Posts Tagged ‘client’

How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”

Ayup.

I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.

But.

The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.

Oh.

That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.

A LOT.

Happiness.

Love.

Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.

Joy.

Excitement.

Affection.

Awe.

Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.

Elation.

I like to be elated.

Euphoria.

That one’s super fun.

Wonder.

Ecstasy.

Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.

Meh.

Not so much.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Fear.

Worry.

Sadness.

Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.

Frustration.

Envy.

Lust.

Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.

Lusty.

Ahem.

Humiliation.

Pity.

Fear.

I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.

Yet.

I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.

Well.

The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.

Then.

It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.

Sigh.

That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.

Whew.

Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.

Baby.

I really fucking have.

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Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

Almost There

December 7, 2017

I knocked out some more school work tonight after I got home from work.

Wednesday nights I don’t see clients and I had the wherewithal after work to not only get laundry done and make a batch of soup for the weekend, but actually to also do the final prep work for my group presentation that is my final project for my Transpersonal class on Saturday.

I got the e-mail announcing the last weekend of the school semester and a note about where my classes will be over the weekend.

I’m so close to being done.

I have a dream reflection paper to write-up yet, but that’s it.

At least for what’s do for the weekend.

One more paper will have to be written.

One more.

And then I can let myself have some holiday fun.

I really do want to get my Christmas tree this Sunday.

I keep seeing trees and holiday stuff and it doesn’t really connect with me yet, I have no time to think about it.

Or I haven’t.

Even though I have gotten a few things here and there and have Christmas cards and stamps and things to wrap and things to send.

I just can’t get to it until after I get my school work finished.

Once the semester wraps I will let myself unwind.

I’m not nearly as wound up as I was last weekend, thank God.

I could not have sustained that level of anxiety for long.

And now that the lecture has been done I have one less thing to think about on my plate.

It was a really sweet thing to get to be a part of and I received a very sweet e-mail from the producers who relayed that once the video is up they will let us know as well as asking that we all get together for a dinner together.

I think that would be very sweet.

Some of the other lecturer’s ducked out quite quickly and I didn’t get to say good night to everyone.

It would be nice to reconnect, have dinner, process the experience and well, just have a nice meal with people I have come to really like and respect.

Really glad I was able to pull it together and get to be a part of it.

I had such a nice response to my piece, all those nice words still are resonating.

Although, softly, and fading quickly as I move towards the weekend.

I have clients tomorrow to contend with so very happy with myself for doing the work on my final group project and getting my household stuff wrapped and taken care of.

I’ll probably do a few more things in the morning too before I go to work, but I’m not going to stress too hard.

I have all my papers in my folder, those that I didn’t already send in via e-mail, and my worksheets that I made as part of my presentation and all my food prepped for the weekend.

I’m basically ready.

Albeit a bit tired.

It’s been a big push to get here.

I am so nearly done.

I keep telling myself that I will be done by Sunday and then I can enjoy myself.

By going right back into work.

Hahahaaha.

Ugh.

That’s the bummer about the weekend of class work, it really means no time off.

I won’t have to go to work, so there’s at least a break in the kind of work I have to do, school work rather than work, work.

But I’ll still have clients.

One tomorrow night and I need to follow-up with that client and see if he wants my earlier slot, my first client tomorrow cancelled.

Friday I also only have one client.

So I’ll at least be done a little early, it was my late client who cancelled, so I’ll be out by a decent hour Friday night for which I’m very grateful for.

There.

I just sent my client a note notifying of the earlier availability.

It would really be nice to be home by 8p.m.

Really nice.

I’ll do client advocacy work if the client doesn’t pick it up, I always have something I can do, but yeah, fingers crossed I can get the earlier time slot filled.

I’d rather get the extra hour at home, at least this week.

Oof.

I am tired.

I totally lost my train of thought.

I may just wrap this up and wind down.

A quick cup of tea and a little snack and off to bed.

I think that is exactly what I will do.

Goodnight.

And.

Sweet dreams.

Really.

The absolute sweetest.

Slow It Down

November 22, 2017

I left my therapists office very, very, very aware that I was not going near my brand new car.

