Posts Tagged ‘grieving’

The Opacity of Love

March 12, 2019

I really should be doing homework.

Really.

But I am not.

I’m just going to sit and type and see what comes up and let it out and let myself take a moment to just process and just keep being sad.

“You’re really sad,” my friend said to me tonight about my break up.

Fifteen days now, but who’s counting?

I am sad.

It seems surreal that it is over and done and there’s been no contact, although there’s been thoughts, let me tell you.

I haven’t though and I won’t.

I keep telling myself if and when I’m supposed to see him is not up to me, it’s up to God.

I had a thought today.

What if I never see him again?

Ever.

I just about lost it.

There was a small murder of crows in the sky over the valley today as I looked out from high in Glen Park at work eating my salad at lunch, and I felt as though there were throwing my heart around out there.

I have taken down all the pictures and deleted all the texts in my phone as well as the phone history.

Man.

We talked a lot.

His number, his name, his face, all through my things.

All through my heart.

In my soul.

In my body.

I went to a workshop over the weekend, just another thing to keep me endlessly busy so that I get through this patch.

I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but I’m socked in with the busy to help it pass.

Though I still cry at night when I got to bed.

The slip of golden moon through my back window the other night had me utterly in tears.

I suppose at sometime the tears will stop and I will move forward with some modicum of grace and hopefully with serenity and ease.

I’m not sloppy.

I’m not always losing it.

Only once really badly in the car.

I am not even sure what night that was, maybe Saturday night?

I don’t know.

It was bad and I should have pulled over, but I pulled it together enough to get home.

I felt like if I stopped I’d just be on the side of the road sobbing for hours.

An exaggeration I suppose, but it hurts.

It really does.

Physically too.

My reflux is back with a vengeance.

I remember when my ex told me he thought he might be the reason for my reflux and I waved it off.

Now.

Well, let’s just say that it’s not only plausible I totally believe it.

I suppressed a lot of things to be in the relationship.

I figured he was worth it.

True love was worth it.

In some ways I think it still was and I have no regrets.

But you know, my body was screaming at me that it wasn’t working and I just pushed it aside for a long time.

I’m hoping once the grieving passes the reflux will too and I’ll go back to my normal self.

I also know that reflux is caused by stress.

My food as been really good and I have been under stress.

I’ve been heartbroken, seeing clients, holding space for others, nannying, and doing my PhD coursework.

I’m stressed.

So.

Blogging tonight.

Because that helps

Even if it hurts, whenever I write about it, it hurts, but I figure the more I write the more hurt gets out and the easier it will be to bear until one day I won’t notice it anymore and there is no more to bear.

I’m doing the best I can.

“You have so much love to give,” my friend assured me and that I was sensitive.

I am.

Things hit me hard.

Music moves me.

Love.

Magic.

Living.

I am alive.

I keep reminding myself of that.

I don’t want to hurt myself or use or act out.

I’m not calling up old lovers letting them know I’m on the market.

That just sounds awful right now.

I cannot imagine being with anyone else right now.

But I am not going to stop loving and I’m going to put my sensitive, vulnerable, tender heart back out there.

If anything I have learned that I am lovable and worthy of love in the deepest truest sense of the world.

To have experienced what I did, the passion, the love, the validation and how he saw me, I have that experience to grow from and to cultivate more love with.

I keep writing I forgive myself.

I forgive him.

I love myself.

I love him, I let him go, it wasn’t working, I had to get out, and it still hurts and the fire is extreme and I want to cut off all my hair.

I even talked to my hairdresser about it.

“You can come in and try on short-haired wigs and think about it,” she said, sweet as pie.

I might.

I might not.

I focus on something else.

(I have a lot of hair and it’s nice so if I’m going to cut it off I’m going to make sure it’s the right thing to do)

I think about the tattoo I want.

There’s two that have been haunting my thoughts.

One a tiger dragon graffiti that I took a picture of one night when he and I were walking around China Town headed to a late night dinner.

The other from a card I gave him.

I bought it on my birthday at a little bookshop close to Zuni where I met friends for dinner.

It was a picture of a little girl tugging on the moon and trying to pull it towards her with a rope.

That was us.

Me, the little girl, crying for the moon I could never have.

I could never really have you baby and I have to forgive myself for hoping that one day that wouldn’t be true.

But it never was.

I’m still just a little girl wishing for something she cannot have.

A fairytale.

A fantasy

My sweet fantasy man.

I miss you so much.

So very much.

The moon will wax.

It will wane.

And one day.

Perhaps.

I won’t think of you when I see it.

Perhaps.

 

 

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Today

August 14, 2018

I was tired.

No bones about it.

It was a long day.

I woke up wishing the alarm had not gone off, which is unusual when I have gotten enough sleep.

