Posts Tagged ‘landlady’

Well, I tried

August 26, 2018

I really did.

I even got up before my alarm went off.

Nightmares.

Fucking had a using dream last night and in my dream I woke up, still dreaming, thinking that I had relapsed and I had to tell my person and then I was going to be new all over again.

I woke up in the grey foggy light of the Outer Sunset in August, it could have been 6 a.m. it could have been 10 a.m., although my alarm was set for 8:30 a.m. so I knew it wasn’t that late, but for a moment I really thought the dream was for real.

I tried to shake it off.

I saw it was a little after 8 a.m. and just decided to get up and get going, sleep was pretty much ruined at that point, another twenty minutes was not going to do me any good.

I got up.

I put on my swimsuit.

I made my bed.

I did my prayers, read my books, breathed.

I grabbed my swim bag and I set out for Sava Pool.

Only to be foiled.

It’s closed for maintenance!

Until September 7th.

I was a bit upset, although not horribly, part of me was very proud of myself for getting up and going and seeing the pool through the glass made me happy.

I thought for a moment of heading over to the other side of town and maybe hitting the pool on Arguello, but I had a lot to do today and a friend from school happened to text me asking if I wanted to catch up and grab coffee at Trouble.

Seeing as how I wasn’t able to swim I figured I would settle for gossip and coffee.

Although I was a bit on the fence about going to Trouble.

That’s my landlady’s hang out spot and I wasn’t really wanting to see my friend there if she was there, we have been avoiding each other, but it’s still not very comfortable here.

The loudness gets to me quite a bit.

And sure enough, she was there and I could hear her laughing from the corner of the 7-11 across the street.

I pinged my friend, asked him to come over and we just had coffee at my place.

Saved me from a five dollar cafe au lait.

I still can’t believe what some places charge for coffee, it’s like what some folks charge for rent.

Despite our coffee plans being slightly misled, it was good to catch up with my friend and see what he’s been up to and how supervision is going for him and share my plans for my private practice internship and all the things.

He has wanted to do a group with me a number of times but our schedules have just not quite coincided.

But.

Lovely to catch up and good to have a person to talk to about school as I am so close to heading into my next phase.

I did a little, actually a lot, of writing after he headed out and that felt good.

I reflected on the phone call I had with my person this morning as I was driving back from the closed pool and relating the details of my nightmare.

How my alcoholism doesn’t like it when I am having intense feelings and the using dream was a way to try to escape from the feelings.

But the feelings came anyway.

I cried a bunch today too.

It’s still early, I’ve been told, there is going to be a lot to grieve, keep letting yourself feel them.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I know.

But fuck.

It is hard.

And I’m a psychotherapist, I know the importance of not stuffing my feelings.

I’ve been damn good about it, I think, my person certainly has made a point of reflecting to me that I have, that he’s consistently amazed by the things I am moving through and the grace with which I am doing so.

I don’t always feel graceful though.

And I burst into tears three or four times today.

So.

There is that.

Ugh.

I just miss him so much, I feel crushed by it, I bought him cards today without thinking about it.

I used to write him love notes all the time.

I made it a point to find sweet, unusual, poignant cards to give him.

I like letters.

I like writing.

I like paper and envelopes and thoughtfulness.

I bought the cards thinking that maybe, maybe one day, hopefully not too far down the line, I’ll be able to write him cards again.

Perhaps I was foolish.

Perhaps I am foolish.

But for a moment it appeased my heart to have the cards.

I want to see him.

I know I  can’t.

At least not right now.

I want to talk to him, text him, email him, send him smoke signals.

And I can’t.

I want to kiss him, hold him, be held by him, express all the love in my body and heart and soul to him.

And I can’t.

All I can do is keep feeling these things and taking the suggestions I have been given and believing that God has this relationship, and that we are both being carried and loved.

That’s about the best I can do.

That and cry.

I am just going to go and cry some more.

Damn it.

You don’t remember me, but I remember you
‘Twas not so long ago, you broke my heart in two
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart 
Caused by you, you
If we could start anew, I wouldn’t hesitate
I’d gladly take you back, and tempt the hand of fate
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you
Love is not a gadget, love is not a toy
When you find the one you love 
(S)he’ll fill your heart with joy
If we could start anew, I wouldn’t hesitate
I’d gladly take you back, and tempt the hand of fate
Tears on my pillow, pain in my heart, caused by you
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Having The Emotions

July 6, 2018

And moving through them.

