Peeking out of the Cave

Greetings Gentle Readers,

I have missed you all. This break has stretched longer than I anticipated. The situation that precipitated my hiatus is ongoing, but things are much more stable. Of course right about the time things got more stable, we hit the holidays. 😀 My husband is working a lot of overtime right now and some things are changing at my company that may require longer hours of me as well. I also have surgery for my carpal tunnel planned in January. So I am going to dip my toe back in here by sharing a few poems I found very moving. The first is an angry, passionate poem about rape which I found both very moving and very validating. The second link is Anis Mogjani’s Ted Talk, where he performs a number of his poems, all of which are both thought-provoking and life-affirming; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Due to the schedule complications mentioned above, I am not sure how regularly I will return to posting and would appreciate your continued patience with my response times (or lack thereof 🙂 ),  but I at least wanted to poke my head out of my cave and make it clear I was still here!

Man on the Bus

Poetry Collections: Anis Mojgani at TEDxAtlanta

  1. Peter
    December 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Watched the “Man on the Bus” video. It mentioned the potential for “triggering” — and, for me, seems it worked. 😉 I’m not fully conscious of my entire trauma history, yet, but I know enough that his poem would resonate with me.

    Extraordinarily powerful. And he makes all too clear the epidemic of child sexual abuse that pollutes our world.


    • December 6, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Hi Peter,
      It’s good to hear from you! I am both happy and sad that it resonated so strongly with you. I felt the same way, by halfway through it, I was crying. Thanks for sharing how it affected you. ~ AG


  2. Ann
    December 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I love Slam Poetry and this one had me in tears. To see such passion towards the torment of child sexual abuse. Performance art like this is like having a reflected self lead you safely to righteous anger. The type of anger that doesn’t make you bitter, but keeps you safe! Thanks AG! Peek around the corner anytime. Performance art is always appreciated! Xoxo Ann


    • December 6, 2013 at 12:09 am

      Performance art like this is like having a reflected self lead you safely to righteous anger. The type of anger that doesn’t make you bitter, but keeps you safe!

      The perfect description Ann! It was so affirming and comforting to hear that righteous anger. What you said about it not being bitter actually articulated how I felt but hadn’t been able to express, thank you for that. Really glad you liked it! It’s very good to be back, even if it turns out to just be a peek. 🙂 xoxo AG


  3. Little Blond Girl
    December 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    AG – take all the time you need. Enjoy the holidays. Breathe a bit. We will continue to be here…


  4. Ann
    December 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Here comes Monday!! Maybe I will sleep right through it!!! Actually I am trying to clarify my feelings toward my T. I am still very dependent and attached. But it isn’t like a boyfriend/husband feeling, or mother/father feeling or siblings or friend. It stands alone in it’s own category and at times I don’t trust it. Does anyone else get these feelings?? Just curious ?. Ann


    • December 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      I do get these feelings and have also struggled with where to place them. The truth is that the therapeutic relationship is unique, not quite like any other. It has aspects of a friendship, of a parental relationship and a level of intimacy we usually only find in our romances, but it is none of these things. This is going to sound a bit strange, but I do much better when I don’t try to fit it anywhere and just except that it is. I do think it’s made more complicated for those of us healing from long term trauma from childhood. Because our therapist is working to help us complete developmental steps, and is providing the kind of unconditional regard and care we should have had as children, the relationship runs very, very deep. I think we hold them in the kind of regard we would have had for a deeply loving parent. To further complicate things, part of what we are learning from them is emotional regulation and that includes the “good” emotions such as love, comfort, trust and gratitude. Abuse and neglect we know how to deal with, but care and consideration? It makes us uneasy and fearful to be treated in this way. It is not what we expect of a close relationship. I have waited years for BN’s “inevitable” betrayal and allowing him to move closer has felt like the most stupid and dangerous of things to do at times. Why should I trust his love and care when I couldn’t trust my father’s? My father’s care was just a prelude to abuse. I had never stood so close to someone and still had clear, respected boundaries and it took some getting used to.

