Posts Tagged ‘child therapy’

I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018

For: CARMEN MARTINES

To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,

 

Um yeah.

THANK YOU!

So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Wow.

I was not expecting the quick response.

And.

The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.

4.0.

And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.

Confidentiality.

But.

It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.

Literally.

I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.

But.

l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.

None.

Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.

Really.

Really.

Really.

Nice.

Advertisements

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Financial Aid

April 26, 2017

Fucking hates me.

But.

I don’t care.

I have gotten a lot more assertive in asking for help from the financial aid office at school, especially since I have had to jump through hoops that I didn’t even know were there to get what I need to get.

After innumerable e-mails I think I am almost there.

Of course there was one thing on the application that made no sense to me, not an iota and I probably filled the damn form out wrong and they won’t give me the money.

GIVE ME THE MONEY.

I need it for therapy.

That sounds a little desperate, I know.

What could be so bad that the lady has to have, HAS TO HAVE, being the operative word, therapy?

Oh, you know, sexual abuse trauma, incest, neglect, physical abuse, history of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, racism, eating disorder.

Nothing at all that indicates needing therapy.

Ha.

I am being a little flippant.

I have addressed a lot of these issues and I have done an extraordinary amount of work on them over the years and I have done therapy before, but.

My school program requires it as a part of my degree.

And really, it does make fantastic sense, I need to have my shit taken care of so I can show up and help others take care of their shit.

It’s the classic put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the plummeting airplane.

And.

And.

AND.

I found out from my therapist today that my hours with her do actually count towards my 3,000 hours that I need to accrue to get my MFT license.

It’s going to change though, the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) is going to phase that out.

By 2021 you won’t be able to count personal therapy hours toward your 3,000.

And the thing is, I want those hours to count very much, because as it turns out each hour or personal therapy is counted as three.

THREE HOURS.

Holy shit.

So.

It turns out that tonight I went into my Track My Hours app and I made sure that I was using the Pre 2021 dashboard  and I entered in my hours as my therapist suggested I do and voila!

15 more hours.

I have had, after today, five sessions with her.

Multiply that by three and I now have 16 hours.

There is was in black and white.

Valid hours: 16.

Total hours to accrue: 2,984.

Fuck yeah.

I will take that.

This is going to be huge and such a help to be able to acquire the hours.

My therapist went through the same program that I am doing and we talked a lot about the process and I was so freaking grateful to be seen and have my experience validated, especially in regards to the financial aid stuff and when she said, oh yeah, these hours count, you’ll have your 3,000 by 2021, you’ll be able to use your personal therapy and all you need is for me to sign a piece of paper with my MFT license on it.

Such a huge gift to find this out.

And.

She also suggested that I actually do talk to my offsite supervisor about my work as a nanny, considering how much time I have spent in the heart of so many families, that I actually may be able to get some of my child and family hours covered.

I would never have thought of it, I had a teacher who told me she thought nannies should get hours accredited to them, considering how nannies tend to be involved in a lot of family dynamics and bear witness to children and how they grow and learn, that it would make sense to grant nannies some hours.

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m going to at least check it out with my supervisor.

It’s probably unlikely, but hey, I do have over a decade of work with children and families, that kind of work experience should count for something.

And it does.

My therapist validated that today too, that I have been doing this work for a very long time, that I have, in essence been learning how to be a therapist for years.

She’s right.

It’s nice to let someone be right.

It was nice to be seen too, we have a good connection and I am so grateful for the sessions.

I already can tell that things are working themselves out and it’s an unexpected and lovely support of my experience with school and the anxiety that comes up for me when I am dealing with all things school.

I feel a lot more open with what’s happening and so grateful that I am doing the internship this summer, especially now that I know if I can all my hours by the end of 2020 I can count my therapy hours too.

Such a gift.

Just have to repeat that since I want to pinch myself and gleefully clap my hands.

Who knew?

Therapy doesn’t have to be a vale of tears.

Although.

It is also that.

A vale of tears.

I was sharing about a very sweet interaction I had with a previous charge and a gift that he had given me, a painting of my house, where I live, and this beautiful watercolor of a rainbow, “Carmen!  This is where you live!”

In a house under a rainbow, full of color and light and love.

“You had a lot of emotion come up for you when you shared that,” she said.

Understatement, pass the kleenex box please.

“Can you tell me about that?” She asked.

He saw me, this little boy saw me, and I represented love and color and joy to him, that my home, where I live is in a house full of rainbows, and if you have seen my home, well, there might be some truth to that.

What she said next I’m not sure that I could express how it landed, nor exactly what she said, but I can tell you how it felt, it felt like love, that the love in me was being reciprocated by the love in that little boy, that he saw me for who I am and he shared with me what that love looked like for him.

That we saw each other’s essence and what a gift for me to give that to him.

I had never looked at it like that and it felt.

Well it felt.

True.

It was a really lovely way to wrap up the session and I left having felt something big shift.

I don’t have to analyze it or reason it out.

I can just feel that I was seen, I was, and that I am a big fucking rainbow of love.