I feel really quite good right now.

So much better than I have in some days.

I also did a big inventory today.

I toss that word around sometimes without much explanation–inventory is a way for me to work through resentments I have about people, places, and things, sometimes concepts.

I inventoried the fuck out of my housing situation.

I saw selfishness and fear and self-seeking and dishonesty.

I saw my part, you could say.

And I found a way through.

A way to continue this process of not knowing what is going to come next.

I had a conversation with my landlady yesterday.

It was not what I expected and I was baffled by the exchange.

But.

It was enlightening and I have deep compassion for the both of us.

I mean.

That’s the only way through.

We both have things we want and ultimately, we both want the same thing at this point-me to move the fuck out.

I need something better and she doesn’t want me living here anymore.

The means to the ends is where we disagree.

And that’s fine.

There may always be opinion about that and opinion is not my business.

What people think about me is not my business.

God.

Fuck.

Of course I want to know.

I want to know so I can manipulate myself into making everyone fucking happy so that I can be comfortable.

I’m comfortable when others are taken care of.

I can relax.

But.

The facts are.

NOBODY is taking care of me.

I have to do it.

I have to put myself and my needs first.

So I have to let go of what others, the landlady, my friends, my fellows, clients, my cohort at school, my employer, think of me.

I have to.

Or it will kill me.

I can’t go around making everyone happy.

I just can’t.

So.

I got some good freaking clarity after seeing where my part was, seeing how trying to get acceptance from others or relying on them rather than my God wasn’t working.

Never has.

Never will.

People are failable.

Fuck.

I am failable.

I will fail you.

Guarantee it.

There was a time I would have apologized for that failing or tried really, really, really hard to be the perfect person and not fail.

But.

You know what?

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok for me to not be perfect, it’s ok for me to fuck up.

I fucked up.

I made a decision based on fear at the beginning of my tenancy that led me here.

I’m ok with that.

Sure.

Wished I had done it different, but I can’t change that, I can accept that I was doing the best I could, in a co-dependent people pleasing sort of way, and that seeing the results accrue over the past five years has brought me to this place that is requiring me to make a really big change.

Self-advocacy.

Non-personal.

Do right for myself sort of change.

I was really grateful I did the work to get to that place and really grateful that I have been earnestly praying for my landlady.

I mean.

I have.

For her happiness, joy, financial success, romantic love, family love, relationships with friends, success with her job, everything and anything that I could think of.

We all deserve the best and by focusing on that rather than trying to make myself out to be a victim and her some overblown hyperbole of a landlord, I get to see her as a human being doing the best she can do.

We are all doing the best we can do.

It’s ok.

Another persons best interst is not my best though.

And I recognize that.

I have had a lot of time to reflect on things today and I am grateful for that.

Ooh!

I have also spent a lot of time researching an internship!

Check it out:

Grateful Heart Therapy

Grateful Heart is a therapy organization in the Bay Area which provides sliding scale psychotherapy for all sorts of folks.

It was recommended to me after I told my therapist about the internship that I was going to do falling through.

The supervisor I was going to work with made it abundantly clear that it had nothing to do with my clinical skills or abilities, she really likes me, she believes I am a great therapist, but, it wasn’t a good time for her to go from being a solo practitioner to having to incorporate a LLC.

I get it.

I was upset.

But you know, opportunity to find something that will be a better fit.

With Grateful Heart Therapy AMFTs can lease their own office underneath their supervision.

MY OWN OFFICE.

Now.

It will take time to get my own office up and running and it will take money, money that I don’t necessarily have, although I flirted really hard with the idea of using my credit card, the one I got nearly a year ago and have never used.

Or.

Hmm.

Maybe I could do a GoFundMe?

Thoughts to explore.

Anyway.

The center provides the infrastructure, they do payroll, billing, supervision.

They have over 40 supervisors and they have groups that are supervised, they do trainings and they use psychotherapeutic tools developed by the master herself–Nancy McWilliams, a clinician I have written about wanting to work under, she’s amazing, I loved reading her work in my Master’s program.

It takes some time to get things up and running, but I would be able to see clients, charge them, and have my own office.  Grateful Heart would take $350 a month for operating cost and to cover supervision, I would pay payroll taxes, etc and they would cut me a check.