Logically I had.

I had gotten eight hours.

But my brain did not want to get up, did not want to get out of bed, the grey foggy morning was not at all enticing.

I think I’ve just become exhausted with the emotional overwhelm and the finality of the ending of my relationship, the beginning of the new internship, and yes.

School.

Ugh.

School stars in 17 days.

Yesterday I started reading.

I have two books that have landed in my post box and two electronic books.

I haven’t even opened the electronic books, I hate e-books, I don’t have a reader, I’d have to read from my laptop or from my phone.

I like taking notes, I like underling things, I like carrying the book around so that I may read it when I have spare moments.

I did not have many spare moments today.

I thought I might, but both monkeys were home from camp and the baby and mom had her Monday morning meeting and I went from 0 to 60 the minute I walked through the door.

Which was fine.

I mean.

I was a touch disappointed that I couldn’t do any reading, but hey, it’s work, I’m lucky if I get down time and it does happen.

I just have to remind myself to keep bringing the books with me, the paperwork, the other things that I need to do so that when the down time does land I’m not there holding nothing but my Iphone and my Instagram feed.

The reading I did do was a scant fifteen minutes before my first client showed up.

It was my first client who said no definitively to going to the new internship with me.

I was not expecting the client to do so and or the following client who also demurred.

I am just really grateful for the time I have had working with them and to acknowledge that they will be missed.

So I have three clients who will go with, one on the fence, who I will see tomorrow, and another who is MIA.

I already know that client will also not be joining me at the new practice.

Private practice means higher prices, not all my clients can afford higher prices.

Jesus.

Speaking of.

I just remembered I had two emails, no three, that I needed to respond to from my new internship.

I was too busy juggling monkeys today to attend to them.

Plus.

When I got home I had two emails to deal with regarding my current internship.

Whew.

But they all have been addressed, I have tracked my hours for today’s clients, logged into my own Google calendar, updated things, and feel ready for the next tiny action.

I keep reminding myself that they are just going to be whatever next small action in front of me I can do.

There are a lot of balls in the air right now but I can move forward slowly if I just put focus on one thing at a time.

I mean.

I haven’t yet got my syllabi for the program, despite having been told they would be available in July (bwahahaha, I know this university and didn’t actually expect that to happen), so the reading I’m doing is pretty proactive and I can put it aside if I need to.

I do expect that in the next couple of days I will get the notification that I have syllabi up.

As for my current internship, I’m doing all the things, seeing clients, and having now alerted all my clients to the transition I can take the next steps forward to closing down our therapy treatments and transferring the clients who are staying with Liberation Institution.

I just responded to the new internship with the dates of availability I have for the next round of orientation.

2.5 hours.

Total of five hours of just orientation.

But you know, I felt so dropped with the training at my current internship, I am very happy to be getting this support from the new place.

Especially as I will be embarking on a very new endeavor and getting paid for the work I do.

I am very happy to think about that.

I also am very happy to think about staying with them for a while.

They have a bridge program that allows a licenced MFT to stay with them should I so choose, which would allow me to offset my student loan debt.

The internship is a non-profit.

Unless, fingers fucking crossed, the current administration dismantles it, there is student loan forgiveness if you work with a nonprofit for ten years.

I had flirted with the idea of staying with Liberation but knew that I couldn’t do it ten years without getting some sort of recompense.

It would mean a lot of extra side work.

But Grateful Heart will be a place I can work and get paid and I will be able to build my practice and I could be making double to triple what I make now as a nanny within a year to a year and a half.

And more once I licenced.

And more once I have my PhD.

I could still be working under the non-profit and supporting them by taking low-income clients, but also support myself and get my student loans paid off.

I’m going to have about 125-150,000 in loans once this is all said and done.

Maybe not quite that much, but I did the calculations for 150,000 to just give myself an idea of what that would look like if I stayed with Grateful Heart and I think, so far, that it’s well worth it.

Of course.

This is all speculation.

And this lady is tired.

But I do feel better for having one step at a time gotten through the day and realized that there is only so much I can do.

And.

Only so much I have to do.

Which are all things.

I get to do.

In The Quiet

August 13, 2018

In between the sound of the ocean coming through the back door of the studio, the sonorous bellow of the fog horn and the running trains along Judah Street, I fell into the grief.

I knew I would.

I knew it would happen when there was down time, low time, time to allow the feelings to move and pass.

I was reminded tonight, as I sobbed with my head on the table at a cafe in the Castro, that the grief would come and it would go and I was not going to always know what would trigger it to happen.

I mean.

Some of it was obvious, that Stevie Wonder song playing in the grocery store with the refrain, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” crooning out of the speakers.

Great.

Tearing up as I get my bulk oatmeal and brown rice.