I’ll take it.

Thanks therapy.

I’ll take the hours too.

Only 2,984 to go.

No big deal.

Heh.

Affirmation

December 10, 2016

I got some today.

And.

Man.

It feels nice.

Really nice.

Really fucking nice.

I mean.

REALLY.

Especially since I’m heading into the applying to practicum and interning and all that jazz and in my last weekend of classes for the semester.

It feels good.

I mean.

The only thing that I think would feel better is if I was done with my Psychopathology paper, but that’s a ways off yet and I’m not going to focus on something that I can’t do much about at the moment.

Rather.

For just a moment.

I am going to bask in the niceness of being seen.

I got back a paper from my Family Therapist professor and the comments on it really made me happy to see.

The end one especially.

“Carmen!  Thank you for being so brave, you will be a fabulous therapist!”

Yes.

Thank you.

It’s nice to get that kind of reflection back from a teacher, even if I didn’t always see eye to eye with the class, it came around, and it feels good to be seen by my teachers and to be confirmed in my path, in the directions I am going.

I also attended a practicum fair and made some nice connections there and got some good suggestions and some great resources.

There is so much to learn and so many skills to hone.

And also so many skills to acknowledge.

I have a lot of talents and I am going to have to list them and advocate for them and say, hey, look at me, I have what you want, I turned around shit hole of a life and I made something of myself and I’m smart and capable and resilient and strong and I have mad skills with the babies and the little ones.

I need to become my best cheering section.

I’m working on it.

It helps that I am showing up for school and the program and taking suggestions and trying.

The showing up.

All the time.

And grateful to get to do it.

I took the train today and guess what?

It didn’t rain.

haahahahahahaha.

Fuck you weather.

Oh well.

I am glad I took the train in any way, it was slippery and wet and the rain had cleared off but only by a little bit, it would have still been treacherous getting into school during Friday morning rush.

Instead I took the train.

I put in my ear phones and I listened to music.

And I was happy.

Happy to be heading into school.

Happy that I was going to get to see my friends.

Happy to be listening to good music.

Music makes me happy that is for sure.

I bopped a long in my seat during the rush hour commute and I didn’t give two fucks.

I smiled.

I looked at the houses passing by the train windows, the wet grey fog wrapped around the hills, the moisture dripping down the tree leaves.

It was beautiful.

I was grateful and it was nice to sit still and just watch the city float past and listen to happy music on my way to school.

I’m dancing now in my chair.

Well.

I’m swaying along to the music.

And it is a fine, fine, fine thing.

I feel like I carried that buoyancy with me through out the day.

The fair went well and I connected up with one of the women who works at the UCSF Infant/Parent program that is based out of General and I shared my experiences and what I have done and we made a really nice connection.

I got all the information I needed.

And I will need to do a lot of work to get into the program, its prestigious, but, I felt the connection and it felt good and right and strong and my skill set would be very valuable to them.

Advocating for myself.

Seeing what I have to offer and really putting it out there to the world.

I also like that the program is psychodynamically inclined.

As am I.

I love psychodynamics.

It speaks to me.

After the practicum was over I hopped over to Psychopathology and got myself sorted with cup of tea and had a chat with my professor.

She asked how the practicum hunt was going and I expressed that of course I would be applying to the school sites, but that I was also really intrigued with the UCSF Infant/Parent program out of General Hospital.

“Really?  You are?” She asked, her head tilted, a slight smile on her face.

“Yeah,” I said, “I’ve been a nanny for over ten years and it feels very compelling to work with parents and infants and helping new parents work with their kids, and well, it’s psychodynamically inclined and I am very interested in that modality.”

“Yes, it is,” she said and her smiled broadened, she leaned in towards me, “I did my practicum work there.”

What!?

OMfuckingG.

“You did?” I said, my eyes must have gotten as round as saucers.

“I did,” she said and her smile grew larger.

“Um, well, haha, this is where I ask you if you would mind writing me a letter of recommendation,” I said, a little bashful, but shit, fuck, holy moly, my professor did her practicum and interning there?  I had to ask.

“Of course!  I would be honored to write you the letter,” she said, “absolutely.”

Oh yes!

Yes!

Yes!

Awesome sauce.

We talked about their, UCSF’s schedule, and the requirements needed and when I must have the application in, by February 14th.

Valentines Day.

Of course.

What better way to show myself that I am lovable and worthy of love than applying to a prestigious program that will lead to an internship and look hella good moving forward whatever career path I end up going towards.

I was tipped off that it’s better to apply earlier rather than later as they get inundated and they only take four interns.

I would be competing with all the schools–Berkeley, USF, State, and of course, UCSF.

But you know what.

I got this.

I can feel it.

All the little serendipitous things.

All the work aligning and showing up and doing my best and hey, who better than to help new parents connect with their children?

Heh.

Oh.

It just felt so lovely and validating and it just really dropped in my lap.

My professor offered to meet with me off hours, off campus sometime over break, we’ll commit to timing by the end of the weekend and I’ll get to pick her brain about the program and ask her what I need to have prepared and all that.

