Yes, I am still alive!

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.

However, as is normal for me after long periods of prolonged stress, my immune system quietly folded up. 🙂 I had a cold through the first half of the vacation that by the time we got on the cruise, had become a case of bronchitis which in turn caused a flare up of asthma. And, rather embarrassing to relate, it turned out the emergency inhaler I had packed was empty. Not very useful. But it turns out that even going to the Doctor’s is better on a Disney cruise. They patched me up, gave me a number of medications, and the lovely head doctor, from Australia judging from his accent, even prescribed Tequila. I did my best to comply. 🙂 It was good enough to get me through and I really did enjoy the whole trip despite not always feeling 100% but by the time I got back, I REALLY needed to see my doctor.

I went into work Monday morning after we got back but ended up leaving early to go to the doctor’s. They prescribed another, longer run of antibiotics, lots more steroids and inhalers. Even with that I think it took the better part of almost two weeks to really start feeling better. In the meantime, the actual release date of the software has been dragging out. Our marketing department, which consisted of one woman, up and quit the week I got back, so all of her release work ended up split between several people, including me, so I have still been scrambling a bit at work, although only working a normal work week! And it’s a very long story but we’ve been getting new vehicles for both my husband and daughter, so there’s been a lot of juggling to get everyone to where they need to be. Not to mention two trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is turning my daughter into an anti-government libertarian. 😀 This is the first car that she has owned in her own name and her first real encounter with bureaucracy. She got the most offended by the fact that she has to pay them in order to fulfill the ridiculous and onerous requirements they laid on her. I am kind of torn between laughing and sympathizing.

So I have been walking around for the last couple of weeks thinking “just one more day and I’ll have time to blog.” Then we ran into Thanksgiving, not to mention we’re going out of town this weekend to visit old friends, so it dawned on me that waiting for the perfect moment isn’t really working. 🙂 So I’m putting up this update to let everyone know that I am fine and still here, and then I’m going to start working on my backlog of comments and correspondence. I have really appreciated everyone’s patience.

And I will certainly have more to say on the topics in the future, but I am doing really well. I “ended” therapy. I put it in quotes, because really I just didn’t set up another session so it’s an indefinite break. But I’m taking it because at some unidentifiable point in the last six months all of the struggle, pain and learning coalesced and I am doing so much better. My emotional regulation is really good for the first time in my life and I finally understand that I am worthwhile and deserve care, including self-care. (If I’m completely honest, I think part of the reason for the long hiatus is that for the first time, I’m giving myself permission to do what I want just because I want to, and not being driven by “should” or fear of being abandoned because I’m not behaving right. So I am overcompensating and leaning a little more on the selfish side right now. But I get I’m making up for lost time. 🙂 ) But the strongest sign is that I finally, truly feel secure in the relationship with BN. The obsessional quality is gone from our relationship, but not because I have pushed him away or tried to act as if the relationship is not important. I love him very much and he’s very important to me. I will always, always be unspeakably grateful for his help in my healing. (I told him at our last session two weeks ago that if he was a composer, I’d be his magnum opus! 🙂 ).

I had brought up taking a break before vacation and told him I was going to think about it while I was away. At our last session,  I told him I just feel ready to step away for a bit. Not sure how long, I’ll call if and when I need to. He was very comfortable about it. We spent the rest of the session talking about our work together. I started joking a bit, as I am prone to do when I’m feeling too emotional, and he very gently told me that it had been a long, hard road and it would be good to sit with it. He said a lot of very lovely things, although I think my favorite is that when I told him while I was very happy to feel healed enough to be ready to go, it was sad because I would miss him. He told me that he would miss me too.  😀 He’s never said that before and it was lovely to hear. Our goodbye, or more properly “see you later” was very warm and easy. I realized at some point during the session, and told BN, that what felt so different was that the decision was not driven by fear but rather a sense of fullness. I NEVER, EVER thought I would get here. I am so grateful that in the end all of that terrible pain and struggle was worth it.

There was a whole lot of work that went on over the past months that I haven’t had a chance to write about, so I’m hoping to get some posts up soon. (OK, soon in my universe, nor everyone else’s. 😀 It IS the holidays.) It’s good to be back!

  1. kelly
    December 3, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Good to hear from you, pleased you had a “break through” and taking time for yourself doing what you want! Gives me hope.


    • December 7, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Kelly! I feel like the proverbial tortoise. It’ took me 30 years but I finally crossed the finishing line. 🙂 And really if I can get there, I truly believe anyone can.