No way.

No how.

I needed to just take a walk for a moment, slow down, get regulated, be in my body.

Then when I felt like I was not going to crash into anyone I walked back to my car, drove it a few blocks and got right back out.

I was up in Noe Valley and I wanted to take a moment and let myself have a little self-care and to sit down and grab a coffee and enjoy the fact that I wasn’t going into work.

Usually after I get out of therapy I make a quick run to Whole Foods on 24th and then skeedadle to work.

Today I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I also wanted to window shop a little and really just to slow down and appreciate that I had some time off.

Oh.

There was a little bit of a niggling voice that reminded me, hey lady, don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got a fuck ton of homework.

Nothing brings that home more than getting an e-mail from a professor reminding me that all assignments for that class need to be turned in by December 9th and um, I haven’t turned in any of those assignments yet.

I have been waiting for this week off to get all caught up with that class.

I had started the readings, but really not gotten too far.

This time off, fyi, is going super fast, I can’t believe tomorrow’s Wednesday already.

And I have been doing homework diligently every day, every damn day, reading, getting caught up, getting ahead, or finishing the reading.

I’m done with all my readings for Jungian Dream Work and all my reading for Drugs and Alcohol.  I’m 3/4s of the way done with Transpersonal and about the same amount done for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

So not bad, but all those classes also have a final paper, one of them has a final project as well.

I need to get as much work in as I can this week.

And.

Oops.

Fuck.

I’m working tomorrow.

I sort of want to kick myself over it, I should never had said I was available and not think that the mom wouldn’t take me completely up on it.

Not my current family, they are on vacation.

No.

The family I used to work for.

I got a huge mournful face of longing on the last day of school pick up from my former charge and a deep sweet ask for a play date, “when are you going to come over?” He asked with such sweetness and desire I just couldn’t say no and when I bumped into his mom I mentioned I would have down time.

I thought maybe an hour or two, a playdate, something fun and easy.

I got asked to work five hours.

Ugh.

Of course I said yes, the mom had already told the boys I was going to see them and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I also think I knew, at least in the back of my head, that though I like and respect the parents, I have a much more enjoyable time when I am, or have been, alone with the boys.

So I have a hunch the parents are going to take an afternoon day date and go see a movie or go out to lunch and I will have my two sweet guys to myself.

And maybe the dog, she’s a sweetheart, it will be good to see her too.

It’s not a bad thing the work, it’s just a little like come on kid, you’re busy, even though you’re not working, you’ve got a lot of reading and homework that needs attending to.

But.

Ugh.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.

Not always.

And I have said no to this family before when some requests were made, so it feels like a sort of concession, as well as, yes, an opportunity to make a little cash and to get some boy snuggles from my little guys.

I have gotten to do a play date with the youngest and one of my charges that was super fun and sweet, but I haven’t had any alone time with the older boy and I think he may need to see me.

I just got the sense.

And I can often times say no to a parent, especially if I’m busy, but wow, it’s super hard to say no to a child that needs you.

So with a tiny touch of chagrin, yes, I’ll be working tomorrow.

But.

I won’t go in until 1p.m.

So.

Yoga in the morning.

I haven’t been in over a week, or just over a week?

My back’s been sore and I’ve been busy, even though the work hasn’t been happening, oh man has the homework, so tomorrow will be good to get back into it.

I had thought originally with the time off I would be at the studio a lot, but I let myself get some sleep this past weekend and when my back was feeling super tender it felt better to rest than to push it.

I don’t express pain a lot, but I was definitely in some pain, still am, but it seems to be easing up a bit.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been taking ibuprofen, but the appointment is not for a few weeks.  I’m going to try to be gentle and fingers crossed another few days of not carrying the baby around in the carrier will be good to my back.

And.

I was super nice to myself today, and I got a load of work done.

I re-parked my car in Noe Valley and went to Bernie’s Cafe and got a cafe au lait and sat on a bench and let the sun hit my face.

I got into being in my body and letting go of the material I worked on in therapy.

Suffice to say my therapist is recommending more therapy.

Ugh.

EMDR.

