Posts Tagged ‘Family Therapy’

Slowing Down

December 13, 2017

Not having any school stress hanging over me has really mellowed me out.

I got to debrief with my therapist about it all and the lecture and all the things love and relationship and work and family today.

It really amazed me to see that it was just one week ago today that I was on a stage giving a lecture in front of 100s of people.

It feels like it was last year.

There was so much that happened after the lecture that I quite lost sight of the fact that I had done it.

Even though I have had a number of people clamor for the video of it.

It has not been posted up yet and I’m rather loathe to watch it anyhow.

I don’t need to see myself, I was there, I know how it felt.

Even my therapist wants to see it!

My therapist went to the same school I’m in now and did the same program and had some of the same teachers.

It’s always a good feeling of commiseration with her about my life and school and all the things.

It’s almost as though we are contemporaries, friends.

We had a good session and there was much to process.

There always is.

And then off to work.

I went in early to help the family and got to spend an unexpectedly sweet day with the baby.

He’s almost a year now and it’s coming close to time to renew my contract with the family.

I’m very happy with them and they are happy with me.

It’s a mutual appreciation society.

Seriously.

The dad today said he didn’t know how they’d still be alive without me.

That was super sweet to hear.

It’s a trip though, working for a family with three kids, three really changes the dynamic, it’s a flat-out hustle sometimes and there is not a lot of down time.

There is always something for me to do.

Always.

I don’t mind, it’s good to stay busy.

Although not too busy.

The parents had asked if there was a day in the upcoming weeks that I might be able to help with an overnight and I gave them a night when I could and as it turns out that night doesn’t work and well, I have to say that I wasn’t really upset about that.

I don’t have solid plans to do anything on the days I have off, but I sort of like that I have some time off to do with what I will.

My therapist asked me about Christmas and what it was like for me and whew boy that opened up a lot of fodder.

I realized very much that the last few Christmases have been really hard on me and she was encouraging me to do something sweet for myself, a yoga retreat, a little road trip in my new car, something personal and kind and I will add, for myself, cheerful.

I often spend Christmas alone and I can get melancholic about it.

Last Christmas I was navigating through some personal landmines that surprised me but in hindsight needed to happen and helped me grow exponentially.

Nothing like pain to prompt some spiritual growth.

The year before I was with someone in Paris who couldn’t really be with me and that felt like throwing my heart on a bonfire and roasting marshmallows over it.

Burnt and crisp and super painful.

I’d rather not have a painful Christmas this year.

Soft and gentle and loving and I really want to let myself not freak out about it.

I don’t want to compare and despair.

Maybe the road trip to Stinson on Christmas Day, pack a picnic, go to the beach, have bonfire, collect shells, reflect on my life and what I want in the new year.

Or down to Santa Cruz and go to Bridges State Park for the Monarch migration happening now.

I tried to go one year with a boyfriend and yes, we made it, but so late in the day that the monarchs weren’t flying.

I might try to give that another shot.

I should also get my MOMA on.

I have a membership and haven’t been in months, now that I’m on break from school it’s definitely time to go again.

I also want very much to see the Klimt exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

I love Klimt.

That is a must do.

I will also do a movie at the movie theater.

Last year I went to La La Land on Christmas day for a matinée at Kabuki Theaters and then I took myself out to sushi.

It was super cold on my scooter and I felt pretty miserable riding around.

Not going to be a problem with year with having a car.

I’ll be taking her tomorrow.

The last two days I’ve been on my scooter to avoid the morning rush traffic and get to supervision and today to therapy, before work and then to my internship on time.

I haven’t those obligations tomorrow.

I’ll be taking my car.

I really love having that car.

Yeah.

The more I think about it the more I think a mini road trip will do me good.

Even if it’s just across the bridge.

Oh!

I could do a ferry ride too.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve I caught the last ferry to Sausalito, I got off the boat, walked to a coffee shop, bought a coffee and walked right back onto the ferry.

I got to see the city at night all lit up in Christmas lights.

It was stunning.

I got a lot of really gorgeous photographs from that little jaunt.

And of course.

I’ll find somewhere to go do the deal and get right with God, always that, especially during this time.

Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.

Nope.

There will be many ways to keep it merry and bright.

Heck.

I can just sit and contemplate my Christmas tree and watch Holiday Inn.

I love me some Bing Crosby.

I do.

 

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Taking the Damn Day Off

November 28, 2017

Well.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the entire day off.

But.

I’m considering it.

My birthday is three weeks from today.

It’s a Monday, so it’s not a night I’d be out swinging a big stick and having a huge party.

But after some discussion with my solo supervisor today, I realized, which I had been feeling in the back of my head and in my heart, that I don’t want to see clients on my birthday.

In fact.

It sounds just atrocious.

Nothing sounds like a bigger bowl of self-pity to me.

I just don’t want to go there, self-pity it’s just not for dessert any more.

I told one of my clients tonight that I would be unavailable and she took it just fine, and I did not disclose it was my birthday, just simply stated I would be out of office.

No freaking big deal.

My other client cancelled tonight.

Because.

Hahahaha.

It’s her birthday.

So.

I will take her cue and not see clients on my special day either.

I’m tempted to take the whole day off, but I’ve not any vacation time left and I think it might actually be sweet to work with my charges that day, my little lady bug turned five yesterday and I got to have a sweet afternoon with her at school pick up and beyond and giving her the birthday present I had gotten her.

She loved it.

We had a tea party and wore princess crowns.