  2. December 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    So glad to hear that things are good in your universe!


    • December 8, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      ((Cat)) So good to hear from you, sorry to not have been around, it has sounded like you are doing very difficult work. There’s another side; I believe you are healing and there is peace ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Patti
    December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    So glad you are back. Especially glad you are well physically and emotionally. Isn’t it amazing how secure attachment works? Once you know you are securely attached it gives you the freedom to explore and learn on your own….to walk away for a while and live life. So encouraged to hear the joy in your writing! Have caught up with all your previous blogs and learned so, so much from you!! Can’t thank you enough for sharing your heart as you poured grace into mine 😊


    • December 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      That’s it exactly! I can go out to explore and learn and risk because I know there is safety and a haven at my back. Thank you for the kind words about my writing, I am so glad that you have found comfort in it. And know that I am not the source of the grace but an honored vessel through which it flows.


  4. MAC
    December 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Yay! Welcome back-ish. And yay for being more related and secure! Apropos of my comment before that I’d swear we’re the same person, I’ve also been improving in those fronts. I’m not ready to stop or even pause therapy, yet (so I guess we aren’t the same person after all 🙂 ), but I’m definitely finding my voice more. Yay for progress!


    • MAC
      December 3, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I meant “regulated”, not related. Stupid auto correct.


      • December 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Thanks so much! I am very glad to hear that you feel you are improving on these fronts. I truly think healing happens in very tiny increments and it isn’t until we’ve moved a bit that we see our progress. Those times are to be cherished! (And don’t worry about the auto-correct! I live in a glass house and have the advantage of being able to later edit anything I post. 😀 )


  5. December 4, 2015 at 12:11 am

    This is so funny because I read a post from your blog for the first time in months just yesterday, and then I got a notification about this new post.

    The reason I was back here is that I found out a few weeks ago that my therapist is quitting, so the last few weeks have been very difficult. So now the visits are focused on dealing with the loss, reflecting on the last two years, and figuring out how to move forward.

    It may end up being a blessing in disguise, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. We had sort of reached an impasse and therapy might have had to end with her anyways, but I love her dearly and I’m really scared about what I’m going to do. I have no leads as far as a new therapist, and I hope I can create some kind of support system to deal with the transition.

    Anyways, I’m glad you’ve reached a place where you could take a break. I had taken about five weeks off recently too and it helped a lot. Of course I found out two weeks later that she was quitting so the benefit was short lived.

    Good to hear from you again.


    • December 8, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      I am so sorry to hear that you are facing an ending not of your own choosing. I know how difficult those can be. Is your therapist able to help you out with any recommendations for someone else to work with? Please know that no matter how hard this is, there is still value in it. You will carry with you what you have learned the last two years and can even wring a lot of value out of facing a goodbye. But I know it’s painful and scary and I’m sorry for that. I hope someday you can look back on this as a blessing in disguise.

      Thanks for the welcome back, despite what you’re facing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 11, 2015 at 1:19 am

        Next Tuesday is my last session with her, and I’m honestly terrified. I’m thinking about asking someone to take me and pick me up. I never do anything like that. I mean, I’ve driven myself home from surgery before. It’s honestly a devastating loss. It seems I lose my most important relationship about every two years, so this is holding form in my life. I really have no idea what I’m going to do without her and it all seems like a bad dream.


        • December 14, 2015 at 10:07 pm

          Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to here. Tomorrow is your last session. I totally get why it’s scary. Goodbyes can feel so threatening as so many of our losses can be invoked. If at all possible, keep reminding yourself the fear is about the past. I hope you are able to focus on the connection and that you can both share about the relationship. As far as it is possible I hope it is a “good goodbye. Let us know how you get on. xx AG


          • December 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

            Thanks 🙂 I have reached out to a few people who I can call or text tomorrow, so that helps. I had a choir performance yesterday after I broke down practically sobbing. I felt God sustaining me through it and I have to trust that he will be with me tomorrow as well.


