Posts Tagged ‘family’

Here It Comes

August 20, 2019

I have two days left before I head down to Pacifica and step back into my PhD life.

Not that I haven’t already been in it.

Yesterday was a shit storm of homework, talking about the work, thinking about the work, reading, writing, posting to Canvas, the platform my online work is on, and feeling way too fucking anxious for my own good.

Seriously.

I had forgotten that ever present, low lying level of anxiety that being in school and working full time gives me.

I had a phone call with a friend in my cohort to talk about some collaborative processes regarding school and a proposal that we have to have done to present at the intensive and I just got bonkers.

I realized, yet again, that I was already behind the ball.

Thanks brain, nothing like making yourself feel bad after a really extraordinary Saturday.

More on that in a moment.

I tried to talk myself in from the ledge and I did ok, but reading and re-reading the syllabi made my stomach flip.

As once again I face the prospect of having to be in zoom meetings on days and times that I cannot as I will be working or seeing a therapy client.

And why?

WHY!?!

Are my electives more fucking work than my required course work?

Shit.

I was totally taken aback at my electives coursework.

Ugh.

I am not complaining, well, a little.

I just get the overwhelms.

And I know this feeling.

I have had it every semester.

I have had it every semester of my Master’s program and yes, for both the semesters in my first year of my PhD coursework.

And inevitably I find the time, it appears, like magic, a sloop on the sea back lit with moon light, and there is the path and I don’t really know how, but it all gets done.

It always does.

So.

I tried to reason a tiny bit with myself that this would be the same thing too and like every semester some weirdo shit happens with my financial aid, this year was no different, but things get worked out, as they did this year as well.

Everything gets worked out.

And.

If I don’t get A’s I’ll be alright.

I mean.

I’m going to fucking get A’s because that’s what I do and because I am a damn good writer.

Not that one can always tell from the writing in my blogs, but I do believe I am a good writer.

Not great, I won’t call what I do that, but good.

I am solid.

I am fluid.

I have good ideas.

I have poetic turns.

I have way with words, have I.

And I have a sense that I will have more time this semester than I did last year.

My work is transitioning.

Boy fucking howdy is it transitioning.

I had a pricking in my thumbs all last week that there was a conversation that needed to happen with the mom at work and I finally had the opportunity to address it and yes, my schedule is changing.

CHANGING.

I’m going to go down to three days a week come the third week in September, basically in a month, I will only be nannying three days a week.

And.

I will continue to transition down every time I pick up a client.

Which I did yesterday.

I am now at 18 clients.

I need two more to cover the costs of losing the nanny hours, but I suspect that I will secure them by the time I go down to three days a week.

And I need five more clients after that, I think, if I have done the math right, to be fully self-sustaining as a therapist.

That would be 25.

I want 30 though and possibly a few more.

As.

Well.

Clients cancel.

Things happen, stuff comes up at work, vacations, sick days, etc.

I need to have a buffer and account for that.

But even then.

When I think about it, when I let myself dream and drift a little, 30-35 clients, why, shit, that’s 10 hours a week less then I was working first semester of my PhD program last year.

I went into the program working 42-45 hours a week–as a nanny, I’m not including hours that I was seeing clients or doing group supervision and training with my agency.

At one point right at the beginning of the second semester I was working about 60 hours of work between the two and doing my PhD work, no wonder I felt crazed by the end of the semester.

And thankfully.

Second semester saw me drop down to 40 towards the end of the semester and then around the beginning of the summer 35 and then two weeks ago 30 and I’m staring down 20 hours when the transition happens.  The two older kids will be back in school and the family secured a daycare spot for the littlest guy.

20 hours of nanny work.

Actually that’s not even true, more like 18 since I picked up a client yesterday.

18 hours of nannying.

I mean.

I cannot even believe that.

I have been nannying for 12 1/2 years.

Thirteen maybe.

I am never quite sure about the number.

A long fucking time, how about that.

I really thought at one point that I would never not be a nanny and there was some self-esteem stuff tied up with that.

I had judgements about what I did as a profession.

I mean.

Who takes a nanny seriously?

Despite the enormous amount of work it takes to be a nanny, it is not seen as a credible career in Western society.

I have worked my ass off, however, as a nanny, and I can ascertain that most nannies do.

Not all of them.

I have seen some pretty lax shit happen in the parks, but it’s a damn lot of work.

It can also have the appearance of being fun and games all the time, going out to ice cream, going to parks, taking the monkeys to an arcade–got to do that today, me and the eldest hit up Free Gold Watch in the Haight, singing, taking long walks, being outside, playtime, nap time.

But it is work.

Work to stay present and balanced and even keeled when there’s crazy happening, when there’s screaming tantrums, when there’s diapers and vomit and sick kids or crazed sugar mania happening.

Work.

A lot of work.

And love.

Don’t get me wrong, there is so much love.

And.

I am done with it.

I have done it long enough.

I have paid my dues.

I can see the light at the end of the nanny tunnel and though I am a little afraid to go into the light.

(Don’t go into the light Carol Anne!)

Go I shall.

We strength and grace and assuredness that I will be held financially and be full self-supporting as a therapist.

I know I will.

I have extended office hours, I have rented extra office space, I have built it.

They will come.

Oh yes they will.

And the faster they come, the sooner I am done nannying.

Ooh la la.

Now.

Just to get through the anxiety of starting up school again.

Life.

It just keeps going.

It really does.

Family & Friends

August 1, 2019

I have some new ones in both categories.

I should be more specific.

I have new family of choice, not of origin.