And of course.

Hahaha.

Ugh.

Just a little added pressure on myself to make sure that my Psychopathology paper is off the charts.

I sort of, kinda of.

REALLY.

Want that letter of recommendation.

I am worth it.

I deserve it.

Excited.

The future is hella bright.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the motherfucking time.

All the time.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Grounded

December 8, 2016

I will not be riding my scooter the rest of the week.

Eek.

Tense ride home in the rain, cold, and wet, and slick and yuck.

The weather calls for rain for the rest of the weekend.

Damn it weather.

I got places to be.

School.

Work.

A wedding.

I’ll either be using cars or getting out early and using the MUNI, which sucks, but hey, at least I have options and for that I am grateful.

I hate blowing the money on cars.

But.

I also hate the waste of time that is MUNI.

If I was on a more direct route it would be fine, but to get to work would be either a half hour walk from the closest train station or a transfer to a bus, the 22 Fillmore, and still a walk, but more like 10 minutes.

Either way a pain in the ass.

I’d rather spend the extra dollars and take a car.

The next couple of weeks don’t look good weather wise, lots of cold and lots of rain.

More rain than I have seen in years.

Sigh.

Oh well.

I am starting to count down the days, it’s getting closer, the last weekend, the last weeks of work, the starting a new job, the time is just sliding right past.

“What do you mean, next week is your last week,” the middle boy said to me tonight at dinner time, “where are you going?!”

I explained that I would be starting with a new family in January.

Next week the temporary job that I have had for the last two months will come to an end.

They have been a great family to work for and I am super grateful that I have gotten to know them, and that they happen to be psychiatrists who will happily write me letters of recommendation for practicum doesn’t hurt either.

I will miss the baby girl the most, she really digs me and I her.

She’s passionate and smart and likes to dance.

Nothing there I like.

Heh.

We had a big dance party tonight, the middle boy wanted to have a dance contest and I queued up some Kungs on my Spotify and we got down and boogied.

It was a fun day with them.

The rain kept us inside and cozy.

The oldest boy read for most of the afternoon.

I would bring him snacks and peel his clementines, and I got him a snuggle blanket and just checked in with him every so often.

He’s a peach.

All the family.

Really.

“Wait! I know!” The middle boy looked at me, eyes big and round and brown, ruffled with the thickest, prettiest eyelashes, “we can come a visit you at your house! Once a week, or even better, once a day!”  He nodded his head solmenly at me.

“Oh, my gosh, that’s the best idea!  I’d love it if you came and visited!”

Of course, my tiny in-law might be a bit cramped with a 21 month old, 4.5 year old and 6.5 year old, and their parents.

Maybe we’d have a dance party.

I’m listening to some French house music right now.

The dancing helps.

Gets me in my body, my sore body, I’ve been doing lots of yoga recently, making hay while the sun shines.

That’s figurative, if you haven’t realized it’s been raining buckets all day.

Although I did avoid the worst of the down pour having got home before it really unleashed.

It wasn’t raining when I left and I figured, hey, I’ve ridden home before, I can do it later.

But.

It was so cold.

And even with my sweatshirt, a jean jacket, and my scooter jacket, my scarf, and my gloves, it was chilly.

Plus.

It was slick.

I can ride home, I did ride home, I have done it, I may do it again, but when it comes right down to it, there’s no need for me to be miserable and there’s no need for me to be out on my scooter if I don’t need to be.

It’s stressful riding when the roads are slippery.

I don’t need any more stress in my life.

Thank you very much.

I will get up in the morning and get one more yoga class in before the weekend of class.

Otherwise it won’t be until next Tuesday that I will be able to get back to the studio.

So, even though I am a bit sore, I am going to go in and just take it easy and be gentle and keep the momentum going.

I do feel better in my body and I can notice some changes, my waist a little tighter, my arms a bit stronger, my posture straighter, and well, it does seem to lessen my anxiety quite a bit.

Not that I have any reason to be anxious.

Psychopathology paper.

Child Therapy presentation.

Which, yes, I worked on today before and after work and doing the deal.

I wrote out a vignette for the teacher and for my partner in the dyad and I fleshed out what I want to do and I feel quite confident that I can do the ten minute presentation without too much hassle.

I emailed my partner today and we chatted about the project, but more, we made plans to have lunch, AFTER, the presentation, the following day, when I will also be leaving school early to go to the wedding.

I may need to line up a few other lunches with folks, the class is having a end of semester soiree Saturday night after class.

But.

I will be at the wedding, or by that time, the wedding reception.

No last goodbyes to my classmates.

I will still be in a full day of classes on Friday and Sunday, so I will have to sneak some time in with my favorite people.

God.

I can not believe how fast it’s going by.

Quick.

Fast.

Like the red fox jumping over the lazy dog.

Just need to figure out when I’m going to wedge in the time to write that last paper.

Sigh.

Not tonight, though.

Not tonight.

It’s late my dears.

Time to watch the last part of the last episode of Westworld and have one more spot of tea before I retire.

It’s been a day.

I deserve a little down time.

