Archive for March, 2018

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

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Apple Cider Vinegar

March 27, 2018

For the win!

Who the fuck knew?

I didn’t.

I had no clue.

But.

I was up for trying anything and so last night after doing some more internet research on foods to not eat, I thought, hmm, what about foods I should eat.

And there it was.

A huge amount of information about things that are helpful, including, apple cider vinegar.

Having tried all sorts of over the counter meds and this prescription that I’ve been taking now for over three months, I thought, why not try it.

It was a fucking Christmas miracle.

I cannot even begin to describe the intense relief I got almost immediately.

Relief which lasted through the night, giving me one of the better nights of sleep I’ve had in weeks.

Although it wasn’t long enough, I had to be up early for supervision before work, it was restful and I didn’t lie there in agony trying to fall asleep.

I mean.

Sure.

My brain kept me busy for a while with travel plans and graduation plans and things that need to be done, but I wasn’t in pain.

Just marveling at that it took a minute or two to drift off.

But.

Oh.

When I did.

It was such nice, deep, restful sleep.

Hopefully I will have another night like that.

Especially as I just had some more of the apple cider vinegar.

The reflux began to kick in at the end of my first client and was in full riot gear by the time I was finished with my second client.

I chewed sugar-free bubble gum on the way home to take the bite off it, but I felt pretty sore and tired and a bit head achy from it.

The reflux simmered down immediately upon taking the vinegar.

I still have a touch of a headache, but I’m hoping that too shall pass.

Especially since I have had some dinner.

I notice the reflux too when I don’t have much food in my stomach.

Which is apparently the opposite of what usually happens, most folks get it on an over full stomach.

My stomach is not really full.

I usually eat dinner after I get home from my clients, which makes dinner fairly late, tonight is was around 9p.m.

You could say I’m practicing for being in Paris, where dinner is often quite late.

My friend messaged me this morning as I was getting ready to go to supervision about my trip over.

She relayed to me that she will have more time than she originally thought she would, although it does look like the family will be gone for a weekend to Hungary for a wedding.

“You could come, or you can stay in Paris.”

I opted for stay in Paris.

I’m not sure of the exact dates for their trip, but if it’s a weekend thing that would be the 20-22nd.

I think.

Which is fine.

I have plenty of experience being on my own in Paris.

I’ll have their home to be my base and I can spend time wandering around.

I’ll do much walking in the Marais, I am very sure of that, since that’s where they live, on Rue de Temple.

It’s nice to think about travel plans.

It’s nice to think about graduation plans.

Those will come first, since that’s the order of things.

Graduate.

New York.

Paris.

Start PhD program.

I feel like I am actually going to have a real summer vacation.

New York at the end of June and Paris in mid-July.

I am going to get to experience some warm weather, some sun dresses, some sandals, hair up off my neck, bare skin, warm nights.

Sigh.

I love summertime weather.

And I don’t get that much of it out here in the Outer Sunset.

It does happen though.

And when it does one fervently, or I should just say I, hope that no one in the other parts of the city know that it’s nice at the beach.

I have a friend who lives in the Mission and will literally text me to ask how the weather is out at the beach.

Just because it’s sunny in the Mission does not mean sunny in the Sunset.

But when it is, wow, it’s spectacular.

My life feels pretty spectacular when I take a step back, even now, even with the constant reflux stuff happening.

I’m soldiering through it and learning to do even more self-care.

God.

I am just constantly learning.

There is no end to it.

I am also.

Speaking of learning.

Thinking about starting a new blog.

Yes.

I did say that.

I happened to be thinking about it last night, amongst a few other tantalizing things in regards to my upcoming travel, about starting a blog specifically for my clients.

A way of giving back some of what I learn and practice.

Part of our Integrative Seminar at school is to have website, it’s an option instead of doing the 30 page paper, blogs were noted as a great tool to connect to clients.

And.

Well.

I like to blog.

I would have to tailor it to fit a different audience.

But I think I would like to try to since it won’t be so much about my own personal, daily process, and since it will be aimed out towards the public, I think I will go live with it on social media.

I’m staying the fuck off of Twitter.

Fuck you Twitter.

I’m not really out there with my politics, but fuck you, I won’t ever use your platform again.

Anyway.

Not that facecrack is much better, but I can put it out there and see if there’s a decent response or feedback as well as hooking to my Instagram.

I may also start a second Instagram account that is client focused and centered, rather than on me and my selfies.

Thoughts.

Things to explore.

And grateful to get to explore them with a modicum of relief from the reflux.

Go apple cider vinegar go!

