living. If she is feeling d e p r e s s e d or out of sorts, she gets support from other people, g o e s for a run or meditates. However, accomplishing a social goal is also important. S e c o n d , Roger's description gives the impression that healing the gap between the organism and the self happens more or less in one step and that a therapeutic relationship is essential. For Mary it is a much longer process. S h e has many healing experiences. In fact, at the end of her change process, she has not healed the gap once and for all. It's as if she has to repeat over and over a miniature version of the whole change pattern. It s e e m s to be more a c a s e of trusting that life has an alternating rhythm. Letting go and becoming  99 aware of imperfection and pain has become part of the rhythm of life. Finally, although therapeutic relationships were centrally important in Mary's c a s e , particularly in the beginning, she achieves a similar healing process through the more solitary experiences of running and spiritual practice.  Bowen  Bowen's theory is in large part substantiated by the c a s e . In the portrait of insubstantiality three things stand out. First, Mary's inability to take stands and find autonomy and distance w a s a repeating theme in her life-first in her relationship with her mother, and then later in the two major intimate relationhips of her adult life. S e c o n d , there were suggestions that Bowen's concept of triangling applied to Mary's family. It appears likely that Mary functioned in her family of origin to stabilize a conflicted marital relationship. Third, when Mary says of her present relationhip with her mother that they were finally able to treat each other as equal human beings, implicit in this is the picture of what went before. W e understand that Mary and her mother did not have a person-to-person relationship. In Bowen's description of the change process, important aspects are confirmed and one aspect is disconfirmed. According to Bowen one differentiates by first becoming aware of one's role in perpetuating the e n m e s h e d system and then takes stands and states autonomous beliefs. In Alanon, Mary s a w for the first time that she had a role in perpetuating the dependent relationship with her alcoholic husband. S h e realized that she would have to take responsibility for herself. Again, in her intimate  100 relationship with B., her journal testifies to the effort she made to become aware of her role in perpetuating negative interactions. S h e eventually c a m e to realize that she must find her own solutions. The c a s e did not confirm the concept that one must undergo a process of differentiating from one's family of origin. Mary worked through her change process in other contexts and other relationships. S h e was able to have a person-to-person relationship with her mother after she had emerged as a substantial person. There are two significant aspects of Mary's c a s e which cannot be found in Bowen's account. First, the portrait of ^substantiality d o e s not include the role of the larger social context. In Mary's c a s e we see that powerlessness is an experience taught by the larger social system as well as the family. Mary learns powerlessness in her school and her school is a reflection of a larger class structure which locates her firmly at the bottom of the hierarchy. S e c o n d , Mary's change process is much more complex than Bowen's account. O n e gets the impression from Bo wen that awareness of one's role c o m e s in a full and complete fashion and that individual stances are taken in the s a m e manner that one dons a cap. For Mary, awareness glimmered and receded and glimmered again. S h e s a w that she had to take responsibility for herself, but the meaning of this was not fully formed. S h e didn't suddenly take a stand to define herself once and for all, she had to grow out of dependency and grow into a new stance. A n d centrally involved in this growth process were two processes which Bowen does not mention. Mary had to accept imperfection and negative feeling and she had to apply herself in the real world and develop and s e n s e of her own competence and capacity in relation to others.  Peele  Most of Peele's concepts found strong confirmation in this c a s e study. The social context was centrally important in the formation of Mary's diminished s e n s e of self. Also, her insubstantiality did manifest itself in dependency. S h e s e e m e d to need external support and this w a s especially prominent in her intimate relationships. Peele's conception of the change process w a s also confirmed. For Mary, the emerging s e n s e of herself as competent, and capable was a major component of her experience of substantiality. It w a s important for her to take responsibility for herself, to make decisions, take risks in the face of uncertainty, to perservere and find out that she could s u c c e e d by her own efforts. Also, dependency subsided as competence and internal control emerged. There w a s less need for reliance on external support once Mary had a s e n s e of her own potency and stability. This c a s e disconfirmed Peele's concept that a person seeking to change must avoid external support from other people. Peele discourages one-to-one therapy on the basis that it encourages dependency. He conceives of change solely in terms of individual initiative. The Alanon group, the church community, the priest and the therapist were all instrumental in Mary's change process. There is missing from Peele's theory a conception of nonpossessive support from others as well a conception of the social mask or persona which prevents awareness of negative feelings. For Mary, it was important to remove her mask of invulnerability and to become aware of and accept painful  102 feelings. This process was facilitated by nonpossessive support from others. It w a s then easier for her to proceed to take risks and try new things b e c a u s e s h e did not have to be perfect. For Peele, an attitude of acceptance of imperfection evolves as one try to accomplish things in the world. This w a s confirmed in Mary's c a s e , but it did not exclude the need for a nonpossessive support from others at key turning points and especially in the beginning.  PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS  The discussion of practical implications has been divided into three sections: the individual, therapeutic practice, and society.  The Individual  The c a s e study provides a map for change for those who experience themselves as less than substantial. It can be used to reflect on and to derive meaning from one's own life experience-to discover similarities and differences. It c a n be used as a source of hope and inspiration, and more concretely, to point out possible directions for dealing with obstacles. A l s o on an individual level, the c a s e can be used to guide reflection about our impact on children. The c a s e is an illustration of the manner and extent of adult influence on children. It encourages us to ask the important question, "How do our values and actions contribute to the child's feelings of power, competence and acceptability?"  1 03  Therapeutic Practice  The c a s e provides a clear illustration of insubstantiality, what it means in a person's life and how change c o m e s about. Therapists can use this illustration to reflect on the meaning of their clients' experience. T h e c a s e guides the therapist to ask questions-questions which point to a direction for change. What is the client's position or orientation to living? What experiences have contributed to the formation of this position? D o e s the client's behavior substantiate conclusions about position? W h e r e is the client in terms of the c h a n g e process? At the beginning? In the middle? What needs d o e s the client have with repect to deepening acceptance of self or increasing s e n s e of capacity? The c a s e provides a model for change which the therapist can use in considering how to intervene.  It implies a clear role for the therapist in  supporting the integration of painful feelings. Further, it provides a model for understanding this role in relation to other needs of the client. According to this model, integration is important but experience of the self a s a competent, capable, social being is also important. Finally, the c a s e provides perspective on the role of the therapist. T h e therapist is not responsible for "curing" the client but for facilitating a growth process which results in the client's experience of themselves as increasingly acceptable, competent and in control of their lives. The therapeutic experience is merely one of many facilitative experiences. The therapist c a n promote and encourage other experiences which lead to  1 04 self-acceptance and social achievement.  Society  The c a s e has implications for social values and the institutions which embody them. It illustrates the way in which an individual's experience of self evolves from the social context. It clearly demonstrates how social values can lead to a person's diminished s e n s e of self. In this way, the c a s e promotes understanding of the necessity of working towards a society in which the values and institutions promote the individual's experience of potency, competence and acceptability.  IMPLICATIONS F O R F U R T H E R R E S E A R C H  This study has demonstrated a rigorous c a s e study method and it's value in studying human experience. A s such, it serves as a clear example which can be utilized in the research and study of other complex experiential phenomenon. Also, the study suggests areas for further research into additional aspects of the phenomenon of becoming a substantial self. The following areas are possibilities for inquiry. O n e might 1.  conduct other c a s e studies to correct, elaborate and refine the findings of this c a s e study.  2.  investigate the common pattern across a number of different c a s e s .  3.  design a systematic method for deriving the common pattern across a  105 number of c a s e s . 4.  investigate variation in the dimensions of the experience of insubstantiality.  5.  investigate variation and similarity in the early recollections of those people who have experienced the phenomenon.  6.  investigate the effects of variation in the experience of insubsubstantiality on the process of change.  7.  investigate variation in the kinds of experiences which facilitate change.  8.  investigate variation in the overall pattern of the change process.  9.  investigate whether this phenomenon occurs for all people ar just s o m e . If just s o m e , what are the necessary pre-conditions?  10. investigate variation in the experience across cultural groups. 11. examine whether change is necessary in order to become aware of insubstantiality. 12. examine in more detail the phenomenon of the social mask. 13. examine in more detail the experience of capacity.  106 SUMMARY  The phenomenon of becoming a more substantial self w a s investigated using the c a s e study method. The co-researcher, Mary, w a s interviewed to elicit her experience of the phenomenon. Understanding w a s built up through collection of data from a variety of sources including early recollections, a diary, and interviews with friends and associates. T h e data were analyzed and Cochran's dramaturgical method w a s used to discover the coherent pattern of meaning. After a rich, detailed description of the c a s e w a s written and summarized, the findings were compared with the theoretical assumptions about the phenomenon found in the literature. It was concluded that, while most of the theoretical assumptions were confirmed by the c a s e , the findings suggested a change process which w a s more complex than any of the existing theoretical descriptions. It w a s found that, for Mary, ^substantiality involved childhood experiences of powerlessness, incompetence, and lack of social acceptability. In response to these experiences she formulated the position that she must defend against those painful vulnerabilities by presenting herself as strong person. Implicit in this w a s the assumption that she was powerless, incompetent and unacceptable and, a s a result, dependent on external support. At the age of 3 3 , Mary reached a point where her life circumstances defeated the viability of this position. S h e felt humiliated and defeated and could s e e no solution. It w a s then that she had a supportive spiritual experience a n d , at the s a m e time, an experience of gentle confrontation from a supportive authority figure. This w a s the beginning of a 7-8 year transition  107 period which involved two central processes. O n e process involved a kind of letting go or opening up, the other involved a movement forward involving risk, effort and action. Through many and various experiences Mary discovered that if she let go of her social mask of invulnerability and accepted herself as she was, with painful feelings and imperfections, she arrived at an experience of harmony with herself, other people and the world in general. Profoundly interwoven with this w a s the process of risk, effort and action. In supportive contexts, Mary began to apply herself and to discover her capacities. S h e began to take larger and larger risks until she c a m e to experience herself as a competent person capable of persuing her goals. The emergence of the substantial self was marked by the experience of the self as a capable social being and a harmonious spiritual, physical, and emotional being. Mary's life is no longer oriented around protecting vulnerabilities but around using her full capacities to accomplish social goals while staying in touch with her spiritual self.  108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Anonymous, (1972). Toward the differentiation of a self in one's own family. In J . Framo (Ed.), Family Interaction. N e w York: Springer. Bo wen, M . (1966). The use of family theory in clinical practice. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 7 (5), 345-373. Bray, J . H., Williamson, D. S . , & Malone, P. E. (1984). Personal authority in the family system: Development of a questionnaire to measure personal authority in intergenerational family processes. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 10 (2). 167-178. C o c h r a n , L. (1985). Position and the nature of personhood: A n approach to the understanding of persons. Westport, Connecticut: G r e e n w o o d P r e s s . C o c h r a n , L., & Claspell, E. (1987). The meaning of grief: A dramaturgical approach to understanding emotions. Westport, Connecticut: G r e e n w o o d Press. Colaizzi, P. (1978). Psychological research a s the phenomenologist views it. In R. S . Valle & M. King. ( E d s . ) , Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology. New York: Oxford University P r e s s . Eisener, E. W . (1981). O n the differences between scientific and artistic approaches to qualitative research. Educational Researcher. 10 (4). 5-9. Erikson, E. H. (1959). Identity and the life cvcle. New York: International Universities Press. Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton. Giorgi, A . , Barton, A . & M a e s , C . (1983). Duquesne studies in phenomenolooical psychology (Vol. IV). Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.  109 G r e e n e , G . T., Hamilton, N., & Rolling, M. (1986). Differentiation of self and psychiatric diagnosis: An empirical study. Family Therapy. 13 (2). 187-194. Hall, C , & Lindzey, G . (1970). Theories of Personality. New York: Wiley & Sons. Jung, C . G . (1940). The integration of the personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Jung, C . (Ed.). (1964). Man and his symbols.  Garden City, N e w York: Doubleday.  Kazdin, A . E. (1981). Drawing valid inferences from c a s e studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 4_9_(2), 183-192. Kerr, M. (1984). Theroretical base for differentiation of self in one's family of origin. In C . E. Munson (Ed.), Family of origin applications in clinical supervision (pp. 3-37). New Y o r K : Haworth Press. Kuchenmuller, M. D. (1984). The concepts of differentiation, enmeshment. and the relationship between them: A family theory validation study using Q-methodoloov. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. M c L a i n , R., & Weigert, A. (1979). Toward a phenomenological sociology of family: A programmatic essay. In W . R. Burr, R. Hill, F. I. Nye, & I. L. Reiss (Eds.), Contemporary theories about the family (pp. 160-205). New York: Free Press. Marcia, J . E. (1967). Ego identity status: relationship to change in self-esteem, general maladjustment, and authoritarianism. Journal of Personality. 3J5_, 118-133. Neimeyer, G . , & Resnikoff, A . (1982). Qualitative strategies in counselling research, Counselling Psychologist. 1Q (4), 75-85. Peele, S . (1975). Love and addiction. New York: New American Library.  Rogers, C . R. (1951). Client-centered therapy: its current practiceimplications and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rogers, C . (1961). O n becoming a person. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Rogers, C . R., & Dymond, R. F. (1954). Psychotherapy and personality change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Stake, R. (1978). The c a s e study method in social inquiry. Researcher. Z (2), 5-8.  Educational  Stake, R. (1979a). Seeking sweet water: C a s e study methods in educational research. (Cassette Recording, Unit 2). R. M . J a e g e r (Ed.), Alternative Methodologies in Educational R e s e a r c h . American Educational R e s e a r c h Association. Stake R. (1979b). Seeking sweet water: C a s e study methods in educational research (Study Guide). R. M. J a e g e r (Ed.), Alternative Methodologies in Educational R e s e a r c h . American Educational R e s e a c h Association. Valle, R. S . , & King, M. (1978). A n introduction to existential-phenomenologcial thought in psychology. In R. S . Valle & M. King, Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology (pp. 3 - 1 7 ) . N e w York: Oxford University P r e s s . V a n Hesteren, F. (1986). Counselling research in a different key: The promise of a human science perspective. Canadian Journal of Counselling Psychology. 2 £ (4), 200-234. Y i n , R. K. (1984). C a s e study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills, C A : Sage.  111 APPENDIX I  I N T E R V I E W WITH M A R Y  Transcribed from audio-tape (  I:  in text is used to indicate pauses in the dialogue)  I'm investigating . . . . people who have had the experience of changing . . . . from having an insubstantial or indefinite sense of themselves to having more of a substantial sense of themselves or more definite s e n s e of themselves in relationship to other people. A n d I'm interested in knowing everything I can about how that change process happens and the meaning of that change process in people's lives. A n d . . . I'd like you to tell it to me in the form of a story-with a definite beginning and a middle and an end. The beginning would be when you first had a s e n s e of yourself as less than a substantial person and the end would be the present time.  M: O k a y , going back to the beginning-that's the hardest part-to figure out where that started. I don't think I became aware of not having much of a s e l f . . or substantial s e l f . . . until I was in that marriage to L. I got married when I was twenty-eight. A n d I think prior to that, I w a s young, I was having a good time. You've got so much going on, you don't think about anything. You're just working . . . . and the weekends you're out having fun and you don't think too much about whether you've got a self apart from others or what. Then I got married and somewhere in that marriage . . . . whatever I did have, I l o s t . . . . whatever there was of me . . . . and I a s s u m e there w a s s o m e self. I'd lost it totally . . . where I was really at the bottom. I was really emotionally . . . . i l l . . . I think, when I look back in retrospect. I:  S o do you mean that you had a sense of s o m e substance to yourself but that when you were married you s e e m e d to have lost i t . . . that you had very  11 2 little self or an indefinite self. M: I don't think I had much prior to that either. I really don't. I think my mother made all my decisions. S o I really never decided anything. I just s e e m e d to drift. I was just drifting through life and I never really thought much about anything . . . just going to work and having fun at the weekend . . . . no I don't think I had much of a substantial self but it w a s in the marriage I certainly realized that what I did have, I lost. I:  S o IhaJ in a s e n s e is the beginning of awareness t h a t . . .  M: Y e a h , that's right. Before that I was not aware. Prior to the marriage, I don't think I w a s aware of anything very much. But in the marriage I became aware . . . that I was I w a s nothing. I was nothing--! was just an appendix to L. A n d he was drinking and I w a s getting more and more emotionally u p s e t . . . . didn't know what to do about i t . . . . didn't even have the s e n s e to, or didn't even know how to reach out for help. A n d . . . . uh . . . . . I just b e c a m e really emotionally sick. I mean to the point where I can remember thinking, "Shall I kill him or shall I kill myself?" (laughs) A n d that's pretty much at the bottom of the heap. I never thought, "Why don't I just walk away!" I mean, all the answers to that c a m e through being in Alanon and I found out what that was all about. S o that's where I think I b e c a m e aware that I didn't have any substantial self. That's where the awareness c a m e that there wasn't any Mary. I just was nothing. I w a s just a physical body walking around. I:  S o there w a s no Mary, but Mary was in this relationship with an alcoholic. And Mary didn't feel that she had the option of leaving . . .  M: That's pretty typical of an alcoholic spouse. From what I've learned in Alanon, they all go through that--spouses of alcoholics. They just lose themselves and they don't realize that they can walk away. It's a real emotional entanglement. Y o u don't have enough distance to look at what's going on. It's only when you get in A l a n o n - I had two years in A l a n o n - t h a t you get that emotional distance. That you can s e e that it's not just you and him but all these couples in Alanon are going through the s a m e thing. They have the s a m e problems. They all think about, " S h a l l I kill myself or kill  113 him?" (laughs) They never think to leave it! It just doesn't occur! I:  S o Alanon w a s the turning point then?  M: It w a s prior to Alanon. I think I mentioned it when I went to St. Paul's Church. That w a s when I was really depressed. I w a s walking just up the street one day, one morning, and heard music coming out of St. Paul's Church and . . . I g u e s s it reminded me of my childhood when I used to go to the Anglican Church in England that w a s the Church of England. This particular church said "Anglican Church". It meant nothing to me but the music was the s a m e . . . and the s a m e hymns. S o I thought, "Well that sounds n i c e ! " . . . S o I just went in. I w a s depressed and I just sat at the back. I w a s overweight at the t i m e . . . . . I wore dark clothes ( l a u g h s ) . . . . I mean the whole thing! I just sat at the back and listened to the music . . . It w a s nice. A n d I started going every Sunday and just sitting there quietly. I'd always avoid the priest if I s a w him coming (laughs). I'd bolt out b e c a u s e I didn't want to talk to him. I didn't want anybody to know that I w a s married to an alcoholic-that I had this problem in my life. I didn't even tell my parents. Nobody k n e w . . . and I lost all my friends b e c a u s e they'd c o m e around or he'd be drunk and I'd say to them, " O h , don't c o m e around right now." A n d I'd make e x c u s e s so all my friends disappeared. S o I w a s pretty I w a s very very lonely Eventually anyway, the priest caught me one day. A s I w a s going out the door, he did catch me, and he said, " A h , I wanted to talk to you b e c a u s e you don't look very happy. Do you want to talk to m e ? " A n d l said, " N o . " (laughs) H e said, "Okay, well maybe if you want to next t i m e . " . . . S o eventually I got to the point where I would say hello to him and it built up from there until one Sunday he said to me . . . um . . . "The lady that carries the cross in the procession before the choir is sick, and could you do that?" I just about died ! (laughter) I said, "No way !" (laughs) I wasn't going to do that! I w a s j u s t . . . . oh G o d I w a s just terrified doing such a thing! I mean I laugh now about it but then it just s e e m e d like the worst thing in the world. But I really liked the guy and he looked SSL upset. I thought," O h , gee, he's been so nice to me!" But anyway I said, " N o " and then he said, "Okay but I have this little book for you to read. I think you might find it helpful." A n d he gave me a little book. I can't  114 remember the title but it w a s to do with . . . uh . . . low self-esteem and lack of confidence. S o I thought, "What the heck's this! It's not my problem! My problem is my husband!" (laughs) I:  Hm  you didn't relate to the low self-esteem and lack of confidence.  M : No, not at first, not when I first looked at the preface to it. (laughing continues) S o then I thought, " O h well, I better read this thing anyway." It wasn't a very big book anyway so I started to read it and then I got really angry. I thought, " Y o u son-of-a-bitch! H o w dare you say I have low self-esteem and lack of confidence!" B e c a u s e I realized the book w a s not talking about L. (husband), it w a s talking about me! I:  It made you angry!  M: I w a s a s mad a s a hatter! I just wanted to go and hit him over the head with it. A n d then I thought about i t . . . . and then I really started to think about my life and what w a s going on . . . . and all of a sudden I suddenly realized that it w a s true! It sort of finally penetrated my thick skull that this w a s true. Then it started to a m u s e me. I started to laugh. I thought, "Oh my god!" (laughs) S o I gave it back to him and thanked him very much and s a i d , " Y e s you're right. S o what do I d o ? What a m I s u p p o s e d to d o ? It's not only all my husband's fault, right?" S o he said, " N o , it's got nothing to do with your husband. Y o u have to sort of let him get on with with life. If he wants to drink, let him drink. Let him do what he wants to d o . " He said, "You've got to find yourself and get on with vour life. Y o u have a life too", (laughs) I just said, " Y e a h , sure." It didn't make much s e n s e to me. What w a s going on in my mind w a s that previous to this . . . . maybe even a year previous . . . . there w a s a woman living in the s a m e apartment building-an ex-alcoholic who went to A . A . - a n d she had a couple of friends who went to A l a n o n . O n e day she had said to me, " Y o u know your husband's an alcoholic." W e were down at the swimming pool and s h e had been talking to him. Of course I said, "I know he drinks but not all that hard". S h e said he should be in A . A . and she said, "If he won't go, you should go to Alanon". I said, "What's that?" S o she told me a bit about Alanon. I said, " O h yeah fine, I'll.go." A n d that was a year previous to this going to church, (coughs)  11 5 S o I thought, "Well maybe I should go to this Alanon thing . . . . and try it out." "Not for me," I thought, "if I go to Alanon, that'll help L. (husband)." That was my primary reason for going, (laughs) Very stubborn! Nothing wrong with me! I:  C a n I just ask you . . . . are you embarrassed about that o r . . . . you were laughing at t h a t . . . .  M: It kind of a m u s e s me that I was so perfect and okay and he w a s the problem . . . . that if he would shape up and go to A A everything would be wonderful. Of course it wouldn't have been, I don't suppose. I:  S o at this time you had the experience of feeling that the problem w a s not you--it w a s your husband and in fact you had some feelings of your being somewhat perfect?  M: Y e s , in a way. Well it goes back and forth b e c a u s e y e s , sometimes I would think he w a s the problem but then he would give me this feedback that it w a s me. J was the problem. I w a s never good in bed. I should get out on Davie St. and get myself some experience, (laughs) Things like that. . . when he w a s drunk. Then I would think," O h , it's me. It's my fault!" I can remember going and buying black lacey underwear and all sorts of things to try and make the sexual side of the marriage okay. I:  Y o u were feeling sexually inadequate.  M: Y e a h . Very. I:  A n d he w a s feeding into that.  M: I thought it was my fault. I:  S o you you're saying you would alternate between feelings o f . . . .  M: That there's nothing wrong with me that it's all his fault. Y e s , it's all his fault.  116 I:  A n d flipping over and feeling that it's all your fault.  M: Y e a h . That it's all my fault. He would c o m e onto me saying that it was all my fault. S o then I started thinking well maybe he's right. I 'II try and s e e his side of the story. Maybe he's right and there's something wrong with me! S o I'd be back and forth between the two places Where was I? O h , so I eventually decided that I would go and try Alanon. I:  A n d before you went to Alanon you'd had the experience of enjoying the church experience and being moved by it and being reminded of your childhood and having a positive experience . . .  M: It w a s the only place I was happy . . . there, on Sunday morning. It w a s , at that time, definitely a place to e s c a p e to. To get in there . . and I felt at peace .. and centered . . . as much as I could. I definitely always felt okay in there. I hated to leave. I would have been happy if the service went on for two hours instead of one hour, (pause) That's how I felt about that. I:  A n d then being given the book . . . which was . . . the priest telling you that he thought you had to look at yourself and your own lack of self-esteem and self-confidence and at first you were angry and rejected that and then you saw...  