Archive

Archive for the ‘trauma’ Category

Book Review: How We Heal and Grow

October 27, 2014 18 comments

I have been following Dr. Jeffery Smith’s blog, Moments of Change for some time now and was very honored when he asked to send me a pre-publication copy of his new book, How We Heal and Grow: The Power of Facing Your Feelings for review. I have long been a fan of his lucid, clear writing and his gift for so clearly explaining the often mysterious and elusive interplay of therapy. This book has proved to be no exception to that rule.

If you read only one book about healing this year, or even this decade, let it be How We Heal and Grow. The book is well written and easy to read, with clear prose and carefully delineated arguments. 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

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