The Last Roast Chicken

March 26, 2018

I thought to myself as I smothered it in salt and dusted it faintly with pepper, popping it into the hot oven to roast.

Sigh.

Now.

It may not be the last roast chicken ever, ever, ever.

But.

I am cutting out things that may be influencing the acid reflux I’m having and it’s been amply noted that fatty things are hard to break down.

Chicken, lean chicken, is not a bad thing.

It’s more that I roast the chicken and I eat the skin too.

It’s so good.

But.

It’s been mentioned to me that I could and should avoid that.

I had a chicken in the refrigerator though so, well, fuck, I roasted it up.

But I took the extra medication for the reflux and I ate it with brown rice and I had a banana for dessert.

Banana’s are supposed to help.

As too, oatmeal.

Greens, broccoli, fresh veggies, proteins that are low on fat.

I figure there are going to be a few more salads in my future.

And instead of roasting a whole chicken, I’ll get skinless chicken breasts, or ground turkey meat.

Stuff that has little fat content.

I had an amazing dish at China Live recently that consisted of butter lettuce leaves and ground chicken, like lettuce tacos, it was really good and I thought, that can be a dish I replicate.

I can make it very tummy friendly.

I can make a lot of things tummy friendly.

I can also eliminate a few other things that I found out may cause reflux.

Iron supplements.

What?

I have been taking iron supplements for years, like not even blinking an eye at it, I was diagnosed with severe anemia about seven, eight years ago, and started taking it then.

But I have noticed that when I take the iron, the flax supplement and the reflux med, something is getting triggered.

So.

Tomorrow.

I think I will skip the iron supplement in the morning.

I haven’t totally cut out coffee yet, but I have significantly cut back and I’m not drinking anything at all besides the double unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte I have with my breakfast.

I just don’t know that I can totally cut that out.

If I have to I will.

But today.

Well I had the coffee.

I didn’t go to yoga, I wasn’t feeling super well and I did not want to repeat yesterday’s experience.

I did however, get a lot of stuff done today.

Not everything.

But a surprising amount.

I finished all my reading or the next weekend of classes.

I did some work on my research paper and made a list of books that I need to check out from the library at school for the paper I’m working on.

I started writing up my case study too, I’ll be presenting a client to my Integrative Seminar this next weekend of classes.

I’m the first to go and I plan on setting a high bar.

I am actually rather excited to share the case, I have done a lot of work with the client and there’s been some prodigious change.

Therapy works y’all!

Yeah, so, lots of work on that, which is good, I have to write-up an 8-10 page paper next Sunday, so I was super glad to get this part done and also to have gotten all the reading done.

That feels really good.

It means I won’t have to carry my research methods text books around all week and try to squeeze in readings here and there.

I like that.

This week will be busy and full enough as it is.

I have supervision tomorrow, work, two clients.

Therapy on Tuesday before work, work, two clients.

Wednesday.

Oh yeah.

Wednesday.

I interview for the PhD program I applied to.

Oh.

My.

God.

What the fuck am I going to wear?

I hadn’t even thought about that.

Yikes.

I’m sure I’ll find something just fine.

I am excited.

Nervous, yes, a little, but I feel like I’m going to show up and I am going to be articulate and I am going to be myself and I have a great academic record, 4.0 as a Master’s student in one of the school’s own programs, great letters of recommendation, drive, intelligence, humor, and hopefully a tiny dash of modesty.

I don’t want to be too full of myself.

But.

I will do a good job in the program and I will do the work.

I am really good at showing up and doing the work.

I did that a lot today too.

I showed up for one of the women I do work with, we met and read for an hour, I showed up to meet my person at a Thai place in the Castro and did the deal there, then I covered my Sunday night commitment and connected with my fellowship, and that was lovely.

And it was work.

But the best kind of work.

Work in service to others.

Work that amazes me, shows me how to be a better person, encourages my growth, work that shows me how to let myself love and be loved, oh, it’s hard, still!

It is hard still.

To let myself be loved.

Heck.

I even asked for help tonight and was met with such a resoundingly sweet yes to my ask, I was a bit abashed at how clumsy I was when I made the request, that I was just bowled over with the response.

Fuck.

I am so grateful I asked!

I love my people.

I am so lucky to have the people in my life I do.

So very lucky.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Graced.

 

How’s Your Poo Poo?

March 24, 2018

What the fuck did you just ask me?

Did you ask my how my “poo poo” was?

Did you really?

I’m a 45-year-old woman.

Jesus fuck.

Of course, you did, dear doctor, yes, I had a doctor ask me that, you also referred to your receptionist as your “office girl.”

