Posts Tagged ‘genogram’

Damn You

October 23, 2016

Second wind.

I did not expect to be so jazzed up all the sudden.

I was crashing pretty hard in my last class of the day and just put my forehead down on the shoulder of one of my classmates and said, “make it stop.”

Or something to that effect.

It was a long day.

But hey.

It’s done now.

And of course.

I am wide awake.

I’m listening to music and writing and drinking hot tea and thinking about high-school.

Yeah.

That sounds like good times, right?

Ha.

But.

It was with a certain sweetness and fondness that I was thinking about myself and with a great deal of compassion for the experiences that made me.

I wouldn’t wish to go back.

I wouldn’t wish to change it.

I wouldn’t go and tell that girl child turning woman, do it different, here’s how, no.

I would not.

I am in love with who I am.

I was happy today and light and free and sad and sorrowful and of service and I showed up and yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but that girl, that girl reading books in her room, cuddled up in a worn out chair covered in my grandmothers afghan, that girl made this possible.

She dreamt.

She would listen to music and read and stare out the window.

I don’t remember what I thought about.

Sometimes I would look in a mirror and wonder about the reflection there.

I thought I was pretty.

I thought I might even be beautiful, but I did not get that kind of feedback.

I was curious.

Am I seeing myself?

Or.

Why?

There was that a lot, the asking why.

Sometimes I would fantasize or play with my hair or dress up.

Nothing that I ever reflected by wearing back to school, clothes wise that is, except with one or two exceptions of trying out a new look one week in high school my senior year that I was so nervous to wear that I could hardly enjoy it.

But I rocked it.

I have always liked clothes and fashion.

I was not in a place to wear the clothes I wanted.

But.

Boy did I covet certain things.

I am proud of myself though.

When I look back.

I carved out my own way.

I was my own woman.

I had nothing to really model on, which was on one hand a kind of curse, but I also got to learn, trial and error what I liked and what I don’t.

I’m still discovering.

But.

Some seeds were planted in that room.

From reading all those books.

My God did I read.

I miss that sometimes now.

All the time.

Reading for pleasure.

I don’t get to do it nearly enough.

Reading for school has super ceded that luxury.

Funny that.

Reading, a luxury.

But my God.

When I think about the hours curled up on the couch, or in my room, or in my bed, or under my favorite apple tree in the orchard.

I was moony and dreamy and fanciful and the stories I read reflected that and also, they were my escape.

I was thinking about that as well tonight.

Escape.

All the ways I can check out when it gets to be too much and how I have hidden out, sometimes in plain view, and yet, how very much I want to be seen.

I felt very seen today.

I did a genogram presentation of my family tree.

I traced inter-generational traumas three generations on one side of my family and four generations of it on the other side.

All the pain.

All that hurt.

All the sorrow.

I felt my chest get hot and I realized that what was coming out of my mouth was not what I had planned and that was ok.

I have done enough public speaking, so much, I have spoken in front of crowds big and small, that I don’t really have a problem doing it.

I’m actually really quite good off script.

I typically do need to know what I am talking about.

And my family history, though not as much of a mystery as it was a week ago, was still settling in my system.

I made sure I was pretty today.

I wore flowers in my hair.

I thought of sweetness and resilience.

I thought of grace and service.

I thought how I could show up and heal by sharing.

Therein lies the issue, I feel, I believe, so much of the secrecy, the shame, the conflict and contention that doesn’t get spoken of, gets twisted up in my heart and lays there heavy and sodden like wet leaves mulching into winter on the hoar-frost covered land.

So.

I swept clear some ground.

I laid it bare.

I spoke my truth, to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

I breathed.

I felt my face flush.

I said the words.

I was held the room did not fall apart.

Although after, when I sat I realized how much the class was affected.

Well.

One person.

Her sweet face and red eyes letting me know how my words had landed.

I don’t really recall much of what I spoke of.

Oh.

The bones of it, the narrative, the stories, the lineage of pain handed down the line, mother to child, father to son, grandparent to grandchild.

I do.

However.

Recall pointing out the brightness on the map.

The bright triangles of joy I encapsulated myself and a few members of my family.

The joy of recovery and the strength there.

“Few people realize how the family structure is affected when one member gets into recovery,” my professor had briefly tossed out into a lecture weeks ago.

I hung that star on my paper.

I flashed it bright.

My recovery.

My foundation.

My base.

My place of growth, stellar and bright and resilient.

I have no idea where the resilience comes from, perhaps my grandmother on my fathers’ side, I am named after her.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

I don’t need to know.

I don’t need to change anything.

I don’t approve of it, but I do accept it.

And as I sank down in my pretty dress and felt my heart beat hard in my chest I knew I had succeeded.

If I can do it.

So can you.

If there is a meaning in all of this, it is that I survived.

And that I got better, stronger, more powerful, more loving.

More.

More.

More.

More love.

More magic.

Just fucking more of all the things.

And I’m almost through.

Literally and figuratively.

One more day of class and another weekend down.

