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Words of Wisdom

Words of wisdom are sometimes found in the oddest of places. A handwritten sticker on a trash can in Key West, FL:


Having a lovely ( albeit one-handed! ) vacation! Looking forward to “seeing” everyone soon. 🙂

Categories: encouragement
  1. XXX
    February 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Good to know that you are doing good!!! I’m looking forward to “seeing” you too!! 🙂


  2. February 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    So glad that you are having a lovely vacation! You richly deserve it! 🙂


  3. Ann
    February 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Such big wisdom on such a small sticker! Hope you are having fun!!! Xoxo Ann


  4. Ann
    February 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

    We have had so much snow here in the South! How is Key West? Xoxo


  5. XXX
    February 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I miss you, just had to say that. Hope your still good!!


  6. February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for all the encouragement and well wishes, you are such lovely people!

    Ann, we were on a cruise in the Caribbean and Key West was one of our stops. It was my first time there and I really loved it. We had wonderful weather, with lots of sunshine the whole trip. And dodged about five feet of snow if our driveway was any indicator. It was so bad one of the outtakes for our heating system froze over and our house was 46 degrees when we got home. I think that was when we started wondering why we came back. LOL. It was really relaxing, I read five (very fluffly books) and spent a lot of time staring between my toes. I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of things; saw BN today. 🙂

    ((XXX)) Thank you, I really miss everyone too! And its really nice to know I am missed when I am away, thanks for saying so!

    love, AG


  7. happylou
    February 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Hello AG – I have recently discovered your blog and want to thank you for your tremendous insight into the therapeutic relationship/process! What a relief to have FINALLY found someone who really gets it (I have tried to discuss my feelings with friends and family members for months and, while they try their best to understand, I am always left feeling a little too alone in my experience).

    I too have been blessed with an amazing T who also happens to be a highly ethical, very professional BN. Due to his amazing ability to unconditionally accept me as a whole person while he tries to model for me how to love and accept myself, I have spent months feeling (more accurately, fighting) feelings of love for him. I have been painfully honest with him about these feelings and I am trying to work through this with him. He is crystal clear in defining the boundaries of our relationship and in keeping therapy “safe”–I just hope that we can work our way through this together…kind of starting to lose hope.

    Looking forward to reading more of your insights here. Again, thank you for the gift you are giving to those of us working our way through therapeutic healing.


    • February 25, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Happylou,
      Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting. I appreciate your very kind words. I am very glad that you are feeling less alone and understood by reading here. It truly helps to know that other people understand I know. I am also very glad to hear that you have such a good therapist. I know that therapy is still hard and painful even with a good therapist, but the fact that you are feeling accepted and valued is such a huge step towards healing. And I commend your courage in being painfully honest. Terrifying stuff, but oh so important! I hope that you continue to find healing. ~ AG


    • Little Blond Girl
      February 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Hello Happylou,
      I’m not one to usually comment like this, but I totally get what you’re saying. I too was so thankful to find someone(s) who got it, cuz unless you’re in it, you just don’t get it. I just wanted to say, keep talking to your T. I have recently (and by recently I mean like last summer) expressed that love and was met with the crystal clear boundaries. Not to say that my T wasn’t good about hearing it and all that, but I didn’t get back what I’d always hoped for. And we’ve been working on it since then. It’s not an easy thing, it takes a lot of courage and it’s hard, but it’s important and if you feel like you’re starting to lose hope, maybe that’s what you need to talk about. I’m in the thick of it (still!) so no good wisdom other than good for you for taking the risks. And glad you have a good T.


      • happylou
        February 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm

        Hi Little Blond Girl,

        Wow, there are many of us…and here I thought I was all alone. Sorry to hear your are working through the same issues–they are very painful. Yet, at the same time, I want to congratulate you for having the guts to talk about it and work through it. As hard as it is, I think therapy is its most rewarding when we have the courage to delve into the deeper issues and let the real healing begin.

        I also spilled the beans about my feelings of love last summer. Since then we have revisited the issue many times Thanks for the encouragement to keep talking to my T. We recently had what I would call our toughest (most honest and vulnerable) session to date and I got scared! It is tough to feel so emotionally exposed all the time. When you shared your feelings, can I be so bold as to ask what you hoped to get in return from your T? Were you hoping he felt the same feelings of love for you?

