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Hi All,
I am seriously behind in both my correspondence and in posting replies to questions from the Ask AG page. We just returned from a four-day trip to see my older daughter’s graduation (which was the 3rd 10 hour round trip I have made in 18 days). The graduation was wonderful but quite busy. The trip was also complicated in that my husband accidentally sideswiped a bike messenger in Manhattan the day we arrived. We immediately stopped and got out to assist him and he was, thank heaven, fine aside from a limp. We called 911 and they sent an ambulance. The police officer who took our report was very calm and assuring but as you can imagine it was pretty stressful, not to mention we now have a huge pile of paperwork and insurance hassle ahead of us.

We are incredibly proud of our daughter, who graduated cum laude with her BA and it was a happy occasion. But it also marked her officially moving out of our home (we left her at a friends and will be returning in August to move her into an apartment) and I have been sadder about this than I expected to be.

We have an ongoing problem in our family right now which is very much under control but triggering me on a level which is debilitating. I am back seeing BN weekly and he is working very hard, but even still I am managing an ongoing shame storm. When we got up this morning, I heard from a close friend of mine from work that his MIL, who has lived with them, for a number of years had died quite suddenly. I am close with both him and his wife, whom I worked with a number of years ago and we meet regularly. He is a very stoic guy but when he heard my voice he totally fell apart on the phone sobbing. He told me he called me because he didn’t want to fall apart on his wife. Both my husband and I knew her mother and just adored her; she was a lovely woman and we are grieving in our own right. We also feel terrible as we lost my MIL in a very similar situation around five years ago, so we have an idea of what they are going through. Last, but not least I have been struggling with feeling like an online community that once felt very safe, no longer is. This has been exacerbated by the persistence of one particular member who has attacked me multiple times, publicly and privately in that community as well as other places. No matter how much I tell myself I am not in any real danger, my system gets seriously activated. I am feeling scared and fragile and ashamed and like I am way too much for anyone to handle right now. But at my last session, BN looked me dead in the eye and said to me “I do not understand why you think you have to go through this alone?” It was an excellent question and in an attempt to answer it, I thought I would try NOT going it alone. Thanks for listening.

If you are waiting for an answer from me, you are not forgotten. I appreciate everyone’s patience. I miss being around more.

  1. Chronically Transferred
    May 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Thinking of you AG. You are not alone. Let me know if you need anything.

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      ((((CT)))) Just hearing from you so quickly helps more than I can say, thank you!

      Like

      • Chronically Transferred
        May 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        πŸ™‚ No prob. Keep going, and know you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.

        Like

  2. R
    May 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    AG, I’ve never commented before, but I wanted to tell you how much I’ve admired your willingness to share your experience in order to help others. I am sorry you are struggling, but please know that there are many of us who feel we “know” you and we admire you.

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      R,
      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for saying what you did. You picked a perfect time to join in the conversation! πŸ™‚ I hope it won’t be the last time I hear from you. AG

      Like

  3. Sandy Mitchell
    May 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Dear AG – I don’t believe I’ve ever commented here before, but have been following your blog off & on for some time. You and I share many similar interests, including learning how to manage legacies of overdoses of shame that were left to us…

    Your post today resonates with my recent personal experience of what I think of as: going through too many adaptations, too quickly, with nowhere near enough time to process and ‘metabolize’ them… i.e., so many stressors impacting our nervous systems that we feel overwhelmed; depleted is an excellent descriptor…

    I’ve just spent 3 months adapting to a new job working with preschool-aged children, which I thought was going to be wonderful, and which was the only thing that I moved from my beloved Mt. Shasta, CA, back to Seattle, WA. I’ve lived in Seattle twice before, and moved to a more rural, small town community to reduce stressors in my life…

    On this, my 3rd round of adapting to a Big City environment, I’ve been forced to conclude that this kind of urban existence is ITSELF a major, major stressor. Too many people, cars, traffic, everyone rushing about, barely having time to connect with others because they’re so busy charging around trying to keep 20 balls in the air at once…

    I’m calling it quits here. I don’t know if I’m ever going to even VISIT a Big City again. That decision was made easier by the knowledge that the job ain’t nearly as wonderful as I’d imagined it would be; the preschoolers are wonderful, as are all the teachers I’ve learned to respect as wonderful, caring human beings…who are all stressed out by not getting the support they need.

    Now it’s true that each time I’ve re-entered this Big-City energetic field, I have more miles on my personal odometer, so things are bound to be a bit different. But what I’m concluding is that our entire way of life in this country is seriously going off the rails of what humans are designed for. Our incredible capacity to adapt to anything (some of us have had to adapt to environments as extreme as concentration camps, after all) – while a strength in some ways, has a serious downside to it.