  6. December 4, 2015 at 7:58 am

    OH, This makes my day, and by gosh, my week! I am delighted with your good news. You have worked incredibly hard, made the gutsy decisions and weathered much more than your fair share of addditional challenges. Deliverance! It is so heartwarming to me that you have at longlast peace and comfort. This evidence, that hanging in w/therapy, digging deep and genuinely connecting CaN ultimately result in peace, hope and comfort-in a word, love. So deserved. So well-earned.
    Sharing in your victory and wishing you the very Best. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for providing this warmth, and all your efforts to assist us fellow sojourners.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you so much for your joy in my success, and the earlier message you sent, both are a real encouragement to me. Sometimes I think half the battle is knowing that you can actually heal. I know I rested in BN’s belief in my ability to heal for a long time until I could learn to believe it myself. I am grateful for any help you have found in my writing as I am only passing on that which I was given. xx AG


  7. December 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    So, THIS is what a healthy “good bye” or “see you later” looks like? My therapist has told me each time I’ve wanted to stop/bolt from therapy because I’ve felt too needy/dependent on her, that it’s important to work through the attachment so that I can get to the place where I can experience a “healthy goodbye” for once in my life.


    • December 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      I have seriously lost count of how many times I almost bolted or struggled with feeling like I had been there too long and needed to be gone. It actually struck me in the middle of our last session as we were discussing my decision to leave, that the decision was not made out of fear. A very rare thing in my life (one that I hope will continue to become more common). FWIW, this decision felt very natural, without all the angst and struggle of the other times I have either thought about leaving or left. Part of the healing was knowing I didn’t have to leave. Be gentle with yourself, you’ll know when its time.


  8. drgeraldstein
    December 6, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Brava! A Department of Motor Vehicles story: a few years back I had to take the written test required for renewal of my driver’s license. I was the first in line, having arrived about 8:30am, I think. The exam itself was not horribly long. When the clerk instructed me on how to complete the test, he said nothing about a time limit. “How long do I have,” I asked. “I leave at 5:00 pm,” was his straight-faced reply!


    • December 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Dr Stein,
      The funniest part of that was that it was a serious answer!! You know, everyone at the DMV was very helpful while they so calmly outlined the insane hoops we needed to jump through as if this was all perfectly reasonable! I think adulthood, and the realities of it, always come as a bit of a shock. 🙂


      • drgeraldstein
        December 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

        I hate to disabuse you, but it was clear from his expression that he meant it as a joke. The test didn’t take me more than 30 minutes. I think I said to him something like, “I imagine you’ve said this before!” But yes, the DMV is “murder.”


        • December 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm

          Actually I’m a bit relieved to hear it! 🙂

          On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, Tales of a Boundary Ninja wrote:



  9. Shy
    December 6, 2015 at 11:16 am

    So glad to read about your progress. Your struggles speak for countless others. Your hard work and new-found peace are a source of inspiration :))
    I hope you continue to post. You can’t imagine how much your words mean to a fellow traveler way behind in this journey.


    • December 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks so much, I am glad that my experience can provide hope. I so appreciate your kind words about my writing.


      • Shy
        December 29, 2015 at 11:09 am

        I was wondering…does therapy still work if you’re older? I’m nearing 60.

        Never told anyone about what happened to me. Now my child’s addiction and all my “stuff” has marbled together into a mass of anxiety and depression that’s hard to untangle. I never REALLY feel close to anyone except my animals. It’s been years and I’ve built a life (husband & family know nothing) but sometimes things happen & out of nowhere, I loose control. When that happens it appears as over-the-top rage or terror. I can’t recall the last time I slept through the night.

        I’ve become a master at portraying upbeat energy. In private, I regularly fight suicidal thoughts. Is there really a light at the end of the tunnel?


        • TaamT
          April 13, 2018 at 9:12 am

          Hi Shy,
          I saw that your post had not been replied to. Though it’s been 3 years you posted, I hope you see this reply just so you know you are not alone. I am in my 40s and just started going to therapy. Like you, I’ve kept stuff that happened to me private. After starting therapy, I decided to open up a little bit to some of my closest friends. As a result, I have people checking in on me every week and are ready to lend me an ear. As far as therapy, I don’t know what the journey will be like. But it does help to have SOMEBODY to talk to confidentially. That itself feels like having a safety valve on a pressure cooker. My kids are young. I found that I HAD to face my past to be able to deal with the stress of colicky and adhd babies and kids. I found that all of their childhood were triggers for me.