I saw an empty office today at the building my current internship is in.

The door was unlocked and there was a sign that said “Take A Peek!”

Peek I did.

It’s small, but clean, on the fifth floor where I already see clients, a view of Twin Peaks.

I could imaging pictures hanging on the wall, a couch, a therapist chair, file cabinets, plants, lamps to provide soft lighting,  a spot for an electric kettle and tea cups.

I stood in the warm little space and dreamed a little dream.

It felt pretty damn good to contemplate.

Tomorrow I will be having coffee with a friend of mine who is currently working for Grateful Heart and I’m going to pick her brains about it.

I can’t wait.

I feel like I can breathe again.

And sleep.

I know where I stand with how I need to proceed forward with my landlady and I have a new internship to explore with the option of starting my own private practice office much, much, much sooner than I had expected.

I am sincerely.

And truly.

Over the moon.

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.

Out and About

June 17, 2018

Just got home.

Long day.

But a good one.

I did lots of writing this morning, which is always good, especially since I had a lot of mornings this past week where I was up early doing things before work or at work early, so I didn’t write many morning pages, or even some days get to them.

Thursday night I was out late at a speaking engagement in Oakland after having worked a full day and then after seeing clients at my internship I drove over to Oakland and checked in there and didn’t get home until after midnight.

And of course Friday I had to be in to work early.

Little sleep and very little time to write.

So today I took some time and it was good.

I got my brain emptied out and let go of fears and anxieties and things that weren’t helping and focused on seeing what I could do today and how to change.

I’m in a lot of transition and change, even good change, can be challenging.

But.

Well.

Nothing changes if nothing changes and I can’t control life and it keeps moving and I either get flexible and rethink my perspective or I get mowed over by my feelings.

Ah feelings.

Yes.

I did have some of those today too.

And I get to be grateful for them, they show me where I need to grow.

And.

They tell me I’m alive.

And.

Well.

Frankly, I quite like being alive.

I mean, its cherry season and I love cherries, and I like that I have a car and that I have nice things in my home and that I have people who love me and whom I love.

I am lucky to still get to live in San Francisco.

I have my health, I’m not lacking for anything.

Alive is pretty damn good.

After my coffee and loads of writing I got myself out the door and over to the Inner Richmond.

Cheap Pete’s had sent me an e-mail yesterday, my new print was framed and I wanted to pick it up.

And!

I took my diploma with me and yes, I did, I got the big fancy pants frame for it.

I worked my ass off to get my Master’s degree, that bitch is getting framed.

I almost went for the super fancy one, but then I thought, hmm, no, I’ll wait for my PhD to get that one.

Heh.

The frame I got is definitely a nice frame and it’s a touch bigger than the frame I got for my undergraduate degree, I’m very much looking forward to putting my diploma in the frame.

I have no idea where I’m going to hang it, I have a lot of pictures and prints and photos and art on my walls.

I may not have a window, but everywhere I look is something pretty to look at.

I suspect I will put it up next to my undergraduate diploma and just rearrange some of the photographs that are around it to make room for the Master’s degree.

I figured out where I’ll put the small framed print I brought back today, I’d do all this now, but it’s late and I’m not going to start hammering into the walls at 10:30 p.m.

Not really interested in antagonizing my landlady.

Speaking of.

I got some amazing advice tonight from  a dear friend.

We went out to sushi for dinner and we talked and talked and talked.

It was great.

I feel a lot better about her perspective on things and she offered to lend me a hand.

That was super cool and unexpected and I hadn’t even thought about asking her for help.

Although I had approached her last week to hang out.

I have realized, recently more so I think as I’ve come up for air from school, that many of my best girlfriends no longer live in the city.

My best friend from school moved back to Paris.

My best friend from SF moved over to the East Bay years ago, first to Berkeley and now even further away in the Berkeley Hills, it’s not that much further, but over the bridge seems so freaking far away.

It’s another world I swear.

Sometimes it feels like another world just living in the Outer Sunset.

Anyway.

I have been making efforts to reach out and to connect and today was really good for that.

After I went to Cheap Pete’s I did supervision, solo then group, which was great and I really liked the people in my group today, my favorite two were there and the two that annoy the fuck out of me had both gone to different supervision groups, so it felt really chill and relaxed and good to be in my group today.

Then.

Yes.

Finally.

I got a car wash.

