Posts Tagged ‘processing’

One More Week

August 12, 2019

Of freedom.

From school.

Which is fucking hilarious as I carted around two gigantic text books today on the off chance of being somewhere I was going to read.

I learned to always carry my books with me, because inevitably the day will come when I don’t, (this past Saturday) when a client no shows and I have down time to read.

Or I’m at work and unexpectedly get time to read.

I probably won’t at all be able to do that at work tomorrow, I just don’t see it happening, but sometimes it does and as my time is super precious I use whatever I can get.

I have finished one of my text books for the fall semester and started in on another one and I am simultaneously reviewing a few articles for the class I will be guest lecturing on the 21st of September and reading a book for that class as well.

I did question myself a little about that today as I sat in a training in Berkeley for my agency, what am I doing teaching a class too this semester?!

But, I feel it’s good for me to do and I’m excited for the topic and the few people, outside of school, I have run it by, really like listening to me talk about it.

I find that encouraging, if someone who doesn’t have a background in psychology finds it fascinating, those who are pursuing the Master’s degree should like it too.

Or so I hope.

Regardless of whether they do or not,  I am learning as I prepare to teach.

Which is always how it goes.

Want to learn something on a deeper level?

Teach it.

I have had that experience over and over and over again.

And I’m grateful to get to go before an incoming Master’s cohort who are just beginning their journey and say here I am, in my second year of a PhD program, as a licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a burgeoning private practice.

I get to model what they can become and that’s really a sweet gift to give back.

I didn’t know how much work it was going to be and I’m pretty glad I didn’t, I did know I was right where I was supposed to be and I want to share all the things that I have gotten to learn over the past few years.

An hour and a half lecture will not encapsulate that, but it should be enough time to lecture on Reverie, which I find totally fascinating.

Reverie is something that happens in sessions where daydreams, wayward thoughts, fantasies, visions, intuitions, come to the therapist.

The first time it happened to me in a session, a dyad at school with a classmate, I got spooked.

I thought I had drifted off.

But there was something so potent about it, the image that came to mind, that I mentioned it to my professor who then told me that I had experienced  reverie and that it was clinically significant.

We discussed what I saw, how it was clinically relevant, and how to make an intervention around it.

It was fascinating.

It still is and there’s lots to talk about, and I won’t bore you with it at this time, since I don’t know that you’re really here to listen to me practice my lecture in Psychodynamics.

Heh.

Who knows why you’re here anyway.

I don’t.

I mean.

This blog has been dark for almost two years now, maybe actually it has been a little more than two years.

I don’t link it to social media.

I don’t post it anywhere.

This is just me noodling away at my keyboard.

There are perhaps of handful of folks that still follow me out there who know me, but most of the people that read this have no idea who I am.

Once in a while it gets read a whole bunch and I’ll be curious who has discovered it and why is it so fascinating.

Recently it was getting a ton of reads in, of all places, Hong Kong.

No idea why.

But for a few days, on and off for the last couple of months, literally hundreds of my blogs were being read in Hong Kong.

That was kind of cool to see.

I don’t know how many blogs I’m going to get out before the semester starts, I’ll be starting with some new clients this week and trying to get some homework done before the intensive.

One of my classes doesn’t have the syllabus up yet, which always makes me nervous, but the other two do and there is going to be some major work and a lot of reading to do this semester just for these two classes.

But.

I am not going to stop blogging.

Especially since I am going to actually try to incorporate my blog into a “Work In Progress” assignment for my class in Arts Based Research.

I know that I won’t be able to do a blog a day like I still managed to do with my Master’s degree.

That became really evident I am sure when my blogs took a total nose dive once I began my PhD and started building up my private practice.

The blog took such a hit.

But.

I have never stopped writing and I’m going to keep sending out these little missives to the Universe whenever I can.

It helps me to keep my writing chops and it helps me process all the things.

Like not speaking or being in contact with my ex and what that feels like.

Good and super hard all at the same time and scary and sad.