M: I s a w that he had a good point. . . that he might be right. I can't say I totally swallowed it, but I said, "Well mavbe!" I:  A n d then you went to Alanon.  M: A n d then I went to Alanon. Urn I didn't like it at first. There w a s a group of people around the table. They were all these s p o u s e s of alcoholics and they had a chairperson. Y o u had to take turns being chairperson. I couldn't s e e me doing that! A n d then they said, " P l e a s e c o m e to five consecutive meetings and then if you don't like it, fine. But at least give us a try." Well that's fair enough. I thought that I'd go to five and then tell them they're a bunch of twits! (laughter) Very hostile! I really w a s ! I:  A n d so when you say, "I couldn't s e e me doing that," that's a hostile sort of  '117 thing too ? . . . . Like, "This is f o o l i s h ! " . . . o r . . M: Y e a h , the fear behind it in retrospect. The thought of having to be a chairperson! To sit there and have to lead a group! (laughs) I couldn't do anything like t h a t . . . I j u s t . . . . I just felt that I didn't have t h a t . . . . I w a s too shy. I didn't have any skills. I couldn't do anything like that. I mean what w a s I? A housewife . . . you know . . . and a secretary. I:  S o feeling incapable of being chairperson.  M: O h yeah! Y e a h , I think fear. A lot of fear. No courage. A n d f e a r - n o t wanting to try anything in c a s e I couldn't do it. I:  A n d sometimes feeling like they're all jerks? Like sometimes feeling that it's your problem because you're just a housewife and a secretary and sometimes feeling that those people are just jerks?  M: I thought they were. I remember thinking that. They are a bunch of jerks and I don't belong here. I'm not like them. I'm different, (laughs) I:  Better?  M: Urn I don't know if "better" is the right word different I felt I w a s different but not better or worse. No I wouldn't say I felt better. I just felt different-like I just didn't fit in there. I certainly did fit in there I found out later maybe not wanting to accept it, and still thinking it w a s L.'s damn fault anyway and why didn't he go to A . A . and what the hell was I doing here! I w a s doing it for him. I wasn't doing it for me-that's the truth! I was doing it for him. I thought this might help the marriage. S o ( l a u g h s ) . . . I went to the five consecutive meetings and sat there and said very little . . . as little as possible . . . and just listened and they gave me s o m e reading material and at the end of the five weeks I had got to the point where I.. (laughs) . . sort of laughed and c o n f e s s e d to them that the first time I had met them, I just thought they were all a bunch of jerks and I was planning to tell them that on the fifth meeting . . . that they could all go to hell and I didn't need t h e m ! . . . ( l a u g h t e r ) . . . A n d everybody cracked u p ! . . . ( l a u g h s ) . . . I'd actually gotten brave enough to tell them. I  118 w a s feeling a lot better because I'd suddenly found all of these people with the s a m e problem. I'd also discovered that the problem w a s o o j me, that alcoholism indeed w a s a d i s e a s e and that my reactions were the s a m e reactions that they had to having an alcoholic s p o u s e - w h e t h e r it w a s a man or a w o m a n . That we all basically had the s a m e r e s p o n s e - t h e s a m e fears, the s a m e problems, the s a m e "not wanting to leave the marriage because this person is sick and I must stay and look after them for better for worse". All my reactions and responses were the s a m e as everybody else in the group so I suddenly realized that I was not unusual. I w a s very usual. I:  A n d not alone?  M: Y e a h . Not alone. The feeling suddenly that there w a s s u p p o r t . . . sure! A support network all of a sudden! B e c a u s e I felt terribly lonely. A n d even the dear old priest, I mean he w a s a great help to me but he did not understand alcoholism at all. I even found people later in that church that were s p o u s e s of alcoholics and I directed them to Alanon b e c a u s e they were getting no help in the church for that particular problem. They didn't s e e m to understand about it. It was something the church couldn't do anything about and you really needed something like Alanon or a psychologist or a psychiatrist or w h a t e v e r . . . but what you really need is some sort of skilled help . . . professional help, (pause) S o I stayed in Alanon for two years. A n d stayed in the church at the s a m e time. A n d b e c a m e crucifer, carried the cross (laughs) and eventually b e c a m e the head server there and helped them with a lot of things. Helped them with their spring tea. A n d we had prayer g r o u p s - a l l sorts of things that I joined . . . and I started to really partake in the community. I began to feel that I wasn't a l o n e - a n outsider, that I didn't fit in. I always thought I didn't fit in anywhere. I always thought I w a s on the outside looking through a window in. A n d all of a sudden now I was on the inside. I was beginning to be part of the community-the Alanon community and the church community-which were very similar. I found that the church . . . okay, you've got the Holy Spirit in the church . . . well I found the s a m e thing in Alanon. That s a m e community spirit. The spirit of reconciliation. I:  C a n you just tell me a bit more about what you mean by that?  119  M: U m . . . well I found in the church group that we did have s o m e prayer groups where we sat and prayed together. Held hands. Did laying on of hands and prayed for e a c h other. I had a feeling of well-being. A strength. It gave me strength to carry on through the week . . . and I found exactly the s a m e thing in Alanon which is non-religious. Y o u can go there-it doesn't matter what religion you belong to or if you belong to no religion. They only ask you to try and accept a higher power. But you c a n give it whatever name you want, it doesn't matter. It doesn't have to be a god or a g o d d e s s or a particular religion. But they do say there is a power outside of yourself. It may be that group power, that group spirit. Y o u c a n even have that a s your higher power which a lot of people do. I:  But in any c a s e it's not that you're depending on yourself. Y o u ' v e got an outside...  M: Strength. T h e strength is coming from outside somewhere. Before, I always tried to do it myself. I didn't think I needed any help from anywhere . . any outside help.. I believed in G o d but I didn't really ask G o d for any help. It never occurred to me that G o d worked through people, I don't think. I mean I thought G o d was out there somewhere and you prayed to this G o d out there somewhere (laughs). A n d In Alanon I learned that G o d ~ o r whatever you want to call the higher p o w e r - w o r k s through people. Actually it says that in the Bible-that we're all channels of G o d but I just hadn't clicked. That if I needed help I had to reach out and ask for it from other human beings a n d . . . I g u e s s I w a s too proud. Too proud to reach out and ask. I:  S o you found.you were able to be less proud . . .  M: Yeah. I:  . . or be more humble?  M: Humble. I definitely learned to be humble. I got humbled, definitely. A n d that w a s hard! That was one of the hardest things, I think-being humbled. I:  C a n you tell be more about that?  1 20  M: Being humbled? I:  How it w a s hard?  M: How it w a s hard? (laughs) Urn . . having to accept that I couldn't do it on my own! That I needed help from other people and that they could give it and that it would help . . . and that it would help to become . . . myself. It would help me to grow. I had this wrong . . this misconception . . that I w a s kind of okay and strong. I don't know where I got that from b e c a u s e I wasn't. I really needed help. It's almost like . . it's sort of like I had a mask . . I was wearing a mask. A n d the mask w a s all I could s e e . . and the mask looked okay but inside it w a s all crumbling (laughs), right! S o I had to just take that mask off and c o m e out and say, "Help! (laughs) . . Help me grow." I:  To other people.  M: To other people, yeah ..' .yep! I:  A n d the experience w a s . . that it w a s hard to do that.  M: Very hard. Really hard . . yeah! It felt like I had to c o m e down off a p e d e s t a l . . that I'd built for myself, I think, (laughs) I sort of had to c o m e down to where everybody else w a s (laughs) and try and reach out and it was a humbling experience, sure! I'm not sure where I got this idea? Maybe I did think I was better than other people . . or different.. or b e t t e r . . or higher? It might go back to my childhood. I really don't know, (long pause) I:  But at the s a m e time that it w a s a hard experience it sounds like it was a growing experience in that during this time you started to feeling a s e n s e of belonging to the community of Alanon and the church and starting to feel better about yourself?  M: Y e a h . It w a s funny too b e c a u s e in a way I knew it w a s working . . that I was beginning to slowly change . . . . sort of like a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis. I knew something w a s starting to crack-that I w a s starting to c o m e free I g u e s s . . . so something was happening (laughs) in a way, I  121 was sort of scaird. I didn't want to c o m e out. I'd always known myself the way I was--what there was to know (laughs)--it wasn't so great! I really had this vision that there was this really neat person that I w a s going to be . . . and yet I sort of dug my heels in. I was really scaird about it. Not wanting to lose my old identity. I really felt like a shell that w a s cracking and that I w a s going to emerge like a beautiful butterfly or something ( l a u g h s ) . . . . and really afraid of it! Just not really knowing what was going to a p p e a r . . . . and . . . . is that when I went to s e e S.(therapist)? Let's see . . . . . church and Alanon . . . . well Alanon gave me the strength to leave L.(husband). B e c a u s e I eventually did leave him and then eventually got into the relationship with B. A n d also, at the s a m e time had to c o m e to terms with the fact that I was a lesbian. That was another thing. I'm sure that has a lot to do with i t . . . . somewhere all mixed up . . . god knows where! Urn . . . I'd always known I w a s gay but I didn't accept it. I couldn't accept that. To me it was I don't know, I think I had been brought up to think it w a s a bit of a mental illness really. There w a s something wrong with you and you're a bit crazy! (laughs) S o mental illness and lesbianism went together for me so I didn't want to be one of those! Although, I had been before I w a s married-I'd had a couple relationships with w o m e n - v e r y short term. A n d . . not very good relationships and I'd been really put off by it. O n e woman beat me up. S o I thought, "I don't want this,"and then I'd gotten married and then that hadn't worked o u t . . . so then I left L. I:  S o the experience of knowing that you were attracted to women . . but that you thought it w a s a form of mental illness m e a n t . . that you thought you had a part of yourself that was mentally ill?  M: Urn . . . I didn't accept the fact that it was a mental illness. A lot of people had told me that. I think my parents thought that people who were gay were a little bit mental. W e used to sort of laugh about it and say they were a bit "tapped", (laughs) W e used to all laugh at them . . . "poofs"! A n d I'd n e v e r . . . oh I suppose I'd met some, but I didn't think I'd met any. I was the only one who w a s like that anyway! A n d most gay women go through that-they think they're the only one. (pause) Urn . . . no, I think that I knew that it w a s socially not acceptable. It wasn't in England at that time or when I first c a m e to Montreal. It was just not acceptable. It w a s wrong,  122 dirty and all the rest of it! S o that's why I just sort of pushed it out of my mind . . . . and everybody said, " O h , it's a phase! You'll grow out of it!" That's another thing you get pushed into you, "It's a phase." I remember telling my M o m when I was about eleven that I liked women . . not women . . girls! I liked girls, although I used to fall in love with my women school teachers. A n d my M o m would say, " O h , it's just a phase, sweetie. You're just going through a phase." A n d so I accepted that and then I got older and I started going out with boys . . . but I never enjoyed going out on dates. I hated it! I just went because that w a s what everybody else was doing . . . so I'd go out on dates with couples . . . double-dating or whatever you call it. I always had a horrible time. I hated it! (laughs) But I did it b e c a u s e it s e e m e d to be what everybody else was doing. I never felt comfortable. I never felt myself. It just w a s weird! A n d so eventually I got married and that didn't work o u t . . . . and so I c a m e out the other end of that and then had to look a t . . . "Well maybe, a m I g a y ? " (pause) At the s a m e time I joined the Outdoor C l u b - j u s t before I left L. Just toward the end of the relationship and I w a s really getting a little braver about reaching o u t . . .as I w a s saying . . . . . and the other thing I did w a s I joined the Outdoor C l u b - s o m e b o d y told me about t h a t - a n d I joined that. I:  S o you were getting braver and able to ask yourself the question, " A m I gay"?  M: Yeah. I:  Y o u said just a moment ago that when you went out on dates that you were not yourself.  M: I never felt right. I felt like I w a s acting a part. I:  S o just prior to leaving L. you were getting braver and able to ask yourself.  M: Y e a h , b e c a u s e for eight years . . . well I didn't have any friends . . . but I certainly didn't have any g a y friends. I kept right away from them. I told L  123 about it. (pause) Y e a h . . . especially when I joined the Outdoor Club. Actually I hadn't thought about it for eight years. I had put it out of my mind . . . but when I joined the Outdoor club . . . b e c a u s e it's a women-only club . . . there were lesbians in that club . . . and as soon as I s a w them and got talking to them . . . . I just had this I:  Attraction o r . . . .  M: N o t . . .yeah w e l l . . . a feeling of camaraderie . . . closeness . . . I:  Close emotional c o n t a c t . . .  M: Y e a h . . yeah . . . and that I felt the s a m e as them. I felt that these were like my sisters. I felt that these were m y people, (laughs) I mean it would be like a black person who has always been in a white world and seeing another black person and thinking, "Oh my god, there's another one like me, right!" Suddenly there was all these women and I knew that I was exactly the s a m e as they were! A n d I thought, "Well!" And then, of course, I'd met them in this Outdoor Club and that is different than the bars in Montreal. The only place I'd ever met women in Montreal was in the bars. I didn't know anywhere else to meet gay w o m e n . S o I sort of anyway tried it there and it hadn't worked out. S o . . . . the women in the Outdoor Club were sort of like m e - t h e y were outdoorsy. A n d they s e e m e d perfectly normal. They had jobs. There were even s o m e professional women in that group . . . like psychologists, lawyers and doctors! S o I thought, " Y o u can't be crazy and weird and something mentally wrong with you if you're a psychologist, lawyer or doctor!" (laughs) I:  S o it w a s the first time you were seeing that you could be lesbian and be acceptable.  M: Y e a h . It s e e m e d better out here too. In Vancouver, it didn't s e e m such a problem. It didn't s e e m to be such a put-down. Urn and this is a lot later too. I mean I was in Montreal in . . . '68 through 7 0 . . . and now when I got to Vancouver, this is like ten years later . s o we're now 1980 . . . somewhere around there. S o it's ten years later. I mean things have changed a bit. G a y people are more acceptable. It's been accepted more  124 than it w a s then. Certainly when I was a kid it was just not accepted at all! S o It was acceptable in some circles--you didn't really have to hide it as much. S o I started talking to s o m e of the women in the Outdoor Club and (laughs) eventually I had a fling with one of the women there . . . . and she'd been married too! It w a s nice to talk to these people. Quite a few of them had been married! A n d , "Oh yeah, my mother said it w a s a phase too." (laughs) And we'd be talking and I'd realize that they had been through the s a m e sort of things that I had been through! I thought, "Oh goodness me!" I:  A feeling o f . . .  M: Relief! Absolute relief! That, " G e e , maybe I am normal! Maybe for me this is normal! M a y b e I can be gay and have a normal life and feel okay about myself. S o it was kind of interesting . . . so I had a fling with N. . . . only about three weeks or so . . . . and realized also that sex with a woman, for me, is fine! It felt good. S e x with L. (husband) had always been a problem. I mean . . I put up with it and . . . pretended . . . acted. I:  S o you felt inadequate . . . and worried about your sexual capacity or whether you were normal sexually or whether you could enjoy i t . . .  M:  Y e a h , I didn't know with L Y e a h , with L because he w a s an alcoholic and alcoholics have problems with being able to keep an erection and all the rest of it, I never could figure out whether it was him or me or what the heck it w a s . But also, I just didn't like it. The whole thing gave me the creeps. I felt dirty. I felt used. I always felt like a prostitute . . . . and yet with a woman I felt perfectly normal. I felt perfectly normal and natural f o r m e . A n d I suddenly realized t h a t . . . uh . . . I had to accept it, if I was ever going to get on with my life and get anywhere . . . . and be happy . . . then I w a s going to have to accept who I was . . and I w a s definitely gay! ( long pause)  I:  S o by now it's easier to accept it because you have a group of women who s e e m socially acceptable. They're professional people . . . they're outdoor people . . they're not bar women. Also, it's a time you're getting a developing s e n s e of yourself through Alanon and the church . . . uh . . not  125 depending on just spirituality . . .and contact with other own but that it's a  yourself for strength but getting strength from your . . is it more of a s e n s e of meaning in life through people? It's not just a matter of being strong on your matter o f . . .  M: Being part of the community. Y e a h , I think well I think that we're all interconnected. What is it? . . . "No man is an island unto himself." Things like that began to make sense to me but yeah . . . that you couldn't do it on your own. I don't think anybody c a n . (pause) Uh . . . at the s a m e time I changed churches. I started going to Church where there is a lot of gay people. I:  S o it's the sense of community that is an important support at this time ? . .or?  M: Urn . . . let me think about it. (long pause) Y e a h , being part of a community . . . that's the only word I can think of and beginning to feel much better about myself. I started to lose weight. I started to look better. I got into running. I decided to buy brighter clothes, (laughs) The black clothes went out the window. I started to take more of an interest in my personal looks. I:  Are you laughing b e c a u s e of remembering what you were like then?  M: Y e a h . It just a m u s e s me when I look back b e c a u s e I had changed so much. I mean I realy c h a n g e d . Like a 365-degree circle. W h e n I look back I can hardly believe that person was who I am now! In fact, I was just talking to the old lady that I v i s i t . . . who is n o t . . . well s o m e days she's here and some days she's not, but today she w a s okay and I just mentioned to her about how much I thought I had c h a n g e d . S h e started to laugh. S h e said, "How much! My goodness you forget that I've known you for so long." and I said, "That's true. I'd forgotten you've known me since I w a s married, right?" I said, "Do you s e e a change in m e ? " A n d she laughed tike mad, (laughter) " C h a n g e d ! " she said. "You're a totally different p e r s o n ! " . . . That was interesting. I didn't even realize that she had noticed how different I w a s . . . . . I mean I couldn't communicate. I couldn't have just sat here and talked to you. I would have j u s t . . . I didn't talk to people! I just said yes and no and that w a s it. (pause) I had no social skills. I couldn't go  126 anywhere. I wouldn't go to parties or anything. I didn't go anywhere because all I could sort of say was y e s and no and if people a s k e d me questions I would answer but I would never make a conversation. It would never occur to say to somebody, "What do you d o ? . . . Where do you work? What do you d o ? " (laughs) I just c o u l d n ' t . . . I:  How . . . what would you be thinking . . or feeling?  M: Terrified! O b s e s s e d with s e l f . . . when you think about it. I w a s too busy thinking about myself. I got to the point where I... there's a bit in the Bible where it says, "You have to lose yourself to find yourself." (laughs) Which makes s e n s e to me now. I think I was so busy worrying how I looked and what I w a s doing that I couldn't enjoy myself. I:  S o you'd be worried about what other people would be saying?  M: Yeah. I:  What they'd be thinking about you . . whether they'd be liking y o u ?  M: Urn? I g u e s s s o . Y e a h I g u e s s so (sounds puzzled). I:  Y o u can't remember w h a t . . . say you went to a party . . .  M: I'd just eat! I'd go to the table where the food w a s and eat! A n d it was B. . . who by now . . I'd gotten involved with B . . . . who I was involved with f o r . . . seven years . . . who had fairly good social skills . . . . and I remember she said to me one day . . . . she had a lot of professional friends and so would drag me to these parties . . . . which would terrify me! A lot of this goes back to my childhood and the class conscious thing in Britain . . . . where I was working class. The working class, middle class and upper class never mixed. A n d all the professional people are in the upper class. S o if I go to a party with B. where all of her friends are basically doctors, psychologists . . teachers . . . all professional p e o p l e . . . . . . to me they were upper class. A n d it w a s very difficult for me to have anything to do with them. Urn . . . I would think, "They're a bunch of snobs!" (laughs) Which of course they're n o t . . . not over here . . . they may have been in England, I can't remember.  127 But you just didn't cross into another class. Y o u just kept in your class. There w a s a hierarchy in England going back to w h a t . . to the seventeeth century. I:  A n d they wouldn't accept you so that you would reject t h e m . . . by saying "Oh they're a bunch of s n o b s " ?  M: A bunch of snobs . . . actually, in retrospect I would say that the upper class in England are very nice and I'm sure they would have accepted me if I'd felt confident enough about m y s e l f . . . . but I didn't! It was lack of confidence that's all that is. ' C a u s e I had an experience since which I'll tell you about some time. I:  But what you're saying is that at the time it's not that you feel a lack of confidence. It's later looking back that you s e e . . .  M: O h yeah! I:  But at the time . . .  M: I just felt they were a bunch of snobs! I:  S o you're more likely to be rejecting them.  M: Absolutely. I didn't want to talk to them. They're all a bunch of snobs and they don't know anything anyway! I:  S o when you're just saying yes or no to people at a party, it's not that you're feeling inadequate, it's that you're rejecting other people?  M: That's right, yeah. S o I'd head for the food table and eat. L. said to me one day . . . I said, "I hate these parties. I don't really like going." (pause) S h e said, "Well why don't you talk to people?" A n d I said, "They got nothing to talk a b o u t ! . . . Bunch of idiots!" (laughter) A n d she would say to me, "You know what you do, when we go to these parties? All you do is fill your mouth with food so you don't have to talk!" (laughter) I can't remember what I said. I w a s probably quite rude . . . . " R u b b l i s h ! . . . Don't talk such stupid .  1 ." I didn't believe her anyway. B u t . . . . it pushed a button somewhere. Something rang in my head. A bell rang somewhere and I thought, " O h . O h . (laughs) I hate this but she is right! S h e is absolutely right." I:  That you were eating instead o f . . .  M: To avoid talking to people, yeah, because I felt inadequate. A n d I realized it at that time too. I suddenly realized it w a s because I had nothing to talk about. It wasn't them. It was me. There was nothing happening in my life! What the hell did I have to talk about? I didn't do anything. What did I d o ? I mean I worked in an office typing. It w a s a boring job. A n d what did I d o ? Nothing! I had just gotten in to running and B. was trying to push me into runningthe marathon . . . . which is the best thing she ever did . . . . c a u s e when I got into running . . . this is another thing that c o m e s in . . . apart from religion too. They all sort of mesh together and you have to sort of separate them out. But another thing w a s running! It w a s one of the best things that ever happened to me! B e c a u s e it gave me something that w a s mine! I started running and then I got into marathon running and then . . . . . that w a s one thing, that when I went to a party . . . I didn't want to talk about the church at a party because I wasn't very confident about the church. I didn't feel confident in saying, "I'm a committed Christian." (laughs) B e c a u s e people laugh at you if you go to church! A n d at that time I didn't have the self-confidence to accept being laughed at. That would have really . . . . I would have felt rejected and hurt and so I never talked about the church. But you could talk about running! Everybody is into running, right! A n d sports and triathalons and all that stuff. S o that was acceptable. All of a sudden I had something to talk a b o u t . . . . training for a marathon ( l a u g h s ) . . . . so I could then go to these parties and if somebody wanted to talk, I could then manage to steer it in that direction and talk about marathon running. I had something to talk about all of a sudden, (pause) S o that really helped me too . . . . to become . . . . well part of me w a s becoming an athlete . . . with this running . . . well I did two marathons and then I got into Fun Runs. Fun Runs are great b e c a u s e I started meeting all these people that were athletic and ran . . . and . . were healthy . . . into health food and all this kind of s t u f f . . . which I had now gotten into with L. B e c a u s e she ate properly. A n d taught me how to eat. I didn't really eat very well before then. S o she was a great help, (pause) S o now I was eating  129 properly. I was running. I'd always been a s w i m m e r . . but not much . . . so I w a s into swimming. A n d then she got me into weight training. S o there I am pumping weights and running ( l a u g h s ) . . . so now I can go to these socials and I have something to talk about all of a sudden! Plus I'm beginning physically to look better! I'm slimmer. I'm starting to get muscles. People even say to me, " O h , you look like a runner!" S o I didn't even have to initiate anything anymore. I'd say, "Oh yes, I'm training for a. marathon." (laughs) I:  S o it was i m p o r t a n t . . . so what I hear you saying is that it w a s important in terms of your acceptability to other people that you had something that other people admired . . o r . . could relate to and . . prior to t h a t . . the church . . . you didn't have enough condifence to be able to communicate or share with people . . .  M: People do not want to hear about the church! They weren't interested anyway . . . . or I felt they weren't interested actually that is incorrect b e c a u s e people are interested . . . . now that I do have the confidence to say, " Y e s , I'm a committed Christian, ecetera, ecetera." People are interested, I've discovered. They're quite fascinated when they hear I'm interested in theology and being a priest e c e t e r a . . . . yeah. S o I was wrong. But I felt that people would laugh at me if I said I went to church so I kind of hid that. I'd be more likely to talk about my running than I would about church even though I found the church a great help to me . . . . urn . . . it gave me a stability. It centered me. I'd go there each week. By now I'm at Church. I'm head server there, (coughs) That's another thing that happened there . I mean I started sort o f . . . low on the totem pole . . . just being a s e r v e r . . . and then one of the guys, that was the head server, said to me one day that he wanted me to be a head server and I just about died! M e ? (laughs) For s o m e reason he s a w that I had the potential. Something i didn't s e e . He. did. He felt I could do it and I just felt I couldn't do it. But anyway, he talked me into it. A n d so I did do it. . . and did fine! I:  S o . . it w a s important to have the responsibility . . . are you saying . . you're not used to having that?  130 M: Never had any responsibility in my life! I:  Is it status a s well?  