God damn man.

Get with the fucking century.

I was not happy with my experience today, but I am happy to have gone, despite my trepidations, despite my annoyance at the parking in Chinatown, despite having to go to a fucking doctor in some weird old building in Chinatown, despite the bathroom looking worse than a JC Decaux public bathroom on Market Street, why was there a nest of toilet paper in front of the toilet?  Why? In the women’s bathroom, I had asked for the code after my appointment and I couldn’t even bring myself to use the loo.

This coming from a woman who has gone to Burning Man 11 years in a row and used many port-a-potties.

I just was over it.

Over the entire fucking thing.

Over having a PPO for my health insurance.

Over it.

As my best friend said to me earlier, look at it like an adventure, look at it like an experience.

An adventure I never want to do again, nor an experience I want to have either.

I am also looking at it from the vantage point of now I know.

Now I know how much I liked having Kaiser and now I’m willing to get it back as my insurance.  I just can’t handle many more third world microwave on top of the file boxes, 11 people in the waiting room to be seen by one doctor, with only four chairs to sit on, a doctor who infantilized what was happening in my body and the not so hygienic conditions of the entire space.

I just don’t want to have that experience ever fucking again.

Unfortunately I do have to go in for an endoscopy.

Fortunately it is not to be had at that office.

It will be at the Golden Gate Endoscopy Center.

Which will make four, no, five!

Five different places I have had to go to, all across the city from Ocean Avenue, to Noriega and 26th, to Irving and 22nd, to Pacific and Grand, to this place on Geary.

Five fucking different places to have this issue looked at.

Over a huge span of time.

It has taken months to get this far.

I am so very over it.

I’m pretty much done.

And have the god damn reflux so bad right now.

Ugh.

I still haven’t gotten the lab results back.

I’m still hoping that it’s an infection and that I can treat it with antibiotics.

If that’s the case, then no endoscopy.

I’ll cancel the damn thing.

It’s also such a nuisance, I’ll have to be at the facility at 7 a.m.

And I’ll have to have fasted and not drank any water after midnight the night before.

Which isn’t so bad I suppose.

What’s annoying is that I have to be released to someone because I will be put under for the procedure.

It’s not a heavy sedation, but it is sedation and I apparently need to be released to a friend or family member.

Yeah, no family members around this neck of the woods.

I got a little stressed trying to think of who I was going to ask who could come at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday and grab me.

My friends are all fucking working.

Not an ask I want to make.

However.

The mom at my job offered!

I was shocked.

I was so surprised.

Grandma happens to be visiting that week and she said she could come and get me and I was just so moved by her offer.

And she really meant it, she really wants to help.

And although I’m a little loathe to ask my employer to do me this favor, so far the one other person I’ve checked in with wasn’t available.

I have a few other folks I’ll ask, but it looks like I may very well be asking my boss to pick me up.

I work for some really kind people.

As kind as they are, though, I was happy to leave today, I was tired, it was a long week, it was an emotional rollercoaster with the doctor I had a feeling it was going to be unpleasant and yup, it was.

I’m glad it’s done and hopefully this will all be resolved soon.

Fingers crossed.

And in the meantime.

Well.

It’s time.

Time to research and find better insurance.

Time to take care of my health in a way that better suits my needs.

I need, very much so, to never have that experience again.

No fucking thank you.

A Little Rest

March 23, 2018

Not much.

But enough.

I don’t have to get up super early tomorrow.

Although the mom had asked that I come in early, having forgotten that I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30 a.m.

So.

Early.

Not so much.

I have set my alarm for 8 a.m.

Which feels like such a luxury, to sleep until 8 a.m.

I am all about it.

It’s curious, though, now that I’m thinking about it, I just realized the doctor’s office that I have an appointment with has not called or texted me to confirm tomorrow’s appointment.

I will be calling before I go in to confirm.

I really don’t feel like driving all over town if I don’t have to.

I’m not really excited about going in.

I had hoped that the lab results were going to be in by this time.

I don’t know how long the lab results take to process, but I dropped off the sample on Monday.

I suppose five working day sounds about right, but I’ve never been in this kind of health insurance land before.

I really miss Kaiser.

It’s funny.

I’ll see people lambaste it on social media, and there’s some point to that, there are certain things they lack, they don’t have a great mental health services department and they don’t do one on one therapy, just group therapy, but their system is super stream lined, I could just go online, pop in my account, make appointments, cancel appointments, get lab results, it was super easy.

This using my school’s insurance has been such a huge pain in my ass.