    And I can’t believe that we have to live like this – even in large urban environments. But if we don’t start recognizing the toll it’s taking on all of us…well, god help us…

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Sandy,
      Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting. I so appreciate people speaking up in my time of need. I totally get what you’re saying about cities. I went to college in a fairly urban environment but happily left it when I graduated. I love the energy in cities in terms of culture, music, museums, food etc. but only to visit. And I am getting older too. πŸ™‚ Every time we visit I find I have less tolerance for the over-stimulation. I truly hope that leaving works out for you and you find a peaceful, fulfilling place to put down roots. ~ AG

      Like

  4. May 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I’m sorry for the rough time you’ve been having lately. 😦 Congratulations to you and your daughter on her graduation, though! How exciting. Lean on BN during this time, and trust what he told you at your last session. xx

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      (((Kashley))) thank you so much, I appreciate it even more knowing what you’re going through. I am truly sorry I haven’t been available. I’ll remember about the leaning. πŸ™‚ xx AG

      Like

  5. Jillann
    May 27, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    AG -I totally understand. Your openness about your own journey has been an incredible gift to me. Take the time you need to process all the changes your going through. I can’t imagine having one graduating college! I’m worried about HS graduation and that’s like 3 years away! Just know that what you’ve given to me in all your writings has been so meaningful. You are one special lady.

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Jillann.
      Thanks for understanding. Don’t blink, if you think HS is going quick, wait until college. πŸ™‚ We’re really happy for our daughter because she is right where she wants to be and we know we are close with her so I was surprised how much it affected me. Thank you for what you said about my writing, its good to know I am helping someone now. xx AG

      Like

  6. Ann
    May 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I am so sorry about all your stressors! Your blog is such an inspiration. Although you have experienced so much trauma in life, you have such a unique gift in expressing your thoughts. It has made a HUGE difference for me when we returned to my hometown after 38 years and I continued to be triggered. I have felt a lot of confusion in dealing with attachment, shame, and neediness with my shrink. He to is wonderful, but your blog puts the whole process in perspective. Take as much time as you need. Can you somehow block this pest? Maybe he/she just has bad hemherroids ? πŸ™‚ Remember no one else has a vote in your value except your Creator! Xoxo Ann

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Ann

      Thank you for the gift of such a wonderful reflection of who I am. Really glad to know that what I writes lends perspective as I know, all too well, how hard it is to hang on to perspective in the midst of such painful chaos. You may have something in your theory of where the problem originates. πŸ˜€ And I appreciate the reminder of where my value really rests. ~ AG

      Like

  7. GreenEyes
    May 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    huge hugs and love to you during this rough time. you are not alone AG xx

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you GE, it really does help immensely to know that I am not alone. You all are providing a huge amount of emotional regulation. xx AG

      Like

  8. Alex
    May 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’m sorry that accident happened to you in nyc; I have lived here for years and know the nightmare of city traffic. Thank goodness no one was badly hurt. It sounds like things have been chaotic and challenging lately. Life can just….suck. But thank you for your reassurance about the reply. I always have liked the little wordplay that to be a therapy patient, you have to be just that. ☺ Take care!

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Alex,
      So glad you understand. Honestly, if we weren’t so upset, it would have been funny watching all the police and ambulance drivers, to whom this was totally routine, trying to calm the out of town tourists down. Love the quote about being just that. πŸ™‚ BN and I often discuss that therapy is really, in the end, very simple. But those simple truths take an untold amount of hard work to grasp. Simple does not mean easy. I appreciate your understanding. AG

      Like

  9. Little Blond Girl
    May 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    AG,

    you have been and continue to be an inspiration. We all struggle at different points in our life, but often we seclude ourselves, pretend we don’t feel it, avoid what’s going on because it hurts, don’t reach out for help…well at least I do that! You aren’t alone…you have a virtual community of people who think you are pretty brave and strong and special. Try not to lose sight of that in these difficult times. And it sounds very much like you have a great social support group – including BN. You aren’t alone…I know, I know, easy for me to say right!?! Take good care of yourself.

    LBG

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      LBG,
      That was a pretty good description of my usual behaviors, so know that you are NOT alone either. I am very grateful for the way you see me and you’re right, I have an amazing support network, very much including here. I am very happy that I risked posting about this. xx AG

      Like

  10. May 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    So sorry you are struggling so much at the moment. I am here with you during this time. We all need to know we are not alone and are definitely not too much!