M: Urn . . . it's responsibility and I've always avoided it. Always been afraid of responsibility . . . always avoided it and when I look back right to my childhood I s e e my M o m - w h o I love dearly now, but didn't at the time--who w a s a person that tgJd me what to do. I mean s h e never gave me any responsibility. I was told what to wear, what to eat, what school to go to and then all of a sudden at sixteen . . . I w a s suddenly out in the work force . . . . and . . . . there's a boss telling me what to do. Then I go in the airforce and they tell me what to do. I went to nursing school. They tell you what to do. I never had any responsibility r e a l l y ! . . . . Not u n t i l . . . well running you're responsible for yourself so there's no real responsibility there . . . so basically . . . a little bit of responsibility in A l a n o n - b e c a u s e I had to be chairperson . . . so I had the first little bit of responsibility there. Scaird myself half to death! (laughs) But I w a s surprised that I managed. Also I felt that that's where I grew a little b i t . . . that I began to have a little bit of confidence in myself that I could . . . " O h ! I could do this! What a surprise!" A n d yeah, I felt a little b i t . . .puffed up ( l a u g h s ) . . . a little bit good about m y s e l f . . made me feel good! W h e r e a s feeling good before had only really c o m e from sports . . . swimming . . and the running made me feel good . . . when I ran the marathon or went 10 k or w h a t e v e r . . it felt good. But it w a s interesting to do this little bit of responsibility thing and feel that s a m e sort of, " O h ! " It felt good! A n d I felt confident to try something a little bit harder, a little bit more difficult. I:  Could I just check on something? It sounded for a minute there that you said you'd been running . . . you said you'd never felt the feeling of accomplishment before being chairman of Alanon except for running?  M: Well running w a s after. I:  That's what I thought. Running c a m e later. Y o u hadn't been an athlete all your life?  M: Just a swimmer. S o yeah, I'd felt it from swimming.  131  I:  Y o u had had that s e n s e of accomplishment. S o being head server had that s a m e . . . s e n s e of accomplishment?  M: Y e a h ! . . . Y e a h ! I:  A n d responsibility when you hadn't been used to having responsibility.  M: A n d gave me confidence to try something else. S o my confidence in myself was beginning to just grow . . . just a little b i t . . it was coming up a little bit. I:  W h e n you talked about running you said, "I had something that w a s mine!" Do you mean by t h a t . . . this s a m e question of responsibility . . . that you'd previously been somebody that didn't have any and now this was all yours? Or do you mean something else?  M: Not responsibility. I don't think the running has anything to do with responsbility. I think it w a s j u s t . . . I had something that w a s really mine. It w a s nothing to do with w o r k - i t was really somebody else's act-1 mean my boss has his business and I work for him. Running w a s mine. It was just something that belonged totally to me and it w a s also something that I could share and talk about. It gave me a communication bridge with other people. S o it w a s very important in that respect. Y e a h . . . . urn . . . . I forgot • where I w a s . I:  Well, maybe I could just summarize and you could tell me what I'm missing. • So you're feeling acceptance of your sexuality and feeling that you have a community of sisters o r . . . . belonging . . . . that is socially acceptable. You're learning to communicate with other people. You've got a relationship with a woman who is leading you in s o m e healthy directions . . . like running . . d i e t . . . you're losing weight. You're not substituting food for contact with other people. You've now got a bridge to talk to people . . . urn . . . you can talk about running although you still don't have enough confidence to talk about the importance of the church in your life. A n d you've started to feel that you have s o m e responsibility and a c c o m p l i s h m e n t . . . being chairperson at Alanon and being a server in the church. A n d . . . urn . . I'm  132 missing the importance of the church. I think there's a missing piece . . . in the importance of the church there Well just a minute, maybe I could ask you whether there is s o m e missing pieces there? M: Y e a h , there is now that you've reminded me. Quite a big piece. O k a y , so I moved to Church. Okay, I was in a relationship with B. B. got me to go to E S T t o o - w h i c h w a s a very interesting w e e k e n d , (laughs) I can't say that E S T had anything to do with my personal growth. It w a s an interesting weekend but I.... I don't think I really learned anything there it just affirmed to me that I had. made a lot of changes and that I was definitely on the right track . . . that I was growing into who I w a s s u p p o s e d to be. I began to s e e that there was a Mary S . But it w a s still'out there' somewhere . . . . not 'out there' really . . . 'in h e r e ' . . . . b e c a u s e I hadn't c o m e out. But I w a s emerging. I thought that I was definitely emerging . . . and that I was going to be maybe quite an interesting person (laughs) . . . . when I finally found m y s e l f . . when I c a m e out. I:  I don't want to lose the thread of what you are saying but I want to say . . . so you had a s e n s e o f . . . . you talked about that emerging before--the emerging butterfly-and before, you were afraid . . . you could feel yourself . . . you had the sense of the emerging butterfly . . . but you were digging in your heels too. S o does it happen that you start to b e c o m e less afraid? Like you have the sense of emerging, but it's not so frightening?  M: Y e a h , there are two things that help. Okay one's the church and one's S . (therapist).. . before I forget. S o I'm living with B. and I'm finished with Alanon. I'd just had enough of Alanon and alcoholism. I didn't want to hear anymore about it! (pause) I w a s at Church, as head server. Now I'd been to E S T - w h i c h as I said w a s a helpful weekend. Now the church also has a similar thing to E S T . It's called Cursillo W e e k e n d . . . where it starts on a Friday night and finishes on a Sunday night and you stay there, you sleep there, you eat there with this group of w o m e n . It's just for women. Well, they have one for men but this one is just for w o m e n . A n d you have workshops and you work together on projects For my table I had to stand up and say this is what my table had talked a b o u t . . . so I mean ( l a u g h s ) . . . . I almost  133 frightened myself to death! But it was a very secure w e e k e n d ~ a very warm, accepting, secure situation that I did not feel afraid to stand up and if I made a fool of myself, so w h a t - n o b o d y cared. I mean it w a s just really . . . it didn't matter. It was such a warm caring weekend. A n d they had a spiritual team there. There were priests and also lay people . . . . and as well as doing these little workshop things, we had talks . . . it was a real mixture of religion and psychology. Like one of their little sneaky things they did that I picked up on . . . because by now I'm also going to Langara . . . . I had gone back to s c h o o l . . . . another bjg. step! I'd gone to night school for a year to s e e if I really could do it. A n d then I quit my job and started going full time to Langara. S o that was another ( l a u g h s ) . . . huge thing happening in my life! So I go there to Cursillo . . .and . . . . there w a s one. thing that happened that is very important. It's a real pivotal thing . . . and . . . that is . . that they had something called confession. Well confession to me is something that they have in the R o m a n Catholic C h u r c h ! I didn't even know the Anglican Church had confession-apart from the general service. A n d they did this sneaky psychological thing. They showed us s o m e short films and one was where a guy in a car knocked a little girl down. Then he had to go to the hospital to s e e her. It sort of pushed buttons. I mean for s o m e people. I mean for s o m e people in that group that sort of thing had happened to some of t h e m . . . . and these little films that they showed you . . triggered you off emotionally . . . although none of them actually hit me particularly . . . but some of the people got quite upset! Then they kind of herded us down into the chapel and sort of announced this sort of confession. " C o m e forward for confession." They had a service . . . a communion service and " C o m e forward for confession if you wish." A n d all these people started going forward to the altar rail and they had a whole team of priests there and they were laying on hands . . . and people were crying all over the place! I thought, "What is this! It looks like a fundamentalist church or something!" It totally put me off! I thought, "I can't hack it! I hate this kind of emotionalism!" I'd also gotten involved . . . way back in fundamentalist churches briefly-Pentecostal and Worldwide Church of G o d . . . b e c a u s e I w a s searching for something. A n d I'd really gotten put off b e c a u s e as soon as they found out I was gay . . . this w a s way back in M o n t r e a l . . . as soon as they found out I w a s gay they would boot me o u t . . . so I had really had it  134 with the church! The Anglican Church was okay because it's okay with them if you're gay. S o at least I was accepted there S o . . they were all going for confession and s o m e woman (laughs) took a hold of my arm and said c o m e on . . . c o m e down to confession. I got really angry and I said, "No! I don't like this kind of thing!" A n d I just fled out of there and I p u t . . I had my running stuff with me . . . it was over in North Van . . . and I put my running stuff on and I went running out in C a p Canyon t h e r e - o v e r the bridge and w h e w ! . . . Into the woods! (laughter) I:  Is that relief?  M: Relief! Y e a h ! A n d then I stood there in the woods and I started to cry and I started talking to G o d and saying, "I don't like that kind of thing. It scaird me and I hate that!" A n d then I thought, " O h , maybe I should have done it. Y o u know, here I a m again not wanting to be part of community. Wanting to go off on my own. A n d yet I'm beginning to learn that if I stick with community that's where I grow . . . that is where I grow and where I'm going to find m y s e l f . . . not running off! (laughs) . . . S o I went back and they'd finished by then. S o I went back to the next workshop . . . and I was sitting at the table . . . waiting for the next one to s t a r t . . . so I was sitting at my table with the group I was assigned to. A n d I suddenly realized it s e e m e d to me that everybody else had moved uh . . . I don't even know how to describe it. M o v e d emotionally? It w a s like everybody had moved and I got left behind and I really felt it! A n d I thought,"Oh,oh! Y o u have got left behind!" A n d several people had and I could have picked out the people in that room that had got left behind! The ones that had not gone through the experience! A n d I saw that in E S T t o o - p e o p l e that refused to go with the group through an experience got kind of left out in left field somewhere. Maybe you understand t h a t . . as a psychologist So I thought I'm going to have to do something about this because I got left behind and I don't want to get left b e h i n d ! . . . . Now I w a s getting to the point where I wanted to grow! (laughs) I saw good things on the horizon . . (laughs) . . and I wanted to grow . . . . . S o I looked around and I thought,"Well the next priest that c o m e s to that d o o r . . . if it's . . . . there was one that I liked very much. H e was really nice-they didn't have any women priests at that time . . . although they do now. A n d I thought, "If he c o m e s to that door in the next couple of minutes, I'm going. I'm going to go and talk to him and s e e if  135 I can just do this confession thing on my own." Right? I:  U m - h m . Out of a s e n s e of not being left behind.  M: Then I'd catch up. I thought I could catch up. (laughter) S o I sort of looked and I thought, "If it's G o d ' s will, he will appear at that door." Right? I'll count to ten. (laughter) A n d I got to nine and he c a m e . " O h ! He's there. O h ! No! (laughter) O h dear!" S o I thought, "I better do it." S o I lept up and went over to him. It w a s really funny because I'm sure he knew too. There w a s just s o m e t h i n g - h e looked just like he knew I w a s coming. It w a s really strange. I walked over to him and I said, " D o e s this confession-thing work? Does it really work?" He said, "Of course it works!" I said, "I didn't even know the Anglican Church did it." He said, "Well they do. A n d it works!" H e said, " W h y ? Do you have something you want to c o n f e s s ? " I said, " Y e a h . " A n d he said, " Well c o m e and talk to me when you are ready. And I said, " O h I'm ready now!" (laughter) "Let's go! Quick!" (laughter) S o he says, "Well where do you want to g o ? W e can go just to the office or do you want to go down to the c h a p e l ? " A n d I said, "Let's go down to the chapel." S o down to the chapel we go. . . . Pray at the altar as I knelt down to pray I didn't really know what I w a s going to say but as soon as I got down there I suddenly realized what I wanted to say and that was that I had this tremendous burden of guilt that I w a s carrying around . . . about being gay s t i l l . . . . I didn't realize it w a s still there in the back of my mind. Actually that was number two. Number one was definitely leaving L. (husband). I felt terribly, terribly guilty, about leaving this guy. He w a s sick! He w a s an alcoholic. I mean, alcoholism is a disease. A n d he had sort of said to me, "Would you leave me if I had c a n c e r ? " A n d I said to him, "Well no. If you've got cancer. Y o u go for treatment. Okay, you've got a d i s e a s e but you're not going for treatment." A n d I'd sort of gotten out of it like that and f e l t . . . . very self-righteous, (laughs) But I w a s carrying around this big burden of guilt. I:  Of responsibility for him.  M: Y e a h ! Y e a h , and also the gay thing. I felt better about it but still had this guilt about it. It was like two heavy weights on my shoulders.  136 I:  A n d so what w a s the nature of this experience?  M: S o the priest put his he knelt down beside me and just put his hand on my shoulder. H e sort of spoke for me. He said, " G o d , Mary is here to . . . confess." I can't remember the exact wording but he sort of spoke for me and he said, "Okay, just tell G o d what it's all about." A n d he put his arm around me and so I just started to tell G o d about L.--that I felt terrible about leaving him but I couldn't stay b e c a u s e I was getting sick. I w a s going down the tubes and I had to leave and, "Oh dear now I realize I'm gay. (laughs) O h boo-hoo!" A n d then . . . I just started to sob and sob . . . oh . . sob . . . right from down here. It just w a s coming up and up. I was just sobbing and this guy just held me. A n d then he . . . . I can't remember what he said . . . he prattled on there-priests know what to say so he w a s praying away and holding me. (pause) A n d then I stopped. A n d there w a s sort of a silence. I will never forget it! It w a s just incredible! It was just this . . . I heard him saying something a b o u t . . "Now put this burden of guilt on the altar. Look up at the altar. Y o u put your burden up there and don't you ever go and get it back! It's gone. Forever. A n d G o d loves you just the way you are. You're gay. It's fine. There's nothing wrong with it whatsoever. A n d the church has been wrong in the past. They recognize that. A n d you're fine the way you are. G o d loves you the way you are." I mean he w a s rattling on like that while I'm still c r y i n g . . . . Then I just felt this tremendous peace. I thought of it in the Bible where it says, "The p e a c e that passeth all understanding." A n d I suddenly realized that it d o e s exist. Y o u know it really does! That peace d o e s exist! . . . and then it w a s just like something bubbled up inside me and I just started to laugh. I started to laugh. W e stood up and we just stood there hugging e a c h other laughing our heads off! (laughs) and I felt about 20 pounds lighter! I:  Um-hm . . . . a tremendous burden gone!  M: O h ! Y e a h ! I was just totally o v e r j o y e d ! . . . . My cup runneth o v e r ! . . . A n d we went back upstairs and I was . . . (deep breath) . . smiling all over my face and everybody smiled at me because they realized what had happened, (laughs) "Welcome back you joined us!" ( l a u g h s ) . . . and then I sat down and the weekend went on.  137  I:  S o you had what you wanted which w a s to belong . . . to catch up and to belong.  M: Y e a h ! A n d interesting that other people t h a t . . . hadn't gone through that experience . . . you could pick them o u t . . . you could s e e them b e c a u s e they didn't look happy. The rest of us were bubbling along and . . . community and we're sort of like a team! Going forward, right? There where these odd bods that had got left behind. S o that's where I would have been if I hadn't have done that. I:  A n d that's important to you to have that belonging . . . and team.  M: Y e a h , funny enough! A n d I never recognized it. I think being an only child . . . and , . . . well, I w a s always part of the family (sounds p u z z l e d ) . . . . Well maybe that has something to do with i t . . . . at home as a kid being part of the family . . . . and then being out in the world . . . especially in a foreign country . . . . and having no family! Y e a h , maybe. M a y b e that's something to do with it. It just c o m e s to me now S o I had this sudden s e n s e of community or family. T h e s e people who belonged to each other and cared about each other.. . . yeah . . yeah . . and at the s a m e time . . . okay, so that was that weekend . . . which was very important. Then I went back to my church and after that, anything they threw at me, I would do. Anything! . . . . They said, "Could you try this? Would you do Sunday School or could you look after this or could could you chair this meeting." "Sure I'll try it. I might not be able to do it but yes, I'll try it!" I:  Y o u mean so . . . . suddenly . . . . at first I thought you meant because you were grateful for the experience they had provided but do you mean because you were unafraid, you were able to try to take new responsibilities . . . to take risks . .  M: It w a s a tremendous change. That weekend really did s o m e t h i n g . . . . Y e a h ! . . It really did something! It gave me . . . it just gave me so much confidence and strength that I would try . . . I would more or less just try anything. I mean . . and I also knew that I might f a i l . . . but it didn't matter. That I didn't have to be perfect. I would just do the best job I could. I would do  138 the best I could. I might do really well. I might not do that great! It doesn't have to be p e r f e c t ! . . . . Uh . . . I just lost the f e a r . . . . yeah, I lost the fear on that weekend. I also realized on that weekend that my life had been ruled by fear. Fear of rejection. Fear o f . . . god knows what! I just was afraid of everything. Afraid of failure. I:  M: I:  S o you experienced it as a . . . forgiveness or loss of the burden of guilt about your sexuality and the burden of guilt about L. and the responsibility for him . . . It w a s a big s p u r t . . . . a growth spurt. But at the s a m e time somehow it had a more general effect in that you lost your fear of being a failure . . . in a more general way, your fear of being unacceptable to other people . . . uh . . . your fear of not being capable . . .  M: Uh . . . I didn't worry about what people thought anymore. I think that's when I really started to tell people, " Y e s , I'm a commited Christian It might not work for everybody, but it works for me!" I:  After that w e e k e n d you were able to do that?  M: Y e p . U m - h m ! Y e a h , I had no more fear about people laughing about me going to church and also . . . it wasn't long after that that I decided that I wanted to be a priest. I mean it may have been in my subconscious, who knows. I think it w a s in my subconscious a long time before it emerged. It emerged one Easter. I can't remember how close it w a s to that weekend. I really can't remember. I think I went to Cursillo in '81 ? I was with B. then. It might have been within the next year. I decided I wanted to be a priest. Maybe around that time. I think they were both around the s a m e time because I w a s going to Langara. .I:  That's what you had said.  M: That's what I thought. '81 ? I'm trying to think of when I went to Langara. I might just have started night school in '81. We're in '88 now, right? I've been at Simon Fraser a y e a r . . . and I went to Langara in '85. Oh.no. Okay,  139 so I wasn't in school at that time. I wasn't in school 'til '85. S o '84 I w a s at night school. S o this was in '81. S o I'm wrong, I w a s n ' t . . . . hm . . . I was thinking I w a s , but no, I guess I was still working t h e n . . . . Y e a h . . it also . . i t . . u r n . . it changed my relationship with my boss at work too. I remember I got on much better with him after that. I just started to be more honest and more open. I shared my feelings more and discovered that people had feelings too! They're just the s a m e ! . . . A n d that human beings are very much alike . . . in their feelings. If you start sharing what's bothering you and you hear coming back that the other person has basically the s a m e sort of problems. It's quite a shock to you! I always thought everybody w a s different. Different to the point where they didn't even have the s a m e feelings . . or the s a m e things didn't happen to them. I:  Y o u felt alone and different.  M: Y e a h ! Really! I:  A n d so you were surprised to find out that other people . . .  M: Y e a h . . . people are in relationships and they have arguments with their spouses about the s a m e things that I did. (laughs) Whether they are gay or straight or whatever. Relationships have the s a m e problems. I:  A n d laughing b e c a u s e it s e e m e d like such a big deal when it's your burden but when you discover that other people have the s a m e experience . . .  M: Y e a h it doesn't s e e m like such a big burden. Y o u realize it's just life. That's the way life is. Boy it was like I had this hard shell around myself before! Now, I've broken i t . . . . (laughs) like a little bird peeking its head out of the shell, (laughs) It w a s great! I:  Is this . . . before you used the image of the butterfly. Is this the butterfly too? . . or  M: Well y e a h . S a m e thing. I:  A little bird  140  M: Y e a h just peeking out. I:  Just beginning to peek out?  M: Y e a h . S o . . . '81 .'.I think this was the s a m e time that I went to S . (therapist) It is around the s a m e time. I think if you look in my book there. I think it's '81 I w a s seeing S . I:  S o you're in a relationship with B. at this time.  M: Y e a h . . . . yeah which w a s . . . . it had a lot of good, obviously . . . 'cause I've said that. But also on the other side, B. was a very difficult person to live with. I think it was a relationship I sort of lept into with out getting to know her It was sexual to begin with and after about a year it burnt out more or l e s s . . . But we enjoyed each other's company. W e had a lot in c o m m o n . W e tried to make the relationship work and one thing to do was to go for therapy to s e e if that would h e l p . . . . S o we went together for a few weeks and B. just didn't like S . (the therapist) Plus B. was training for another marathon at the time. S h e said she just didn't have time and . . . . .so I continued going because I got along well with S . I'd never been to a psychologist b e f o r e . . . I w a s quite fascinated with this one-on-one. I'd never talked to another human being about my deepest feelings. T h o s e sort of things I'd sort of kept to myself or hidden. Or I'd talk to G o d about them, (chuckles) But I'd never shared them with another human being, so it w a s . . . difficult at first. I think I just talked . . . for awhile I just w a s on the surface with her and feeling her out. A n d then I realized that she was . . safe and that I could talk to her about anything! A n d she wasn't going to reject me or jump on me or sneer at me. S h e w a s totally nonthreatening. I felt very safe with her. Plus she tuned in really fast that I did not communicate well with words. S h e tuned in really fast. But that I worked well with symbols and visual imagery. S o she did a lot of a . . . guided imagery. I:  C a n I just ask you . . . are you more verbal now than then? . . . B e c a u s e you s e e m quite verbal to me.  141 M: (laughs) More verbal. I've almost gone too far in the opposite direction. I have to watch my mouth. I talk too much sometimes. I:  But at that time you found it hard to talk.  M: O h ! I couldn't communicate! I mean I only had basically grade 11 education . . . to start with. I w a s very unsociable so I didn't really talk to people very much . . . anymore than I had t o . . . . Uh . . no . . . so I didn't have a very big vocabulary. It's better now because I've now had one . . two . . almost three years of s c h o o l - w h e r e I had to write papers. I've learned a lot of new words and ways of communicating that I didn't have before. I'm much better now! But I can still s e e that I have a long, long way to g o . . . . But it's definitely a lot easier to communicate now . . . v e r b a l l y . . . . . . .So S . picked up on that. I:  That it w a s difficult and that was okay with h e r . . . she found other ways for you to communicate.  M: Y e a h , through dreams . . . and also guided imagery. I would c l o s e my eyes and she would just guide me. If there w a s something I wanted to work on, she would get me to close my eyes and sort of go on an imaginary journey . . . all sorts of different things. S h e tried a lot things. A lot of touch therapy. S h e ' d touch me a lot. She'd get me ( l a u g h s ) . . . S h e felt t h a t . . I said to her that I was beginning to feel so much better about myself, I felt like I was going to fly off into the air. That I was getting loo. hyped up . . . too happy . . . everything was too good (laughs). Like I w a s sort of flying off . . . . and she s e e m e d to understand me and she made me stand in the room and she sort of droned on. I had my eyes closed and she droned on . . well no, she was standing behind me. (pause) A n d she was going on about these roots from my feet going down, down, down into the earth and that I was rooted firmly on the earth. And then she put my arms up and I had tendrils going from my fingers into the heavens. . . so that I was connected to heaven and to earth . . . and I wasn't going to fly away anywhere, (laughs) . . . . Stuff like t h a t . . . that works for me! I:  You're laughing because it s e e m s silly . . o r . . .  142 M: No . . . no . . . I don't know why I laughed . . . I:  Anyway that w a s good.  M: Really good yeah . . . I:  B e c a u s e you needed to have s o m e rooting into the ground?  M: Y e a h . . . . I can't remember what that w a s all about but I j u s t . . I vaguely remember that particular session. I:  W a s this feeling of flying off a bit unsettling or was it okay?  M: Y e a h I felt t h a t . . . well I felt that I'd been a sort of dull, boring, down-to-earth, stuck in the earth. I used to tell her I felt like an ostrich with my head stuck in the earth. S o I was very e_arlh-bound. Right? . . . . To use imagery . . . and now, all of a sudden, because I w a s coming out of my s h e l l . . . like a butterfly . . . was becoming myself. It felt like I was lifting up. A n d that I was going to fly off somewhere. I was coming out almost tod much the opposite! Maybe it was just all happening . . . It s e e m e d to be happening too fast! I s e e m e d to be suddenly . . . when I first started growing and changing it w a s like a slow train chugging along. A n d all of a sudden the train was picking up s p e e d (laughs) and I was getting a bit nervous. It w a s running away with me! I felt like I w a s flying off somewhere. Especially when you do this kind of imagery work . . . . (indecipherable) . . . . I:  Um-hm, it stabilized you.  M: It stabilized me. S a m e basically as being in church . . . when I go to church on a Sunday. I:  It has that s a m e . . .  M: It has that s a m e . . . . I get centered. I:  That was the missing piece. I hadn't quite . . . I'd missed the s e n s e of what  143 the church provides. It's the centering. The experience of centering. M: It's the centering, yeah. I find it important to go . . . well I don't go every week but I always know when I missed a week. I always feel scattered. W h e r e a s if I go every Sunday--the ritual, the liturgy , the music--the whole t h i n g - s e e m s to center m e . . . . urn . . . I:  C a n you talk a little bit more about what that m e a n s ? What that feels like .. o r . .  M: Calming. It's a very calming . . . . I can go into church and maybe I'm all scattered because I've got papers here and no money . . . and I'm confused ( l a u g h s ) . . . . and I get to church and . . . sit down and it's such a beautiful, peaceful, atmosphere. A n d we have a beautiful c h o i r . . . so the music is very uplifting . . . makes your emotions . . . well music is very emotional. The music . . .the p r a y e r s . . . we use incense, so you get wafting incense going by . . . beautiful smells. It's all a very calming down. For a whole hour, I don't think about anything. I don't think about school or my financial problems or anything like that at all. I'm just totally centered. S o probably for people who do meditation . . . . it's the s a m e as meditation. I'm just centered on the service that's going on . . . the p r i e s t . . . up there with his . . . waving his magic wand (chuckles) . . . doing the ritual bit. I'm totally focused on that and usually I'm usually I'm serving . . well, today I sat in the congregation but usually I'm up at the altar s e r v i n g . . . busy, helping the priest. I don't have time to think about my problems. I'm too busy figuring out what the priest wants n e x t . . . S o I've got a job t h e r e . . . . and the m u s i c - t h e whole thing together somehow just settles me down. It centers me. I have this feeling of peace . . . c o n t e n t m e n t . . joy. I just feel absolutely . . . I can go in there feeling miserable and c o m e out feeling on top of the world. Like all my problems have gone. I have this just abundant (laughs) joy. I:  It allows you to forget about your preoccupations.  M: Y e a h . Y e a h so I think it's basically the s a m e as meditation. I:  A n d to . . like . . . going outside y o u r s e l f . . .  