I am on a two-week break from BN (Almost done, I see him Friday). Our last session was spent discussing my recovering the existential free fall memory and was very helpful. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on what came up and what it was like for me. It was a calm session, but a very intimate one as we discussed my feelings. I also managed more eye contact then I’ve probably done in the last five years put together. 🙂 Amazing what you see when you look. BN and I both recognized what a landmark this was and how hard we worked to get there. We also spent some time discussing my pattern (often unconscious, BN is pointing this out to help me become conscious of it) of being worried about my behavior and how he feels about it. He sees it as an attempt on my part to mold myself to the other person’s expectations so I will not be abandoned. We have been working on me accepting that I cannot control another person and what they do or if they choose to stay or leave me. Awful realization knowing you cannot control that which you are desperate to control. My safety lies in knowing I can survive whatever happens, but more importantly can trust someone to stay even when I’m being myself and not focusing only on their needs. We had a good laugh near the end of the session when I confessed, a bit embarrassed that I was afraid I was making too much eye contact. 🙂 BN was quick to point out what I was doing. Continue Reading
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
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
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
This is the first in a two-part series. For part II, see Retirement of a Therapist – Part II.
Pinkmom76 left a comment on the Ask AG page because her therapist is retiring in four months and she wondered if I knew anyone who had faced that or had I? She also mentioned that she had been searching on the internet but had found very little on the topic. (Termination isn’t just an avoided topic by clients. 🙂 ) My first therapist retired after several bouts of therapy that spanned 22 years, so in response to Pinkmom’s question, I thought I would write about what it was like for my therapist to retire on the assumption that Pinkmom is not the only person out there who would like to hear about this. Continue Posting
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