  10. Ann
    December 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    AG, What a joy to see your post. I would love to hear more about your family reunion and if your therapy helped you be open to renewing relationships. I am so pleased you enjoyed them. Certainly a lot has happened since your last post. When you have time I would love to hear how you have been able to handle your break in therapy. Do you feel you have been able to internalize some of the thinks BN has been reflecting back to you? Anyway, take all the time you need, but know you are missed. Also, of course BN misses you and I am sure often wonders how you are doing! Xoxo Ann


    • December 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      (((Ann))) I have missed you! There has been a lot going on and at some point I would like to write about some of it. I didn’t do a lot of writing through it, either here or journaling, so bits and pieces will probably float up at different times. Thanks for so many good questions there are some posts lurking in there. 🙂 So far, I seem to be handling the break pretty well. I did get one piece of good news which I emailed BN about and got a lovely reply back a few days later but that has been the only contact. I have definitely come to believe and internalize the things BN has reflected and I have also internalized my sense of him being available. So in a sense he is available whenever I need him. I have a solid foundation and a more solid sense of self. I do want to be clear that life still has it ups and downs and I still have some reactivity, but I am quicker to notice it and more able to process and dig down to figure out what is going on. And FWIW, I don’t feel completely “done” and am open to going back at some point if I feel like there is more work to do. But for now, it feels “right” to be on my own. Check back next week, it may have changed. 🙂 So good to hear from you, thank you for your support as always. xx AG


  11. December 6, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Wow. Wow. I am so happy to see that you are doing well. This is really very awesome. 😊


    • December 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks so much for being happy for me Alice, I have such a generous group of readers!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. GreenEyes
    December 7, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Glad the Australian doctors are providing leading edge medical advice in prescribing tequila 🙂 And wonderful to hear you feel “full” it gives me hope I might one day too. Hugs and love xxx


    • December 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      (((GE))) So good to hear from you, I hope you are doing well. He really was awesome! The best part was that he meant it. 😀 And have no doubt you’ll get there! hugs and love back, AG


  13. XXX
    December 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Bravo AG, and may God Bless You in this season of rebirth!!


    • December 9, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you so much and may the light that shone in the darkness light your path. I do feel truly blessed and grateful for the healing. xx AG


  14. Sally
    December 10, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’m so glad to read your post and that you have made so much progress. It gives hope to all who struggle to feel good enough to be loved because we are. I continue in my therapy and what you had said in your response to me previously is true. The attachment I feel for my therapist is a source of healing from the lack of love from my father. I know I am not ready to leave therapy yet but I know my day will come sooner rather than later and yes, I too love my therapist and am grateful to him beyond words. By God’s grace, I was led to seek his help to find the strength within me to say enough and end my abusive marriage. Please keep writing as you inspire those of us who are still working towards self-love and healing. My very best wishes to you and your family for a blessed holiday season.


    • December 14, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am very glad to hear that you are healing and are able to experience the relationship with your therapist as a source of strength and comfort. You should be very proud of ending your abusive marriage, it can take an incredible amoun of strength and courage to do that. My prayer for you would be that you continue to heal and grow and live life more fully. Don’t be in any hurry to leave, it can take as long as it takes (I really wish i had been more relaxed about it along the way! 🙂 ) Happy Holidays! xx AG


  15. Lu
    December 20, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Dear AG, so glad to see you back, and with such exciting news. You sound really good. Your “ending” is how I keep thinking mine should be, but that day never comes, and I end up feeling like I’ll never know when I’m done. I know everyone’s different, but what do you think? How long is too long in therapy? I just don’t know. I’ve written to you before about my own BN, who is great, but I just don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

    I’ve been at it years and years, and maybe it’s just a habit now. I haven’t had that feeling of, “Okay, I think I’m on my way now, and I’m comfortable leaving.” I feel more like, (1) I have no idea why I’ve been in therapy so long because I don’t have a history of trauma/abuse, (2) I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give myself whatever it is I missed in my development, but (3) maybe I’m just too comfortable and that’s why I can’t imagine how I’ll ever end it. Does any of that sound familiar? Maybe not.


  16. December 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks so much for the welcome back! I truly understand the feeling that the “ending” you long for is not coming and it feels like it never will and/or how will you know when it does? Please trust me that I struggled throughout all my work with BN with those feelings. I remember once telling him I was taking too long, and he responded that he had no idea what that meant. That it took as long as it took. I never thought I get here and was amazed in the end how quietly and clearly it happened. There was no major angst or anguish. It actually kind of snuck up on me.

    There’s a few things I want to push back against a bit. 🙂 You can’t give yourself what you missed in your development. We need a caregiver to complete development because we need to learn, often implicitly, by being in the presence of someone who has the skills we need to learn. I think part of being ready to leave, strongly resembles growing up. We leave when we’re ready to be on our own. Some people leave at a younger age than others, other leave, come back and leave again, some never go. Those are all viable options.