Poor dirty little marshmallow.

Got it was nice to get into a clean car.

Filled her up with gas and then popped over to the bank to deposit a check and I ran into another friend, who had just opened a brick and mortar flower shop.

We literally talked shop for an hour.

It was so sweet to be in his shop and smell the flowers and talk about him and the changes we’ve seen in the city and how we are sticking it out and then his boyfriend popped in and I love him and it was a party.

An unexpected friend pop up shop of love.

Lots of hugs and then off to the salon.

I got weird parking, good but not where I would normally, so on a whim I tried a new shop on Divisadero and it cracked me the fuck up.

The whole thing painted pink and it was like being inside a Japanese toy store.

I shit you not.

Sequins and sparkles and white and pink.

Stuffed animals.

Huge, oversized teddy bears, unicorns, pandas.

One of the manicurist’s was wearing a head band with bunny ears.

They had a cartoon movie playing on huge television screen.

It tickled me quite a bit.

Then off to do the deal and that’s when I ran into my friend I had dinner with and it was good and I got some great perspective on my situation and really another opportunity to find growth and learning.

It appears said opportunities are everywhere.

I’ve had a good run here in my little home by the sea and though I don’t know exactly what will happen next I do know that it won’t be the crappy scenario my head tells me.

It will be something amazing.

I am absolutely sure of it.

And I’m grateful for all of it.

Even when it’s uncomfortable.

Even then.

 

 

No More Tears

June 5, 2018

What a freaking relief.

Yesterday, last night I should say, because technically yesterday was a vale of tears from morning until about 6:30p.m. when I had to pull it together to take care of my Sunday night commitment, was the first night since my landlady gave me notice that I did not cry myself to sleep.

And!

Oh.

So good.

This morning too, no tears!

I did a lot of work yesterday, and throughout the week when I think about it, to get through the fear.

A lot of self talk, a lot of letting the tears happen when they did.

Granted.

I did holler a couple of times, “stop, just stop.”

But.

For the most part, they just kept on coming.

Yesterday was by far the worst day of it.

Of course, it was pointed out to me later that I had actually time to stop and have the feelings, I have been a busy lady and not being able to do much sitting still when I did have the chance to the emotions just ran away with the house.

I cried a lot.

But.

I think it moved things along and by the time I met with my person up at Firewood Cafe I was almost cried out.

Almost.

I still cried for the first half hour or so and then I slowly started to get relief.

And perspective.

And that it was more than just the threat of losing my place, it was also the past few weeks of busy and go, go, go, graduate, and hang out with my mom, and get all my paperwork turned in so I am really done with school, and have an endoscopy, and maybe I have cancer, but probably not, but maybe, and having to terminate with a client and all sorts of stuff, it was all the things.

All the things needed to have a word with me and then did so in a grand sweeping emotional way.

I seriously thought a few times that I was hormonal, I never cry like this for this long, unless really depressed, but then I’d still be crying and that crying is a different kind then what I was doing.

The crying I was doing was all fear based.

Not so much sadness based.

Fear based and anger based.

I have had some angry moments, let me tell you.

But it got worked out and the more I talked, cried, muddled through, the easier it seemed to be until by the time I walked into the basement of Most Holy Redeemer to take care of my Sunday night gig I was almost wholly myself.

And then!

Oh.

My old friend from my early days in recovery came prancing into the room with another dear friend and it was so good to connect and reconnect and catch up.

She’s been living in London for the last seven years, New York before that, and it was her first time back to SF in ten years.

I mean.

It was good to see her.

And hear her.

And then go out and hang out afterwards with all the friends and people and go to La Meditereanee and have some good food and laugh and get perspective.

I also heard so much advocacy for me getting to be taken care of and that there is abundance and that I do deserve it.

I sometimes forget that.

All the time.

That I am allowed to embrace abundance.

So.

My attitude changed and I began to see this whole thing as an enormous gift.

Oh.

Like many gifts I have received I did not like the wrapping paper it came in, and I have wanted to give it back, but there it is, in my lap, begging to be opened, to be revealed.

More will be revealed.

There’s always more to learn.

I get to take this situation as an opportunity to grow and to manifest what I want in a living situation.

I also get to take this as a chance to let my voice be heard, to not be run over by the circumstances, to advocate for my rights.

