Posts Tagged ‘belief’

I Got Asked

March 13, 2018

I answered a phone call today, a phone call with a number that I did not recognize.

I knew immediately it was a number I should answer, it was not an odd ball number from Indiana or Wisconsin asking me if I wanted to renew my health care or a telemarketing scheme from some small town in Florida.

No.

It was an Oakland number.

Therefor local.

Therefore, necessary to answer.

I am a well-trained monkey, as part of my recovery I stay connected to people in my community by phone.

I often give out my phone number to complete strangers.

Women!

Only the ladies, thank you.

So that’s what I thought the number was.

A support call from someone, someone who I gave out my number to, some one who I may have recently met.

Happens quite frequently and when I am able, I answer those numbers.

It was not who I was expecting.

It was, in fact a woman, and it was also a stranger, but not from my fellowship.

From my school!

I got the call!

I got the call!

I got the call back to go in to interview for the PhD program.

I have made it through to the next round.

I mean.

I am going to sound a little cocky, but I am fairly certain I’m getting in.

Nonetheless.

It was thrilling to talk to her on the phone and to set up a time to go in and interview.

I will be interviewing with the department on Wednesday, March 28th at 10 a.m.

I have already cleared it with the mom to go into work late that day.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I just did.

I finished it before I started to write this blog.

I sent in the Diversity Scholarship application.

I got my financials together to show proof of need.

Hello.

I could just say I’m a nanny and I live in San Francisco, doesn’t that prove need?

But I sent in my tax forms to be transparent.

And the application itself as well as the personal essay explaining a little bit about me and what I am going to do to further diversity in my community.

I think I wrote a pretty good essay and I just let it flow.

Here’s what I wrote:

Diversity Scholarship Application

My name alone should alert one to the applicable nature of the scholarship, Carmen Regina Martines. I am Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Polynesian as well as Caucasian. I am a melting pot, I am a mix, I am the person who straddles the line between. And in that space I have an important role to play. I have dealt with the internal racism of my family, the white part as well as the non-white part, apparently neither side of my family wanted a “half-breed” a moniker one set of grandparents gave, while the other referred to me under their breath as Hapa Haole, a prettier way to say half-breed.

I am neither and I am both. I have found myself often wondering to which side I truly fall, not realizing that all along I fell along with the Puerto Rican and Polynesian parts of me—at least physically, if not spiritually (your  great, great-grandmother was a witch, my mother told me, on the islands she was well-known and revered). My great, great-grandmother was a midwife and a medicine woman, in other words, a witch. I have brown skin, brown eyes, curly brown hair, wide flat Polynesian feet, a wide Puerto Rican nose, full lips, I have been called a “wet back” I have been told I should go back to Mexico (I am neither Mexican, nor have I ever been to Mexico). I have had my name constantly and continuously mispronounced and misspelled. An Aunt, my favorite aunt on my mother’s side of the family recently spelled it wrong on social media, an aunt who lived with my immediate family for years.

If my own family cannot spell my name, then who can? I can. I lead by my example, I lead by strength and resilience, and I spell my name out to the world and I keep correcting the world until it sits up and listens, I am not here to be quiet any more. I am here to meet the two worlds halfway and instead of being somehow lessened by who I am, I become more. I have advocated for myself to get into the ICPW program at CIIS despite extreme financial hardship when I applied, I won the Diversity in Leadership award and that helped greatly, and then I won something else, I won self-advocacy, I won my voice, the full strength of it and I have every intention on using it, growing it and advocating for others, especially women, especially now, to step into their power and find their voice.

I began that journey by getting sober and abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and though I never felt different __________________, I will say I have felt different in school where I found myself to be the “only” quite often in my cohort. I grew strong first in _____ and then in school and I believe that between the two I have created a kind of crucible for change that I do not believe many have the capacity to manifest. I plan on carrying forth this deep identity and passion, my voice, my person, my experience, forward in my studies to help others embody their own power and story, and also to create new narratives, while not letting the old stories die, but rather to have them inform the new. I do not wish to stare at my past, but rather to acknowledge where I have come from—extreme poverty, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, classism, and sexism, and show how those defects, thrust upon me by others to create the worlds they needed to move through, are in actuality, assets by which I have grown, and grown through.

