Bubble Wrap


And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

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