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Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Category

Deprivation in Therapy

March 10, 2014 22 comments

Dr. Jeffrey Smith has hit another one out of the park on his blog Moments of Change. He recently put up an excellent post that discusses what a therapist does and does not provide for a client in therapy and how you deal with the pain of the deprivations and why deprivation is sometimes necessary. This has been a big theme in my healing and I think he does an excellent job explaining what is a very complex issue. If you have ever struggled with what you cannot have from your therapist (Lord knows, I have!) go read this article: Healing a Damaged Self.

My Core of Shame

Greetings gentle readers,

I have been doing very intense work lately in therapy, mainly centered around shame. A deep, excoriating shame provoked when I go anywhere near talking about my body or my weight. In the midst of attempting to engage with the shame (which has been a slow, disjointed process because I just DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE), a situation occurred in my life that has triggered a massive amount of shame to be kicked up. One of those “coincidences” in therapy that neither BN or I believe in. Continue Reading

Instructions for a Bad Day

January 9, 2014 2 comments

Having a bad day? Watch this. Come to think of it, watch it even if you’re not having a bad day. So much truth in it that we all need to work to hang on to; I know I had to work very hard to learn a lot of this and a reminder is always, always good.  I hope this speaks to you, and you can take in these truths. The second link is a video that displays the words.

Instructions for a bad day

Instructions For A Bad Day – Shane Koyczan Poem – Lyrics On Screen

Everyone Has Closets

December 10, 2013 28 comments

I just finished watching Ash Beckham’s talk at TEDx and had to share it. I thought this was a wonderful, impassioned plea to treat both ourselves and others with compassion and empathy. I really appreciated how open and honest she was about all of her feelings and thoughts, and in a very self-deprecating manner. Even if you think this isn’t your cup of tea, please trust me and take a sip. You will not regret the time you spend.

A 4-Year-Old Girl Asked A Lesbian If She’s A Boy. She Responded The Awesomest Way Possible.

Coping with Grief and Abandonment Part II

September 12, 2013 26 comments

This is the second post in a two-part series on Grief and Abandonment, see Coping with Grief and Abandonment Part I.

I’m sure it will not surprise any regular reader of this blog to realize that BN was a huge part of how I coped, even between appointments. BN has a very generous contact policy, I am allowed to call him 24/7 including when he is on vacation. If I leave an emergency message with his service, he calls back within an hour. If he is on vacation and doesn’t answer the service in a certain amount f time, his backup (a wonderful, warm, empathic man) calls back, but always offers to have BN also call; it’s just a longer wait than usual. (I have higher standards for contacting him when he is on vacation but have done it. Earliest I have ever called is 8 AM and the latest is 10:30 PM although BN has made it clear that 2 in the morning is ok if I need). We very rarely do any processing during phone calls but when the grief threatened to overwhelm me, or the fears that BN would also abandon me, would rise up, then  a short phone call would help to ground and reconnect me. Most of mine are under three minutes and it’s not unusual to keep it under one minute. BN once referred to my “patented one minute phone calls” when I was worried about calling too much. 🙂 Often it wasn’t what he said but just the sound of his voice and experiencing that he was there that would do the trick. Continue Reading

Coping with Grief and Abandonment Part I

September 10, 2013 19 comments

GE asked the question below on the Ask AG page:

im wondering if you are wiling to share some of the strategies you used to cope with grief and abandonment feelings when things got rough during your recovery.

As I said in reply over there, this is an excellent question. Since I see grieving our losses as being at the heart of our healing, we should probably learn how to grieve, right? I have been grieving, one way or another, for a large part of my time in therapy, so this might turn out to be a bit of a laundry list, but I am hoping that everyone might find something that they can use in their own journey. Continue Reading

The Repair Part II

August 18, 2013 19 comments

This is the second part of a two-part series, for the first part see The Repair Part I.

I ended the last post having just done a bang up job of expressing my anger at BN. I told him that it had felt good to just let rip with that, but it also felt very wrong. He told me that it was really ok I was angry at him, that my anger was real and it was safe to express it, that it was important for me to learn that being angry didn’t mean that I couldn’t appreciate and value the relationship nor would I destroy it. When he said that I became conscious of a very deep fear. I sucked in some air and told BN that I needed to ask him something. Would he be able to hang onto that for me? He asked me what I wanted him to hang on to. I told him I needed him to remember that all of the gratitude and respect I had expressed for him weren’t gone even though I was so angry. In one of the most powerful moments in the session (which is saying a lot, trust me), he looked straight at me and said “AG, it never even crossed my mind to think that. “ Cue waterfalls. I seriously started sobbing in relief. I told him I had been so scared that I had lost him. He told me that I could not lose him, he was right there.

Continue Reading

Disruption and Rage Part II

August 9, 2013 30 comments

TW*** CSA, rage and really bad language

For the first part, see Disruption and Rage Part I.

NOTE: I have really appreciated everyone reading and all the supportive comments. I am planning on replying but putting this out there has evoked an enormous amount of shame about my neediness so it may take me a bit. Truly sorry, I am at a loss as to where all the intensity is coming from.

I really dreaded going to the session. As I told a friend, the memory of giving him the heart box was a very special one; one that I returned to in times of stress. I was terrified it would be destroyed and I would lose something very precious to me; a dynamic that echoed the abuse by my father that we had discussed many times. At this point, that dread is feeling like it was a foreshadowing. It’s taken me so long to actually write about, that the session is a bit blurry. It wasn’t all that clear to begin with since I was pretty activated throughout. There were times when BN was speaking to me that what was rising up internally all but drowned him out. So I have these powerful vignettes that stand out but am not sure I have them in the right order, so forgive me if this seems a bit confusing. On the other hand, if it is confusing, it’s doing a good job of conveying my internal states. Continue Reading

Some Handy Links

August 2, 2013 23 comments

Greetings all, just a quick post to provide some useful information. 🙂 I am working on a post to talk about how I am actually doing but its slow going. Promise I’ll get there eventually. But in the meantime, I have a couple of useful things to share. Continue Reading

What’s a therapist to do?

Alex asked the question below over on the Ask AG page and I am going to offer my take on it.

I am wondering if you have any insight on a psychotherapist’s role when a patient is demonstrating persistent, self-destructive behaviors? I’m referring to damaging, non-suicidal behaviors that artificially regulate emotions– such as self-injury, eating disordered behaviors (restricting, purging, etc.), reckless impulsivity, or drug/alcohol abuse (though this last one might be slightly different, I guess, since it compromises your mental capacity more extremely).

This is a really excellent question and in some ways goes to the heart of what therapy is about. I do want to be upfront though in that I am still working through my own behaviors with food so I approach this topic with fear and trembling. I would recommend approaching this post with some skepticism, dear readers, as I may be speaking out of the wrong orifice. 🙂 Continue Reading