Or thinking about the time I was in Cuba, just recently and had an overwhelming spiritual experience at a Catholic church where Santoria is practiced.

Floods of tears, praying on my knees, and asking for forgiveness in front of a black Madonna.

Or when I was walking the cobblestone streets of Old Havana with my hair up, a long white dress on, a bright turquoise parasol protecting me from the sun and the feeling of awe in wonder at who I get to be in this life and where I get to go.

And.

Where I get to go home to.

San Francisco.

I am still here.

Hanging on at the edge of the city.

The ledge of the Western seaboard.

Two blocks from the Ocean.

The moon rise and the the dark breach of universe turning above me.

I am so fucking grateful to be alive.

It’s ok that I got my heart broke.

It’s ok that my rent’s ridiculous.

It’s ok that I’m still a nanny.

I get to do all these miraculous things.

It’s ok that I’m busy with my PhD and nervous to teach the class.

I get to do all these things.

Because.

I am graced.

Happy.

Joyous.

And so very.

Very.

Very.

Free.

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Getting Closer

July 12, 2019

I am three days away from my trip to Havana, Cuba.

Three days.

Where the hell is my damn filtration water bottle and Cuban Spanish/English phrasebook?

Really Amazon.

This is not the time to drop the ball.

Of course, I have only myself to blame, but it is a little hilarious that these are the only things missing from my bag of stuff.

I am really set to go.

And.

I am not too worried about the phrase book and the water bottle.

They will show tomorrow.

I leave Sunday.

I was proactive today knowing that I wouldn’t want to have to deal with annoying things and took care of getting my laundry done.

I almost wore a dress today that I was planning on bringing to Cuba and I thought, um no, don’t sabotage the summery, warm weather, it’s even going to be warm at night, dress, for a foggy grey San Francisco day.

And then not have time to wash it before packing and heading out.

I wore a dress today that will not be coming to Cuba and did laundry and did a tiny bit of grocery shopping and really, I have nothing to do but see clients the next couple of days and get my nails done.

I am really excited.

I haven’t really been on vacation since last July when I went to France.

I am ready.

It’s been really nice having off from my nanny job, but I have been still seeing clients and I have more clients then I did this time last year.

I now have sixteen clients!

I am really happy to report that.

But with the extra clients comes extra supervision, extra paper work, extra scheduling.

Fortunately I finally got my phone and my laptop calendar’s synced up so that when I make a change on my computer it updates my phone and vice versa.

Such a huge relief.

Sometimes my calendar looks like I’m playing a game of Jenga or Tetris.

Tetris for sure.

I have eight more clients to see in the next two days.

One dinner with my person tomorrow night.

One manicure/pedicure.

And a night with hanging out with some girlfriends or doing fellowship Saturday.

Supplies are bought.

Although I would love to get a market basket purse, I have not found one that works well for travel and I won’t be bringing the one I bought in Aix-en-Provence last July, it is just too precious to stuff underneath the seat in front of me on an airplane.

I realized the other day that I was unnecessarily running around trying to distract myself with buying a purse when I needed to be feeling my feelings.

Oh feelings.

Man they suck right now.

I went to acupuncture Tuesday and the doctor tapped this spot on my tummy and said, “stuck emotions” and I just about burst into tears.

Yeah.

Those.

I had reconnected with my ex in an attempt to just be friends.

It just didn’t work.

I am not at all sad or upset or in anyway regret having seen him.

I missed him so damn much.

Miss him now.

But.

Being just friends with someone you are madly in love with might be the hardest thing in the entire world.

So.

Sunday I said I can’t do it anymore.

And I really want to ball my eyes out all the time, but it just keeps getting stuck.

Like right now.

I want to cry and the tears sort of start and then my body just hunches over and it stops.

Yeah.

Stuck emotions.

Reflux.

Tummy upset.

It’s all getting internalized.

I think I’m afraid that if I start I won’t stop.

I want to reach out.

I can’t.

I haven’t.

I won’t.

I want to anyway.