I have asked the family if we could relook at my insurance, and I’m willing to do the step work to do that, and see if maybe there is another alternative route for me.

I would be willing to pay a little into it myself.

My health insurance is pretty much covered by the family, they reimburse me on a monthly basis and it’s the amount that I figured out would be how much I pay in school–which was paid for in my student loans, but whatever.

The cost per month is $225.

So that’s what the family gives me.

I would probably have to pay double that to get Kaiser.

I’m almost ready to.

I could continue using the school’s insurance, especially if I continue forward with my PhD.

Oh my God.

I almost forgot.

I’m interviewing soon!

Wednesday, March 30th at 10 a.m.

Eight days from today.

Realistically I could continue with the health insurance through the school for the next two years.

I wouldn’t really be day-to-day affected money wise, it would be similar to what it is now, I pay it out of my student loans and the family pays me once a month.

If I can be served well, if I can get services then maybe.

It’s just been such an uncomfortable experience.

I’ve never had a PPO before and I really just don’t care for it.

And yes.

Gah.

Do I think that my reflux might have something to do with stress?

Because I feel a little now, stress, and reflux.

Sexy.

Ugh.

I’m just over it.

I’ll go to this doctor and see what he says, I’m so not excited to go see someone else, I really feel done with the whole adventure.

Except that I still get the reflux.

Not as bad as it was, I really do think that cutting out ibuprofen was such a huge deal for me, as well as being really mindful of what I eat.

And then.

I get concerned.

What if I have to take more out of my diet?

What if that’s the main issue.

Does roast chicken cause heartburn?

I mean.

I pretty much live on it right now.

I suppose it might be time to shake up my diet a little, but I do have certain staples that I am so used to eating, just thinking about having to cut out something else makes me feel a little crazy.

I have cut out a lot already.

Then again.

I just want to stop having the reflux.

So If I have to take something out.

I take it out.

Blah.

I have other more exciting things I wish to think about.

I wish I could let the reflux take the back burner, but it’s been so consistently with me for the last few months, more months than I want to admit, I just need to deal with it and do whatever comes next in the grand adventure of my health care.

I’ll go see the G.I. and do what I’m told.

I am not doctor.

At least not yet!

So.

I’ll take whatever doctor’s orders are and do what’s best.

Sigh.

 

Teething

March 22, 2018

And screaming.

Ten hours.

Ten hours of baby who is teething two big molars.

Poor little guy.

Poor nanny.

The morning wasn’t so bad, I think I wasn’t as worn out from the constant yelling the baby was doing, plus he had a good morning nap.

The second nap was not so good, he was woken up early by the older kids and was pretty miserable for the last part of the day.

I went in early today to help out and stayed until my normal time.

I did ten hours and I can feel it in my body.

My head hurt when I was leaving.

It is really hard to listen to a baby scream.

It’s hard enough to listen to a baby cry, but scream.

My God.

I thought I was going to lose it for a little while.

He’s a really happy baby too, it’s not normal for him to be so upset.

I felt pretty pinned down by it and I was really happy to leave.

Then I got asked, as I was leaving to come in early again tomorrow and on Friday.

I sort of crumpled.

I really wanted to get a little bit more sleep tonight and to take a shower in the morning before work.

We compromised and I’m just coming in a half hour early tomorrow, I’ll still get my shower, although not the sleep I was hoping for.

Still.

I will have a half hour more than I did last night and that is something.

The day was actually lovely, despite the upset baby, I had a fabulous conversation with my best friend and we made some plans to spend time together and that always lifts my spirits.

Always.

And.

I ran into some friends tonight at my commitment and I discussed the soon to be graduating and the fact that I want to have a beach bonfire party to celebrate.

I’m very excited for that too.

I’m slowly chipping away at homework, every little bit is a tiny step closer to being done with the program, I even managed to finish an article tonight in between getting home from work and heading back out.

I will be doing some work this weekend on a portion of the big paper and writing up a case study on one of my clients which I will present to the class for about a half hour.

I can easily talk about my client for that long, it’s just a matter of making sure that I am presenting good, cohesive, well thought out material to my cohort and to my professor.

When I’ve had some time to reflect on the work I have done with this client I am really quite proud of myself.

I know that I’m doing good work and I know that my client is benefitting from the therapy.

This client was also my first assigned client, though they do not know that, and it pleases me very much that I will get to show a case study with a lot of sessions and a lot of work that has been done.

I’ve got a ton of supervision notes on this client and also a good size file at my office.

I’ll be seeing the client tomorrow, in fact, I should review the file.

I’m also starting with a new client tomorrow.