Just check the link, I don’t feel like describing it 100% however, I will say that it is a trauma treatment that is often used for PTSD.

I did it in a session once ten years ago with a therapist and I will say it worked, but it was close to the end of my time with that therapist and I didn’t have more follow-up.

I am ready to do it again.

Although I am loath to go and get more therapy, once a week at $120 a pop is enough.

Then again.

I want to work it out, get it out, process it, I want it out of my body, I want my body to be free, my heart to be free, my soul to move about the world and not go into traumatic reliving.

I need to be in the light.

And I know that means more work.

Fine.

I’m ready.

I told my therapist today that I feel like I can do it now, when I couldn’t before, I could barely touch into the trauma without falling completely apart.

I am much, much, much stronger now.

Internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually.

I am ready to do the work, and I suspect that I will finally get to resolve some things that have been burdening me for decades.

Let them go.

Embrace my life.

Help others.

It was good for me to take the moment today to sit on that bench, to get sun on my face, to slow down, I did some window shopping, I got some groceries, I came home and ate a nice lunch, I sat outside on the back patio.

Then.

I jumped back into the homework.

I kicked out three more hours of reading and I did two of the eight assignments.

Sigh.

There’s a lot to do, but I’ll get it done.

Even with working tomorrow.

It will all fall together and I have absolutely no regrets about being easy with myself at the beginning of the day.

I’m a fucking therapist.

I have got to practice what I preach.

Let me reframe that.

I get to.

 

 

 

Step Up

November 20, 2017

Do some service.

Get the fuck out of your head.

Worked like a freaking charm.

I sat and listened to an amazing woman today for hours.

I did a lot of reading.

I did some client work.

I got asked to do a speaking engagement and did that too.

It was fantastic.

To get to be my complete self, lit up, on fire, alive, in love, all the things.

I don’t remember what I said, which is good, that means I wasn’t trying to manipulate how people saw me, I was just sharing.

And my God.

The gratitude.

I smiled so hard.

My face actually got a little sore from smiling so much.

And.

Yes, of course, there were some tears, and love was talked about and I got to reflect on how much love I have been given and how much I still get to give back and out into the world.

It’s amazing.

I was also told this, “you sound like a psychologist!” A sweet man told me after.

That was really nice to hear.

I am grateful for so much in my life.

I have a life, I am alive, that is the start, and you know, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it bears repeating, if life were fair, I’d be dead.

Life is not fair, I have more than I can have ever imagined or asked for.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I have people I love and who love me.

I have a full heart.

I don’t do so many of the things that I used to under the guise of it makes me feel better, but really it just made me feel worse, temporary solutions to the pain I was living with.

Like smoking cigarettes, man, I still forget that, I haven’t smoked in twelve years!

No sugar.

No flour.

No booze.

No cocaine.

Sure.

I still use salt, but please, really, don’t take away my last white powder!

I also do things that I always wanted to do but I would just talk about doing them, I didn’t actually do them.

Like.

Oh.

Writing.

I write every motherfucking day.

How amazing is that?

That I consistently give myself the gift of sitting down to paper and pen and getting honest with my heart.

It is no easy task and it always gives so much back to me.

So too, this little blog.

I do love the writing, I love how my fingers fly over the keyboard, I love how the words pour out of my hands, a direct conduit from the love in my heart.

I have a great job.

I have a site to get all my practicum hours so that I can graduate in May.

Jesus.

I get to go to grad school!

How many people actually get to do that?

Granted I was getting hella frustrated with the FAFSA online tools which kept telling me my passwords were wrong and wouldn’t let me access my student account.

I have to file for the 2018 financial year.

I have not applied to school yet, but I have some fairly serious ambitions to do so, to go for the PhD, I’m thinking that I would get in Transpersonal Studies, which is a two-year program at my school.

I have to flesh some things out, when I would apply, what I might want to dissertate on.

“You should totally do it!” My therapist enjoined me.  “You find so much richness for yourself in the academic world.”

I had not thought of it like that.

I had thought of it, like I want a PhD, ego stuff.

Then.

When a professor I highly respected told me that I could be of more service in my community with a PhD I thought, yeah, I should do that.