    Like

  11. May 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    God’s Grace,
    Thank you so much, especially for telling me I’m not too much. It’s a feeling that has VERY deep roots in my childhood so its good to hear. Thank you for being there and supporting me. xx AG

    Like

  12. May 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    It sounds like you have been hit from all sides lately, and I’m betting that you didn’t have a chance to recover from the work crazies before this started. 😦 Sending thoughts of support and a reminder to keep on connecting to whatever feeds you and helps to sustain you. I know that I tend to forget to do that myself at exactly the times when I need it most…

    And I have so much sympathy for the horrors of dealing with NYC traffic (lived in Chelsea on 20th St for 2 1/2 years) and dealing with an accident where you are at fault. Even when the other person is fine, you always worry that in our litigious society it might turn into a law suit and that is a terrible stress. 😦 I hope that everything goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible!

    Like

    • May 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Cat,
      How did you know I had no chance to recover? πŸ˜€ I am seriously flailing around trying to remember just what it is that does sustain me. It really has helped though to just stop here and acknowledge that its hard right now and get so much wonderful support.

      You nailed our worries on the head. I have to keep reminding my husband that he very wisely carries a LOT of personal liability insurance and we’ll be ok. But I think part of what is so hard is that my hubby is a wonderful, sensitive, caring man and he’s really scared that someone is going to think he somehow meant to do this. We’ll be ok, just could have done without it. Wow, NYC for 2 1/2 year, I am impressed. πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting Cat, I’ve missed you. ~ AG

      Like

      • May 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

        I’ve missed you as well!

        I would never have imagined that I would live in NYC- we moved there from 26 acres in Central NY! Only reason was because it was the perfect seminary for my husband. And the only way that I was able to survive was by telecommuting for my old job, rather than going out into the city to work.

        We were sued. Someone cornered my dog and me and my dog bit him- just a single puncture wound. It turned into a law suit. My best advice is to let your insurance company handle everything. They are the experts. Thankfully, our dog was still covered under our homeowner’s policy (still owned our house upstate at that time) and once we realized that they would cover this and let them do their job, everything went so much better. It ended up being settled out of court and I never asked how much the guy got because I was too angry about the whole thing and thought it best to just leave it behind. Besides, I was 7 months pregnant at the time when the law suit was settled (and about to walk out the door to drive from Central NY to NYC to go to court, when I got the call about the settlement.)

        So, from someone who was sued and who survived it, if it happens, it will be OK. Stressful and miserable for awhile perhaps, but it will be OK.

        You have my whole hearted support on this, because I really do get the stress involved!

        Like

        • May 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

          Cat
          Thanks so much for the advice!! I think that would have been my instinct but it helps so much having it confirmed. We have a good insurance agent whom we’ve worked with for years and I must say that so far everyone seems very much aware of what to do. I appreciate the info as it really does reduce the stress (as well as your understanding of how stressful it is. :)) I am glad that things worked out for you. xx AG

          Like

  13. Lemon Barley
    May 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Dear AG, Please know that your insight and writing has been a source of strength for many to draw upon (myself included) in times of difficulty. You have a true gift in your writing and are able to put into words a process that can be indescribable at times. Hang in there and know that you are not alone in this time if difficulty. Thinking of you. x

    Like

    • May 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hi Lemon Barley,
      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for commenting. (I love your username :)) I so appreciate your kind words. What I gain here from all your comments is proving to be very grounding through this. It is good not to do this alone. Great, now I’m going to have to tell BN he was right! πŸ˜€ ~ AG

      Like

  14. Jenny
    May 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Dear AG, My therapist is fond of reminding me that people generally like to help. They like feeling needed. He asks me how it feels whenever I help someone and when I say, “It feels good,” he asks me why I won’t let others share that feeling by helping me.

    Apparently, he’s figured out that I can be guilted into appropriate self-care. Hmm. We’re working on my chronic guilty conscience. I think I need to talk to him about using it for his own (admittedly good for me) purposes.

    So, what do you need today? How can I help?

    Like

  15. May 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    I do that “put yourself in the other person’s place” thing all the time, and have several friends who delight in throwing it back in my face when necessary. I like the idea of you calling him out on using your guilty conscience for his own (albeit well-intentioned) purposes. Good to keep ’em honest. As far as what I need? You already did it, by asking. πŸ™‚ A lot of people in my life are going through some very tough trials, and I am needing to be there and lend support but can feel that small bit of me going “someone take care of me.” So knowing someone wants to help is a help in and of itself. But if you’d like to send up some prayers to the God of Boring that he would mightily bless me, I’d appreciate that. πŸ˜€ Thank you, truly, for your care. xx AG

    Like

  16. Gel
    May 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Hi AG, Just wanted to pop in and say I’m listening. Sounds like an extra busy challenging time for you.

