Correspondence

February 4, 2016 16 comments

Greetings Gentle Readers,

I am struggling with a difficult issue, which is my ability to keep up with and respond to both comments left on the blog and to emails sent to me at my blog email address. I am deeply grateful to everyone who takes the time to write a comment or an email. The community here has been very supportive and very helpful in my journey and both comments and emails have often been very encouraging. One point I want to be crystal clear about, which is that no one has done anything at all wrong in contacting me. I have made my email address available which was most certainly my choice. Continue Reading

Post Therapy Disruption and Repair OR The Attachment is Still Important

January 19, 2016 16 comments

So I have been coping fairly well with being away from BN. Aside from one email that I sent to share some good news, there has been no contact. I think of BN often and occasionally miss him, but not in that angst-filled, it’s almost physically painful, kind of way I used to experience being away from him. Things have been good. I hasten to add also that my husband has retired and being the wonderful man he is, has taken over all the household chores, including cleaning, cooking and laundry. With him doing all that during the week, weekends have been devoted to long-term organizational tasks. You know that pile of papers you’ve been trying to go through for six months two years? We’ve finally cleaned it up.🙂 And I have been able to clean out my drawers and organize my jewelry and clean out the attic (OK, my husband did most of that!) and tackle some sewing projects. You get the picture. So the stress level has been helped both by the fact that my responsibilities have grown lighter and the house is more organized. Not feeling like your clothing is attacking you when opening a drawer causes a LOT less stress.🙂 It’s really cool that when you need something, you remember where it is and it’s easily accessible. Hey, it only took us 30 years. But seriously, definitely helping the stress level. The only downside is finding time alone, including time to write (which is why I am still struggling to catch up with the comments!). Continue Reading

Yes, I am still alive!

December 3, 2015 47 comments

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Yes, I am still alive! This break stretched a bit longer than I expected. I was working very long hours right up until we left for vacation on October 23. We had a wonderful vacation, including a family reunion cruise that went incredibly well. So much so that everyone insisted on booking another one in March of 2017. This was a quite pleasant surprise, as we were not at all certain going in that everyone would enjoy it. And I had to laugh at myself because by the end of the trip, I realized that I was feeling much closer to everyone and much more up on what is going on in their lives, when it ruefully dawned on me, that IS the point of family reunions. Continue Reading

The Sticking Place from What a Shrink Thinks

September 25, 2015 3 comments

“For some the sticking place is the therapeutic relationship itself, the trust built, brick by brick, between therapeutic partners.”

This is my sticking place (or was for a long time. How lovely to put it in the past!). I have always said therapy is NOT for the faint of heart but takes extraordinary courage. Go read this…

what a shrink thinks

Macbeth
 If we should fail?

Lady Macbeth:
  We fail? 
But screw your courage to the sticking place,
 And we’ll not fail.

Macbeth, Act 1, scene 7, 59-61

Committing psychotherapeutic acts takes extraordinary courage.

Facing down anxieties, digging down underneath painful symptoms, revealing vulnerabilities, casting out demons, seeking salvation, asking forgiveness, challenging abuse, severing damaging relationships, examining your failures, flaws, weaknesses, revealing your shames, contending with guilt, grieving, preparing to die, coming out, fighting for intimacy, encountering emptiness, apprehending your own murderousness, and the depths of your hungers and desires, setting limits and boundaries, saying “no”, tolerating exposure, baring your soul, withstanding the pain, changing your life, telling the truth…

Telling the truth.

Holy shit.

These are terrifying acts.

I can think of no psychotherapeutic action that does not require courage.

I cannot think of a single split second of the 30 years I have spent engaged…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Be Gone for a Bit

August 21, 2015 21 comments

Greetings Gentle Readers,

I know I have not been around much lately, but I’m going to be around even less for a bit. For starters I am heading into an extremely busy period at work. We have a very documentation intensive release going out the end of October and my only hope of making my deadlines is to start hitting it pretty hard now. I’ll be working longer hours and some weekends, so I am afraid I am not really going to have the time and energy for the blog right now.

I have also decided I just need to step away from the internet for a bit. It is still possible to email me at the address on my blog but I will not be answering any emails until after this release has gone out. I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

For any readers from Psychcafe, I have also turned off my PM’s, so please don’t take it personally if you try to contact me and it bounces.

Take care, AG

Encouragement for Those Who Are Weary

Greetings gentle readers,

I ran across an old song I haven’t heard in years that I wanted to share. I loved the song when it first came out in 1979 (for those of you born after that year, there is no need to point out how long ago that was, I was a senior in high school. Trust me, I know how long ago that was.😀 ) but it speaks even more strongly to me today. It has been such a struggle to learn about how to handle the inevitable pain of life, in some other way than futilely attempting to avoid it. One of the best lessons taught to me by BN is that while pain is inevitable, the answer to pain is love. (See The relationship of love and pain and Love is the Answer for more detailed explanations of that truth). The love we find by connecting to other people, by sharing our burdens, by holding each other up. That is where we find the strength to face life challenges. Continue Reading

That’s enough now

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment; actually part of being overwhelmed is not really knowing how I’m feeling. And not sure where to start to explain, so this may be a bit round-about and confusing. Bear with me. Continue Reading