I listened again to the voicemail of the woman from the SF Tenant’s Union who reached out to me the day prior to my going in to the drop in session and was assuaged again to hear that what is happening is not legal and I have loads of rights.

She reiterated a bunch of them and I found comfort in that.

I know my rights and I get to speak up for myself.

Not something I have always done.

Not something that I am great at.

But fuck, what an opportunity to learn.

So.

I’m going to get to learn about something new and in the process I will find a new place to live and it will be done with grace and dignity.

At least on my part.

My part is all I’m responsible for anyway.

Speaking of my part.

And taking responsibility.

I have filled out my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) application for my AMFT#!

Yesterday I got passport photos taken so that I can turn in a recent photo to the BBS.

All I need to do now is get LiveScanned fingerprinting done.

I will be doing that on Wednesday.

The hope is to have it all taken care of and ready to send into the BBS by Saturday.

It was strongly suggested that I send it in registered mail and insure it and track it and make sure it gets signed for.

So a trip to the post office before my internship on Saturday.

It’s a really exciting thing.

Once the BBS gives me my AMFT# I will officially be able to take payment for my therapy sessions.

At which point I will be transitioning from my current internship to my private practice internship.

I am really excited.

It feels so nice to have positive, forward motion actions happening.

And though I do not know how long this hallway of uncertainty is in regards to where I live next.

I do believe.

With all my heart.

That is will be fucking fabulous.

Seriously.

A Tire Swing

June 2, 2018

Floating in the air over the dense thick grass of a lawn between a thicket of trees and a few farm sheds and cabins.

A hammock in the background that is almost as tempting, an invitation to loaf, snooze, to fall upwards while laying back, high into the blue skies and the clots of cream fluff clouds drifting lazily by.

2018-06-01 13.37.08-2

I adore a good tire swing.

This was one of the better ones I have seen.

If not the best.

The swing was rigged from a line of rope strung between two trees, not from a tree specifically, so it drifted back and forth on this kind of clothes line, swinging in loopy circles and ovals.

I did not go for a ride on the swing.

Though I was sorely tempted.

I could feel it in my body, the desire to climb in, push myself up into the air and drift through the warm breezes ruffling through the trees.

It was such a pretty day.

Sunny and warm.

Not typical San Francisco weather.

Then again.

I wasn’t in San Francisco.

I was outside of a small town to the south of Half Moon Bay called San Gregorio.

San Gregorio is tiny.

Population 214.

There’s a general store and a post office.

And then just beautiful rolling mountains.

It’s close to the coast so the drive in was gorgeous and breathtaking.

I am always so stunned when I get to drive down the One, it’s just such a tremendous gift to live next to such beauty.

I am in awe of the Pacific ocean, the sunlight, the green mountains, the twisty curving roads.

The family I work for have friends staying in San Gregorio and they were moving back to Finland, so there was a drive to meet them for lunch at the Air BnB they were staying at.

On a goat farm.

Yes.

I got to go hang out with some kids, not just the ones I work for.

It was precious and sweet, and the sound of the baby laughing in my arms as the goats crowded around me melted my heart.

I love animals.

And I am good with them.

I am not afraid of them or of getting messy, though for a minute I was like, damn it man, had I known we were going to a goat farm I would have dressed differently.

Especially knowing that where we were going was warmer.

Ha.

I was all in black, black leggings, black therapy dress, black, black, black, and the dress is long-sleeved.

It’s a super comfy, but professional little jersey dress I got from the Gap last year when I started seeing clients, it works for nannying and with a simple switch out from my nanny shoes to my “therapy shoes” I feel like I can be very professionally attired to see my clients in the evenings after I finish my nanny shift.

Though perhaps a great outfit for in the city, not necessarily the best for a goat farm.

Three times I had to take the hem out of the mouth of a goat.

It made me laugh though.

And after the week I have had up in my head about the whole 90 days to move thing it was a relief.

Sidebar.

Phone call message from the Tenant’s Union confirmed that my landlady does not have just cause to ask me to move out.  I got the message while I was in transition from nannying to my internship, so I missed the call, but the woman left me a lengthy message addressing all the points I had brought up and she confirmed that legally my landlady does not have the right to ask me to move out.

She encouraged me to get my copy of the Tenant’s Union handbook when I go into my drop in session tomorrow, and that I was protected despite not being on a lease and living in an illegal unit.

That was a relief to hear and also a bit like, ok, here we go, this is really happening, what do I need to do next.