        Thanks again for your thoughts and encouragement. So nice to chat with those who can so closely identify with this conundrum.


        • Little Blond Girl
          March 2, 2014 at 10:48 am


          You are definitely not alone.

          I’ll preface with saying that my relationship is very parental with my T and I really just wish he was my dad. So, my love for him is very parental. And yes, I did want him to tell me he loved me too. I guess I hoped that by him loving me, it would make all the pain of not feeling loved by a parent go away. There was/is a lot of anger and grief to go through because I didn’t get what I wanted. And as I work through it all I realize how much I had/have wrapped up in hearing those words and because I didn’t get it it felt like everything unraveled. And so I’ve been working to put it all back together. But as I work through it, I also realize how strong my relationship is with my T and I realize I trust him more than I thought I did.

          I’m glad you’re able to be vulnerable and honest with your T. I totally get the scared feeling and the walking around with raw nerves exposed all the time. I’ve gotten much better at asking for reassurance from my T when I feel that way….

          Take good care of yourself as you work through this.


  8. Little Blond Girl
    February 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    welcome back AG. Glad you had a good time and got to relax. It’s always nice to head into the sun when it’s so cold….Hope the hand is healing well.


    • February 25, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      (((LBG))) Good to hear from you! And the hand is doing very well. Surgeon cleared me last Thursday and I no longer have to wear a brace (except as I feel the need, the wrist is still healing and I find it helps to wear the brace at night to rest it) so not only can I type with two hands, I can wear bracelets!! 😀 i hope you’re doing well. xx AG


  9. Ann
    February 27, 2014 at 8:11 am

    AG, What are you in the mood to write about? Are you inspired? 🙂 We missed you. Ann


    • February 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Ah Ann such a good question. 🙂 Honestly I am still working my way through my backlog of correspondence. I am also still working through some issues I do not feel free to discuss. Although another aspect of that is that I am digging through and working with a lot of shame so it may be I am finding it harder to talk about. And if I am going to be really open, people have been so kind about what I write (and a little too idealizing, you all need to meet me in “real” life) that I think I am a little paralyzed by feeling like I have to produce something really amazing. I’m freezing under self-imposed pressure (I know, i know, you’re shocked. :D) I’m sorry, I am feeling a bit gagged and feeling bad that I am disappointing people by not posting. I can still be a hot mess at times. 😉 xx AG


  10. Marijke
    February 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Oh dearest AG, I am sure Ann, nor anyone here would want you to feel pressurized by any of our comments. Off course we miss you, you’ve been so instrumental to my understanding and acceptance of myself as I am sure is the case for other followers of this blog.
    On the other hand: if you feel it will be helpful for yourself, please know that I love – and admire – you and wouldn’t want to be anything but kind and understanding if you choose to open up and be vulnerable. You’re my best example for doing this, together with my T.
    My T. once described shame as a sticky substance and ever since I’ve visualized it as pitch, or crude oil (on a poor seabird…) . Removing such stuff is difficult and takes time. When you’re ready, you can try us for our detergent qualities :). Until then, be kind to yourself. That can be hard enough, at times. Big hug,



    • March 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

      (((Marijke))) I absolutely know that no one would want me to feel pressured at all, please trust me that I am a pressure factory all on my own. 😀 And it is good to be missed and know that I matter to the people around me. I miss being connected and writing.

