Home > books, break, hiatus, psychotherapy blogs, shame, updates > Where Oh Where Can AG Be?

Where Oh Where Can AG Be?


Greetings Gentle Readers,
Sorry for the prolonged absence, but the release (which actually still hasn’t gone out yet!!! AUGH!!) went down to the wire. I did my final turnover at 5:00 on Wednesday the 15th and then my husband and I left for a cruise at 5 AM the next morning. So I had very limited internet access from the 16th to the 24th. We had a lovely, relaxing time, but it’s been difficult going since we got home. I have been doing some intensive work around being present in my body (which it turns out is NOT a favorite activity of mine) and there is a tremendous amount of shame coming up as well as some very young memories being triggered. I hope to do some writing about it soon. In the meantime, it feels like I kind of just put everything on hold while I was away, but now that I’ve returned home I am feeling quite flooded. There’s a lot of shame and anxiety floating around and I have been feeling incredibly weepy but it’s not really connected with anything. On top of that, things have very much improved and settled down with the crises we’ve been dealing with and it feels like I may be collapsing now that I know it’s over, and I can. Which is the long way of saying that I am struggling with feeling very fragile, overwhelmed and ashamed.

It’s also not helping that I am MASSIVELY behind in answering both correspondence and comments here on the blog. I truly appreciate everyone’s patience. I feel like I just keep saying this over and over and then not getting anything done. I haven’t forgotten anyone, I am just really struggling with a lack of resources right now (and of course, I am feeling shame over that because, you know, if I wasn’t so lazy and pathetic, obviously I wouldn’t be behind. Honestly, it just feels like there is NO reason for me to be having such a hard time, so something must be wrong with me. Right? These feelings are SO crazy-making because I *know* they’re old messages coming from within me, and that they’re not true, but they FEEL. SO. STRONG! BN spent our whole last session telling me I’m not too much, despite my feeling so strongly that I am. )

So… I’m back to work tomorrow and while I do have some odds and ends still to do on the release, I will not be working OT. I read Dr. Jeffrey Smith’s new book, How We Heal and Grow: The Power of Facing Your Feelings while on vacation and am hoping to have a review up in the next day or so, (short version: BUY IT!), then I will start digging into correspondence. And at some point, I’ll actually start blogging again…

(Ann, this is the response to your last comment. 🙂 Thanks for asking!)

  1. October 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    (((AG))) It seems like the times when life is pressuring and demanding the most, the old messages from the past scream up the loudest, and feel so much like truth it’s hard to imagine they aren’t. Also when any one crisis lets up and there’s a little breathing room, it can almost be overwhelming to realize how much pressure was there! I hope you will be able to let BN’s assurance sink in that these messages are lies from the past, and know that there is no rush in replying or writing. You are handling an enormous amount of stress while simultaneously processing difficult material with BN, and combating shame and exhaustion. I hope you can be gentle with yourself through it all, and in the meantime here are some hugs sent your way!! Take some time for you, you deserve it 🙂 (((((((hugs)))))))

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      (((AH))) Thank you! I know you totally understand how those old messages can scream so loudly and appreciate the reassurance and affirmation that I need to not believe them. (See it really helps me to hear this from you because I know how completely untrue YOUR shame is. 🙂 It helps me see that mine is also). Thanks for taking the time to comment, I know you also have very full plate at the moment. xx AG

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  2. October 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Take good care of yourself, AG!

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      ((Cat)) Thank you! I really miss you, so sorry to not be around. I am looking forward to catching up on your blog (and btw, EEK! with what happened with the mis-posting. Totally understand you wanting to shut it down for a bit. Much more to say about your struggles with your mom once I catch up! xx AG

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  3. Ann
    October 27, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for poking your head out! :-). Things finally got so hard on this end so I took Latuda 60 for five days. For those not in the know it is an anti-psychotic. I have never been psychotic, but my mood got pretty desperate (and a trip to the mountains and beach did nothing!) just to say, sometimes medication can help stop the spiral. After a few months of hell (and a re-traumatizing event), five day on the “big guns” (Latuda) have me close to normal. Unfortuately, I want to eat everything in sight. I am now slowly reducing the drug.
    I guess I am saying there are times when I start spiraling that only stronger meds can cut into the spiral. I use to think it was a crutch, but like physical pain, the longer I suffer, the harder it is to come out of the bleak, dark mood. Anyway, I hope you continue your method of self care and am thrilled you are still around! Take your time. Xoxo Ann

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      (((Ann))) I am so sorry you have been having such a difficult time and that I wasn’t available. I am very glad that you took measures to take care of yourself. I am a big believer that medication is another tool in our toolbox and should be used if it helps. I have been taking an AD for a number of years (I am one of the lucky ones who found one that was effective with very little side effects and continues to be effective) and it has provided a base for me that has provided room to do the work of healing. I hope you can share more here if it helps, but know that you are treasured and valued here no matter how you are doing. Continue to take good care of yourself! xx AG

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  4. drgeraldstein
    October 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Don’t worry about responding to my comments. Just know I’m sending good thoughts your way.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Dr. Stein, your thoughtfulness in commenting is appreciated more than I can say. Thank you. ~ AG

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  5. happylou
    October 28, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way as you continue to work through heavy loads and challenges. I hope there are brighter days coming your way soon. In the meantime, be gentle with your lovely self.