I have a roster of multi-cultural clients at my practicum (soon to be internship!), some full; some half, some mixed ethnicities, all with their own traumas around diversity. I am so situated to hold those stories and help reframe them in meaningful strength based ways. I believe that the continued furthering of my education will only help me to continue as a strong voice in my community, in recovery, in San Francisco, in California, and yes, I do believe, that it does ripple out, one person to the next, throughout the world, landing where it is most needed and welcomed. That is what I believe.

 

Ta da.

Hopefully that works.

And though, it’s not the essay I was planning on writing, it was what came out and I am happy with it.

And now.

I am happy to wrap this up.

I have done enough work for today.

Supervision, before work, work with a screaming baby (poor little guy has a UTI!), two clients, and all the work on the application.

I am done.

I am good.

I am so happy it’s all in.

And.

I go the interview!

Yes.

Advertisements

My Heart is A Crucible

October 26, 2017

Burning out the pain.

Holding open the doors and the walls and keeping my hands tight

On the struts and beams rising from the foundation.

Ready to be lit a fire and burned to the ground.

Holding on to this love.

Holding on beyond the terror and the fear.

Believing.

Absolute belief in our love.

Sometimes God breaks my heart.

Breaks it open.

Breaks it wide.

Breaks it so that I may hold more love.

Your love.

Our love.

And I will stand in the middle of that fire.

Let it raze me to the ground.

Purify me and savage me.

And I will still be standing when it whips through.

Wildfire love.

Ripping through me.

Demolishing my heart.

Eating it like hot tinder.

Mollify the love.

I will sing it lullabies and whisper it soft stories.

Fairy stories.

Happily ever after.

Crooning the magic of everlasting love.

Love bigger than I.

Stronger than I.

Waiting for me to grow to fit it.

Burning me down so that I start anew.

Phoenix.

Dying in a show of flames.

In ashes.

Hot embers.

The smell of heat and passion and the knowing,

Of knowing.

Sacred knowing.

In my knowing of you.

I have been chosen by the Gods.

The old Gods I think.

Who foster this pain and suckle it.

Because it brings strength.

My courage.

My heart.

Yes there is fear.

And yet.

I dare tread there.

Knowing that I could only escape the inevitable for so long.

The fall of love into you.

Asunder.

This great rarity.

You.

My rose-gold.

Heart.

You.

My.

Wonder.

My absolute.

Everything.

You.

 

 

Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix,
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself;
So shall she leave her blessedness to one,
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness,
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix’d.

Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Act V Scene V

Day One

February 11, 2017

Down!

God it feels good to be moving through the days of my program.

I felt super good today, even with starting the day with Trauma class.

Which.

Well.

Is oft-times traumatic.

However, having done so much of my own work around trauma I feel pretty grounded and able to hold myself in the stream of information that is being shared and to share my experience, not someone else’s experience.

I have been privy to much information that is confidential over the years and many confidences of delicate nature, trauma, abuse, sexual violence, stalkers, bad jobs, violence, drug abuse, emotional abuse, troubled relationships with partners, children, spouses, parents.

I have heard so much trauma and witnessed so much that I am surprised that I am not inured.

Rather.

I am impressed.

I am a little bit awed, in fact.

By the ability of us humans to heal and grow despite, or perhaps because of the nature of the pain that has been experienced.

This is not to say that I wish for you a traumatic experience, it is rather to acknowledge that holy fuck I have done the damn work.

I have shown up.

I have held my space, my heart, I have eaten out of the palm of pain and I have lived to tell the tale and in the telling, grown, blossomed, survived, thrived.

Despite, not because of the trauma.

I am graced in the knowledge that walking through the fear is never as hard as the fear wants me to believe.

I get to do this work and I am so situated that I have been allowed to go to graduate school and pursue it and be a kind of healer in my community.

This is a blessing.

This is a gift.

A gift that carries a burden that could be hard to shoulder had I not already done so much to strengthen myself and move my own stuff out-of-the-way.

That’s not to say that I won’t come up, that it hasn’t come up, that there is not some ugliness there or terror to shed light on, there is always room for growth, for more blossoming and even when it is the dead of winter I know that the plum trees will bloom on Church street and the act of walking, my face lifted to the blossoms pressed against the night sky will carry me forward through another season of pain and growth and exquisite beauty.