I spent some time talking out loud in the car on my way home, how would I say it, would I write it down, would I ask another person to be there with me, what would happen, I could tell I was getting scared, I don’t like conflict, but also that really I just need to take the emotional bit out of it and be business like.

I have rights, here they are, make counter offer.

Done.

And of course, more will be revealed tomorrow when I sit down with the counselor and see exactly what my rights are.

No need to have the conversation before I have all the information.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A relief to be outside, in the fresh air, in the sun, getting to play with the children and push my oldest charge on the tire swing.

He had trepidations at first, but I had a feeling that once he had a ride he would fall in love with it like I did when I was his age.

And he did.

It was the sweetest thing to watch the simple pleasure on his face as he floated through the air up high, against the bright green of the trees.

Such joy.

It filled me up.

There was a house in Wisconsin that we lived at briefly in all our transitions from here to there (I told my therapist how hard it was to separate this thing happening with the notice to move out with the shame and fear and running away in the middle of the night my mom did on more than one occasion to avoid getting evicted by the police for not paying rent.  I am not my mother, I have paid and I’m not doing anything wrong, but that voice inside that insisted, you’ve been bad and now you’re being punished, took a whole lot of talk to calm down) when my mother had moved us cross-country from California to Wisconsin where she had grown up, in Lodi, a small town 30 ish miles to the North of Madison in Columbia County.

I don’t remember the house very well, we were only there for a brief time, I think she was crashing with friends on the couch until we moved into a small apartment in Baraboo, but I do remember the tire swing.

It was my savior.

This succor from the trauma of running away in the middle of the night, the constant moving, the constant uprooting, the wondering where I was going to sleep next, if it would be safe, was there anywhere that was safe?

The tire swing.

It was safe.

Although it was exciting to go high, really, I just like being held secure in the middle of the tire, arms wrapped around it, swaying back and forth in slow swoops and circles, staring up into the leaves of the old oak tree that it hung from.

I was in that swing every day until we moved.

I can still feel the rope in my hands and smell the faint rubber smell of the tire and see the smooth patch around the rope where many small hands had worn the treads smooth.

My childhood was not one I would wish upon another, but it was mine and to say that there never was joy in it would be a lie.

I was a happy kid when I was allowed to be happy.

I was happy in that swing.

2018-06-01 13.37.22-2

And I was happy pushing my sweet little boy charge in the tire at the goat farm for his first time ever, quiet and sure that he would be as safely held as I was.

The light dappled down over me and the warm smell of hay arose in my nose and I let my eyes close for a moment as I pushed his small weight towards the sky, remembering again and again that I am loved, safe, and perfectly held.

Now.

And.

Always.

 

First Day

June 1, 2018

No tears.

Since Saturday and the bomb drop.

I also took a few actions today that helped with that.

I became a member of the San Francisco Tenant’s Union.

$35 for a year-long membership.

I think it will come quite in handy.

I plan on getting up early and going to do drop in counseling regarding my landlady asking me to move out 90 days from tomorrow on Saturday.

I also placed a phone call with the Union, of course I did not get a live person, but as a member I was allowed to place a call and get a call back, which I think is very cool.  The Union will not take phone calls from non-members.

I left a succinct message regarding the situation, that I was planning on coming in on Saturday, that I had done a good bit of reading of the handbook and that I wanted to know if there was anything that my counselor would need when I came in.

I quickly asserted that I had no lease, that the landlady had given me a verbal notice to quit the in-law, and that I had been living here for five years paying rent on a monthly basis, $1200 a month plus utilities for the first three years and $1250 plus utilities for the last two.

I didn’t get a call back today and from the information on the message I may not get a call back before I head in on Saturday.

But.

It felt good to take a small action.

I also put it in my God box.

I wrote a note, I said some prayers, I asked God to take care of it and show me where I’m supposed to live next.

I also did my morning readings and prayer and that always, I mean always helps.

Especially when one of the readings was talking about principles before personalities and I realized how applicable that was to my situation.

I don’t like my landlady’s personality and I have found myself wanting to ruminate about that when it really has nothing to do with my situation, who she is as a person is none of my business.

How she treats me as a tenant is and I am not in agreement with what she asked of me to do.

I am in fear, I won’t lie, that it’s going to get uncomfortable to live here if I find out that I have rights that are due me and when I request for them to be honored I suspect that there will be push back.