144  M: Y e a h . . . . Is it outside? Outside or inside yourself. I don't know if it's outside or inside, (sounds puzzled) I:  I'm just going back to your image of saying . . . of experiencing . . when you first went to the church and to Alanon that there was a power outside yourself. Y o u didn't have to depend on yourself to solve all your problems. Is it that?  M: H m . . . No, it's different to that. No that's a different thing. That's community . . . s t r e n g t h . . . . This is different. No, it's an inner cleansing. A n inner peace. An inner joy. It's inside. It's not outside. B e c a u s e I can go into church and be there for an hour and maybe not even speak to anyone else . . if I'm sitting in the congregation . . . so . . you know . . . I don't even care if there's anybody else there! ( l a u g h s ) . . . . In the congregation, particularly! Sometimes, I don't even speak to anybody. . . . No . . . uh . . religious stuff's hard to . . hard to articulate. I do . . sometimes I . . I have a meditation tape. I sometimes sit here and j u s t . . listen to a meditation tape and I get the s a m e thing from that. Just a terrific calming down . . urn everything slows down . . and . . . . sometimes I cry! I have cried in church a couple of times, but I'm not too comfortable doing that. But I'll do that with meditation tapes. I'll sit here. Everything sort of relaxes . . . and sometimes I'll cry . . . sometimes I'll laugh . . I don't know, it just depends what needs to be released, I guess. W e have tensions, right? My tapes talk about chakras. C h a k r a s ? . . . . In your spine . . . releasing tension. S o sometimes as the tension releases, I'll laugh or cry. Sometimes I speak in tongues. That's a bit weird (laughs) but it sometimes happens. I don't know what that is b u t . . . . you know it's psychological too! Psychology, religion and philosphy are all so mixed up. I can never separate them! They s e e m e d to be linked together some way. I:  But the main experience is a centering . . .  M: Peaceful I:  Peaceful and centering . . and forgetting about problems and . . . a release of tension and a . . .  145  M:  A release of tension and a . . uh my confidence c o m e s back. If I'd been feeling scattered and upset and worried about something, it's all gone and I feel sort of a . . . new strength . . . . ( i n d e c i p h e r a b l e ) . . . I guess it's psychological but something definitely happens. I definitely c o m e out of there feeling . . . refreshed and ready to face the week. It gives me tremendous strength.  I:  S o . . . is this the substantial self?  M: Y e a h ! Y e a h , the substantial self in relationship to others . . . yeah . . . is really now . . y e a h , starting . . . to c o m e - t o grow. Y e a h , I didn't feel very substantial before, that's true. I sort o f . . . (deep b r e a t h ) . . . to imagine it, it was like I w a s bits. There was no Mary! I mean there w a s the outline there . . . but all bits. A n d it's now, like the bits are beginning to c o m e together and fuse. Fuse together. S o this person is beginning to turn into . . . . a person. A substantial person. Before, I was always . . . sort o f . .bits. I:  A n d in this experience that you're describing, . . . . is the centering like the fusion of the bits?  M: Y e a h . . . yeah (doesn't sound very sure) . . . yeah, it's given me a lot of strength, (long pause) It's very hard to talk about, (long pause) Y e a h , because it's not a thing that has happened suddenly. It's been a growth process . . . but certainly the religious side of it is the biggest side. I:  Is it!  M: Y e a h . The religious experiences, yeah. Y e a h . . . even . . . I don't have to be in church. I c a n be here . . . feeling . . . maybe I've been really busy at school. I've been working on a paper and I'm j u s t . . . maybe I haven't thought about G o d or prayed for a whole week. I've been so absorbed and centered on my paper and what I'm doing. S o all of a sudden, I start (laughs) realizing that I'm not feeling.very good! Y o u know? A n d I'm d e p r e s s e d . A n d so I think, "Well gee, y e a h ! I haven't prayed for about a week." S o maybe I'll sit and pray or put on a meditation tape . . or I'll j u s t . . . s i l . . . . and j u s t . . well, I g u e s s meditate really. I don't use that word a lot but I guess it is  146 meditation just to sit and stare blankly into space. A n d not think about anything. O r ley. not to. There's stuff whirling around (laughs) . . and I shove it out of the way and j u s t . . think about nothing and just allow . . . G o d . . well I'm not quite . . well whatever it is that if you allow yourself that s p a c e . . . . it gets filled with G o d and I have to do that. I have to take time to do that. Sometimes I forget. Mostly, if I go to church every Sunday, I'm okay, but i f . . say I don't go for a couple of w e e k s b e c a u s e I've been doing something else and I h a v e n ' t . . it's hard to find the time to pray during the week. If I c a n , I do but if I don't, sometimes it will be two weeks and I haven't been to church. I haven't prayed. I haven't done a n y t h i n g . . . A n d all of a sudden I realize I'm just not feeling g r e a t . . . really d e p r e s s e d . A n d so I'll put on a tape or just sit. A n d it's in that silence somewhere t h a t . . . uh . . . t h a t . . I can't even put it into words. It's really hard, (long silence) I don't know. Things just sort of s e e m to g e t . . sorted out and begin to f e e l . . grounded again and centered ..... and at peace. . . . . A n d I feel okay to go on again, (long silence) Y e a h . Religion is very important, (long silence) I don't know what else to say about it. I:  Are we pretty much at the present time?  M: Urn . . . did we talk about S . (therapist) much? Y e a h we did. S h e was a really big help to me. I:  The main thing you said about S . was that you were feeling like you were changing too quickly and that you were going to take off and she grounded you.  M: O h yeah, she helped to ground me. Also the journal that I gave you--l did with her. S h e a s k e d me to do that. To just write down every day f o r . . I can't remember how long it was now . . . what I w a s thinking o f . . . oh feelings! That's the problem. That's why I went to s e e S . Apart from the problem with B.~which she figured out was a power struggle-that couples go through phases and the number one phase is 'power struggle'. And b e c a u s e I had begun to find myself and . . . w a s becoming more s u b s t a n t i a l . . or whole . . . that's a good word! More whole. I'm becoming more w h o l e . . . . Urn . . . . that I wasn't going to take her trying to control me anymore. All of a sudden I w a s , "Hey! I'm a person with my own rights. I  147 don't want that! I want this! (laughs) T h e s e are what I want! This is what I want and I don't want that!" A n d so, we started to have arguments because all of a sudden . . . I wasn't doing it her way. I had my own ideas! A n d I w a s . . . I'd found my own person, I guess. I'd become more whole, more substantial. S o suddenly she found she had something to reckon with! (laughs) A n d didn't like it! I mean she'd been probably been controlling the relationship for w h a t . . . . for five years. A n d all of a sudden I'm standing up and saying, "Hey! This is n o t . . . this is too much!" S o we started having horrendous fights. A n d she'd always win because she's more articulate than I a m . I wouldn't be able to find the words. I would splutter, (laughs) S o . . that's why we went to s e e S . . . but anyway, when I got to S . , S . would say well how are you feeling? . . . A n d I suddenly realized . . . I hadn't a clue how I w a s feeling! I think I knew when I w a s happy and when I w a s s a d but that was probably about the only two. I didn't understand anger. A n d I still have a problem with anger. I g e j angry now but then I don't know what to do with it. (pause) It takes a lot to get me angry. I don't get angry fast. B. does. S h e just boils up and then it's gone. W h e r e a s I.. uh . . can stew for days! (laughs) A n d not say a n y t h i n g ! . . . U m . . . so S . tried to help me with feelings. She'd ask me how I was feeling. . . . We'd go through all sorts of stuff about feelings. A n d for the first time I realized that somewhere I'd lost my feelings!. . . A n d I think I lost my feelings in that marriage too! B e c a u s e I learned to sort o f . . . not feel anything. It was too painful to feel. To feel anything was just too painful! And so I kind of shut down. I shut down sexually in that marriage. I'd no feelings . . . . so . . . she helped me with feelings. Y e a h , she helped me a lot with feelings. I:  S o . . to be aware more of them? To recognize them? To experience them more?  M: Y e a h . Y e a h . To know, "What are you feeling today?" I just w a s blank for ages before I began to understand! I can't remember exactly how she got it across to me but I know that I began to realize that, "Oh yes, today I'm angry or this is s a d . . this is happy . . this is a n g e r . . this is discontent." I:  Through keeping a journal?  M: U m . . yeah . . . a lot of it was keeping that journal. What else w a s in that  148 journal? D r e a m s - t h e r e ' s some dreams in there. S h e worked on dreams with me A n d with her, I remember when I first went to s e e her, I said, "You know, there's somebody in here trying to get out." (laughs) That's about all I could say to her. A n d she says, " W e l l . . what's stopping the person getting out?" A n d I s a i d , " Well for a long time I thought it was B.!" I kept thinking it w a s B. that's not letting me out. S h e ' s controlling me and I said, "All of a sudden it occurred to me that it's me. that's not allowing me to c o m e out!" There w a s a little smile there and she said, " O h , hm-hm!" (pause) U h , it's such a slow growth process when you s e e a psychologist that it's hard to track it but I remember that I finally said to her one day, "I think I'm out." (laughs) I: ,  H m ! . . . S o you experienced coming out during the period of counselling with her.  M: Uh . . . I said it to her the second time. Y e a h I was with her for about eight months. A n d there definitely was a lot of growth during that time too . . . . feelings and oh . . . going right back to my childhood sometimes . . with her. A n d I did a lot of work around my Dad. (pause) Urn . . . it was the s e c o n d time. I went to s e e her fairly recently. W h e n I first went to Simon Fraser I had a period . . . . I went through a period of feeling terribly lonely . . and lost and isolated up there. I really felt like I was going back into my shell! That scaird me! I was more scaird to go back than to go forward! . . . . It really scaird m e ! . . . . Urn ... and so I went to S . and I told her, "I'm really scaird. I'm going backwards! Back into my shell. I'm terrified! I don't want to do that. I'm enjoying life now, for heaven sakes! I never enjoyed it before, I just sort of existed . . . . urn . . and she was really h e l p f u l . . . .I forgot what I w a s going to say . . . I:  Are you trying to communicate to me how S . was useful in your change process?  M: Y e a h , I w a s just going to answer the question and I forgot what the question w a s . (long silence) I:  Well you were talking about your sessions with her in the p a s t - o v e r eight months and then you jumped forward to a recent visit.  149  M: O h , yeah that w a s right, because when I went to her the s e c o n d time, that was when I said to her, "Remember I said to you that this person wanted to c o m e out?" A n d she said, " Y e a h . " A n d I said, "She's out." (laughs) S o it had happened between the first session and the second session. I can't remember why I finished that eight months~l think I'd just gotten to a point where it w a s kind of a plateau and I w a s feeling okay. I remember saying to her, "I think I'll probably be back." S o it didn't surprise me that I did go back. But the second time I only saw her for a few weeks and I said, "Well I'm definitely but! (laughs) I really am me_, now! A n d I really like myself! It's really neat. I'm having such a good time. I enjoy . . p e o p l e . " . . . And I j u s t . . . Before, I didn't give a damn about people. I didn't really care if I w a s alone or with people-it didn't really bother me. Now I. . . although I enjoy my own s p a c e and being alone sometimes and going for walks alone and things like t h a t . . . ' . I really like people! I enjoy people. I think they're fascinating and I used to just, "People!" I don't know . . . I was really down about them! (laughter) I liked cats and dogs and horses better than I liked people! A n d now I just think people are s_g_ neat! I'm so . . . I just love new people. I want to know who they are, where they're going, where they c a m e from! Just so fascinated! I:  S o you're curious about them.  M: Curious! O h , that w a s another thing that happened with S . . . was curiosity. I remember I w a s saying to her one day . . . I said, "I just feel like I've been reborn! For the first time, I'm seeing trees! A n d houses and the sky! And flowers." I said, "I'm so d a m m curious about everything! I want to know what everything is!" I'm supposed to be in school and it's very hard for me to decide what to do because everything is so interesting . . . . that I want to do everything. . . . Y e a h ! Tremendous curiousity-jiist like a kid. I:  S o suddenly the world is out there. . . Before, you were rejecting the world . . and not wanting to know about it?  M: Y e a h ! Y e a h ! I:  Now you're like a kid in a candy store-excited and curious about  150 everything... M: Y e a h , right! It's like I had my head stuck in the sand! I:  The ostrich with his head in the ground.  M: Y e a h , with his head in the ground. I:  S o is it  a j p i is happening to you, it isn't just S . that's responsible for  your c h a n g e but S . w a s listening . . . and supporting and understanding and . . encouraging and promoting what w a s already in progress. M: A n d telling me it w a s okay. You're going in the right direction. You're fine. You're not going to fly off somewhere. I:  W h e r e a s in your relationship . . . urn . . you maybe didn't have . . . . you needed s o m e support for that c h a n g e . . . . Uh . . . your relationship maybe wasn't necessarily supporting the change because your relationship was b a s e d on your old self.  M: Y e s , definitely. Y e a h , when I started the change . . . although B., she saw the change and . . . encouraged i t . . . . S h e thought it w a s great, although she also knew I w a s changing and going away from her. S h e could s e e that. S h e c o u l d n ' t . . . uh ( s i g h ) . . .in fact, she did say she wondered why she didn't change in the relationship much, but she f e l t . . . . maybe she didn't need to change. I don't know. S h e didn't feel that she changed very much and that I changed tremendously . . . A n d she liked the new person! S h e really thought I w a s a much more interesting person and she would have liked to stay in the relationship with me . . . B e c a u s e she saw this new . . this new fascinating person emerging. Who w a s interesting! (laughs) But at the s a m e time I lost interest in poor B.! I felt like . . .for a long time we were sort of together and then I just started to go like that (gestures) and she w a s still going there. A n d it just widened and widened and widened to the point where we were just getting on each others nerves. S h e wanted . . . . I would have been happy to have stayed with her as a friend . . . to live together as friends--just companions. But she wanted a full relationship--a sexual relationship. A n d I just didn't want that with her  151 anymore. It wasn't there. I:  Y o u didn't have a s e n s e of needing her.  M: Y e a h , I g u e s s if I'm honest I (indecipherable) A n d also, she was having a very hard time herself. S h e had become asthmatic and . . . w a s becoming incredibly moody and grumpy. Although, maybe s o m e of that w a s to do with me--with me not responding much anymore. It was j u s t . . it w a s going nowhere . . . our relationship. I couldn't s e e any . . . W e t r i e d ! . . . . A n d we went to a psychiatrist together and B.'s still seeing h e r . . . . B e c a u s e you h a v e t o pay for a psychologist and B. didn't want to c o m e . . and I didn't have much money anyway . . . although I would have paid if she wanted to go to S . . . . but she didn't. I:  S o you tried to work at it.  M: Y e a h . W e went to a psychiatrist for a couple o f . . .for a few s e s s i o n s - t h r e e or four sessions and then I went home to E n g l a n d - f o r a holiday for a month. The psychiatrist said to me, "Think about it while you're away." S o I did. I went home for a month and . . . . I was really happy! It w a s the best trip I ever had home. The best time I ever had with my M o m . ( break to change t a p e ) Y e a h I w a s just thinking as I w a s just sort o f . . . trying to glance back over it. . . whereas before it was like I was just blown everywhere by the winds of c h a n c e . Y o u know like . . . I'd be in a relationship with somebody and it would be finished and so I would just sort of move on. I remember being in Montreal (laughs) . . . I can't remember who I was with there . . . somebody anyway . . and that ended so I just sort of left town and went to Ottawa. . . . Why not? A n d that's where I met L. (husband) and we c a m e out to Vancouver. B u t . . . . when that relationship ended . . .before I'd always moved somewhere . . . .when that relationship ended I stayed in Vancouver and I've been here a long time. Now normally I'd have, "Why not just go somewhere e l s e ? " Just drifted off, right? But now b e c a u s e I have s o m e t h i n g - l know where I'm going and what I want to do. It's like I put down emotional roots down here and . . . . yeah, before I was just blown about by winds of chance. I never had any goal. Any d i r e c t i o n . . . . Nothing!  152 So it didn't matter. I just would go anywhere. But now I... now I'm . . . more substantial. Y e a h . Much s t r o n g e r . . . s u b s t a n t i a l . . . . have direction . . . . know what I'm doing—l mean i might not get where I'm going (laughs) but I know where I'm going, b a s i c a l l y . . . . . . . when I decided to become a priest. Do you want to know about that? I:  Is that part of the picture of becoming . . .  M: Y e a h , I just remembered I was going to talk about my M o m . . . going on that trip . . . maybe I should go back to that. I:  Sure!  M: O k a y . . so I went home in May and as I say it was the first time . . I had this tremendous relationship with my M o m ! Before . . . . I really didn't like her! I found her too bossy and . . . controlled my life and . . . you know, didn't give me any responsibility. I spoke to her about it and she said that she had to because my Dad w a s very irresponsible. Like, he w a s a good Dad . . but he didn't like responsibility. He didn't like making decisions. He had his own business and he had to do that there but in the home he . . just w a s not very good at it. S o M o m kind of had to do all that-or she felt she had to - . . . whatever the reasons. A n d so I thought, "Well!" I hadn't even realized that. She'd never talked about her feelings before . . . . and I realized . . . I don't k n o w - m a y b e it's all English families! B e c a u s e I remember C.(friend) said the s a m e about her family. W e don't discuss feelings! W e talk about the weather, (laughs) But we never discuss how people are feeling or what's going on ar anything. Don't talk about emotions or anything like that. S o I w a s . . . so anyway, this w a s the first time that I went home and . . . my M o m treated me like I was a human being not like . . . a kid! A n d in the s a m e respect, I treated her like she was another woman and not my mother. W e had this . . we just had this wonderful time! W e laughed . . had coffee and tea and . . . it w a s such a neat relationship. I didn't believe it could be like t h a t . . . you know, with one's mother! B e c a u s e everybody I talk to moans about their mom and here I had this wonderful relationship with mine! It was just terrific! A n d another thing S . did for me . . . talking about my mom reminds me of my  153 dad . . . and she did a lot of work with me on my father. I told you that story. Do you want me to go into that o n e ? Again? [In initial meeting to discover if Mary had experienced phenomenon under investigation, she told story of experience related to her Dad's death.] I:  Y e s if it's significant. W h e n you told me that before, I did not have a tape recorder.  M: It's just that in this change that's taking place . . . as I'm changing and becoming more substantial there just s e e m to be a lot o f . . . little odd threads that needed tying off. A n d one of them w a s my mom . . . coming to terms with my mom and accepting her as a woman and her accepting me as a woman which w a s . . . really neat! I:  C a n I just clarify my understanding of t h a t . . . . that previously you hadn't really liked your M o m . .  M: No, I didn't like her at all. I:  Y o u experienced her as overly controlling.  M: Y e a h . Authoritarian . . . overly controlling . . . making all the decisions for me. I remember as a kid wanting to c h o o s e my own clothes and she wouldn't let me. S h e was buying the clothes and so she would c h o o s e what I wore! To the point that even today, I have difficulty in choosing clothes because I don't really know what suits me or what to look for and I hate shopping! B e c a u s e I never learned . . early on to . . . find out what suited me. She'd just M me what to wear! A n d it s e e m e d to me everybody all my life w a s telling me what to do and I never had a chance to . . . find out what I was capable of. I:  S o in part of your change process, it felt like something you had to . . .a loose end to be tied off, you had to go again--now that you've c h a n g e d - a n d spend s o m e time with your m o t h e r . . . uh . . maybe I shouldn't be asking the question . . . anyway, just to summarize what you said . . . that you found that as a changed person you could relate to her as a separate person and she could relate to you and there was a sense of equality.  154  M: Definitely! A s e n s e of equality, yeah. I:  A n d that felt really good.  M: It felt really g o o d ! It was terrific! That was the best holiday I ever h a d . . . But also at the s a m e time I realized that what I had with B had c o m e to an end. It really had! I just could s e e no f u r t h e r . . choice . . no further growth there . . nothing! I j u s t . . it just s e e m e d to come to an end and I thought, "I'm going to just have to end this r e l a t i o n s h i p . " . . . . Which was a pity! It w a s a real pity! I didn't want to . . . I just couldn't s e e any other way out of i t . . . and to hang on and hang on w a s just making it worse for B. . S o when I c a m e back I.. uh . . . . . when we went to s e e the psychiatrist together, I j u s t . . . told her basically what I just told you . . . that it s e e m e d to be going nowhere I s e e m e d to have to finish. W e decided there and then it was f i n i s h e d . . . . which really upset B. b e c a u s e she w a s . . all of a sudden she w a s . . she wanted to work on the relationship . . whereas, before, she never did. S h e was always too busy with the marathon, this, that and the other. A n d all of a sudden she wanted the relationship to be the main thing in her life and was ready to work on it. A n d I had had it! I had no more energy for it. My energy was for s c h o o l . . and the church . . . and the future-my future goal of being a minister eventually. I:  S o there w a s s e n s e of completion, and ending there-of the relationship.  M: Y e a h , I felt okay about it. I had no regrets . . . and I don't feel guilty. I feel fine about it. A n d . . I think B. is getting over it now. I've s e e n her a few times and the first few times were pretty difficult. S h e w a s still having a hard time. A n d then I saw her a few weeks ago and she s e e m e d pretty good. So I think she'll be alright. . . .(long pause) . . O k a y . . so I was going to tell you about my dad, right? I:  Which w a s another loose end?  M: Y e a h , another loose end . . w a s . . . funny enough b e c a u s e I'd been home when my dad w a s dying. I'd gone home. He was in the hospital dying of cancer  155 and I had to go along with my mother who . . . didn't want him to know he was dying Which for me, I found difficult! B e c a u s e . . I had read a lot of Kubler-Ross and I felt that I wanted to talk to my dad and tell him what a neat guy he w a s . . and how much I'd loved the times we had together . . when I w a s a child, (coughs) A n d . . I couldn't do that! All I could say to him w a s , "Oh you'll soon be b e t t e r . . . Pat, p a t . " . . . . Y o u know? . . . A n d it just drove me crazy! But my mother was . . . u h . . . pretty emotionally upset, obviously, at the time. S h e was just sort of steeling herself everyday to go to the hospital. It was a real effort for her and she's not well. I mean she's elderly. S h e ' s in her late s e v e n t i e s . . . . S o it was a real stressful time, and I c a m e back here . . . . my dad was still alive. They'd sent him home finally but he had only a few weeks to go . . but I had to c o m e back b e c a u s e you can only go for so long. A n d . . . uh . . . a couple of weeks after I got back, he died. And . . . . at the time I thought, "Well gee, you know, I can't go back to the funeral but I should do something." A n d . . . . when did this happen? . . . '76? . . . I think it was '77 or '78. I can't remember. But I remember at the time feeling that I should do something but not being . . . not being in the church long enough at that time to think of doing something in there. . . It didn't occur to m e . . . S o at home I just got a chair and I put s o m e flowers on a chair and a photograph of my dad . . and I had my . . . I found a C o m m o n Prayer Book or something or other (laughs) . . and I did this little funeral thing m y s e l f . . and read the priest's p a r t . : . . . A n d I thought, "Okay, that will complete it!". . A n d . . to myself, I thought, "Well it's completed now.". . . . But I'd experienced over the years after t h a t . . . t h a t . . sometimes I'd . . . um . . .I still had the feeling that my dad was miles away! Instead of being close, he w a s miles away! A n d yet he was dead. I mean, before I'd always thought, "Oh well that's because he's in England. He is far away." But now he'd died! Why did he still feel far a w a y ? (laughs) I mean he wasn't in England . . . . but he felt like he was way out there s o m e w h e r e ! . . . . It didn't feel right. It felt most peculiar because I'd always been very close to him. . . . . . A n d it c a m e and went and I didn't think a lot about it. A n d sometimes I'd s e e people on the street. Oh everybody experiences this! Y o u s e e somebody on the street that looks like your dead father so you have to just walk past them and have a look just to make sure, r i g h t ! . . . I think a lot of people experience t h a t . . . . But things like t h a t ! . . . . A n d then that would  156 trigger it off again . . about him being so far a w a y . . . . I felt most odd about it! Anyway eventually when I.... the second time when I went back to S . (therapist) . . . we were working on loneliness actually . . . that I was,being very lonely . . and isolated up at Simon Fraser. A n d I just didn't have time to sort of socialize up there and make friends. A n d it w a s really difficult. It w a s a really difficult period! A n d I'd left B. and I w a s living in this new situation here on Avenue, (sighs) New school, new home, new people . . . . all around me and I was really feeling isolated! I felt like I m i g h t . . . I felt like I might go back into my shell. . . . Really scaird! A n d that's why I went to s e e her. Anyway, one day we just got talking a b o u t . . childhood I think . . and my dad . . . . and I said to her, "He just feels S Q far away!" A n d she said, " O h ! W e l l . . ." A s I said before, we'd done guided imagery . . . and so she decided to do something like that with me. S h e just said, "Well just close your eyes . . and think about your dad in the hospital. A n d I c l o s e d my eyes and I said, "No I don't want to think about him in the hospital.". . Actually prior to that we'd gone down this tunnel or something . . I can't remember now . . it doesn't have much to do with my d a d . . . but eventually anyway, I ended up talking about my d a d . . . A n d so she said, "Well visualize the living room." S o I c l o s e d my eyes and I could s e e the living room. I could s e e the c h a i r . . . . . . I couldn't s e e my dad. He wasn't in the chair but I could hear him tapping his pipe o u t . . . which was kind of interesting. S h e thinks I'm a more.. . . auditory . . . . I hear more than I s e e . . . . S o there were a lot of sounds that I remembered about my d a d . S o she said, "Well if he's not in the chair then . . go to the hospital." S o I went to the hospital and . . . I could s e e the hospital and I walked in and up the ward and . . . . as the bed sort of got closer, I said, " O h I don't want to go any closer b e c a u s e I know I'm going to s e e him . . and he looks horrible! I just want to remember my dad the way he was when he was healthy! I don't like the way he w a s in the hospital bed . . which was horrible! H e looked so thin . . . I didn't recognize him!" A n d she said, "Well . . just keep walking . . . walking up to him." And so I did. I started walking towards the bed . . . and as I got closer to him . . he suddenly sat up . . or I mean I hadn't gotten close enough to s e e who it was but anyway . . he suddenly sat up. And instead of seeing my dad, it was just this dazzling . . . ball of yellow-like the sun. It w a s like the sun shining. It was just incredible. It sort of blinded m e ! . . . . .  