Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

My God

October 21, 2017

It’s so good to be home.

It was one hell of a day.

A Friday for sure, as if each child I was working with knew it was their last time to get the most out of me and work every angle.

I love my charges, I do, I do, and yet, today I knew I was going to have to bring it hard.

Two weeks of them being sick had finally begun to wear off and they were raring to get into anything they could.

Numerous intense tantrums about small things, often mitigated and blown over in a matter of minutes if not seconds, but so intense while they were happening that I was almost constantly caught off guard by them.

And then super intense, super sweet affection, hand holding, cuddling, and connection.

I love my little bugs.

We did have a grand day when I reflect, now that I can reflect, now that I am home and have eaten a hot meal and have had a chance to slip off my therapy shoes (I have different shoes for when I nanny and they are very utilitarian and sturdy, the family has a no shoes policy indoors, but since I’m on my feet all day I insist on having shoes there.  I keep a pair of clogs there and then I have walking shoes for outdoor time.  Neither set of shoes says professional to me or therapist.  My Fluevogs though, well, they say something.  I don’t know if it’s necessarily traditional therapist language they speak, but they speak my language and I do like having a separate pair of shoes, a mode to slip into, a costume, no, better yet, a persona.  Like that for a digression? Heh.) and get into a more comfortable space.

I went in early.

I made them pancakes.

The oldest boy loves my pancakes.

LOVES.

So anytime that he can get them he does.

I made him his one big pancake and then a bunch of silver dollar pancakes with, wait for it, heart-shaped confetti cake decorations, for my little ladybug.

She was so happy.

I told her I put something secret in her pancakes and she literally clapped.

That was nice.

Who’s your nanny?

Heh.

I helped out around the house and then with the mom we all headed downtown.

Special Friday lunch at Super Duper Burger and then I took the monkeys on a cable car ride and we went to the Cable Car Museum.

My little girl charge was mildly interested but over it pretty quick.

Her brother, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of it, he was absolutely enthralled.

And did not want to leave even for the thought of getting ice cream with mom when we reconnected.

I plan on going back with him for a solo trip at some point and really letting him geek out a bit, he loves engines and cars and trains and it was just so sweet to see how big his eyes got watching the cables do their work.

There are viewing rooms where you can see them running and they have a huge open air space with a broad mezzanine above it that you can watch each cable spinning for each line that it runs.

It is frankly awesome and it’s free.

Can’t sneeze at that.

And the cable car ride was too!

We offered up our MUNI card passes when they came to take tickets and the cable car operator waved them off, “locals,” he said and smiled with a wink.

“Did he let us ride for free?!” My charge ask with a secret look of insider pleasure, “because we live here?!”

“Yes, I said, he did, let’s make sure and thank him when we get off again.”

It was a great experience and a joy to be with them, even when they got frustrated with each other and I had to separate them for a while.

Then we met mom and ducked into the Westfield Mall and got them ice-cream cones with rainbow sprinkles at Hagen Das.

Not bad for a Friday.

I was pretty cooked by the time we got back to the house and not really looking forward to going into my internship and seeing clients.

But.

Well.

I just fucking rallied and went and the sessions were really good.

I left feeling jacked up and excited and happy to be a therapist and of course, there was the allure of coming home, of getting to have some nice food, to have a chat with my best friend on the phone, and then to realize.

Holy Shit.

I made it through the week and tomorrow is Saturday!

I just went and signed up for a yoga class for the morning.

Very happy for that, although I’m sure to be sore, no practice last week with my being in classes the whole weekend.

I mean.

I found ways to get some exercise but there was no sparing an hour and fifteen minutes to go to the yoga studio.

Tomorrow I can.

I will still have to go to my internship for three hours but I’ll have the rest of the day off.

I’ll go check in with my people in the evening over in the NOPA and get right with God.

I’ll maybe hit a cafe and just sit and chill.

Well, I’ll sit and read for school, but it will be nice to do it in a cafe versus here at home or in my office at my internship.

I like being out in the world.

Especially after having been so cooped up the past week with the smoke from all the wildfires.

Ah.

It’s good to be alive.

And now.

Time to wind it down, have a nice snack, drink some hot tea.

Yeah.

That is my Friday night and I’m fucking excited for it.

Now excuse me please.

Me and my bunny slippers need to get our chill on.

Seriously.

 

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Feeling Better

October 15, 2017

And almost through the weekend of classes.

The air quality improved substantially today.

So much better.

I have still had a low-grade cough, raw throat and tight and sore sinuses, but the air is better and tonight when I rode my scooter home I could take deep breaths and it felt so, so good.