I did mail him a card on Monday and then my person said knock it off, no more contact.

I almost bought him a card yesterday and today too.

I still feel like there is so much to say.

So much.

And so.

I am just over here trying to breathe and let it go.

Let him go.

Even though I didn’t want to.

I had to.

I have to change.

I have to do something different.

I recognize I’m enough but I have to act it too and saying no more to trying to be friends was a part of that.

I don’t know what else is and I’m just going to try my best and believe.

I believe something wonderful will come of all this damn work.

It just has to.

I mean.

Seriously.

It fucking has to.

I have done so much work over these last two years.

I have suffered and cried.

And I have loved.

I have loved unlike anything I have ever done before.

No regrets.

No apologies to you who may have judgments.

I did what I did and I fell in love and I don’t have a single damn regret.

I would do it all over again.

And the love hasn’t gone anywhere.

I don’t suspect that it will.

So I will go somewhere.

I will change my scenery like no one’s business and I will immerse myself in a culture and people and experience and I will bring my best self.

Even if once in a while, it may be my sad self.

I will bring it all and I will dance and I will swim in the ocean and I will meet new people and have a new experience and adventures and take photographs and grow.

I have not died.

He has not died.

Although.

Yes.

It felt like a part of me died when he walked away.

I die a little more now thinking about it.

Perhaps that is what this is too.

I am too afraid.

That if I let it all out my heart will just die.

That it will just break this time.

Oh there.

Hello.

There are some tears.

Another reason to write, it gets the emotions unstuck.

The acupuncture helped, but the blog is the best.

That and my morning pages.

I cried a little writing them today.

I cried in my towel last night after washing my face.

Surprised myself.

Howled with grief.

The gasped and stopped it all back up.

Stuck again.

I keep reminding myself–

Those things worth having are worth the work.

What I am working towards is a free and untethered love,  completely out in the light of day, in the sunshine, transparent and honest and open and I am worthy of that.

So this pain.

Though it hurts.

Hurts so damn bad.

Is worth working through.

I am worth it.

I am enough.

 

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.

 

 

Done

April 30, 2018

I mean.

The paper, that is.

It’s done.

It is done!

IT’S DONE!!

OH MY FUCKING GOD!

IT’S DONE.

My last paper of the semester is done and sent in.

30 pages.

10,062 words.

That makes it the longest paper I have written in graduate school, apt that it is the last one I am writing for my program degree.

My God.

All I have to do for the next weekend of classes is show up.

I have no homework.

I have finished it all.

I didn’t have to finish it today.

But.

I absolutely had to finish it today.

I have a full week and not much wiggle room between work and clients at my internship.

Plus trying to figure out supervision.

Which, I think I may have figured out, I contacted my group supervisor and asked if there was any way I could meet with her after the normal group meets on Saturday.

That means I will miss the closing class ceremony, but that’s not a requirement of the course load, it’s just something the cohort is doing as a sort of ending ceremony.

Which is fine.

I don’t actually mind missing that.

I do mind missing the class time.

I would rather be in class and participate that way.

And I also sent out another request to the Wednesday supervisor to please let me know if an opening comes up, so if there’s a cancellation or a missing person I can take their spot.

I would like to do the ceremony with the cohort, I think it will be a nice way to close out the experience, though if truth be told I think it’s a bit on the woo woo side of town.

However, I don’t have an issue with it.

I am going to have my own little ceremony, my own party, and I will get to be with my people.

People who have seen me through this very long and arduous road of academia.

My God.

I mean.

I had stacks of books and readers on the floor of my kitchen today.

I was amazed at the amount of reading I have done.

And the stacks of books and readers was about a 1/4 of what I have read and digested.

A lot of articles were on-line, especially this last semester.

And I sold back a lot, the majority of my books.

I had to integrate 10 different sources into my paper from readers, articles, lectures, books, that I have read, and I pulled a bunch of them out of the closet today where I keep the books and readers I couldn’t sell back, and I did a quick dive in to see what there was to see.

