Posts Tagged ‘Couples Therapy’

Smoky Voice

October 18, 2017

Sultry yes.

But sore and dry throat is tired.

It was smoky again today.

I was disheartened to say the least when I went outside to get on my scooter and head in to my therapy session in Noe Valley.

I was looking forward to seeing my therapist as we had to cancel last week.

She was affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

I have been affected too, but in lesser ways and in ways that I have felt loath to gripe about as my hierarchy of needs have been basically met.

Yet.

There has been suffering and there has been a constant feeling of sickness and showing up for work has been hard, keeping the kids inside all day long for over a week and they all, ALL, of them now have the croup.

It is heart breaking listening to them cough.

The mom has it too.

Knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it and I know that the ugly feeling in my lungs is not from a cold.

It’s from the smoke and whatever nasty particles I have been inhaling.

My lungs feel tender and my throat super sore and raw and my head has been hurting all day.

I also have gotten spacey and a little dizzy a few times.

The EPA had the air quality showing unhealthy for most of the day.

And that’s pretty much how I have felt, unhealthy.

Granted.

I am able to work and able to get myself going, I’ve just not been my best and I’m such a healthy person in general, that I feel a bit depleted.

It was hard to hold space for my clients tonight at my internship and I felt pretty out of it.

I had thought for a moment about cancelling clients tonight, but I figured I would just muscle through.

I did it, but it was tough and I’m really grateful to be home.

I am also grateful that the unhealthy air is projected to be moderate tomorrow, not good yet, but better than today and fingers crossed it will continue to get better.

There are still fires burning, it’s not over yet.

I can’t quite wrap my head around that, fires still burning, fires not contained yet, the fires have been going on now for ten days.

TEN.

It’s hard to fathom.

The losses, the wreckage, the ravaging of the land.

I was praying last night before bed and I was thanking God that the family I used to work for wasn’t in Glen Ellen when the fires broke out.

They have a vacation home there and they’d been there just the weekend before.

I literally started crying when I realized how close they were to the fires, I don’t know if the property made it out, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the family, the boys, the dog, hadn’t been there, I would have lost my mind if they had.

Lost it.

So it’s hard for me to fathom those that did lose it all and sad for it, heartbroken.

And also aware that I have to keep my spirits up, that people need me, that I need to take care of myself.

My therapist and I discussed that a lot today, how being a caregiver, being in the helping field, being a nurturer, that I had to focus on doing for myself, because getting sucked into the drama of it or the trauma news cycle via social media, I would not be helping any one at all.

Grateful for her perspective and all the other things that I get to work out with her.

I am super grateful to be back in therapy and I just realized I forgot to add the hour to my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) tracking.

Excuse me a moment, that has to happen right now.

There, that’s better.

Under current BBS requirements I can count my own personal therapy towards the 3,000 hours I need to accrue.

Which is awesome.

And.

The best part.

They count as three hours.

I book one hour and it gets counted as three.

Granted.

I am only allowed to accrue 300 hours of personal therapy towards my license, but I will take any extra hours any where that I can.

I also talked about the stress of getting hours or wondering how I was going to get them all before the licence requirements change.

As of January 2021 the BBS will be changing a number of things.

One of them will be that personal psychotherapy will no longer count.

The other is that Couples Therapy will not count double as it currently does.

So I want to make sure that I can get all my hours done by December 2020.

That’s not that far away.

I have had not anxiety, per se, but a little concern, now that I am in the actively doing therapy process, about how the fuck I’m going to get all the hours.

I am working full-time to support living in San Francisco.

How will I squeeze more hours into my schedule?

I want to vomit thinking about it.

I have so much going on and I want to have a life, a teeny, tiny bit of a life, I need my human connection, I need my recovery,

Ugh.

I can’t speculate on how it will happen, I will just keep practicing faith and I will pick up extra hours here and there whenever and wherever I can.

It will happen.

And thankfully, my last semester of the Master’s degree is only two classes plus practicum (which is for all intents and purposes my internship), so I won’t be running with the same full class load that I am now.

And who knows what will happen.

I could come into money, I could win the lottery, I could get a paid internship, I don’t know, and I don’t have to.

I just know that I will keep trying and keep doing the best I can and I know that I am doing that.

I am holding my own.

Not always with the most grace, but with strength and integrity and valor.

I am doing the work.

And in the end.

Every time I go back to it.

I am so worth the effort.

Therefore I will be ok.

Because.

Well.

I already am.

Just for today.

I am exactly where I am need to be.

Seriously.

 

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Calendar This

August 6, 2017

Bitches.

I updated my Google calendar today.

Just my personal one, not the one for my internship which feels like I am on it looking at it, figuring it out, all the time.

My personal one not so much.

But.

As days are getting filled I realized that it would be a smart idea to plug-in all my dates and look at my school weekends and get those all listed.

My last year of my Masters program.

Hard to fucking fathom it.

But.

It is.

I started my reading today for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I had a full day, it felt, just working on my calendar, I might have put in an hour on it.

I mean.

I really did do it up, putting in dates all the way up until the Aids LifeCycle ride in June of next year, June 3rd-9th.

I don’t know when graduation will be for school, that will be in May, I know that, but not necessarily when.

I won’t have to do summer school or summer practicum, since I did it this summer, so I’ll be able to walk free and clear and at the rate I’m collecting hours I will have more than double, perhaps triple the hours I need to graduate my program.

They will be just a drop in the bucket of what I have to accomplish overall, but I’ll be able to graduate with no sweat at the rate I am going.

I got to have my first experience with a couple today.

Which is awesome.

And.

Terrifying.

And amazing.

And.

A lot to hold.

I mean, it’s two people and I’m just one, staying in tune with everything that is in the room and it’s not to one person or the other that I need to attend, although I feel like I did a pretty decent job being balanced in my session.

Ultimately, though, the client is the relationship.

That means doing therapy in a different manner and it didn’t feel like there was enough time to get to everything that was happening, but then again, it was an initial consult and I may not be assigned this particular couple.

It was, however, a great learning experience, and as it was a couple the hour counts as two hours for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) who require at least 500 hours of Couples, Children, or Family Therapy.

It doesn’t matter if I want to be a therapist who works one on one with clients, the BBS requires me to do some hours of work with a family unit.

A couple is a great way to get those kinds of hours.

From what I can tell at my internship there are not a lot of Family hours available.

Nor child hours, but they do both and I have been assigned a child client, same client I did an intake with a few weeks ago, so there is that opportunity to pick up hours there.

Still.

500 hours.

That’s a lot.

Fuck.

3,000 hours ultimately is what I must have.

I’ve got 107.50 currently.

A drop in the bucket.

I know, though, I know it so well, that these things add up.

I just need to keep trudging the road and I’ll get there.

And there is plenty to keep me busy in the mean time.

It looks pretty damn good that I will not be going back to 35 hours a week at my nanny gig when school starts.

The mom and I had a very brief discussion about that, that the family wants me to stay at my current iteration of hours.

Which is 42 hours a week.

Sigh.

I can do it.

I know I can.

I can squeeze in the homework.

The baby will nap and I will read.

There may be times when that doesn’t happen, but I will get used to carrying my textbooks and reader with me and I will adjust to it.

School will be what school is.

Technically it should be easier than the first two years since part of my schedule is practicum, and well, I’m in it.

In fact.

I need to remember to pull my file on Monday when I go in and see my client.

I have a review and grade report from my supervisor waiting for me in the office.

I have to turn it into the school, which is basically turning in what ever grade my supervisor has given me and acknowledging that I am doing the work necessary for the school to pass me.

I don’t know if I get a letter grade for this or not.

I do know that it was more than just a page, more like three or possibly four pages of questions that the school needed my supervisor to weigh in on.

I currently have a 4.0.

I sure as shit hope I got an “A” if there is an assigned letter grade.

I can’t imagine that I would get less than that.

Which is not to be cocky, it’s just that I do show up, I do the work, I participate in my group supervision, I have clients who have rebooked with me.  I have clients that have requested to work with me after doing an initial consult.  I even received a very sweet thank you from one of my clients for the work we have been doing.

Unexpected and lovely that.

Anyway.

There are lots of things to juggle.

But I can do it.

And I am sure that I will still have time to do the pleasurable things that I need to do in my life and fingers crossed I’ll still be able to keep my blog practice happening.

I say that every semester and every semester I have managed to keep putting my paws on my keyboard and click clacking away.

It’s also one day at a time.

All I have to do today is what is in front of me.

I have to live in 24 hour increments or I will lose my mind.

And well.

That might suck for my burgeoning career as a psychotherapist.

Ha.

I can do it one little day at a time.

There is time for it all.

There really is.

And knowing that.

Well.

That’s a power I can’t quite fathom.

But I know without a single doubt.

I am being taken care of.

Completely.

Every single day.

With great love and compassion.

Which is more than I ever hoped for.

Life is full.

And.

Amazing.

Beyond my wildest dreams.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Overwhelmed

June 29, 2017

Much.

Sure.

I was.

I feel better now.

It was a long day and as the day progressed I kept getting more and more information about what I needed to do for my internship this week.

Namely.

That I am taking on a new set of clients tomorrow.

That’s right.

SET.

I have my first couples therapy session.

I was like.

Oh.

Shit.

It’s on now.

I did get a little overwhelmed and then I just breathed and went with it.

I also picked up a consult for next week and I have a new consult this Friday.

I’m getting busy.

It’s still super new, just getting used to where I am, the facility, etc and that I am practicing therapy.

I mean.

I really am a therapist.

It’s pretty fucking surreal.

And.

Also, pretty fucking amazing.

I am also really grateful to be getting some hours tucked in under my belt and to be getting to practice and getting used to what it feels like to juggle all the things.

There’s a lot to juggle.

I am happy for it all, but I have found myself winnowing things out here and there.

I debated whether or not I was going to blog tonight and realized that I really wanted to, I needed to process through the day and shake it out of my head.

And.

I did not write this morning.

I needed to go back into my internship and deal with some paperwork before heading into work this morning.

It was rush hour and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to have the thirty minutes to write, and I couldn’t bring myself to get up any earlier.

I have been getting up pretty early for the last couple of weeks and the thought of just sneaking in another fifteen minutes of slumber was worth it.

Plus I took a shower.

And did my hair, that always eats time.

So not having written this morning I really wanted to make space and allow myself to write my blog even if all I wanted was a cup of tea, a bowl of cherries and some Orange is the New Black.

I may still do all of that, just not watch an entire show.

I was so busy at one point last week that the one episode I managed to watch was spread out over four nights.

Heh.

I have also noticed that I am checking in less and less with social media.

I just don’t have the time and since I haven’t been linking my blog to social media, it hasn’t had as much of a draw for me.

I am ok with this.

I like to talk on the phone or in person rather than dancing around social media.

It’s a nice way to keep tabs on folks but yeah, it’s not been so much on my plate recently and I am ok with that.

I still post Instagram photos and I’m still on the social media tip, although not Twitter, closed that account, I’m just not as into it.

It has been interesting to see my blog nose dive so much with the readership, but it has allowed for a kind of leeway in my writing and I do love that.

I do love that I am still here, typing away, writing my little words, cataloguing my life.

Occasionally letting the poetry out of my heart.

Like.

 

Your face glowing in the red of the traffic light.

Love lit and reverent.

Words trembling upon your lips.

But they do not fall.

Then.

That.

Mouth.

Full of promise.

Sweet, open, vulnerable.

And.

The thrum of it.

The strings and somnolent vibration, the headiness of having your face

Smote with emotion in front of mine.

How I wish to crush you to me.

Let me flower for you underneath the star light and the moon roof.

Blooming with the nights soft remonstrance in my mouth.

The crash of the ocean at Miramar Beach.

Cold wind pushing me into your arms.

My feet sink into the sand and I tumble against you.

Falling and falling and falling over again.

For you.

Shot through with the blue of your eyes.

From the awe and reverence there.

Even when.

You don’t always let me see it.

Shutters on your heart open and close.

I know though.

I know all the way through me.

Straight through.

There.

Is.

This

Arrow winnowed into my heart.

Lodged there.

Succinct and brilliant.

I lapse upon its bright point.

Collapsing.

Knowing that I am caught.

Held.

Loved.

Be it unspoken.

Or writ.

Large in the promises your eyes speak to me.

Captured.

Asunder.

Those.

Fallen angel eyes.

Falling forward.

Compel me on.

Like star-gazer lilies blooming while I dream.

You.

Enthrall.

Me.

 

And like that.

I get to make time for my poetry.

My heart opens.

And now I can have my cherries in a bowl.

My cup of tea.

And my rest.

Sweet dreams my love.

Sweet dreams.

 

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

Eleven Pages of Writing

April 24, 2017

Eleven Pages of Writing. *This blog post written 4/22/17 while WordPress site was down.

 

Eleven.

And I’m not done yet.

Of course, it was the biggest part of the paper that I dealt with, the brunt of the work, but the actual paper is not written yet.

The eleven pages was transcript.

Sigh.

I hate writing transcripts.

Super grateful that it is no longer a part of my career.

I did do it once as a part of my internship when I was in the newsroom at KQED as a radio news intern.

I had to transcribe a few times for my reporters, the interns definitely got the grunt work there, that’s for sure, I recall I had to transcribe a speech that Arnold Schwarzenegger gave to the state of California when he was the governor, it might have been the worst thing I have ever done for four hours.

And although this transcription was not so difficult, it was still challenging.

It’s a lot of stopping and starting a recording.

It took hours of work and I’m grateful I did it and now I will be able to write the paper.

But.

Not tonight.

I was afraid that this might happen.

Especially when I saw how long it was taking, it just takes forever, but I did do a lot of thinking while doing the transcribing and I did get a lot of ideas down and I also made notes in the margins about what I could have done differently.

So much of that.

What I could have done differently.

I was transcribing a half hour session of a Couples Therapy mock dyad I did last Sunday with a couple of friends who helped me by-play acting being in a relationship.

They did a great job.

Me.

Not so much.

That being said I did have a few moments of headway and I did do a few things, if not well, at least not flaming bad.

I also know that I am not expected to be a fantastic couples therapist after one semester of work.

It will take time and it will take practice and this was a practice, it was not “real” therapy, it was a practice session it was for me to learn.

And learn I did.

Which is the point and I’m happy about that.

I still have to write the official paper, but I have the transcript worked out, edited and cleaned up.

I have to include ten minutes of the transcript in my paper.

I could have just listened to it, the recording, and choose a ten minute chunk, but in listening to the entire thing and typing it up as I was listening I got to see what worked well, what didn’t work, what could have worked better, and I feel like I got a deeper understanding and a deeper learning.

I’ll be able to sit down and write the paper tomorrow and it should not take more than two hours to write.

I may even pop it out in an hour and a half.

I have looked over one of my books for the class, made some notes, and I have the transcript ready.

I’ll kick it out tomorrow.

I have a few more things going on tomorrow than I did today, but I should still have the space to do the work.

I don’t feel as anxious about doing it as I did earlier this week and I know that I just have to do the slow and steady wins the race deal in regards to all the homework that I have to get through before the last weekend of the semester.

I will probably spend a little time every day this up coming week on my two other big paper projects, this paper I worked on today will be done tomorrow.

I will finish it that was the plan.

Well.

The plan was to finish it today but I didn’t take into account how long the damn transcription would be.

I think I knew it was going to be a while, which was fueling some of my anxiety around the writing, in fact, when it comes right down to it, I bet the time I took to do the transcription will actually be less than the time that I take to write the formal paper.

Speaking of writing.

Day three.

THREE!

Of not having access to my Word press site.

I do not understand what is going on with it but I can’t access it to post blogs to.

Once again I am writing my blog on my Word application and then I’ll post up to my Facebook.

I am not excited about this, but I remind myself I need to blog and I need the time to decompress and shake all the homework out of my system so I can rest well tonight, sleep soundly, get up and do it all again tomorrow.

I did a few other things than homework today, yoga class, laundry, grocery shopping, made a pot roast with root vegetables, did the deal, but did not do the fellowship after.

I thought about it.

But.

I had eaten pot roast before heading out and I wasn’t hungry and I knew that it might be better if I came home, looked over the transcript one more time, flipped through my notes and then slept on the paper.

I’m staring at the reader for the class and thinking I will also flip through it before I give it a complete rest.

The blogging helps, it really does, I’m happy to be writing regardless of my blog site being down and I am ok with the wonky look of it when I post to Facebook.

I now have three blogs that will need to post.

I will post them to the site when it’s back up, even though I’ve put them on Facebook, that way the subscribers still get to see what I’ve been up to and the site holds my drafts and it’s nicer to have them all there than here on my computer.

I can access my drafts and I can read the blog, I just can’t post.

It’s the second time, third time, maybe, that it’s happened.

Hopefully the kinks will get worked out soon.

And with that.

I have to finish up so I can go finish up the rest of my prep work for the Couples Paper.

I’m almost there, even if it feels like I haven’t even started.

I’m almost there.

I am.

Damn it.

Second Day

April 24, 2017

Second day in a row that my wordpress site is down. *This post written on 4/21/17

I can read blogs, but I can’t write them using the site.

Last night I wrote a rather long poem and I just posted it directly to Facebook.

I was very appreciative of the response I got, but it wasn’t on my blog and thus my readers who subscribe to my blog, many of whom, most of whom, are not friends of mine on social media, and they can’t read it.

I don’t like dropping my readers.

And I don’t like not being able to post.

Sigh.

Writing again in my Word application on my MacBook and I will save and hopefully post up in the next day.

I have so much writing to do and the writing that I want to do, my blogging, is not quite happening the way I had hoped it would.

I persist.

This is my place, this is my easing my mind, and this is my working it out and letting go of the day.

So.

I write.

Even if I can’t post.

I write.

It’s important to me and it’s my process and it keeps me sane, it really does.

I need sanity.

Especially after breaking down into tears at work tonight while I was cooking dinner for the family.

Work was not the problem.

Work is great.

Love my job.

LOVE.

School was the issue.

And not even homework, but the hoops for financial aid and the feeling of constantly having to navigate through the minefield of paying for the degree.

It has been a frustrating experience and it was no less so today.

I have been watching and waiting for my notification that my financial aid processed and what the award was to be and how much and let me pay off my tuition bill, which, the school never has any problem getting to me, no, no problem there, but I haven’t seen the award.

I start supervision on MONDAY.

I need to take care of this.

I did the application and all the footwork in March.

So.

I called yesterday and I got a message today telling me that they had no record of my application.

Seriously?

Fuck.

The office asked me to send the confirmation e-mail to them and so I did, and then they asked that I fill out some more paperwork.

So.

I did.

And then they gave me some very basic, very direct, step-by-step instructions of what I needed to do.

Fantastic.

Thank you.

Except.

  1. CIIS Institutional Summer 2017 Financial Aid Application
  2. Log on tofinaid.ciis.eduwith your Username and Password
  3. Select the 2016-17 Award Year from the drop-down menu at the top
  4. Complete the two-part questionnaire under the “Apply Now” tab and submit

There is no “Apply Now” tab on the page.

Fuck this crap.

There was another set of instructions that I followed to the “t” and was able to send into the school so I am hoping that will rectify the situation.

I still called and left a message.

Of course.

It’s Friday.

I won’t hear a thing back until Monday and I’m sure there will be more hoops to leap through.

At least I was able to pull it together at work, give myself a moment in the bathroom, breathe, pray and wipe away the tears.

I am not being dropped, I will be taken care of, and the money is there.

I soothed myself and got back to attending the making dinner for the family.

I was happy to be doing something active and consuming.

I was very happy to see how the kids ate up the food and the mom was happy and I got to hold the baby and I got smiles and hugs and thank you and it was all super sweet.

It was the antidote for the crazy I felt when dealing with the school.

Ultimately.

I am grateful.

I had my question responded to, I was given the information I needed, and I was able to get most of it taken care of, the rest will follow and since I did the big important stuff, which was the government loan FAFSA and they sent me confirmation emails that my application was accepted, I know that it will be done and taken care of.

Sure.

It didn’t happen my way and it was confusing and I don’t know how come I have had this experience with the school now three times in regards to my financial aid, but in the end, I have always received enough to pay my tuition and get to the next thing.

The next thing is to write my Couples Therapy paper tomorrow.

And.

As I stare at my little carrot on my desk, I see you carrot, incentive, gift, kick in the pants to get the job done and finish out the semester, I see you and I am so happy that I got you, I know I will get through this process with school.

I got a very useful item for my trip to Paris in the mail.

I received my “World Travel Adapter Kit” today.

I have always relied on friends when I have traveled to have the proper adapter for my phone or laptop and I realized it was time to be an adult about it and invest in my own.

I will only continue to travel and now I have my phone charger and my laptop charger taken care of.

All the places I can go and have my computer and my phone.

ALL THE PLACES.

China, Korea, Brazil, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong.

I can go and I will be set.

I have a few other small things that I ordered for the trip and as it gets closer I am more and more excited.

Ten days off, no work, no school.

Ten days in Paris.

All the rigmarole with school is fine, it’s working out, my work is working out—in fact I just got a very thankful and kind text message from the dad at work about the amazing dinners he’s gotten to come home to and the happy kids.

That made my day.

Grateful to get to do this work and to learn and to realize again and again that I may have fear, but I can walk through it and I can always ask for help.

Such a relief that.

I am not doing this alone.

Thank you all for your love and support.

It means the world.

A world I am very much looking forward to traveling through.

So much looking forward to.

Seriously.

 

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

Opt Out

April 16, 2017

I was going to go out tonight, not like crazy out, just out to dinner with the folks after doing the deal.

But.

I decided to come home, cook dinner here, and get the rest of my things organized.

I have a load of school work to handle in the next few weeks.

I was able to organize some friends of mine to help me re-do the Couples Therapy dyad that I did at school last weekend but somehow failed to get a proper recording.

I will be taking care of that tomorrow, making sure that the recording is doing just that, recording, and then I have a paper to write.

I will most likely do the Couples Therapy paper first.

It is the first that is due.

And, of course, rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so no scooter.

I will need to MUNI or take a car to meet my people up at Firewood Cafe tomorrow, I don’t really care though, I am just so happy that I was able to get a couple of people to help me.

It has been a little stress that I can now put behind me, get the session recorded and then get on with the paper.

I did realize the day before yesterday too, that my Trauma class still has some reading due for the next weekend of classes.

So.

I may just use the MUNI train rides as an opportunity to be sitting still in one place and doing the reading.

I did manage to get a chapter read of the material in between my job and doing the deal on Friday, but I have some more to do.

I think I may actually be able to knock it out by the time I do all the MUNI train rides.

I may also say fuck that and just take a car share.

I’m not too anxious, but I have to focus on getting the work done, I have to.

I only have a few weeks to do it and I want to be staying on top of it.

I basically have to write a paper each weekend, starting tomorrow, one per weekend up until the last weekend of classes.

I was joking with a friend today that it makes absolutely no sense to me to go to the last weekend of classes, since all my papers will be due the first day of classes, what’s the point of doing the full three days?

I mean.

Seriously.

I already know I will go and participate, mostly because I just really love my cohort and I have gotten really close to a few of my friends there.

I get to have a slumber party with one of my girl friends who’s going to stay over night at my place the Thursday night before classes so we can spend time together.

It’s super nice to have that.

And.

Sometimes I also have to take me time.

I had a few other things I opted out of doing today and though I miss the people and the friends, I really needed to do some self-care.

I went to yoga this morning.

I met with a ladybug and did the deal.

I went grocery shopping and made plans for what I will cook tomorrow.

I mean, a paper calls for me to make soup.

I am going to try something new tomorrow–hot and sour soup with shrimp, bok choy, carrots, hen of the wood mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, and tofu.

I had a bowl of really good hot and sour soup last weekend at an anniversary dinner for a friend and I realized, I can make this!

And so, I’m going to try.

I am actually pretty damn pleased with the stuff in my pantry right now.

Healthy, clean, lots of veggies and fruit, top grade high-end espresso, unsweetened coconut milk, organic tea.

Yeah.

It’s looking good.

Once I busted out the shopping I also busted out the laundry and cleaned up my closet.

I got a bag of stuff to sell, which became a bag of stuff to donate.

I only sold two of the articles of clothing, which happens sometimes, but I ran the rest of the stuff over to Good Will and happily made a donation.

It felt good to clear some space and tidy up my stuff.

I also took a dress to get altered that I ordered a while back, but the bodice is wonky on it, everything else fits perfect, but the bodice was actually too big.

Which is hella unusual.

I wear a 38 D.

Anyway, super happy I took care of that errand.

And.

Yes.

Finally.

I got a god damn mani/pedi and my eyebrows waxed.

I can always tell how busy I am by the state of my nails.

I was just too busy the last three weeks to attend to them, I didn’t have a speck of time to deal with them, two year previous, when I wasn’t in school, I was pretty on point, every week a manicure, every three weeks a mani/pedi/eye brow wax.

Now.

I’m like, oh my god, what just happened to my eyebrows and what the fuck are my nails doing.

If I get in once a month it’s a big fucking deal.

Plus it’s a time suck.

I mean.

I love my girl time.

But to take two hours, sometimes two and a half, depending on how busy the salon is, is a huge amount of luxury time.

I missed seeing a friend who came into the city, but I really needed my self-care, I needed to do my things and I’m ok with it.

It’s finding a balance.

I don’t always do it well, but I try, I give it a persistent, concerted effort.

I talked to another friend on the phone and we’re going to try to get together sometime soon as well.

Ugh.

It’s hard.

Another reason for opting out tonight was the person I was supposed to meet up with at the 7p.m. deal, called and cancelled last-minute, a close friend had to go and put down her dog.

So.

I had not much pull to go to dinner, then I thought, well, this might be good, get home, get your alarm set for an early start, get your stuff organized, and go to bed early.

I mean.

Not super early.

But earlier than I would have had I gone out to dinner, fact is, I’d still be out right now, I’m grateful that I chose this, I will choose socializing again, I promise.

I will catch up with friends.

I will.

I won’t always opt out.

I opted out of a date for tomorrow night.

Oh.

Did you catch that.

Yes.

I opted out of a date because I have to write this paper.

But.

There is a date still happening.

Another night this week when I have a tiny bit of breathing space after doing work and speaking at the spot, so we’re going to go grab a bite Thursday.

Yeah.

Heh.

I got the phone call back.

And I was right.

There is a connection.

And there was a good reason why the return call took the time it did.

Not to get into details, but it made sense and I’m intrigued to see what happens.

But that’s neither here nor there, focusing on right now.

A brief respite and a cup of tea.

The final push for the semester starts very.

Very.

Very.

Soon.

Like in less than twelve hours.

Here we go.

See you on the other side.

Night y’all.

Sweet dreams and all that.

Sugar cube.

Jazz.

I Need A Carmen

April 14, 2017

Don’t we all lady.

I mean.

On one hand.

I was flattered, it was a compliment, and she quickly followed up with, “not that everyone can do what you do, or that you aren’t valuable and have your own skill set, not that you’re replaceable….”

She trailed off.

I smiled.

I than quietly got to witness an entire business transaction that I was not at all at part of, an assumption that if I was available I would work for the woman.

As though I don’t have my own life, my own plans, my own things happening.

Graduate school.

Interning.

My own fucking life.

Maybe my own time off.

She asked when the family I work for was going on their summer vacation, the family was having a play date at the home where I work and I know them from play dates with the family I work prior to my current situation.

They are nice people.

The kids are great, a bit untethered and rambunctious, but I think that happens a lot with play dates, the kids get wound up and kooky and into things and it can me melee.

Nonetheless I was rather stunned to stand in front of the woman while I was holding my bosses baby and listen to her logic of how I would be great for them, but too bad their summer plans were not coinciding with my family’s plan, that since there was no over lap that I would not be available to her as a nanny.

I stood there and smiled and jogged the baby on my hip and did not say a word about school or my internship or my plans for summer or any of it.

It wasn’t her business and by the time she got to her realization that the timing was off I didn’t have to inform her of my own personal stuff was more important that a temporary nanny gig to help out another family.

I don’t even know if she realized what an assumption it was, how it felt demeaning, that I am just open to be swapped around family to family, to not even be asked if it was something I would want to do or be available to do.

I mean.

I have any down time those weeks the family is away I will be helping my friend who is about to have twins.

I made the mom’s tea and snacks and corralled the littles and the play date was good and I know the mom meant no harm, it’s just a privileged assumption that I am going to jump at the chance to work for them.

I had another mother at the school recently praise me for “getting in good with ____________, “you’ll always have employment!”

Wow lady.

Fuck you very much.

As though my life aspiration is to be the private nanny to successions of children through their private school.

Although, I have thought that I might work with the families of the school, it did not occur to me to be in the context of being a nanny, but as a psychotherapist for families at the school.

Ahem.

It’s a kind of unconscious privilege that I have not always seen as privilege.

Or.

I will say instead, I had always felt uncomfortable with assumptions such as these, but did not understand they came from a state of privilege.

I’m able to name it better and understand how it feels and the way it lands.

I read this super intriguing article in my Multi Cultural class a year ago in regards to how “the help” is often more in the know because they straddle to very different worlds.

The people who come in to clean your house or cook your food or take care of your children may actually be more worldly and sophisticated because they have a broader spectrum of experience.

And I also am a cultured person, well read, traveled, studious, intelligent.

I got the connection and the correlation very fast.

Grateful that I also have a strong spiritual program, that I let it wash over me and past me and that it, in the end, didn’t matter, water off a duck’s back, I didn’t need to show my indignation, I don’t have to share my opinion.

It was not asked for.

Nothing worse than someone who wants to give advice or their opinions when they weren’t asked for.

I didn’t need to be a teaching moment.

I am just very happy that my employers have consistently modeled to me how valuable and important to them that I am.

I had a great day with the oldest boy today and a lot of solo time with him that felt really special and sweet.

We made a music video of him singing to the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun.”

I made him grilled cheese for lunch.

We sat and read from his amazing Smithsonian encyclopedia.

We played games, drew, and snuggled.

We played goofy imaginary games and built satellite models.

I even sang him a lullaby.

It was the best bonding moment and I just felt his little vulnerable self melt and I got to have a connection with him that doesn’t always occur as his siblings are needing attention too.

I think that all couples therapist should nanny a couple of siblings.

The things we all could learn from our interactions with the closest people we love.

The inability of language to express what we need or want from a partner writ large in the negotiations of playing children.

Reasoning with an upset child who’s sibling won’t give them space because they love the other so much that they have to kick over the model or hide the stuffed dog, or hit the other on the head with a toy, can’t you see how much I want to be with you, thunk, then tears.

I have actually used a few Couples Therapy interventions with the siblings to navigate fights that happen.

And space apart.

They both got that today.

And they will tomorrow too.

Field trip!

I feel a carousel might be happening.

Or the Children’s Creativity Museum.

The little girl was sobbing on her mom as her brother had said something mean, which translated to I need space, and her mom was consoling her and telling her that she, the little lady, and I, the nanny, were going to get to go on our own solo field trip tomorrow.

She stopped crying.

Looked up at me.

Smiled.

And asked.

“Will there be snacks?”

Oh my God.

Of course.

Yes, darling.

There will be snacks.

I promise.

Hell.

It’s Friday.

You might even get an ice cream cone.

With sprinkles.

 

Asking For What

April 4, 2017

I need.

Not always.

But a lot more.

Even when it is uncomfortable.

Like it was today.

My employer left me a check for the work I did over the weekend and it was not correct.

It was much less than I had anticipated and I knew, knew without a doubt, that I would need to address it.

There were years and years when this sort of thing would have thrown me for a loop.

All the things I’m not allowed to say, to ask for, to accept.

That I am enough, that my time is worth my payment, correct payment, that I am allowed to correct a mistake, that I can have conflict.

And resolution.

I knew that there was no malice on my employer’s part and that it was simply a mistake.

But.

For a few minutes, about the first fifteen at work, I was a bit upset.

Then.

I reasoned with my own self, with my stupid, silly, unwarranted fears, and I got the fuck over myself.

So when my employer came home today and handed me the check, I handed it back and said, “I don’t feel this is correct, would you please double-check the math.”

She did, I was correct, and she re-wrote the check and then added, that it had been an accident, which I had known, but still felt good to hear, and then she apologized.

My goodness.

It was a nice moment.

It was uncomfortable, but I did it and I didn’t make a big deal out of it either.

I just acted as if.

Fabulous.

Of course.

I blew my load on that one and when presented with an opportunity to do more of that same negotiating for myself, I couldn’t quite do it.

I was going to kill another fantasy and ask a guy out on an official date, we did that “we should hang out dance” last week when I bumped into him in the neighborhood where I work and I saw him tonight after work, but I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.

I suspect I wasn’t ready to kill the fantasy quite yet.

I will.

To move on would be nice.

Maybe that will be one of my goals in therapy.

I have my second session tomorrow and my therapist, I sort of like saying that, suggested that I think about what some of my therapeutic goals are.

We already agreed that her supporting me through the school program was a big draw for me, especially as she went through the same program.

She also suggested that we look at ways that I could manage my anxiety.

I figure I’d love to work on dating.

Which means I will probably be addressing a lot of family of origin issues.

I will need to address the abuse, trauma, neglect, incest, and emotional violence I grew up with.

No biggie.

REALLY.

Heh.

I can clearly see a number of patterns in my dating life–emotional love affairs with unavailable men, being in love with unavailable or uninterested men, not being in relationships for years, crushing on guys but not saying anything, obsessing, blah, blah, blah.

Not knowing how to date.

All of it, really, goes back to instinct and ways of being that don’t serve me.

I can fucking see it clear as day.

But.

I haven’t a great road map for moving forward.

And really.

I am my own worse navigator.

I had sent out that message a few days ago to a man I have always had a crush on and getting a pretty decent response for yes, let’s do a coffee in the next few weeks.

I sent back my availability and haven’t gotten a response

So of course, last night, as I’m about to drop off to sleep, my diseased brain attacks.

“Psst, you should have paused longer before responding to his message, you came off too eager.”

Fuck you brain.

This was followed up by a brief, thank God, obsessive thought of what should I have messaged instead to get the result I want….

Ooh.

Aha!

There.

That.

What should I have said to get the message I wanted.

Well, duh, lady, that’s manipulation.

And if it’s not meant to be I can’t manipulate it into happening.

And if it’s meant to be, I can’t fuck it up.

Whew.

Also.

I am human.

If I made a “mistake” in my communication that led to this man not responding in the time I wanted, then I made a mistake and I’m allowed to make mistakes.

I can fuck things up.

I don’t like to fuck things up, I want to be perfect.

But I suspect that need for perfection is what really stands in the way of me killing the fantasy with the other guy I saw tonight.

I want to get it perfect so I can control the results.

Again.

That’s manipulation.

So.

I vow here.

Just to get it off my chest, next time I see dude, I’ll just cut to the chase and pin down a time to “hang out.”

I would rather fall flat on my face than try more to figure it out.

I can see that the figuring it out is never going to serve me and it will just drive me nuts over time.

I’m already crazy enough.

Hello.

I’m in therapy.

Hahahahaha.

Sorry.

Not sorry.

I had to.

Anyway.

Seems there’s plenty of fodder for my therapeutic goals.

Ahem.

I’ll be back in school this upcoming weekend, so that will also land on the table, or the couch, as the case may be, plenty of stuff to look at there.  Although I feel quite prepared for the weekend of classes.

I’m actually almost completely finished with my reading for not just this weekend, but the final weekend, for my Couples Therapy class.  We have a fairly big final project/paper that I wanted to have as much reading done for as possible, get all the lectures under my belt and be ready to tackle it right away after the weekend of classes.

I just want to finish so I can go to Paris.

That’s really where my brain is at.

The one fantasy I am not willing to kill.

Paris, my dream, my reward, my carrot to get me through the next two weekends of classwork.

It’s all happening.

And I’m allowed to stand up for it and take it in and accept it.

This life.

Lovely, luscious, and all mine.

I don’t want to waste it on fantasy and unrequited love.

I want to be present for the gift it is.

One moment at a time.

All the things.

They are happening.

Yes.

Yes.

They.

Are.


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