Note to self, get the file out of the main office before the session!

It’s always a little bit of a crap shoot when I have a new client file that I need to get to.

Often times the office where the files are kept is being used for a therapy session, I have to time it well.

Fingers crossed I’ll get out of work a little early.

Technically I don’t need the file to do the therapy, the first few sessions are really about getting to know the client, I don’t need to see a consultation form to do that, but they are nice to have and I will be taking notes and those notes need to go into a file, so yes, it will be better if I get said file before the session.

Note to self.

I also need to figure out how to sync up my phone calendar with my google calendar.

I know there’s a way to do it.

But I haven’t done it yet and My brain hurts too much right now to look into it.

I feel pretty much at capacity as far as doing anything else today goes.

It’s been a pretty damn full week already.

It’s going to be ok though.

It is.

And I’m just going to wind this down a little early and do some self-care, make some hot tea, eat a snack and get snuggled down for the night.

No more work for today.

Just some rest.

Some very well deserved rest.

Seriously.

Dorked Out!

March 21, 2018

I am totally all geeked out.

I literally just cooked dinner in my cap and gown for graduation.

Hehehehee.

They came in the mail today!

It’s really really real.

I’m graduating.

It still feels surreal.

I also put the hood on backwards, and then laughed my ass off at myself as I stood in the hallway to my studio admiring myself.

In my bunny slippers.

I will probably wear different shoes to the ceremony.

Probably.

Heh.

My slippers are cute.

But who the hell would take me seriously in my slippers?

They are cozy little things, but perhaps not to walk the stage as I receive my diploma for my Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I’m so excited to graduate.

It has been such a journey.

I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

Like that horrible nightmare I used to have every once in a while that I hadn’t actually graduated from high school and I have to go back and take some test or turn in some assignment still.

No fucking thank you.

I received the official invitation to graduate from the school yesterday.

That was nice.

Really nice.

I still have hoops to jump through and forms that will need to be signed, but academically, everything is set, I’ve been cleared to graduate.

I will have to turn in my therapy form–my program requires that I do a year of therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum.

A requirement that I was upset with for a little while, not the therapy part so much, but that I would have to be with a licensed MFT which costs quite a bit more than working with a trainee.

Then again.

I really like my therapist.

She’s great.

And.

Man.

We did some work today.

I sat down and said and today we’re going to talk about ______________.

And we did and it was good and I got some perspective and a different frame then what I had expected and I was super grateful for that.

Sometimes I just need someone else’s perspective.

My perspective is not always true.

And often misleading or anxiety inducing.

My therapist gave me a very different way of seeing things and for that I am so very grateful.

And.

I was able to forward that experience onto a client tonight.

I didn’t disclose my therapy session to my client, rather, I just helped my client see things different.

And the response was great.

I am always so happy when I get to be of service and help someone see something that they couldn’t on their own.

Therapy is work and anyone who tells you different is lying.

It’s hard work.

But.

Fuck.

It so pays off.

Frankly, everyone could use therapy.

I mean, who couldn’t use a person to sit and empathetically listen to them for an hour once a week?

It’s so nice to be able to talk about all the crap in my head and get it sorted and processed and let it go and not stuff emotions and have feelings and see what they are and how I want to move through the world.

Therapy has such great value for me and I am so pleased that I get to be a therapist and I get to help my clients and it really moves me when they get something from the work I do with them.

It’s work on both ends.

Which is exciting.

And I get to constantly learn things.

I had a huge amount of stuff come up around a client yesterday in my supervision then I met with the client in the evening and just sitting there and being with them and using all the work I had done earlier in the day was so gratifying.

It was amazing.

It can be hard.

I won’t lie.

Sometimes I think wow, this is some hard work, but it is so good to be helpful to others.

I am happy that I have found a career that lets me do that.

Of course, I have that too with my nanny career, but this feels bigger and feels like I will have more impact.

Although I do not, by any means, disparage the work I do with children, nor how important it is.

It is really fucking important.

My little monkeys mean so much to me.

And that I get paid to love, well, that is super special.

And I will get paid to love too, as a therapist, that’s one of my biggest goals, to provide my clients with love, empathy, kindness, to help, it’s a different kind of loving relationship than a romantic union or a friendship, it is a special relationship because of confidentiality and knowing that there will be times, many times, when the client needs to work out something and that something is going to be hard to hold.

But I get to try to and in the trying I learn and in the learning I grow.

It’s really a lovely relationship full of reciprocity and though, no, I wouldn’t call it altruistic, there is something of that flavor to it as well.

I never thought this would really happen.

