Posts Tagged ‘client advocacy’

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

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

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

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

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

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

Hell.

Most times.

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

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

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

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

That I could start that Spring!

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

I had not planned on that.

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

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

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

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

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

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

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

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

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

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

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

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

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

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

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

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

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

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

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

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

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

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

We had a really huge session.

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

I thanked her for that.

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

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

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

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

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

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

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

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

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

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

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

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

I was delirious.

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

She told me she couldn’t.

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

He was irate.

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

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

But the impact lasted.

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

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

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

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

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

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Radio Silence

December 20, 2017

Not how I had planned to spend my day.

My employers gave me a brand new Iphone 8 yesterday for my birthday.

At one point I tried to set it up but I had many other things on my plate and figured I would just do it today.

However.

That didn’t work.

The dad helped me out, took the sim card from my old phone and put it into my new phone and then headed off to work.

I actually have no idea what he did.

Just that he did something.

Then I swapped over all the information, got the new phone charged up and started and then.

Nothing.

Nada.

Didn’t work.

At all.

I was bummed.

As it turns out, the mom did some research, I had to have the number off the box the phone came in, um, yeah, left that at home, to activate the account with my phone company.

So.

As soon as I came home I logged onto my account plugged in the numbers, did all the things, and nothing.

Ugh again.

The sim card from my old phone was not doing the deal.

I got through to an online chat with my phone company and I was told I have to take the phone into Sprint store and get a new sim card, the card from my old phone is obsolete.

Of course it is.

It was from an Iphone 5C.

I mean what a relic, an antique really.

I thought about taking the sim cared out of the phone and putting it back in my old phone, but first I have no clue, nor the little tool the dad used, and second I deactivated the phone.

Sprint has that all tied up.

I just need to get the new one activated.

So.

Ugh.

No phone for a little bit more.

Not the worst thing in the world.

I do have a chat on my computer that is working and I was able to make contact via that, although I had no access to any messages that came in while I was away, my laptop was powered down, I just had the old stream of messages.

Sigh.

Oh well.

It’s not a tragedy.

And considering how much I processed in therapy and cried, maybe it was God’s way of saying, take a break, get re-centered, focus on taking care of what needs to be done at work.

I am, however, bummed, I will be going in early tomorrow at work, I won’t have time to go to a Sprint store and deal with it.

I am hoping that the mom will let me out sometime during the day to hop to a store and buy a new sim card and get the new phone fully activated.

It could be a fun little adventure to even do with one of my charges, the oldest boy is all things technology and phones, I could see him having fun in a store full of gadgets.

Fingers crossed.

Otherwise I’ll be doing it after I get off work at six pm.

No thank you.

I don’t like being out of touch.

I had a client cancel and wasn’t able to respond until I got home.

I know I missed text messages.

I may have missed phone calls.

The client who cancelled had even requested a phone session, of course, nothing I could do with that one.

I didn’t lose the hour though.

I did progress notes and I talked with the head of my agency and got some ideas about internship stuff and continuing education and what that looks like.

I also did an hour of client advocacy.

And I picked up my trainee evaluation from my supervisor there.

Which was all high marks.

Very happy to be able to send that out.

I found out I don’t actually have to drop it off to the school, I can just send it in the mail, I am loath to go anywhere near campus for a while, I need a break.

Speaking of, the kids had their last day at school today.

Winter break has officially begun.

I will be working longer days for a bit, earlier start at work while the kids are out of school.

But getting to have next Friday off is such a nice bonus.

I was supposed to go in and see my new chiropractor tomorrow, but the mom was desperate for help and asked me to come in at 8:15a.m.

I will be going in and making pancakes for the monkeys.

It’s a long day.

I rescheduled the chiropractor for next Friday at noon and I’ll just have to keep doing the little stretches she suggested.

I do feel a bit out of whack.

I had to carry the baby a bit today in the carrier and he was having a hard time, a bit sick and fussy and there was a lot of screaming, which so rarely happens with the baby that it can be hard to hold.

But.

Hold it I did.

And when he finally fell asleep I just sat on a chair in the bedroom and closed my eyes and drifted.

No phone distractions.

Only warm, heavy, soft baby, breathing against my heart.

I cried a bit.

I processed some stuff.

I thought too much.

Then told myself to stop thinking.

Figure it out is not a slogan.

Then I just drifted in and out of quiet mediation until the baby woke up.

It was quite nice in the end.

The day went by fast and I had plenty on my hands, the baby, both the older kids, the cleaning ladies, cooking dinner, trying to figure out my phone, giving up on trying to figure out my phone, getting to my internship, and seeing the one client who didn’t cancel.

I wasn’t home until 9p.m. then on the chat line for a while, I had to remind myself to eat dinner and drink some water.

And I should pretty much go right to bed now.

But.

A cup of tea.

Just to unwind.

Just to pause and re-center.

It wasn’t a bad day, just different.

Just quiet.

Nothing wrong with quiet.


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