There was so much.

So much.

I was really taken by how much was there that I have read, every semester, the accumulation of knowledge in my head, the reading, the writing, the integration of all the work.

I really have done a lot of work.

Not just on this paper, which yes, I did a lot of work on this paper, but overall.

The amount of showing up, reading, and writing.

The amount of internal processing and external.

The year and a half of practicum work and supervision.

The two-week long intensives that I attended.

All the things I didn’t do because I was doing homework.

And the conflict in my cohort, the privilege that I got to speak out against, the learning how to hold that conflict, address it, heal it and move on.

The work is no joke.

I’m grateful for it though.

I have learned so much.

About myself.

About others.

The paper I wrote today had four parts to it and each part had a series of sections, about four to six parts, sometimes eight that had to be addressed.

It made me really break apart and break down what I have studied, what I have learned.

And it showed me that I have learned more than I thought.

I have a great capacity for knowledge.

For this I am grateful.

I also am grateful that I am, that I have chosen to be, in a career that will continue to push me, continue to require that I learn more.

My career is always going to have me expanding my knowledge base and learning more.

It’s exciting.

Although.

I am also grateful that I can take a little break now.

The weight of that paper has been lifted off my shoulders.

It still doesn’t feel real yet, but it’s really done.

I have submitted it and that means that there is nothing left to do.

Oh.

Ha.

I have to lead a guided meditation on Friday for ten minutes.

Heh.

I think I can do that.

Sit down, close your eyes, breathe.

Done.

It’s a beautiful thing being done.

I’m just going to sit here for a moment and enjoy the lack of nothing to do.

It’s rather extraordinary.

Shorted

October 24, 2017

I totally shorted myself.

By a year!

I have been ruminating over the last week about how I’m just not going to get all my 3,000 hours to get my licensure by the time the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) in California changes its policies.

I must have the hours accrued by the end of December 2020.

I have been telling myself for the last week that I only had two years and there was no way, no fucking way, I was going to get those hours by the time the regulations changed.

Thus shorting me all my personal therapy hours, which count not as one hour but currently count as three.

In 2021 the BBS will no longer count personal therapy hours.

I need 52 hours of personal therapy to graduate my program, that alone is 156 hours toward my 3,000.

And at this point I will take what ever I fucking can.

I can accrue up to 300 hours of personal therapy.

Believe you me, my personal therapy work helps me so much.

I am at a new place in my life in my perception of who I am and of what I can do and of where I am going, the therapy is like Miracle Grow for me in my current stage of life, I feel like I am gaining so much getting to process what I am working on with my therapist and that helps me be a happier person and it most certainly happens to help me be a better therapist for my clients.

The other change is the BBS won’t count Couples as twice the hours, right now one hour of doing Couples Therapy allows you to accrue two hours towards your 3,000.

That’s a big deal.

Especially, I feel, since Couples Therapy is a lot harder than one on one therapy.

I mean.

Fuck.

There’s two people to deal with in the session, it should, I feel, absolutely be counted as double the hours.

Anyway.

I was navigating my feelings around this yesterday as I checked in with my person and I shared that I was just not willing to try to squeeze any more into my schedule.

That there are things and people and experiences that I need to make room for.

I don’t just want my life to be a constant grind of accruing hours.

Life is more than work.

I have this need to always be working, I have a fear that if I don’t I won’t be safe, that I have no one to lean on, that I am ultimately the only one who can take care of me.

I was a parentified child.

I was precocious, smart, attractive, fast to learn and fast to become the grown up, I lost a lot of child hood experiences because I was forced to deal with adult things way too fucking fast.

I didn’t have parents I could rely on.

I had to rely on myself.

I had to be a child doing an adults job with the skill set of a child.

Granted, as I said, a precocious child, but a child nonetheless.

This has left me at times in awkward and challenging situations where I feel there’s no one to trust, there’s no one I can rely on, that I am forever going to be failed and lost and left behind and abandoned and alone.

I have to make it on my own.

But.

Well.

