“Misunderstood is a revelation of authentic personal growth. Allyson exposes her behaviors and thoughts with deep vulnerability, offering her processes for achieving acceptance and serenity. As a therapist and life coach, she not only presents skills and strategies but welcomes you to witness personal application to her thoughts and behaviors. Honest, humble, and truly human, Allyson lives what she teaches.”
~ JoAnn W. Payne, LCSW
“Allyson speaks to her readers from the most truthful place an author can write: unapologetic vulnerability. Sharing her personal growth throughout her life, admitting that she’s a work in progress (as we all are until we take our last breath), and practicing her own techniques before recommending them to her readers, are just a few ways she exemplifies honest commitment to the success of others. Misunderstood is well-written, informative, honest, and challenges the reader to put himself or herself under the microscope and try a different approach to being emotionally grounded and communicative. Complete with worksheets for practical implementation, this book will be highly beneficial to all who read it.”
~ Don Metcalf
“I have found Allyson to be wise, caring, thoughtful, and open-hearted. She has the ability to gently give me feedback that makes me stop and think in a whole new way, benefiting each and every relationship in my life. I found the experience led me to a whole new level. Wow – What a gift! My experience has been amazing! I found the program to be life-changing! What a wonderful journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, and developing life skills to become a better me. I was inspired and challenged!”
~ Tina Bernheimer
“Allyson has taught me how to love myself, along with believing in myself and my dreams. There honestly aren’t enough words to say how lucky I am to have her in my life as Coach, a Therapist, and honestly, a friend. All I can really say is she’s an amazing person. Thank you, Allyson, for all you have helped me with.”
~ Tim Ramey
“Allyson, and the work she does, has changed my life. I went from being very angry and blaming to taking responsibility for my life. The journey, at times, was hard and painful, but well worth it. The knowledge and tools I’ve learned are invaluable. I believe in the work Allyson is doing.”
~ Debbie Hellmann
“Is there any part of you that feels misunderstood? That is a question I vividly remember Allyson asking me during our first session together. Rarely did I feel seen, heard, or understood, which lead to a lot of unresolved anger, resentment, and disappointment. I had developed patterns of communicating and behaving that were ineffective. These same patterns began defining my life and relationships as an adult. With Allyson’s guidance and support, I’ve rid myself of my sharp exterior. My energy has completely shifted, and I am more open, honest, and authentic than I thought possible. I’ve learned how to self-reflect, practice self-awareness, and ultimately, better understand how my deepest needs drive the way I behave and make decisions. I give myself permission to feel without judgment and practice self-compassion when I make mistakes. Most importantly, I feel confident that I have the foundation and tools necessary to redirect myself, should I find myself off track. My life has been transformed by this work, and thanks to Allyson, I am a better daughter, aunt, sibling, friend, and human being because of it.”
~ Kelly Klein
“When I think of Allyson, the word unstoppable comes to mind. She has taken what life has thrown at her and turned those lessons into opportunities for growth— both for herself and those around her. You’ll find she has an uncanny way of getting to the root of the issue and speaking to the heart of the person. After a year of working with Allyson, I can feel a change in myself. I am developing confidence I knew was there but didn’t know how to bring to the surface. I also now have tools that I didn’t have before to help myself and my family. Watching Allyson grow has inspired me to step out and look for new and creative ways to develop.”
~ Brittany Czirr
For the person you are and all that you’ll become. You are the reason for much of my work and the inspiration of my life lessons and learning. You are a gift, and I am forever grateful for the chance to be your mom. I hope to make you proud and show you all the things I didn’t know before, so you show up strong, true, and fully believing in your amazing self!
To My Younger Self
This is for the person you tried to be, the wars you fought, and the lessons you endured. I see the effort you put into people, relationships, and life in general. Thank you for that scrappy, feisty little spirit you’ve always had; I know how hard you tried. I honor and celebrate every misguided effort you put forth. You carried the load for a long time, and I assure you, I’ve got it now. You can rest easy, and I’ll take it from here.
Thank you to the women in my family who came before me. Lifelong legacies are being laid to rest in this work. I thank you for the road you traveled and the teachings you offered me. We come from a long line of good hearts, few resources, and trying too damn hard. This is the permission I wish you had been granted long ago. The world deserves our best-boundaried selves!
Thank you to Cindy, for always having a listening ear, a proud spirit, and the right words to say. You’ve walked with me on this long and winding path, never leaving my side. You’ve gone above and beyond and deserve a gold medal in the friendship category!
A huge thank you to Mike for supporting me in every facet imaginable. You are my biggest cheerleader, my greatest supporter, and strongest sounding board. You helped me to believe in myself and to know this work was truly possible. You have been a powerful test ground and launching pad for my own S.O.S. work.
To everyone who has contributed to the depths of this work. I may not have seen it at the time, nor understood, how much I needed your contribution, but wow, thank you! Thank you for what you’ve taught me and the ways you’ve offered tough learning and good practice. Sorry for the damage I may have done in the process. No one said I was an easy learner!
When I share any of my own struggles and defects with my clients, the question I always hear is a shocked “You?” “Yes, me.” is my strong affirmative answer. Despite the letters behind my name, the degrees that hang on the wall, the years of experience, and the power of a tenacious, determined heart, yes, the struggle is incredibly real. I most definitely have not been immune to the childhood conditioning of being good.