Me, graduating from a Master’s degree program.

Although it was something I always knew I wanted, I never quite knew how it wold happen.

But you know.

I had faith.

And

It’s actually happening.

Really.

REALLY.

Happening.

Monday

March 20, 2018

You’re a busy lady, you are.

Got up early.

Showered, did the deal, dressed, made bed, ate breakfast, drank coffee, stretched, did hair and makeup.

Had fucking boss day with the hair.

Mostly wasted on nannying, but felt good to have a good big hair day.

“What is that?” Asked my little lady charge today as we stood on the platform for the J-Church train to Glen Park.

“Hair, and don’t touch it,” I replied.

It was a giant patch of a weave just chilling on the street.

Looked like the after effects of a bad cat fight.

“But it looks so soft, I want to touch it, is it yours?” She asked bending down to take a closer look.

“Do not touch it, and no, I promise, it’s not mine,” I added, gave her a squeeze and asked her if she wanted a snack.

Snacks are always the best distraction.

Hair weaves.

Sometimes it’s really obvious that I live in the city.

Today, many times.

There was a man just outside the door to my office space tonight, laying on the ground, belly down, sprawled out, pants off kilter, just chilling, talking to the pavement and having a nice little conversation.

I couldn’t tell if it was booze or heroin and I wasn’t going to investigate.

8:30p.m. on a Monday night, I just wanted to get the fuck out of there and get home and have my dinner.

Monday’s are a long day.

And that’s ok.

I have six weeks left of supervision.

Six weeks until I won’t have to get up extra early to get out of the house and beat morning rush hour traffic downtown to see my supervisor.

I am ready for that.

Granted.

I will miss working with my supervisor, I have learned such a tremendous amount from him.

I just won’t miss getting up early.

I decided on my way to my clients today, after a longish day with the family, the dad’s been out-of-town for work and doesn’t get back until tomorrow, for a good bit and the mom’s definitely been feeling the strain of doing the parenting for three children.

It’s a lot of work.

Especially when one of them is a baby.

I took the baby off her hands for the first part of the day, then we swapped at school pick up and I had my little girl charge all for myself while her mom took the older brother to piano lessons.

It was a nice day and we went to Dolores Park.

I am always so grateful to get to the park.

It’s a good balance, I think, with my studies and my internship and being a psychotherapist in training, to have a part of the day when I get to be outside and in a park.

It felt really good to get some sun on my face.

Really good.

Especially since the next three days call for rain and it’s been a really rainy past few weeks.

I was ready for that sunshine.

I am always ready for sunshine.

I think about Paris in July and I’m all agog to get sundresses and sandals and breezy clothes and be warm.

I like being warm.

The irony of living in the foggiest place in the city is not lost on me.

The Outer Sunset was never my first choice, but as I have been here now for four and a half years, it has become my home.

And.

Honestly.

I don’t know that I could have handled having a car anywhere else in the city.

I generally find parking on my block or within a block of my house.

I easily find parking at work and so too at my internship.

It’s really perfect.

And it’s always so nice to have the car when the weather is not great and also when I get done late at the internship, to get in my car and listen to some music.

So freaking good.

I have really been getting into having music when I drive, it’s the bomb.

I also feel safer and though the gas is expensive, it’s worth it.

I am really so happy that I got the car.

I’ve grown so much these past few years.

Walking through this school program and showing up for the work consistently, working with clients, getting back into my own therapy, my job with my current family, all the recovery work I have done and still do, it’s been such a tremendous amount of growth.

My best friend reminded me that I graduate in two months.

I will fucking walk the stage at the Norse Theater two months from today on May 19th.

That also put into perspective the work that I need to do before I graduate.

There’s still a good bit.

I got one more thing out-of-the-way today though, got another signature for paperwork that needed to be signed.

Slowly.

But steadily.

And I will get it all done.

I will.

I admitted to my person yesterday that I was having some anxiety about getting it all organized and put together and that I felt a bit stupid and was beating myself up a little.

He right sized that shit pretty quick, confirming how organized I am and that my brain was cooking up some “manufactured misery” to wallow in.

I realized he was right, I had to say some things out loud to see how silly it all sounded, and it sounded damn silly as soon as the words left my mouth.

My brain can do that, get all caught up in the thinking and not realize how asinine it is until I say it out loud to someone.

Thank God for another’s perspective.

I mean.

Really.

Thank fucking God.

Anyway.

Me and my rambles are going to wrap it up.

I want to wind down a little.

I’ve got a big day tomorrow.

As per usual.

 

The Miracle

March 19, 2018

That is sleep.