I do.

I do.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

You know the rest.

I’m Not Dead Yet

December 5, 2016

Although I just got hit with the tired stick.

I mean.

It’s been a day.

A good day.

But a full one.

I am actually really fucking impressed with myself, if I do say so myself.

As I sit here and listen to the kettle boil and the jazz horn play, nothing says unwinding on a Sunday evening like listening to jazz, and smell the delicious chicken soup simmering on the stove I am replete and pleased with myself.

Grandly pleased.

Greatly pleased.

Happily pleased.

Extravagantly pleased.

I think you catch my drift.

I got it all done.

Well, ok, not it all done, I still have some stuff to do, but I got done what I needed to get done today.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper!

Seven pages.

1,883 words.

References and bibliography.

Even a nice little title page.

Done and done and done.

Good bye Family Therapy.

I’m done with you!

I mean.

Yes, of course I’ll be showing up for class this weekend, but I don’t have to do any more reading or writing for this class.

It is finished.

Show up, turn in the paper, be present and finish out the class.

Yes.

I also have my presentation prepared, mentally, for Child Therapy class.

We don’t have to have a paper to turn in with it, and I already wrote the reflection paper that is due for the class last week.

However, I was thinking I may write-up a quick family vignette just to have a little back story to give to the class so that when I do the presentation there is some information for the class to have so the intervention that I plan on doing in the dyad will come across.

I know what I’m going to do and it’s only a ten minute presentation and I’m going to bring in colored pencils and paper and work with a partner in my group who will be playacting a child in therapy.  I will be doing a creative arts intervention.  I am excited and pleased with the concept I came up with.

All I have to do is contact the person in my group with whom I want to do the dyad work with and lay out a few things for her to play act.

I actually don’t want her to do much prep since I want it to come across as natural.

So.

A quick sketch of a vignette to hand off to her and my classmates, a ten minute presentation, some colored pencils and white paper, and I’ll be done with Child Therapy.

I won’t be making the final class of the semester as I will be leaving early on Saturday to go to my friend’s wedding.

Again.

So very pleased that I was able to find shoes that will work with my dress, pretty shows, fancy shoes, but not too sexy shoes.

Speaking of sexy.

I love the new jeans I bought.

They might be one of the best fitted pairs of jeans I have scored in sometime.

And score is the proper verbiage here.

The original cost of the jeans?

$251.

Who the fuck pays that much money for jeans?

I don’t.

But.

I will pay $44 for them!

Heh.

So happy.

My ass looks great.

I say with no great conceit or humility.

Ha.

Anyway.

Yeah.

Happy with my new wardrobe additions.

And happy with all the things I did get to today besides writing my Family Therapy paper.

I did laundry and put fresh sheets on the bed, because nothing is sexier than fresh washed sheets, well, except maybe a very hot shower.

Which I had this morning after going to yoga.

Yes.

I made time for the yoga.

And so glad I did.

I’m sore.

But tomorrow since I have an early start at work, I won’t be going to yoga, I figure it will be ok, my shoulders will rest up and get a little reprieve.

Not too much of a reprieve though, I want to make sure that I continue with the habit of going to the studio, it feels really good.

The best part might be the floating walk home from the studio to the house.

It really is a divine little walk.

And though it was chilly today, the sun was out and I felt happy to be alive and ready to face the day.

One step at a time.

One moment at a time.

One unsweetened vanilla almond milk cafe au lait, at a time.

A nice breakfast, the aforementioned coffee, and a lot of morning writing.

One of my ladies no showed this afternoon and I had an extra hour.

But one of my ladies did and that was great, to catch up, to do some reading, to talk about the holidays and our plans for travel.

I also started wrapping up some Christmas presents.

Yeah.

Like that.

Because it makes me happy to give gifts and because it makes me happy to see them nestled up underneath the Christmas tree.

They won’t be there for very long, most of them will get sent off to my sister and nieces and to my mom.

A couple of small ones for friends in my cohort and the rest are for my best friend and her family back in Wisconsin.

I still need to get my boys, the boys I take care of, something, I usually do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I did find them very sweet cards though, I want my last Christmas present to them to be reflective of our time together and the cards are quite fitting.

One is a “I love you to the moon and back,” for the four-year old.

And the other is “you are my sunshine,” for the six-year-old.

Both with lots of glitter and sparkles, as they are both partial to all things shiny.

Speaking of cards.

I even sent out my first batch of Christmas cards.

I got seven cards off in the mail today.

I roasted a fucking chicken people and then made soup.

I’m impressing myself all over the place.

But.

I will say.

l am knackered and just about ready for bed.

Which is still a little ways off, but closer than my typical night since I’ll be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the start of my very, very, very long week.

Four days of work followed by three days of school followed by five days of work.

I won’t have another day off until December 17th.

Sigh.

The day before my birthday.

And I might be spending that entire day working on my Psychopathology paper since it has to be sent in by the 19th and fuck if I’m going to be writing a paper on my birthday.

I had to take a final on it once and that blew.

I would rather have the day free and clear.

Ah.