Although she looked at me when and said out of nowhere, “you’re not really a princess,” she cocked her head and paused, then added, “you’re really a queen.”

Oh my god little girl, make my heart just melt.

I must know how to carry a crown!

In fact, ha, I am remembering now what my best friend back in Wisconsin told me once, “You have a really regal way of carrying your face.”

Royalty.

I’ll take it.

Anyway.

I just know that it will better for me to not take clients that night and who knows, maybe take myself out to dinner and a movie or just dinner, it is a Monday night after all, or to the Imperial Day Spa or Kabuki.

Just not to my internship.

I have supervision in the morning, I can’t get out of that, work I’m 50/50 on taking off the day, but the night, damn straight, I’m going to do it.

Nothing about it feels wrong.

What, I realize, was feeling wrong was the idea of seeing clients on my birthday, I’m in an unpaid internship seeing 8 clients a week, it’s ok to take my fucking birthday off.

My clients will live.

And.

I won’t be pissy and sad and in self-pity and be upset with myself.

That might be the best birthday present I can give myself.

Although I could give myself a tattoo.

Heh.

I’m always angling for a little more ink it seems.

I’ll definitely be getting one in January, another birthday, or more of anniversary you could say, I’ll be turning 13 (years sober), so definitely I’ll be adding another star to the entourage I have.

I’ve also been thinking that I would get it as a “Lucky 13” star.

A big star with “Lucky 13” written through it.

Not sure yet, and still plenty of time to figure that out.

But yeah, the birthday in three weeks.

“You’re going to be 45!” She said, to me as she sipped her tea, “I know that because you’re the same age as me except with a four in front of it.”

God I love this little girl.

She is something else.

I’m so lucky to work with this family.

I’ll be renegotiating my contract with them next month as well, signing up for another year with them.

I’m hoping that they will offer me a raise, I’m pretty sure they will, and if not, I’ll negotiate a cost of living wage, which is appropriate for living in San Francisco, that’s for sure.

They are great people to work for and really do appreciate me, I got the nicest text from the mom today after work when I was doing some client advocacy work at my internship.

It’s good to be appreciated.

I do like hearing.

I do not need the validation, I know I do a good job, but it’s still nice to hear, it’s always nice to hear.

It’s like when someone you know loves you says they love you, you know they do, but it feels special anyway, no matter how many times it’s been said before, it’s still sweet to hear.

Oof.

I just got hit witht the tired.

It was a good Monday, especially when I think about how nice it was to celebrate with my charge her birthday, and also to just make it through the beginning of the week.

It’s going to be a big one.

Therapy before work tomorrow, work, two clients in the evening.

Wednesday I just have work, but I’m hoping to get a good chunk  of homework done, I need to finish up the online portion of my Pharmacology and Human Sexuality class done.  I think I can get it done Wednesday between work and my evening commitment.

Thursday is work and two clients in the evening, Friday the same.

Saturday is maybe yoga if my ankle is feeling up to it, and group supervision and homework, I’ve got to start a paper if not get one completely finished.

Because Sunday I’m in dress rehearsal for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

The show is one week from tomorrow!

My goodness, it’s sneaking up fast.

Ack.

That reminds me!

I have to ask out of work an hour early next Tuesday so I can be at the show when the producers want us there.

I think I may have figured out what I’m going to wear.

Heh.

Although, damn it, I’m going to have to sneak in a manicure and some eyebrow waxing.

Yikes.

Maybe Sunday in between the dress rehearsal and my last CBT Webinar.

Sigh.

Oh for fuck’s sake, I have a lot to do, not going to think about it anymore tonight.

I did enough for today.

The biggest being the decision to take my birthday night off.

Self-care.

Self-advocacy.

Shit.

I even sound like a therapist.

Ha.

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.

Financial Aid

April 26, 2017

Fucking hates me.

But.

I don’t care.

I have gotten a lot more assertive in asking for help from the financial aid office at school, especially since I have had to jump through hoops that I didn’t even know were there to get what I need to get.

After innumerable e-mails I think I am almost there.

Of course there was one thing on the application that made no sense to me, not an iota and I probably filled the damn form out wrong and they won’t give me the money.

GIVE ME THE MONEY.

I need it for therapy.

That sounds a little desperate, I know.

What could be so bad that the lady has to have, HAS TO HAVE, being the operative word, therapy?

Oh, you know, sexual abuse trauma, incest, neglect, physical abuse, history of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, racism, eating disorder.

Nothing at all that indicates needing therapy.

Ha.

I am being a little flippant.

I have addressed a lot of these issues and I have done an extraordinary amount of work on them over the years and I have done therapy before, but.

My school program requires it as a part of my degree.

And really, it does make fantastic sense, I need to have my shit taken care of so I can show up and help others take care of their shit.

It’s the classic put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the plummeting airplane.

And.

And.

AND.

I found out from my therapist today that my hours with her do actually count towards my 3,000 hours that I need to accrue to get my MFT license.

It’s going to change though, the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) is going to phase that out.

By 2021 you won’t be able to count personal therapy hours toward your 3,000.

And the thing is, I want those hours to count very much, because as it turns out each hour or personal therapy is counted as three.

THREE HOURS.

Holy shit.

So.

It turns out that tonight I went into my Track My Hours app and I made sure that I was using the Pre 2021 dashboard  and I entered in my hours as my therapist suggested I do and voila!

15 more hours.

I have had, after today, five sessions with her.

Multiply that by three and I now have 16 hours.

There is was in black and white.

Valid hours: 16.

Total hours to accrue: 2,984.

Fuck yeah.

