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Archive for the ‘love’ Category

Encouragement for Those Who Are Weary

Greetings gentle readers,

I ran across an old song I haven’t heard in years that I wanted to share. I loved the song when it first came out in 1979 (for those of you born after that year, there is no need to point out how long ago that was, I was a senior in high school. Trust me, I know how long ago that was. 😀 ) but it speaks even more strongly to me today. It has been such a struggle to learn about how to handle the inevitable pain of life, in some other way than futilely attempting to avoid it. One of the best lessons taught to me by BN is that while pain is inevitable, the answer to pain is love. (See The relationship of love and pain and Love is the Answer for more detailed explanations of that truth). The love we find by connecting to other people, by sharing our burdens, by holding each other up. That is where we find the strength to face life challenges. Continue Reading

Retirement of a Therapist – Part II

March 20, 2015 20 comments

This is the second in a two-part series. For part I, see Retirement of a Therapist – Part I

When we left off, I had brought you to the point of finding out my therapist was retiring, my mixed reactions and my struggle to recognize that this was a major life event. I remember vividly at beginning of our next couples’ session, I very casually (VERY CASUALLY, who me? affected?) told BN that my therapist was retiring. He reacted very strongly and with a lot of concern, much the way someone would if you told them someone close to you was dying. I felt so pulled towards his reaction (maybe this was a major thing?) while simultaneously wanting to back away (don’t make me face how painful this is). Ambivalence about the loss and its magnitude was pretty much a constant throughout the process. To BN’s credit, he tried on a number of occasions to try to get me to open up about my feelings and I would minimize my feelings and change the subject. I’d NEVER get away with it now, but we didn’t know each other as well then. I think BN was still learning how hard he could push me at any given time and while I felt drawn to him, trust was still a distant gleam over the horizon. Continue Reading

One Among Many

Veryhopeful posted a question on the Psych Cafe forums and the more I thought about answering her, the more I realized it was an excellent topic for a post. So with her kind permission, I am repeating the question here, then attempting to answer it.

Veryhopeful said:

Does anyone find it strange that the T is so important to us but yet he has so many clients. How is it possible for them to really care or separate each persons “stuff”. I’ve asked him this because it really bothers me that I have one of “him” in my life and he has dozens of “me” in his life. We all want to feel important to them but are we really? It’s so personal for us but not for them; like they are just an illusion or some emotionless guide…But what bothers me about him is that he takes no break in between clients and I find that really odd.

Continue Reading

Nothing wrong all along

April 28, 2014 19 comments

Ann left a comment on my last post:

AG, if you don’t mind sharing, what exactly helped you recognize that BN was totally comfortable with your relationship with him?

Instead of answering in the comments, I thought I’d write a post about my last session instead. So my thanks to Ann for providing inspiration. 🙂

I know I have been speaking about my work with shame recently, but in some ways my work has always been about shame. BN and I have recognized a pattern, often discussed, since the beginning of my work with him. I was worried I had manipulated my way into working with him (which is actually pretty funny in retrospect as manipulating BN would take someone a lot smarter than me 🙂 ), that I had no right to be there, that I had been there too long, that I was too much and too demanding, that I was too dependent and too needy. I’m sure you’re catching a theme here. I found reason after reason why I shouldn’t be seeing BN. Continue Reading

Peeking out of the Cave

December 5, 2013 14 comments

Greetings Gentle Readers,

I have missed you all. This break has stretched longer than I anticipated. The situation that precipitated my hiatus is ongoing, but things are much more stable. Of course right about the time things got more stable, we hit the holidays. 😀 My husband is working a lot of overtime right now and some things are changing at my company that may require longer hours of me as well. I also have surgery for my carpal tunnel planned in January. So I am going to dip my toe back in here by sharing a few poems I found very moving. The first is an angry, passionate poem about rape which I found both very moving and very validating. The second link is Anis Mogjani’s Ted Talk, where he performs a number of his poems, all of which are both thought-provoking and life-affirming; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Due to the schedule complications mentioned above, I am not sure how regularly I will return to posting and would appreciate your continued patience with my response times (or lack thereof 🙂 ),  but I at least wanted to poke my head out of my cave and make it clear I was still here!

Man on the Bus

Poetry Collections: Anis Mojgani at TEDxAtlanta

Reliving the Shame

September 24, 2013 38 comments

I just had a deep insight into shame (which I suspect is going to sound D’oh when I say it) that I want to write down before I forget. I have been doing some rather intense work in therapy lately, which I will eventually talk about when I can find words. It has centered around my feelings about my body, my hatred of my body, the deep shame that I try to make about my body but which is actually about me, all of me (ironically enough since part of the work is accepting that my body IS part of me). 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