I get a head of myself.

There is time and there is time.

There always is.

 

 

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisionsm

Before the taking of toast and tea.

 

Things Falling Together

November 30, 2016

I got up early.

I did the yoga.

Or the yoga did me.

Good class, challenging, but I can see again where I am making progress by just showing up to the practice.

So much of life, my life, is just that, constantly showing up.

Sometimes, most times, with expectations.

Once in a while, without them, and then, oh glory.

So good.

I had that happen today in yoga class.

The class was hard, but I could see and feel improvement in my body by making it regular in my schedule again.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when I change my jobs, but I’m not going to worry about that today.

There is too much going on.

December is jam-packed with all the fun.

All the things.

Travel.

Work.

School.

A friend’s wedding.

Yoga whenever I can get to the studio.

It does seem to make me more efficient.

Whether that is because I’m less anxious and able to focus better, or if I just feel better in general and it’s easier to keep a thing in motion in motion.

I came back from yoga this morning, took a shower, threw laundry in the wash, made breakfast, ate it, oh the deliciousness of a persimmon with my apple in my oatmeal–so good–and drank some tasty coffee.

I wrote four pages long hand.

Then.

I made a second cup of coffee and did my makeup.

A nice make up session, I’ve realized that though I like the big bold colors sometimes, that softening as I grow up, yeah, I’m getting older, what of it, is nice.

I feel prettier and more approachable and I rather like that.

Anyway.

The makeup was just a distraction as I found myself with a tiny bout of nerves this morning.

I registered for my second semester of classes!

I was counting down the minutes as I was drinking my coffee and writing and I realized I had a little bit of anxiety around it.

Not nearly as bad as last semester and certainly nothing at all like it was the first couple of times I did it when I was newly in school, but just there, a little rankling of my nerves and I caught it.

Oh.

Hey there.

You’re nervous, that’s ok, be nervous, I’m going to let God take care of this, just show up to the computer, sign into your student account when the clock turns 11:30 a.m. and do the next thing in front of you.

I had multiple tabs open on my computer with instructions from the school and an updated code for one of my courses.

I signed in, updated my account information, signed the waiver saying I had read the policies, nope, but what ever, I’m signing away my life to student loans, I’m not turning back now, then I was in the system.

It took less than five minutes.

Now what?

I basked in the feeling of having registered and then I brushed my teeth and washed my breakfast dishes.

I flipped the laundry into the dryer.

Hmm.

I have some time before work yet.

I could do some Christmas shopping.

Or.

I could work on some homework.

You guessed it.

I chose homework.

I started by first reviewing what I needed to write for my Psychopathology paper.

I got some ideas and I have an idea of where to start.

But.

It’s a honking big paper and I’m going to be spending a lot of time reviewing my notes and re-reading and researching my text books, so, just having an idea of where I can start was nice, but it was just an amuse bouche to pique the appetite.

No.

The paper that I knew I could knock out and get done was for my Child Therapy class.

It was basically a reflection paper on one of the text books we had read over the semester, we could choose from any one of the four and I chose the one that was latest in our syllabus, it was the freshest in my memory and really quite easy to ground myself in the material.

I wrote a paper on the book Odd Girl Out; The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.

I had some experience with that.

I was bullied a bit in middle school.

I got over it.

I learned a great deal from it.

And.

I didn’t let the bitches grind me down.

Besides when I see how far I have come, part of me is grateful for those girls, they’re mean strivings only propelled me further.

But I did take something from the book that I have found to be true in my life, that I was raised to not be in conflict, that conflict is bad, and that I can’t afford any conflict in my relationships, not my friendships, my family relationships, romantic relationships, work relationships.

Increase the list ad infinitum.

However.

All relationships have conflict.

Conflict is not the problem, it’s how I resolve it.

I’m learning.

I still can fuck it up, but I have discovered that I really do blow things out of proportion and I am super sensitive to being in conflict, it feels like I’m going to die and I have inventoried it a lot.

A fucking lot.

I don’t have to be right.

I do have to be happy.

And I’ve been a lot happier just realizing that.

So much happier.

Unhappy still happens.

I mean.

Hello.

Lice.

But.

I can get out of the bad stuff faster and when I allow myself the room to make a mistake and not try to manipulate you into behaving a certain way because god forbid we be in conflict, well.

Life is a whole lot better.

Really.

So I kicked out that paper.

When I know what I want to write, the words just flow.

I formatted it, gave it a little bibliography, and printed that bitch off.

I was done with it a half hour before I was due in at work.

I gathered my gear, hopped on my scooter and made it to work three minutes before my shift started.

The dog gave me love.

The mom updated me on the things that needed to be taken care of.

I did a fuck load of cooking.

But the best.

The best.

Was the four-year old running through the house, running, arms wide open, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, I missed you, I missed you so much, I love you, I want to spend all day with you.”

He literally threw himself into my arms.

It took a lot not to cry, but I definitely teared up.

I had missed him too.

