Posts Tagged ‘instincts’

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

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I’m Done!

February 1, 2016

I finished all the reading for my next weekend of classes.

One weekend ahead of time.

I am absurdly pleased.

I just closed my Ethics and Family Law textbook and shelved it along with everything else that I read this weekend.

I do have a proposal that I did not get to, but whatever.

I have all week to do it and it’s a proposal, not a formal paper.

I have had some time to think about what I want to accomplish with it and I do believe I am going to do the meditative coloring.

I also thought about doing a guided meditation, I haven’t done a lot of sitting meditation, enough to know I can comfortably sit for fifteen minutes without bother.

I remember the first time I sat for three minutes.

I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin.

I thought I might leap out of my chair or rip my own hair out.

I was that uncomfortable sitting still in my body, in my own space, with my own thoughts to occupy me.

I thought my brain might actually eat me alive.

I have come a long way baby.

I can sit for up to an hour and have done so on a few occasions.

I have had years where I did a sitting meditation, in addition to my writing meditation, but I have to be upfront about that, it wasn’t more than a ten minute sit, often times just five minutes and I did it because the person I was working with insisted I do it as a requirement to work with her.

I wasn’t opposed.

I am not now.

But.

I think the coloring is a nice way to go about it.

I tried some last night to get the hang of it and it was nice.

I actually got some freedom from the rapidity of my brain and it was nice to get lost in between the lines and let go and play with color and just enjoy doing something that didn’t require me to think.

I plan on being up front with my professor and outlining what I currently do.

I thought, briefly about with holding some aspects of my spiritual practice so that I could “implement” it back in and go from there.

Some might call this efficient.

However, it felt a little like cheating for me and I couldn’t quite square the principle of honesty behind that action.

I prefer to be honest with my professor, to even go so far as to say that I have had resentments and needed to work them out, that, already, is spiritual progress for me.

I recognized that it was with myself that lay the problem, not with my professor, he’s not doing it wrong, he’s just not doing it the way I think, or better, thought, it should be done.

Anyway.

That’s all I have to do.

Write and send a one page proposal, outlining what I am going to do to deepen my spiritual practice.

Due by this Friday.

I’ll probably ruminate on it a little bit more then type something up before work tomorrow.

Just to have it out of the way.

I don’t have to start the actual practice of it until February 12th.

Which is also when my first paper is due.

I plan on working on that next weekend.  I will probably review the readings for the class, it was dense, really dense and not well written.  If the author used “implicit” one more time in a chapter to give gravitas to what he was writing I was going to look him up and suggest some creative writing workshops for him to expand his vocabulary.

It really is a pleasant feeling, though, to have all the reading done.

I also got to see my girl friend from my cohort.

She rode her bicycle out and I was grateful to get to show her my home space and we went for coffee and toast at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and then down for a walk on the beach.

It was deliriously windy out and the beach was fairly deserted.

It was like being sandblasted.

We did not stay long, but she got a taste of the glory of the beach and vowed to come back soon, although by a better bicycle route than the one Google Maps gave her.

Oof.

Any other city it probably makes sense, but in San Francisco, negotiating the hillier parts of the city, there really is a way to get from here to there and it does not involve riding the coastline.

When she told me her route I got sympathetic leg pain just thinking about it.

I have done some similar things when I was newly on my bicycle and found out the hard way how to navigate around the hillier districts.

The SFBC (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) map is probably the best one to use for navigation, as it shows grades of streets on hills.

One block over can really make a huge difference.

Going up Polk to the Marina is a lot easier than going up Van Ness.

And probably much safer too.

I digress.

We had a great time.

No homework was really accomplished, although we did go over a couple of things on the syllabus for the next weekend and talked about the school, the program, and of course, our other classmates.

But mostly.

About ourselves.

It was sweet and I feel a strong connection and bond to her.

Partially because she really does see me and also sees me in a way, that although I don’t find flattering and sometimes I get upset with myself, I do have a vast amount of acceptance about, that being that I am in desperate need to control my environment.

“It’s a safety thing for you,” she said in her sweet, lilting, French accent, “I totally get it, and I see how often you do it, with everything in your environment.”

I have had lovers mess up the pillows on my bed to make me squirm or a friend purposely mess up a section of literature I have just set out on a table.

I have seen it, consciously, more and more as I accept myself more and more and learn, not always gracefully, to let go of the reigns and have new experiences.

I really do want them and I recognize, I must recognize, how brave I am.

I didn’t fold up, I didn’t collapse, I kept trying.

Sometimes doing things that I didn’t know better, stratagems that I learned growing up, self-defense mechanisms that worked really well at the time and then stopped, even though I continued to employ them.

I see things with a lot more clarity.

The writing daily has helped, the praying, the spiritual practices I employ.

My recovery.

Oh, all the wonderful things I get to do in the act of getting back to that place where I am allowed to be vulnerable, soft, sweet, and not in control.

Tender.

I opened the door.

I let in my friend.

I experienced intimacy.

And I got my reading done for school.

Winning.