    Thanks for sharing your process here. It has helped me tremendously. What Lemon Barley wrote above….that’s how I feel too.

    Like

    • May 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks so much Gel, being heard is so important. Thanks for taking the time to listen. πŸ™‚ ~ AG

      Like

  17. Rebuilding Me
    May 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Hi AG, You are not alone here or on the other site. I don’t post much, but I read a lot. You’ve been very helpful to me over there and here. Thank you.

    Like

    • May 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Rebuilding,
      Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for this. It is hard to hang on to the perspective that its only some of the people, this really encouraged me, Lovely to hear I have been helpful, thank you for taking the time to say so. ~ AG

      Like

  18. Ann
    May 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Just checking in to tell you to keep hanging in there. Maybe part of your “work” is to see that we care about you, whether or not you are “performing”. Although I love your blogs, keep in mind we can all connect with feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control. By your honesty, you continue to be a good role model. Also, go back and read your incredible writings and know you will have more amazing insights in the future as you go through your
    current struggle. Xoxo Ann

    Like

    • May 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Ann,
      That was almost scary as one of my struggles throughout healing has been to understand that my worth is not about my ability to perform. Thank you for the very timely reminder and assurance. I often feel very impatient with myself when I don’t have the resources to write. The kindness and understanding I receive here provide so much strength. xx AG

      Like

  19. Ms. Sharkey
    May 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I understand feeling depleted, and I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with so many stressful things at once. Take care of yourself.

    Like

    • May 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Ms. Sharkey,
      Its good to hear from you!! Thanks for coming by and encouraging me. ~ AG

      Like

  20. Missouri Girl
    May 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Another newbie poster here. Thinking of AG and sending cyber hugs! They say that even the best things in life – a marriage, a baby – your daughter’s awesome graduation- can be major stressors, so you have had your full quota in a really short period of time. Bless that BN; he’s there for you as are all of your loyal readers, like me. {{AG}}

    Like

    • May 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Missouri Girl,
      Welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting. I am so glad that I risked posting about this if for no other reason that so many people have stepped forward and given me a chance to meet them. πŸ™‚ Its funny you mention a full quota, I saw BN yesterday and at one point said to him “This is stressful right? Anyone would feel stressed?” to which he cheerfully agreed. πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know you’re there. ~ AG

      Like

  21. May 31, 2013 at 1:44 am

    You are never alone, beautiful soul. xo

    Like

  22. May 31, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Thinking about you this morning and hoping you’re doing OK. ((hugs)) xx

    Like

    • May 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      (((Kashley))) Thanks, I’m hanging in. Got seriously triggered last night, but a friend helped me talk through it and figure out where it was coming from and I feel stable again this morning. Things are just really insane right now. Not one, but two close friends have lost very significant people in the last few days to untimely, sudden deaths, I am dealing with the fall-out (read immense amounts of paperwork) from the bike accident, etc on top of the usual life stuff. But overall, I think I am doing ok. Having this blog and all of you has been vital to sustaining me through this, I am so grateful for this community. xx AG

      Like

  23. Rebuilding Me
    May 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    And we are grateful to you AG!

    Like

    • June 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Rebuilding,
      Thank you, please trust me that I am also grateful for you xx AG

      Like

  24. Starrynights
    June 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    AG, not sure you’ll get this anytime soon, but just returned from a long hiatus and read only these last two posts. So sorry for the burdens upon you at this time, and you are doing the right thing in taking a break. Take as long as you need. If I can get religious for a moment, even the Savior wanted to get away from everyone for some peace and quiet (at least once anyway!), so while our burdens don’t begin to compare, still – we certainly aren’t alone in needing peace and quiet as well.

    Rest up, emotionally and physically. I’ll be thinking of you. So grateful for the impact you have had on my life…
    Hugs, friend,
    Starry

    Like

    • June 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Starry,
      SO good to hear from you! I have been wondering how you are doing. Thank you for the reminder of Christ’s example. I think what gets confusing is whether I am seeking solitude for refreshment or to hide. πŸ™‚ So I am trying to just feel my way through this, knowing I won’t get it exactly right. Thanks so much for your kindness.

      hugs back, AG

      Like

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