The sappy love songs at Firewood Cafe tonight, I don’t even know who they were by, I didn’t recognize the singers, I don’t listen to much contemporary pop music, they were just cheesy love songs, but they left a tender spot on my heart.

Some things were less obvious.

The Mason jars.

They were a surprise.

The grief overwhelmed me when I was putting away dishes from my dish rack this afternoon.

Mason jars.

I don’t have vases, so I use wide mouth Mason jars as vases for flowers.

I threw away the flowers he gave me last week.

He gave me flowers on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

My room was a bower.

They were beautiful.

I thought about pressing some of them, but it felt too sappy and mopey and when they started to wilt I decided it would be better to compost them.

I tossed out one of the bouquets that was fading faster than the other and contemplated letting the other stay in residence in my kitchen for another day.

After all the trash and compost don’t go out until Monday evening, I could keep them around for another day.

But there was something about not wanting to see them wilt further and needing to let them go.

So I threw them out too.

Pretty flowers in the compost bin.

And yes.

I did feel a ping of sadness when I closed the lid to the bin, but it wasn’t so bad and I was happy to keep on with my day.

A day that was a lot of chores and cooking, laundry, and tidying up.

A day with a lot of writing as well.

I wrote a tome this morning.

Then I wrote to him.

I have a journal that I bought and I have been writing him love letters in.

It helps to let him know how I feel even if they are not being read by him.

Writing helps me process.

And it help me find the grief, locate it, and allow a little more out.

So I was completely taken aback when I fell to pieces putting away the Mason jars.

I took the first one and something popped in my chest.

I realized that I was never going to be putting flowers from him in the jar again.

I literally burst into tears and started sobbing.

Retelling the incident to my person is what led me to having my head down on the table at the cafe tonight.

“You don’t know that,” he said to me.

He was right.

I don’t know that.

I hope so much that one day he will give me flowers again.

Then my person made a nod to my wrist.

“Did you give that to yourself, or….”he paused.

I panicked.

“NO, it’s from him, I can’t take it off, I don’t want to take it off, 3/4s of my jewelry is from him,” I said tearing up again and shaking my head.

It’s a beautiful silver infinity bracelet from Tiffany’s that he gave me for graduating with my Master’s Degree.

The infinity symbol was meant for us, that we, our love is infinite and never-ending.

It hadn’t even crossed my mind to not wear it.

I have worn it every day since he gave it to me.

What would it be like to not wear it?

Heartbreaking.

Just stomp on my crushed heart a little more why don’t you?

I love the jewelry he has given me.

He knows my heart well and has given me such precious things.

And yes.

He is the first man to ever give me anything from Tiffany’s.

I have a few blue boxes in my cupboard tucked inside sweet little blue bags, with thick white ribbons wrapping them all up.

I don’t want to think about giving those up or putting away my jewelry.

Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

Just, well, just not tonight.

I was able to let go of some things that don’t need to be in my house though.

Sugar and flour.

I have baked him a birthday cake and I have baked him cookies and made him nice pasta, imported from Italy, and cooked him lovely things.

I love to cook for someone I love.

He was the best person ever to cook for.

Ever.

But I don’t eat pasta and I don’t eat sugar or flour and I don’t foresee baking for a while.

Plus, I reasoned, I’m moving, best to clean out some of the cupboards.

So I put that in the compost too.

Maybe I should compost my heart.

Perhaps some flowers will grow from it.

I will water them with my tears.

Cut them when they bloom.

Put them in a Mason jar.

And.

There I will keep them very well.

 

The Jumping Off Place

August 1, 2018

I was talking to my therapist about all the things today.

All the things.

My God.

So much to cover.

It’s been a busy few weeks since last I saw her.

The buyout happening.

Looking for a new place to live.

My upcoming interview with another private practice internship.

Relationship stuff unfolding.

Going back to work.

My PhD program starting in less than a month.

Paris.

France.

My relationship with Paris and France and how I have always looked for something there, something intangible, but with a similar feel for what I have looked for when I have gone to Burning Man.

That I’m not going to Burning Man this year.

And.

That I don’t feel at all bad about that, it feels right.

There is so much transition happening.

I am grieving the loss of my home.

I love my little home and it’s unfathomable to me where I am going to land next and things will be very different wherever that is.

The packing up and putting away of the life I created in this space will be hard.

Saying goodbye to it will be hard.

Thinking about it is hard.

You and I together, together in this room.

I have so many memories of this space with your face all over it.

Your body there, in that corner, on my bed, sitting, sleeping, everywhere I look, there you are.

And you are no longer here.

Removed.

Away.

Gone.

And like the feel of you in my bones, you are here in these walls, on these walls, the photos of us together, that will get packed up in a box and put away.

They won’t go up on the new walls of the new home and when I think about that.

Well.