      I made a very important realization the other day. When I first told BN about my feelings of attraction for him, he asked me how I felt about feeling that way. My reply was all about discomfort and embarrassment and fear. I remember he told me that some people enjoy these feelings and even find them comforting. I told him he was speaking Russian. 😀 I haven’t seen him in almost three weeks and have been missing him, and in thinking about him, I realized I was feeling comforted and happy about the relationship. And it hit me, THIS was what he meant all those years ago.

      One last paradox is that the feelings have become less obsessive and disturbing because I have stopped fighting them or judging myself for having them. The truth is that BN is an enormously important person to me, I will always carry a deep sense of gratitude for what he has done for me, and the relationship runs very deep. And I’m ok with that. May I suggest, dear Ann, that you take a step back and stop trying to understand and categorize your feelings and instead just allow them in and see what you learn from them?

      xoxo AG

      PS I think that’s an EXCELLENT plan for a Monday! 😀

      PPS It’s lovely to be back. 🙂


  5. Ann
    December 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thank you! I will take your sage advise! Unfortunately life does not fit neatly into boxes. (Though I keep trying:)). I don’t feel as disturbed about it as I did, but don’t feel safe talking about it in therapy. Once I got the nerve to say I missed him after a short break and he in no way acknowledged what I said. Not even an Ok. A year later I asked him about it an he said he heard me, but “sometimes you have to let your patients stew in their juices”. I felt WTF! And I changed the subject. My T is generally very good, but sometimes he seems like he has a strong boundary that is difficult to negotiate.( I do not call or phone between sessions and we only shake hands at the end). So his response was shaming and confusing. I guess I should bring it up again next session, but he doesn’t make it easy! Thanks for your response,! Now go rest! 🙂 xoxo Ann


    • December 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

      LOL. First time I told BN I missed him, his response was to ask me how I felt about saying that! I still remember the thrill of saying it was good to see him after a long break and him replying “its good to see you too.”

      I know talking about this stuff is writhingly, excruiatingly embarrassing, but it’s important to do so. We have so MANY internal messages about our worth that color our perceptions, that it’s important to be able to check about them. And learning to have and express these kinds of needs and feelings is really important to our being able to have intimate, deep relationships.

      I think a good start would be to express your fear about talking about this and how his response that time felt shaming and confusing. Its painful stuff, ESPECIALLY with a boundaried therapist, but its painful because it is so strongly tied into our loss and pain. I’m sorry for how hard this is, but I am also very sure that you are strong enough to face this. Take good care of yourself! (And I promise I am taking care of myself. See BN today after a three week break and am very much looking forward to it. I might even tell him I missed him. 😀 )

      xx AG


  6. Little Blond Girl
    December 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself :). Such good advice to accept what it is (although accepting what it isn’t is also a struggle). I find it incredibly hard to do. So I try to keep talking about it and feel like we’ve been around it a thousand times, but maybe we need a thousand more. Lately, I’m thinking I need to ask questions, because questions scare me so much. Working on the nerve. Because it feels writhingly, excruciatingly embarrassing. And I so know what you mean by it being tied to our loss and pain….tough stuff….there are those moments though, where I can just accept. So I know it’s reachable…


    • December 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      ((LBG)) I so totally understand that feeling of having been over it a thousand times, but still needing a thousand more. The truth is, that this is right brain work, its not about what you know its about what you experience. And you do have to experience things time and again, over and over, to lay down a neuronal path for the memory to be held implicitly. It’s also tough because when we hit the next area we need to work on and the feelings get so intense, it can also feel like all of our progress and previous work have disappeared. Which isn’t true, but feels true. Ah, asking for things, even asking questions, tough stuff. But by becoming conscious of feeling that way. you have already won half the battle. Hang on to those moments, it is reachable and the moments will stretch into longer and longer lengths of time. xx AG


  7. Ann
    December 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    AG, Thanks for your encouragement! Tomorrow is my appointment and I will bring up my difficult questions! Hope your session went well. Have a great week and give yourself some slack over the holidays! Xoxo Ann


    • December 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      I hope it goes really well, remember all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage! Please let me know how it goes! xx AG


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