Things That Are Taboo

May 21, 2015

Wanting to have sex with your ex boyfriend.

Or maybe, you know, just um, cuddle.

Yeah.

That.

My motives are shit right now and I know it and so I won’t be seeing my ex boyfriend any time soon.

It’s just in the air, the fog, the mist, the shiny, slippery streets–it’s so foggy out there that when I left the Sunset Youth Services a few moments ago I thought at first that it was raining.

But no.

Fog.

It’s lovely though and put me in the mood for snuggling.

I choose to snuggle with myself this evening.

Being in communication with my ex has been interesting and I have done some more work around me and how I respond and feelings and all that and why, gosh, it just turns out that I am human.

“You obviously had a strong bond,” he said to me over tea at the Church Street Cafe, “girl, you too were electric, there was chemistry there.”

“And that doesn’t necessarily go away, connection is connection, it’s when the instinct gets blown out of whack, that’s the problem.”

Yup.

So.

No calling up the ex, not inviting him over for a late night cup of tea.

If I were to see him it would best be in daylight across a table in a busy cafe.

No touching.

Ahem.

God.

I miss being touched.

I met someone tonight who I have seen around a little and we recognized one another from a different part of town.

He shook my hand and I just stood there.

Human contact.

Such a small thing and yet, so necessary.

I think about the failure to thrive orphanage video I watched in psychology class years and years and years ago, about the babies that had everything they needed, food, nutrition, a bed to sleep in, clothes, but no love.

And what happens?

They die.

I mean.

That’s serious.

I’m not there.

And I love myself enough to know that I won’t let myself get there.

But I can still get caught up in the what to wear thing and the being attractive thing and I was going to head out this evening after work and go straight to my place and do the deal in my pajamas after coming home from a long day at work and taking a smashing hot shower, but I got it in my head I would bump into the ex and boy, I better look cute.

Thanks brain.

Now I need to wash off the makeup.

But.

In reality, it helped, I like looking cute and you never know who you might run into, who might take your hand and squeeze it tight.

Of course.

I don’t remember his name, but the kind eyes were bright and the hand was strong and the arm covered in tattoos.

I like all of these things.

I like that he said he was in the neighborhood too, 48th and Kirkham.

I like that my brain also wondered, is he gay?

‘Cause I can pick ’em like that.

I like that he said, my class is done, I’ll be back here on Wednesday nights again.

Good.

So.

Something, someone to look forward to.

That’s been the other thing.

With the exception of someone from absolute left field who as it turns out, though attracted to me, though someone who has had a crush on me (!) reached out to me, he’s not available and I haven’t had anyone that I have been crushing on.

I haven’t had any zing.

Anything or anyone that makes me get all a quiver and excited.

I miss that feeling too.

That nice shiver of anticipation.

And kissing.

Oh.

I miss kissing.

I need to be kissed.

For reals.

It’s been four and a half months since the breakup.

There’s been no kissing, no sex, no snuggling, no cuddling, no nothing.

My bicycle seat’s been getting all the action.

And I look, good damn it.

In fact, I look better than when I was with my ex.

I dropped about five pounds and tightened up a bit, all the extra bicycle riding, went down a dress size, got my hair shaped up, and colored a fabulous pink, and I haven’t gotten any play.

Granted.

I could have.

That whole trying Tinder for a day was enough to let me know there are plenty of guys out there who have no interested in whether or not I can read a sentence in a book or carry a conversation, as long as I can bend over and lift my skirt.

Please.

You have to try a little harder.

I ride by Good Vibrations every day on my way back to my house, the one on Valencia at 17th, and I keep finding myself wondering if it’s just time for a new vibrator.

Sigh.

Nothing wrong with a new sex toy.

Let’s be adults here folks.

But my dildo can’t kiss the back of my neck while I play the soundtrack to Amelie and listen to the whisper of the fog horns off the coast herald the misty night swathing the neighborhood.

I wonder then if it’s time to climb back into the dating websites or if I just hold steady for a while yet.

See what happens when I’m not looking, just keep going about my day and my life and someone will notice, step forward, and say, yes, let me kiss you in the door way, press you against the orange painted gate of your house and run my hands though your wild pink hair.

I will here Yann Tiernan in my head and sigh and melt into the air and the fog will swirl my heart away out over the ocean.

I don’t want sex.

That’s the real taboo thing.

I can talk sex all day long, and I do want sex, don’t let my words mislead.

But I want the courtship first, the date, I want to pick up a book and hold his head in my lap and read to him and I want to be wrapped, tucked tight, really, in the crook of a man’s arm and held, guided, led through the mists out to the beach, where the love smashes itself on the sand and the electric blue jellyfish flay themselves on the sand, melting into the tide line like mermaid tears.

That’s what is taboo.

Wanting love.

To be loved.

To want romance.

That is the real deal breaker.

I wait for it.

The carousel will stop turning and I will grab the brass ring and sail around the perimeter of the square, while accordions play and the sun sprays on my face a calliope of desire and love.

Until then.

Another cup of tea.

A few more words on this page.

I open my heart to give and receive love.

I shall start with me.


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