There are still fires burning, but today felt like hope, that maybe there was an end in sight and that as the day passed things felt better and better.

I don’t know, I can’t predict a thing, but it was something to breathe better today.

The small things that I can take for granted, fresh air, good water, my home, it was with great gratitude that I drew those clean breaths of air, such goodness, just a big simple drawing in of air.

Ah.

I can feel my head ache easing and I know that the air quality has substantially improved.

This morning when I got up it was registering at unhealthy and there was ash again all over my scooter and a distinct smell of wood burning in the air, it was hazy and smudgy and smokey and my first class of the day was boxed up in a hot airless room.

But by the afternoon it started to shift and I left campus to grab lunch with a friend at The Market, the chi chi high-end grocery store in the Twitter building, they have a poke bar that I like to eat at if I’m going to blow a wad of money on lunch rather than eat the food that I brought with me.

I was happy to get out of the school building, the air felt fresher and it just continued to improve throughout the day.

So grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

And I’m also grateful that I only have one more class to get through tomorrow and that will put my squarely at the half way point of the semester.

I will have two more weekends of classes and then the winter break.

I’m doing pretty good, I’ve participated,  caught up on all my reading for this weekend, and I turned in the paper that was due for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I have a mid-term paper due on the 24th of the month for my Transpersonal class that I figure I will write the paper next weekend.

Then two more weekends of classes and I will enter the final semester of my Masters in Counseling Psychology.

Fuck.

I am doing this, I’m doing this, it’s really happening.

It’s been so much work and sacrifice.

I don’t always talk about that, the things that I have had to let go of to participate in the program while still working full-time.

I have given up going to birthday parties, out dancing, movies, fellowship, dates, dinner with friends, people and places and stuff that I used to do on a much regular basis.

It’s been hard.

I have felt sad when I have not been able to connect.

And yet.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to connect with people, with grace, with God, with service, with learning what I need to learn to better serve my community.

And.

Yes.

To have a fucking career where in I can make some money.

Oh.

I know, I’m not going to make a grand amount, but I am going to make so much more than what I make as a nanny, unless I get some super cush job, but the fact is, I’m ready to not be a nanny anymore.

I’ve a few more years and I’m fine with that, I still have miles and miles to go, but sure and steady, slow, one day at a time I am doing the work to get to the place.

And when I get there, well, there will be other places to go.

But.

For right now I am just really happy to be in my last year of the Masters program and to let myself be proud of what I have accomplished.

Showing up every weekend.

Turning in every assignment on time.

Straight A’s.

It’s awful nice to have a 4.0 average in grad school, just let me acknowledge that, I have a 4.0.

That’s something.

I have learned a tremendous amount about myself.

I have made dear friends.

I have a cohort, a group of peers, a community where I wasn’t expecting to have one, I have people who see me and regard me as an equal and who I get great feedback and validation from.

And I’m doing something that I don’t think anyone in my family has done.

I’m getting a Master’s Degree.

I could be wrong about that, I may have a cousin somewhere with one, but I can’t think of any off-hand, I don’t believe most of the people in my family have a college degree, let a lone a Master’s degree.

I feel pretty lucky that I have achieved what I have achieved and that I have put in the work.

Sometimes the sacrifices have seemed really hard, I have been lonely, I have missed experiences, but I also know that I am making myself into a woman with great potential to help and heal and that I will be of service for so many years.

I think I’ll have much more longevity as a therapist than a nanny, I’ll be able to practice as a therapist many, many, many years past the time when I would want to be a nanny anymore.

Hell, I’m pretty done with it as it stands.

Oh, not that I hate my job, I love the family  work for and I am so happy to get to do the work with them.

No, what I meant, is that my body is about done with it, my back is sore from carrying the baby in a carrier, my knees hurt, I have spent so many years being on my feet, from all the years, decades really, working in the service industry–started at 12 ended at 32, so that’s twenty years, and now the past eleven years or so as a nanny.

I could use a sit down job, thank you very much.

I once was having some real problems with my knees and I was young, in my mid twenties, and the doctor told me at that time that I needed to get out of the service industry, that I needed a sit down job, “your knees are that bad,” he told me showing me x-rays and explaining what the problems were.

I didn’t really heed that advice.

And I have managed to get by, sometimes a bit painfully slow, and I have seen things that have slipped past me that I wish I could still do.

No more running.

Not that I was a great runner, but I thought once or twice that I would at least do one marathon in my life

And dancing.

Oh.

Man.

I can tell how bad my knees are when I go out dancing, they are just not what they used to be, not that they used to be great anyway, but fuck.

Anyway.

I will go on standing for a little while yet.

I’m not there yet.

But.

Damn.

I am one more step closer.

I’ll take it.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

One little baby step at a time.

I will get there.

You may be assured.

Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

Nope

October 5, 2017

My homework is not done.

I have been hoping to have time to read all week at work and I have had the baby non-stop.

Which is great, but no down time.

The baby also really likes napping on me.

Which I love, my God, I love it, but no reading is happening.

Instead.

I find myself sitting and looking at things.

Yes.

Some of those things are social media.

But mostly.

I find myself looking at nature.

Today he napped on me up at Douglas park.

The grounds crew for SF Parks and Rec had just gone through and mowed the grass.

It was a gorgeous high, tight, bright blue sky kind of San Francisco day.

The park is on top of the city way up in the hills towards Diamond Heights on Douglas at Clipper.

It’s flat, but surrounded by a steep cliff and towering trees.

I stood in the open field of grass gently rubbing the baby’s back and humming to him and looking at the grass.

When was the last time I sat, well stood really, and looked at grass?

It was gorgeous.

So green.

And wet.

There was dew and the sunlight sparkled and the sky was blue, blue, blue, and the air smelled so good and I was alone with the baby in a field of grass surrounded by sky and trees.

Who the fuck gives a good god damn about school work.

It will get done when it needs to get done.

Being with the baby is actually the kind of break that I need when I let myself acknowledge it.

He slows me down, I have to be very present and then once he’s asleep, which today took a bit, he’s also teething, so yeah, the bad part of trying to get a baby to sleep who’s teething.

Screaming.

A screaming baby strapped to one’s chest is not the most relaxing thing.

I over heard someone say once, “I’d rather have a bomb strapped to my chest, at least it would be quiet.”

But then.

The exquisite relief when he stops crying, when he lays his heavy warm head on my chest and sighs really big and just drops into the sleep, secure, safe, held.

It is bliss.

And I got to have the experience twice today.

Once at Douglas park and once at the home.

When he naps on me at the house I tend to sequester myself in a corner of the house where the mom won’t be so that she has a moment to be baby free and work on her own work for a while.

Today I was in the play room.

For a while I was on the back porch, next to the gigantic avocado tree, overlooking the city, which still strikes me with its loveliness, which still floors me with its beauty and that I still get to live here.

Such a huge gift.

May I always.

I love to travel.

But having San Francisco as my home is so important to me.

I have created such a life for myself here I cannot imagine making it elsewhere.

And you know.

I did try.

Paris.

But here, San Francisco, is home and I had left my heart here and back I came and the city opened wide its arms and said welcome back, prodigal daughter, now don’t do that again.

And I know its crazy and techy and millienially and weird and there are places where kombucha is on tap and there are lots of Tesla’s on the road and privilege and segregation and racism, covert, and more privilege and holy shit the rent and the cost of anything.

But.

Oh.

The beauty.

The houses, the bay, the bridges, the islands, the restaurants, the smell of delicious things being made everywhere, the farmers markets in all the neighborhoods, the Victorians, the colorful paint, the fog, Ocean Beach, Sea Cliff, The MOMA, The Legion of Honor, The DeYoung.

The smell of eucalyptus.

The sound of fog horns in the morning.

Riding my scooter up and over Laguna Honda and onto Clipper Street today, the view, my god, I live in a literal movie set.

It is magic.

And it is where I feel myself, who I am with no apology, with pink pom poms on my shoes, or a flower in my hair, not that I wear them so much anymore since I have been taking clients, but I still have them, and the art, the street art in particular, I love it, so, so, so much.

And coffee.

Oh coffee.

So much good coffee.

So much.

I am a spoiled brat.

I love my city, I love San Francisco, I love that I go to school here, that I live here, that I chose it as much as it chose me.

I know plenty of people who have had to move away and I have gotten to stay and it boggles the mind sometimes.

I make less than the median income.

Way less.

Like I make half the median income.

But.

I make it work and I don’t feel deprived.

I mean.

I bought prosciutto today at a new butcher shop in Noe Valley.

And duck sausages.

I eat organic foods and I have a scooter.

I have a job, I get to go to graduate school, I have music, a Macbook Air, I have an Iphone.

I have.

Better yet.

Better than stuff and things.

I have happiness.

I have joy.

I have freedom.

I have perspective.

I am of service.

I am loved.

And that.

More than anything.

Means more than anything.

I have love.

Love.

I have you.

It’s Got To Be

October 2, 2017

Good enough.

Because I am about done and my brain is tell me I could have done more, I should have done more.

But really.

Fuck off brain.

I got done what I needed to do and then some.

Yoga.

Meeting with a lady bug and working on inventory for an hour.

Three loads of laundry

Cleaned the house, scoured the bathroom, took all the trash out, swept, vacuumed, swiffer’ed.

I know, swiffer is not a verb, but you know what I mean.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked two different meals.

I made a spicy andouille and chicken soup with vegetables and corn and brown rice.

I canned up three jars and I froze three other containers of it.

I’m starting to stockpile meals for the next school weekend, every time I can I will freeze a little something to have for my school weekend.

Inevitably I have a lunch out with a friend in the cohort, much more so this semester than any other, I suspect since I’m in my last year with my cohort and making an effort to be connecting with my friends.

So food’s been made.

And I also roasted a chicken while I was doing my CBT webinar class tonight.

Plus a pot of brown rice with peas and corn.

I’ve got food for the week and then some.

And yet, I didn’t get enough done?

What ever.

Read an article for my Jungian Dream Work class and realized that I was pretty much caught up with all the material except for one article, I should be able to knock that out pretty quick, I might, maybe, even go back and read it before I go to bed tonight.

The CBT webinar kind of took it out of me though and I had to recuperate after wrapping it up.

Which meant eating some of said roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

It was delicious.

Then I put on a mixed tape and got my fucking good time on.

I needed to get a release.

Ahem.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Giggle.

Anyway.

I did do plenty today.

Made some phone calls.

Stayed connected with my people.

I did plenty.

Plus.

I mean.

It is my day off.

It’s ok to “slow down” a little.

And I’m feeling better.

Although this morning I was sorely wrong about takin my antibiotic when I did.

I’m supposed to take it four times a day, I still have one more to take tonight, around my meal times–breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack.

But.

I don’t like doing yoga with food in my belly.

And I still felt like I had some food from my little snack last night in my body, I thought, I should take it now, since I won’t actually have breakfast until 11a.m. or so, yoga and then a shower.

WRONG.

Not a fun yoga class, my tummy was super upset the entire time.

I got through the class though and the sweating was good and I’m glad I went, just note to self, take the antibiotics with food please.

I haven’t really had any sharp pain in my tooth today, so I’m hoping that between the ibuprofen I’ve been taking and taking the antibiotic that I’m doing ok.

Which is good as it will be a full week.

Supervision tomorrow, work, two clients.

Therapy Tuesday, work, two clients.

Wednesday is my short day, “just” work, and then seeing some fellows in the hood up at the Sunset Youth Services.

Thursday is work and two clients.

Friday is going into work an hour early to help my boss and two clients.

Saturday is group supervision.

And that’s my week.

I am sure wonderful things will happen during the week, it’s not always grinding and making things happen.

There are moments of sweetness and lightness, laughter, seeing the amazing beauty in my life, being grateful for all the love I have.

I have so much.

It astounds.

And.

It’s October!

How did that happen?

I noticed that the sunset was pretty early tonight.

I did something proactive for myself that I’ve been thinking about for over a year, ever since one of my professors mentioned that she had one.

I got a SAD lamp for my house.

I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in my early twenties.

It wasn’t until my early thirties that I got the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, PTSD, Depression, and clinical Anxiety diagnoses.

Add Alcohol Use disorder.

And.

Cocaine Use Disorder.

Look ’em up, there in the DSM V.

Anyway.

It has been recommended by more than one trained professional that I get a light box.

They’re expensive.

But I said fuck it.

I got one today.

The Northern Light 10,000 Lux Boxlite.

I got it off Amazon, so it was a tiny bit cheaper than the one from the website, but yeah, I dropped a couple hundred.

I don’t get much natural light in my room and I noticed it a lot today since I was inside a lot doing work on the house and homework and meeting with the lady.

I had a bout of low-grade depression last winter, not much, certainly not enough for me to go back on antidepressants, and I almost didn’t realize it until it was just about past.

I also was having a very hard time resolving myself with leaving the boys that I had nannied for two and a half years and transitioning to starting a new job with a new family.

Compound that with some family of origin stress and I was definitely on the depressed end of things.

So.

I am going to be proactive and do good self-care.

If the dentist thing taught me anything I need to really be on my self-care.

It is important.

I am someone a lot of folks depend on and I want to be dependable and I want to be able to be present at work, for my clients, for the people I love in my life.

I’m worth the investment.

As they are.

Just trying to give myself more love so that I may love others as much as I possibly can.

So I choose to replenish myself and make sure I get enough “sunlight” this winter.