We had ourselves a love fest reunion and then built trains all after noon and he helped me “make dinner” (up on the step stool with the pepper grinder and the salt grinder adding “special” seasonings and “magic” to the chicken I was about to roast).

It was the perfect afternoon.

Until his brother got home.

Then.

It just got beyond exquisite.

He had drawn me a picture.

“Carmen!  This is your house, this is where you live.”

He had drawn my house in bright colors, full of love, big, juicy, heart breaking wide open love.

My little house was basically a tiny little happy house that was covered in a HUGE rainbow that filled the page and scrawled off the edges of the paper.

It made my heart just swell.

I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas when his tiny heart got three sizes bigger.

I squeezed him very, very hard.

And when we had finished dinner–roasted chicken legs for the boys with roasted mashed sweet potatoes and sliced apples and mandarins–I had music playing and I danced with him.

“I love this song,” he said, all melty and dreamy against me.

His eye so big, so brown, so round and full and sweet, swollen with love, it was like looking at the sun, I thought I was being swallowed up whole in that love.

I sang the words to him and we slowly swayed back and forth.

He’s a big kid now, 6 1/2, but I picked him up anyway, and we danced.

It was a full beautiful day.

I really couldn’t ask for more.

Well.

Ha.

I could.

But I won’t.

My needs are met beyond my wildest dreams.

And I am so loved.

So.

So.

So loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Well, You’re A Little

October 16, 2016

Standoffish.

My friend told me tonight.

Fuck me.

I am trying.

I am.

I am.

Of course, this all transpires as my Lyft line car is pulling up.

“We’ll talk more about it later,” he concludes.

Yeah.

I hear you.

And it’s true.

I am standoffish and defended and defensive and if you had the child hood I had you’d be on the defensive too.

But um.

Like that is such bullshit at this point.

I’m 43.

Time to grow up.

I’ll be 44 this year, real soon, like in a couple of months.

I get to learn new ways of being in the world and I also need to get my mind off myself.

I did a fair decent amount of that today.

I also slowed down a little.

I took cars.

I took trains.

I did not take my scooter out this morning when I thought it might rain and it did.

I got a manicure and a pedicure and had my eyebrows waxed because I like to be a girly girl once in a while.

I was also directed to buy myself something nice, I forgot about that.

I don’t suppose she meant the carnitas plate a La Fonda Mexican Taqueria either.

Heh.

I will buy myself a little something nice though in the next day or two.

I had a big full overwhelming jam-packed week and it took it right down to the nub emotionally and yeah.

I had my feels.

And they are going with the fog into the night.

They don’t always lift right away, neither does the fog, mind you, but there has been relief.

There is also the relief of having gotten a paper done today that was, er, well, haha, due today.

I procrastinated a bit, I did, I did.

Procrastination, or efficiency?

Hmm.

I joked that procrastination was sexy and a response I got back was that grad school was sexy.

Fuck yeah.

I like that kind of response.

And as for the standoffish comment, that response is welcome to.

I am learning that old ways of responding to the world I live in do not work so well for me.

I am trying on new things, I’m not always so good at being a newcomer at things.

I want to have it all figured out and wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.

But there is no figuring it out.

There is plenty of get right with God and plenty of prayer and plenty of writing and plenty of what I did today, which was sit.

Sit on the train.

Sit in the salon.

Sit at a table at Tart to Tart and share what has been going on.

“Have you been doing yoga?” She asked me out of the blue.

Aw lady, damn it!

“No,” I said, “I haven’t, it’s been a bout a month, the wonky dating the school stuff, the job interview, Healthy San Francisco, new job hours, I am all over the map and one week I just needed to sleep and didn’t go in and the next was, well, fuck, now I’m just telling a story.”

“Go, I can tell, you are too anxious, you need to get the anxiety out of your body,” she added astutely.

I don’t have the time!

But.

I feel like I’m going to have to make the time and just do it anyway.

I haven’t had the outlet of exercise and though I have been keeping busy, I’ve not been getting the same amount of exercise.

Yesterday I walked for an hour, a half hour before work and a half hour after, and that was good but yes, she’s right.

And if it’s not yoga, I have to do something.

Yoga is just convenient since there’s a studio on my block.

I just have to get into my gear again and go.

Maybe tomorrow.

I won’t make the early morning class, I had dinner with a friend tonight after doing the deal and though it’s technically not that late, it is late enough and I am meeting with ladies tomorrow morning, that I won’t be up super early to hit yoga.

But.

There is an afternoon class.

So.

Maybe then.

Maybe skip the morning make up routine and just do the writing and reading I do in the mornings and then the ladies, knock out a paper, and do some reading, cook a little food, and go to yoga after lunch.

I’ll think about it.

I still have so much homework to do, a paper to write for my Child Therapy class, a paper to write for my Family Therapy Class, a fuck ton of reading.

How much is a fuck ton?

A lot.

I will just leave it at that.

I also haven’t bought my ticket back to Wisconsin yet and I need to do that.

I really do.

The prices jumped up a bit over the last day and I am remiss that I didn’t buy it last night.