But.

Until that happens I am trying pretty damn hard to stay out of that crazy making in my head.

I have already decided that she will tell me I’m not allowed to use the washer and dryer in the garage and that she’s going to want me to get anything I have in storage in her garage out.

My bicycle, my Burning Man bins, my tents.

I also suspect she will ask me to park my scooter on the street instead of next to the house.

But.

Again.

Those things haven’t happened and are not happening right now.

They may.

And if they do I will handle them at that time, worrying about what happens in the future doesn’t actually prepare me for what’s going to happen and so often my experience has been that much of what I’m afraid of doesn’t come to pass.

Thus attempting to stay present and stay in the moment where there really is nothing wrong.

My rent is paid for this upcoming month and I have time to find out what my options are and I have time to look for a new place to live.

Because no matter what comes of the Tenant Union drop in counseling, moving is on the table, on my plate, is going to happen.

It just is a matter of how it happens and when and if I get any sort of compensation to more.

Even if I find out I don’t have to move and I suspect that may very well be an option, I just feel like the landlady will make it hell to live here and I’m not much interested in that.

I feel like the best case scenario is I get some money to help facilitate the move and I am able to make a jump to a bigger and better place.

I have been seriously considering the option of getting a three bedroom house in the Outer Sunset.

I have been doing some Craigslist research and there are some very doable options out here.

I have seen a few other homes that might work in the Richmond neighborhood and one or two elsewhere, one in the SOMA which is a no go, I don’t want to have to worry about street parking and a few in Portola, one in Glenn Park, some in the Outer Mission/Excelsior.

But the Outer Sunset seems to have the biggest amount of choices and I am really liking the idea of having a house.

Granted I don’t have the furnishings for a house, but I believe they will come.

If I can get another couple of folks together I could easily snag a place that’s big, sunny, has parking, maybe even a garage, washer and dryer on site and/or hookups for them.

A few places also have fireplaces and yards.

I mean.

That sounds fucking terrific to me.

Two of the houses I really liked also have Master bedrooms with their own baths.

I could be the Master tenant, pay a little more, have a big room, my own bathroom and then full access to the rest of the house.

It’s beginning to sound more and more feasible to me.

And exciting.

I’m not exactly looking forward to the uncomfortable conversations I feel are  going to occur, but then again, I am feeling very positive that I am heading into a much better housing situation than I currently have.

And for that.

Well.

I am fucking grateful as hell.

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.

90 Days

May 28, 2018

A lot can happen in 90 days.

This is what I tell myself.

A lot can actually happen in a few hours, in a few minutes, in an unexpected conversation with ones landlady.

Oh my God.

I have been asked to move.

I don’t know exactly what to do yet, or whom to share this information with.

I will admit I had an impulse to post up all over social media, but I restrained myself.

I think I was in shock.

I still am a bit, truth be told.

Yesterday though, I was definitely in shock, disbelief, horror, I was freaked out, I cried in supervision when I had to do my check in, I probably should not have been riding my scooter, but in a way it might have been the best thing since I had to focus fiercely on the road for a half hour.

I rode my scooter into supervision yesterday because of the huge Carnival festival that happens in the Mission every year Memorial Day weekend.

It’s a gigantic party and it’s a huge, huge, huge parade.

Where my internship is located at was a designated area of the Mission that was to be part of the route and there was no parking anywhere to be had, I knew this ahead of time and planned on taking my scooter.

I had no idea I would be riding to my group supervision with the information I had just gotten.

I had been actually excited to go to supervision, see the therapists who have watched me over this past year as I have grown comfortable with becoming a therapist and seeing clients there, and share with them the achievement of having graduated.

All that, however, was eclipsed by the bombshell my landlady dropped on me.

She told me she wanted me to move out.

That she had been planning on talking to me about it for a few weeks, but didn’t want to “spoil” my graduation weekend and stress me out.

Thanks.

You stressed me out anyway.

I find it really interesting that I had decided to pay my rent a week and a half early for next month too, I usually do pay early, by at least a few days, but something compelled me to do it earlier than usual and I believe I may have sensed something in the air.

A few weeks ago my landlady had the property inspected as she was planning on doing a re-financing of the house, “I’ll finally get that window in the studio,” is what I thought.

That, apparently was not what she thought.