I will have more to give.

And there’s so much I want to give.

So much.

 

Bruised

October 1, 2017

But not broken.

And I have to admit, a bit chagrined, but fuck it, overall, very happy with what went down at the dentist today, despite feeling like the girl who cried wolf.

“Bite down, bite down, and bite down, pain?” Asked my dentist.

“Nope,” I shook my head, and every time he poked the tooth that has been bothering me, I felt like cringing because I was expecting it to be painful, I mean, have you seen the pokey tools a dentist uses?

I was not expecting just pain either, I was expecting excruciating pain.

After I went to bed last night, feeling a little bit high from the fever I was running, I figured I better get a good nights sleep and let myself sleep a little longer than I would have since I figured I was going to have either no breakfast or a very light breakfast.

I was preparing myself for having to get surgery.

I really was.

“What about here?  Any pain?” My dentist continued prodding my tooth.

NOTHING.

I really felt abashed.

“No,” I told him, “I can’t describe it, but it hurts so much when it happens, but not necessarily when I chew or bite down, although it does happen that way sometimes, it just surprises me with it, it feels like a knife being slipped into my tooth.”

A long skinny sharp knife.

And.

Hello.

I’m running a fever again, by the way, but I just took some antibiotics, so hopefully that will burn out in a little while.

He took three different sets of x-rays.

And nothing, no cavities, nothing.

I thought maybe I had a cracked tooth, but nope, the dentist told me, “that’s a natural part of your tooth, you’ve probably had that since you were six and it wasn’t really apparent until we did the deep clean, you just never noticed it before.”

“You do have an infection in your lymph node,” he said, I had pointed out the fever and the swelling along my jaw line, “but I don’t think that’s associated with the tooth, that’s something else, so I’ll write you up a script for antibiotics, as for the tooth, well, it’s probably bruised, so be careful chewing anything tough and give it a few weeks.  If you’re still experiencing pain, call us and we’ll see you again.”

And that was it.

Well.

That was almost it.

“Since you’re here, we’ll do a cleaning,” and he did and I walked out of the office feeling light as a bird feather and happy and it was sunny and the ocean was blue and my god, life is good.

I really though I was going to get a t root canal today.

In fact, the dentist told me that was what he was expecting to do with me when he heard what my symptoms are.

Man.

Fevers are super weird.

My face is so hot right now, even my ears are hot.

I don’t have strep, no sore throat, and I checked my tonsils last night and I don’t have tonsillitis and I don’t have mono, I’ve got too much energy for that.

Nor do I have an ear ache, and well, I have no idea what the infection is about, but it’s there.

My dentist just told me to make sure I did the entire course of the antibiotics and I have to take them four times a day, so they’ll be coming with me to work and my internship.

I don’t mind, I’m just so glad that I don’t have any issues with my teeth.

I did miss the yoga class I had signed up for, but whatever.

I just let the day happen after I left my dentist.

Talked to my best friend and my person back to back and let them know I was in the clear.

I went and did a little grocery shopping.

Came back home and had a latte and wrote for about a half hour and then went and got a pedicure.

Man it felt nice.

It felt like a day off.

Even though I still had to go to my group supervision, but it was chill.

I had a salad for lunch and a white peach and listened to the folks in my group check in about their clients.

I day dreamed a bit.

I admit it.

And when supervision let out I let myself go shopping.

I hit Nordstrom’s Rack and scored.

It took time, it’s always hit or miss with me and Nordie’s Rack.

Sometimes I get great things.

Sometimes I spend three hours wandering around and leave with a pair of socks.

Today was more fruitful and I am very happy with my haul.

Two pretty bras and pairs of panties.

Two pairs of very nice high-end jeans, Paige Brand, one in super dark denim and the other in black, both skinny and form-fitting, and my God, my ass looks good in them.

Just saying.

A super chic white cotton button up.

And a sharp as fuck black blazer.

I scored.

I also spent my clothing allowance for the month.

But that’s alright.

I don’t have a lot of time on my hands to go shopping anyway, so to do it all in one fell swoop was fine.

Especially since what I got are all staples.

I will admit I was looking for a pretty dress, I’m always on the look out for a pretty dress, but the jeans and white cotton shirt combo and the blazer, well, I can wear them as my therapist outfit and for going out.

I don’t know that I want to wear the white shirt to work, the baby is now eating solid foods, I can just see it getting splattered with pureed sweet potato.

But.

Really I can interweave all the clothes I got today into my wardrobe in a very cohesive way.

Then I went and saw my fellows over in the NOPA and damn, it was good.