I was trying to figure out the best time at the best price and got lost in a tunnel of cheap ticket airline meanders that lead me down a rabbit hole of idiocy and no ticket.

Just bite the bullet, suck it up, and drop the extra cash and go.

It’s like I’m afraid to commit and that’s just silly.

Or is it?

Ah, a little, I suppose, it’s been awhile since I saw my friend and her family and the old I’m not enough tape might be playing in my ear.

Hush old song, I am enough, and it’s fine, and there’s enough money, so go buy the ticket.

Fuck.

I just fell in that hole again.

I decided I’d book and as I bought the ticket the price jumped and then jumped again and I lost the deal and now it’s $150 more than it was yesterday.

Fuck.

I can’t do this right now.

I’m too tired.

It’s late.

I will look tomorrow.

When the prices have probably gone up again.

I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Sigh.

Going to bed now.

Well.

Soon.

Soon as I can.

Nighty night y’all.

Making Head Way

October 10, 2016

And taking care of myself.

And changing my mind, even when it was uncomfortable to do so.

I got up this morning with an agenda.

Get as much of it the fuck done as I could.

Did I get it all the fuck done?

No.

But.

I made some serious headway and read myself cross-eyed and shoulder slumped.

Seriously.

I need a back rub.

I did self-care.

I cleaned the house like a woman on fire.

Fortunately.

The house is small and it doesn’t take much cleaning.

I pulled the sheets of the bed, did some laundry, put fresh sheets on, fluffed the pillows, took out the trash and compost and recycling, swept, swiffere’d, vacuumed, I hung my new Mike Doughty Living Room Tour 2016 signed poster.

It looks pretty fucking hot.

I picked it up yesterday and got it hung before my back to back ladies and book reading appointments showed up to drink tea and talk about acceptance and spiritual solutions.

Ah.

Thank you God.

Always on the menu for a good day.

I had a friend text me about going to a BBQ in the neighborhood and I made a rash decision, yes, I can, I can make a brief appearance, eat lunch with friends and fellows and then bash out some more reading.

But.

When I showed up the BBQ hadn’t even been lit and it was already “late” for me to eat and I did something that I am rather proud of, I bailed.

In a nice way, in a self-care sort of way.

I just expressed that I needed to eat and that as the bbq was just getting fired up and there was a need to go to Safeway and get more charcoal and other things for the picnic, that maybe, definitely it would be a better idea for me to duck out, feed myself and read like as much as I possibly could until I wanted to vomit.

Ok.

Maybe not vomit, but I mean get a lot read.

The amount of reading for this semester surpasses anything that I have done so far.

I think that I’m on top of it and then I realize, fuck, fuck, fuck, I have so much to go.

But I am making progress and getting myself out of the social engagement with some kindness and gratitude to my friend for helping me get home right after I had been picked up was huge for me.

It felt like a little tiny victory.

I came home.

Fed myself well and hit the books.

I read for about two hours.

Straight, no chaser.

Then I took a break.

And read some more.

Then I took another break and made dinner and food for the week.

I roasted a chicken yesterday so today I pulled a bunch of the meat off it for various meals and then I stuck it in the stock pot and starting the process of making stock for chicken soup.

While that was working I made my version of pork fried rice–brown rice tossed with ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, some cut up pork loin, a 1/2 rasher of uncured bacon, green peas, organic diced carrots, sliced brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and Bragg’s Amino’s.

So good.

Seriously.

And the nice thing.

I stuck a few containers of it up in the freezer.

Although I am not in school next weekend, I am going to be running it down to the wire on some papers I need to write.

I decided to not do any writing this weekend and get caught up with and on par with all my reading for classes.

I caught up completely and have made deep inroads in Family Therapy.

I should have all the reading done for the class by tomorrow, give or take a fat baby nap in the afternoon.

Then I’ll be focusing on my Psychopathology class and getting that reading caught up to date and reading for the next weekend.

Child Therapy has the least amount of labor intensive reading, although there is a lot of it, a stupid amount if you ask me, but hey, grad school, right?

I think the decision to do the reading is going to be the clincher for me.

I always feel so much better prepared if I’m read for the classes that are happening the weekend that they are happening.

Just like I’m in a better place if I have food prepped and ready to go for the work week and the school weekend.

I actually have enough set aside in my freezer to get me through the next school weekend without having to do extra prep next weekend, which was sort of the plan.

I’ll be maintaining my current work schedule, with the exception of working a little more this week then I normally do for my main family, there’s a holiday and the boys will be out of school on Tuesday and I’ll be going in and doing a morning start when I usually do an afternoon start.

Speaking of nannying.

I sent my formal last day request in to my current family right before I started writing this blog.

That was my other big thing to do.

Really look at my schedule and see what made the best sense to me.

I decided to ask for Friday, December 23rd as my last day.

That gives me nine days, with the holiday weekends, before my next gig.

There was also some miscommunication and misunderstanding with my family in regards to my last days with the other family–December 14th–where in they made the connection that I wanted my last day to be that week.

Not necessarily true, don’t want to lose two weeks of paid work, I can afford one though, that’s for sure.

But.