That is unsustainable.

It negates my desperate need, a very human need, mind you, for connection and community.

I don’t want to isolate myself.

I don’t want my sole drive to be my career and getting there as fast as I can.

I want to enjoy my life as it’s happening.

I talked to her, my person, and really accepted that it wold be ok if I didn’t make my 3,000 hours by the time the licensure changes.

“It will just take you a little longer,” she said, “but you’ll do it, it will happen.”

And I gratefully surrendered and acknowledged that I do a fuck load of work and that it is enough.

That I am enough.

I will be ok.

Then today I’m writing my Morning Pages.

I’m reflecting on the conversation, I’m thinking, well, shoot what are my goals, what do I want?

I want my PhD in Psychology.

Yup.

I want to be a doctor.

And I want to have it by the time I’m 48.

Then.

I thought.

Well.

Then I’ll have my goal be private practice by 50.

And something seemed off.

I’m fast forwarding!

I’m not that old!

I’m 44.

I’ll be 45 when I graduate with my Masters.

The PhD is another two years of acadmic work.

Which means I’d be a doctor by 47 and I could start my private practice way before I’m 50 and then all the sudden I was like, what am I not seeing?

I’m missing something really fucking huge.

I looked at my writing.

Sometimes I’m not good with numbers, I tend towards dyscalculia, and then I suddenly realized

Fuck.

I’m turning 45 in 2017.

December of 2017.

I need to have all my hours by December of 2020.

That means I have three years!

THREE!

Not two.

I have three years to get my hours.

Well, fuck me.

I couldn’t believe it.

I’d basically spent a week being a bit anxious about how the hell I was going to manage to get all my hours and then coming to the conclusion I wasn’t and just accepted that it would be ok.

And then today.

In complete acceptance, writing about it, I realize I have an extra year!

Acceptance is the key to all my problems.

Holy fuck.

What a radical idea.

It was like magic.

I laughed out loud at myself.

It’s still a daunting task, but it feels navigable now.

It did not, not at all, feel that way all last week.

Super fucking grateful I got that figured out.

Fuck.

Hahahahahahahaha.

I am my own worst enemy.

Seriously.

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.

What To Do?

July 7, 2017

I mean.

I have poetry surging through me right now.

But.

I also just need to process the fuck out of my day.

It was a day.

And though I was chased by poetry all day long.

ALL DAY LONG.

I feel as though I just need to write it out for a while.

It’s how I work things out.

Oh.

The poetry is that too.

But I have had a long day and I want to shake it out of my brain so that I can sleep.

I have much to do tomorrow and many places to go and be and do and see and feel.

Oh.

All the feels.

Hello feels.

So nice to see you again.

I don’t find it at all ironic that the field I am training in is therapy.

Hello.

Let ‘s get down to the feelings you have around that.

I had three clients tonight.

However, I only saw two of them.

One of my clients confused when we were supposed to meet and as the client was new and had not done an assessment yet I rescheduled her, I wasn’t going to be able to do an assessment in the ten minutes before my first session.

It took some time to explain what she needed to do and I had to own my part, there had been some miscommunication.

A little like playing telephone the old-fashioned way with cardboard tubes and strings.

It was worked out, but it ended with me having an hour in between my two clients that I did see.

I was fine with that, it actually let me take an important phone call and watch the sky while the sunset.

It was a nice sunset.

I found myself looking at the sky a lot today.

At work earlier in the day, it was a long day people 9a.m.-9:30p.m., the baby had fallen asleep on me.

Not once but twice.

The first time was fairly short and I handed him off to the mom who was heading out the door and taking him with her on her journey through the day.

I got to hang out with the other two monkeys and do lots of cooking a meal prep.

Then when the mom got back I got the baby and he passed out on me.

I had him on my chest, in a carrier, for at least two, probably two and a half hours.

Oh sure.

I looked at my phone a bit.

I read some texts.

I looked at some photographs.

Then I just got dreamy and looked out the window.

I watched the sky.

I watched the trees.