I am sad.

I thought of it this morning and I cried.

Good thing I was on my way to therapy.

Ah.

Love.

How I shall miss you.

I miss you already.

And there is something terrifying and exciting about this next part of the journey as well.

I feel like I am at the pinnacle of a mountain about to leap off.

But instead of falling.

I see myself flying.

I just don’t know where I am going to land.

I do know.

It will be where God wants me to be and I do know that I won’t be dropped.

I will soar.

I will sail.

It doesn’t mean that I am not afraid, I am afraid.

I don’t know what to do without you.

I have believed, shit, I still believe, that we are meant to walk through this world together, hand in hand, side by side.

The ease I have with you.

The attachment I have for you.

How will I be without you?

I keep listening to this album by Herbert.

British electronic pop house music.

I got turned on to Herbert by a clerk at a record shop in Noe Valley back in 2007?

I was enthralled and for whatever reason, the music has seemed so apropos to what I am going through.

Tears fall down my face when I least expect.

Staring out the window at work looking at the avocado tree and thinking of you and all the other times I have sat and watch the wind ruffle through those leaves.

When I used to be so antsy with anticipation to leave work because I knew I was coming home to see you.

The feel of you on my skin, in my bones, against the line of my neck, the touch of breeze on my skin a whisper of where your mouth would soon be.

Gone.

But not the memories of  you.

I fear that those memories will fade when I move.

I won’t see the shadow of the bamboo blinds on the back door slatted with sunlight splayed on my bed, just that one spot when I rode astride you, my hair full of sunlight, your face golden, and your eyes, the pool of them that I fell into without having any idea of the ocean of love I had dived into.

How will I be when I can’t hold those memories of you within these small four walls?

Different.

I know.

I maybe, well, I don’t know yet, but I know it will be different.

Perhaps I won’t cry as much.

I can see you everywhere in this studio.

There is not a place your presence hasn’t touched.

You are everywhere.

Sometimes it is unbearable and sometimes it is sweet, although, truth–it was never bitter and I suspect it never will be.

I have no regrets my love.

I have none.

Nary a single thing I would have done differently.

It all carried me here.

You and I together, together in this room.

And I am at the top of the mountain and I cannot see through the fog and mist to the valley below.

I cannot tell where I will land.

Where I will go.

Only that go I must.

Only that.

I must leap.

I must leap.

I must.

I shall kiss the sky.

I shall pinion upward.

I shall.

But before I go.

I will take these last few sweet moments to hold you dear.

Darling.

Love of mine.

To hold you momentarily just a bit longer in this room.

Which really.

Is just another reflection of the room in my heart.

That room where you will never exit.

I promise.

Even when I cease to live here.

You will always live in me.

Wildly Annoyed

January 26, 2018

They fucking misspelled my motherfucking name.

Ugh.

I mean.

I was nice, really, really, really nice about asking them to change it to the correct spelling when I noticed it was misspelled on the sheet before the performance.

I just posted the YouTube video of the lecture that I gave back in December for People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.

I didn’t even realize my name was misspelled.

I probably would have not posted.

I’m tempted to pull the post now.

I get really ruffled when my last name is misspelled, especially when I make the effort to tell people the correct spelling.

I’ll get over it, I will, it doesn’t fucking matter in the grand scheme of things.

Just something to distract me from life at the moment.

A little distraction is not a bad thing.

Here.

In fact, just to show I don’t really give a fuck, here’s the link.

I also hate the fact that they filmed the damn thing from underneath the stage, hello there’s a nice double chin.

Ugh.

Anyway.

Vanity.

It will get me every time.

I haven’t watched more than a few seconds of it, I actually don’t want to watch it, I don’t need to be critical of myself.

Because you can be damn sure I went there.

Why did I wear that dress?

Holy shit I look fat.

What’s going on with my hair?

I should have worn this, that or the other.

NOBODY cares.

So in lieu of torturing myself I’ll just leave it here and should you like to look, feel free.

In the end, I’m grateful that I got to have the experience and I really had such lovely and amazingly positive feedback from the people in the audience that came I don’t really care how the video looks.

In fact.

I would have been fine not seeing it at all, but I did have a lot of requests via social media to post the video up when it was ready, so I honored that request and put it up.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A small distraction from my current state of affairs.

I had a long day, another early day into work, another day with one of my charges home sick, another day of being sad.

But not as sad.

It’s shifted a little.

It comes and goes.

It screams in and out and then meanders off into the other room for a minute and then comes back and surprises me.

I have changed up my listening habits regarding my music for the moment still and I have made myself listen to upbeat dance music in the car.

Driving and crying while listening to certain music is just a fucking danger to myself and society.

I’ve not cried as much today, although cry I did.