157  U m . . . and at the s a m e time . . actually prior to t h a t . . . there w a s . . there'd been a white l i g h t . . . O h yeah, I forgot about that. Y e a h prior to t h a t . . I w a s having problems getting to the bed. (laughs) I didn't want to walk to the bed and so S . had gotten down in front of me . . I think. S h e put her hand on my chest. O h , and then she put a crystal in my hand, that w a s it! S o she was holding my hand with this crystal, then she put her other hand on my c h e s t . . . . S o she w a s helping m e . . . and when she did t h a t . . . that's right, everything went white. There w a s this beautiful white light! A n d then I did . . . this white light sort of helped me towards the bed and as I went towards the bed, that's when my dad sat up and there w a s this blinding yellow light.. which was quite incredible! Um and it felt really . . . . it w a s quite an emotional experience. I felt very . . . . uh . . uplifted . . .for want of a better word. ;  A n d then . . . I sort of withdrew from it all. I sort of f l e w . . . . actually I think I w a s flying at the time. I sort of flew from there back to . . . I guess back to the room because I sort of suddenly sat up and opened my eyes and (laughs) . . I sort of looked at S . and we both started to laugh like mad. I j u s t . . . a little bit like that confession thing. The s a m e thing . . . this sudden laughter. I w a s all upset about my dad and all of a sudden I w a s sitting there laughing like mad. A n d I said, "You know it feels just like my dad is right in here now!" [gestures to chest] Most peculiar! A n d she sort of smiled . . and didn't say too much. But anyway, since then . . . it w a s . quite awhile ago now . . . I g u e s s September [five months a g o ] . . . . ever since then, he has felt really really close. In here and not way out there somewhere. . . . S o that w a s another end . . . tied off. I:  Hm . . . so the meaning of that yellow l i g h t . . that white light and that yellow light. . w a s that. . . your dad . . . c a m e to be inside you?  M: Y e a h . Spiritually speaking. I:  Y o u mean his love o r . . ?  M: His e s s e n c e . . . his spirit, his e s s e n c e . Y e a h , but also, I said to S . , "When you think about it on a physical level, I carry his genes, right? S o in a way  158 he d o e s live i n me!" (laughs) S o yeah . . spiritually... I don't think I'll have that problem with my mom. B e c a u s e we s e e m to have made s o m e sort o f . . connection . . . e q u a l . . . . sort of on a l e v e l . . . on the s a m e level. I think when she dies, it will be okay somehow. I don't know but I don't think I'll have that feeling. I:  Of her being at a distance.  M: Being a long way off. B e c a u s e she feels really close. Really close. All the time . . . and yet she's living in England. I:  Is that new? S i n c e you visited?  M: Y e a h . Y e a h , before, she felt far away. W h e n she was in England, she just felt far away. A n d now she feels really close. Y e a h , so I don't think I'll have that problem that I did with my dad. S o that's been really really neat. I:  S o that's another tying off. . a loose end.  M: Y e a h . Y e a h . A n d then ending the relationship with B. I:  Finishing that.  M: Finishing that. It's almost as if I sort of have to get all these things ( l a u g h s ) . . finished off, tied off neatly before I can sort o f . . . . go on with wherever I'm going . . or grow . . . I don't know what it is. I just have this feeling that there are all these things that I'm neatly tying off and finishing off b e c a u s e I'm going somewhere, (laughs) It's strange. I'm not quite sure what that's all about (long p a u s e ) . . but in terms of being more substantial . . . I definitely feel much more substantial than in the past. I:  Is your s e n s e of going somewhere part of that?  M: Y e a h ! Y e a h . . . it's sort of like putting all your armour on because you're going out to battle, (laughs) I'm not going to a battle b u t . . . yeah, the tying off and the n e a t . . . all that sort of thing is . . to use church imagery . . sort  159 of like putting y o u r . . sword on and your belt on . . getting ready to move onward. Onward and u p w a r d . . . . . . ( p a u s e ) . . . as I say . . . I'm aiming towards being a priest, which is a long, long journey. A n d if I think about where I a m right now, I realize that I still have a lot of growth . . a lot of growing to do to become a priest. B e c a u s e I mean right now I couldn't stand up in the church and p r e a c h . . . . Actually I wouldn't be afraid to do it anymore. If they told me to do it, I'd probably go and do it! But I know I don't have the skills for that yet. It's going to be a lot of years of school and a lot more growth . . before I become the type of person who can do that! I:  S o you have a s e n s e of yourself on a journey . . that isn't finished yet and that involves more learning and growth.  M: Y e a h . But I can s e e now . . because I've come this f a r . . from where I c a m e from and the sort of person I am now and how . . different I a m now and how . . stable . . and strong I am now . . that I realize I can do it. Before . . what w a s it? Six . . seven years ago, when I f i r s t . . . had this horrible (laughs) feeling that I wanted to be a priest. My immediate reaction w a s , "I can't be a priest! It's impossible! Y o u have to go to university and you have to do this and that." A n d I cried! B e c a u s e I thought, "I know now what I want to do and I can't do it!" It just really upset me and I cried. But then I eventually . . . because I was getting to the point where I was beginning to reach o u t . . . I did reach out to some people in the church and talked to them about i t . . . whereas before, I just would have stuffed it down and forgot about i t . . . well, tried to! I talked to people about it and found out that you can do it! Y o u could go to Langara and then university and so on. (laughs) I:  S o first it c a m e to you that you did want to be a p r i e s t . . . so the "how" wasn't immediately a p p a r e n t . . how you would do i t . . in fact you thought at first that it w a s i m p o s s i b l e . . . but you first had the realization and you were certain that you wanted to do it and then thought. . .  M: Y e a h . I think it had been in my subconscious for a long time, actually. Probably right from when I first went to Church and saw the priest up there and when I first became a s e r v e r . . so I was up at the altar. I felt incredibly comfortable there. Like I'd come home. A n d yet I didn't really  160 understand it. I didn't really think about being a priest. I didn't even realize they had women priests to be quite honest! B u t . . . . a b o u t . . seven years ago now I g u e s s . . . right at the beginning of the relationship with B . . . . I remember I just suddenly woke up one morning. I woke up and I said, "I want to be a priest!" A n d I thought, "Oh no! You've said it! You've said it now!" W h e n you say something, it's like it puts it into motion, (laughs) You've either got to do i t . . I felt, "I've either got to do it and G o d will be happy and I'll be happy or I can ignore the whole thing and n o l do it. G o d ' s not going to be angry. That's no problem there b u t . . I might be angry with mvself later on! (laughs) I might always regret that I never even tried!" S o I thought, "Why don't I try! Why don't I just go and find o u t . . . if it is possible!" At least I can say, "Well I tried but, you know, I failed. S o what! Is it so bad to fail!" And that's when I went up to V . S . T . , Vancouver School of Theology, and I talked to s o m e of the students. In fact, one c a m e over for coffee and she talked to me and told me . . . . at that time, actually you could do two years at Langara and go straight to Vancouver School of Theology and do their Master's. Y o u could do that but they've stopped people doing that b e c a u s e they're finding that to go from two years community college into a Master's program is too much of a jump and they were losing a lot of people. It was just a waste of money, (coughs) A n d especially for people like me that only had grade 11 . . . . years and years ago. S o I did my two years at Langara. And luckily I didn't know about that, I just thought I had to do two years at Langara and then go to V . S . T . S o after my two years at Langara, I went to talk to the Bishop . . and he dropped this one on me . . that you had to have a degree! (laughs) It's a good job I didn't know about that two years ago. If they had told me I had four years of degree and then four years of a Master's program . . . to do eight years! (laughter) I would have thought twice about it. . . . but I didn't realize that! B e c a u s e I had no money or anything . . except my student loan So so I did my two years at Langara and then I discovered I had to go to Simon Fraser. That's where I a m now. A n d when I finish there (laughs) I have four years to do at Vancouver S c h o o l of Theolgy. But, a s I say, I mean when I look at myself now . . . . I mean last week I had to give a seminar at school. I had to stand up in front of the class and talk and . . . . . I didn't even get anxious about it! It w a s such a shock! I mean, I  161 just did it! A n d I thought, "Well, I'll just do the best I c a n . I m e a n , it's not going to be perfect. It's going to be . . where I'm at right now! Obviously not going to be perfect." A n d I did fine—I got an A . (laughs) I:  S o part of being a substantial self is not expecting yourself to be perfect?  M: Y e a h , definitely! I think . . . well I wouldn't say I w a s a perfectionist yeah, I g u e s s I thought you had to be p e r f e c t . . if you did something . . . my mom used to say, "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well." S h e didn't exactly say you had to be perfect, (laughs) I'm not quite sure where I got that o n e ! . . . . . . But I realize now that people just do the best they c a n ! Y o u know, you have s k i l l s - a n d the skills are not something that you're born with-they develop as you develop. That's just something I've had to learn. A n d I know that when I first went to Langara . . . O h , I w a s so scaird! I didn't think I could do i t . . . but I did! A n d I got through that and I learned a lot. A n d I realized t h a t . . if I've c o m e that f a r . . . . it's been three years . . . if I've c o m e that far in three years, where I can stand up in front of the class and give a little presentation . . that at the end of my B.A. . .that's four years . . and another four years at V . S . T . . . which is eight years. . . . By the end of all that great long . . . span of teaching and learning . . . I probably will be capable of standing up in front of a congregation and preaching for an hour or so and . . . visiting the sick and all the things that a priest does . . like teaching . . . I:  S o you've felt yourself change and grow so much . . and developed confidence . . . from where you started to where you are now . . that you can see that growth continuing.  M: Y e s , I can s e e that it's possible now. Definitely! I've c o m e this far and changed this much and, yeah, (laughs) I'm sure I can go on and change enough that I can do that job. Y e a h . I:  S o right now . . are you saying you're still in process . . like it's a growth process, it's not like a . . . finished . . .  M: No, I don't feel that I'm finished. Definitely don't feel that I'm finished! I feel that uh . . . I've c o m e a long way. There's been a Joi of c h a n g e ! Radical  162 change! Just a . . complete t u r n a b o u t . . from what I w a s to what I a m n o w . . . . . and I don't think it will be as much change. I don't think it will be as radical. It will just be a steady growth--a steady development And that, I'm sure, goes on for the rest of my life . . if I keep reaching out and wanting to grow. I'm sure people get stuck. I was stuck there . . . way back . . for a long, long time but it's amazing that when I decided t h a t . . I had to change . . . and accepted the fact that I had to change. I changed so f a s t , . . . that it almost scaird me! I:  S o accepting that you had to change w a s an important..  M:  Y e s . Y e s , I think so b e c a u s e . . yeah, because, as I say, at first the change w a s slow. It w a s like a slow train chugging along b e c a u s e I was sort o f . . . very nervous! (laughs) I was keeping an eye on it. I w a s not sure. A n d then I suddenly realized t h a t . . I had to change or I was not going to be happy. I w a s going to be miserable and stuck and boring . . and that this change was good for me b e c a u s e I w a s feeling so much better, so much happier. I w a s feeling more content, more peaceful I w a s living, instead of just existing. A n d so I realized that change w a s good . . . . and then I sort of accepted that I had to change and that change was g o o d . . . . Not that everything that happens is good! There's some scarey things to go through . . . but on the whole that change was good . . . and that's the thing I had to do . . . and once I accepted t h a t . . . y e a h , it was like an express train. It just took off. (laughs)  I:  Hm . . . . that-was when you were seeing S.(therapist) so that you d i d n ' t . . take off into the air.  M: Y e a h , y e a h , y e a h ! (laughs) I felt like I was taking off! Too fast! (laughs) (pause) I:  S o do you think there's anything missing from that picture? It's hard to think of everything.  M: Y e a h I know! (long p a u s e ) . . . . . Maybe just school. School's been a big tool for change. Definitely! Urn . . . in fact, it's been really exciting! I really . . . . I really thought I was a dummy! I really did! I mean I just went to a  163 secondary modern school and they more or less told you--well not straight to your f a c e - b u t between the lines, they told you that the only thing you were good for was to get married. S o you'd better learn to s e w and cook! (laughs) Both things didn't interest me too much! (coughs) S o . . by the time I left school at fif.. at sixteen . . . a n d then I went to business college for a y e a r . . . b e c a u s e my mom thought I should learn typing . . that was a handy thing to have . . .which it is, actually, right now b e c a u s e I can type my own papers . . .so . . . so I left feeling that I wasn't very bright! A n d it w a s a real shock when I went to Langara-just to night s c h o o l - a n d took English . . that the first term I got a B on the first thing I ever did . . . and I just about p a s s e d out! My English was . . was pretty g o o d ! It w a s creative. Apparently I'm very creative which was a big surprise to me. Although when I think back to . . . even my teachers in that sjjjy school always said that I had potential, that I was creative, that I should have been an a r t i s t . . . stuff like t h a t . . and they wanted me to go to art school. I just used to laugh! But now when I think back I g u e s s I did have potential! Y o u know, to do something with my life! They saw it-1 didn't! I:  Y o u didn't feel that you had potential. Y o u felt dumb.  M: No! No, I felt really dumb and stupid . ... that the only thing I should do is get married .. and be a housewife and work in an office, (laughs) There wasn't much choice in those days--you worked in an office or you worked in a store, (coughs) That's what everybody else around me s e e m e d to do. I:  S o it w a s a s e n s e of limited future and limited possibilities . . and the possiblities that were being suggested to you weren't things you were interested in.  M: Y e a h ! . . . . No . . no . . office work, shop work . . nursing. A n d I tried all three! A n d wasn't too thrilled with any of them! A n d again, that working class thing-the upper class were the kids that went to university. Working class only went to university if they got a scholarship. A n d I knew I was not bright enough to get a scholarship! I don't think I art] that bright! But I'm certainly not stupid! I just thought I was d u m b ! . . . I couldn't do math very well, that's for sure! But I was good on the other side . . the other things . . English and a r t . .  164  I:  A n d so the class system fed into t h a t . . uh . . in t h a t . . .urn . the class that you were from, you weren't expected to go o n ?  M: No . . not really! There was a few bright kids--working class k i d s - a n d they got scholarships. I:  O h , I s e e what you're saying!  M: Y o u had to be really, really bright! I mean . . genius! (laughs) S o I may have been . . you know . . .just an average . . kid. I:  S o is it like . . . w h e n you talked about feeling . . that sense of responsibility and competence from being a server and leading in the Alanon group . . that school has . . more examples of your ability to be competent and responsible? Or is it not mainly responsibility . . but competence?  M: Y e a h Competence. A n d discovering that. . . like when I first went to Langara I expected to get C ' s . I expected to maybe scrape through . . . if I was lucky! A n d yet I didn't even get C ' s , I got B's . . . which really surprised me! A n d then when I started going full time . . . at the end of two years, I'd sort of got the hang of how to write an essay (laughs) . . . I w a s getting A ' s ! And my teachers were telling me, "My G o d you have such a creative mind! Where are you coming out with these things!" I:  S o finding a s e n s e o f . . ability . . the experience of your capability . . . your intellectual and creative capability . . and t a l e n t . . and getting feedback . .  M: Y e a h ! It w a s like a whole other side to me . . that I'd . . been missing! I didn't even know I has! anything like t h a t ! . . . . S o that made me more substantial! (laughs) It certainly did! A n d school too . . . I mean . . because vou have to communicate. You're in relationship . . you know, the community in the s c h o o l . . . all the time , you can't just go through s c h o o l . . well you could go through school and not speak to anybody (laughs) . . but it would be a bit difficult! But it's the whole . . school atmosphere . . has really helped. B e c a u s e I'm really thrown into a group of people where I have to  165 communicate... I:  Where you are having to communicate . .  M: Having to get up in front of a class and talk I:  Hm . . test yourself!  M: Y e a h ! Incredible testing ground! It's been so positive! I:  Finding that you s u c c e e d .  M: Y e a h ! That I'm not stupid! I'm not even average! I'm above average in terms of a c a d e m i c performance, (laughs) That was what w a s a real shock! I mean, I remember sitting one day and thinking, " W e l l : . gee, that's funny . . . I mean my mom . . she's just an ordinary mom. S h e had only about grade six or something. There's nobody on her side of the family that's got any brains (laughs) . . that I could think of!" I mean maybe they do . , way back. Who knows! Then I thought about my dad and . . . "Dad w a s pretty average!" And then I suddenly remembered that Dad had a brother who w a s a lawyer; his sister w a s a teacher. All of a sudden I remember thinking, "Well gee, maybe it's c o m e from that side of the family. There is s o m e brains in the family somewhere!" A n d in fact, all that side of the family-like my dad's sister's s o n , who is my cousin, is incredibly bright! That whole side of my dad's family is bright! I'd never even thought about it before! I:  S o there's a s e n s e of surprise!  M: Y e a h ! Y e a h ! Complete surprise! I:  Y o u thought you were not intelligent.. and that your mom w a s n ' t . .  M: No I didn't think I was. I:  A n d you kind of just accepted that that was the way things were . . . and you were shocked to find o u t . .  166 M: Y e a h . . . . that I'm more intelligent than I thought I was. A n d then of course I kept thinking, "Well, where's it coming from?" Y o u know what I mean . . . I mean I know about genetics! (laughs) There's no way I could be intelligent if both my parents were dumb! Or maybe you go back to grandparents . . . I don't know enough about it. But I remember sitting there thinking, "Where are the brains coming from in the family?" A n d then realizing that my dad's side . . actually is quite intelligent! I know he's got cousins that are all doctor's and . . . and teachers. It sort of gave me an understanding that . it w a s coming from somewhere, (long p a u s e ) . . S o that's been an eye opener. School's been a real help! (long p a u s e ) . . Scarey sometimes! A n d challenging! A n d sometimes I think I can't do it! A n d then I think, " Y e s you can. You've c o m e this far. You've done everything so far. Y o u can do it!" (laughter) I:  S o it's not like you've emerged . . I don't know . . as the butterfly, but it's not that you're invincible.  M: Um-hm (Laughs) Y e a h , sometimes . . I remember telling S . this . . sometimes I sort of think, " G e e , I'm going to have to really be . . c a r e f u l . . not to get too . . inflated. Too puffed up. B e c a u s e it's been so exciting in coming this f a r . . and realizing that I am fairly i n t e l l i g e n t . . . and a pretty neat person and I even physically look good! I mean I never thought of myself as good-looking! I was always overweight. A n d I had greasy hair, (laughs) I always thought I was ualv! A n d now I have people telling me, "You're s o attractive!" A n d I think, "What do you mean attractive?" I'd go look in a mirror and think, "Attractive? (laughter) What are you talking about? Attractive?" But I realize that. . it's a l m o s t . . . . a butterfly . . coming out of a crysalis! Really! Sometimes . . in fact sometimes I've gotten dressed up to go to a dance or something . . . J . (friend) and I went out to a dance and I remember I went to the washroom just to wash my hands or get a drink of water or something . . and I. . there was a big mirror. . and I . . I didn't realize it was mej I just sort of looked and I saw this person (laughs). . I w a s wearing s o m e new clothes that I bought, (laughter) . . I remember looking and I thought, "Jesus she's good looking!" (laughter) I was looking at my self? (laughter).. I just stood there and laughed my head off! I thought it was sg. funny! B e c a u s e I put make-up on and I don't often wear make-up. S o it wasn't unusual that I didn't recognize myself for a second,  167 but I stood and looked and I thought, " G o o d god! Y o u know you're so completely d i f f e r e n t ! " . . . . I p a s s e d my ex-husband in the street and he didn't know me! He never recognized me at all Y e a h . . people used to tell me that I always had this s a d countenance Depressed I g u e s s . . . . . But now I'm sort of bubbling . . and I always thought I w a s introverted. Now I discover I'm much more extroverted. Which . . S . (therapist) said, " O h , I knew you were an extrovert! Y o u just needed to c o m e out!" (laughter) S o I feel that. . um . . . . that more or less I've found myself. That I a m . . . . this is. the real me! (laughs) A n d t h a t . . sure, I can still grow and change! It's like a diamond that needs polishing . . . . it needs polishing more but uh I feel very comfortable with myself. And I feel that I have a lot to give and a lot to share. W h e n I'm with people it's like . . give and take. I feel very equal to people now. I never felt equal before . . and I remember saying to you t h a t . . when I.. in England there w a s all this upper class and lower class, right? (laughs) When I went home in May, I went to visit one of my cousins in this Ittle village and . . . . I had to wait for my cousin for something or other, I can't r e m e m b e r . . . and so I just wandered around the village . . . very tiny . . . and I saw this ad in the window for afternoon tea at Lady so-and-so's . . . and it was open to anybody. A n d I thought, "Well that'll be fun! I like those big mansion houses!" I was on my bike. J u s t i n my shorts, (laughs) Not dressed to go to afternoon tea or anything. I thought I'll just tell them that I'm visiting from C a n a d a . S o I trundled off to this huge mansion house . . . a big gravel drive . . . cars going up and I c o m e up on my bicycle! And . . . to cut a long story short, I knocked on the door and Lady so-and so . . all dripping in g e m s . . in her afternoon dress . . c o m e s to the door. A n d I just said, "Is this where the afternoon tea i s ? " "Oh yes my dear, come in!" S h e sort of looked at my bike, " G o o d heavens, where have you c o m e from?" (imitating upper class accent) . . (laughter) . . . Imagine me going in there . . . I mean, years ago! I just walked in . . . and I didn't feel above her or below her. I felt totally equal to her! That I w a s just as good as she was . . even though I didn't have the money she had . . . that's for sure! The only difference between us w a s money and education. A n d . . . introduced m y s e l f . . and was ushered into the living room and all the ladies were sitting around the fire having tea ... and I parked m y s e l f . .  168 and had tea and . . . for heaven s a k e s ! . . . Half of them had been to Vancouver! " W a s the Sylvia Hotel still t h e r e ? " . . . A n d . . I tell you, I was the center of attention! (laughter) It was so funny because, I mean, b e c a u s e before if I'd been the center of anything, I would have died . . . and here I w a s quite enjoying it! It w a s quite . . it was fun! I didn't feel over-inflated or anything, I just felt I was having a really interesting afternoon. I was contributing to the afternoon and they were contributing and whole thing w a s really n e a t ! . . . . A n d then for heaven s a k e s ! I bought a raffle ticket and . . . I had to leave early to go meet my cousin and apparently I won this huge box of biscuits. Y o u know in a small village, news travels fast.right? I w a s walking along the road with my cousin and this car stopped. This lady stuck her head out and said, "You're the lady from C a n a d a ! " S h e said, "You've won the biscuits!" (laughter) Then we went home to my cousin's to make tea and in five minutes there was a knock at the door and Lady so-and-so arrived with the biscuits . . . and presented them . . . and it must have gone all around the village in ten minutes because later on that evening we went to the pub . . and we just walked through the door and immediately everybody turned 'round and said, "Oh that's the lady from C a n a d a that won the biscuits!" (laughter) It w a s a r i o t ! . . . But anyway . . the purpose of that story was t h a t . . . all of a sudden here's the upper class and I'm working class and I still have . . . I certainly don't have an upper class accent! Which is a difference in England . . . . and yet these people just totally accepted me . . . and I think they probably always did. It w a s just me that felt uncomfortable A n d they're really neat people! S o I haven't had that problem anymore . . . and that's really nice. B e c a u s e at my church there's a real mixture and we do have s o m e upper class British there . . . with a fancy a c c e n t . . . . that used to put me off. A n d I just feel perfectly fine . . . . although you do have less of a problem here anyway, (long pause) .  S o it's n e a t . . . it's sjj neat to be able to go o u t . . and visit people and talk with people and not feel self-conscious! Just to feel perfectly at e a s e , and interested in who they are . . and exchange stories . . . and, I don't know, it just makes such a difference! It's less stressful. It just makes life worth living, (long p a u s e ) . . . . What a struggle! They say, "Life  169 begins at forty," and it did for m e ! . . . . Well before . . . but certainly when I turned forty I began to really take off. I'm 43 now. (long pause) . . . I:  S o this particular change process is pretty important.  M: O h y e a h , really! (laughs) Y e a h , I feel like I'm going . . . I mean . . . m i d - l i f e , . . . if I should live to be eighty-odd, I'm only half way through my life! The first half has been such a struggle! It feels like the s e c o n d half, although it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be such a struggle. B e c a u s e I really feel I know who I am now. A n d so I have a whole person . . . that's going forward through the next forty years. W h e r e a s before I mean I was j u s t . . . w h a t . . . nothing. I w a s just fragmented all over the place so yeah, it feels really good! I really sort of feel excited about the f u t u r e . . . . whereas before I w a s just always sort o f . . . f e a r f u l . . . and I hadn't even thought about the future. I just sort o f . . . I didn't think about anything! (laughs) I:  S o the fact that you're a more substantial self affects your view towards the future.  M: Definitely! Y e a h , Y e a h because being a substantial person is . . . hm . . . it's a strength! I feel so much s t r o n g e r . . . a n d c a p a b l e . . . . . . . I mean, I may need help from people certainly . . . but I feel that I really can . . . sort of carry on towards my goal. A n d who knows what's going to happen! I mean anything can happen . . . . you could get i l l . . . I mean anything could happen and I might not get there but I certainly have the potential to get there . . . which is what I didn't have before.  170 A P P E N D I X II  I N T E R V I E W WITH T H E R E S A  Transcript of taped interview (Mary and T h e r e s a have been friends for 17 y e a r s - e v e r since Mary moved to Montreal from England. They first met when T h e r e s a c a m e to Mary's rescue after a car accident. They do not s e e each other frequently but have maintained a long friendship with periodic visits.) I:  Okay, so what I'm wanting especially from friends is . . . really two things . . . one is to validate what I had heard Mary say. I interviewed Mary and I formed s o m e opinions from thinking about the interview-about what the significant c h a n g e s were. S o number one is to interview the friends and to validate, from the friends' point of view, that this change really happened. And the other thing you can do is to is to . . . fill in the details of Mary's life . . to not just make the point that she's shy but to tell me since you knew h e r . . . in what situations w a s she shy. What obstacles and challenges did she have in her life? And how did she handle them? . . . A n d how did the way she handled them c h a n g e ? . . . By talking about specific things that you did together, by making a richer picture.and showing how a person's life is actually lived in the context of the life rather than just an abstract notion-she's shy. Well how did you s e e this? How did she b e h a v e ? S o if you want to elaborate . . . like I'm sure if you wrote thirty pages and c o n d e n s e d this, that what you've given me are the really essential, differences b e c a u s e you've obviously sifted though and c o m e up with what you think is really essential If there is anything you want to say by way of amplifying, though example, that would be terrific.  