My God.

REVELATORY.

How much better I feel from having gotten a full nights sleep the last two days.

I mean.

Fuck.

I feel like superwoman.

I”m also a little afraid that I won’t be able to wind down from this good, good, good feeling in time to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, I do have supervision in the morning before work and that means an early start to my day.

But for right now.

Damn.

I felt really good today.

And yes.

A teeny tiny bit sassy.

I rocked some blue glitter lipstick for the fuck of it all day.

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Because sometimes a girl has to work it.

Plus I had my Sunday evening commitment up in the Castro and I need to bring it for the gay boys.

“Girl.  I am LOVING the blue lip,” was said to me many a time tonight.

My pleasure to provide the glam.

I love going up to the Castro and being fabulous.

Fuck.

I love being fabulous in general.

But even though it is San Francisco, there is still a lot of tech culture here that seems to translate to some pretty fucking boring ass clothes and looks.

Lots of yoga/work out gear.

Which I suppose is fine if your going to the gym, but all day long?

Please.

Some style.

Sundays I also feel like I can be a bit sassier too as I’m not seeing clients and I’m not working.

I don’t have to find that oh so fine balance between what I can wear as a nanny and then what will translate to seeing clients in the evening.

I typically find something neutral, black or grey and then bring a long a pair of my Fluevogs to slip into when I finish my hours with the family.

My shoes elevate my outfit and make me feel like I’m stepping into my psychotherapist persona.

One day.

One day in the not so distant future.

I will not have to wear nanny shoes again and I am certain I will let my wardrobe reflect in the not necessary to wear something that may stain easy, shred easy, get yanked on by a toddlers hand, spilled on by an eight year olds excitement with helping me cook dinner, or have stickers put all over my outfit by a five-year old with a thing for glitter and unicorns.

I feel her though on the glitter.

It’s silly, but it makes me happy.

A friend in my cohort once sent me a little article about why humans are drawn to glitter–it reminds us, that animal part of us, of the way light reflects off water.

Makes complete sense to me.

I just now that it makes me happy.

Today I felt happy.

I might have also allowed that to spill over into a few purchases today.

I got myself a new Iphone 8 phone case.

The family I work for gave me a brand new Iphone 8 for my birthday along with a silicon cover.

Unfortunately the silicon cover won’t work with most glues or adhesives, so the magnet that I have on the dashboard of my car won’t work with the cover.

My best friend suggested a thin magnet in between the cover and the phone but I decided I really just wanted a new cover, one that I could affix the magnet to, and one that’s more me than the bright red cover that’s on my phone.

I mean.

Red’s nice and all.

But when a girl can have pink glitter?

Well.

Yeah.

So, happy equals getting a new Iphone cover in pink glitter as well as a new set of headphones.

I am over the moon at the ones I found and pretty happy with the price, $79.

I got a pair of retro over the ear headphones from Imego.

They are super cute.

And I am happy to have them for my trip to Paris.

It’s a long flight, a bit over ten hours and I will want good headphones.

I can’t wear ear buds for too long, my ears are actually pretty small and the buds hurt my ears after a while, they are too big, and it gets really uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing them, usually I can’t go more than that without having to take them out.

I splurged when I moved to Paris five years ago an a really nice over the ear set from Head Candy and I had them for almost four years, but they got worn out and the last time I went to Paris they died.

I was going to get some before I went on my trip to D.C. but never got around to it.

Since I recently got my tax refund I decided it was time to get a new pair.

I’m quite happy and I know that I will have happy ears on the long flight there and back.

Yes, it’s a bit early to be thinking about Paris travel, but I also know that sometimes when the timing strikes I just have to do the thing and get it off my list of stuff to get.

I got a lot done this weekend, the sleep really did help, from doing all my laundry and housecleaning, to selling clothes, getting a manicure and my eyebrows waxed, to dropping off clothes to get mended, and a pair of my dear Fluevogs to get re-soled.

I also cooked lots of food, roasted a chicken today and also made an Italian chicken and sausage stew with crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and artichoke hearts, so yummy.

I got to hang out with my best friend and have some spectacular connection.

I got to be of service.

I met with some of the ladies I work with.

I did my commitments.

I went to group supervision.

I went to Office Max and got some folders and a binder for keeping my paperwork together for graduation purposes.

I even did some reading for school.

And now.

It’s time to wind down and get ready for Monday.

It’s going to be a week.

But.

Then again.

When fuck isn’t it?

Heh.

 

Feel The Burn!

March 16, 2018

Although.

Honestly.

I’d rather not.

I’m rather over feeling the fucking burn.

It fucking hurts.

I’ve been having some horrendous silent reflux.

Silent, as in I don’t burp with it, there’s not a discernible regurgitation happening, but, oh man, it’s there, and the pain, well, it’s not silent at all.

I, on the other hand, have been pretty silent about it.

I’ve been rather, grin and bear it.

But about four, five months ago I just could not do it anymore and I went and saw a doctor, with whom I had a follow-up appointment with today.

As my symptoms have not gone away despite being on a three-month dosage of medication to ease the acid in my tummy.

After going over all my food stuff again–no citrus, no peppers, easy on the tomatoes, nothing sour, no alcohol, nothing too fatty–I pretty much cleared everything but coffee.

I have definitely lessened my intake of the beverage, but I’m still drinking it.

I sort of feel like you can pry coffee from my cold dead hands.

Because frankly that’s what it’s going to feel like to not be able to drink it.

I have noticed that the reflux is worse if I drink any in the afternoons, it got bad Saturday when I was in school and had a coffee on a break with one of my friends in cohort.

And today, although it was decaf, I did notice an upsurge of the acid this afternoon and despite taking a second dose of the medication, it’s been pretty horrendous all day.

Then again, it could also be stress.

And let me not belabor the point.

I have stress in my life.

I work full-time in a caring profession, my doctor warned against ‘care taker burnout’ which is feasible, I work a lot for my family and it was a stressful past three weeks with a lot of sick kiddos to contend with.

(Then again, I’ve been a caretaker all my life.  I’m not sure I know how not to be).

And.

I also am a psychotherapist in training, so holding space for 7-8 clients a week, after care taking the family I nanny with, could, yes, contribute to burn out.

Oh.

And let me not forget I’m in grad school full-time.

Plus.

Well.

Personal work and relational grief have been at the top of my charts now for months, god, of course I have an upset stomach.

But.

I think it’s not just the stress, although it is very likely to be a contributor.

I think there is something else wrong and so does my doctor.

So I have to rule out a bunch of stuff.

Number one.

H. Pylori.

Which is a stomach infection that causes ulcers.

If it’s this, which in some way I sure hope it is, the lab test will let me know.

I have to, ugh, do a stool sample.

Never fucking though I would be writing that in a blog post.

If I have the infection it is easily treatable with a heavy dose of antibiotics.

The doc said I’d have to do two weeks of antibiotics four times a day.

Not the most fun, but doable.

The other thing that it could be is that the sphincter muscle in the esophagus is not working right, thereby not closing and allowing stomach acid up into my esophagus and throat, my nose and mouth.

I have acid in my mouth all the time.

I hate it.

I can’t taste it.

But I can feel it.

Hurts my teeth.

I also have a pretty constant sore throat and a tickle that leads to a cough.

I am not sick like a traditional cold, but it sounds like I have a cold.

I also have a great deal of nausea.

I haven’t thrown up, but I have had dry heaves a few times and once or twice did think I was going to vomit during some super stressful emotional moments.

What ever the cause.

I’m over it.

It’s been a pretty consistent life thing to deal with and I am tired of it.

The doctor referred me to a specialist, who can’t see me for a month, so I’m going to try to book another appointment with another on the list of doctor referrals given to me.

Hopefully I can be seen sooner than a month.

I was also warned that should I vomit blood or pass blood I have to go to the ER immediately, that such a symptom is indicative of a bleeding ulcer and I’d need to be seen right away.

Great.

Just what I wanted to hear.

Or that it, the acid, could cause me to have esophageal cancer.

Nobody wants the cancer word thrown about.

Nobody.

So yeah, it could have been th decaf coffee I had with my charge at Maxfield’s today as he enjoyed an afterschool treat with me and wrangled the promise of me teaching him how to play Monopoly, the kid’s going to be great at it fyi, or it could have been the stress of being told I could have bleeding ulcers and cancer.

Happy Thursday!

Ugh.

I was pretty shook up after leaving the office and I had to go to a lab cross town to get the stuff for the stool sample, ugh, ugh, ugh, and then over to Walgreens to pick up more prescriptions for it, and I ended up being pretty teary at work when I showed up.

The mom just gave me the biggest hugs.

It was very sweet, she is so sweet to me.

Hell, I’m tearing up writing about.

And I realized.

I could use a lot of hugs.

So if you see me out and about, stop and say hello and give me a squeeze.

The hugs they do help.

And fingers crossed, this will all get figured out and it will be a very simple solution.

I’ve got faith.

I am being taken care of.

I always am.

 


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