I had a phone call with my person this morning and laid out all the ugly emotions the hurting and the sadness and the not wanting to do this any more and how to keep marshaling on and doing the next thing in front of me.

I talked with a girlfriend in the afternoon and sobbed for a while, but I gave myself a very short leash, I had to do school pick up for my oldest charge, he’d requested a date with me to Maxfield’s and so I had to buck up for him and it was good, he’s such a sweet, tender boy, he’s got a birthday coming up and he’s made some dinner requests for his birthday dinner which is adorable.

I love that he loves my cooking.

He’ll be eight in a few weeks.

He’s having a weekend birthday party with his friends but asked his parents that I get to be a part of his special day too so there’s a small family dinner that I will be making for them and it tickles me that he really wanted me there for his birthday dinner.

I love the family I work for, they keep me busy, but that’s helpful too.

I’m very grateful for the joy of working for them.

Although, truth be told, I haven’t been my best at work this week, sometimes it just feels like I’m marking time until the end of day, until I can get back in my car and not have to pretend to feel sunny and upbeat.

I got teary at work, but didn’t actually cry in the house, which was the first time that happened this week.

I also made damn sure that I was in control of the music today that was playing.

The music yesterday just killed me.

Too many sad love songs.

Just too fucking many.

Of course.

Everything reminds me of what I am going through, the sky, the clouds, the avocado tree in the back yard.

Fucking wrote poetry about that avocado tree.

I’ve been super vague about all this heart ache and heart-break and loss and sadness and I apologize.

To a point.

Somethings are just so precious to me that I have not wanted to share them with you, I know, I know, you think I am a tell all, and I have told some super juicy things here in this blog space, but I just haven’t shared about this.

It’s too private.

Too tender

Too much.

Aw.

Fuck.

God damn it.

Hello tears.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I thought I had this.

I mean.

I thought, start the blog with something that piques your ire, misspelling my last name will do that, and you’ll be fine.

You won’t talk about wanting to cut your hair off or how you feel ripped apart inside.

“Don’t cut your hair off!” He said to me tonight, “I’m a hairdresser, you have such beautiful hair, don’t do it!”

He wasn’t the only person to approach me tonight and say that.

I won’t, it’s just a manner of expressing how much grief I am in.

How much loss I am feeling.

A hair geographic would just distract me from feeling the pain.

So no.

I won’t be cutting the hair off.

Although.

Yes.

I will be getting a tattoo.

So that will help mitigate the pain, just like the pain in my tooth, a distraction from the emotional pain.

My tummy hurts so bad, my body aches, but hey, at least I’m not dehydrated anymore.

I’ve really made sure to drink a lot of water the last few days.

Anyway.

I’m not dead yet.

And what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.

Right?

Jesus fuck.

I thought I was strong before.

I’m going to be indestructable at this rate.

Sigh.

And Then There Was This

January 24, 2018

January 22, 2018

To:

I am writing to strongly recommend Carmen Martines for your doctoral program. I work with Carmen at the _________________ in San Francisco where I serve as the Director and one of the Clinical Supervisors. Carmen is a masters level psychotherapy intern here, providing psychotherapy services in our non-profit community mental health center.

As a counselor here, Carmen is able to help a large number of clients to grow and heal. I can not over emphasize the valuable and unique set of experiences, drive, compassion, and intelligence that Carmen brought to her work here and is capable of offering to the world.

Carmen has overcome tremendous obstacles in order to now be in a position to increase her knowledge and skills. She has an innate drive and professionalism that I believe will be a good match for your program.

I myself am a graduate of _________, where I received a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology. I understand well the intellectual, academic, and practical aspects of the work involved and feel that Carmen has all the skills, natural abilities, and resources to excel as a doctoral student.

In short, the current and future potential of Carmen to be a gifted force in the community is undeniable. Her education in your program and subsequent contributions will surely increase that potential. Please consider her to be an exceptionally strong candidate.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

That is from my supervisor at my internship.

I found it in my file tonight in office.

I was thrilled to say the least.

I was expecting a good letter of recommendation, but this letter really hit my heart and made me realize, I am really going to do this.

REALLY.

It still fills a little strange and as I was sharing with a friend today whilst scurrying from one place to another, I already feel behind for this semester, that I am going to apply to a PhD program.

But.

Yes.

Indeed I am.

It was a nice letter to get.

It was affirming and it was just another soft layer of nice on top of a day that has been surprisingly less painful than the past week has been.

I have been in such excruciating emotional pain that I cannot even believe I made it through the week, then to add the getting a crown shoved in my mouth to the whole deal and navigating my way through my first weekend back in class, well, fuck, it’s been a tough week.

Let me also add I haven’t had a day off in I forget now how many days, but ten?

And I’m on track to work overtime this week at work.