Oh, there’s going to be a window, but it’s not for me.

She told me that she was originally going to give me thirty days, then I had paid rent for this upcoming month, like I said, I like to pay it in advance, and since it might take me a little while to find a place that she thought she’d give me 60, no, 90 days to move out.

That now that I was done with school, I got into a PhD program you rotten whore, oops, did I say that? She was happy to have “helped” support me through the Masters program by letting me live here.

Helped?

I have helped you lady pants, like, I pay the rent.

I pay utilities.

I am a model tenant.

I pay rent in advance.

I have ever since I moved in.

I take the trash out, I keep my studio clean, clean, clean.

I am sober, no partying down in my little den.

I don’t smoke.

I am a fucking full-time nanny who has a part-time internship and I, until recently, also attended grad school full time.

Meaning.

I’m not around all that fucking much.

Who could ask for a better fucking tenant?

Oh.

And I don’t have any pets and I don’t complain about the dog that you got a year ago that barks and whines and cries and then gets yelled at for barking and whining and crying.

I don’t know what is worse.

The barking or the yelling at the dog to stop barking.

Considering the year of great noise I should get a goddamn discount of the rent.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I took in what she was saying and let her do the talking, I was in shock and also trying really hard to smile and nod and not say anything to just listen, to absorb information.

I was also in my scooter jacket about to get on my scooter and go ride across town to my internship, I couldn’t process what was happening.

Which was probably a good thing, I didn’t get argumentative, I didn’t freak out on her.

I did find a silent, hot core of anger later, but more about that at another time.

She explained that she’d gotten her re-financement and was going to be doing a major remodel on her house, ripping out the kitchen and the bathroom in her unit, putting in a deck, building another in-law in the back yard, pulling out the kitchen in my unit and making it a one bedroom with a bath (and maybe a hot plate), and that she needed me to move out so that she could move into my unit while the remodel was being done on her unit.

I quietly congratulated her on the refinance and asked again about the move out date, September 1st, the 15th at the latest, she needed to know as soon as possible when I was going to move out so that she could get all of her contractors lined up and ready to go.

Oh.

Ok.

Glad to hear that you need me to hustle.

Good information.

I’m only deep diving into the most expensive city to live in for rentals in the United States with a dearth of options, where closets get rented as studios, and people curtain off living rooms for extra bedrooms, where adults live in dorms with shared bathrooms and communal spaces that are marketed towards tech kids in the FiDi and Mission districts.

Sure.

No problem.

Let me get right on that.

I decided to cry instead when I got to supervision.

Oh!

And hey, she also noted, you can pay your last months rent from your deposit if that helps you consolidate your cash to get into a new place.

Hmmm.

Thanks.

I think.

Don’t you owe me the deposit back with interest, isn’t that what you told me when I moved in, “I’ll be putting this in an account that will gather interest and I’ll give you the deposit plus the interest when you move out, just make sure you give me a 30 day notice.”

See.

This is where it gets tricky for me.

I never signed a lease.

I live in an illegal in-law unit.

It has a kitchen with a full size working gas range and a full size refrigerator, but no window and no ventilation.

I cook and open up the back door to ventilate.

I am also pretty damn certain that she didn’t pull permits to do the work on the in-law when it was remodeled, but I’m not 100% certain.

What I am certain of, however, is that in her nice, sweet, off-handed way she was manipulating me into thinking I was getting a deal and that she was being kind to me.

Oh, and you don’t have to pay for July’s rent either.

And while that’s a lovely offer, I think that you, madam, are not within your rights to push me out, at least not without a written notice, or some sort of compensation.

So.

I got myself onto the San Francisco Tenants Union webpage.

They have open drop in hours and I will be going to get myself some counseling to see what my rights are.

I may not have a signed contract, I may not have a lease, but I had a verbal agreement and over four and a half years of cashed checks with “June rent and utilities” written into the memo.

I have a paper trail.

And I know I have rights.

I just don’t know exactly what they are.

But I will.

And when I do.

Watch out.

I am mad and I am not going to be manipulated into rolling over.

I am going to move.

That is going to happen.

But I am going to do it in a way that advocates for my rights.

I am not going to get pushed out.

So.

Yeah.

If you hear of anything for rent in San Francisco.

Not Berkeley or Oakland or in the East Bay or over in Marin.

IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Do me a favor and let me know.

Thanks!

 

 


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