I will take that.

This is going to be huge and such a help to be able to acquire the hours.

My therapist went through the same program that I am doing and we talked a lot about the process and I was so freaking grateful to be seen and have my experience validated, especially in regards to the financial aid stuff and when she said, oh yeah, these hours count, you’ll have your 3,000 by 2021, you’ll be able to use your personal therapy and all you need is for me to sign a piece of paper with my MFT license on it.

Such a huge gift to find this out.

And.

She also suggested that I actually do talk to my offsite supervisor about my work as a nanny, considering how much time I have spent in the heart of so many families, that I actually may be able to get some of my child and family hours covered.

I would never have thought of it, I had a teacher who told me she thought nannies should get hours accredited to them, considering how nannies tend to be involved in a lot of family dynamics and bear witness to children and how they grow and learn, that it would make sense to grant nannies some hours.

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m going to at least check it out with my supervisor.

It’s probably unlikely, but hey, I do have over a decade of work with children and families, that kind of work experience should count for something.

And it does.

My therapist validated that today too, that I have been doing this work for a very long time, that I have, in essence been learning how to be a therapist for years.

She’s right.

It’s nice to let someone be right.

It was nice to be seen too, we have a good connection and I am so grateful for the sessions.

I already can tell that things are working themselves out and it’s an unexpected and lovely support of my experience with school and the anxiety that comes up for me when I am dealing with all things school.

I feel a lot more open with what’s happening and so grateful that I am doing the internship this summer, especially now that I know if I can all my hours by the end of 2020 I can count my therapy hours too.

Such a gift.

Just have to repeat that since I want to pinch myself and gleefully clap my hands.

Who knew?

Therapy doesn’t have to be a vale of tears.

Although.

It is also that.

A vale of tears.

I was sharing about a very sweet interaction I had with a previous charge and a gift that he had given me, a painting of my house, where I live, and this beautiful watercolor of a rainbow, “Carmen!  This is where you live!”

In a house under a rainbow, full of color and light and love.

“You had a lot of emotion come up for you when you shared that,” she said.

Understatement, pass the kleenex box please.

“Can you tell me about that?” She asked.

He saw me, this little boy saw me, and I represented love and color and joy to him, that my home, where I live is in a house full of rainbows, and if you have seen my home, well, there might be some truth to that.

What she said next I’m not sure that I could express how it landed, nor exactly what she said, but I can tell you how it felt, it felt like love, that the love in me was being reciprocated by the love in that little boy, that he saw me for who I am and he shared with me what that love looked like for him.

That we saw each other’s essence and what a gift for me to give that to him.

I had never looked at it like that and it felt.

Well it felt.

True.

It was a really lovely way to wrap up the session and I left having felt something big shift.

I don’t have to analyze it or reason it out.

I can just feel that I was seen, I was, and that I am a big fucking rainbow of love.

I’ll take it.

Thanks therapy.

I’ll take the hours too.

Only 2,984 to go.

No big deal.

Heh.

Affirmation

December 10, 2016

I got some today.

And.

Man.

It feels nice.

Really nice.

Really fucking nice.

I mean.

REALLY.

Especially since I’m heading into the applying to practicum and interning and all that jazz and in my last weekend of classes for the semester.

It feels good.

I mean.

The only thing that I think would feel better is if I was done with my Psychopathology paper, but that’s a ways off yet and I’m not going to focus on something that I can’t do much about at the moment.

Rather.

For just a moment.

I am going to bask in the niceness of being seen.

I got back a paper from my Family Therapist professor and the comments on it really made me happy to see.

The end one especially.

“Carmen!  Thank you for being so brave, you will be a fabulous therapist!”

Yes.

Thank you.

It’s nice to get that kind of reflection back from a teacher, even if I didn’t always see eye to eye with the class, it came around, and it feels good to be seen by my teachers and to be confirmed in my path, in the directions I am going.

I also attended a practicum fair and made some nice connections there and got some good suggestions and some great resources.

There is so much to learn and so many skills to hone.

And also so many skills to acknowledge.

I have a lot of talents and I am going to have to list them and advocate for them and say, hey, look at me, I have what you want, I turned around shit hole of a life and I made something of myself and I’m smart and capable and resilient and strong and I have mad skills with the babies and the little ones.

I need to become my best cheering section.

I’m working on it.

It helps that I am showing up for school and the program and taking suggestions and trying.

The showing up.

All the time.

And grateful to get to do it.

I took the train today and guess what?

It didn’t rain.

haahahahahahaha.

Fuck you weather.

Oh well.

I am glad I took the train in any way, it was slippery and wet and the rain had cleared off but only by a little bit, it would have still been treacherous getting into school during Friday morning rush.

Instead I took the train.

I put in my ear phones and I listened to music.

And I was happy.

Happy to be heading into school.

Happy that I was going to get to see my friends.

Happy to be listening to good music.

Music makes me happy that is for sure.

I bopped a long in my seat during the rush hour commute and I didn’t give two fucks.

I smiled.

I looked at the houses passing by the train windows, the wet grey fog wrapped around the hills, the moisture dripping down the tree leaves.

It was beautiful.

I was grateful and it was nice to sit still and just watch the city float past and listen to happy music on my way to school.

I’m dancing now in my chair.

Well.

I’m swaying along to the music.

And it is a fine, fine, fine thing.

I feel like I carried that buoyancy with me through out the day.

The fair went well and I connected up with one of the women who works at the UCSF Infant/Parent program that is based out of General and I shared my experiences and what I have done and we made a really nice connection.