I got a message from the mom asking me to come in early tomorrow, one of my charges is sick.

Sigh.

I said sure.

I could use the money frankly.

The unexpected out lay of $1300 for the dental procedure rather stripped me down on my reserve.

Plus.

I am getting a tattoo on Saturday.

Two pieces actually, and I’m not sure how much that’s going to be, although I have a ballpark feel for it.

So sure, I’ll come in two hours early tomorrow.

Sigh.

I feel like I can do it though as I actually got some sleep last night.

It was the first night in a week, longer? That I didn’t fall asleep crying.

There’s been a lot of nights falling asleep crying, but this last week it wasn’t just slippery tears and sadness, it was all out weeping and consternation so deep it felt like I was being torn in two.

Emotionally shredded.

I haven’t been able to write my blog for a few days, there was so much emotionally happening for me, I can’t even begin to know how I got through the week.

But it started to ease last night.

Thank you God.

I got some sleep.

I didn’t wake up crying.

Oh yeah, crying, like that’s what it was.

It was more like.

Falling on the floor and sobbing.

I went to bed weeping every night and by the time I hit my knees to do my morning prayers I was crying again.

Now.

I won’t lie.

I had therapy today, so there was crying there too, but not the deep gut wrenching, heart-sick, soul rending crying that I had been doing all week.

It was more of a processing cry.

The session went by fast.

I had so much happen this past week it still rather astounds me.

I grew a lot.

Inevitable that, when I go through a lot of pain I either grow or I wither.

I was forced, it felt, in a way, to grow and grow in ways I never even imagined I could or would.

But fuck me.

I certainly did.

I suspect the growth is still going to happen, I don’t know how it can’t, but I feel that I am through some of the hardest parts of it.

I sincerely fucking hope so.

That kind of pain is just not sustainable.

I don’t know that I could have taken much more of it.

I ran into an acquaintance tonight who remarked on how different I looked, saying how obvious it was the amount of pain I was in on Saturday.

Of course, he thought it was all about the tooth pain, and truth be told when I saw him at the spot, it was painful.

 

 

 

 

 

And oh.

There.

Look.

Pain.

Again.

And again and again and again.

Hey, surprise.

You don’t get off the hook that easy.

Thought you were going to make it through the day didn’t you?

Fuck.

I’m just going to go now.

I’ve lost all ability to string a cogent sentence together.

I’ve been crying for the last hour.

I don’t know why I even bothered to try to write.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

May god bless you and keep you and hold you tight, warm and safe and secure in the knowledge of all the love I have for you.

I can’t express all the love there is for you.

I can only go and cry my heart out some more over you.

Cry and cry and cry.

And.

Fucking cry.

 

           

 

It’s Not Time

July 16, 2017

To write this blog yet.

But.

Well.

It wants to be written.

Even though I opened up my WordPress site and sat and stared at the blank screen and thought, I don’t have a thing to write about.

Denial.

I should fold my laundry and put it away.

I will wash my dinner dishes.

So instead of starting to write I got up and put my laundry away and I did the dishes.

I even pre-emptively filled the kettle for a cup of tea after I finish writing.

I know, hot tea, sounds excruciating to think about in July, but it’s July in San Francisco, I’m in bunny slippers and thought for a minute about turning on the heat.

It’s chilly here in July, unlike anywhere else.

Although there was some warmth in the city today after the fog lifted and I got out of the Outer Sunset, I even put on a little sunblock just in case.

Anyway.

I digress.

It was when I was filling my kettle that I realized that I was avoiding the elephant in the room.

Or the plum, as the case may be.

I bought a plum today.

A beautiful, gorgeous, fat black plum.

I’m not a big fan of plums.

I mean, they’re nice and all, but I wouldn’t typically choose to buy a plum, not really my thing.

A persimmon?

Get the fuck out of my way, I’m buying them all.

But a plum?

Nope.

But.

Ugh.

I usually buy one around this time of year.

And it’s not because it’s stone fruit time.

I want stone fruit I eat cherries.

I love cherries.

Or.

Yellow nectarines.

So good.

Not the white ones, only the yellow, and not peaches.

I know, what kind of monster am I?

I don’t like the texture of skin on a peach and the fruit is typically too soft for me, I know friends who would kill for a perfect peach.

Me?

Not so much.

But.

There I was at Gus’s Community Market on Harrison and 17th in front of the plums and I saw it and just reached for it.

My heart in my throat.

Tears prickling my eyes.

I picked out the biggest, prettiest plum in the pile.

I thought about him.

I wrote a story about it once upon a time, a children’s story, about sharing.

I called it “Shadrach and The Plum.”

It was about a little boy and how he shared his most precious treat, a big juicy sweet plum (insert some ee cummings here and an icebox please) with a little girl at school who had forgotten her lunch.