T: W e can start with the word shy if you like. Urn . . . I lived in the town of Mount Royal, M o n t r e a l . . . that means like West V a n in Vancouver. It means we had . . . there w a s my dad and there w a s money . . there was opportunity. Mary c a m e to live with us from time to time . . between jobs . . . whatever.  171 A n d I recall her in the home as being someone who was always quiet. W e loved having her there b e c a u s e she certainly d i d n ' t . . . what can I say , . . create any negative anything. S h e was just always quiet and always polite. But, for example, if my brother would visit or my dad would c o m e up to c h a t . . . friends would c o m e o v e r . . Mary would not necessarily join. It was not what she w a s interested in. S h e w a s quite . . . um . . isolated in her behavior with other people. U m . . she w a s very good one-to-one . . you know . . if you could draw her and talk with her and eio. something with her. Mary is a very 'doing' person. We're two entirely different people. I like to know motivation. I'm interested in why things work. U m . . I like to know the many points of view of any one thing. I know there's no one truth, you know, that kind of thing. But when I used to know Mary . . . to her, a rose is a rose is a rose. S h e has no problem with t h a t . . you s e e . A n d so she w o u l d n ' t . . . . me and my friends would nit pick a piece of grass until it w a s all over the place and nobody could remember what the question was. But Mary would never join that-that's foolishness to her and she would rather go play a good game of tennis, go skiing, climb a mountain •. . . to C]Q something! That was much more attractive to her. A n d so I used to often wonder if she was missing opportunities to enjoy people . . by being so . . small about what it. is she would do with them However, you know, I was busy living my life--l'm not going to worry or try to do . . . in fact I don't ever believe that you can do anything . . for someone else. They either do or they don't. Now that w a s a long time ago . . but then rather than use the thing in the house . . b e c a u s e that's one thing, and then there's in the bar and then there's in the various different homes of our friends, and s o m e of the social things we were going through, s o m e of the thought and feeling things we were going t h r o u g h . . . . . U m . . Mary had a terrific crush on a girl--a long long time ago, and her name was J . S h e w a s a really nice girl but J . w a s older. S h e w a s not into wanting to have any singular relationship. J . s e e m e d to be another pleasant woman. But I think she was just in a stage of her life where she didn't want a r e l a t i o n s h i p . . . . Mary really liked this girl. But she didn't know what to do about being attractive, creating e x c i t e m e n t . . um . . creating an imaginative and fantasy tension. That's very i m p o r t a n t . . . make the other person excited and create a situation  172 that they'll be Well she didn't know how to do any of that, and so J . really . . . wasn't interested. A n d I watched Mary feel all the feelings one feels when one feels rejected. S h e withdrew and she w a s very u n h a p p y . . . .  This from the s a m e girl that can ride a horse and play with children . . and I would call i t . . . . she's a 'natural' person. She's good in nature. S h e ' s very simple but not in a . . . . I'm using perhaps the wrong word. Mary is not complicated. Not to me she's not. A n d when an emotional thing would happen in Mary's life, it would cripple her. S h e would j u s t . . . she would go to do her job b u t . . . . ( g e s t u r e s ) . . . you know, with a long face. Urn . . . I found that talking to Mary about how to alter feelings and thoughts . . . didn't w o r k ! . . . . Y o u know, she s e e m e d to have to go through all of her feelings, at her own pace and choose what was safe for her And . . . . Mary is not offensive. All her friends respected her. They liked her. Everybody likes Mary, you know. And that's a safe atmosphere for her to have a beer in--for her to be with the group. B u t . . . no one would necessarily phone her up and say, "Listen we're all going to . . why don't you . . ." Y o u know, and so Mary sort of did her things, like she went skiing-but on her own. S h e joined other p e o p l e . . . . she went to her activity things. They were weekend things. A n d she went to her j o b . . . . I'd hire her any day! S h e ' s very . . . she's totally faithful and good at what she does. But a s an . . exciting person. Mary was not at that time. And her reaction to things that didn't go her way . . . in my observation . . . w a s that she would simply withdraw. A n d uh . . . I just had no skills at the time. Very little perception at the time either. I just let her withdraw. I was too busy Urn . . and then as time went by I moved to Ottawa . . Mary moved to Ottawa. W e didn't even know each other was moving to Ottawa. W e ended up in Ottawa. I drove down the street one day and there she w a s . Well, "Hi! Hi!" W e went for a beer. Then she gave me a call and said, "I just got married. Do you want to move u s ? " A n d I said, "Sure!" And (laughs) I met that guy . . for the first time. A n d . . urn . . I drove them to their apartment and then . . . I lived even in the s a m e building with her for awhile. There happened to be a room there that I rented for awhile. A n d . . . I noticed t h a t . . I was very reluctant to be with them because they weren't like other people. Most people I know I can bash on the door and  173 say, "Hi! I made too much lasagna. Do you want to c o m e over?" O r . . "I'm lonesome. Y o u guys mind if I come in and have s o m e coffee?" Y o u don't do that with them. U m . . Mary was always . . nervous with this man. A n d although the man was friendly, he sort of would stand back. His body language w a s . . . with this hand in his pocket, (gestures) he sort of would stand back. H e w a s n e v e r . . . . hostile . . . but neither did he c o m e up and say (gestures), "Get in here!" (laughter) Y o u know . . you always felt you were intruding s o m e h o w . . . A n d I really kind of was lonesome at that time. I used to just listen for people walking around so that I could feel I was in the world of people. It w a s a stage of my life. B u t . . . and then . . she confided to me one day and said, "He hides bottles of l i q u o r . " . . . . . U m I said, " O h , n o ! " . . . A n d she said, "I'm trying everything I can but he's doing a lot of drinking." H e w a s still working at the t i m e . . . . Well then time goes by and I'm in my adventures and I c a m e to Vancouver. A n d uh Mary w a s in Vancouver. Actually I was in Vancouver before her. I c a m e to Vancouver, went back to Ottawa, c a m e to Vancouver. A n d in the interim, she had moved out to Vancouver. G a v e her a buzz and said, "Well you're out here now?" S h e said, " Y e a h . " A n d I said, "What's happening?" A n d she said, "Oh brother! " Y o u know, and I said, "Now what's happening?" S h e said, " S a m e damn thing, only . . . ," she said, "you know Theresa, I've tried everything from Fredrick's of Hollywood to god knows what. He's not interested in me sexually. I feel really sorry for him." Uh . . . I think she had a s e n s e that she should be doing something to make . . Ms. • • thing . . work! Something I understand now but didn't at the time. I didn't know enough to say, "Why don't you just dump the jerk and get going. Your life's important." I didn't have those skills then e i t h e r . . . . That's a very fast synopsis, (laughs) So all I could say was, " G e e that's too bad. Hope you work it o u t " . . . . in so many . . . actions Eventually . . . . time g o e s by and . . . Mary gave me another call, "Hi! G u e s s what's happening now?" I said, "What?" S h e said, "Have you got s p a c e on your floor?" I said, "Oh yeah." (laughs) "Here we go again!" A n d y e a h , she's leaving L. (husband) "Fine," says I and went out and bought a foamy and put it on my floor and over she c a m e . A n d I got a real heavy d o s e of a whole new kind of Mary! That's why it's e a s y for me to write this in three segments because it's been three heavy relationship  174 segments that I've known . . . her most intimate communication with me. A n d the rest is just tennis games and walking and having dinner once in a w h i l e . . . but not a terrific intimate communication of any depth. But when she slept on my floor and w a s with me f o r . . I don't know . . one, two, three months . . . she started talking to me about a l c o h o l i s m . . . S h e taught me a l o t . . . what she had been doing within the relationship with her husband . . . how she now s a w what alcoholism w a s . S h e had contacted feelings . . her own feelings . . realized they were important.. . that if she w a s going to have any kind of a life at all that she would be totally responsible for it. A n d most important of a l l - s h e w a s not responsible for anybody else! A n d she really clearly hung on to that c o n c e p t - t o give her the courage to step away from all the stuff she'd always been connected to before. A n d all the value systems about it. Urn . . she didn't necessarily have to be polite just so other people would leave her alone. S h e could be polite b e c a u s e it w a s nice for other people! Y o u know, not just do it because she w a s told to and never bother questioning why! Urn . . . . she learned . . . she's very good by nature with what makes her happy . . children always make her happy. She's marvellous with children. There w a s a girl upstairs . . a single mom . . . very good with this child! Urn . . . in fact, she's better than anyone else I've ever known with children. S h e ' s got a whole . . she has an adult communication with children. S h e doesn't baby talk them. Um . . they talk about serious things. Kids just love her b e c a u s e she doesn't baby-talk them. S h e does things with them. S h e has a communication with them that is amusing to listen to. But it just knocks me out b e c a u s e I wouldn't think of t h a t . . . S h e gets right down where they are ! But more than that, she's not doing it to show off. It's just who she is. Y o u can be in one room and listen to her in the other room and that's who Mary is! A wonderful communicator with children! Uh . . . but I was realizing that she w a s going through um . . her blocks. S h e w a s going through them! S h e was . . she was . . number one, she would support L. if he would go to Alcoholics Anonymous. S h e would go with him, sit with him. S h e would go to dinner with him afterwards or before but she would not get involved with him socially anymore! A n d all of the stuff. . the pulling and pushing things . . she didn't want the g a m e s anymore. A s a  175 person . . whether it was L , you or I, she would have been that loyal to us . . . b e c a u s e it's who she is. She's willing to help us. She's a helper-that's her nature. U m . . . but L. had no holds on her anymore. S h e had no value system saying, "You have to do something for this man. He is your husband . . . Y o u r mother w i l l . . . " None of those things. S h e said, "No. I've had it! I want something in life and all I can do is get away from what doesn't work and I'm standing out here in the shallow water and I don't know what's next but anything's got to be better than that!" A n d that was a terrific big step for Mary! U m . . . she'd had a real load and she got herself out from underneath it. A n d she did what was easy and natural for her. S h e started swimming, walking the seawall with Donna Um . . Mary always likes to feel a little bit in love with people. It makes it easy for her. S h e loved Donna for a long time. Donna was like the blond goddess there for awhile. It was lovely to watch. It's like a little girl having a big crush. In a way it's very healthy . . and they walked that wall every . . w h a t e v e r . . day. A n d she was off skiing and she expanded her relationships with people. A n d um . . when she felt really good . . . she needed place of her own . . she got a place with a lady who ended up being a lover of hers for a very long time. B u t . . I saw her going into that knowing that this w a s a very attractive woman . . she was feeling happy about it. U m . . . I don't think she was concerning herself a b o u t . . the differentiating between gay and straight. I don't think that's a big thing with Mary I think just being in love is all she's really concerned about. A n d she likes good feelings from whatever's involved in loving someone. U m . . . . I never up until that time . . 'til B., I never really considered h e r . . a person that isolates herself sexually. S h e just loved who she loved. But when she was with B . . . . Mary developed something else . . . with her husband, she hid with him . . . and tried to make it better. . . with B., she w a s expanding herself with B. and with other people . . . . I think she just wanted to be with B. S h e wanted it to work. They went for psychiatric help. S h e certainly tried-very hard. A n d I met her in the middle of that-with a bicycle in my living room and a cup of tea saying, "Well we're trying it again. Here we go again! We're past the 'struggle' stage." Y o u know, she started even knowing . . by words . . relationships and where the  176 power c o m e s in and where the romantic part is. S h e started getting some smarts about how these things work. A n d she was trying! I m e a n , d a m n , that's a Mary that's so different from the first Mary I knew! (gestures sucking her thimb and curling her hair) Y o u know . . . ( l a u g h s ) . . . a very different Mary! » I:  What is that gesture? In words?  t:  This o n e ? That's a baby! Y o u know . . twist the h a i r . . something to do. And this (the thumb) comforts you.  I:  B e c a u s e the world is . . .  T: It's just too much out there! Y o u know, that just really is personal and it's .  I:  Hiding and comforting yourself.  T: Hiding and just, j u s t . . . you know. Y e a h ! That's the gesture to me anyway. I know 'cause I used to do i t . . . as a child, I used to suck my thumb and twirl my hair, (indeciperable) . . don't talk to me. Y o u know, and you couldn't get past that, I was in there. But then one day she c o m e s to work and she says, "Well kiddo, I went home, I c a m e back and I realized I don't like her and I don't want to live with her!" I said, "Oh really, what are you going to do now?" I mean, she'd already blown my mind by saying, "Well, I think I'm going to be a priest." I said, "You're . . . oh that's fine. I mean who is going to pay for this?" S h e said, " O h , who cares!" "What!" (laughs) That's not at all like Mary I mean she sat in a job downtown f o r . . . far too long! They tried to promote h e r . . . she didn't want anything to do with promotion! S h e was perfectly happy with what she w a s doing! Totally underpaid! Y e a r after year after year after year. A n d I've never e v e r . . . I haven't even desired to try to change Mary Anybody else, I'd say, "Are you nuts! Y o u can't live on five hundred bucks a month! Get your a s s in g e a r . . . go to school. Do something." But you c a n ' t . . . there's no point in telling Mary S h e ' s stubborn and she sets her mind. A n d here's where the privacy thing c o m e s in. S h e d o e s think . . . of  1 77 course she d o e s . . and she feels . . but it takes Mary a long time before she makes a move. Y o u a l m o s t . . . up until now . . . you've almost had to push her into making a change in her life. S o that the tragedy . . or the thing that doesn't work . . . . it would take a long time until Mary finally s a y s , "I'm throwing up on this thing that isn't working! I have got to do something!" And then she finally does something. But not now. S h e s e e m s to be moving . . . she c a m e over to visit me not long ago and we had dinner and she said, "Well I'd like to be in love but I don't have a whole lot of time anymore. I've got to go to school. I've got to study.. I've got to do this and I've got to do that." A n d she said, "It would be nice . . . . to have a love a f f a i r . . . not too serious . . . I don't think I'm ready yet. I got all this work to do." I thought, "This is Mary talking!" Mary who w a s going to drop into s o m e relationship and that was going to solve . . . I mean w e all did that at eighteen . . . . w a s going to solve her whole life just by being in love. She's now realizing that is just part of life. A n d there's lots of other things! S h e has to develop herself to be attractive to other people. S h e even said to me . . . me! It's astounding that I've known her this long and she said, "How do I c o m e across to you? Do you think that I'm . . . or I'm ?" "Well gee Mary, I think um . . . " Y o u know, . . . taking my breath away! A s I was explaining . . . she's asking now! Before she wouldn't dream about even thinking about asking, "How do I c o m e a c r o s s ? Do I c o m e across like an army tank or do I look like a desirable person? Do I look like someone you want to be with?" This w a s what she wanted to know! I don't know what's going on recently but I w a s loving this kind of communication from Mary . . . b e c a u s e it just means now that she's concerned a b o u t . . . being for other people something You know, and how she's going to go about doing that. I mean Mary isn't the kind of person to do something to get you to be hooked up to her. That's a manipulation and that's not who she is! But she i s desiring now to know . . how d o e s she c o m e a c r o s s ? Did I think she was rude when she states her facts, "Hi! I like you and I want you to be my love relationship"? A n d . . . "If she doesn't want to, that's fine with me." "It's fine with you M a r y ? " That's a big step for her! There was a time when she wouldn't be that bold. S h e would just sort of sit around and fantasize . . like we all did when we were kids about movie stars . . . you know! S h e ' s wav past that now!  178 A n d so that's, briefly, what I was trying to tell you. There was J . There w a s L. A n d there was B. The three love relationships that I've s e e n her in and out of. A n d where I've experienced her w a s in her communication to me about them. I mean with J . , she lived with me and hid. With L , she just had me move physical things around while she told me what w a s going to happen. With B., she told me after the fact. I think that's . . . I mean she's becoming so responsible about so much . . . and now her communcation with me is more satisfying for me because I've always been the curious person. S h e has not been. A n d now, we can talk together perhaps about why and there's humour now! There never was humour before. W e now can laugh at stuff! S h e was saying, " G e e you're getting gray!" A n d I said, " Y e a h , you too! It doesn't make us attractive." S h e says, "It d o e s s o ! I earned every one of them!" (laughter) Y o u know, so we're getting s o m e humour happening in our lives now . . about the things that we do, the people we know. Nothing is as serious as it used to be. W e certainly don't take ourselves nearly as seriously as we realize how big things really are. A n d there is no need for all this pain in our lives. There is just no need for it. I m e a n , okay, to work something o u t . . . but don't drag it out b e c a u s e it hurts and it brings on bad health. Especially L. (husband) I think L. was a real milestone! That really . . she had to find out who she was, what made her tick. W a s she allowed to be free? W a s she allowed to be happy and if she was . . how could she possibly do it with all these other value s y s t e m s ? "I really have to stay with L. because because because because." Y o u know, and I just think it's marvellous that she just chopped it off! Now she didn't, obviously, just chop it off. It took a long time to get there! Y o u know, and then she stayed with it until it w a s comfortably ready . . . for them to split. A n d he was totally on his own . . to be responsible. Now, Mary . . . my p e r s o n a l . . . there's a lot of stuff that g o e s in the middle too, that's the standard deviation that doesn't change in Mary with me . . . um . . . she's loyal. A n d she does a lot of nice things. But the behavior thing is what I w a s trying to address. Now I believe that Mary could c o m e into the house and chat with whoever the heck's here! " H i ! What do you d o ? What's your n a m e ? " A n d she would ask. S h e would initiate now . . where she wouldn't before. U m . . in fact, she c a m e in here and said, "Where's  179 R i c k ? " "Well, he's gone skiing." " O h , okay." Pulls up a chair. S h e didn't think he left b e c a u s e s h e c a m e . Y o u know, she's healthier. S h e includes herself. S h e doesn't demand but she asks. If somebody s a y s no that's cool with her. At one time, it wouldn't have been cool. S h e would have hid. It hurt too much. In fact, in a synopsis, that's what I've s e e n in her. Now, a s far a s s h e and I go. We're strange kind of friends. It's almost because of accident and not b e c a u s e of desire. What I mean by that is . . I don't phone Mary for something to do. A n d she doesn't phone m e . Athletically . . we're two different people. She's always phoning and saying, "Walk run walk run. You're going to die. You're going to get a stroke." S o she's concerned about my health. But I don't phone Mary to invite her when I'm having a party b e c a u s e . . . she's not musical. U m . . she separates herself slightly because s h e . . wants to be gay now . . and s h e wants gay friends. A n d that's fine . . she wouldn't have the s a m e t h r i l l . . with all of our friends . . that are three quarters male! Y o u know, she would be happy enough to spend an evening but it wouldn't fulfill her the s a m e way. U m . . she's an athletic w o m a n , a s I say, and s h e likes to be with athletic w o m e n . But more than that she's starting to be aware of other kinds of persons. If they're in female bodies that's fine b u t . . . A n d s h e talks about, " O h that nice Mike down the street." O r Bill or Paul or whatever. S o s h e s e e s people, she always has. S h e ' s never said, " O h , men!" S h e ' s never ever done that. But Mary has not knocked herself to be . . um . . I don't know quite how to put this but I c a n flirt with a two year-old or a ninety year-old. It's common to me to . . . and I flirt with women too. I don't know what it is about Mary and myself but we're different in s o m e ways. S o Mary wouldn't necessarily phone me up and say, "Look Theresa, let's go for a walk." S h e wouldn't necessarily express herself to m e , unless it was a crisis. Y o u know, crisis is different. S h e phones me up. But on the everyday situation, I don't find Mary calling me up. O h we touch b a s e - h a v i n g lunch, having dinner, shoot the breeze, but we don't get down to what I would call a satisfying communication. We're not falling on the floor laughing and we're not crying in each other's soup about s o m e tragedy of s o m e sort. S o . . . . um . . . . . the basis of my observation has been . . . very objective . . . . rather than subjective-as maybe some of her other friends would b e - h a d they been either in love with her or done things with her and s a w another aspect of Mary that I can't s e e . I s e e pictures of her  180 climbing mountains and it scares the hell out of me! S h e ' s climbing cliffs with gear on. Y o u know, other people experience her that way and how tremendous she can be. I mean . . running that Hawaian Marathon at thirty-some years old! S h e knocks me out! But I'm not running with h e r . . . . and I'm not preparing with her and I'm not in any of that stuff so I don't have anything to do with that part of her life. I:  I really appreciate your objectivity actually. It's been really valuable. Actually this written format (refers to questionnaire) didn't suit you at all . . . to try and c o n d e n s e i t . . . I'm really glad that we taped this. There's so much richness in what you've just told me now that this is probably what we should have done to start but perhaps trying to do this tuned you in.  T: It helped to focus. I had to really focus on Mary and think about the years. S h e ' s been a great companion under certain circumstances. S h e has a dry s e n s e of humour and a very strong . . . loyalty. It's interesting about Mary, I've noticed this, when she doesn't like you, she'll never like you. A n d when she likes you, you can hold up the bank and kill your father. "That's fine. Y o u must have had a reason." (laughter) Y o u know, this is how Mary is! And knowing that about her, truly if you had a crisis and she liked you . . . she's a brick! If she doesn't like you though . . don't come near her! (laughs) B e c a u s e she j u s t . . . she's not there! (laughs) S h e ' s not rude, she's just not there. Y o u know, I love it in her. I really love it in her. It's just my s e n s e of h u m o u r - s h e ' s delightful! I:  Well maybe we'll end it there unless you think there's something . . .  T: Can't think of anything unless you've honed in on something you want to expand on . . . I:  No it feels like you tried to give a c o n d e n s e d version or a summary of the things that were important.  T: S e e I had to c h o o s e . . . what was I going to use for you? W a s it going to be jobs we've had, places we've lived, people we've known? N a h ! I had to get what was important to Mary . . . and where I saw the changes. A n d it was in relationships that I saw her changing. 1 saw her change. S o m e b o d y else  1 81 might have s e e n her changing . . on the ski hill. I don't know that! S o that's all I can do for you, I think. (Tape was turned off but turned on again to pick up the following segment of conversation.) T: (talking about Mary deciding to become a priest) I just don't believe it! The effect that she's had on me . . is that she would give up her safe job. I mean she could do it forever and they'd pay her! To give it up and go to school and be a priest! I mean of all the . . . I think that's really courageous! I mean we all know that it costs a fortune . . living in V a n c o u v e r . . never mind the lifestyle down in Vancouver! A n d for her to just say, "Well we're just going to play it a day at a time and . . " A n d she is! I mean we go out to dinner--l pay for dinner because she's a student this time 'round--and I just say, "Well what are starving students doing these d a y s ? Let's go out for dinner." S h e tells me it's tight from time to time but it d o e s nol get her down. I send her home with meatballs and that's a big laugh for the next few weeks. U m . . . I s e e it as almost like a T V program. Like people do this . . they meet each other in a bar or out to dinner or on the street or something and um . . . she gives me the fast synopsis. But as I say . . . we don't spend a lot of time together. I:  But your point was that I said that you must enjoy watching the changes she's going through. Y o u were saying that's very courageous for her to be doing  T: I think it's very courageous . . . for Mary, it's very courageous! I:  Why do you say "for Mary"?  T: B e c a u s e she's always been a very safe person. S h e doesn't take risks. I mean I think climbing a cliff of a mountain is taking a risk but Mary doesn't consider that a risk. Perhaps it's my observation of what I think is very risky. U m . . . for her to give up her safe job and actually try to do something to fulfill h e r s e l f . . beyond food, clothing, rent, doctors and dentists. S h e has given all that consideration to the far left field and has decided to focus her attention on doing something and preparing herself for something that will give her satisfaction. A n d she's willing to take a risk!  182 I:  S o that's really a change.  T: O h my gosh that's a change for her! B e c a u s e I can go right back to the beginning . . . where she didn't c o m e here like s o m e people travel and say, "Oh I like it here. I think I'll get a job." S h e w a s given the job before she got here. A n d when she c a m e , she lived with me until she got another job at another place. A n d when she was working at, where ever it w a s , she w a s there a very long time . . longer than anybody would have been at any one job. S o underpaid and so boring! B e c a u s e . . I believe . . of her relationship changes . . she b e c a m e aware that she needs much more in life. Much more than money can buy. A n d so she's got another look at money, I think. A n d she's taking what I consider a very large risk. I believe it's very courageous . . to go to university. S h e doesn't have a mom and dad behind paying the bills . . or lovers or husbands or anybody else. She's doing it all on her own! A n d I think that's something else! I really do! A n d she'll s u c c e e d b e c a u s e , as I say, she's totally reliable, totally dependable, she'll do it! Y o u know . . unlike me, she won't go around in seven thousand circles all wasting energy. She'll go right down the middle and she'll be fine. A n d she'll get that part out of the way and she'll be very useful! She.already is a useful member of the community. She'll be much more effective on the other end . . . b e c a u s e people recognize the key. That's what she's in there doing . . getting the degree. A n d hopefully it w i l l . . bang open doors for her. B e c a u s e she's not religious. W e went through that in our twenties. She's an optimistic community w o r k e r . . if I can say that. She's quietly always doing good d e e d s . A n d she doesn't tell you about it. S h e just d o e s them. I think she's a tremendous member of the society that we live in . . now. B e c a u s e she's not hooked on material things so she's not going to waste time accumulating them. She'll spend a lot more time with people than some people do. She's not a TV-watcher. She's an outdoor person. She's with people. A n d she's learning skills now . . . more and more skills to deal with the different kinds of people. A n d that's what I'm seeing in Mary . . . where she had a narrow little group of people she related with . . . I:  Mainly doing physical activity.  