I closed my eyes and drifted.

I was seated on the couch and a few times the little guy would startle hearing his siblings or his mom and he would wake up and cry a bit and I had to get up and walk around and jostle him and bounce and hum.

I have this little thing I hum.

I have been doing it all the years I have been a nanny.

Sometimes I catch myself humming to myself.

It settles me, it soothes me, I don’t know how it exactly came about, but I pair that hum with a lullaby and sometimes I will just hum, three or four notes and repeat them again and again and breathe, in and out, deep and slow, and the baby always settles.

He left a pool of drool on my chest, a ring of moisture that the mom was aghast to see when I finally took him out of the carrier five minutes before I had to hop on my scooter and head to my internship to see my first client.

She pointed it out and I shrugged it off.

“My clients will love that, subconsciously, I’ll be a maternal and warming experience,” I told her, noting to myself that it wasn’t spit up and I didn’t smell like mothers milk, it was just baby drool and I know that baby drool is actually an amazing moisturizer.

I credit that and my grandmothers genetics on my father’s side for my youthful good looks.

Hahahahahaha.

Sorry.

I digress.

I told the mom it would dry before I got to work and I wasn’t worried about my clothes.

Although my fucking clothes have been much on my mind this past week.

The washer in the garage has been out of commission, it was supposed to be repaired this Wednesday but when I tried to do a load of wash last night, no go.

And I got a text from my landlady today while I was at work saying that it was beyond repair and that it would be getting replaced.

IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Fuck my life.

I can’t tell you how much I was relying on doing laundry when I got home tonight.

God laughs when I make plans.

I guess I”m going to have to go to the laundry mat on Saturday.

Grr.

Annoying as fuck.

But at least the dryer works.

It’s more that it’s a time suck.

I don’t know how early or how late the laundry mat is open, it’s just down the block by the 7-11 on Judah and 46th, it’s just out of my fucking way and I don’t want to waste time dealing with it and I need to wash my yoga gear if I hit a class on Saturday.

Anyway.

Fucking luxury problems.

I have more than enough clean clothes to get me through the rest of the week.

Shit.

Tomorrow is Friday.

FRIDAY.

So ready for you.

So ready to see you.

Yes.

Yes I am.

Ah.

And there.

See

I did it.

I processed all my shit.

And maybe.

Well.

Maybe there will be poetry too.

There’s been so much.

Why not a little more.

It is the end of the week after.

Sweet dreams.

Gentle awakenings.

Happy end of the week.

I’ll see you on the flip.

That Was Fun

March 19, 2017

And it didn’t kill me.

It was just tacos.

And I don’t like tacos.

But.

I went anyway.

I know, did you read that, I don’t like tacos.

Who doesn’t like tacos for fucks sake?

I love tacos, people, love them, rub those greasy soft tortilla wrap things all over my naked body, smear me with guacamole and sour cream, drape me in cheese.

And then watch me binge out on all the other things that I would be eating if I decided to eat something that I refrain from for my abstinence.

I was laughing with a friend.

Like anything with sugar.

“You can’t just have one piece?”

(or one beer or one shot or one line)

No.

Chocolate cake would eventually go something like this–one piece of chocolate cake, becomes two pieces, becomes, let’s eat the whole damn thing, and have a big glass of milk and since nothing is better after a “meal” let’s have a cigarette and fuck since I’m smoking I might as well have a cocktail and if I’m going to have a cocktail let’s call my dealer and get a bag of blow.

And.

Well.

There it is.

Chocolate cake equals cocaine.

You think I jest.

But that is my truth.

So no tacos for me.

I had the taco salad without the taco.

Fuck.

I had Mexican food twice today, that was not planned.

Much of today was not planned, on purpose, I wanted to leave some space to be free to actually have a day off and be flexible.

I did get up and do yoga, my arms are a little sore, but not too bad.

I had a nice leisurely breakfast and took a hot shower and went to meet up with my person and do the deal and cry a bit about being overwhelmed with the internship stuff and school and practicum and stuff and life.