He sat down next to her with his brown paper bag and saw that she had nothing in front of her, her parents had sent her to school with no lunch, he thought to himself as he took the food out of his paper sack, “I’ll share my lunch but not the plum, plums are my favorite, she’s can’t have my plum.”

He asked her, “do you want some of my lunch?”

She nodded eagerly and pointed to what she wanted, “I want the plum.”

He didn’t say a word, he just handed it to her and ate his peanut butter sandwich and drank his milk.

I heard about her later when I read the story I had written to his family.

In hindsight I don’t know if it was the best idea, they were still grieving, it was their first Christmas without him and here I was some girl from San Francisco wearing flowers in her hair and her heart on her sleeve reading a story about lessons we learn from our friends.

Because.

Well.

Shadrach was like that.

He would give you what you needed without question.

I might get teased about it later, I might be razzed, but he always saw me so much clearer than I saw myself.

His death anniversary is coming up.

Sigh.

Ten years now.

And sometimes it still feels like I’m in that ICU at General holding his hand, or in my room on in that crazy old Victorian on Capp and 23rd, sobbing my heart out into a pillow as I prayed and prayed and prayed to God.

I knew better than to ask God to save Shadrach, I pretty much knew he was gone, I never said boo about it, I never tried to change anyone’s mind about their hopes and I certainly did not express any of my doubts about him waking up from the coma to his family, I just kept showing up and asking them what they needed, put I kept asking God to help me through it and the only way I knew how was to not focus on myself.

How can I be of service?

I was brought up that way, in my recovery community.

“How do I do this?”  I called a friend who had just lost a mentor, a man who had 43 years of recovery and who I also knew quite well, the past week.

“You show up and help his family and you ask ‘how may I be of service?’ and you help them that way, and that’s how you get through.  And through you will get.”

He told me how brave I was and how much he loved me and that I could hang in there.

I did.

And I do.

I still hang in there.

I still show up.

I saw that damn plum and almost cried, but as a reminder that I get to live today I bought it.

I did what I needed to do today and I went where I was supposed to go and when I saw someone in my community who was losing it over the recent loss of our young mutual friend tonight, well, I held her hand and I didn’t let her run out of the room.

I just held her and hugged her and hugged her more until she got all the sobs out.

“You don’t do this alone,” I told her, “don’t run out.”

“I can’t handle all this death, it’s too much,” she said and tried to break away again.

I hugged her some more and then I told her some stories.

I told her about losing my best friend to a scooter accident, my best friend who was sober, who was committed, who was about to run the SF Marathon.

The same marathon that is about to be run here on the 23rd of this month.

The signs just went up by the park and I thought of Shadrach, I thought of how beautiful he was when he was running and how strong and graceful.

I thought of the last thing that I said to him, the best gift the moment, that moment when you realize you have to say something or regret it for the rest of your life.

Although, of course, how could I know?

“Shadrach, I just have to tell you, if I never see you again you have to know how beautiful you are right now, you are just glowing,” I touched his arm.

He raised an eyebrow at me and was about to say something witty and cryptic and instead he smiled at me and hugged me to him.

That was the last thing I said to him.

Well.

It was the last thing that I said to him when he was still coherent and not brain-dead in a hospital bed for a week before his family pulled the plug.

I shared my story.

And.

I told her about another woman we both know and how she lost her best friend on the day of his one year sobriety birthday, how he was hit by a bus coming home from his anniversary party.

I mean.

Fuck.

I told her she didn’t have to do it alone and that she was strong enough to shoulder it and that she was lucky, lucky that she got to feel the depth of love she felt for this person who just died a few days ago, that she could be grateful for the time she got to know him.

I hugged her again.

I’m a hugger.

And.

Told her to call me and lean in.

It’s not easy grieving and sometimes I felt like the sadness of Shadrach’s passing would never leave me, but it did.

Well.

That’s also not true, but it lessened, or I got used to it I suppose.

Although seeing that big purple plum sitting on top of a Mason jar on my kitchen counter brought it all home.

I still miss my friend.

He taught me so much.

Not just how to love.

But.

More importantly, that I was lovable and worthy of love.

A lesson that took many years to sink in.

But in it did.

So.

Tonight.

I will raise my plum to my lips and taste the sweetness and let my fingers be sticky with gratitude and love and memory and honor my friend and all the gifts he gave me, so many years ago now.

All the love he planted in my heart that has grown and flourished and bloomed.

All the things.

All the love.

And.

Always.

The best.

The sweetest, coldest, juiciest plums for you.

Always.

 

 

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Get Used To It

October 4, 2015

Yeah.

I know.

Get used to the busy.

Get used to the overwhelmed.

Get used to it, kid.

You’re in graduate school.

And.

You have seven hours of T-Group tomorrow.