And.

Then.

Home.

A nice bit of roast chicken, some brown rice, clipping all the tags off my clothes, and putting my things away.

I added my hours to Track My Hours.

Bringing me up 10 184.25.

Only 2,815.75 to good.

Ha.

Vomit.

Anyway.

One little day at a time.

That’s all I got and today.

Well.

It was, despite my worst fears, a really damn good day.

Yes.

Really.

It was.

Three Quarters

September 24, 2017

And then some.

Through my second weekend of the school semester.

Third year of my program.

One day of classes tomorrow.

And it’s a short day, I’ll be out by noon.

Very happy for that.

I almost forgot that I won’t really have a day off until next Sunday since I’m in school all weekend, I saw a client yesterday, in addition to being in class, and today was a great big full day, 9a.m.-8p.m.

Sometimes I come out of it in a bit of a daze.

I didn’t so much tonight.

The fresh air helped.

The beautiful crescent moon in the sky lured me home and I had many thoughts and much dreaminess over take me.

And then I was home.

It was as though today was a dream.

Albeit a full one of learning.

The school weekends are not as difficult as they have been over the last two years, partially because I am in internship, I am seeing clients, I’m doing the therapy, I am a therapist.

So the school stuff seems almost, but not quite, irrelevant.

I am constantly learning more and I feel a softening in myself around a lot of it and a trusting, a much greater trusting, of my intuition than I have ever had.

This is a nice space to be in.

I remember how exhausted I was after my first weekend of school my first semester, first year, I was obliterated, I would get home in a daze and slowly shed the day and pack my lunch for the next day and fall the fuck out exhausted.

I remember how much my brain hurt.

I feel like I am still learning and the learning is richer, fuller, deeper, but it doesn’t quite wear me out as much as it did before.

I think my capacity for taking in new information as grown.

Or perhaps I have just assimilated it all in my brain.

Either way, yes, I am tired, but not blasted to smithereens.

I can see being up for a little while, I can see having a snack, I can see writing my blog and not feeling as though my brains are leaking out my ears.

And yes.

I am a little bummed that I don’t have tomorrow off, I mean, who really wants to be in school on a Sunday?

Especially with it being glorious Indian Summer in San Francisco.

But.

I am hopeful that I will get to have some enjoyment.

I’ll be done by noon and I was thinking I might hit up some fellows in the Mission around 12:15p.m., hang out, get right with God, and then have the rest of the day to I don’t know, do my nails, eat a nice lunch, and then all the maintenance stuff that needs to be done–grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, at home.

I don’t plan on making it a big crazy day, just some mellow self-care.

Which is always needed during school weekends.

I went out to lunch today with a couple of my friends in the cohort and got caught up.

I have invites to Miami and Nevada, to Paris.

I like these things.

My friend joked she knew how busy I am, but one day she was going to get me to come to her home in Nevada.

Maybe if I get that car I’ve been contemplating.

That could be a possibility.

And.

One of my other friend’s lives in Miami and she’s always telling me I have a spot to stay.

I haven’t been to Miami since I was 19.

And I was homeless.

Not really a trip that I want to replicate.

Or experience.

I would like to have a new relationship with Miami, see it through my friend’s eyes, check out the food, the art, the beaches.

And of course, Paris is often on my mind since my darling friend moved back.

I miss her so much at school sometimes, it’s hard.

I am thinking since I withdrew from doing the ALC ride that I might want to do a trip to celebrate my graduation from the Masters program in late May, Barcelona for a few days and Paris for a little bit.

Not sure yet what that might look like, but it’s definitely up there in my head.

Fuck.

God damn it.

That reminds me.

I have to call Sun Country and find out if I need to use that ticket that I have from my cancelled Christmas trip to Minneapolis last winter.

I vaguely remember that I either have to book travel by the time I bought it, I had a year to use it, and of course, I haven’t used it.

I just don’t recall if I have to use it, ie travel, by the time I bought the ticket, which I think was mid-October of last year, or if I just have to book the ticket to travel by that time.

I need to call and find out ASAP.

I mean.

It’s coming up on the last week of September.

I may only have three weeks to use that thing or be out the money.

I suspect I may be out the money.

Which I will live with.

I was sad that I had to cancel those travel plans last year add in a Thanksgiving with head lice–cancelled travel plans for that too, a birthday party where the venue failed to alert me they were going to be renting space out to a private corporate party (Free Gold Watch), so there was not a party, although there was a nice brunch with folks in Cole Valley, and a Christmas that I spent pretty much alone and sitting in a movie theater watching a movie on my own, well it was not the holidays I thought I was going to have.