Of course, I’ve grappled with life and had only the tools, insight, and resources of the imperfect generations before me. I wasn’t born with a manual or a script to follow. Though perhaps a master at managing and offering insight about your pain behind closed doors, I couldn’t seem to guide nor direct my way through my own personal pain.
Misunderstood is my personal contribution, an offering for all those wishing there is a life manual to guide, direct, and inspire. May you find the hope, encouragement, and inspiration in this personal script.
“When you choose to forgive the same people over and over again you do so because you don’t want to believe your time loving them was wasted. Bad relationships, over time, can become investments that are hard to let go of. The key to freedom is to realize that love is never wasted. The only thing wasted in life is the time you spend focusing on an unhappy situation that will never change to fit your needs, and not realizing
the true investment of time and love are the lessons God wanted you to learn.”
~ Shannon L. Alder
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
~ William Shakespeare
What if I told you, you are your ultimate problem and brightest solution in every way? What if every blurry-eyed morning, the issue and the answer are in the mirror staring right back at you? What if I told you that you hold the power to create your very best life, and the process can begin right now?
So, I’ll ask you:
|Are you unhappy?||Yes||No|
|Do you feel mistreated?||Yes||No|
|Do you tend to work really hard in relationships?||Yes||No|
|Are you exhausted? Depleted?||Yes||No|
|Do you feel unappreciated?||Yes||No|
|Are you overwhelmed?||Yes||No|
|Are you unhealthy?||Yes||No|
|Are you wandering around broke?||Yes||No|
|Are you in relationships in which you are disrespected?||Yes||No|
|Are you over-worked? Underpaid?||Yes||No|
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, we need to talk. If you recognize these feelings or find yourself in a chronic state of any of them, it’s time to ask yourself, what is it that I’m allowing?
According to Dictionary.com, the word allow means:
- to give permission to or for; permit: to allow a student to be absent; No swimming
- to let have; give as one’s share; grant as one’s right: to allow a person $100 for
- to permit by neglect, oversight, or the like: to allow a door to remain open.
- to admit; acknowledge; concede: to allow a claim.
- to take into consideration, as by adding or subtracting; set apart: to allow an hour for changing trains.
- to permit something to happen or to exist; admit
The hard truth is, none of these conditions can exist for long periods of time without your permission. If you are in situations or relationships in which negative feelings are your result, there is something happening that you are co-signing, something that you’re allowing. These long-term states don’t happen by accident; they require your compliance.
Welcome to Misunderstood, a journey inward in which you will look at what you are allowing in your life. This book is the manual I wish the generations before me and I had been born with. It is the offering of wisdom, insight, and tools to help you take full responsibility for your life. Misunderstood is an inner journey of self-discovery, honesty, and personal accountability to shine light into the deepest corners of your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, needs, habits, and patterns. We will explore the ways you’ve been misinformed, confused, selling yourself out, settling, working too hard, and working against yourself. Then, you’ll be offered the tools, script, and resources to choose differently.
This journey is not one for the faint of heart. Awareness can be a double-edged sword. In fact, some have cautioned that this work should come with a warning label because once you venture in, you can’t unlearn or unseen all you discover. Acceptance is part of wisdom, the journey. It’s about understanding that you don’t always get what you want in life, but as Mick Jagger so wisely offers, “If you try sometimes, you’ll find you get what you need.”
Her dreams she can’t find.
She’s losing her mind.
She’s falling behind.
She can’t find her place.
She’s losing her faith.
She’s falling from grace.
She’s all over the place….”
~ Avril Lavigne
I lost my shit over a banana. Yup, it was a banana that brought me to the brink of insanity. The headlines read, ‘Woman Flies Into A Rage Over The Last Banana.’ At least that’s how the headline scrolled through my mind.
I was losing my grip and the ground beneath me seemed to be crumbling. My head was scrambled, as though someone had stuck it in a blender and pressed the highest pulse setting. My heart pounded with formidable betrayal from that woman… yes, that woman eating the last banana that once hung on the wrought iron fruit tree atop the white marble counter. Who would have guessed I could come to the brink and feel capable of grave physical harm over a banana?
It was the summer of 2013, while on a girls’ trip in Panama City, Florida when my world began to unravel. Just like every other trip we ventured on, I spent most of my time, painstakingly planning and managing our activities and menu. Each of us had our own ideas of fun and adventure, so planning wasn’t easy, as it felt important to be sure everyone was happy, content, and well-cared for. Limited to one car, and yet recognizing the different excursions each person desired, the pressure was on to accommodate and please everyone.
Nearing the end of the trip, I was conscious of the limited amount of food that was left and all of the activities that hadn’t yet unfolded. So, with my mind occupied and energy consumed with the needs of others, imagine my surprise when one of the weekend travelers stumbled out of bed after 10:00 am and grabbed the last banana, without giving a single thought to anyone else in the house.
The walls seemed to cave and the roof shook as she caught the death grip of my eyeballs. Wandering out of the room, she shrugged and said, “What? I’m hungry!”
Oh, hell no… What the hell was happening? Why was I murderously rageful over a banana?