    As for being too comfortable, therapy is not exactly a comfortable activity Lu. 😀 Therapy is not for the faint of heart, it can be difficult and demanding. Fleeing from it is a lot easier than sticking with it.

    Last but not least, the lack of trauma/abuse in your background. I think I need to write a post about this. Neglect and a lack of attuned caregiver is where the real damage is done I think. It wasn’t the abuse that wounded me the most deeply, it was being left alone to deal with such overwhelming emotions. I think our attachment wounds tend to run much deeper than those caused by abuse (not that I want to minimize or dismiss the very real effects of abuse) but sometimes I think it is more difficult to heal from sins of omission because it’s even harder to believe we deserve healing. It will take as long as it takes, Lu, and however long it takes is fine.

    But (and I’m sure you know what is coming) the best thing to do is to talk about these feelings with your therapist. If you’re getting too comfortable or not growing, it’s your T’s job to push you a bit. But FWIW, you sound pretty normal to me. 🙂 xx AG


    • Lu
      December 24, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Dear AG,
      You know, I just love you. I could write more, but that’s the gist of it. Thank you, and Merry Christmas. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  17. muff
    December 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Hoy Hoy AG,

    watching your progress from afar 🙂 and sending genuine heart felt wishes your way for an ‘easy ride’ from here on in. Gawd knows you deserve it.


  18. muff
    December 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    This is soo0000o IT in a nutshell:

    “……The first time I ever let myself experience the really deep grief over loss in my childhood, of not being loved the way I had longed to be, I was totally shocked that the tsunami of feelings lasted only minutes. I looked at BN and told him I was shocked to find the other side of despair, that I had always felt as if letting these emotions in would mean being trapped in them forever. In one of the paradoxes so central to therapy, we cannot know that we can face these feelings until we allow ourselves to face them and experience that they do not destroy us. We have to trust the process.

    This would be hard enough if we only had to do it once, but we have to do it over and over until we do not need to do it anymore. I have gone back, time and time again, to talk to BN about the hurt, the anger, the rage, the sadness, the despair, you name it, that has been evoked by understanding my losses, by allowing them into my consciousness. I have screamed and cried and yelled at BN. I have threatened to throw things at him. I have been furious at his refusal to fight with me. I have been utterly amazed at his willingness to walk with me anywhere I needed to go, no matter how much pain I encountered. Through it all, he has stood still, a steady unchanging presence, open and accepting of all that I bring. Now I know that all of me is acceptable because he never changed toward me. And I know that I really do matter because he has paid attention to all of it.”

    I’m still at IT!


    • January 14, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Good to hear from you! (Sorry to be so long in responding!) Thanks for the well wishes! And I know it can be hard to still be at it! Sometimes I think it would be easier if we just knew how many more times we needed to move through the feelings. But I do trust that if you keep at it you will come out the other side! I hope it comes much sooner rather than later! xx AG


  19. December 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Just caught up with this post. How utterly joy filled it is. It’s made my day to read. I hope things are still going well. Xx


    • January 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Thanks so much! And things are still going well. I have been floundering a bit as I think stopping therapy has left me somewhat adrift. 😉 But I’m happy to say aside from missing BN here and there, I’m doing ok being on my own. And with my husband retiring there have been a lot of changes so I’m giving myself time to adjust. For now, it still feels like the right decision.


  20. zaracat
    December 31, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I am so glad that you have reached this point. I just wanted to thank you for the sharing your insights on your blog, which I have found immensely helpful. I’ve just finished reading it chronologically from the start (for various reasons, waaay too much time on my hands at present).

    I too have a tendency to want to, or actually, quit therapy right when I need it most because I am scared of being rejected – of needing, expressing that need, and then facing a refusal to meet that need. And when I am in therapy I pre-empt rejection by avoiding a whole raft of issues because I am scared that my therapist won’t think they’re important enough, or will think that my making my own connections and interpretations and then bringing them to him instead of it being something we’ve worked out together is presumptuous (because he’s the expert). I want him to know what I need without asking because if I don’t ask, he can’t refuse, and if he discerns my need without me having to spell it out then I’m the one with the power to accept or reject. Of course this is all merely holding up a mirror to what is going on in the rest of my life.

