rupture and repair . . .

February 23, 2012Karen Courcy

Rupture and repair is something that I have learned more about in therapy. As a child and growing up, I knew the rupture part, but never knew about the repair.

It’s something that I never had as a child, as a teen or even could understand as an adult. I didn’t know what repair was, until my years of really working hard with it, and understanding what it meant, or what a healthy relationship was.

My childhood was all about ruptures, and me holding it in full my whole life. I held all the responsibilities of everyone’s wrong doings, and it was a rupture for me to hold. Today I know different, and today I can tell the difference, and today I don’t have to hold it as I once did.

Yesterday a rupture happened in session. Something was said to me the wrong way, in a way that hurt, and it hurt badly. It wasn’t meant to be said a certain way, but it was, and created rupture.

In the midst of my hurt, before leaving session to head to my church, I chuckled, gave him a hug and said “don’t worry, I wont write about it in my blog” (insert sarcasm), and he looked at me and said “well why not?”. I thought “yeah right, I could never do that” – well here I am, writing about it – another part of my healing.

Right after church I came right home, sent an email explaining my hurt once again as I did in session, and then came right to the blog to open up and talk about “rupture and repair”, and I have to admit, it was hard to write since I got home, and will be even harder to post, but it’s truth, and that is what my healing is all about.

I have learned that, even in healing there can be rupture and repair. It’s actually a very healing thing and I have come to learn and understand that. I have come to learn that the repair is the strength of a healthy relationship. I know I am loved and supported, even in the rupture.

During session, right after the rupture happened, space was given to me. At first there was apologizing from the heart for the way the words came out, but then space was given; space to be upset, sad, and hurt with him. He gave me space because those are my feelings, and those are feelings I was never allowed to feel before when there was rupture. The only space I was given as a child was the space locked in my room, isolated because I was the cause for the rupture – or so I thought.

So he gave me space, and the more and more space he gave me, the more I was able to talk my feelings out on why I was hurt, why I was sad. I actually stood up and started talking it out, and I actually came out and said “you really should have thought before you said that, that hurt my feelings and I am angry” – WOW did I actually say that? who is this Karen?

To think that I almost sat there and held it and never spoke about it at all. I could have gone home and swallowed it and taken it in as mine to hold, but I didn’t, and I am darn proud of myself. I did not want to hold it, I know how it feels to hold someone else’s mistake, and I was not about to do that with my support.

He was so glad I did not hold it, he was so thrilled that I did not OWN it; that I gave it back to him, because it was his to own. He was relieved that I spoke how that comment hurt me, and that I was very hurt and upset, because he knows that it’s not mine to hold, and he has taught me all these years that speaking about it, releases it from me, and gives it to the person who owns it.

One of the biggest things I struggled with in being honest when someone hurts me, is that I always feel bad for making them feel bad for what they did. I dont want others to be sad about a mistake they made, but I have learned that it’s not mine to hold. My therapist is sad about the way the words came out and that it hurt me, but also reminded me that it’s OK! that it’s his to hold, not mine. I get it, I really get it.

The repair? connection and understanding. The repair is, I will show up again on Friday, and still work towards me with the FULL trust that I have had in the room since the very beginning.

The repair? I don’t have to hold it, and his apology will have meaning, unlike my past where an apology was given, but followed by “DONT TELL”.

The repair was sitting in bed tonight, and seeing an email come back, reminding me that I am healing, and how I am worth my feelings and I am worthy in all the relationships around me. I was actually thanked for being honest about my hurt, and sadness. Then another sincere apology was given, but still giving me space that I need to be with this hurt until I am ready.

The repair is me writing this, and knowing it’s another piece of my healing.

I have learned in my life with others that rupture and repair is OK, and it’s healthy! I have learned to speak my mind more, and explain my hurt when I am hurt with people. I have learned that a rupture is not followed by my head being smashed into the counter 3 times, or being locked in my room for a days or more. I have learned that repair means a strong healthy relationship with no expectations.

I have learned in my marriage with my husband of 20 years that if I am upset about something, I can come talk about it, and let my feelings be heard instead of holding it or protecting others. I have learned that I matter, and I am important.

This rupture yesterday made the process stronger, it wont derail my work, or make me retreat like I did in the past. I trust more than I did before believe it or not, and it just goes to show that, the people who help heal us, can make mistakes just as much as we can, and the fact that my therapist can make a rupture and a repair, just shows how healthy the work is. I am honored to have him on my side.

I feel great that I spoke about my hurt, and I feel great being able to accept an apology and know it was a sincere true apology with no strings attached.

I feel great that I can tell the difference between a healthy relationship, and a unhealthy relationship, and I can tell the difference between a rupture and a repair.

I am also SO happy that my joke of writing about this before leaving session, actually followed through, and I am writing about it, because it IS healing, and it IS REAL, and we will probably read this in session Friday lol, and we will probably laugh about it and move through it.

So tomorrow I show up, I show up like I have been, and I keep walking towards me, with both ruptures and repairs.


  • Hanna Delenez

    February 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Karen, everday that I read your blog I always say “that was my favorite write”.. today I am saying it again.. this was my favorite.

    Like you know, I am a therapist myself LPC, and what you described is a healthy thing. Alot of people dont know the difference between rupture and repair, or good relationship or bad. It sounds like you have one great therapist and that is a blessing.

    Keep writing from you heart, you have really helped me use some of these thoughts in my own work, with my own clients.

    Hanna 🙂

  • Anna

    February 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Karen, what a great great reminder about how even in the “best” relationships, there is rupture and repair. Thank you for being truthful, I am glad you posted this and decided to not let your “sarcasm” win before leaving your session – it’s healing and a learning tool.

    YAY for you.. I love this one, and think I am going to print it up.

  • Crystal R

    February 23, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Karen, great words, and great resolution! The part about not holding it as yours when someone else makes a mistake, really opened my eyes.. thank you..

    by the way, I love your blog, I read it each morning

  • Karen Beth Courcy

    February 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    THANK YOU everyone for your kind words… Hanna I am in awe that you would use my thoughts with your own clients, and yes I do have a wonderful therapist.. been working with him now for 5 years .. wisdom, connection, and trust is what we bank on in our work.. I love this healing process and I have never felt more and more less numb than I do now..

    Anna, thank you so much 🙂 …

    Crystal, thank you for reading my blog each morning 🙂

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!

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