      I appreciate the offer to be “detergent.” I am very blessed to not only have BN but to have a safe place with such supportive people to talk about it. A lot more of my hesitation right now is about how to talk about what is going on without compromising other people’s privacy. But the situation is being worked through and I will be moving on soon, although still doing a lot of work with shame. I am looking forward to writing about it once I find my voice again. Working with shame on this level is incredibly hard work, but it has also been very fruitful, not least in that I can see and experience the level of trust I have in BN. Not a place I ever really expected to find myself,being willing to trust so deeply. Thank you so much for such a gracious, loving response. It helps so much. xx AG


  11. XXX
    February 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm


    Please don’t feel pressure from me or us!! Forever greatful for your presence. I just wanted you to know that I was more worried cause lets face it i’m like a professional worrier, and I hate hospitals/surgery of any kind, minor or not. Wish I could meet you in person just to give you a hug–I LOVE a hot mess!!!! HA HA HA


    • March 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

      (((XXX))) No one is doing anything wrong truly! This really is coming from me (I’m projecting so much right now in my life I should be be selling tickets and popcorn. 🙂 ) And it really means a lot to know that you all care enough to check in; it is a good thing to know I matter. I am also grateful for your presence just so you know. You love a hot mess? No wonder we get along! Thank you so much.

      I do want to assure you that my wrist is completely better, so no worries. I came through fine! STILL enjoying two-handed typing! xx AG


  12. XXX
    February 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Takes one to know one right!?!


    • March 1, 2014 at 10:46 am

      My first reaction to this was “but XXX never comes across like a hot mess!!” then had to laugh. We’re always too tough on ourselves. 🙂


  13. Ann
    February 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    AG! Please don’t feel bad. The honesty of your answer is a post in and of itself! I can only speak for myself, but it is the fact that you don’t represent yourself as perfect that makes me relate to you!! I wish there was a magic bullet that could take away your pain, my pain and other’s pain forever. However I think we are all works in progress and the fact we continue to battle our demons and not give up is miraculous! Your writing is very important and insightful, however most important you have created a safe space for us. Your reactions to your readers are always gracious and never shame-inducing. What a role-model! I think I speak for most of us: we feel the same grace and compassion towards you as you do toward us. Maybe we can have a competition here to see truely who is the hottest mess. ( I nominate myself:-)) I think we all struggle with shame and poor self-worth when working on hard personal stuff. It feels like all of my nerve endings are exposed and everyone can see my “ugliness” when I crash. I also feel stuck and think any therapy work I have done over the years has failed. My emotional lens gets cloudy and I feel I am a disappointment to everyone and want to disappear. I think you would tell me to give myself a break and to gather my support system. If you never wrote another word in your life, what you have given to us is invaluable. I do suspect, somewhere down the road (a week, a month, a, year?) you will get inspired by this part of your journey and feel like writing. Until then, do what you need to do to continue working toward your goal. I do want to reassure you that you are a very gifted writer and whether it is blogging or journaling, you will never lose that gift! You are always welcome to e-mail me if you want to rant! I may be bossy, but I am discrete.:-). I love you, hot mess and all. By taking care of your needs, you still show us all hope! Xoxoxo Ann


    • March 1, 2014 at 10:56 am

      (((Ann))) Thank you so much for everything you said. See, this is why I can risk being honest with you when you ask me things. You talk about my graciousness and not being shame-inducing to my readers, and I want to tell you to look in a mirror. I am, by far, not the only reason this is a safe place. This community is made up of some wonderful people of whom I am privileged to be a part.

      I think we all struggle with shame and poor self-worth when working on hard personal stuff. It feels like all of my nerve endings are exposed and everyone can see my “ugliness” when I crash. I also feel stuck and think any therapy work I have done over the years has failed. My emotional lens gets cloudy and I feel I am a disappointment to everyone and want to disappear.

      That is EXACTLY how it feels, my dear, thank you for articulating it so well (I’m not the only gifted writer in these parts. Care to do a guest post? 🙂 ) I feel so much less alone and not pressured at all. And I love you too and will remember you are there. xx AG


  14. Elsewhere
    March 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    … And if I am going to be really open, people have been so kind about what I write (and a little too idealizing, you all need to meet me in “real” life) that I think I am a little paralyzed by feeling like I have to produce something really amazing…

    Don’t worry AG, you just DID produce something truly amazing. You showed us yourself.
    Welcome back,


    • March 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you, I really don’t know what to say but that. I was really touched when I read this. It’s good to be back. xx AG


  15. Ann
    March 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Elsewhere, You have summed it up perfectly! Ann


    • March 3, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      (((Ann))) you have a gift for encouragement, I am very grateful to be on the receiving end!


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