Though heaven knows I have enough family out there that it would not surprise me in the least if a cousin had a baby and I had no clue.

What I am referring to is Cuban family.

I received the sweetest, most heartfelt gratitudes and thank you from the Cuban people I connected with when I was in Havana today.

Yesterday I finally hopped on Air BnB and reviewed the experiences that I had booked in Cuba.

Normally I don’t actually do reviews on Air BnB.

I have never booked experiences before though and I was asked by each person that hosted me to review them on the site.

Apparently it really helps them and considering the state of economics in Cuba I was more than happy to help in anyway I could.

I gave 5 stars (out of five) to all but one of the experiences.

The one I only gave 4 to wasn’t necessarily the hosts fault.  I gave a lesser rating to my trip to Vinales because the tour tried to pack too much into it.

First, Vinales is almost, not quite, but almost  two hour drive from Havana, so that’s four hours in a car, a classic car–which is at once super cool and also, not comfortable.  At least not nearly as comfortable as a modern car. It was a great car, but my legs were cramped for sure.

Second, the tour really could have, in my opinion, ended after the horse back riding and lunch.

The first thing we did was stop at the Vinales Valley visitor center and take in the panorama of the valley.

It was gorgeous.

After a little education about the valley we headed to a tobacco and coffee farm to learn about how they grow tobacco and to smoke cigars and drink rum.

I did neither of those things.

I did, however have coffee and I bought two bottles of coffee beans.

Yes.

I said bottles.

The country has almost no manufacturing capabilities, everything gets reused and recycled, so my beans came in reused water bottles.

Lovely beans too.

I have been having Cuban coffee every morning since I got back.

Then after the cigars, rum, coffee we went horseback riding through the valley.

It was gorgeous and unfortunately being on a horse did not really facilitate me taking a lot of photos.  No pictures of horses for you.

It was hot though, whew, sweat galore.

After the horses we went to a local paladar and had an amazing Cuban lunch–yucca, lobster, squash, beans and rice, stewed pork, chicken two different ways and I had, for my drink, a huge young coconut that I happily sipped all the juice from and ate the entirety of the insides.

Baby coconut is so freaking good.

Then we went to a cave.

Then we went to a mural.

I did not like the cave, it was too dark and wet and it was hot, it did not feel cool being underground and there were bats and we rode a boat at one point.

I did not need that experience.

Nope.

The best thing about the cave?

Literally the light at the end of the tunnel.

After that we got back in the car and went to visit a famous mural.

Now I am done at this point and the cave had been a pretty popular tourist destination so for the only time I was in Cuba, I had to wait in line to do something.

Never my cup of tea.

The mural was nice, but it was nice, not amazing and it was late and a free pina colada was not to my liking.  Just give me the water and get me home.

And that was my “worst” time?

Please, I got to ride in a classic car, meet cool people, go horse back riding, buy coffee from a Cuban farm, go spelunking and visit a national monument (the mural).  I have nothing to complain about.

The rest of my experiences reflected just that, nothing to complain about, nothing that I would have changed or made better.

I had a slight critique of feeling dropped at Mediteranneo Habana, but it was such a tiny glitch I didn’t give them a negative review.

It was a farm to table experience where I went out and had a tour of the farm that provides meat, milk, cheese, sausage, cured meats, chicken, pig, rabbit, vegetables, all the fruits–bananas, sugarcane, mango, guava, and herbs to this very highly regarded Mediterranean restaurant in Verdado.

The farm was beautiful and I was met by the manager of the farm, his family has been running the farm for 5 generations.  He was super kind, very friendly, had great English, and greeted me with a heaping plate of mango, watermelon, pineapple, and guava.

It was lovely.

I felt so welcomed and really got a grasp of what it is like to farm in Cuba.

Where almost all the farm’s production goes straight to the government.

They are not allowed to keep any of the beef they produce and only 10% of the milk they produce.  The milk they use to make cheese for the restaurant.  I tried four different kinds between the ricotta and the fresh mozzarella I was astounded.  They were so good.

The farm also gives the government almost all pork produced and a fair amount of the eggs and chickens.

I was amazed they are able to stay in production.

It was quite a behind the scenes look at farming and I really enjoyed my meal later at the restaurant.  The transition between the two was a little bumpy, but like I said, the food and the waiter who took care of me pretty much negated it.

And here I am at the end of my blog time, I’ve got to get up early for group supervision and I haven’t even got to the three top experiences that I went on.

They will have to wait for the next blog.

Buenes Noches!

 

It’s Still Light Out!

June 20, 2018

Yes.

I know it’s Day Light Savings and we’re just a few days away from the longest day of the year, but that’s not it.

Both my clients cancelled tonight.

Both.

And then the boss let me go a half hour early.

Not only was I able to go hit up the spot and get my God on, I actually got home and have eaten dinner and it’s still light out!

I cannot remember the last time I have been home this early.

It’s nice.

It’s a little weird, but nice.

And since I do have to get up early tomorrow for another early start at work, I’m ok with it.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going to yoga class.

But it seemed better to have dinner earlier than to wait until 9p.m.

Which is what would have happened had I done the yoga.

And I knew who the teacher was today, I had checked the schedule and I noted the instructor, who isn’t bad, but also, well, isn’t good either.

Another instructor I might have decided to do it, but this guy, well, home and an early dinner and some relaxing sounded about right.

Grateful for a mellow week so far.

I’ve only had one client this week, when typically I would be in the middle of my fourth session of the week right now.

I have three clients left to see this week and no one tomorrow.

It feels like I got a little mini-break in the middle of my work week.

This makes me laugh.

Just working a full-time work week feels like an easy week.