One more small step down the road.

One more opening of the door to my heart.

Just a little wider.

Just a little more open.

Just a little.

More

Available.

For.

The sunlight of the spirit.

And.

All.

All of it.

All.

The love that gets to come in when I clear out the wreckage of my past.

Yes.

Please.

More of that.

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Doing The Work

October 13, 2016

And doing the homework while doing the work.

I did both today.

I did a lot today.

It was a day.

Tomorrow will be a day too.

All the days.

All the work.

Letting out slow, long breath and waiting for the tea pot to boil.

It was a good day at work.

It was a good day to do a lot of work.

I’m done with it for the moment and need a reprieve, which will look an awful lot like watching Project Runway and chilling out with an apple after I finish this blog.

I have done enough.

And.

I remind myself that I am enough.

That I am resilient and strong and I have come through so much to be where I am at and I am grateful that I have been carried to a place where I can see that.

It stops with me.

I thought today, a couple of times.

Then.

I thought.

What if that’s just another way of me trying to protect me?

How about I change instead.

How about I look at the trans-generational traumas in my family on my father’s side and on my mother’s side as the things that have made me the diamond that I am.

“Sometimes God uses a heavy hand to create a beautiful thing,” she told me as I sobbed my way through my first real inventory over a decade ago now.

The pressure it takes to create a diamond from the black morass of sadness I was created.

The crucible that holds me I cannot even begin to list all the ways and hows of it.

The secrets and shame and the wildness and the wrong.

The places I have tried to hide and not be found.

I always was.

I always knew.

I know now and it is a deep sadness, but also a formidable strength.

I sometimes can get tired trying to process it all.

“You had this conversation while you were at work?” He asked me aghast on the phone.

I did.

I had a very deep, but not totally deep, there were layers of things left unsaid and things that I still have questions about, but I got what I needed and I could trace the wellsprings of it farther back than I had first suspected.

High temperatures, high drama, high pressures.

I had some clue, but then I had no clue.

And yet, I knew all along.

In fact.

I had avoided making this particular call as I wasn’t sure I really wanted to open the can of worms.

“Sometimes going to far into a genogram can be hard for a client to deal with,” my advisor said to me as I showed him some of the work I had done.

Um.

Yeah.

And there’s so much more.

It’s like a legacy of pain that just rolls through my family.

It is astounding and deep and yet.

I feel that somehow or other I have gotten out, gotten over to the other side and I am looking at it from a distance.

Yet.

There are these ways that I react to the world and there are these defenses I have that I would like to let go of, to open myself up to more life, to not be fearful that I will be shattered again and need to begin again.

The things that worked for me, the safety defenses, they don’t work so much anymore.

And “it stops with me,” in the way that I have used it is not working.

No partner, no relationship, no children.

Because that way I wouldn’t pass it down.

It would really stop with me.

Ultimately that kind of isolation hurts me too.

It’s a solution and a defense that needs to change.

Grateful for the awareness.

Now to wade through the acceptance part and the forgiveness part and get to the action part.

Not sure exactly what action to take, except that right in front of me and to take the suggestions that others have to give me and to not carry the secret or the shame of it that curdles inward and hurts worse than shining the light on it.

Oh.

There are nooks and crannies I’m not too compelled to go spelunking in, at least not right yet, not right now.

I don’t need to stare at my past, I can just look, take it in, and accept it.

And remind myself that acceptance is not approval.

Fuck no

I fucking hella disapprove of the shit that went down.

I do not, I do not, I do not.

That being said, I can’t change it at all.

Although having a different perspective and hearing about some of the things in my family history definitely cast a different light on things.

So much compassion for the human experience.

And that I’m not dead.

For fucks sake.

Or in some straight jacket or in a gutter with a needle in my arm.

The noise of it all.

The machinery of the monsters that clanks down the hall to stumble upon me hiding in the shadows.

I will not have it.

I will not live underneath that banner of fright.

So.

I heal.

Soft and slow.

Gently I go.

It’s the only way.

Compassion and gentleness for myself and awareness that this does take time, perhaps my whole damn life, and that’s ok too, I shall always be seeking and that, that I do believe, is what will make my life that much fuller and richer and deeper and more experiential.

I am not numb.

Granted I am a little tired.

Granted I would like to make a phone call and say.

Come over, hold me, make it all better.

But there is no one to call that can make it all better.

All better is between me and my God.

And so far.

Well.

Things are going ok.

Really.

They are.

And when they are not, I know where to turn and I know that my feelings are fleeting, they pass, the sadness will be followed by joy or awe or discomfort or all of hundreds of other feeling states.

Feelings are not facts and they won’t kill me.

What I hope is that I can lose a little more of my rigidity and become more flexible while not losing myself or my self care.

Find me in the rooms with art.

Find me with flowers in my hair.

Find me with children stew across my lap, warm, and a sweet and wearing footie pajamas and listening to me read stories.

Find me with love in my heart.

Find me with my heart on my sleeve.