Truth be told.

The holidays have been wonky for me for a while.

And I’m smart enough to know to not hang any kind of expectations on them.

I do want to find out about the ticket.

I mean.

I may just figure out a way to fly somewhere for a few days.

It’s not like I have vacation time to take at work.

I don’t know.

It’s probably a lost cause, but at least I need to look into it.

Anyway.

This rambling blog is showing me that perhaps I am a tiny bit tired after all.

One more day to go.

Almost there.

So close.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Homework

September 17, 2017

What homework?

Fuck me.

I am not ready for it yet, but I know I have to get my good girl study habits into action.

Especially since I ran into one of my professors today at my internship.

At least she could sympathize with me about my “plight.”

Full time work, full-time grad school, practicum 10-15 hours a week.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t expect my paper to not be on time.

I got a message from her about it and also, thank God, a question from one of my fellows in the cohort asking about a test that I had not registered in my brain that um, I have to take tomorrow.

FUCK.

Doesn’t my school know I have a life?

I mean.

Seriously.

Ugh.

And I do have a plan, of course I do and I will get my homework done and I’m not so worried about it.

I always get it done and I am very aware of how efficiently I am able to read and write.

Thank God, again and again and again, for my daily writing practice.

I have two papers to write tomorrow and the test to take for my CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) class.

Plus.

A fuck ton of reading.

I had thought I might get to some of my reading today, but between just some general housekeeping that I really needed to do, laundry and letting myself take it relatively easy this morning, relatively is a relative statement, I did a 80 minute yoga class, took a shower, made breakfast, wrote for thirty minutes, put fresh sheets on the bed, did two loads of laundry, took out trash and recycling, e-mailed clients, paid bills, juggled schedules, I didn’t have quite as much time this morning to attend to reading and I didn’t really want to push it.

I threw my reading in my bag along with lunch and hit up my internship.

Two hours of group supervision and then a couples consult and then I had nothing left in me.

I didn’t want to do homework, I just wanted to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I thought I might have stayed an hour or so at my office and just knock out some reading, but I decided that what I really needed was a little personal down time and I went and got a manicure.

It was perfect.

A phone call with my best friend.

A flip through a trashy magazine.

And some electric blue fingernails.

And well.

Now.

Now I feel ready to tackle the homework.

But.

Not tonight.

Nope.

I am going to continue to let myself enjoy my evening and have a relaxing night.

No homework, no anxiety.

A little care taking of me.

A little slowing down.

I have plenty to do tomorrow.

It’s true.

I’ll go to yoga and do breakfast and write here at the house.

I have a lady coming over at 1pm to do some work and doing of the deal.

Then a coffee date with a friend.

Then the homework.

And I bet I will get my CBT homework done between my breakfast and meeting with my first person at 1 p.m.

I also have to do a little grocery shopping and I will need to do food prep.

I am also banking on having some extra time at work to do the reading that I need to do.

The mom is out-of-town with the baby, I won’t have my normal morning routine with my youngest charge.

Oh.

There will still be plenty to do and in some instances some extra work, but I won’t have active charges until 2:15p.m. every day.

I’ll be at the house and make wicked fast work of whatever household things I need to deal with and then give myself at least an hour if not two of reading.

I’ll get it done.

I always do.

I know how full my life can get and it may seem untenable and challenging and too much, but it won’t be like this always.

And I have winnowed out some things, for instance I was unregistered over the weekend for the ALC ride, my bicycle rep still tried to talk me into doing it, but I gracefully turned it down and that’s one less thing on my plate.

I am going to acknowledge that yes, my calendar is still hella full, but I know time will coalesce and things will happen that allow me to have fun and not take myself or my situation so damn serious.

A client will cancel, I’ll get out of work early, some circumstance will arise and I will have a surprise gift of time.

It always happens.

I’m super grateful for that too.

I’ll get through this year.

I’ll get my Masters degree.

I’ve always wanted one.

I’ll have achieved one more step toward my career goal.

I don’t have to do it all tomorrow.

Or tonight for that matter.

I did enough today.

I am enough.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I affirm myself.

I am capable and strong and I have such lovely people in my life.

I do.

I do.

I am blessed beyond words.

So very blessed.

 

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

Huge Relief

September 10, 2017

To change my mind.

To see where I was taking on too much.

To apologize and make an amends to a friend.

To get honest with my person and with myself.

To see where my priorities lie.

To let go.

To surrender.

Such relief.