T: Physical activity and a lot of gay situations. Pretty well that w a s where she spent her social situation. I don't s e e that now. I s e e her expanding her  horizons. A n d enjoying herself! She's not just getting away from something to get into something else. She's including it all. S h e ' s getting more and more into her experience. But this latest move of hers to get a degree is something else! I'm just holding my breath for this one . . but I know she'll do it. We're watching her from afar Twenty-five thousand . . . she s a y s , "It's going to cost me about twenty-five thousand." I just grinned because it's going to cost her a lot more than that! S h e just doesn't know it yet! (laughs)  1 84 I N T E R V I E W WITH D O N N A  Transcript of taped interview ( D o n n a has been a close friend for 8 years. In 1980, Mary joined an outdoor club for women and met Donna who w a s the organizer of the club. Donna is very athletic and a successful business woman in the community.) I:  I'm trying to find out from somebody else's perspective . . . Mary gave me a long, three hour story of how she feels she's changed. S h e started about the time she w a s in that marriage and w a s going to Alanon . . . and starting into the church. S h e started there and ended in the present and told me the process of the ways in which she's changed . . . and the different experiences and people that have made a difference. It will really add a lot to the picture to have a third person . . . outsider's . . . point of view. The specific question that I would ask your help with is and it's personality change that I'm interested in . . . what I'm wondering from you is . . . what do you think is the really essential difference between Mary when you first knew her and Mary now? What are the really important and most significant things that are different about her personality?  D: Basically I think . . . Mary herself hasn't changed that much! I think it w a s already there but it didn't surface. W h e n I met her she was overweight-quite a bit overweight. A n d her going to the W o m e n s ' W e e k e n d w a s a revelation in a way o f . . . her being with other women and feeling safe to . . . to say, "Hey, this feels quite nice!" A n d that the world is not that scarey out there without a husband. S o that's one thing and I think she really became aware at Alanon that she wasn^t crazy. B e c a u s e I can remember that her husband went to the point of having of having alcohol in the toilet-behind the toilet-and I can remember her a long time ago telling me that she had discovered that these bottles were in there and lifted the lid and said to him, "What's that?" A n d he said, "What do you m e a n ? " "Well those bottles of alcohol." "Well," he said, "I don't s e e anything." A n d she started . . . . close to believing him . . that she w a s the one who w a s nuts and not him! A n d I think her going to Alanon . . . really she started thinking, "Hey, it's not me. It is him and I'm alright. I  1 85 can't help him." Y o u know she couldn't play the rescuer or anything. I also feel that she probably got married . . . many lesbians do t h a t . . . . our lifestyle is not easy! A n d I think she went though a rough period and decided, "Hey, it's easier to get married and I don't have all these hassles." A n d . . . I've thought of it too sometimes myself. It's hard, you know. Society is hard. W h e n you get emotionally involved with a wo ma n it's hard and I think she got a few hits in the stomach. A few w o m e n hadn't treated her very well. A n d she thought, "Well, fuck it! I'm just going to get married. This is much easier B e c a u s e then I'm not a s attached to the person. It doesn't hurt as much." It's true! S o . . . and then on top of that she thought that perhaps she could s a v e him. That he w a s going to stop drinking. But then realized through Alanon that she couldn't do anything about it and she wasn't crazy! And then she learned from me . . . . I was running at the time . . . . S h e got really excited by hearing that I was running. I said, "Well, W h y don't you c o m e ? "Oh no, she said, "I can't keep up with the pace!" I said, "I don't care how fast you run anyway . . . even if we have to walk. It's just for the company." S o me working at the Y . and her working just around the c o r n e r . . . . we started meeting at twelve o'clock. I would leave at five to twelve and Mary would be downstairs and we'd go A n d . . . we started running. What I did notice was that right away . . . with the running . . . Mary started talking . . . . and talking and talking and talking. Y o u know, and as soon as the running was over she closed right up S o we would do that every day . . you know . . 'go for it'! S o we walked and we ran and I can remember the first time we ran around Stanley Park. That was quite something! I mean that was a goal that she thought she could never do. But she did it! A n d we did it! A n d . . . we kept running and she started losing weight. A n d the combination of her going to Alanon and her being with me . . . . . you know . . . a healthier l i f e s t y l e . . . . S h e was doing things out there with w o m e n . A n d I think at the beginning she looked up to me and thought, "Hey, there's a strong woman . . . doing all these things!" A n d slowly becoming part of it. Though the running . . the, " O h , I can do it too!" A n d becoming a member of the outdoor club. I can remember her walking into the first meetings, you know, and being very shy and um . . . . not really  186 participating. Mary's way of communicating was, you know, laughing at things . . . smiling a l o t . . . which w a s a nervous laugh, right? A n d um . . . I think she really . . . for a long, long time felt she wasn't good enough, you know. S h e wasn't good enough . . . . and then . . . a combination of her going to church I've always supported her going to church even though I'm not a very religious person at all. But I could s e e what it did to Mary I don't agree with what she says but I really do support her. I accept it and I respect it and it's wonderful that it d o e s things . . . that it d o e s help. Then, unfortunately, she got into a relationship with B. . . .who has . . . her own problems . . . A n d Mary j u s t . . . . was impressed with B . . . B. w a s quite a strong woman . . . and Mary would just shut up! A n d I told her right at the beginning. I said, "Mary if this relationship is ever going to last you'll have to start fighting back. Otherwise it's never going to last." And amazingly it lasted quite a long time! B u t . . . I don't think it w a s a healthy, relationship. I'm sure when she looks back she will admit that she was stuck in there and didn't know how to get out. But I mean there w a s so much for her to learn at that s a m e time. Y o u can't do everything at the same time! S h e w a s running, she w a s doing this and doing that, going to Alanon and getting rid of this guy, who had a hard time leaving h e r . . . . a n d having little money . . . living in the house with B. But Mary is also the kind of person that will keep searching . . . you know . . . little by little . . . . and when the time is right she will do it. A n d then nothing will stop her! Like, you know, she's going to s c h o o l . . . we talked about it quite a b i t . . . . and um . . . . I think that somehow . . . . our friendship . . . . that's perhaps why we are friends . . I'm not quite sure . . . is t h a t . . . she has watched me going throught a lot of c h a n g e s m y s e l f . . . like getting a business. S h e has been incredibly supportive! I mean Mary has typed my stuff for two years. I would go to her office and cry my heart out . . . when things were not going right and Mary just kept saying, "Just keep going." A n d I would walk in and go out again and then she would type it again. S h e was really wonderful! But I think she's a bright woman. S h e learns and is open to what is out there and I think she has that going for h e r . . . and I have that too. A n d in a way sometimes I think we're lucky that we have that thing, you know,  187 that other people often don't have. W h e n I left my counselling, my counsellor said keep in mind that you can do certain things but it doesn't mean everybody else c a n . I:  Do you mean intelligence?  D: I don't know if it's intelligence. I think it's . . . well in a way it is . . . if that's what you want to call it. It's being receptive to what's around you and saying, "Hey, you know, there is a better life out there! There's better quality out there and . . . what is it, how do I get t h e r e ? " . . . . A n d keep going at it S o she's taking risks. I think she more and more has been taking risks . . . . and it has been paying off! It has been paying off and she s e e s it's paying off and then she's ready to do the next one A n d I think she's also realistic enough and can say, "Okay, there's a hurdle right there but if I get through that one, I'm going to go on anyway!" A n d I think that's . . s o m e h o w . . . I don't know if we're born with i t . . . or it's a certain kind of intelligence . . . of being more receptive . . . I:  Have you s e e n her doing that all along or is that something . . .  D: Y e a h , little by little. Y e a h . . . we'd talk about things . . . and she would ask me this and ask me that. I knew whatever I was going to say, Mary would need her own time to do it whenever she was going to do it. . . . But, at the s a m e time, she would listen. S h e would be receptive. I:  I wonder if you would when I listened to the tape with Mary I tried to analyze what were the central things that changed . . . and I wonder if I told you what I thought was the k e r n a l . . . I wonder if you could tell me if I've got it right.  D: Hm-hm. I:  I thought there were three main themes. S h e s e e m e d at the beginning-which would be at the end of the '70's when she still hadn't left her husband-really governed by fear of not being acceptable to other people . . . . and that her interactions with other people were governed by this fear about whether or not she was acceptable. A n d the other aspect  188 w a s that she didn't really feel that she w a s in control of her life . . . . that s o m e how other people would determine whether or not she w a s okay. And then the third point would be . . . these are all at the beginning and the end would show s o m e change in each of these three . . . or a lot of change in each of these three . . . and the third one would be that she had quite a protective shell around herself and she found it really difficult to share her feelings or say . . . negative feelings especially . . to let other people know about them. C a n you just comment on whether those are accurate or not accurate? D: What c o m e s to my mind . . . when you say "the e n d " . . . . Mary still has problems sometimes in saying bad things . . . or saying I don't like this or that. Sometimes I'm talking about things and she will brush it o f f . . . and that has angered me a little bit in the l a s t . . year. S h e will try to avoid uncomfortable feelings and just not acknowledge i t . . . that it's there. To give an example, when she was going to move in to share the house with A., I told her that I w a s very uncomfortable with that [ interviewee had just recently split up with A.]. S h e really didn't acknowledge it. S h e didn't want to talk about it. S h e was going to do it anyway S o . . . she still has trouble talking about those things. I can't sit her down . . I approached it several times and she has trouble with that. She'll brush it off or say something like, "Oh w e l l . . . it's your problem. . . I need to do this. I need to do that." I think because of the direction she's going, she's going to learn that better and better Y o u can't just avoid the bad things in life and I think she has been hiding a little bit behind it that's why . . . B. was such a strong c h a r a c t e r . . . . B. would be the person that she could hide behind too A n d on the other hand also allow herself to breath a little bit and to explore her own ways to get out of i t . . . . . U m I definitely think she's done an enormous amount of growing. U m . . . but I think . . . as I said at the beginning . . . a lot of things were there but were not out. She's learned to bring them to the surface. I:  Could you say what you mean by that?  D: S h e has strong values . . . . but I've known that right from the beginning. U m . . . the c h a n g e s she's done in her life . . . I could s e e tham happening. B e c a u s e she's not the kind of person that would stand still, she would go  1 89 her own pace, but will continue to grow. Her religion, you know, really has given her an enormous amount of confidence. I:  S o when I said that I saw her at the beginning as having a lot of fear about her own a c c e p t a b i l i t y . . . .  D: S h e just felt that she was not good e n o u g h . . . . Not bright enough, not educated enough No, especially not educated enough! I:  Could could give me an example of s o m e situation that would be typical of her then that would show that she lacked confidence?  D: In a group for instance, she would agree with people rather than . . . like in a group situation such as the outdoor club . . . she would agree with them rather than having to come up with her own point of view . . and saying, "Well I'm sorry that you all think this and it's very interesting but this is how I feel!" There w a s no way Mary would do t h a t ! . . . . Now she would be a lo't better! S h e would speak up. S h e has still trouble with it, you know, and also the way she expresses herself. . . but she will now . . . say it! mean she far better communicates. I:  I  S o . . she has more confidence in that she might still have s o m e anxiety about giving her own point of view but she will do it.  D: Y e a h . S h e will do it better. Y e a h . Definitely! I:  A n d so were you saying that you thought that the church was part of this increasing confidence . . . making her feel better about herself.  D: O h I think that what the church has done for h e r . . . nobody else in her life has done more than the church for her! I:  Specificly with the confidence issue, do you think?  D: Now she's capable . . . if she has no money at a l l . . . that um . . .somehow it will get there . . . and the goal she's going to go after, she's going to do it! I'm absolutely confident that she's going to do it!  1 90  I:  S o she has the confidence that she can go after a goal.  D: That's what she did not have when she w a s with her husband! I:  This confidence.  D: Uh-hm. I mean she now has become her own person . . . good or bad . . . . um . . . she's far more joyful than before. S h e feels more comfortable being a lesbian. Stands up for it. I mean she stood up for her being a lesbian in the church at times . . . in very trickey situations. If she would have shut up she would have gone a little further a h e a d . S h e said, "No, that's how I f e e l . " . . . Standing up for her beliefs as a lesbian and also with the church. I:  With telling other people that the church is important and not hiding it.  D: S h e ' s very open about that and . . . if people like it or not that's just too bad, that's what she's going to do and . . . that's what she's going to do! I:  A n d would she have done that in the beginning when you first knew her or has she grown into that?  D: S h e wouldn't say a thing. S h e wouldn't even stand up to B. I:  S o you s e e that as gaining confidence and becoming her own person?  D: Hm-hm. (pause) But a combination of things . . . I think there's whole combinations where . . becoming physically fit. . . being surrounded . . . and being receptive . . . b e c o m i n g involved in the church . . . finally letting this man go . . . um y e a h , I think those are three important ones. I:  The running, the church and letting the man go and . . . becoming confident as a lesbian.  D: Hm-hiri. I think she's even grown to the point that she's proud being a lesbian-there's no way she's going to hide it.  191 I:  S o , before she felt like she wasn't good enough. S h e wasn't acceptable and her sexuality was part of that.  D: Hm-hm. O h y e a h . A n d also, she feels more attractive. W o m e n are more attracted to her, she thinks. At that time she didn't think anyone could be attacted to her. A n d now she feels physically good. There is quite a difference between her physically now! I mean she's run several marathons! A n d I think that physical feeling--no matter who--will bring big c h a n g e s ! I:  A n d you said that she thought that she wasn't bright enough . . . . H a s that changed.  D: Y e a h , I mean . . . . for her going back to s c h o o l . . . I think one of her main fears was . . . a m I going to be passing exams to even get in there . . . and we had long conversations about i t . . because . . you know, I feel a lack of that in my own thing. I kept saying to Mary, "Well when I went to C a p College . . . . there are courses to show you how you do those things . . . how to write e s s a y s and how to look in the library and how to do this and you can prepare it! Y o u know, you don't have to just jump into school like that! They can help you with it. A n d what have you got to lose anyway!" I s o m e h o w think that all this pushing around . . . you know, that I do for m y s e l f . . . that she's somehow picked up on t h a t . . . and seeing that when you keep hammering at things, you can become successful. I:  S o you've been a kind of model.  D: I think if you would ask her if I've been a model, I think in certain ways, she would probably respond, " Y e s " . I:  A n d what you're saying too is t h a t . . . . u m . . . what you've been modelling is not to be defeated by obstacles . . . . but to keep trying . .  D: To keep going. I:  A n d that she has taken risks. S h e would try someting and s u c c e e d at it and then try something more.  192 D: Hm-hm. I think, you know, a very basic example would be her saying, "I could never run around Stanley Park. There's no way I could ever do that. It's just out of the question." A n d me saying, "Well why not. We'll walk for awhile and then we'll just jog." A n d finally, I will never forget the day that she did run around. I mean she just hugged me and danced around. A n d for her that w a s , " Y e a h , I can do that too!" Y o u know, " S h e can do it but I can do it too!" I:  S o that's the feeling when she didn't feel good enough compared to other people . . . suddenly she felt 'as good as'.  D: Hm-hm! I:  S o then her sexuality was okay and then . . . going to s c h o o l . . that's when she found out that h e r . . .  D: At school she started getting "A's". I mean, I think she w a s flabergasted! S h e w a s getting good marks! I:  S o she b e c a m e more confident about her ability.  D: Hm-hm. Hm-hm Also seeing . . . I mean we've been very close friends for years and seeing that. . . that you have to work for things. Y o u can be successful and that you have to keep going at it. I mean sometimes she'd say, " J e s u s Christ I don't know how you do it!" I'd say, "I don't know how either but I'm just going to do it!" Y o u know, and the next day I'd say, "Okay I've got another idea." "Jesus Christ," she'd say, "another idea! Well if you're not going to s u c c e e d , I don't know who is going to s u c c e e d ! " And somehow . . . she has been receptive around~and not only m e - t o saying, "That person is doing that and growing." For instance when I went for therapy and . . . she even c a m e . . . but she . . . hardly said a word! S h e thought I w a s just w o n d e r f u l . . in the family session. S h e didn't realize at that time that I didn't want her to say I was just wonderful. I wanted her to say, " S h e has problems with this and she has problems with that." (laughs) S o . . .the therapist said, "Well what are you doing here anyway. Y o u think your friend is wonderful!" (laughs) Y o u know, and seeing  193 that I was picking up things from t h a t . . . and when she w a s finally getting problems with B . . . . saying, "Hey! G o for counselling!" A n d slowly thinking, " Y e a h , why shouldn't I go for counselling! Well I'm not going to go. B. is never going to go with me." " S o well then you go by yourself!" A n d then her finally going . . . and here again being perceptive in what S . (therapist) w a s all about. A n d S . w a s the right therapist for her too! A n d I think that shows that she's a bright w o m a n ! A n d I think that's one of the key things. Being able to pick those things up and . . . go! I mean, I know another person who's quite an intelligent woman . . who has more education than Mary . . and knows everything really w e l l . . could be your therapist sitting there . . but d o e s fuck-all herself! Nothing! It's very safe to say, "Oh well, you do this and you do that and this is how it's supposed to be." But then doing it yourself is something else. I:  S o Mary has been the one to take the risks.  D: Y e a h . O n shakey ground, but she would continue, (long pause) I:  C a n I just check one other thing? I said that I thought there w a s this aspect at the beginning where she didn't think that she had control in her life . . that it was just up to other people and circumstances to let her know whether she was okay or n o t . . . and part of her change process is to take the control into her own hands . . and for her to take the risks and for her to s e e that there is something she can do to make her situation different. C a n you say . . .  D: Hm-hm. I also think that she c a m e from a very protected family. . . . A n only child. Uh . . her Dad meant very much to her. A n d they were very, very protective. I mean she didn't miss out on anything . . when she w a s a child. I mean perhaps they didn't have a very rich life--moneywise--but I think she did get attention and was . . . protected . . felt protected. A n d probably also . . when she finally did go away . . it was not that easy. It's a hard world out t h e r e ! . . . . A n d then she got hit in the stomach by a few women . . that didn't treat her that fairly and when that happens at the beginning . . . . you're vulnerable at that t i m e ! . . . . . A n d I can understand very well why she got married. There are lots of lesbians that do that. Y o u know, it's too hard out there!  194  I:  I think you've really given me a lot. C a n I summarize and s e e if I can capture the main points of what you're saying. S o . . . okay . . . you're saying t h a t . . . ( l a u g h s ) . . . if I can capture it! S h e started off in a marriage to a man that w a s kind of an e s c a p e from s o m e previous bad experiences with women and what she needed to do w a s find a women's community and accept her lesbianism and she did that. A n d that made a big difference to finding herself an acceptable person. A n d at the s a m e time she started running and she learned that she could . . . run around Stanley Park and she could accomplish things too.  D: S h e accomplished a marathon! I:  S h e accomplished a marathon and at the s a m e time changed her appearance . . . and she began to feel even more acceptable to h e r s e l f . . that she could accomplish a marathon. A n d then she w a s in a difficult relationship with a dominant partner who she tended to hide behind but gradually she w a s able to stand up more to that person .... and eventually left that relationship. And that she went back to school and . . um . . developed more confidence in her ability to s u c c e e d . U m . . and that she had . . perhaps you're saying most importantly . . . she had an attitude that she wanted to grow, she wanted to take risks and she wouldn't quit. And that in some way you were a role model for her there . . . . to try for a better life for h e r s e l f . . . to try to grow, move forward and if she encountered obstacles not to be defeated but to find ways around . . . and to . . . have courage, I g u e s s , that even though she w a s anxious that she would-with heart in h a n d - g o ahead and try something. A n d then as she accomplished more things, she began to grow in confidence.  D: A n d I think the church. Y o u know she said one day she w a s lying in bed and G o d told her to do this and just to go and do it. A n d she's absolutely convinced that she has to do i t ! . . . . . . A n d that will pull her through her studies. It will pull her through being broke. It will pull her through a lot of things. I:  S o there's a lot of strength there.  D: O h absolutely! The strength that she has in her religion . . . . um . . . more than from anything else! I:  A n d the main effect is to give her confidence?  D: H m - h m . I:  S o we've s e e n mainly a change from somebody who w a s not confident to somebody who is confident. A n d what you said about this business of having a shell around herself and not wanting to show her bad feelings . . . that's still true of her. She's shown improvement there. She'll defend her sexuality in places where it's difficult.  D: Where she feels attacked. I:  W h e r e she feels a t t a c k e d . . . . particularly. But it remains an area of difficulty for her to speak up when she has some negative feelings in a situation.  D: Hm-hm. Hm-hm. I:  But that there has been progress there too?  D: Y e a h . There has been progress but still I sometimes feel a little bit frustrated. I would like her sometimes to say, " Y e a h , I hear what you're saying and I can understand it's uncomfortable for you, but " And instead of getting that um . . . she throws out things that cut off the conversation. Y o u know how you can just have short sentences t h a t . . you know . . . your conversation's finished. A n d I just think, "Oh well, she's probably just going to leave. But I think perhaps she going to learn more of that when she's going to go to the School of Theology . . or something . . I don't know. U m . . as being one of her closest friends, I think she . . . . that . that's a pity. Perhaps I'm not very good at it myself either. I really try! And um . . . moving in there was um . . . . . I think her stubbornness is sometimes well placed but sometimes isn't e i t h e r . . . . . Probably we all have that also B u t . . um . . she's a very loyal person. Very l o y a l . . and Mary is the kind of person . . . she would say, "Okay, I need this or I  196 need that." There's no question about it! W e are always there . . no matter what happens. W e ' v e grown so much . . . over the last ten years. Y e a h . . there's a strong loyalty there. Friendship. A n d those situations . . . her living there . . . . those are uncomfortable things . . . but will not influence our friendship. I:  I feel like we've got a pretty complete picture . . . do you think there's any major thing missing?  D: U m . . . no . . . actually it's exciting for me to have seen her grow . . . because I've done a lot of growing myself and a friend of mine has grown also in her own way A n d I think that's very exciting!  QUESTIONNAIRE: REPLY FROM THE RECTOR  Transcribed from original document received from the rector at Mary's church. What are the most significant personality changes you have noticed in Mary since you have known her? It will be most helpful if you can give specific examples of situations to illustrate and make your points more vivid-giving examples of situations which typify Mary's stance in the present and when you first knew her.  I have delayed in answering this questionnaire, because I found that I had to spend a fair amount of time in reflection in order to answer this with s o m e degree of accuracy. I have known Mary as a parishioner for a number of years (7-8?) and have s e e n her on regular occasions in a social setting. I think that I can address two areas of growth in her life. W h e n I first met Mary I found her to be somewhat tentative and even shy in her personal relationships. Over the years this hesitancy has been significantly replaced by a much stronger s e n s e of who she is as a person; this has enabled her to interact with others in a much more positive and creative manner. S h e has taken charge of the Servers' Guild in the parish - no small task - and has related well to all of them (ranging in age from 10-25+). S h e is admired by the servers for her organizational skills, her clarity and fairness in dealing with them. Secondly, I have watched with interest her growing awareness of what she ought to be doing with her life. S h e has shown strong  initiative in going back to school (where she has done exceptionally well in her academic work). There has been a growing understanding that she is called upon to serve people, to teach, to be an enabler, to be caring and supportive. This has led Mary to believe that she is being called upon to be a priest of the Church. Her first interview with the ' examining chaplains (a kind of selection committee) w a s disappointing in that the chaplains felt that she w a s not yet focused enough to pursue her vocation. I believe that she was intimidated by that committee and found it difficult to articulate the vision that she has. However, this has not deterred her and she has pursued her vocation further by approaching another bishop in the province. This shows resolve and strength of chraracter that was hidden in her psyche until recently.  