I was also just happy to see my cohort.

Let’s be honest.

I missed my friends.

And.

I acknowledged to myself how important these friendships have become to me.

I feel really amazed, I wasn’t expecting that as a product of doing the grad school work, that I would have another unique set of circumstances and fellows to travel and trudge the road to happy destiny, a destiny designed to connect me further with people in community.

With love.

I love that I am seen and accepted.

Oh.

I am not always liked and I don’t always like people in my cohort, but.

I love them all.

I do.

Unconditional love.

Meaning I wish for each and every one of the people in my cohort, in my class, in my school, in my neighborhood, that same respect and love a showering of respect and a willingness to acknowledge that we all deserve to be happy, however that looks.

I don’t have to like you to love you.

I don’t have to like you to wish for you the best, whatever and however that manifests.

I am an equal opportunity lover.

Heh.

Maybe you find a love that falls across you gently like a pick pocket brushes your thigh.

This means.

That I also unconditionally love myself, even when I wonder, am I people pleasing again, am I holding my tongue because I don’t want conflict, am I acquiescing to someone else’s need?

I might be.

At least I can recognize it now and more forward with that knowledge too.

So much to learn.

So much to feel.

The good new kids, you’re going to have feelings.

The bad news?

You’re going to have feelings.

But.

The nice thing is, feelings aren’t facts and despite feeling many things, I don’t have to be held hostage to my feelings.

I can have them.

I can let them go.

I can let them move through me.

It is a gift to see the emotion, to name it, to love myself and let whatever is there, rise, float to the surface, gather light, bloom, blossom grow, then slowly wither, become a puff of dander that the next feeling breathes against it and pushes the seeds carried by small parachutes of fluff and gossamer, carrying the impetus for so many other feelings to grow, blossom, wither, and die upon the warm air of God’s breath.

A sigh of kisses.

A multitude of stars.

I can contain millions.

I do.

In fact.

So too, do you.

Extraordinary.

This.

How hard I have striven to find these small moments of metaphor, Dolly blue in the hand crank washing machine of my heart, the pain renders it all the more beautiful and I rise to the light of the full moon.

Woman.

Once more.

My own.

You may have tried to trespass.

I may have shut the door.

I may have resisted.

I have come to understand my struggle and my power.

I underestimated my strength.

My fellows see it.

They breathe it back to me in the language of love and unconditional surrender.

The is that is right now.

The being that is scoped across my heart, a light house beaming its beacon at the end of the universe.

A small flower opening.

My face to the sun.

Uplifted and held.

Tears on my face.

The water of love showering my heart.

Where all the wild things go to grow.

I sing my barbaric yawp at thee.

Sounded over the rooftop of the city.

Howled into the nether regions of love.

I gather you here, upon my breast, open hands to cradle you close.

The music of the spheres.

The resonance of light in your eyes.

Your head upon my shoulder.

Warm breath.

Human.

Together.

Moving through and above.

Beyond.

Into another realm.

Which is only this one repeated again and again as I attend to all those things that I thought were lost underneath the attic stairs where my dreams went to nestle and die.

Or so I thought.

They only slumbered.

They only dreamed.

And now.

Well.

I have them again.

And I won’t let them go.

Trauma class.

Trauma.

Trauma.

Trauma.

I meet thee there.

With.

Love.

And.

Surrender.

And.

Gentle.

Repair.

 

 

Once More Into

January 18, 2017

The breach, my friends.

Once more, into the.

Oops.

Ha.

I meant, books, once more into the books.

Yes.

I have started in on the reading that will need to be done for the next weekend of classes.

I got a new trauma book in the mail today and that has been cracked, as well as getting into the next chapter in one of my couples therapy books.

There is so much reading.

But.

It is so much better than the reading I was doing last semester, the DSM V is a little, ahem, dry.

I just knocked through a chapter and a half in “The Body Keeps the Score,” which is a book about healing trauma.

I am all down for that.

Yes.

Yes I am.

It’s fascinating reading and I’m a little surprised it’s just now that I am getting into it, but as I know so well, my past experiences will guide me and though I may not have much experience with healing trauma, although that could be argued I tried a lot of different things, I do have plenty of experience with having been exposed to trauma.