I have been grappling with something for a few weeks now and I suspect that recent events in my life, like letting go of the idea that I have to go to Burning Man every year for the rest of my life and that I always have to be working toward something, coalesced this afternoon as I rode my scooter into my internship.

I don’t want to do the Aids Life Cycle Ride.

Let me clarify.

If I wasn’t working 40 hours a week, interning 15 hours, and going to graduate school full-time I would be totally down with doing the ride.

But.

I realized.

I am working so hard already and to commit to another commitment seems fool hardy, prideful, and unrealistic.

I like to believe that I am superhuman.

“You don’t have to be Super Carmen,” my person told me, “Carmen is good enough.”

Fuck me.

I forget that all the time.

As if I am not constantly trying to self-improve, do better, live harder, go bigger, I am not enough.

And.

Good fucking grief.

I am enough.

I also realized that I had self-sabotaged myself by committing to do something that would make me re-arrange my already super full schedule and in effect make it so I would not have any days off.

NONE.

Yes, that’s right, I would be working full-time, seven days a week, for the next 10 months.

Fuck that.

I deserve to let myself have a little down time.

To love and be loved.

To not go crazy in my last year of my Masters program.

I mean.

I’m still working six days a week, I’m not slacking.

I rode my scooter to my internship and thought, it’s ok to change my mind, it’s ok to see where I bit off too much and it’s alright to acknowledge that maybe I knew this all along.

That maybe I didn’t buy the road bike when I had the chance because I really knew I didn’t want to do the ride.

I think I was setting myself up to give myself an out.

I had run into my friend who convinced me to ride again a week before I went to Burning Man and his talks about doing training rides made me feel nauseous.

How the hell was I going to fit it in?

I started to consciously let myself know that maybe, just maybe, it would be ok if I changed my mind.

I actually think going to Burning Man really helped me with that.

I realized there, at the event, on a very deep level, that I work really hard to work really hard on my vacations.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Instead of busting my ass, granted for an amazing cause, and I don’t regret the $95 I dropped to register, it’s a gift that I wouldn’t ask back if I could have it back, to bust my ass on my vacation.

Maybe.

I might want to actually have a vacation.

Like.

Lay on a beach.

Or.

Sit in a fucking cafe and read a book, people watch, drink coffee at ridiculous hours and not worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to ride 100+ miles and then come back from a seven-day ride, for which I would be using my vacation time, to go right back to work.

I mean.

Maybe I want a real vacation.

And.

Then.

When I said it out loud, when I got on the phone with my person, I got to my internship a little early simply so I could have time to talk with my person, I felt the biggest most amazing relief.

I knew in that instant that it was the right decision for me.

“Honestly, doll, I’m relieved to hear you say this, I was wondering when you were going to come to this realization.”

OH my god.

I love that he doesn’t judge me, that he didn’t tell me to not do it, that he let me have my process, and then to have it reflected back to me with honesty, well, that was that.

I’m not doing the Aids ride.

And I am ok with it.

We talked a lot about things happening in my life and I shared about a great deal of joyful things and it was so good to catch up.

I also talked about doing a trip for my graduation.

What that might look like.

Barcelona.

Paris, maybe L’Ile de Re, where my friend has a family home, off the West Coast of France, especially since she was such an important part of my first two years in the program.

That it might be really nice to see her and celebrate the accomplishment.

She was also the person who has said time and again how much I would like Barcelona.

In fact.

My savings account, I have two, one is my prudent reserve, and the second, my travel savings, is called Barcelona.

Not “going to Burning Man” again next year.

Not “doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and spending over three thousand dollars on a bicycle, gear, and who knows how many countless hours on the training.”

NOPE.

It’s named, “Barcelona,” because when my friend mentioned how I should go I thought, that would make a great graduation trip.

So maybe instead of sabotaging my dream with stuffing in more than I can handle, it’s ok to admit I made a mistake.

I told my friend tonight face to face and sat down and talked to him.

He totally got it, and then he added, “I totally honey potted you into agreeing, you know I did, don’t feel bad that you can’t, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Thank you.

I apologized again and hugged him and that was that.

I need to apologize to the three people who donated and then I think I’m clear.

I’ll also contact my ride representative and rescind the ride number, the ride will fill up and someone else will get to ride in my stead.

And.

I also contacted my assistant director, who is in charge of scheduling my clients and said, I need to not take clients on Saturdays.  I can do a consult now and then, but no clients.

At least for this semester.

I feel a lot better.

Much clearer.

Much cleaner.

And so relieved to be just regular old Carmen.

Super Carmen gets to put her cape back in the closet for at least today.

Thank God.

It needs a dry cleaning anyhow.

Ha.


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