If I can be of any further help, please feel free to contact me.  199 A P P E N D I X III  EARLY RECOLLECTIONS 1) (age 4 years) My earliest childhood memories are holidays with my parents and my aunt and uncle--the five of us. It just was a happy time . . . um . . being an only child. A n d my father and my uncle--the three of us would go to the beach and just spend hours there digging . . . and making sandcastles. . . . . . . . I can see the wind. It w a s always windy. Lincolnshire is very windy. A n d the sand would be blowing so you would get a wind tan rather than a suntan I'd probably be about four or five years old. That w a s before I went to school so it may may be a little bit earlier than that actually because I went to school about 4 1 / 2 . . . years old. (soft voice) It w a s a very happy t i m e . . . . . . A time of warmth. We're laughing, warm . . and having ice-cream, W e had a good time A n d the ocean . . . . I can hear the ocean. 2) (age 4,5,6) I used to spend a lot of time . . . . I can s e e it now . . . the b a c k y a r d . . . . W e had a backyard that was enclosed with a h e d g e - d o w n e a c h side and across the bottom . . . . so it w a s very private. A n d I had a sandbox. I used to spend hours there, (in a soft voice) It was really peaceful . . . and quiet in the back garden. A n d I would make little roadways in the s a n d . A n d I liked Dinkey toys. S o I'd make little roads and I had a lot of little plastic h o u s e s - t h e kind that you stick together and paint-like model airplanes. I used to make those and put them in the sand box in little rows and then break little bits off the hedges-privet h e d g e s - a n d use them for trees. I used to spend hours doing that-perfectly happy just to be by m y s e l f . . . . playing in the garden. My little garden and my sandbox.  200 It's a lot like meditation except when you're a child you don't think you're meditating-you're only playing. W h e n I did pottery in my late twenties, I had that s a m e feeling of peacefulness, and sort of relaxation and meditation. I know that I played with other children when I was little. I remember children in the garden but when I look at the garden now, there's nobody in it. It's just me . . . playing peacefully in my sandbox there. There's a tree at the end with a swing. I used to sit on the swing. In the shed at the end I had a rabbit--a white rabbit. I w a s just thinking that it's a very safe secure little world . . that I had there Now I can s e e s o m e children there. There were s o m e children that c a m e and played. I remember now. I can s e e . . G i l l . . . and there w a s some boys down there . . . that lived down the back lane . . they used to come into . . . but not very often. There w a s a girl next door too . . . Janet. I used to look through the hedge. W e used to talk through the hedge to each other. Sometimes she'd c o m e and play. I don't know. It s e e m s I spent a lot of time by myself. It was a really secure place . . . . thinking about it now . . those were high hedges but for a little kid they must have been high! I know that the hedges down one side were six foot! A n d on the other side they were about four foot, I think . . . and then there was a fence at the end . . where the shed was. H m . . . . yeah . . . a really secure place. A n d I spent all my childhood there because we didn't move until I was twenty years old. S o all my childhood w a s s p e n t . . basically in that back yard . . because it was a safe place. H m ! (soft smile) (age ten) I had seven cousins who were about my age--and they were all boys . . and when we did go to the seaside, we usually went with s o m e of them. S o a lot of my time w a s spent playing with boys--early on. A n d I don't think I  201 felt that I w a s different from them. It w a s like we were all together. W e were all the s a m e . W e all played together. W e played hide and seek or kick the football around or whatever. It's not that I was a girl and they were boys, we were just family, just friends. (after being a s k e d to recount a specific s c e n e ) Y e a h . . . We're in the f i e l d . . . It's called the Ironstone. Actually it's an old quarry. It's all grassed over. W e used to play there a lot. I can s e e it now. There's long grass. Lots of nice smells from the blossoms on the trees. A n d I'm with probably some of my cousins or s o m e boys . . . I can't remember now . . maybe boys from school but there w a s a b o u t . . . four or five boys and myself. I think I was about eleven. No, ten! I was about ten. I remember w e were o u t . . . just kicking the ball around. A n d s o m e girls . . . . were coming across the field too. A n d all of a sudden the boys that I w a s with, they all said, "Oh look! Girls! Let's grab them . . . and kiss them or something! (nervous laugh) A n d they started to c h a s e after them. A n d I' just joined in the chase. It w a s like I w a s one of the boys. It never occurred to me that I was a girl! (nervous laugh) A n d I remember chasing these girls—with the b o y s - a n d we sort of caught up with them and we grabbed one e a c h . A n d the one that w a s closest to me, I remember grabbing her and pulling her down to the ground and trying to kiss her. A n d she was laughing. They were all laughing. A n d all of a sudden she just s c r e a m e d and said, " U g h , you know, you're a girl!" And pushed me off. (nervous laugh) A n d I just remember it was an awful shock. I suddenly thought, "Well!" (laughs) I w a s just being one of the boys and all of a sudden I realized I wasn't a boy! O r she made me realize I wasn't. I remember it was kind of a rude awakening. It has always stuck in my mind. I felt most peculiar! S h e just ran away and everybody just . sat up and looked a bit sort of stupid! (nervous laugh) I think that's where I began to feel sort of a bit strange and alienated. I suddenly didn't sort of fit in anywhere. I didn't fit in the boys' world and I didn't fit in the girls' world either b e c a u s e I didn't feel like I was one of them and all of a sudden I wasn't one of the boys! 4) (age 12 approximately)  202  I remember my mom . . . she w a s very controlling . . and I s e e m to remember finally just reaching the end of my tether, I guess. I just blew up at her one day. It must have been . . my mom's very s h o r t . . she's only about 4 ' 1 1 " . . . so I finally w a s taller than h e r . . . I remember that b e c a u s e I remember that I was looking down at h e r . . and I just really blew up! I just went absolutely totally out of control. I can't remember what it w a s that she said. It just s e e m e d that she was always trying to control me. S h e sent me to my room which was fine b e c a u s e I w a s going there anyway. I remember going to my room and being so damn angry! (after being a s k e d to try to describe it in the present tense) O k a y , I'm in my room and I w a s . . I'm just shaking. I'm so angry I'm just shaking with rage! I keep walking back and forth. A n d I s h o u t . . I'm shouting at her W h y don't you leave me alone. Why are you always bugging m e ! . . . . . I want to hit something! I punch the pillows . . . . and I pull all the drawers out. (nervous laugh) O h that was it! I pull all the drawers out of my dresser. It has five drawers and I yank them all out! I'm taking all the clothes out of the drawers and I'm throwing them around the r o o m . . . . I'm shouting. A n d then I finally f e l t . . . I feel calmer now. I'm calming down and I feel kind o f . . . a little bit embarrassed and a little bit scaird because I've never been out of control before and it's such a strange feeling. It kind of scaird me. I could easily have killed her! I feel kind of silly. I'm putting everything back in the drawers . . and I put the drawers back in again. My mom is shouting up the stairs, "Wait 'til your father c o m e s home!" A n d I just tidy up the room and I sit on the bed and just wait for my dad My dad c o m e s h o m e . . . . He c o m e s in the room and . . . he just looks really sad and he s a y s , "What's up then! Why did you upset your m o m ? " A n d I said, "Well she's always nagging at me . . . . . S h e ' s always . . . bugging me . . . S h e ' s always . . . . nagging at me. S h e won't leave me a l o n e ! " . . . . . . A n d my dad . . . he doesn't get angry! He surprised me, 'cause he said . . . . " S h e . . . uh . . . she's not very well. Y o u have to understand, your mom's not very w e l l . . . and so she doesn't have much patience. S o we have to just  203 try and be nice to her and get along with her." That's all I remember. I just remember being surprised that he didn't stick up for her and tell me o f f . . . . . . . H e just looks kind of sad and tired. H e just patted me on the head and said . . . I can't remember now . . .just, he w a s okay about it. I just remember that w a s the first time I'd ever been out of control and it really scaird me. I think I sort of realized that if you get that out of control, you could kill somebody or do something really stupid. That's all I can remember about that. 5) ( age 11-12 years) (whole memory told in a soft voice) I don't like this one. It kind of makes me uncomfortable. It always c o m e s up so I probably should tell you about it. A n d that is . . when I w a s I think about 11 or 12 . . . and it's at the seaside . . . which for me has always been a good time . . . holidays at the seaside. A n d I'd got a . . . it w a s like a surfboard-thing. S o I'm on this surfboard, paddling in a b o u t . . probably 3 foot of w a t e r . . . . along the water's edge. I'm taking the paddle board back to where I rented it from. . . . A n d my mom and dad are waiting. They are further down the beach. S o I'm paddling away from them . . up to where I rented the paddle board. A n d there's a guy standing in the water! A n d I remember looking at him. He had this weird look on his face. . . . A n d I'm thinking, "He looks a bit weird!" And then . . . he e x p o s e s himself. A n d I just r e m e m b e r . . . ugh . . . I feel really sick! A n d I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at b e c a u s e I'd never seen anything like that before e x c e p t . . . I just know by the look on his face that what he is doing is something weird! A n d I'm really scaird! (soft voice) I'm really scaird of this man. A n d I'm paddling fast to get away from him. A n d he's walking behind me in the water and I keep looking around and he's still there and he's still exposing himself. A n d there doesn't s e e m . . . there's nobody around! It's a huge, huge beach. A n d there's not many people there. S o I keep paddling fast to get away from him . . . and I fall off the board. I'm not quite sure what happened in all the panic but I remember being under the water and the board's over my head . . . and I can't get out! And I'm trying to get up and I keep banging my head on the paddle board . . and so I  204 try to get around the side of it to c o m e up for a i r . . but the way the w a v e s are going, it keeps . . . . every time I try to c o m e up, the paddle board is over me I don't know where the man is. I can't s e e him anymore but I'm trapped under the paddle board and I can't breathe A n d . . uh . . . . I just remember being . . I'm really panic-stricken. I can hardly breathe and I'm running out of a i r . . . . A n d I start to cry. A n d I suddenly realize . . . . I realize I'm going to die! (soft voice) This is it! A n d I keep trying. I keep trying to get out but I can't. A n d then I have no more air l e f t . . . . so I just sit down on the sand, under the water and .1 know I'm going to die. I feel upset, 'cause my mom and dad will be really upset A n d then I just give up. I just open my mouth and let the water c o m e in. A n d it feels really peaceful. All of a sudden it doesn't matter anymore. I know it's okay. It's okay to die like that. It's not going to hurt or anything.. . . . . . . . A n d then everything's black A n d now I'm on the beach. A n d there's a man . . I don't know . . just a man . . and he's hitting me in the middle of the'back and I'm coughing. A n d then I'm breathing. A n d then I look around and I'm still alive. I'm surprised. I don't know how I got there. I guess somebody pulled me o u t . . . . . . A n d the other man has vanished. A n d I feel really . . . . . uh . . scaird. A n d I thank the man that pulled me out. I get the paddle board . . . it's up on the shore now . . and I get the paddle board and I take it to the rental place and I walk back to my mom and d a d . (clears throat) A n d I have to pretend that everything's okay and smile and be happy. I daren't tell them b e c a u s e I think my mom'll be angry. She'll be angry and . . she'll be angry at me . . . and so . . . and so I don't say anything. 6) (15 years) This w a s in the last year at that school so I would have been 15. In fact, I stayed for an extra year-that's what c a u s e d the fuss. Um . . . there w a s one teacher I didn't get along with--Miss Spaulding. I can remember her n o w - n a s t y old bitch! (after being reminded to speak in the present) S h e ' s a r e a l . . what you call a spinster bitch . . t a l l . . . she always wears b l a c k . . . G o d , she w a s horrible! S h e i s horrible! I'm going back to school for an extra year b e c a u s e I failed  205 the college e x a m s so I had to go back to school for a y e a r . . . . and they put me in her class. S o it's the first day of that term . . . and she's never liked me and I've never liked her. Anyway I'm going in the classroom and I sit down in her class and she c o m e s in and starts to take the register. A n d she gets down at the end of the r e g i s t e r - b e c a u s e I'm at S . S h e gets to the end--Mary S . A n d I put my hand up, "Here, Miss". A n d . . ( s i g h s ) . . . "I'm not having y o u in my class! Get o u t ! " . . "But I'm supposed to be in your class! There isn't any other class for me to go i n . " . . "Get out of my classroom!" she said. My heart's thumping really fast. I'm going red and everybody in the class is looking around at me and I'm feeling really trapped and embarrassed. There's no reason why she shouldn't want me there. It's just a personal thing! S h e , for s o m e reason, just doesn't like me. I'm so horrified that I'm sort of stuck in my seat, (nervous laugh) I'm afraid . . . I'm just paralyzed with embarrassment. People are snickering and looking at me A n d finally I get out of my desk and get towards the front of the classroom. I was sitting at the back because I knew there w a s going to be trouble anyway. S o I'm getting towards the front of the class and she's just mad as hell! A n d I finally get up to her and I. . . finally (clears throat) look at her and say, "You have no r i g h t . . . to • make me leave!" A n d then she grabs me. S h e grabs ahold of me by the back of my sweater. She's very tall. A n d she opens the door and throws me o u t . . . across the h a l l . . right across the corridor. A n d I hit the wall on the other side and I start to c r y . . . . . . . . . And then there's . . . Miss Saddler is coming along the corridor. S h e was my teacher from last term. She's really nice! A n d she says, "What's the matter M a r y ? Why are you crying?" A n d so I tell h e r . . . . and she's really angry! A n d she opens Miss Spaulding's door and tells her to c o m e out. A n d the old bat c o m e s out. (nervous laugh) A n d the two of them start screaming and yelling. It's just. . it was terrible! I don't know what to do I'm so embarrassed. I'm really pleased Miss Saddler is sort of sticking up for me. S h e had me for a year and we got along really well. A n d the two of them are really screaming at each other and I don't know what to do . I want to run but I'm too p a r a l y z e d . . . . . . A n d now Miss Saddler starts crying . . s o now I'm feeling really bad! She's crying, I'm crying. Nobody  206 ever makes Miss Spaulding cry! I think she's just a . . . towering rage there!  A n d then Miss Spaulding goes back in her room and slams the d o o r . . and Miss Saddler takes me to the H e a d Mistress's room . . . . and she's crying and telling the H e a d Mistress about what w a s going on . . or something . . . can't remember now. The Head Mistress . . I can't remember her name . . Miss Fenton! Y e a h ! S h e w a s kind of fat and short and kind of she w a s a fair person. S h e w a s okay. S h e didn't take sides. Anyway she listened and um then she sent me outside. I sat outside. Then s h e sent for Miss Spaulding and Miss Spaulding went in. Then there was more yelling. (nervous laugh) (sniff) I wondered who w a s winning! A n d then . . um . . . I w a s sent home for the rest of the day. A n d when I c a m e back for the next day, I was sent to Miss Saddler's class. S o I repeated my last year in the s a m e class! I never really understood why . . . . why she hated me so much! What did I do? There just s e e m s to be certain people that I u p s e t . . . certain teachers . . like her. I don't what it is. I must push s o m e buttons in them or something G o d w a s she mad! (makes sound) And I met another one just like her when I was in nursing school. 7) (18 years) When I went into nursing s c h o o l . . . I was there for a year. I couldn't hack it for the s a m e reason. There was another old bat there . . just the s a m e ! Another Miss Spaulding! Tall, skinny . . . black . . . they always wear black! Old bitch spinster! (laughs) Caricatures! Y o u only s e e them in movies! In England, they exist! (asked if there w a s a particular scene) Well two that I remember from nursing school. O n e . . this old bitch who used to perch on a high s t o o l . . s h e w a s a tutor. I don't remember what she tutored but I know I w a s terrified of her! Y e a h , she a s k s me a question . . . that I can't answer. I'm feeling really embarrassed because I should know the a n s w e r . . a n d I'm trying to look to S u e . S u e ' s my friend . . . who's also in nursing school and  207 she's really bright. I'm not as bright as her. I remember wishing I w a s as bright and as fast as her with answers. Everybody liked . . . her b e c a u s e she w a s quick with her answers . . where I always had to think. I'm trying to think of the answer to the question . . and I know it but I'm getting panicked. Stupid damn w o m a n ! She's yelling at me. S h e ' s yelling at me, "You should know the answer to this. C o m e now child. Think! Think! Where are your brains!" A n d I just feel like saying, "Will you shut up and let me think!" But I try to sort of drown out her yelling while I try to think of the answer. I know the answer to the question . . if she'd just shut up and give me a minute to think but she doesn't. S h e keeps putting me down all the time . . telling me I'm stupid and slow and what the hell a m I doing in nursing school! A n d now I've forgotten what the question is and I'm just feeling totally d e p r e s s e d and I want to cry out of there.  and I just want to get  A n d the other students are starting to giggle, (sniffs) I wish somebody would just tell me the answer but uh I just feel like I'm shrinking and I want to hide under the desk somewhere S h e ' s making me feel like a damn fool! '. . and she just finally . . . she just keeps on and on and on and makes me feel so stupid and small and insignificant and inferior, (big sigh) Then she dismisses me like I'm not worth bothering with and asks somebody else. 8) (18 years) And another similar thing w a s . . was a male tutor. He was a gay guy I s u p p o s e - a l t h o u g h I didn't realize it at the time. . . . I don't know what his problem was I always r e m e m b e r . . . this is quite funny, (laughs) . . . It w a s a lab . . where we had a piece of tubing. A piece of rubber tube a catheter, I s u p p o s e ! (sounds surprised) It would be a c a t h e t e r . . . something like that. . . . that we had to insert in something . . . I can't r e m e m b e r . . but I had to put it into something and it wouldn't go i n . . . . and so he w a s busy saying something about, "How would you . . . . what would you do to get it i n ? " . . . . or s o m e t h i n g . . . . A n d I knew the answer was to make it moist! I know I had to wet it. (nervous laugh) I knew t h a t ! . . . . O h you want it in the present tense!  208  S o I've got this stupid catheter in my hand and he's bellowing at me, (nervous laugh) "Well, what would you do to put it in? What would you d o ? " A n d I'm frantically looking around b e c a u s e I know I need to wet it. I also know it has to be sterile . . so I can't just stick it under the tap and I'm trying to think "What the h e l l . . . What am I s u p p o s e d to do with this thing?" I'm trying . . . . to remember what it said in the book. I know I've read it and I should know i t . . . . A n d again, everybody's staring at me. I'm feeling very hot and my face is going red and my heart's thumping . and I'm getting my mind is going blank! ' C a u s e he's badgering me with words. He's going on and on . . . about how stupid I a m and . . "Think! U s e your brains! Y o u haven't got any b r a i n s ! " . . . S a m e barrage of put d o w n s ! . . . . A n d I know I have to wet the damn thing. I have to wet it. (nervous laugh) A n d I want to stick it in my mouth and wet i t . . and I know if I stick it in my mouth and wet i t . . that's not the thing to do! He's going to go berserk! A n d in all the panic and in the I don't know what to do! S o in the end I wet my fingers . . . . (nervous l a u g h ) . . . (puts fingers in mouth and wets fingers and moistens imaginary tube) . . . like t h a t . . and wet the end of the damn thing. Of course . . . the whole class cracked up laughing. I laughed too. (laughs) I didn't know what else to do so I laughed. Boy was he mad! (soft voice) He w a s sg. angry. He was s o angry. ' C a u s e the stupid thing's supposed to be sterile and I wetted it with spit Worse than if I'd gone to the tap and wetted it! (sniffs) Anyway, he ordered me out of the classroom (loud voice) "Get out of the classroom! Get out of my classroom you stupid . . girl!" I think he said "stupid girl" "Stupid student, you're not fjl to be a nurse. G e t out! (strong emotion) How did you get in here in the first place!" (derogatory laugh) (sniffs) So I w a s sent out of his class S u e was my best friend. S h e was furious. A n d I said when she c a m e out, "That's it! I'm quitting! I'm quitting S u e . I've had it Why do they keep picking on m e ? " S u e w a s really sympathetic. S h e said, "If you quit, I'm quitting." S o we did . . the s a m e day . . together (tears) (sniffs) I'm going to cry! (sniffs) (laughs) Poor S u e . S h e shouldn't have quit. S h e would have been a good nurse. But she did. W e both q u i t . . (soft l a u g h ) . .  209 the s a m e day . . because of that. 9) (age 12 or 1 3 ) The boys' school played soccer and the girls' school played netball  God  knows why a n y w a y ! . . A n d we shared the s a m e field. S o I remember I went to ask this t e a c h e r . . . . I think it w a s a man t e a c h e r . . that took P h . E d . I can't remember him too well I remember going to him and saying . . . that I didn't like . . . . "I don't like netball very much. I'd j u s t . . I'd really rather play soccer and . . . . I w a s wondering if I could play soccer with the boys team?" (sniffs) A n d the usual response . . (cynical l a u g h ) . . He just blew up and told me not to be so stupid! " Y o u stupid little girl! Girls play netball, boys play soccer. Don't be so s t u p i d ! . . . Anyway, I w a s a bit crestfallen I remember at the time . . . . (reminded to stay in the p r e s e n t ) . . . . I'm wondering why. I don't understand why . . why I can't play soccer. Why do the boys play soccer and the girls play netball? What d o e s it matter? I don't understand why . . . and I feel sort of crestfallen . . and s a d . . . . disappointed. A n d I go home and I ask my mom . . and she a g r e e s . . . . S h e agrees with me. I should be allowed to play s o c c e r . .  "  . . . . S o I have another try. W e also have another woman P . E . teacher. I s e e m e d to think she w a s fairly n i c e . . . . so I ask her if I can play s o c c e r . . . . . . S h e s a y s , "You don't have the right boots to play soccer. Y o u have to have soccer boots." "But I do have s o m e boots! I have s o m e little brown boots. They're not soccer boots but they would do." I can't remember what she said. S h e made some excuse and the next day I brought my boots to show her and I asked the boys if I could play s o c c e r with them . . . . and they said, "Okay!" (sounds surprised) It w a s okay with them! (sniffs) S o I went back to the t e a c h e r . . "I have my boots and the boys say it's okay. I c a n play soccer with them." S h e goes and talks to the male P . E . teacher (sniffs) He's mad! He's shouting at her. He points at me. I can't hear what they're on a b o u t . . . but they're shouting. O h no! Now more trouble (nervous laugh) (sniffs) (soft voice) Now I'm going to get i t ! . . . He c o m e s over to me and he starts yelling, "I told you before. You're a girl. Girls don't play soccer!" A n d I start  210 to cry. I just feel really beaten, (sighs) Just really low . . . and beaten! I just can't win I don't want to play netball. It's a stupid game . . or field hockey . . . that's the other thing we're supposed to play. I hate field hockey! I always get wacked in the ankles with that stupid stick! S o I stand on the sidelines there and watch the boys playing f o o t b a l l . . or soccer, I m e a n . I'm feeling really . . . . just left out. J u s t . . . confused and sad . . . and disappointed. I just don't understand this. It just doesn't make any s e n s e Why can't girls play soccer? Nobody will tell me why! Everybody just s a y s , "Girls play field hockey and netball and boys play soccer." But w h y ? If I ask why, I just get yelled at S o what's the point of asking why! What's the point of asking about anything! If you ask why, you get yelled at. S o you might as well just keep your mouth shut and just listen Just keep all your thoughts and feelings to y o u r s e l f . . .  (long pause) H m ! (soft smile) . . That's probably when I started to become rather withdrawn. I didn't bother to ask any questions, (soft voice) In c l a s s I wouldn't ask questions anymore. I j u s t . . . it s e e m e d when you asked a question, you got yelled at. Put down o r . . . . and I started to learn just to keep my yap shut, (soft laugh) Just listened to what they said. Disagreed with them and didn't say anything Hm! Y e a h ! . . That's what the soccer picture w a s a b o u t . . "on the outside looking in", (nervous laugh) (sniffs) H m ! (soft smile)  A P P E N D I X IV  SUBJECT CONSENT FORM  Project:  A Description of the Process of Becoming a More Substantial Self in Relationship to Others  I hereby agree to participate in the investigation conducted by Kathy Brunton (phone number) under the supervision of Dr. L. Cochran concerning the process of becoming a more substantial self in relationship with others. I understand that I a m free to ask any questions and that I a m free to withdraw from participation at any time. I understand that a variety of methods will be used to develop a detailed description of my own experience in becoming a more substantial self in relationship with others. I agree to taped interviews, use of relevant personal documents, testing and interviews with family and friends. I understand that tapes will be erased upon completion of research and that published transcriptions of taped material and reproductions of personal documents will delete or alter identifying data to protect confidentiality. I have received a copy of this consent form.  Date  S i g n a t u r e of S u b j e c t  INTRODUCTORY LETTER TO FRIENDS  Dear  ,  I a m doing a c a s e study for my Master's thesis at U . B . C on the process of change in adult life. Mary  has agreed to tell me  about her life and to have me interview her friends to get their perspective. Mary will be contacting you to ask you if you feel comfortable contributing and to let you know that she has given her permission. Provided you do feel comfortable, I would appreciate it if you would complete an answer to the question I have attached to this letter. Your perspective will make an invaluable contribution to this study. Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions.  Sincerely,  Kathy Brunton  R E S P O N S E FROM OUTSIDE E X P E R T  To w h o m it may concern,  Kathy Brunton asked me to act as an outside reader to critique her thesis. I a m a registered psychologist and have been working at Kwantlen College for the past 9 years. Kathy gave me her "results" section to read as well as all her supporting documents, including her subject's journal which is being eliminated from the thesis for reasons of confidentiality. The first document I read w a s Kathy's interview with her subject. I read the interview watching for areas where Kathy might have been leading her subject with questions. I could find none. Kathy conducted the interview'in a professional manner and simply allowed her subject the freedom to relate her experience. W h e n I read Kathy's results section, I was observing her interpretation of the supporting documents and watching to s e e if her summary of her subject's history w a s accurate. It w a s . Kathy simply related what was told to her and summarized it chronologically. I could find no evidence of Kathy's misinterpreting or exaggerating the data. S h e included all the information written in the journal. Nothing from the supporting documents was omitted from the summary. A s an outside reader, I am happy to say that Kathy's interview with her subject was unbiased and that her summary of her data was accurate.  Yours sincerely, Betsy Spaulding  214 A P P E N D I X V:. LIFELINE G R A P H S  i > on i «*. *r t o f M t « » « f i <AtdM«r Knvw wk*>  W«^e  I fed,*-  tip*e uoL* •  ^  prefer^*  i..fbaK  Corluil'ovy .1V\Kz.et  S«..«*fS  b*K{5  £ri**J*  evJUy  2 i - ^ i ' C  ft.ll  » « C — PAIa — '  p«.fC^Uc3 j ' L .•  b«e «U*< A»*-u*de»-Aa*ei i t .  5<xu«-*  ui/ej,  JT«I».4/«5  rJi  College  OQ  r\orl —  f e l l in | o u * Jiff/-  Kl rvK tc(  0  m  fck*/ "^* 51  «. JUS 3"W.Wo»i ^. |oo«-J, it j  215  \A/CA h  t*  v*\  Span  Oil  2 °  profit*,  to eyui> A v i A t o ^  too •van  0  Qulr  \ob  of  lO««.  fc  ao fc>  c>r e i f t ^ v t "  

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