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Existential Freefall – Part II

April 22, 2015 60 comments

This is the second part of a two part series, for part I, see Existential Freefall – Part I

So in my last post, I explained the background and issues I was taking into my session last Friday (and then evidently, left people hanging off a cliff. 😀 ). So here’s the rest of the story. Continue Reading

Existential Freefall – Part I

April 20, 2015 18 comments

I was going to name this post “Existential Freefall or What I’ve Been Trying to Remember for 20 years (Well, 50 Really)” but that seemed a bit unwieldy, even for me, so I went with the shorter version. 🙂 I had a major breakthrough in my session last Friday, so much so I think I will be processing it for quite a while. I was finally able to remember something that I have been trying to bring into consciousness for over twenty years. Now that I’ve remembered it, I get why it took me so long. I’m going to try and explain both the memory and my process of getting there, but think I want to say up front that this memory is from such a young age, that it’s really about remembering the feelings at a time when I didn’t have the cognitive abilities to describe what I was feeling. Not to mention that trauma can send anyone of any age back to a per-verbal state. So anything I say is in essence a translation from my child self to my adult self. Words feel inadequate to describe the intensity of the feelings. And the feelings are continuing to unfold, I have been feeling sadness, and relief, and grief, and joy, and gratitude, (so much gratitude!) and weariness … you name it, it seems to be rolling through my system. But the key word here is “through.” I’m alive, all of these feelings mean I’m alive. I’ll take it. Continue Reading

Wanted, not needed, to go

Greetings dear readers,
First I want to say thank you to all of you who commented and read my last post (Therapy isn’t enough Redux) and all the support you offered. There was a lot of very wise insight offered, along with a lot of love and compassion, that helped me get through a very difficult passage. It was through reading all of your comments that I was able to go through the process of understanding my feelings and what was going on and through your support that I found the strength.

I had actually talked on the phone with a good friend of mine who had gently asked how I was feeling about my previous session? She has known me a long time and witnessed my many creative attempts to flee from BN, right after I had allowed myself to move closer and the intimacy to grow deeper. She pointed out that I had felt very close to BN and deeply cared for and in that past, that usually scared me. Evidently that dynamic is still alive and kickin’ and predictable. 🙂 Continue Reading

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

The Repair Part I

August 16, 2013 12 comments

I am back with the promised account of my last session. This post is the first of two (it got REALLY long). It was a very long, very intense session, so I’ll do my best to describe what happened. As in the last session that I described in Disruption and Rage, there are exchanges that stand out, but sometimes the order in which they occurred can get a bit fuzzy. And honestly, it feels like there is no way to convey just how powerful and intense this session was. As BN said later in the session, we were in right brain territory and it is in that place that words often fail. I do want to say up front that I experienced that my relationship with BN is very real, involves deep care on his part, I even dare say love, and some of my anger and all of my fears were based on my past. Even in the midst of being angry with BN, I am immeasurably grateful for him and his (sometimes appreciated, many times hated) boundaries.

I also want to confess that this feels scary to post. I am uncomfortable (such a weak, inadequate word) with my anger, so to allow others to see me at my most angry can feel like everyone is going to be deeply disappointed in me. But I thinks its an important part of owning this part of me to speak of this here. Sorry for all the bad language; to quote BN “you do like to cuss.” Especially when I am angry. 🙂 Continue Reading