    I’m kind of jealous that BN seems to have been aware of these sort of things on your behalf, and why can’t my therapist be like that? But I’m an adult, so I know that what I need to do (and will do) is bite the bullet and have a discussion with my therapist about the fact that I am doing this, and why, and work out some better ways of tackling these things in therapy, such as being more explicit in expressing my needs.

    So again, thank you very, very much 🙂


    • January 14, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Welcome to my blog! Thank you for commenting and even more so for taking the time to read through the whole blog. It’s quite a bit to read. I am flattered you found it worth your time. I do want to reflect back to you that you sound very aware of your patterns and behaviors around your needs and feelings and willingness to expose them. I could have written most of what you said. I’m very sorry to confirm that biting the bullet and talking about it is the way to go! You’re right, i was very lucky (and blessed) that BN got this dynamic early on and so refused to play the game with me so I did not have to speak (rat bastard! Please trust me there were times when I would have gladly heaved something heavy at his head.) I know it’s terrifying to expose this stuff, our expectations of how we will be treated are so strong. Which is why it is so important to speak. The only thing that can change our knee jerk reactions are to have a different experience. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, this can be long, slow work where progress is one tiny step at a time. But, you’ve done the hardest part, which is to become conscious of your feelings around this. I wish you the best as you open up about this! ~ AG


  21. DpBluSee
    February 2, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Hi AG,

    It has been forever since I commented, but I have continued to read every word and comment on your blog because your writing is so authentic and inspiring.

    I have to say that after I first read this entry I was so overwhelmed that I wasn’t sure how to respond and words truly seem insufficient. What you have achieved in your therapeutic work is truly amazing. It is a testament to your bravery and endurance and strength. I can only begin to imagine the pain and suffering you have had to go through to get to where you are. I am so unbelievably thrilled for you that you have gotten to this place in your process and in your life.

    I say this because, as you know, I have been on my own therapeutic path for several years and it has been, by far, the most excruciatingly painful thing I have ever had to do in my life. I have often felt lost, like I would never get out of “the soup”. However, now I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and am beginning to perceive what life will look like after therapy which seemed impossible only a few months ago. I am still not quite as “detached” from my T as you, but I am getting there! I have definitely begun to internalize his presence, and I know my own self worth…. finally after more than two decades.

    I will end by just saying… Wow!… So awed and inspired and grateful to have been given a glimpse into your process. I want to applaud or give you a hug or something… whatever would be appropriate in this situation. It would be great if Hallmark made a “You made it through therapy!” card or something. I have often asked my T if I will get a diploma when I finally “graduate”. Anyway, consider this my “virtual” version of all of those things!



  22. Shy
    February 3, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I was wondering… First – I really like my T. but can’t seem to stop the overwhelming fear of seeing her. Every week it’s like meeting for the first time. This is ridiculous being that I’ve been seeing her for awhile. After the first 30 minutes my heart rate slows to a trot instead of the usual gallop. However when she brings up sensitive material, I freeze, get dizzy and find it difficult to breathe. For days after the session, I reflect on our conversation. In my head, I’m totally candid. I’m able to access my deepest feelings. Unfortunately that doesn’t last. By the next week It seems as if it was all a distant experience. I’m always overwhelmed at the thought of seeing her. As I drive to her office the following week my heart pounds & I’m sweating. I have no idea what to say. I always need to walk before entering the building. When she’s on vacation it’s as if I’ve never met her. Beginning again is excruciating. I know she gets this but I don’t understand why this happens. Have you experienced that? Shouldn’t this have abated after all this time? What’s wrong with me?

    Second – I feel more vulnerable after a session. I’ve labeled it my ‘therapy after-shock.’
    This week was really bad. We’re touching on some very difficult stuff. I forwarded something to my T. When she didn’t respond, I was convinced that I did something REALLY stupid. I was an idiot. I couldn’t cope and finally lightly cut. I regularly fight against the urge to get out of my skin. My T. knows this but no one else. Giving in was surprisingly freeing. It’s the only thing that calmed me down. After cutting, I could manage all the usual triggers and oddly enough, EVERYTHING was OK. All I have to do is think of the marks on my arms & I’m happy and calm. My T. did respond to my email this week, explaining it’s been a bit crazy busy. However now it doesn’t matter one way or the other. I’m good.
    No one knows about the cutting, not my T.,husband, family, or friends.
    I’m not a teen (far from it) and definitely know better. Although it sounds crazy, do you think this once-in-awhile coping mechanism is really that bad if it works? I’m not suicidal, have a responsible job and appear very normal.



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