Then.

Well.

I know this sounds kind of crazy, but it also sort of makes sense to me, it would mean being in school two more years and that would give me two more years to acquire hours at my internship before I have to start paying back on my student loans.

I am not in a paid internship.

I’m not sure that I could swing paying back student loans on top of getting my hours.

Then again.

I just keep saying, it’s God’s money, it will work out.

I do believe that.

But.

When my therapist reframed the continuation of school by reflecting to me how much I have gotten out of school, just personally, how much I have grown, that I am giving myself an opportunity to learn more and grow more.

I really liked thinking of it.

So grateful for my therapist.

We started in on a hard piece for me last week.

It was something that I have been holding for a while and I knew eventually it was going to have to come out and the work would need to be done on it.

I have done a lot of work, but there is still more to do, still places of pain that need to be touched into, places I need to grieve, things lost that I don’t know I’ve really let myself see that I had lost.

I don’t want to wallow in my past.

I don’t.

It doesn’t really serve.

But I do want to integrate those experiences, grieve what needs to be grieved, and let it go.

My therapists face when I was getting into some of it, how she pulled me back, grounded me, settled me back, ran over time with me to make sure I was calibrated and strong enough to leave the office.

I had tears on my face and many crumpled tissues, but I also felt a kind of inner awareness that this is where the real work is going to happen and I can get through it all the way.

I wasn’t collapsed in, I was strong, I was lightened, I lightened the load a tiny bit and left a good bit of it in a tissue in the wastebasket.

I have the strength to get in there, dig it out, and let it the fuck go.

So grateful for that.

I am resilient.

I have inner love and joy and strength and light.

I have been given so much love in the last few years, so much more than I thought I deserved, so much appreciation for who I am and what I do.

I really am loved.

I really am lovable.

I am enough.

I have enough.

And.

I get to give it all away.

Which.

Oh.

Glorious paradox.

Is.

The only way I can keep it.

The only way.

 

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

I Like Being A

October 7, 2017

Therapist.

I said it out loud in my empty office as I put my last client’s file away and locked the cabinet.

Then I laughed.

It’s true.

I do.

It was a good night.

Good sessions.

And it’s Friday.

So that’s always a bonus.

This was my first week running at full steam.

Eight clients=eight sessions.

Plus.

One hour of solo supervision.

Two hours of group supervision, which technically is tomorrow.

And.

One hour of my own therapy.

And so, this is what it feels like.

At the end of the week, to shut the file drawer and say that “I like being a therapist,” well, it feels really good.

Miraculous almost.

That I’m putting in the hours and I’m finding what I am doing fulfilling.

It feels really fucking good, who am I kidding.

I’m not sure like is a strong enough word.

Although, I’m not sure a stronger word is there to replace it, love seems too committed, there’s a lot of stuff that I find challenging and there’s a learning curve and I have loads of challenges.

But.

Then again.

It may become love, I certainly love my clients.

In an empathetic therapeutic way.

What I am hearing, from my clients now, too, is that they are hearing me, there is a symbiosis, a back a forth, there is a relationship that is being created.

All my clients are rebooked for their next sessions.

Oh.

I won’t meet with all eight next week, I have a client on vacation, but that client has rescheduled.

And when clients have to reschedule I am being asked if they can make up the time.

That is so validating I can hardly bear it.

I feel like I am doing a good job.

And yes, there is a better job I am sure that I could do, but considering where I am at in my burgeoning career I’m doing pretty damn good.

I’m also making sure that I follow what I speak.

That I do what I suggest or reflect back to my clients.

Granted.

I did not tell any of my clients to go home and slide into a pair of bunny slippers, which I just did and damn it feels good.

But I do make self-care suggestions and that is what I got to do when I came home.

Open mail.

I don’t ever leave mail to be un-opened, I learned a long time ago when I first got into recovery how important it was to respond to my mail.

And.

Yes.

It was a bill.

For my scooter insurance.

And.

I have paid it.

That’s another thing that I was taught, pay your bills within 24 hours of receiving them.

I usually pay it immediately, I don’t even let 24 hours lapse, I get the bill I pay the bill.

Then I balance my checkbook so that I know exactly to the penny what I can spend.

That feels good to know that, to know exactly how much is in my account and what I can do with that money.

Then, after paying my bill.

I did my laundry.

I put fresh sheets on my bed this morning and wanted to wash all my linens and do a few loads of laundry, lots of nice fresh towels and sheets, thank you very much.

And.

I don’t want to have to think about doing laundry over the weekend, I just want the weekend to be mine

Oh my God.

Yes.

I made it to the weekend.

Sweet.

I am so happy.

So excited.

I have been looking forward to the weekend for a while now, let me tell you, it’s going to be fucking amazing, I just know it.

After laundry I opened up my package, I got my light box.

I haven’t set it up yet, but I have it and I’m happy that I was proactive, the light fades so fast and it used to be that I was riding my scooter home into the sunset, now I’m still riding into The Sunset, but it’s dark.

I live in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco if that above made no sense.

I amuse the hell out of myself.

And digress much?

After package opening, bill paying, folding laundry, and getting myself sorted I made myself a nice hot dinner, roasted chicken and brown rice with peas and corn.

So freaking good.

I was hungry and nothing like a nice hot meal at the end of a long week and a long day.

I am very happy to say that I am doing what I would suggest to anyone I work with.

Self-care.

It’s so where it’s at.

I can’t help anyone at all unless I can take care of myself first.

But when I do, watch out!

I am able to do so much.

It’s amazing.

This, my blog, also counts as self-care, the writing a practice that never fails to sustain and fulfill me, allowing me to process emotions and thoughts and work through whatever needs to be worked through, I get it all out here and my head is clear.

I go to bed with a clear conscious and not a lot of chatter.

Oh.

There’s occasionally noise in there, but the other thing about my long day, well, I generally fall asleep pretty quick and that’s nice too.

When I am tired the last thing I need is a racing brain.

I like quiet.

And yes, there are things I think about, lovely things, but I feel like I am holding them next to me, sleeping with my arm wrapped about them in a loving way.

I awoke this morning early.

I had to pee.

Happens.

I tend to drink tea before going to bed it’s a ritual and it too calms me down and mellows me out, warms me up and makes me sleepy and cozy.

I like being cozy.

So.

I generally do get up once in the night to use the bathroom.

And oh!

The moon!

It was full, so full, amazing, bright white light shining through the blinds on my back studio door.

So powerful.

When I woke up proper, it was still there, just at the horizon, riding low in the pinks and soft lavender of early sunrise, just over the ocean.

I stood and stared at it and welcomed it.

I felt blessed in seeing the beauty and it reminding me of love.

How I can see it, acknowledge it, hold it, and be so aware of its beauty.

It made for quite the start to my day.

And now, here at the end, as I’m sleepy and warm, I suspect, it will carry me through my night and into the light of a brand new day.

Saturday.

Oh how I have been waiting for you my friend.

Stupid with excitement.

And no little love.

Sleep

September 29, 2017

It does wonders.

I still could have slept another hour or fifteen, or so it felt, when I woke up, but I had gotten nearly 7 hours and that was miraculous after a long slog of a day with little sleep.

I am super grateful that tomorrow is Friday.

And that the mom had gotten mixed up with dates and I don’t have to come in early tomorrow.

I will next week.

But tomorrow.

Fuck.

I might even get eight hours of sleep.

It sounds so sexy it makes me shiver in delicious anticipation.

And just being the end of the week brings me some relief.

I’m almost there.

I still have a rather long day tomorrow, full day of work, client at my internship, but I don’t have a second client in the evening until next Friday, so I’ll be out by 7:30p.m. and able to make a friend’s birthday dinner at Fang on Howard Street.

I am also supposed to go dancing with the posse of ladies afterward at Public Works for Afrolicious.

I’m on the fence about that.

Originally I wasn’t going to be able to do dinner and felt an obligation to make a commitment to my friend and say yes to the dancing.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s been a long week.

I mean.

It really has.

And I’m still not in the clear.

I don’t have a day off until Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

I’m keeping the door wide open to just doing dinner and saying, love you, but I can’t make the dancing.

And.

I love dancing.

I haven’t really danced since Burning Man and god only knows when before that.

But, yes, I do like to dance.

And the music is sure to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I’m not committing though, not yet, I just need to see how I feel and not try to be a hero and push too hard.

If I have the energy, I’ll go for it and bounce home by midnight so that I can still get up and go to yoga in the morning on Saturday before I go into my internship.

I do know this much.

I am getting a god damn mani/pedi/waxing on Saturday.

I hate looking sloppy and my nails look like ass.

It’s always an indication to me that I am busy when my manicure looks bad.

It’s a time suck, an enjoyable one, but it takes time and when I have a school weekend, like I did last weekend, I don’t have the time.

Oh.

I tried.

I had a little tiny window Saturday between my last class and my first client, but the salon was full and couldn’t get me in for even just a manicure.

Note to self.

Make an appointment so I can get a spot.

I can’t go another week without doing the nails.

It’s a part of my self-care and it’s something I very much like to do for myself.

It’s a couple of hours of sitting still, flipping through magazines, letting someone pamper me, relaxing, using the massage buttons on the chair.

Yeah.

Definitely making some time to do that.

Then my normal Saturday night get together with my fellows over in the NOPA.

I might go out to dinner that night too, but not certain.

I also have homework to attend to, I do need to do some reading.

I actually got in a couple of articles yesterday evening, despite the fact that I had such a long day, I did a 45 minute stretch and got my CBT reading done so that I can actually know what the fuck is being talked about in my webinar on Sunday and I knocked out an article in my Child and Elderly Abuse class.

Little bits and pieces as I go.

It will get done.

I didn’t have much down time at work this week to address homework, but I have brought a book with me every day, just in case.

I never know what the time will bring, just that it’s important to utilize it when it occurs.

I hope to let myself have a little down time too.

I do what I can.

When I can.

I believe in abundance, my time is expansive.

I also acknowledge that my schedule is fucking full and it’s a lot when I step back and look at it.

But boy.

The time goes by.

And.

It won’t always be like this.

It just won’t.

It’s part of what I have to do right now.

Get the degree, get the degree, get the degree.

Eye on the prize.

Eyes softly on the prize.

I don’t want it to be the sole focus of my life.

I have people in my life who are my life and I can’t just be a soul hiding in a room studying all the time.

Or working all the time.

I need connection.

I need love

I need sunshine.

I need star shine.

I need love.

Oh.

I already said that.

But.

For the sake of telling myself that I am allowed.

I need love.

I can’t just send it out, to my clients, my family, my friends, to my job, without getting some back.

And thank God.

I am getting it back.

I am so grateful for that love.

Beyond words.

I realize that I have strength.

But I cannot be strong in a vacuum.

So.

I will do my best this weekend to let myself balance all my commitments and comings and goings and be nice to myself and maybe, I’ll get some flowers, or something else sweet for myself, be romantic, woo my heart, be gentle.

Heh.

See.

I’m making an opportunity to go shopping.

I see myself here.

Oh.

But.

It’s allowed.

Let me allow myself some sweetness for all the hard work I put in.

It’s allowed.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

And.

Maybe.

Yes.

A new pair of shoes too.

Heh.

 

Almost There

September 19, 2017

And it was a full day.

But almost there.

Almost done.

Full of work and writing and reading and clients and my supervisor.

Who never fails to astound me with his breadth of knowledge and insight.

I was flummoxed by a new client and he sketched it out in three sentences.

Blew my mind.

Of course he’s got years of being a therapist on me, but still, he’s so damn good and also it’s refreshing to be under the tutelage of someone who is so in tune with his work and knows really deeply how to talk about clients.

I bring a lot to him.

I am very observant and there are things that I know he’s surprised that I catch.

But man, he takes them and runs with them and sees the things that aren’t so obvious to me.

Of course.

They’re obvious as soon as they come out of his mouth and his explanations make so much sense.

Again and again I am so pleased to be allowed to work with him.

I got very lucky.

One of my friends in my cohort argues that my supervisor got lucky with me.

That was nice to hear, but I do feel that I’m the lucky one in the deal.

I do think he finds me interesting to work with though, and for that I am grateful and I’m an intelligent woman, I think that helps a lot, I get where he’s going with things and I am able more and more, to articulate what I am seeing in the sessions and relaying it well enough to him that I am getting a lot of help with my cases.

More so, by far, than I get in group supervision.

Sometimes I feel like my group supervision is just there to help me see how good I have it, not just with my supervisor, who is not affiliated with my group or my internship, but also with my school.

I have gotten a much better education, it feels, than many of the other interns that I see in my group.

I could be wrong, but it feels like I’m getting more from my school program than I am seeing with the other interns that I have worked with.

And though my group supervisor is a nice woman, she’s not as intuitive as my solo supervisor not as academically rigorous.

Not complaining, just observing.

So.

Yeah.

I saw my solo supervisor before work today.

The hour always flies by, then I usually pop over to Rainbow Grocery and pick up a few things, things that I can only get there, it’s sort of like my treat.

Go to supervision, get Rau Chocolate drink.

Ok!

Then I scootered to work.

Where it was quiet and I was able to take care of the household business and then take some time to do some homework and have a nice lunch.

I don’t normally sit at the dining room table, but there was no one home, and the view, oh, my God the view is crazy good.

A gigantic sweep from floor to ceiling of glass and the sprawl of the city, the Bay Bridge, downtown, it’s amazing.

And there are plum trees in the back yard.

With blossoms on them!

I was so startled to see that.

Not a lot, not heavy like in spring, but there were blossoms and the beauty of them caught me so off guard.

I was inspired and wrote some poetry.

I like to write a poem now and again.

Makes me happy.

Makes me happy too when the work resonates with the reader.

Very happy.

I write poetry because I can’t help myself.

I really can’t.

It’s a part of me.

And a part of me that takes precedent over homework.

I still did homework though.

I still read.

I took my reader with me on the train to pick up my charges from school.

I took my reader with me to my internship.

I read when there is down time.

The only issue I have at the moment that I’m a little put off by is that my reader for my class that I need to wrap up for the upcoming weekend got fucked up at the printer.

So all sorts of my reading is not available to me.

Except.

Online.

Thankfully the professor was alerted and posted the readings up, but I dislike reading online when I am studying, I like to outline and write notes and underline passages.

I also like having a reader or a book that I can throw in my bag and read when I have a spare minute.

It looks like I will have time the next few days at work to attend to my readings as my work load is slightly lighter with the mom away on business with the baby.

So.

I guess I’m bringing my laptop to work tomorrow so I can do some of the reading I wasn’t able to yet get to.

Luxury problems.

I flipped through a bit of it already when I got home from seeing my clients and having a bite of dinner.

I may even be able to finish up the reading tomorrow at work.

Thereby leaving the rest of the week for just work and clients.

And.

Yes.

School.

I’ll be in classes again Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Friday: 9a.m. to 4 p.m.

Client at 6:30p.m.

Home by 8p.m.

Saturday: 9a.m. to 8 p.m.

And.

Sunday: 9a.m. to noon.

It’s nice having shorter class days, last two years I was in class until 8p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. on Sundays.

My internship, or practicum as it’s referred to while I am still in school, is considered a class.

Of course I spend a far greater amount of time and effort on my internship, it’s a different kind of learning too, and I’m actively doing therapy.

Whew.

It is a lot.

But I suspect.

I will have some nice times in there too.

I don’t suspect it.

I know it.

That’s the kind of life I live.

Work hard.

Play harder.

 

 

 

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

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

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

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

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

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

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

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

But.

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

I couldn’t quite pin it.

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

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

And.

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

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

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

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

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

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

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

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

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

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

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

But hey.

I have a savings account.

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

And then.

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

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

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

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

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

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

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

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

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

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

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

Maybe.

I don’t know.

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

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

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

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

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

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

And I love her so much.

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

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

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

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

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

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

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

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

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

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

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

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

But.

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

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

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

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

At least that is what I have hope for.

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

I have and will always love my family.

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

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

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

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

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

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.


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