I’ll also be putting in a little over time, but really, it does feel really quite relaxed.

Just thinking ahead to that mystical far off, well, maybe not so far off, but still a few years out, when I just get to be a therapist for work and don’t have to juggle full-time nannying along with my internship.

When that happens I will happily put some of the things in my life that I have not had much of back in.

More doing the deal.

More fellowshipping.

More yoga, or some sort of exercise.

But for right now, I am content.

I’m not upset that this is where my life’s at, I’ve been working really hard for the last three years to get to this point.

I still have two to three years before I’ll be fully licenced.

By which time I will have taken my boards, all the tests that I will have to take to get there, plus I will have finished my PhD program.

I haven’t any real clue how much work that is going to be, but I suspect it will be similar to what the load was when I was getting my Master’s degree.

There is a part of me that hopes that I can cut back on the nannying by June or July of next year.

There is a part of me that hopes I’ll be done with it completely, but I am not sure if that’s a for sure thing.

I would need to carry a lot of clients.

I will get there though.

And I do think that I could possibly get there before I am licensed.

I know  of people who have had full-time client loads as interns.

It’s doable.

I just have to make enough money.

I feel that what will happen is going to be gradual.

Come January, when my contract is up with the family I may say, hey, let me cut down to four days a week or three, then pick up clients full-time on those days.

I have discussed it a little with the mom, but not in detail.

Fact is.

I don’t know how it’s going to look, I can only speculate.

I do know that I have a date to meet with my new supervisor on July 11th and fingers crossed I will have my AMFT # by that point.

I have started to watch the mail.

I’ve been watching the mail for a minute now, actually.

I haven’t gotten my SF Tenant’s Union hand book yet and I’m wondering where it’s at.

I need to write my landlady that letter and it would be helpful to have the handbook.

I probably don’t need it to do the letter, but there’s a part of me that wants to have the extra support as I’m writing the letter to make sure that I have the pertinent details listed.

My therapist and I talked about it a bunch today.

It’s good to have that support.

I won’t see her for a couple of weeks what with my upcoming trip to New York about to happen.

That letter will be sent before I fly out.

I’m sure I will have  much to cover in our next session.

I reflected on that today.

Life keeps showing up.

Things keep happening.

My therapist and I had briefly discussed what it would be like for me moving forward and how she could support me and whether or not I go down to therapy every other week.

But fuck.

Things happen.

Graduation.

My mom’s visit.

Travel.

Relationships.

Work.

The 90 day move out bomb.

I don’t think that now is the time to cut back on the therapy.

It’s super helpful.

Super helpful.

And, well, I like having the resource too for other aspects of my life.

There are things that I don’t talk about with the majority of other people in my life that my therapist gets to hear and it’s such a gift to have that outlet.

It’s nice to, that I get to also give that gift to another.

Even if it’s a light week for me.

I am still showing up for my clients.

Partially just by living my life to its utmost fullest.

With love.

And boundless gratitude.

No matter how life shows up.

It’s life.

I’m alive.

It’s all good.

Emotional Attachment

June 12, 2018

I woke up a tiny bit off.

Not a lot, but just enough to notice.

I felt a little flat.

Sometimes when I feel this way it’s because I am trying to avoid feeling anything.

So I disassociate a little, go about my day, do my things, make my bed, get dressed and do my hair, make breakfast, get lunch ready for work, look at my calendar, make coffee.

You know.

Routine.

I can check out a little in my routine.

But.

It all came clear when I peeped social media.

Oh hi there.

I wasn’t expecting to see that.

But.

I should have.

I have been sensing it in the air.

I thought about it a couple of days ago.

There’s a birthday coming up, isn’t there?

And yes.

Thanks social media.

There it was on Facebook.

Hi papa.

Happy birthday.

Today you turned 69.

Sigh.

I haven’t seen my father since he was in a coma over four years ago.

I ceded responsibility for his health to the State of Alaska.

I sat by his side for four days and cried and talked and held his hand.

I wrote him a long card that I had bought at a gift shop in the Anchorage Museum a friend had taken me to one afternoon.

“Enough, you’ve had enough time in the hospital, come out, get some air, let’s do something not related to the hospital and the ICU.”

I found a really cool card with raven totems on it.

I bought it for my dad.

I left all my information in it.

My phone number.

My address.

My email.

I said I loved him and hoped he was going to get better and be safe and be happy and get healthy.

I told him I forgave him.

I’m actually not sure I wrote that in the letter, but I told him that.

And I asked him to forgive me.

He wasn’t always the best dad.

I wasn’t always the best daughter.

And I let him go.

My last  night there before getting on the plane the nurses encouraged me to talk to him more, that thought that he might wake up to my voice.

He never did.

I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to come back to San Francisco, I had to go back to work.

I had to take care of myself.

I kissed him on the cheek.

I was surprised by the warmth of his face and the softness of his skin under my lips.

My eyes welled up with tears and I left.

He woke up about a week later.

On my birthday of all days.

I saw it was the number of the hospital in Anchorage.

I answered.

It was one of my dad’s nurses, “your father’s awake and he wants to talk to you.”

“Hi ___________________ I said softly, I call my father by his first name.  A psychological defense of distancing that I learned at a very young age.  My father ceased being papa when I was six although there were a few scattered times in my adolescence that my father reclaimed the moniker, he’s always been known to me by his first name.

He said, “my balls itch and the nurse won’t let me scratch them.”

Sigh.

Happy birthday.

That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear from my dad, but then again he was awake and that was something else.

He’d been in the coma for two weeks.

Then he cawed at me.