Find me loving, lovable and worthy of love.

Yes.

Love.

Find me there.

In that field of fallen stars, like fireflies in the grass, at the dusk of this purpled twilight of pain and gray sadness a silent reprieve of pearl light and luminous joy, a flower blooming, a remonstrance of family and a flying laugh, a wallop of joy, a holler of thunder in this church of pain.

The doors flung open.

My heart to big to be contained.

Or.

Restrained.

No more.

My.

Love.

Restrain me no more.

I GOT THE JOB!

October 6, 2016

And like that.

It’s done.

Well.

It’s not 100% done, nothing is quite so tidy and wrapped up and dropped off at the door with absolutely no strings attached.

But.

I got the job!

I had the second interview tonight, after working a full day with the family up in Noe Valley, and I was basically offered the job.

Health insurance stipend.

PTO–paid time off.

Full time hours, except the Fridays I’m in my grad school program.

The family is fine with my Paris dates.

They will be drawing up a contract and confidentiality statement to cover all bases and yup, I’ll be over the table again.

As nice as it is to get cash here and there under the table, I’m a lot more comfortable having the taxes taken out and dealt with.

They will probably use the same system that my current employers do, I don’t have to be involved other than to give them my bank account info.

They did ask that the first two weeks are an open audition.

Which is no big shakes, my current family said the same thing then six months later were like, oh yeah, you work for us.

Heh.

Actually I don’t remember if we had a conversation at the end of the two week trial period, it was on.

They also want me to possibly squeeze in a day or two before I start.

I was like, that might be hard, but maybe.

I did feel a little overwhelmed at that point.

It’s a lot.

Work, working two different families, navigating a new job with a third family, all the interviewing and referrals and all of it.

I was tuckered out and zonked and I think the mom sensed it as she back pedaled a little bit to say of course, whatever you can do and you’d be compensated, etc.

I just had a looming picture of the next few months navigating all the places, and families and um, hello, full-time grad school.

It made my head spin.

And.

Right then and there, I knew I just had to do the next action in front of me, get my coat, confirm that I had the job, and let my new boss now I’m excited to get to work with them.

Three kids.

Six year old boy.

Four year old girl.

And.

Baby on the way.

I’m actually feeling really grateful for my little brood up in Noe Valley right now, as they are a group of three as well, I’m getting practice.

I am also really over the moon that a lot of my work with the family will be open to adventures, dropping off and picking up the kids from school, going to museums, The Academy of Sciences, parks.

I haven’t had that kind of autonomy with my current family.

There will be parents around, but not as much.

Dad works in Cupertino and mom has her own small business and has an office in the Mission.

Some days they may both be home, especially in the early months of the new baby.

But most days, I’ll be more free to come and go.

I’m so excited for that.

I have missed solo adventures with my charges.

It’s been a crazy full week and it’s just Wednesday.

I almost felt like canceling my pre-work appointments for the next two days, but I’m going to pony up and go.

I have an appointment to re-up my Healthy San Francisco coverage tomorrow before work.

I may get turned down and I have been tempted to not go because I think that I’m going to get turned down, but I need to show up and see what my options are.

And being an adult, I called today and made an appointment, expecting that I wouldn’t be able to get in until next week, but hey, no, they had an 11:30 a.m. available tomorrow.

Ok then.

Seems I need to deal with this.

And if I don’t get it, there will be other options, I’m sure.

Then Friday I have my appointment with my advisor that I had to reschedule due to last week’s phone snafu.

And you know work both those days.

And homework and whew.

I did actually get some homework done today at work, the baby napped and I was able to sit down and re-map my genogram for my Family Therapy class.

It was actually a lot of fun and I can see how it’s a great tool for family therapy.

I will probably use it in my practice.

I did a tiny bit of reading, I mean tiny, but I opened a book and did some.

And really, I can’t beat myself up.

I wrote this morning, I showered and breakfasted and did my daily routine, I worked a full day, I did homework, I went and did a second interview for a new job.

It was a day.

I am so not beating myself up for not having done more.

I did enough.

I would have liked to have gotten to see my people tonight, I had planned on at least showing up, even if it was late, but the interview went long–which, duh is obviously a good thing.

But.

I’ll see my peeps tomorrow and I’m going to be happy for it.

Happy too, once this all sinks in that I’m off the market.

I don’t have to look for work.

Work came looking for me.

I mean, I still had to show up for the process, but it’s almost complete.

Tomorrow I will get to tell my current family and be grateful for everything they have done for me.

I mean.

The mom referred me to this new situation.

I am thankful.

Grateful as fuck.

Seriously.

And it will be nice to give them a big fat notice so that we can navigate the saying of goodbyes.

It’s never easy, but it helps to give the kids a big amount of time to get used to the idea.

I don’t think it will be good-bye forever though, the families go to the same private school, they have play dates together, the moms know each other, there will be overlapping.

It’s a good solution.

I am a lucky lady.

Tired.

But very lucky.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Got a new job.

Yes.

Yes.

She did.


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