She slowed me down, and really helped me get into the present, into today, into the joy of living and admonished me to have fun, which she actually does a lot now that I am thinking about it, she often tells me to have fun, and I decided to take her suggestion and see if I could have fun.

It wasn’t always easy today, I can get stuck trying to make things happen, but I just tried to let myself go with the flow and show up where I was supposed to be and after that see what happens.

What happened was a nice lunch, a manicure and a pedicure and then a scooter ride over to Waller and Stanyan to Free Gold Watch to play pinball.

I actually got sore wrists from playing.

Hehe.

Does any one get carpal tunnel syndrome from pinball?

I might have today.

I played my favorite, The Addams Family, and also I played The Twilight Zone a lot.

Then I zipped over to Turk and Divisadero, got right with God, made a confession at group level about being wildly adverse to fellowship and needing to do it and supposedly having to have fun and I don’t want to eat tacos.

And I got merry hell from my friends and ended up going out to some taqueria on Divisadero with a crew of people and hanging out until there was no one left to hang out with.

Got to love it when I take suggestions.

I don’t regret them ever.

Oh, sure it’s uncomfortable, social stuff is, being vulnerable, letting people see you, but I have community and as I do ramp up with all the school stuff I really am trying to keep my toe in the pool, maybe even sit on the steps and get a little submerged.

I remind myself, hey you, you like to swim, don’t be afraid.

And I will be afraid and that’s ok, but I don’t have to let the fear run the show.

It did a lot early in the week when I was freaking out about my schedule and meeting with my site director and setting up what my internship was going to look like.

I was anxious and in so much fear.

It was unnecessary, it was unpleasant and I just got spun out.

Anxiety is useless.

It’s worrying about the future and trying to worry so hard that I have all the fretting out-of-the-way before the actual event happens as a way to control the uncertainty of the event.

I want to be in control because if I don’t know what’s going to happen, something really bad might happen.

So I find myself pre-emptive and I fret.

God, how I fret.

And you wonder how it was that I was diagnosed with clinical anxiety ten years ago.

Yeah.

I had no clue that was what was going on with me.

It’s always been there, I just hadn’t the vocabulary to describe what was happening, or the knowledge that it wasn’t normal, or that there were things I could do to alleviate it.

Or that, I don’t know the horrific shit show of things that happened to me as a child were traumatic and might have long-lasting effects, like, um, I don’t know, being scared to be out of control of my environment because something bad this was coming.

Anxiety?

Nope.

Not me.

Bwahahahahaaha.

Fuck.

Grad school has definitely stirred that pot, from working with the stuff that comes up for me, working through a lot of it, processing, training myself, learning how to deal with my emotions, finding things that stir me up, realizing how things land in my body and how my body is affected.

All sorts of things.

I am super grateful for all the things and the getting to work through them and not have “death by tacos” and hanging out and getting connected with a group of pretty awesome, talented, kind, cool, smart folks.

In other words.

I had fun.

Mission accomplished.

 

The Pink Lady

September 24, 2016

Rides again!

Yes.

I got my new Corazzo jacket in the post today while I was at school.

So glad to have a nice motorcycle jacket again.

Of course I got the pink one.

Please people.

I love pink.

Not.

However, that it is my favorite color.

Nope.

It is not.

But.

I like being a cute girly girl on my scooter with my little applied star stickers and my star and sparkle helmet.

And.

My awesome new Corazzo pink riding jacket.

I was a little flummoxed when I got home, though.

For a minute, or five, it was not much fun, I thought the latch on my scooter seat was broken and that I couldn’t get my seat open.

Which meant.

I couldn’t get to my purse, my house keys, my phone.

Fuck me.

I stood outside the gate, I could see the package inside the door.

Irony.

God having a good chuckle at me.

I don’t know.

But.

I did manage to get my seat open, turns out the latch was never really quite latched, the strap to my purse was caught in the spot where it should have latched.

Instead it just reminded me to slow down.