“Caw! Caw!”

Like a crow.

Like a raven.

I teared up.

He’d gotten my letter and either he’d read it or someone read it to him.

He understood and he was letting me know that he’d gotten the message.

I felt big crashing waves of emotions.

And then.

The nurse had to get him off the phone, for he kept trying to take off the bandages around his skull where the craniotomy had happened to relieve the brain swelling he’d had as a result of the accident he was in.

And accident that was propelled and fueled by his alcoholism.

Those were the last words I got from my dad.

I wondered about him today.

I felt a similar feeling last year around this time.

An urge to reach out.

An urge to connect.

I tried a cell phone number that I thought might work.

It was disconnected.

Just like I was.

Detached.

Removed.

Far, far, far away.

I checked in with my person today, I told on myself about my father’s birthday and some guilt and shame that was coming up.

I got lovely perspective and calm soothing words and an invitation instead to get a candle for my father and light it and that it be a scented candle, a smell that I like.

And when I smelled it I would send a little prayer up to God for my father.

I lit that candle tonight when I got home.

Kona coffee scented.

Seems apropos.

My father was born in Hawaii.

I miss you papa and I hope you are well and happy and content.

I won’t reach out further.

There is too much illness and disease and dysfunction there for me to get involved in an emotional imbroglio.

Rather.

Today.

I reached out to those who are my chosen family, friends that have seen me through rough stuff with my parents, friends who love me.

I called an old friend from Wisconsin from my undergrad days.

I got a hold of a friend of mine from high school.

And I reached out to my two best girlfriends from my graduated school program.

Then I loved hard at work.

“I think we are all emotionally attached to you,” the mom said, so sweet, with such tenderness and vulnerability.

I am a soothing presence in their lives and that was sweet to hear and much appreciated.

I got to help put the baby down for a nap when he was super upset.

I got to hug the little lady and make her all sorts of her favorite foods.

And.

Oh.

The oldest boy just crawled right up into my lap today at the dinner table.

He wasn’t feeling well and he just wanted me to hold him and scratch his back.

He put his head on my chest and asked me to sing him a lullaby.

It was the most heartbreakingly sweet thing ever.

Having this eight year old boy curled up on me listening to me sing “Hush Little Baby.”

My family of origin may not be the family I wanted to have in my life.

And I’m ok with that.

They did the best they could.

Besides

I have such amazing family in my life.

My family of choice.

And for that I am beyond grateful.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

 

A Little Up

May 22, 2018

A little down.

Seeking equilibrium.

I got some sleep.

So that was good.

But.

I had a couple very odd e-mails today, one from my internship and one from my school that put me a little off kilter.

And made me realize that I am pretty much done with my internship.

Oh.

I’m not about to quit on my clients.

But.

I am not taking on any more new clients.

And I am taking off this coming Monday for the holiday.

I have it off from work and I figured I should take the day off from clients too.

Take it easy.

Sleep in.

Do a yoga class.

My reflux seems to have died back down again and I’m hoping for a renewal of energy to get my butt back to classes this weekend.

A three-day weekend of yoga sounds like just the thing to do it.

I also have a somewhat odd week this week, and not having a schedule that I normally have may have had something to do with the just a little off-balance feeling today.

I will not be seeing clients tomorrow like I normally do, I’ll be heading over to San Rafael to do the deal and some sharing about this and that and recovery.

A long day, and an early start on Wednesday.

Ack.

But.

Also.

A short day on Wednesday, which is really lovely.

I have my GI’s follow-up appointment to discuss the things that were found on my endoscopy and hopefully they will have the rest of the labs and test results back by then.

Figure out what has been going on and address it.

Not having it for a few days has been really lovely.

I want to not have it ever again!

Whatever needs to be done there I am taking the doctor’s orders.

And then I have the rest of the day off, the mom figured it wasn’t worthwhile for me to come back into work.

Very grateful for that!

So yeah, a little up, a little down, but finding that as I have just eaten some dinner and got some laundry working in the wash and settled in for the night that I am finding my way back to some semblance of balance.

Of course.

I do have to acknowledge there’s been a tremendous amount of transition in my life these last few weeks what with finishing school, getting all the things ready for graduation, graduating, the party, work, clients, etc.

Oh yeah.

And my mom visiting.

Nothing like a parental visit to throw my routine in an uproar.

Not that it was a bad visit, it was just some things to add into my schedule that was already pretty packed.

I’m sure that once the week proceeds I’ll find my feet again and be fine.

A bumpy Monday is not the most unusual after a highly activating weekend with big emotions and events.

Maybe I just had a kiss of the Monday blues.

Back to the grind.

Back to the routine.

I found myself not wanting to go to work.

And I love the family I work for.

I think I needed a day off from my celebrations.

Time to breathe.

Slow down.

Pause.

Reflect and just be.

I am a busy lady.

But that’s been coming up for me more and more.

Making sure that I don’t over extend myself, not take on too much, not push too hard.

Definitely not take on more clients right now.

I’m ok with a steady seven.

I want to keep them through the summer and I have officially decided that I will leave my current internship completely.

Even if it means having fewer clients for a while.

Which I don’t think will last very long.

I am fairly certain that I will be up and running with the same amount of clients very quickly.

And.

If things roll smoothly, either cutting back a little at my nanny job or going part-time there as I establish my clientele.

There’s a few days when the office would be available for me earlier in the afternoon and I thought, wouldn’t that be nice, do a half day nannying, then do the other half as a paid therapist?

Of course I’ll most likely be starting out with nights and weekends.

But I can sense that the day clients and the early afternoon clients will not be that far off.