I got all the information I needed.

And I will need to do a lot of work to get into the program, its prestigious, but, I felt the connection and it felt good and right and strong and my skill set would be very valuable to them.

Advocating for myself.

Seeing what I have to offer and really putting it out there to the world.

I also like that the program is psychodynamically inclined.

As am I.

I love psychodynamics.

It speaks to me.

After the practicum was over I hopped over to Psychopathology and got myself sorted with cup of tea and had a chat with my professor.

She asked how the practicum hunt was going and I expressed that of course I would be applying to the school sites, but that I was also really intrigued with the UCSF Infant/Parent program out of General Hospital.

“Really?  You are?” She asked, her head tilted, a slight smile on her face.

“Yeah,” I said, “I’ve been a nanny for over ten years and it feels very compelling to work with parents and infants and helping new parents work with their kids, and well, it’s psychodynamically inclined and I am very interested in that modality.”

“Yes, it is,” she said and her smiled broadened, she leaned in towards me, “I did my practicum work there.”

What!?

OMfuckingG.

“You did?” I said, my eyes must have gotten as round as saucers.

“I did,” she said and her smile grew larger.

“Um, well, haha, this is where I ask you if you would mind writing me a letter of recommendation,” I said, a little bashful, but shit, fuck, holy moly, my professor did her practicum and interning there?  I had to ask.

“Of course!  I would be honored to write you the letter,” she said, “absolutely.”

Oh yes!

Yes!

Yes!

Awesome sauce.

We talked about their, UCSF’s schedule, and the requirements needed and when I must have the application in, by February 14th.

Valentines Day.

Of course.

What better way to show myself that I am lovable and worthy of love than applying to a prestigious program that will lead to an internship and look hella good moving forward whatever career path I end up going towards.

I was tipped off that it’s better to apply earlier rather than later as they get inundated and they only take four interns.

I would be competing with all the schools–Berkeley, USF, State, and of course, UCSF.

But you know what.

I got this.

I can feel it.

All the little serendipitous things.

All the work aligning and showing up and doing my best and hey, who better than to help new parents connect with their children?

Heh.

Oh.

It just felt so lovely and validating and it just really dropped in my lap.

My professor offered to meet with me off hours, off campus sometime over break, we’ll commit to timing by the end of the weekend and I’ll get to pick her brain about the program and ask her what I need to have prepared and all that.

And of course.

Hahaha.

Ugh.

Just a little added pressure on myself to make sure that my Psychopathology paper is off the charts.

I sort of, kinda of.

REALLY.

Want that letter of recommendation.

I am worth it.

I deserve it.

Excited.

The future is hella bright.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the motherfucking time.

All the time.

Seriously.

 

 

 

I’m Not Dead Yet

December 5, 2016

Although I just got hit with the tired stick.

I mean.

It’s been a day.

A good day.

But a full one.

I am actually really fucking impressed with myself, if I do say so myself.

As I sit here and listen to the kettle boil and the jazz horn play, nothing says unwinding on a Sunday evening like listening to jazz, and smell the delicious chicken soup simmering on the stove I am replete and pleased with myself.

Grandly pleased.

Greatly pleased.

Happily pleased.

Extravagantly pleased.

I think you catch my drift.

I got it all done.

Well, ok, not it all done, I still have some stuff to do, but I got done what I needed to get done today.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper!

Seven pages.

1,883 words.

References and bibliography.

Even a nice little title page.

Done and done and done.

Good bye Family Therapy.

I’m done with you!

I mean.

Yes, of course I’ll be showing up for class this weekend, but I don’t have to do any more reading or writing for this class.

It is finished.

Show up, turn in the paper, be present and finish out the class.

Yes.

I also have my presentation prepared, mentally, for Child Therapy class.

We don’t have to have a paper to turn in with it, and I already wrote the reflection paper that is due for the class last week.

However, I was thinking I may write-up a quick family vignette just to have a little back story to give to the class so that when I do the presentation there is some information for the class to have so the intervention that I plan on doing in the dyad will come across.

I know what I’m going to do and it’s only a ten minute presentation and I’m going to bring in colored pencils and paper and work with a partner in my group who will be playacting a child in therapy.  I will be doing a creative arts intervention.  I am excited and pleased with the concept I came up with.

All I have to do is contact the person in my group with whom I want to do the dyad work with and lay out a few things for her to play act.

I actually don’t want her to do much prep since I want it to come across as natural.

So.

A quick sketch of a vignette to hand off to her and my classmates, a ten minute presentation, some colored pencils and white paper, and I’ll be done with Child Therapy.

I won’t be making the final class of the semester as I will be leaving early on Saturday to go to my friend’s wedding.

Again.

So very pleased that I was able to find shoes that will work with my dress, pretty shows, fancy shoes, but not too sexy shoes.

Speaking of sexy.

I love the new jeans I bought.

They might be one of the best fitted pairs of jeans I have scored in sometime.

And score is the proper verbiage here.

The original cost of the jeans?

$251.

Who the fuck pays that much money for jeans?

I don’t.

But.

I will pay $44 for them!

Heh.

So happy.

My ass looks great.

I say with no great conceit or humility.

Ha.

Anyway.

Yeah.

Happy with my new wardrobe additions.

And happy with all the things I did get to today besides writing my Family Therapy paper.

I did laundry and put fresh sheets on the bed, because nothing is sexier than fresh washed sheets, well, except maybe a very hot shower.

Which I had this morning after going to yoga.

Yes.

I made time for the yoga.

And so glad I did.

I’m sore.

But tomorrow since I have an early start at work, I won’t be going to yoga, I figure it will be ok, my shoulders will rest up and get a little reprieve.

Not too much of a reprieve though, I want to make sure that I continue with the habit of going to the studio, it feels really good.

The best part might be the floating walk home from the studio to the house.

It really is a divine little walk.

And though it was chilly today, the sun was out and I felt happy to be alive and ready to face the day.

One step at a time.

One moment at a time.

One unsweetened vanilla almond milk cafe au lait, at a time.

A nice breakfast, the aforementioned coffee, and a lot of morning writing.

One of my ladies no showed this afternoon and I had an extra hour.

But one of my ladies did and that was great, to catch up, to do some reading, to talk about the holidays and our plans for travel.

I also started wrapping up some Christmas presents.

Yeah.

Like that.

Because it makes me happy to give gifts and because it makes me happy to see them nestled up underneath the Christmas tree.

They won’t be there for very long, most of them will get sent off to my sister and nieces and to my mom.

A couple of small ones for friends in my cohort and the rest are for my best friend and her family back in Wisconsin.

I still need to get my boys, the boys I take care of, something, I usually do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I did find them very sweet cards though, I want my last Christmas present to them to be reflective of our time together and the cards are quite fitting.

One is a “I love you to the moon and back,” for the four-year old.

And the other is “you are my sunshine,” for the six-year-old.

Both with lots of glitter and sparkles, as they are both partial to all things shiny.

Speaking of cards.

I even sent out my first batch of Christmas cards.

I got seven cards off in the mail today.

I roasted a fucking chicken people and then made soup.

I’m impressing myself all over the place.

But.

I will say.

l am knackered and just about ready for bed.

Which is still a little ways off, but closer than my typical night since I’ll be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the start of my very, very, very long week.

Four days of work followed by three days of school followed by five days of work.

I won’t have another day off until December 17th.

Sigh.

The day before my birthday.

And I might be spending that entire day working on my Psychopathology paper since it has to be sent in by the 19th and fuck if I’m going to be writing a paper on my birthday.

I had to take a final on it once and that blew.

I would rather have the day free and clear.

Ah.

I get a head of myself.

There is time and there is time.

There always is.

 

 

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisionsm

Before the taking of toast and tea.

 

Do A Little Shimmy

November 12, 2016

In front of the mirror.

Um.

Yes.

But before that I have a lot of moving and shaking to do.

Holy shit do I have a lot of stuff to do.

I preempted it by doing some of the work today.

I mean I got busy already.

I brought reading in with me to work and for the second day I was able to do reading while the boys were on their quiet time I kicked out some reading.

I also just finished doing another hour of reading.

That’s right.

Because this is how I have to roll to get it all in.

Actually.

I did an hour of reading then I took another twenty minutes or so and organized the material that I will be using for my big Psychopathology paper.

It has to be 12-15 pages long, in APA style and it will be an in-depth analysis of two different diagnosis with emphasis on using the DSM V and as well as a psychoanalytic approach.

I will be addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

And.

Alcohol Use Disorder.

Ahem.

I may have a little experience with the two.

Hahahaha.

Fuck I amuse myself.

But.

Hey when writing I have found that the best things to write about are things that I have experience with.

I have experience with both in spades.

Thank you very much.

So after I did another two chapters of reading for my Family Therapy class (this is after working a full day at work, and yes, it was full, though lovely, so lovely especially, getting out to the park in the sunshine) after I got back from doing the deal tonight, I sat down and organized the reading and the materials.

I did not start the writing.

But I have started the thinking.

It sits and stews a little up there in my head.

I don’t know exactly how that works, but I do know from a great deal of experience that it does.

I have done the reading, which is a huge part of the battle.

I have the beginnings of where I need to go in my mind.

I have reviewed the directions for the paper a number of times.

I have started sticking post it notes in the places I need to go back to and integrate into the paper.

I will devote seven pages to each diagnosis.

I will break them down, do an assessment, how it presents in the client, what the diagnosis looks like in the DSM V, what it could be, and how to address it psychodynamically.

I have FIVE books I am working with.

One of them is the full size DSM V and the other is the desk reference.

One book on psychodynamic psychiatry and another on psychoanalytic case formulation.

Plus one book of personal experiences.

I actually won’t be using that one so much, I have, ahem, plenty of my own first person accounts to draw from.

I really won’t have any problem sketching out what the presenting problem looks like in the client.

Anyway.

So yeah.

That.

That will be taking up a big part of my weekend.

But it won’t be all my weekend.

I meet with my person tomorrow.

I plan on getting up and doing yoga, I need some exercise, before I meet her as well.

I need a mani/pedi and some eyebrow waxing and I need to do grocery shopping and cooking for the next work week.

I will also do the deal tomorrow.

And I will meet with two ladies on Sunday.

I plan on doing the bulk of the writing tomorrow after I get back from doing my errands in the Inner Sunset.

I am not sure how long this paper is going to take, it’s a big fucking paper, but having started to delve into it and having organized my materials is a big step forward.

I estimate three to four hours.

That sounds like not that much, but for me three hours of straight writing is a fuck of a lot.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper last weekend in two hours, but that was not with as much referencing and was seven pages.

This paper will be double that.

So I figure four hours of writing.

My hope is to get the majority of it written tomorrow before I head out to my 7 p.m. commitment.

And I will work on it more after ward.

I had originally planned on doing the bulk of the writing on Sunday.

But.

Um.

Ha.

Something came up.

I have a date.

What?

Totally out of the blue.

Once it was all set up I messaged my friend, what do I wear?

I laughed to myself, the quintessential question.

Not whether I can appropriately show differential diagnosis in a co-morbid presenting psychological disease, but what dress to wear, and heels, should I wear heels?

I mean he is 6’4″.

6’4″!

Yes.

Thank you God.

And doesn’t drink.

Yes.

Lives in Oakland.

And happens to be a friend of a friend.

This was not the message I was expecting to get today as I was reading my text books at work while the boys were down in their rooms.

A message pops up.

A friend doing some match making!

OMG.

Blush.

Flattered.

So, so unexpected.

Would I be interested in?

Check out…

And yes?

Ok?

What’s your schedule look like?

How about these days?

And this time.

And.

BOOM.

Date with guy set up for this Sunday at Samovar Tea Lounge.

Holy shit.

I mean.

My friend did all the leg work, said to both parties, hey go check out so and so on my page and if you like I arrange.

She did it all.

Professional like.

Damn Gina.

I feel hella looked out for.

By the time guy had checked me out and I had checked guy out she’d verified times and dates for both of us and had gone ahead and made a freaking reservation for us!

Holy Toledo.

And like that.

I have a date for a cuppa tea and a new friend on Sunday.

So.

Yeah.

Um.

Writing that fucking paper tomorrow like a house a fire.

Heh.

Oh.

And side note.

I GOT THE ASK FOR MY NEW JOB!

I got it.

I got the money I asked for.

They responded today and said, absolutely, totally reasonable, no problem, we can do that and we can’t wait to start working with you.

Quote, “can’t wait’ end quote.

Fuck yes.

I was so freaking busy after lunch with the boys, then doing the deal, then homework that I totally forget to check my e-mail.

The response had sat for seven hours in my box.

Hahahahaha.

“I’m sure you’re going to be taken care of,” a friend of mine told me when I bumped into her after my get right with God.

“I always am,” I said, “I’m sure they’re just figuring out the contract.”

And they were.

The family will have the contract to me by next week to sign.

Huge sigh of relief.

So what am I wearing to my date on Sunday?

When I jokingly asked my friend.

She was like, girl you don’t have to worry about that!

And I liked her rule of thumb.

Wear whatever makes you stand in front of the mirror and do a little shimmy.

Yes.

I know exactly what to wear.

Hello weekend.

Let’s get cracking.

I got places to go and things to do.

So.

I get to get my shimmy on.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Coco pop.

Shimmy, shimmy.

Pow!

Oh.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Write It Out

November 7, 2016

To work it out.

I’m so grateful for my little old blog.

It does help me with the practice, with the writing, with the working it out so that I can work it out on paper too.

I just wrapped up another paper for school.

One more down.

One more step down the long, winding road toward becoming a therapist.

I wrote a nice paper, it was good, I liked it, I’m actually quite happy with it and I don’t have to worry about it over the upcoming week.

Next weekend I have another I have to do.

It’s twice the length and will need to be a lot more focused and detailed.

I started in on some of the reading that I will need to do for it today as well.

I had a full day, but it was good and I am very happy to say that I wasn’t nearly as anxious writing this paper as I have been before.

I did clean and cook like a house a fire.

There is something about having to write a paper that really does motivate me to have a sparkling clean house, fresh sheets on my bed, laundry folded and put away, groceries in the fridge and dinner cooking on the stove.

Plus I met with a lady and did some doing the deal and some reading and that really helps too.

I love that my house is so clean and tidy and smells delicious.

I actually made two different things today, a little extra food prep the weekends before I have a big paper due helps me out.

So.

I made chicken soup with the leftover roasted chicken I had.

And.

I made something new today that I had a hankering to try–coconut curry chicken with cauliflower, green pepper, onions, and carrots.

I don’t often make curry dishes, but I made something similar for the family on Friday and wanted to try it with my own little twist and I rather like it.

It could use a little tweaking, but really, I did pretty good for only having cooked a curry once before this.

It feels nice to have yummy food in my fridge and freezer, soup in Mason jars, clean sheets  on my bed, washed rugs in the bathroom, and that paper done.

That is really a good feeling.

I do have lots to read this week and it’s going to be a long week.

I’ll be doing a full 40 hours this week.

The boys are out of school on Thursday and Friday.

I’m ok with it, though it means less time for me to study, it does mean more money in my pocket and that will partially make up for the time I am taking off around Thanksgiving to go visit my school friend in Nevada.

I’m super happy to go hang out with her and amazed, freaking amazed that it’s November.

How does the time go by so quickly?

I suppose it helps that my days are full and busy.

Full and busy.

Next thing you know it will be Christmas.

The days they do fly by.

I was sharing with the lady I met with today that the time it does speed up, it does go faster, and there are so many things that I want to do.

I mean.

I could have done fifteen other things in addition to what I did do this weekend.

But.

I don’t have the time for it all.

I am however, grateful that I have been letting myself do a little more socially, a little bit more fellowship, a little more out in the world.

It’s a balance.

I’m not sure how that balance is going to look for next weekend.

I’m not certain I can squeeze in a date or an outing around needing to work on the paper.

I don’t have plans.

I’m going to allow myself a little fellowship either Friday night or Saturday night, but mainly it’s going to look a lot like staying home and doing the paper.

Oh, the papers.

I do feel that I’m getting better at organizing them and knowing what I need to address.

I actually wrote an outline of the one I did today.

I reviewed the readings, stuck some post it notes to the parts I wanted to cover, reviewed the directions in the syllabus and then I sat back and did the thing that helps me to push through.

One.

I prayed.

Yeah, I know, sounds hokey, but alleviates the stress of having to be perfect, I just remind myself that I need to show up and the words will come.

Two.

I finished cooking dinner and washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen.

I knew if I was going to write I needed to have it all done and put away or the dishes in the sink would be having a conversation with me while I wrote.

Three.

I took a picture of the notes and books and post it notes and I put it up on social media.

It’s a kind of accountability that I have found works surprisingly well.

Four.

I turned off the volume on my phone and flipped it face down so I would not see incoming messages, texts, or social media updates.

No distractions.

I also turned off the jazz, although I do love me some Sunday afternoon jazz listening, the music distracts.

Then I wrote.

I wrote the 1,956 words in one hour.

Don’t hate.

That’s why I love my blog so.

I have the practice of doing it consistently and the typing just flies out and so when I’m getting ready to write a paper, I remind myself of that.

And that it is a gift.

And an accomplishment.

I have been putting in the work, the practice, the blogging for years.

It is the culmination of that practice that I am grateful for, that helps me so when I have to do the writing.

Now.

Just to slog through the rest of the week with work and do as much reading as I can before next weekend.

I’m sure I’ll find some fun along the way.

Fingers crossed.

But if I don’t I’m ok with getting these papers addressed.

It’s a gigantic gift to get to be in graduate school.

Huge.

And now.

It’s a gift to wrap this up and watch a little video before bed.

I’ve got an early start tomorrow.

But it will feel very good knowing I have another paper behind me finished.

Yippee!

Here’s to starting off the week on the upswing.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Well, You’re A Little

October 16, 2016

Standoffish.

My friend told me tonight.

Fuck me.

I am trying.

I am.

I am.

Of course, this all transpires as my Lyft line car is pulling up.

“We’ll talk more about it later,” he concludes.

Yeah.

I hear you.

And it’s true.

I am standoffish and defended and defensive and if you had the child hood I had you’d be on the defensive too.

But um.

Like that is such bullshit at this point.

I’m 43.

Time to grow up.

I’ll be 44 this year, real soon, like in a couple of months.

I get to learn new ways of being in the world and I also need to get my mind off myself.

I did a fair decent amount of that today.

I also slowed down a little.

I took cars.

I took trains.

I did not take my scooter out this morning when I thought it might rain and it did.

I got a manicure and a pedicure and had my eyebrows waxed because I like to be a girly girl once in a while.

I was also directed to buy myself something nice, I forgot about that.

I don’t suppose she meant the carnitas plate a La Fonda Mexican Taqueria either.

Heh.

I will buy myself a little something nice though in the next day or two.

I had a big full overwhelming jam-packed week and it took it right down to the nub emotionally and yeah.

I had my feels.

And they are going with the fog into the night.

They don’t always lift right away, neither does the fog, mind you, but there has been relief.

There is also the relief of having gotten a paper done today that was, er, well, haha, due today.

I procrastinated a bit, I did, I did.

Procrastination, or efficiency?

Hmm.

I joked that procrastination was sexy and a response I got back was that grad school was sexy.

Fuck yeah.

I like that kind of response.

And as for the standoffish comment, that response is welcome to.

I am learning that old ways of responding to the world I live in do not work so well for me.

I am trying on new things, I’m not always so good at being a newcomer at things.

I want to have it all figured out and wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.

But there is no figuring it out.

There is plenty of get right with God and plenty of prayer and plenty of writing and plenty of what I did today, which was sit.

Sit on the train.

Sit in the salon.

Sit at a table at Tart to Tart and share what has been going on.

“Have you been doing yoga?” She asked me out of the blue.

Aw lady, damn it!

“No,” I said, “I haven’t, it’s been a bout a month, the wonky dating the school stuff, the job interview, Healthy San Francisco, new job hours, I am all over the map and one week I just needed to sleep and didn’t go in and the next was, well, fuck, now I’m just telling a story.”

“Go, I can tell, you are too anxious, you need to get the anxiety out of your body,” she added astutely.

I don’t have the time!

But.

I feel like I’m going to have to make the time and just do it anyway.

I haven’t had the outlet of exercise and though I have been keeping busy, I’ve not been getting the same amount of exercise.

Yesterday I walked for an hour, a half hour before work and a half hour after, and that was good but yes, she’s right.

And if it’s not yoga, I have to do something.

Yoga is just convenient since there’s a studio on my block.

I just have to get into my gear again and go.

Maybe tomorrow.

I won’t make the early morning class, I had dinner with a friend tonight after doing the deal and though it’s technically not that late, it is late enough and I am meeting with ladies tomorrow morning, that I won’t be up super early to hit yoga.

But.

There is an afternoon class.

So.

Maybe then.

Maybe skip the morning make up routine and just do the writing and reading I do in the mornings and then the ladies, knock out a paper, and do some reading, cook a little food, and go to yoga after lunch.

I’ll think about it.

I still have so much homework to do, a paper to write for my Child Therapy class, a paper to write for my Family Therapy Class, a fuck ton of reading.

How much is a fuck ton?

A lot.

I will just leave it at that.

I also haven’t bought my ticket back to Wisconsin yet and I need to do that.

I really do.

The prices jumped up a bit over the last day and I am remiss that I didn’t buy it last night.

I was trying to figure out the best time at the best price and got lost in a tunnel of cheap ticket airline meanders that lead me down a rabbit hole of idiocy and no ticket.

Just bite the bullet, suck it up, and drop the extra cash and go.

It’s like I’m afraid to commit and that’s just silly.

Or is it?

Ah, a little, I suppose, it’s been awhile since I saw my friend and her family and the old I’m not enough tape might be playing in my ear.

Hush old song, I am enough, and it’s fine, and there’s enough money, so go buy the ticket.

Fuck.

I just fell in that hole again.

I decided I’d book and as I bought the ticket the price jumped and then jumped again and I lost the deal and now it’s $150 more than it was yesterday.

Fuck.

I can’t do this right now.

I’m too tired.

It’s late.

I will look tomorrow.

When the prices have probably gone up again.

I don’t need to figure it out right now.

Sigh.

Going to bed now.

Well.

Soon.

Soon as I can.

Nighty night y’all.

Making Head Way

October 10, 2016

And taking care of myself.

And changing my mind, even when it was uncomfortable to do so.

I got up this morning with an agenda.

Get as much of it the fuck done as I could.

Did I get it all the fuck done?

No.

But.

I made some serious headway and read myself cross-eyed and shoulder slumped.

Seriously.

I need a back rub.

I did self-care.

I cleaned the house like a woman on fire.

Fortunately.

The house is small and it doesn’t take much cleaning.

I pulled the sheets of the bed, did some laundry, put fresh sheets on, fluffed the pillows, took out the trash and compost and recycling, swept, swiffere’d, vacuumed, I hung my new Mike Doughty Living Room Tour 2016 signed poster.

It looks pretty fucking hot.

I picked it up yesterday and got it hung before my back to back ladies and book reading appointments showed up to drink tea and talk about acceptance and spiritual solutions.

Ah.

Thank you God.

Always on the menu for a good day.

I had a friend text me about going to a BBQ in the neighborhood and I made a rash decision, yes, I can, I can make a brief appearance, eat lunch with friends and fellows and then bash out some more reading.

But.

When I showed up the BBQ hadn’t even been lit and it was already “late” for me to eat and I did something that I am rather proud of, I bailed.

In a nice way, in a self-care sort of way.

I just expressed that I needed to eat and that as the bbq was just getting fired up and there was a need to go to Safeway and get more charcoal and other things for the picnic, that maybe, definitely it would be a better idea for me to duck out, feed myself and read like as much as I possibly could until I wanted to vomit.

Ok.

Maybe not vomit, but I mean get a lot read.

The amount of reading for this semester surpasses anything that I have done so far.

I think that I’m on top of it and then I realize, fuck, fuck, fuck, I have so much to go.

But I am making progress and getting myself out of the social engagement with some kindness and gratitude to my friend for helping me get home right after I had been picked up was huge for me.

It felt like a little tiny victory.

I came home.

Fed myself well and hit the books.

I read for about two hours.

Straight, no chaser.

Then I took a break.

And read some more.

Then I took another break and made dinner and food for the week.

I roasted a chicken yesterday so today I pulled a bunch of the meat off it for various meals and then I stuck it in the stock pot and starting the process of making stock for chicken soup.

While that was working I made my version of pork fried rice–brown rice tossed with ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, some cut up pork loin, a 1/2 rasher of uncured bacon, green peas, organic diced carrots, sliced brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and Bragg’s Amino’s.

So good.

Seriously.

And the nice thing.

I stuck a few containers of it up in the freezer.

Although I am not in school next weekend, I am going to be running it down to the wire on some papers I need to write.

I decided to not do any writing this weekend and get caught up with and on par with all my reading for classes.

I caught up completely and have made deep inroads in Family Therapy.

I should have all the reading done for the class by tomorrow, give or take a fat baby nap in the afternoon.

Then I’ll be focusing on my Psychopathology class and getting that reading caught up to date and reading for the next weekend.

Child Therapy has the least amount of labor intensive reading, although there is a lot of it, a stupid amount if you ask me, but hey, grad school, right?

I think the decision to do the reading is going to be the clincher for me.

I always feel so much better prepared if I’m read for the classes that are happening the weekend that they are happening.

Just like I’m in a better place if I have food prepped and ready to go for the work week and the school weekend.

I actually have enough set aside in my freezer to get me through the next school weekend without having to do extra prep next weekend, which was sort of the plan.

I’ll be maintaining my current work schedule, with the exception of working a little more this week then I normally do for my main family, there’s a holiday and the boys will be out of school on Tuesday and I’ll be going in and doing a morning start when I usually do an afternoon start.

Speaking of nannying.

I sent my formal last day request in to my current family right before I started writing this blog.

That was my other big thing to do.

Really look at my schedule and see what made the best sense to me.

I decided to ask for Friday, December 23rd as my last day.

That gives me nine days, with the holiday weekends, before my next gig.

There was also some miscommunication and misunderstanding with my family in regards to my last days with the other family–December 14th–where in they made the connection that I wanted my last day to be that week.

Not necessarily true, don’t want to lose two weeks of paid work, I can afford one though, that’s for sure.

But.

I owned up to the miscommunication and said if they needed my last day to be the 16th of December I would make that accommodation to my schedule.

I realized that if I decided I needed extra cash it really wouldn’t be too hard to grab a couple of nanny or baby sitting gigs–it’s the holidays, everybody needs extra help.

So.

Yeah.

That’s done.

So relieved.

Relieved that I made it through the weekend with a clean house, lots read, good food, some recovery oriented interactions and a little bit of sunshine.

All in all.

A good weekend was had.

And I will probably sneak in an episode of Shameless before I call it a night.

A girl needs a break once in a while.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

She does.

 


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