“Like to like,” I said in class as we were setting up the parameters for how we as a class were going to move forward.

I meant, that like attracts like.

I reflect that I don’t know exactly, consciously, why, but there is something there, I have worked with too many women who have had identical if not highly similar trauma stories as I have.

I have sought out to work, like wise, with women that I have found out later, had the same experience or sets of traumatic experiences that I had as well.

It’s shocking.

And it’s not, all at the same time.

I am grateful to be doing the work now as a student and I have always had an inkling that what and where I land will have a great deal to do with how I have walked through my own trauma spaces.

And not walked through.

There are spots and things and big old cheesy holes in my memory.

But.

The body remembers.

And that’s what I find fascinating and curative in its own way.

I have done an extraordinary amount of self-work and I wonder how much I saved myself without even realizing that I was saving myself.

And I wonder how much more saving there is to do.

Plenty I am sure.

I can often see when a behavior is not serving me, for instance, but it takes a great deal of effort to not continue to engage with something that isn’t good for me.

Men who are not divorced, emotionally available, or hmm, live in another part of the country.

So sexy.

I mean.

Even a novice in psychology would say, oh, I bet her dad wasn’t around when she was a kid.

I mean.

Duh.

And perhaps I am dumbing it down a little, but it’s a cliché because there’s some truth there.

The child like need to reconstruct the past in my present circumstances so that I may resolve an old psychological wounding.

I had nothing to do with the break up of my parents marriage, I gather it was breaking apart before it had really solidified.

Yet, how many times have I been involved with a man who is going through a bad divorce or break up with children of certain age?

And better yet, with those children being girls?

Ack.

It’s embarrassing.

I will be going into therapy soon enough to deal with that, but I do wonder, sometimes more than I wish, wouldn’t it just be nice to get involved with a straight edge kind of guy, one with good morals, who’s single, not married, doesn’t have kids, isn’t an active drug addict, isn’t alcoholic, or, I don’t know, not a felon or a convict?

Fuck.

That sounds boring!

There is comfort in the known.

I once was told, “Honey, I know five things about the man you are dating without you having to tell me anything,” pause, “he’s homeless, jobless, he’s got less than thirty days sober, doesn’t have any money, and has holes in his socks.”

I was aghast.

It was like he’d just looked into my bedroom.

I’m not joking.

I was mortified to recall that the paramour at my apartment the night before had holes in his socks, I remember finding that distasteful and I was ashamed that my person knew me so well.

I have since had lovers who have stellar socks.

But occasionally I do fall for the emotionally unavailable man.

And boy howdy, they’re just like a big box of chocolates.

Another thing I can’t have.

But my mind has a sweet tooth for the emotionally unavailable man.

They are so tender and deletable.

And.

Safe.

Fuck me.

They are so safe.

They are not available for romantic, emotional commitment, and great!

Because.

Neither am I!

Or so the story goes and then I’ll be safe and not get my feelings hurt and not have all that past trauma drug up and tossed about.

Except.

Well.

None of that works for me.

And as I read more and more and go through more and more of my program I am in fact, looking to heal those places, to let in new scenarios.

To dump the box of temptation in the trash rather than fondly sift through the contents and ponder what it would be like if I just had a tiny little taste.

NO.

It’s just not good for me and I keep finding resolution in the way the material works on me and through me and I am excited and gratified to know that I can change, am changing, am growing.

That the trauma will get worked out, it’s been getting worked out, and that I am allowed to work it out.

Maybe my best efforts at keeping a true emotional and romantic and spiritual relationship with a man would have once been too threatening, that I kept going back to the known trauma of the relational field to keep some sort of fresh wounding intact.

I wouldn’t forget my father that way and I might somehow figure it out.

How to save him.

But.

Really.

I think.

Saving me at this point is more to the point.

And ultimately.

What my father would have wished for me if he could.

This I believe.

And in that knowing, which will sink from head to heart to gut, I will heal.

I will grow.

And I will let go of those old ideas that no longer serve.

For something new and wonderful.

I fucking deserve it.

I really.

Really.

REALLY.

Do.


%d bloggers like this: