Posts Tagged ‘child’

Earthquake

May 15, 2018

Screaming child.

Long day.

Kid home from school.

Reflux from hell.

No response from messages sent out earlier.

(No response is a response)

Crazy drivers.

And still.

A pretty good day.

Although I had a moment.

The screaming child was hard to handle.

I almost, not really, but I thought about it, knocked on the office at my internship to say please be quiet, but not really my business and I was just hella grateful I wasn’t doing therapy with the child.

I mean.

The child was fucking angry.

Screaming so loud that I could still hear him when I was in my office down the hall with the door shut.

I cannot imagine what the clients in other therapy sessions on the floor must have been thinking.

Grateful that my first client cancelled and by the time my second client showed up the child was done and out of session and off to scream elsewhere.

The earthquake also startled me.

I didn’t realize it was an earthquake until I got home and saw it posted all over social media.

I thought a truck had hit the building.

It was disquieting.

And then my client came and fuck.

Wow.

Intense session.

Took me a minute to get grounded.

Like maybe an hour now.

I also needed to eat.

I just had dinner and that’s helping.

My head was aching from the reflux and even though I didn’t feel hungry I knew that I was.

So some food and I’m feeling a bit more in my body and a bit less like I’m going to disassociate.

It was also a long day at work.

The middle child, the little lady, was home sick from school.

She wasn’t sick.

I adore this child but she will not hesitate to use the I’m sick thing to stay home.

The mom knew it too, after an hour or two of being at home it was pretty evident.

I wanted to suggest that she just pop her right back into class, but instead, I got out the colors and we did lots of drawings and I made her lots of snacks and she talked to me a bunch about how she’s going to miss me and how she’s sad about it.

The family will be gone for five weeks and she was feeling sad about not seeing me for that much time.

I will miss them too.

Although I am very, very, very happy for the down time.

The mom was sweet today with me too and asked me what I wanted for graduation and then she added, “I know you won’t tell me, so I’m not sure why I’m asking, but if there’s anything you need please let me know.”

She’s right.

I wouldn’t tell her.

It doesn’t feel right to ask for something from my boss for graduation.

I think it’s astoundingly kind that she wants to give me anything.

My needs are minimal.

And met.

Although I was feeling stressed about getting someone to come and get me from my endoscopy, it got covered.

I doubt that’s the kind of gift she meant.

I wanted to blithely respond, “cash.”

Or.

“Make a payment on my student loan,” but that didn’t seem appropriate either.

So I made a joke and then the baby was crying for something and the conversation ended.

It’s sweet that they want to give me something and I’m honored that they’re going to come to the party in the first place.

Speaking of.

I got the rest of the bevvies for the party and one more pack of hotdogs and buns.

I now feel set for food and beverage and I’m quite happy that all those things are procured.

I was going to do another shopping run tomorrow in between work and therapy but then the mom reminded me that the oldest boys class is doing a beach clean up at Ocean Beach.

Yes.

That’s right.

I will be leaving my house, by Ocean Beach, to go to therapy in the morning in Noe Valley, and then driving right back to Ocean Beach.

To?

Exactly.

Right where I am having my party on Saturday.

It’s rather hilarious.

I’m not annoyed about the extra driving, the mom paid for my gas money, I just would have liked to have had the time between therapy and work that I normally have.

Instead I’ll be driving.

Oh well.

It’ll be nice to be out by the beach with the baby.

So.

When I realized my late client was not responding to the offer that I had made about taking the earlier session, remember first client cancelled, I realized that the client wasn’t going to come in until their regular time and I had an extra hour between work and seeing the client.

I was able to pop to the grocery store and get the rest of the supplies!

That was nice.

A busy day, a full day, a bit of an unexpected day.

But a good day.

Hell.

It was always going to be a good day.

I mean.

The morning was pretty awesome.

I TURNED IN MY LAST TWO PIECES OF PAPERWORK TO CIIS!

I’m done.

All the “t’s” are crossed.

All the “i’s” are dotted.

Every form, every piece of paper, every evaluation, every application, my therapy verification forms, the site evaluations I did as well as my evaluations from my supervisors, my verification of face to face client hours, all of it.

ALL OF IT.

Is turned in.

I am done.

 

 

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Like A Kid Again

April 28, 2018

I have no idea how, but I suspect a mix of ego and curiosity, led me to being talked into giving my five-year old lady bug charge a lesson in turning cartwheels a half hour before I had to leave for my internship.

I was not dressed for cartwheels.

I was dressed, am dressed still, to play at being a therapist.

Not that it was really playful, man the session I did tonight was a doozy.

But.

I got into the spirit of doing it.

The mom asked me if I knew how to do cartwheels and I said yes and the next thing you know we’re all tramping down to the back yard to have a lesson.

I wasn’t even nervous.

I was actually a touch excited.

Could I still do a cart-wheel?

It turns out I can!

And I did a great cart-wheel.

Fuck, I impressed myself.

I landed much softer than I thought and it was thoughtless, effortless, easy, I just did it.

I had to break down the steps of it to the young lady, who tried valiantly and ended up hitting her head.

Then her knee.

Then her other knee.

I had a heap of five-year old in my lap for a few minutes crying.

But.

She’s resilient, children really are, and she got back up and asked that I show her again and I did and then I did a round off for fun and then a few more.

My arm pits starting sweating a little and I got quite warmed up.

It felt really fun.

Good to be in my body.

And also, sweet and silly and goofy.

I asked the mom to make sure that she didn’t tell any of my therapy clients that I was busy turning cartwheels in her back yard before my session.

We both giggled.

It was cute.

I don’t know why  it tickled me so much, but it was a very sweet moment to share with the family.

And I like that I was willing to take a risk and try something I haven’t done in years, that I was willing to fall on my ass.

Turns out I didn’t.

Turns out I still have a pretty damn good cart-wheel.

Not bad for a 45-year-old woman.

I mean.

I’ll take it.

I remember really well teaching myself how to do one.

I was in kindergarten, five years, maybe six years old.

I was very determined and I taught myself in the span of an afternoon in the back yard of my Aunt Teresa’s duplex that my mom and me and my sister were staying at until we were back on our feet.

I think that we lived off and on with this particular aunt a few times.

I know both my aunt and my mom were separated and/or divorcing from their husbands.

We had lived with my aunt for a little while in Columbus and then again on the North East side of Madison before moving into some section 8 housing that my mom finally got approved for.

It was a tough time at my aunt’s, when I look at it with perspective, there weren’t enough rooms for all of us and I had my “room” in the basement.

It was dark.

It was full of spiders.

And I didn’t like it at all.

But I taught myself to steel myself to the darkness and make myself sleep and when I think about it I’m surprised I was able to do so, but like I said, children are resilient, they can get used to a lot of things.

I spent most of my time outside while we lived with my aunt.

I spent a lot of time in the woods, I spent a lot of time wandering around the nearby farms and the outlying housing developments that had not been built yet, but just had the streets with empty lots waiting for the houses to be built.

It was on the very edge of what was Madison.

It was farmland across the street one block over and woods, granted not a huge forest, but a big woods none the less, on the other side of the foot path that I walked to school.

I loved those woods, spent a lot of time playing imaginary games in them and looking for jack in the pulpits and climbing trees.

Although I also sensed there were places in the woods that weren’t safe, I can almost now feel a certain kind of darkness or heaviness in between the thickets of trees in some spots that I recall quite ardently avoiding going into.

But I was quite happy on the edges, near the prairie grass meadow that flanked one side of it and the abandoned farm just over the top of the hill.

The farm that I liked to explore.

Including the silo.

I climbed up it once.

I was six?

I climbed the rungs on the outside, all the way to the top, I let go at the top and almost fell, startled by birds, pigeons I think, that flew out as I peeked in over the top.

I lost my mittens.

They were red yarn mittens.

My mom was miffed.

I couldn’t tell her that they had fallen into the top of a tree.

That was how high up I was.

My mittens fell from my pockets when I startled back and landed on a tree below me.

I was an adventurous child.

I was also not monitored very heavily.

Some would say that was neglect.

Heck, I would probably too, looking back.

But at the time I was free and happy to be free, wild, a child in the woods, the grass, collecting leaves, laying on the hill, looking at clouds, walking to the horse farm down the road and letting myself into the stables to pet the horses.

I was feral.

Now that I think about it.

A wild little thing.

With ambitions.

I really wanted to be in gymnastics.

Not just out in the hinterlands, and I’m not sure where I got the idea, maybe from watching other little girls at school, but my mother made it crystal clear that there was not money for that sort of thing.

There never would be either.

But that’s another story for another time.

So.

I taught myself.

I watched and learned and spent those hours that summer, turning cart-wheel after cart-wheel in the high backyard grass that was full of dandelions.

By the time they had turned from yellow gold saffron to balls of white cottony fluff, I could do perfect cartwheels, text-book.

Then I taught myself how to do them one-handed, and yes, once or twice I did them no handed, but that was hard and I didn’t always have the courage, and then I taught myself how to do round offs.

Never flips though, they alluded me.

And today, forty years later, give or take a month, I was doing cartwheels with a five-year old girl in the setting sun and laughing like I was five years old myself.

It was a pretty happy way to end my week.

Cartwheels.

And.

Laughter.

In the golden light of Friday.

Damn You

October 23, 2016

Second wind.

I did not expect to be so jazzed up all the sudden.

I was crashing pretty hard in my last class of the day and just put my forehead down on the shoulder of one of my classmates and said, “make it stop.”

Or something to that effect.

It was a long day.

But hey.

It’s done now.

And of course.

I am wide awake.

I’m listening to music and writing and drinking hot tea and thinking about high-school.

Yeah.

That sounds like good times, right?

Ha.

But.

It was with a certain sweetness and fondness that I was thinking about myself and with a great deal of compassion for the experiences that made me.

I wouldn’t wish to go back.

I wouldn’t wish to change it.

I wouldn’t go and tell that girl child turning woman, do it different, here’s how, no.

I would not.

I am in love with who I am.

I was happy today and light and free and sad and sorrowful and of service and I showed up and yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but that girl, that girl reading books in her room, cuddled up in a worn out chair covered in my grandmothers afghan, that girl made this possible.

She dreamt.

She would listen to music and read and stare out the window.

I don’t remember what I thought about.

Sometimes I would look in a mirror and wonder about the reflection there.

I thought I was pretty.

I thought I might even be beautiful, but I did not get that kind of feedback.

I was curious.

Am I seeing myself?

Or.

Why?

There was that a lot, the asking why.

Sometimes I would fantasize or play with my hair or dress up.

Nothing that I ever reflected by wearing back to school, clothes wise that is, except with one or two exceptions of trying out a new look one week in high school my senior year that I was so nervous to wear that I could hardly enjoy it.

But I rocked it.

I have always liked clothes and fashion.

I was not in a place to wear the clothes I wanted.

But.

Boy did I covet certain things.

I am proud of myself though.

When I look back.

I carved out my own way.

I was my own woman.

I had nothing to really model on, which was on one hand a kind of curse, but I also got to learn, trial and error what I liked and what I don’t.

I’m still discovering.

But.

Some seeds were planted in that room.

From reading all those books.

My God did I read.

I miss that sometimes now.

All the time.

Reading for pleasure.

I don’t get to do it nearly enough.

Reading for school has super ceded that luxury.

Funny that.

Reading, a luxury.

But my God.

When I think about the hours curled up on the couch, or in my room, or in my bed, or under my favorite apple tree in the orchard.

I was moony and dreamy and fanciful and the stories I read reflected that and also, they were my escape.

I was thinking about that as well tonight.

Escape.

All the ways I can check out when it gets to be too much and how I have hidden out, sometimes in plain view, and yet, how very much I want to be seen.

I felt very seen today.

I did a genogram presentation of my family tree.

I traced inter-generational traumas three generations on one side of my family and four generations of it on the other side.

All the pain.

All that hurt.

All the sorrow.

I felt my chest get hot and I realized that what was coming out of my mouth was not what I had planned and that was ok.

I have done enough public speaking, so much, I have spoken in front of crowds big and small, that I don’t really have a problem doing it.

I’m actually really quite good off script.