And so when I think of the small, petty irritations I had regarding my current internship, I reminded myself that it was temporary, a part of the path that I am on, and that I will soon be done with it, it was never supposed to be a forever thing and I can hang in there for a little while longer.

I can also leave if I want.

I could take the rest of the summer off if I wanted and not see any clients until I start at the private practice internship.

I don’t think that’s the best idea for me, I do need to continue to accrue hours and the experience of being an active therapist is something that I think will help me become more prepared for this next phase of development.

That being said.

I’m not going to be shy about taking time off if I need it.

Or taking vacation days.

Like Monday.

So happy I get a three-day weekend!

Over the moon.

Ok Monday.

We friends?

I’m ready for the rest of the week now.

Thanks!

An Unexpected Gift.

May 16, 2018

Time.

It wasn’t a lot.

But.

It felt tremendous.

The mom today at work expressed that should I not want to come in tomorrow early to take the baby to music class I was off the hook.

She’s very aware of the stress of the next few days for me and stated that if I wanted to rest or work on my party or just take a slow start that I should.

I thanked her.

And.

I didn’t take her up on it right away.

I decided to think about it.

I left work and headed into my internship.

I received a very sweet text from her reiterating how she really wanted to let me know that should I need anything that I was family and that she is my friend.

Not my boss.

I mean.

She still is my boss, but she’s become a friend.

And an ally.

I am very grateful that I work for her, yet there is still a part of me that was hesitant to take the offer and I think she knew that I wanted to and thus the follow-up text after I had left.

I decided to do it, but I had clients to attend to and that came first, I would respond after my client sessions and see how I felt.

Then!

My second client told me that they would need to leave early, by a half hour, we basically only did a half session, the client paid for the full, and I got to count the full hour of client time.

And I got an extra half hour in my evening!

It felt so luxurious.

I immediately responded to the text from my boss and said, thank you for the sweet sentiments that they really meant something to me (they really do) and that after some consideration I was going to take her up on the offer.

It felt so good.

Especially after the therapy session I had today.

Buckets of tears.

1/2 box of Kleenex, I swear, the ball of tissue I tossed at the end of the session was huge.

I was crying before I got there.

I spilled the beans and got constant, continuous, kind support.

I got resourced.

I felt a lot better.

I made some connections that have never quite made with the help of my therapist and I shared some information with her that only a few people now, and that I had actually thought I had told her before.

Child hood trauma stuff that has gotten poked by recent chains of events.

It felt really good, and hard, awful, painful, to talk about anger and how it has been hard to forgive and when I had the kind of reactions I did today in session I wondered out loud whether I had really ever forgiven the acts or the people involved at all.

My person also reflected to me that I had a lot of rage.

I have rage?

I was shook for a moment.

Then I realized.

Yeah.

I do.

I have some motherfucking rage.

I expressed some of that in therapy today, that I have so much self-awareness after having done a three-year intensive Master’s of Psychology program that I get infuriated at times thinking of all the things I had to overcome to just get by.

I was livid.

I cried heaps.

I also noted that I thought the things I dealt with were normal for so long.

Not necessarily that other people were experiencing the same things as I, nor did I want anyone to, but that this was just how it was in my life.

Spending three years reading how trauma affects the brain the parasympathetic nervous system, flight, fight, or freeze, anyone?  How abuse and neglect stunt children, how harder it is, so much harder, for those kids to get ahead, to succeed, to live happily ever after.

There is no happily ever after.

And.

Life is not fair.

But there is happiness and joy and freedom and grace and love.

Thank God for love.

And thank God I didn’t give up on finding my way towards loving myself.

I had to have it modeled to me in my adulthood and it’s taken years for me to implement things.

I still have a horrendous time asking for help, but I am getting better.

Or.

That my needs are valid.

Or that I’m allowed to have needs.

Eye roll.

It took as long as it took and I’m ok with that.

I’m in acceptance that my past was what it was.

That doesn’t mean approval.

Fuck that.

No.

It just means that I can acknowledge that it happened and that allows me to move on.

Granted.

Sometimes the pot gets stirred and I’m using boxes of tissues up and crying my heart out.

But I got to cry my heart out and I got tremendous support.

My therapist is out of office next week and has mentioned several times that since this is such a big transition for me, graduation, getting a private practice internship, my mom coming to visit, the endoscopy on Thursday, that she would be fine staying in contact while she’s away.

Meaning I can reach out and call or email her.

After today’s session, she stopped and said, I’m going to contact you over the weekend and check in.

I was blown away.

And grateful.

I don’t even care if she does or not.

Just that the offer is there.

And like the offer my boss made me, it felt like being seen and loved and held exactly where I am with exactly what I need.

Getting an extra hour of sleep in time for tomorrow!

 

Halfway There

March 9, 2018

Tomorrow marks the mid-point to the semester.

I’ll be halfway through the last semester of my Masters degree!

I’m so excited.

And.

Yes.

I am completely done with all my homework.

Everything is turned in.

I did all my reading assignments.

And I worked on my dyad partner’s paper today at work, so that I have comments and responses to her paper, that’s part of the work for this big final paper, we work in groups and read our group mates paper and make comments and help them with their work.

So I did that today at the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center.

I just had the baby out for a walk and he fell asleep in the stroller, so I grabbed a cafe au lait from Xo Cafe on Church and Day Street, walked over to the Rec Center and did the paper and then I did the evaluations for school that I have to turn in as well for the class.

I got it all done.

I’m not sure how I wrote that damn annotated bibliography yesterday and did all the reading and that I saw a licensed MFT this week, after seeing clients, and worked a lot, I put in four hours of overtime at work, paid in cash when I left today, thank you very much, and still got to do the deal.

I mean.

Whew.

It’s a week.

Plus I terminated with a client tonight.

It was a good termination and the client and I parted ways very amicably and it was a mutual termination.

It was nice to reflect on the work that happened over the course of the treatment and to see how my client has changed and how, too, I have.

The client was one of my first clients and it was good for me to see how much I have grown since I started doing my practicum.

I only have about seven more weeks of being in practicum and then it turns into an associateship.

The California Association of Marriage Family Therapist has changed the title from MFTi (intern) to associate.

Once I graduate, I become an associate.

I will be an Associate MFT.

I will have a registered number.

And I will be fully on my way to getting my license.

The next hurdle will be filling out all the paperwork and getting all the signatures.

I first, though, have to graduate.

I need to continue showing up for classes, participating, and doing the work.

But It feels really good, and I want to acknowledge that, to be halfway through the homestretch semester.

I think ordering my cap and gown really put a big explanation point on it.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for my graduation party.

I need to celebrate.

This Master’s degree is a huge deal for me.

Finding out what I am supposed to be doing and finding my way through school to get me to the point where I can become a licensed therapist is such a huge thing for me.

I felt like I was floundering for years not knowing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, nanny, go to Burning Man, yearn to be a published writer, never get published, nanny, think about applying to a Creative Writing Masters program, not get into it, nanny, go to Burning Man, maybe try living in Paris for a little while, come back to San Francisco, nanny some more, go to Burning Man.

Have huge epiphany at Burning Man.

Quit crappy nanny job.

Get better nanny job.

Apply to grad school.

Get in!

And suddenly I am going to be a therapist when I grow up.

When I reflect back on the journey of getting where I am now I am absolutely flabbergasted.

How did I make it through?

And I’m still working through it, but it feels so tangible now, the hard work is paying off and I’m almost there.

I can see the diploma.

I will be framing that post-haste.

In a really nice frame.

Really nice.

Just saying.

Anyway.

So, yeah, a party.

But I’m not sure how to do it.

The commencement ceremony is from 3-5p.m. in Hayes Valley.

Do I grab an early dinner with the folks coming to my graduation and then bomb out to the beach?

I want to do a beach bonfire at Ocean Beach.

Or.

Do I skip it and head straight back to the house and get shit over to Ocean Beach and get things set up.

I feel like I need to enlist some friends to get things set up but then I’m responsible for this and I want it to be nice and I want to appreciate the friends in my life who have been so generous with me during my time in grad school.

I think I may skip trying to make dinner plans.

Maybe instead, I can do a nice brunch before hand and then go to the commencement and after ward head to the beach.

That way I can be there by 6p.m. and set things up.

Not that I’m planning anything hard or fancy.

Fire wood in a box, couple of blankets, a folding chair or two, a cooler with some sparkling water.

That’s it.

Folks want more than that, they can bring it.

Mostly I just want a reason to have a bonfire at the beach and I can’t imagine a better excuse than I am graduating with a Master’s Degree.

I want to invite lots of folks, and acknowledge all the people who helped me a long the way, past employers who wrote me letters of recommendation to get into the program, to my current employers who put up with me not working one Friday a month so I can go to classes, to friends and visiting family, and families I used to nanny for, everyone who gave me one single word of encouragement, I want them there.

Or at least to extend the invitation to be there.

And when the sunsets I will have tears on my face and joy in my heart being surrounded by friends, family, loved ones, and my community.

I cannot fucking wait.

Bring on this weekend of classes.

Let’s go!

Thank You!

February 24, 2018

Thank you Carmen!

The mom said, and pulled me into a hug.

I wasn’t expecting that.

It was so sweet and so endearing, I teared up.

She was thanking me for the week, one of the most challenging weeks I have had with the family I nanny for.

Two very sick kids.

Dad and the oldest were out-of-town all weekend visiting Grandma and relatives and friends out of the country, so it was just the mom and I.

And two of the sickest little monkeys one could imagine.

Today I carried the baby on me for nearly 8 hours.

I might have had a few moments, a run to the bathroom, a quick gulp of tea, where I wasn’t holding him, but he was pretty much glued to me the entire day.

The mom’s been handling the nights and I have been handling the days and she is sorely short on sleep.

I did my best to help out as much as possible.

Which really meant tending to the baby while the mom helped the little lady.

She is not a good sick kid.

Who is, really when it comes right down to it.

And she needed a lot of attention.

Mom would nurse the baby, then hand him to me, that was about my only reprieve, when he was nursing.

And let me say, it wasn’t the worst way in the world to spend my last day of the week, a hot little baby cradled against me all day, sleeping mostly.

He’s been running a fever and just has no desire to do much but sit and snuggle and doze.

Once in a while a big coughing fit would lead to some screaming.

There is nothing more disarming to my psyche than a child screaming in pain.

It was piercing the few times it happened to me today, but fortunately, he was fast to be soothed and I was able to get him comforted and back to sleep fast.

I spent many hours just holding him and rocking and humming.

I spent some time too with the both of them when the mom had to make a run out to do some errands.

At one point I had the baby on my chest sleeping and the little lady snuggled up under my left arm, a pile of stuffies, two blankets, and some children’s video playing on the tv and, yes, I nodded out.

All three of us sleeping in a pile on the couch.

It didn’t last long.

The mom came back and I woke quickly, I wasn’t really deeply asleep, just in that drowsy half state that happens right before true sleep.

I was really grateful that I could help the mom so much and I was happy to receive her thanks, if a tiny bit overwhelmed and surprised by it, I was also very, very touched.

I like her.

I like her a lot.

She’s quick becoming a friend and I feel very much a part of the family.

I was also grateful to leave tonight.

It was a long week.

I had a big trip the weekend prior and school the weekend before that.

So this is actually my first weekend at home in a couple of weeks were I’m not obligated to much.

To much.

Ha.

Fuck.

I make myself laugh.

I have plenty I need to do this weekend and plenty that I will attend to.

I do hope, though, that I will have some down time and some moments to relax.

I will definitely be going to yoga.

I have missed it for two weeks, the travel and school, and I’m sure I’m going to be rusty and sore after tomorrow’s class, but I need to get back in it.

And my best friend is going to come with me to class on Sunday, so there’s great impetus to get my butt to go to the studio.

We had breakfast today before work and I was very happy to meet, to spend time, to feel like a human being connecting with another human being, before I became a comfort pillow for the baby for 8 hours today.

Grateful for my friend and the time I got to spend and that I get to have company in my yoga class on Sunday, that will be awesome.

Although I know I will be self-conscious.

I’m usually a bit self-conscious any way, but I go, and I always feel better and I usually wish that I could go more often.

But I’m also never sure when the hell I’m supposed to be able to get to another class.

I may be able to squeeze in a third this week though, my therapist is out of office on Tuesday, I could make the morning yoga class happen before going into work.

Any time I can squeeze it in I am trying to do so.

Life is busy.

Yoga in the morning, shower, breakfast, writing.

PhD application preparations until I have to go to my internship.

Group supervision from 2-4p.m.

I might try to swing over to Hayes Valley and go to Optical Underground afterward, I have the prescription for new glasses to get filled.

I have gotten my last two pairs from them and I always find something I like there and they are cheaper than a lot of places.

I am still a bit miffed that the UCSF optical department doesn’t accept my insurance for glasses.

What was the point of going there?

I’m still so not pleased with my school’s health insurance but hey, I do have it, even if it doesn’t seem to have paid off any, at least I won’t get the ding when I go to do my taxes.

Which I also want to do very soon.

Indication of how busy I have been, I haven’t yet done them.

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of February and I haven’t done them.

Very unusual for me.

But.

Hey.

Last year I didn’t have an internship or supervision, I wasn’t in therapy, I had a few spare minutes to attend to it.

I will, and soon, just need to get my PhD application done this weekend and then the taxes.

And then.

The carrot.

With my return I will be doing some traveling.

That’s always the reward for taxes getting filed.

A trip.

I’m still waiting to see if the family is going to take me a long for part of their vacation and what that will look like, but I do have it narrowed down to July.

Paris in July will be hot.

But it will be Paris.

Anyway.

That’s a wrap on today.

I’m ready to chill out.

Have some tea.

Watch some Peaky Blinders and go to bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow.

A lot.

You Are Built For This Work

December 19, 2017

He told me.

I was so amazed to hear him say that.

Also, “you are deeply intuitive.”

And.

And.

And.

Wait for it.

“You are going to be a kick-ass therapist.”

Followed quickly by, “actually, you are a kick ass therapist.”

And then a smile.

And his brown eyes got warm and melty and in that moment, holy shit, I saw it, my supervisor likes me!

I was blown away.

I mean, I still am now, it seems surreal.

The man is intimidating.

Which he acknowledged today is not an unheard of thing between a trainee and a supervisor, he said, “I’m a white, older man, in a position of authority.”

Um.

Yup.

But.

He is also fucking brilliant.

I am often astonished by his intelligence and I am grateful that I can swim in the waters of his sagacity.

It’s intense.

He told me today that I am far beyond what a second semester trainee needs to be doing.

That I know what counter transference is, transference, that I know how to make an intervention, that I am warm and comfortable in my sessions with clients, that I have clients that want to stay and work with me, that I have built a roster of clients, that I am deeply intuitive.

He told me that he has other trainees that it takes fifteen minutes to pull the counter transference out of them.

“What’s your counter transference?”

“I don’t know.”

I don’t have that problem.

I may have others, but that is not one of them.

I see it, I have it, I am beginning to know how to use it and it’s a powerful tool.

Aside from being just flattered as fuck, it was such a nice way to begin my birthday.

Especially since I was dreading the review a little bit.

The last review was not so hot, not bad, and he really made a point of telling me more than once that I was doing all the right work and I was on the right track, that I was learning and implementing what needed to be learned and implemented.

But it was not effusive.

Not like today.

I was really just bowled over.

It was to not be my last bowled over of the day.

I have had just the loveliest birthday.

Sure.

I had to work.

But.

I opened birthday cards, from my mom, from my grandmother, from my best friend, from my family I nanny from.

I got myself my favorite chocolate drink from Rainbow.

I had a very sweet morning with the mom at work and collaborated on the work that needs to happen this week for them, school lets out tomorrow at noon for the holidays.

I had a great time with my school pick up and my oldest charge and I had a super sweet coffee and bagel date at Maxfields, I had the coffee, he had the bagel.

Then.

Holy shit.

My family gave me a new Iphone for my birthday!

I just about fell off the couch.

And flowers and the fore mentioned birthday card.

I mean.

Wow.

I got a new Iphone 8.

I am still a little in shock.

And so grateful.

Unbelievably grateful.

It is so lovely to be appreciated.

They are grateful for me and I am for them and it just was such a resoundingly nice thing for them to do.

I still have to set it up.

The internet, shocker, in my studio sucks, and I couldn’t get my phones to sync up.

I’ll bring it in to work tomorrow and do it there.

I promised my oldest charge he could help me take photos with it.

We chatted a lot today at the cafe about what we want to do over the holiday vacation.

Ferry ride to Sausalito.

Children’s Creativity Museum.

Exploratorium.

Drawing comic books.

Reading about space.

House of Air.

Movie date to the Metreon and Super Duper Burger.

So much fun.

And I got out a little early.

Not a ton early, the kids were so excited to give me my present and the entire family sang me happy birthday, it was just so, so, so sweet.

Then home and putting away goodies and groceries from my earlier trip to Rainbow in between supervision and work.

And then dinner at the new’ish restaurant around the corner from my house, Hook Fish Co.

It was delightful.

My best friend took me out.

Oh.

And gave me the most beautiful pair of earrings.

So special.

So sweet, my god, I just feel like I got all sorts of unexpected love today.

I just had the nicest time.

That my friend took time out of a way super busy schedule to take me out to dinner, that my relatives sent me cards and sweet little gifts, that my family gave me an Iphone.

An IPHONE.

Then I got the prettiest pair of earrings EVER.

I love them so.

How lucky am I?

The luckiest girl in the world.

And.

Heh.

A kick ass therapist.

Just ask my supervisor.

Seriously.

 

What I Should Do

November 10, 2017

Versus what I am going to do.

Which is blog.

I should just got to bed, I had a ten-hour work day with the family I nanny for and then I had two clients this evening after work.

I got home 49 minutes ago.

Threw laundry in the dryer, chatted on the phone, threw some food in a pan and ate some dinner.

I should just go to bed.

Right?

I’ve got school tomorrow, a client tomorrow, plans in the evening, more school Saturday, school Sunday, a narrative I have to completely fucking re-write on Sunday for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture,” I have no days off.

I won’t have a day of for some time yet.

Although.

Whatever.

I will have some day time free coming up soon–the family I nanny for will be out-of-town the 16th through the 26th.

I will have some down time.

I will have plenty to do seeing clients at night, but a lot of my clients are gone for the holiday and I will have off completely, like nothing at all on the books for the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday of Thanksgiving week.

I’ll spend the actual holiday with my person and some fellows here in the city, but aside from that, I will have some big swaths of time off.

So sure.

I’ve got to be up early and I should just go to bed, but, of course, now that I’m home and ensconced in my bunny slippers with some food in my tummy and some water, I feel bright and alert again.

I also had a couple of really good sessions with my clients and there is something so energizing about that, not thinking of myself for an hour, paying close attention to another, being really present and empathetic.

It can be draining and I have had challenging sessions and have felt zapped to bits afterward, but that didn’t happen tonight.

I had the, “I really like being a therapist!” moment again tonight after my last client left.

And I just floated out of my office and zipped home on my scooter.

I’m hoping I can use my scooter tomorrow.

There is some rain forecasted, but I might be able to hit the window.

The rain looks late morning and early afternoon.

If I can get to school before it hits I should be in class longer than the predicted rain, thus allowing me to get out after the rain and get to my internship.

I have just one client tomorrow and I am coordinating an earlier session time with her so that I might just maybe have a few minutes to do some homework and some grocery shopping, because God only fucking knows when I will get to it otherwise.

I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will allow me to ride.

I just get here and there and around so much faster, it’s so efficient.

Although, I hate riding in the rain and I won’t ride if I get up tomorrow and it’s raining.

I’ll either take the train in or grab a car.

I want to get up early too and get in a shower and shave and pack up my stuff.

I will probably be taking my laptop with me so that I can do some work on it.

I don’t like doing that, but I also will have time between the end of my classes in the afternoon and whenever my client rolls in.

I may have two hours and that’s a lot of homework reading to whip through.

And a good deal of the reading I have left to do is online.

Which I do not like, but that’s what it is.

I can hardly even believe that I’m in class tomorrow, it feels surreal.

I have not been anxious, oh, a little, I always am a tiny bit before the weekend of classes commences, but nothing like it was before.

I know I can get through the weekend on slight sleep.

I know that I just have to show up.

I know that I need to participate.

But ultimately.

My focus is on my personal life, my work life, and my clients.

I am not really as wrapped up in the school work and the class room time and my weeks are full so that the time in between class weekends seems to have gone by quite quickly.

After this weekend I will have one more weekend of classes and then the semester is over!

That is the best.

Then.

Oh.

One more semester.

In which I will only have three classes, as opposed to the SIX I have now.

Did you know that?

I’m running six classes, working full to over time hours at my job and seeing 8 clients a week.

I am amazed that I have gotten to have any time for play.

But it sneaks in there.

I get brief little blissful moments.

Kisses of time.

Nibbles of passion and sweetness.

Not enough.

No.

Not enough by far.

But enough to sustain.

Just get me through this semester I keep telling myself, I can do this, just get through this semester.

Life will not always be at this pace and I will find more time for myself and my pursuits.

I don’t want to work hard to just work hard all the time.

I want to connect.

I want to dance cheek to cheek.

I want to sleep in.

I mean.

Maybe that’s a stretch.

How about I want to sleep 8 hours.

That would be hella sexy.

I want to read a book that is not psychology related.

I mean.

How nice would that be?

All the things on my mind.

No wonder I am not ready to go to bed right now.

And you know.

That’s ok.

I’ll get rest.

(when I’m dead)

When I want something badly enough.

I will get it.

I know what I need.

I have a lot of clarity around that recently.

I think I understand.

Love.

That’s all I need.

And a little self-knowledge.

It goes a long fucking way.

Seriously.

 

 


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