I owned up to the miscommunication and said if they needed my last day to be the 16th of December I would make that accommodation to my schedule.

I realized that if I decided I needed extra cash it really wouldn’t be too hard to grab a couple of nanny or baby sitting gigs–it’s the holidays, everybody needs extra help.

So.

Yeah.

That’s done.

So relieved.

Relieved that I made it through the weekend with a clean house, lots read, good food, some recovery oriented interactions and a little bit of sunshine.

All in all.

A good weekend was had.

And I will probably sneak in an episode of Shameless before I call it a night.

A girl needs a break once in a while.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

She does.

 

You Are Really

September 28, 2016

In demand.

My boss told me this afternoon when she arrived to the house.

I was busy cooking broccoli soup when she came in.

“How did it go?” She asked, in reference, I’m assuming to the gig yesterday, which she had alluded to when asking me to make a batch of the soup via text when I got into work.

“Good,” I replied and smiled.

As though the two families weren’t in communication, they would have seen each other at school today.

And it did go well.

“Well, you are really in demand,” she continued.  “They loved you and wanted to know if they could get another day with you?”

Oh really?

Nice to hear, but I do wish I was being involved with the conversations.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

“Would that work for you?” I asked, calculating that it could work for me, depending on what day of the week they wanted me.

“Oh, absolutely, in fact, I was asked by another parent if you’re available in January,” she finished.

Oh really?

I mean, how very interesting, timely, and rather amazing.

I was asked for my resume yesterday for a friend who has a friend who just had a new baby.

I worked on it today before work, updated it, added my graduate school program (what person wouldn’t want someone who is getting a master’s degree?  Especially in psychology, didn’t I tell ya, I’m in Child Therapy class right now?) to my education and updated my current job position.

It looks pretty damn good.

So it was sort of funny, is it odd or is it God?  When I had the conversation with the mom.

It went really well.

We talked about references and referrals and she told me point-blank that she wanted what was best for me, that yes, they would love to have me two days a week, but that was their needs and not mine.

Um.

Yup.

I explained that I was concerned about continuity and with benefits and that it’s a challenge to try to get health insurance and days off for holidays and vacation when I’m piece meal with my jobs.

I don’t want three gigs.

I want one.

To that end we also talked about a soft end date for me, being most likely the end of December, possibly before.

The second family that I started working for this week want me until December 12th.

It might be good timing for me to finish up with both families around the same time.

I’ll also be in my last weekend of school that weekend–the 9, 10th, and 11th.

I was a bit bummed today to realize that was the last weekend of school, having just received a wedding invitation for a dear friend for Saturday December 10th.

I thought for a moment about not going, then I was like, fuck that, I’m going.

I’ll do my morning class and leave at the break for my second class.  I’ll miss the evening class, but whatever, I can’t not go to my friend’s wedding.

I sent in my RSVP yes earlier.

I also talked with my French friend about Paris in May.

Oh, the sound of that.

I do so adore it.

I’ll probably buy a ticket here pretty soon.

Although I may wait until I suss out employment.

But.

Fuck.

The tickets are a good price right now.

I found one for $741 round trip direct.

That’s sort of insane for Paris.

I wanted to buy the ticket right now.

I’m just going to pause one more night and wait on my friend’s confirmation of the times that she will be in Paris.

She’ll be studying for her exams and I’ll be mostly on my own to do my own thing.

No problems with that.

The only thing I will want to do prior is get a new camera.

Mine did hit the dust, literally and figuratively after Burning Man.

I was able to retrieve the photographs off of it that I had taken, but there was no getting the camera to work anymore.

I had to say good-bye and trashed it.

I will definitely get another one before I travel.

Heck.

I may want one for November travel as well.

I’ll be headed to Nevada for Thanksgiving.

I was invited to a friend’s house and she’s willing to make the trip to pick me up and to bring me back.

Road trip!

I’m excited for a little side trip to Nevada.

I’m sure it will be pretty, it will be great to have some time with my friend, and it’s nice to be wanted.

That’s what today felt like.

Lots of being wanted.

I felt really good today.

Very alive.

Of course, it may just be that I got caught up on all the sleep I missed over the weekend with classes and the new gig yesterday.

I decided to skip yoga and sleep in.

I am so glad I did.

I needed to work on the resume and I paid rent and put some money in my savings account and did some writing.

I felt all adult and accomplished and proud of myself for taking the time to deal with the stuff that’s been nagging at me to do since the whole work thing sort of dropped on me last Monday.

Grateful beyond words that I have a job while I look for my next one, that I have great references, that my family is willing to refer me out and that they already have people asking for me.

Again.

It’s really nice to be wanted.

It’s something that I need to know.

I haven’t always wanted to see it or acknowledge it, but it’s important to see it.

I sent a thank you text to a friend of mine today for giving me some really insightful words regarding my job and moving forward and she replied, “just reminding you of your superhero powers.”

God, it’s good to be seen.

And.

Loved.

That’s what I feel like today.

Thanks friends.

Y’all rock.

Seriously.


%d bloggers like this: