Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.


It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”


Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.



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.



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.


Have not received it.


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.


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.


I don’t know.

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

It may not be “the” answer.


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.


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.


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

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

I mean.


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.




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.




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.


I am.


The luckiest girl in the world.


I am.

It’s A Small World

August 18, 2016

There’s a second family out here in Glenn Ellen hanging out and overnighting and they are sweet and fun and nice people.



They know a lot of my friends.

Ah Burning Man.

You get me all the time.

I just got offered a nanny gig out there for next year.

The mom was very serious about it and I told her I couldn’t quite yet commit, especially as the mom from the gig I was supposed to do this year wants me for next, but I liked her energy, this new mom and her connection and I felt a lot better engaging with her than the other mom.

Who knows.

She did ask for first option on me and I gave her a handshake affirmation.

But I think it’s great and funny they know some very good friends of mine.

I just had to laugh.

Smallest little world.

San Francisco.

Burning Man.


Graduate school.

All the stuff all the things.

All the things.

I ordered more of my books last night and checked over the syllabus for a couple of my classes.

I have been reading the Gestalt book that got to me late, which is hilarious, since the class ended last Sunday.


I do have a paper to write on it and I feel since it’s a modality that is resonating with me that I shall finish the book and feel more competent in doing the paper.

I don’t actually think I will have a difficult time writing said paper, it’s just six pages long and I’m pretty good at knocking out the writing.

Which also feels good to know since I have decided to pursue a PhD.


I know.

I’m just beginning the second year of my three year Masters program and already I am thinking about what is next.


It is important for me to acknowledge that I am going to go for it.

I’m happy and excited and a little bit scared.

It’s going to be a lot of money.

In the end, though, I know it will be worth it and yes.

My ego will be well pleased with  the title, Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Say that three times fast.

What cinched it for me was my Ethics professor.

She really embodies what I want to be when I grow up, well, not an Ethics professor per se, but an all around academic, an advisor, a therapist, a consultant, I mean the woman has consulted for the White House, for the state of California, she has been an expert witness at the Supreme Court level.

And she’s a riot.

And she’s smart and funny.

But most importantly.

She is of immense service in her community.

She travels, she has clients all over, she has a couple of offices, she teaches, she helps battered women and works with the prison systems, she advocates for the elderly and deals with elder abuse and my god, yes.


I want that.

I want to be in that position where I can be that person.


She outlined it for me in five minutes.

Sweet, simple, fast.

She told me how to accrue hours, well, not necessarily accrue them but that I don’t have to go towards the clinical side and accrue an additional 4,000 on top of the 3, 000 I have to get to sit for the boards to be licensed for the MFT certification.

Which in and of itself is a huge deal.

3,000 hours.

Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick.

That’s a lot of time.

She told me though, get my MFTI number (Marriage Family Therapy Intern) and start accruing the hours and interning and doing all the stuff and when I am close to the end of the program approach her with a dissertation.



Obviously, not a full dissertation, but the outline, the big bullet points, the basics of what I want to work on.

I have had a few ideas pop around my head and I have actually had the moment not once, but twice in class when a professor said to me, that would make a great dissertation.

I am a writer.

I can write.

I write all the time.

Why not apply that knowledge, skill, and abilities therein towards a doctoral degree?

She also gave me a good suggestion to get started.

Start a file and whenever I read an article that seems interesting, I put it in that folder.

Consistently adding and then after a little time go in and look at the things that have been catching my attention.  She told me, “you will see a pattern, it will emerge and you will find a topic and then you will write and bring it to me.”

I can do that.

She also happens to sit on the board that I would present my dissertation to.

And she told me, I can help you, I can read it over and say, more here, less there, pull this apart, look at that, and make sure it is APA formatted and just all the things.

My God.

I am really going to do it and not from the standpoint of just bettering myself and my circumstances, which it will, have a doctorate in psychology is a big fucking thing, but it will be better for my community, for the people I want to help, I will get to be of better and bigger service.

Not that the service I do now is anything to sneeze at.

It’s not.

So to have a conversation with this new mom, curious to know about me and what my goals are, I piped up a little at dinner and I think I caught her attention with an experience I shared, to have this mom ask me about my future and my goals.

It was pretty fucking cool.

And that she could see it and it appears to be something she’s also tracking towards and she knows some of my favorite San Francisco people?

It was an exciting exchange and the first time I have voiced it outside of my school intensive and a few of my closest friends in the cohort.

And my professor.

Who caught my attention to ask me a question as I was leaving the last day of class by yelling after me as I left the building.

“Hey Dr. Martines!”

Oh my god.

That was a mighty good feeling.





Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Yes please.

What Are You

January 11, 2016

Going to do with the rest of your night?

“Read,” I said.

But there was a hitch in my voice and my friend heard it, “you think you really need to read more tonight?”



Cuz mama done did a lot of fucking reading today, yo.

Fuck load.


In fact.

I finished the reading for my Psychodynamics course, my Multi-Cultural course, and my class on the Clinical Relationship.

I also got half way through the reading for my Professional Ethics and Family Law course.

I am in fact.


Done with the reading for tonight.

What do I want to do?

Rub one out and take a shower.



Don’t mean to hurt your tender mercies, but fuck, I could use a little stress relief.

I could also do a load of laundry and yes, of course, I will write my blog and perhaps take a shower.

I am singing too and I was dancing for a little while too.

I can’t just sit on my ass all weekend and read.

I did get out a tiny bit today.

I rode my bicycle to the SafeWay and back.

Of course it rained.

I had to laugh.

The only time I got out of the house was when it rained.


I got all the things I needed to get me through the week and into the school weekend.

The only thing I didn’t do was get my readers.

I will be calling Copy Central in the morning and if they’re ready I’ll hop on my bicycle and jam down before work.

I don’t necessarily need them, now that I have done the reading for the classes–the professors put it up on my student account–but I could stand to have the readers since I’ll want to review things before class, terms, etc.

Plus, I do better reading on paper, I just do.

The relief that I have for getting the reading in, though, it feels pretty grand.

I feel like I’m on good footing for the beginning of the second semester of classes.

And also that I am finding the time to take care of myself and do the work to such ends.

In fact.

Get this.

It is unethical to not take care of myself!


One of the ethical principles in my Professional Ethics class is literally self-care.

A person who is in what is considered a “helping profession” has an ethical responsibility to take good care of themselves.

To have boundaries.

To know what they need.

For self-honesty.

Which means I need to experience balance.


I won’t do more reading tonight.

I don’t have to.

I do need to sing.

I do need to dance.

It wouldn’t hurt to chat with a friend.

I did meet with a lady bug and we did some reading and relating.

I did go to my spot up on Ulloa and 41st.

I got a ride from a new friend I met there last week, which is nice, getting to know ladies in the hood.

I unexpectedly had lunch yesterday with another woman in the neighborhood.

Friends are good where I live because my best girlfriends live across the bay and sometimes a gal has got to see some friends, if just for a moment, if just for a hug before or after meeting to do the deal.


Towards that end.

I also cooked for the week.

In fact, I cooked extra, so I have food for every day at work and for the three days of classes on the weekend.

I am a little concerned with the weekend, although, not from a scholarly perspective, that will arise I am sure, but I feel pretty confident with the work I have done so far.


My concern is the weather.

It’s forecasted to rain.

All freaking weekend.

I don’t want to be on my scooter in the rain.

I don’t want to be on my bicycle either, but I feel like it’s a safer option, than riding the scooter in the rain.

At least I’m used to riding in the rain.

I could take MUNI too.

I just loathe the thought of having to get up earlier to accommodate MUNI schedules.


I don’t have to worry about it now.

Worrying about weather days before class is not helpful.

Hell, worrying about anything days in advance, in any area of my life, is not helpful.

Granted, I do like to be prepared, so it’s in the brain pan, but it’ll work out.

I am sure.

I will get to and from class however I am supposed to and it will be just fine.

I am just fine.


I am.

I had a spot of sadness last night, after I had done my nightly check in, and it caught me a little off guard, but once it rained on my face for awhile, it passed and I was able to sleep super well.

I treated myself last night and watched a romantic indie comedy.

I don’t often watch romantic movies.

But I was feeling it and after all the reading I had done yesterday I figured something light hearted and sweet and romantic was needed.

It was.


I cried.

I got caught up in the mythos of the movie, which is just what it is, myth, fantasy, supposition, story telling, romantic notions and trivialities.

I got swept up.

That’s ok.

I tell myself.

I don’t think I am the only person who has ever watched a romantic movie to get a little cathartic relief.

I think I was just surprised by the feeling of sadness that overcame me.


As I have been practicing, having the feeling and letting it go is helpful and I forgot until I was writing that I was sad last night before bed.

I was also held and warm and safe and loved and my heart was full and I knew it was all ok, too.


And self-knowledge.

Changing ideas about who I am.


Constant, serious, ethical, self-care.


Practicing these principles in all my affairs.

I’ll get there.

Where ever there is.

The journey is the point.


The lesson is to let go and keep moving.

There is more to see and love and be.

Go forth.

Sweet psychology student.


Not perfection.

That is the modus operandi.

Show up and the rest will follow.

It always does.



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