Ugh.

But.

Yippee!

I mean.

REALLY?

T-group is great, it’s just a lot of work, constant emotional work, I am working, let me tell you.

Working.

And hella grateful that this morning I reminded myself to not wear eyeliner and to make sure I was wearing waterproof mascara.

Done and done.

Because, this lady cried a lot today–T-Group brings it out.

The tears.

They flowed.

And.

The catharsis happened and I got insight and I felt better.

Had the catharsis happened without the insight, I think I might not have felt the way I did by the end of the group, but I got a load of insight and a lot of self-awareness around how I put up walls and where I need to work on being vulnerable.

And also how to process emotions that clients are going to bring up in me that are not pertinent to the client experience.

In other words, I am learning to deal with conflict in a calm manner.

I still am emotional and I cry easily, but I am coming to terms with that and also seeing that I consistently show up for the work and I do a lot of it.

I carry my weight in the group.

Perhaps a little more.

But then I am a greedy girl, I want to get every last drop out of it, I want to wring out the learning, I am paying an arm and a leg, yes I am, for the experience–I want to get every dollar out of it that I can, I am after all borrowing a lot of money to be there.

In that spirit I am grateful too for my Psychodynamic course and how the professor is teaching it and how she wants us to learn.

I was expressing to a fellow in my cohort at lunch what it was like, the experience of learning Freudian analytics, with this professor and how she reminded me of a professor I had in undergrad who taught graduate level TS Eliot.

I learned more than I could ever have believed.

Whenever I wrote a paper or took an exam I found that I had absorbed and rearranged the material in my head in a way that was new and interesting and I did not even know it until I was challenged to react to the work and respond.

This professor is like that, I like how she teaches, she uses everything, she is dramatic and smart and amiable, and quick-witted and a character and she makes learning exciting.

I find myself answering her rhetorical questions out loud in the class and interacting with her and the lecture and having a dialogue about the material.

It’s fucking fascinating.

That doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting.

My brain could use a little break from Freud.

I mean I spent three hours tonight, 5p.m.-8p.m., going over theories on hysteria, mourning, and melancholia.

It was a lot to take on after having a really raucous start to the day with some poorly handled treatment of a touchy subject in my Human Development class and then three hours previous in an emotionally charged T-Group.

By the time I was in the Freud class I was pretty kaput.

Then.

We wrap up the case of the infamous Dora and her notorious relationship with Freud and hysteria and move into Melancholia and Mourning.

Grief and depression.

Two things I have had plenty of experience in.

And yet.

I learned more.

The learning.

It just keeps happening.

I’m not caught up on all the reading either, but I am so much further ahead with it that I am able to keep up with my classes, and in the Freud class I am entirely caught up (in fact, I got into one of the vignettes in the reader and realized that I was actually reading ahead of the assigned class work.  It was so fascinating that I contemplated continuing to read it, but realized that I needed to focus on my T-Group reading and get my butt going on the Therapeutics of Group Dynamics–say that ten times fast).

The class I am least caught up with is my Human Development class and I just don’t care.

The professor is not a bad person, but she is a poor teacher and in the over reliance upon the work assignments and regurgitation of ideas, really with little to compel me towards further learning, I am loath to spend any extra time or resources on her class.

Of course.

Her class is the one with the highest work load and amount of reading.

Five response and reaction papers, one group project, on solo final project, a reader–a gigantic reader (bigger than any of my other classes, additional videos online, extra handouts (outside of the enormous reader) and the biggest text-book I have ever carted around in my entire academic career.

It’s not that I can’t do the work or won’t do the work, it’s just that when the work is so uninspiring and there is so much material to parrot back that I feel lost in the muck of it.  Overwhelmed by the sheer volume and what feels like frankly, the most boring of my classes.

C’est la vie.

There will be classes like this.

There have always been classes like this.

I am going to show up and do the work and let go of the results and not care too much about the content, that feels the worst somehow, as a writer, to be writing so much volume but to not have an emotional or even intellectual resonance with the work.

That is the work.

That is the exhaustion.

That is the rub.

But.

I know it and though it is a slog, it is a slog I can do.

And tomorrow I won’t have to slog through her class.

I will have to work on her paper over next weekend, there is no getting around it.

I have done one response paper and my chapter outline project, the group project, for the class.

Which leaves four more papers to write and one final project–I’m going to write about using sign language with babies and toddlers and language development and emotional response to communication thereof.

Scintillating.

I promise.

Ah.

It’s been a day.

I am in school.

I had no clue it was Saturday or where the day went.

It just went.

I am grateful to keep showing up and that I feel better and more prepared for the work then I did the last weekend of classes.

Here’s to showing up one more day, amongst many, tomorrow.

And.

Getting used to it.


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