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    • October 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      Happylou,
      Thank you for such a supportive message! It really helps to hear and be reminded of how to treat myself. xx AG

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  6. Robin
    October 30, 2014 at 10:40 am

    AG- Please, please remember that you have already done the world a tremendous favor just by writing what you already have. When my attachment issues started flaring, your articles were a huge resource for me to understand that it was ‘ok’ to feel like I do. So, even if you never wrote another word, what you have already done is already invaluable to so many.

    I know you can’t control what surfaces within. Just know that from the view on the outside, you are a remarkable and very brave person.

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    • October 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Robin,
      Thank you for such a generous reflection of how you see me. I am truly glad that my writing has been of help to you. Thanks for taking the time to say this. xx AG

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  7. happylou
    October 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Wow–well said, Robin! I too am so glad to have had this as a resource in navigating the therapeutic relationship. Kudos to AG!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ha
    November 5, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Hello all – I was happy to be feeling less attached to my therapist after a longer than usual break between sessions. I recently returned and now my feelings have returned waxed strong again! So frustrating! Has anyone else experienced this? I thought once I got past the love and attachment, that would be it, but I was wrong. Am I forever going to yearn for a relationship that cannot and should not be realized? When and how will it go away? I cannot imagine living this way–in love with my therapist, that is–for years on end. It is too tumultuous!

    Like

    • November 18, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      happylou,
      Sorry to be so long responding (I really need to create a macro for that phrase 🙂 ), been struggling a bit in my own work leaving not a lot of energy to spare. What you’re feeling sounds normal to me. When we have to step away for a time, we often unconsciously “devalue” the relationship to control the pain of separation. In a sense, we disavow the connection when we have no access to it. But when you’re therapist returns and you experience them again being present, then you can also be conscious of the strong feelings and longings. Like all else in therapy, there is a cyclical nature to these feelings. They come and go. I find each time I discuss them with BN, the pain would die down, only to return. But as you continue to feel more secure, it does become less tumultuous. The only time it gets really painful for me these days is when I am accessing really young memories (which is what is going on right now, so I am experiencing a lot of longing and pain and anger over the boundaries). But when I am firmly in the present, the attachment is a welcome, warm anchor and the boundaries are recognized as necessary. Just keep going and keep talking about how you’re feeling. It goes slower than we’ d like (that was the definition of an understatement!) but you do get there eventually. I am sorry though, I know this is deeply painful. xx AG

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      • Pop
        November 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        Sounds exactly what I’m going through right now AG, pain, anger, boundaries. All of this seems to be about boundaries in one way or another. I grew up thinking my parents were extremely strict. Turns out I had way too much control. Very very difficult to understand how I ended up in therapy when I had no ‘abuse’ in my past. The child that is never told ‘no’ has to use the same defences as the child who is always told ‘no’.
        If you’ve had no boundaries and been able to control or seduce or massively anger your parent, someone saying ‘no’ (as they should), enrages us and if we can control ‘other’ what will happen to them if we express normal healthy child/baby rage…we imagine we destroy them. According to Winnicott we find our aliveness through our rage, and our inability to control or destroy our objects. Until we do that we are a frightened mess of power – boundary less. In other words, if we can’t express rage we can’t develop object constancy or internalise the real ness of our therapist and therefore ourselves.

        All that intellectualisation aside, its a bloody awful place to be. Which is putting it mildly. Really, really mildly. Hugs to everyone. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • November 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

          Pop,
          Just wanted you to know that I was nodding, over and over , reading what you wrote. I also never learned to handle “no” but because I stopped asking to avoid getting hurt again. Whatever the cause, its an important developmental stage we eventually have to face.I thought I had dealt with that rage, but there seem to be signs lately that maybe not. I certainly agree with you that no matter how deeply we understand what is going on, there is no way around needing to actually fee it and it IS a bloody awful place to be. xx AG

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  9. happylou
    November 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Hi AG – Now I need to apologize to you for not responding sooner. I missed this post completely for some reason, but really do appreciate your time and thoughts. Sorry to hear you are feeling exhausted from your own tough work in therapy. I hope that has eased for you somewhat, or at least that the reward is worth the struggle.

    Your point that separation often pushes us to “devalue” the relationship was not something I had considered before. I try desperately to minimize his importance to me in an effort to numb the pain. Then, when I sit with him in session and he bears witness to my pain, validates me and fully accepts my flawed self (while I can never seem to do), I fall head over heels into the vicious cycle of attachment and longing once again. Thank you for reassuring me that there is hope for the tumult to end someday.

    Since my original post, we have had another session in which we were very candid with one another about our relationship. It was liberating, enlightening and simultaneously heartbreaking. I am so tremendously grateful that we are so connected and that he keeps me perfectly safe. Yet, it is heartbreaking to know that the relationship is finite and saying goodbye is inevitable.

    Amen to the the “going slower than we’d like it to”–I always remark to my T that I am sorry for moving through this soooo slowly. I am glad to know that I am not the only one. 🙂

    Like

    • November 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      happylou,
      “Liberating, enlightening and simultaneously heartbreaking” is a good summary. I think the liberating and enlightening comes from get our present needs mets and learning our own worth, while the heartbreaking comes from owning and mourning our losses, that become apparent because of the boundaries in therapy. The intersection of these very powerful forces is often where we live during our healing. So many feelings, and some of them directly contradictory. I often find it odd to simultaneously be incredibly grateful for what I have with BN while deeping mouring that which I did not have and now can never get. But having all of that understood is how we heal I think. Much more slowly than we’d like. 🙂

      Like

  10. Muff/Marree
    November 29, 2014 at 3:57 am

    You can only go forward now, and you will.

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