I typically do need to know what I am talking about.

And my family history, though not as much of a mystery as it was a week ago, was still settling in my system.

I made sure I was pretty today.

I wore flowers in my hair.

I thought of sweetness and resilience.

I thought of grace and service.

I thought how I could show up and heal by sharing.

Therein lies the issue, I feel, I believe, so much of the secrecy, the shame, the conflict and contention that doesn’t get spoken of, gets twisted up in my heart and lays there heavy and sodden like wet leaves mulching into winter on the hoar-frost covered land.

So.

I swept clear some ground.

I laid it bare.

I spoke my truth, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

I breathed.

I felt my face flush.

I said the words.

I was held the room did not fall apart.

Although after, when I sat I realized how much the class was affected.

Well.

One person.

Her sweet face and red eyes letting me know how my words had landed.

I don’t really recall much of what I spoke of.

Oh.

The bones of it, the narrative, the stories, the lineage of pain handed down the line, mother to child, father to son, grandparent to grandchild.

I do.

However.

Recall pointing out the brightness on the map.

The bright triangles of joy I encapsulated myself and a few members of my family.

The joy of recovery and the strength there.

“Few people realize how the family structure is affected when one member gets into recovery,” my professor had briefly tossed out into a lecture weeks ago.

I hung that star on my paper.

I flashed it bright.

My recovery.

My foundation.

My base.

My place of growth, stellar and bright and resilient.

I have no idea where the resilience comes from, perhaps my grandmother on my fathers’ side, I am named after her.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

I don’t need to know.

I don’t need to change anything.

I don’t approve of it, but I do accept it.

And as I sank down in my pretty dress and felt my heart beat hard in my chest I knew I had succeeded.

If I can do it.

So can you.

If there is a meaning in all of this, it is that I survived.

And that I got better, stronger, more powerful, more loving.

More.

More.

More.

More love.

More magic.

Just fucking more of all the things.

And I’m almost through.

Literally and figuratively.

One more day of class and another weekend down.

One more small step down the road.

One more opening of the door to my heart.

Just a little wider.

Just a little more open.

Just a little.

More

Available.

For.

The sunlight of the spirit.

And.

All.

All of it.

All.

The love that gets to come in when I clear out the wreckage of my past.

Yes.

Please.

More of that.

Inwardly Re-arranged

October 20, 2016

I got absolutely nothing done today.

Yet.

I had astounding, life changing things happen.

All over the span of a few minutes.

All in a day.

Clear the decks.

Make way for change and with my heart in my throat I leapt.

I don’t know where I’m going to land.

It will be in new territory.

It will look exactly like what it looks like now.

Except.

That everything is different.

Violets covered in sugar crystals.

Like the best sex I never had.

Like spangles of star dust and fireworks and quiet.

An inner knowing.

An inner depth of knowledge about myself, my disease, an awareness of old pain that has settled again and instead of pain, is now stronger for having walked through the unbearable lightness of love.

Sunlight on my face.

My hair up today, the breath of the ocean warm on my skin as I got ready for work.

The books I haven’t read enough of, the paper I still need to write, the things all put on pause so that I could navigate through uncharted waters.

I know better than to go to alone.

I tearfully surrendered this morning to finally after days of being quiet, telling.

I told.

I was terrified.

I already knew the answer and I had worked through the big emotions and had the big talk with God, I knew.

I know that where love is concerned there is no choice.

However.

I don’t have to see it through my eyes only.

I get to see it through the perspectives of others, who may have a different point of view, a different way of seeing.

And he did.

And he was kind.

And there was no shame in the telling.

And I cried.

And it hurt.

And then the relief.

And then the sorrow.

And then the tears again.

And then.

Well.

I knew.

And even though only a tiny bit of the story came out.

The bones of the narrative.

It was enough.

He understood and we talked about talking more and I just did that too.

And it was kind and there was no judgement, no shaming, no making me feel bad, a warm heart, a sort of support that I have, that I am so lucky to have, that I am so grateful to have that I can keep healing and getting better.

Not that I am fucked up.

Well.

Hahaha.

Maybe a little.

But.

There’s hope for me, always has been, I’m not in this alone.

I have no details for you.

I have only the inner workings of my heart and the assurance that I am loved for who I am without question or repercussion.

That I am seen and held and loved and taken care of.

Because I asked for help to work something through, to see where it went, to untangle the knot that I got tied up in.

Glorious knot.

So sweet was it to surrender to that binding.

A surrender that lead to further surrender, further release, further soft acknowledgement of who I am, where I have come from, and to whom I belong.

To myself.

To what works best for me.

To love.

I was saying the St. Francis prayer.

Yes.

I pray.

Hush, this wilding woman with tattoos and tales of Burning Man does spirituality too.

Surprise, surprise.

There is a line in the prayer that gets me every time.

To love, rather than to be loved.

That is what I can do.

To know that I have a God.

And you have a God.

That I can only take care of myself and sometimes, a lot of the times, I don’t know how to do that, so I do, I turn towards those with more time, with more experience, with wider perspective.

And I get what I need.

And my heart, so high in my throat all day today, finally starts to ease down back into my chest, my breath back into my body, my soul careening about, high on a taut string like a diamond kite in the sky, softly, gently, sails back down, no tussle in the tree tops, nor tangled and stuck in the high wire.

But.

Soft.

There.

A gentle, sweet landing in the tall grass.

The summer grass.

The grass in the park behind the apartment building on the North East side of Madison.

The grass not yet mowed and higher in the last push of summer, the blades warm, cradling the kite, the long string I wind back up and as I turn the handle of the spool the loose fabric of the kite slides over the top of the grass and back to me.

The call of the red-winged mocking-bird.

The high blue sky.

The sun patter down on my shoulders now more freckled as I turn from the girl to the woman.

My soul, myself, my heart.

My life.

All this purposeful trudging.

It matters.

I have changed.

I stood on the roof tonight.

I held a warm little girl in my arms.

She pointed at the sky.

“Star.”

“Yes,” I said, pointing across the soft midnight blue, the last light of sunset fading behind the hills of Twin Peaks, “and plane, and satellite.”

I remembered when I was little and how the lights in the sky moved me so much, the flashing planes and the story of flight.

I have had a sort of flight today.

A lifting of my spirit into that vastness and through it all a song in my heart.

I have no answers for you.

I just have love.

Like the foam left on the beach after the waves have crashed in and rushed out.

A soft melting memory of desire seeping back into the sand, a lace of bubbles upon the shore, a dream shimmering there.

A moment.

Then gone.

Ghosting kisses on your face.

Grace in the hallway.

Swallow song in the barn of my heart.

I would take away your pain.

But I have my own to carry from the shore, across the bridge.

And into the land of a brand new day.

One foot a time.

Into the light.

Into the sun.

Into the love.

Love.

The only place left for me to go.

There.

Just there.

Love.

Re-set Button

April 18, 2016

Has been re-set.

Sleep.

Sunshine.

Yoga.

Walks on the beach.

With the god damn entire city of San Francisco.

Well.

I suspect the other part of the city was probably congregating at Dolores Park, but my god there were a lot of people out at the beach.

So many intoxicated little bikini clad, festival be-decked, floppy hatted young things sprawled all over the sand wasted and sunburnt.

“Jesus fuck,” I said on the phone, as I crested the dune heading down toward the beach.

“What was that?” My person asked surprised by the sudden segue in the conversation.

“There are so many people here, it’s, it’s I don’t know, really too much,” I ended.

There she was, the gorgeous blue Pacific, calling me forward, alluring and dappled in bright coins of sun, but between me and that ocean, so, so, so many people.

So much drinking, smoking, and silliness.

Not that I am upset about the imbibing, it’s just not my scene and my neighborhood has definitely become a scene, especially on the weekends and really especially when it is nice out.

God damn it was nice out today.

I got up and out early and off to yoga by 9 a.m.

I stripped the bed, threw the sheets in the laundry, made my bed, knelt down got some humble on and asked to have a good day, to have some fun, to show up for the women I was going to be working with, to show up for my recovery, to show up for the school work I needed to get done–really did it have to be so very nice when I need to do so very much reading?

I sipped some iced coffee and headed to Yoga Beach, just down the block, unfurled my yoga mat and left the outside world far, far, far behind.

For an hour and fifteen minutes I was nowhere else.

Except when I was startled by reverie during my practice.

I find that I get different things from different instructors, and this experience today had me overwhelmed with gratitude and light and joy and grief.

All in shades of grey.

Soft, cashmere, ombre, grey.

Fogged out.

Misted.

A tale of swathed heart beats, true North, meadows full of fireflies.

And.

A little girl in a white dress with bare feet and brown hair in braids, her face brown, the tops of her cheeks just sun kissed a dusty rose.

I recognized her.

She is me and I am her and I saw her a couple classes ago and wasn’t sure yet that I had wanted to write about her.

She beckons to a dazed innocence that I think, or wish, or  chose to bedevil and beguile myself with that I had at some point in my young life.

A naive and innocent joy and trust.

Then another woman.

Old, thin, the sharp line of her jaw still fierce, the bones in her face more prominent, but still a softening around the cheeks and long hair, again in braids, in a shift this time more grey than white ombre dipped black at the bottom.

And this is me and there I am, old, proud, soft, hard, braids, bright eyes, stretched hands, friends with sun in the sky, the moon in the meadow, the lark in the tree.

Finally.

The third woman.

The woman I am now or soon to be, joined in the circle, grey shift shimmering like pearls, floating about me, hair in braids, mouth lifted, smiling, cheeks sunburnt, heart full and open and I realized that I wanted her to be me and the feelings that were all there, the sadness and the grief and the shallow sorrow, a teaspoon of salt water in an ever expanding ocean of feelings.

I remembered an old image that I had before, years before, an old idea or photograph in my head, this picture of my heart, a map, an unfolding, hilled and steepled there and there, graded with arrows pointing up and down, flickering bulbs of light, smoked neon, the chasms and neighborhoods, the map pinned down on the board of my soul.

I had this perceptive feeling that my heart was always struggling to curl up in on itself, to protect itself, to not hurt or feel or grieve or say goodbye or lose or fall.

To be inert, to drift, to atrophy, rather than feel that pain.

That pain of being alive.

That beauty of being alive despite the pain and the glory of reveling in the beauty despite, nay because of that sorrow.

I avowed to myself that I would not let my heart curl up, I would not withdraw, I would not build up that wall and I would stake down my heart, keep it open, make it bigger, make it fuller, live it harder, bolder, fiercer, now, more than ever, I mean, bring it damn it.

Today.

Though.

The image, the map of my heart the ghosts of streets I didn’t go down, the choices I took and walked away from or ran away from, or huddled down, a small bunny tharn in the light throttling down the roadway, only to have it pass over me, a whirling wind, an engine screaming horror into the bloody dusk, I saw that mapped heart different.

I did not see a heart pinned down, I saw a heart anchored.

I felt it rooted there.

There were no pushpins or staples or nails.

No.

I saw flowers.

I saw daisies, white, sunny, innocent, strong, pure, roots intwined and laced, a border of light holding down my heart.

The dazzling circumference lit and rising toward the sun, unfurled, tender, delicate buttons of butter yellow surrounded by coronas of white petals and coarse green teethed leaves.

I know.

I know.

Yoga.

Sheesh.

But there again, in my meadow, dancing, in the circle, these three aspects of me, child, woman, crone.

I do not know what legacy I will leave.

I do not foresee where my life will go or who I will affect or who will affect me.

I do, however, know, this reconciliation of love and tenderness, these stars, fallen kisses from God, as they rise above the ocean, calling to me to feel it all, and continue forward.

To keep dancing to that spiritual bluegrass of burnt dragonfly wings and dandelion seed pods blown through and scattered, the worn out passport of my childhood still in my pocket.

I am the legacy of love to myself.

I will continue on.

Love, loving, a house on fire, burn me down.

I arise again, sparks flying toward the heavens.

I will meet the stars and they me and we will fly together.

Over the meadow.

Into my soul.

Into the laughing mouth of God.

Which is just love.

Love.

Always.

That.

Always there.

Love.

 

Say the word and I’ll take a hatchet to your heart too.

 


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