I tend to go fast.

Zoom.

Zip.

Slow down.

Take it easy.

One moment at a time.

No where that I have to get to that fast.

I can be quick to the gas, pressing it forward, going quick.

I like speed.

Sometimes, most times, it’s a feeling of freedom, but it can also be a way to escape the situation, quick, get the fuck out of here, run before there’s a feeling, a connection, an intimacy.

Grateful I know this about myself.

And.

Grateful my friends are persistent with me.

I am thinking of my two best girl friends in my cohort and how wildly grateful I was for their presence today in school.

Especially after the unnecessary anxiety I felt yesterday.

The classes turned out to be just fine today.

And yes.

I do still have reading I need to do, but I handed in both my papers and there were folks who did not have the papers to hand in.

And I could tell there were plenty of folks who hadn’t done all the reading either.

But I had done enough, enough to stay in the flow of what was happening in each of the classes and to participate, which is huge in my schooling experience.

If I participate, the teacher remembers me, I get attention, positive for the most part, and I am a part of the experience.

That’s what I prayed for today, to be of service to my cohort, to show up without expectation, to be myself, to help where I could and to do good self-care.

I brought my lunch, my dinner, my homemade cold brewed coffee.

I had tea for the evening class that wasn’t caffeinated.

I had lunch with one of my darling friends.

I have a lunch date with the other tomorrow.

I was extended a Thanksgiving invitation that I am very seriously considering taking too.

So glad for these women in my life.

So glad that I just showed up.

Showing up is so much of the battle for me.

It’s a big deal.

Especially when I can run from things, or stick my head in the sand or not participate out of fear.

Actually.

I have gotten a lot better at walking through the fear and letting myself be emotionally vulnerable in class.

I mean.

Fuck.

I am going to school to become a therapist, I better be in touch with my feelings.

I volunteered to do a demo with one of my professors today and that was great.

The class got to practice assessing my presenting problem.

Was it PTSD?

Or.

Was it Major Depressive Order?

I’ll let you in on a secret.

It was probably both, but what I was presenting with was PTSD.

And it was the first time I actually understood what the hell was being shown when I was originally diagnosed with it.

I read it in the DSM 5.

I noted the presenting symptoms.

And voila!

I got to diagnose myself.

Not that I recommend that.

And frankly.

I did feel some tenderness around myself and a lack of wanting to engage with certain people and relationships in my life.

I needed a break from looking at all the child hood stuff.

I had to take it gentle and do some self-care.

There’s still stuff to work out and I could go into further detail, but really, why?

It’ll get worked out and it doesn’t need to quite be in this public of a forum.

Besides.

Read enough of my older blogs and you’ll make a damn good guess at some of the traumas I got to live through.

And come out stronger.

Not that I’m advocating trauma for growth.

It just happens to be a part of my journey.

That’s all.

No judgements around it other than I get to be really kind to myself.

Which meant coming home tonight instead of going out with friends from school.

Or.

Friends from life.

“What are you doing tonight?” A new friend text me as I was wrapping up my final class of the day.

I told her I was still at school.

Really my plans.

Go home.

Rub one out.

Take a shower.

Write my blog.

Drink some hot tea.

Watch a snippet of a video.

Go to bed.

Get up and do it all again tomorrow.

The only difference being.

I will be attired in pink.

So.

Very.

Pretty.

In pink.

Yes.

Please.

READING?

November 23, 2015

You’re reading?

Take a break.

Alright.

But wait.

I have to e-mail my professor.

Fuck my mother.

I was on the phone with a friend who I haven’t had a chance to talk to all weekend when I got a ping, I wasn’t paying much attention, trying to re-connect and make plans for when he’s back in town and then, I see it’s my T-Group professor.

Then I see the regarding part of the message.

Dear Carmen, it looks like you attached the directions to how to write the paper rather than the paper.

How shit.

Of course I did.

Damn it man.

I wrote that sucker eight days ago and really did not want to think about it.

My friend got off the phone with me to leave me to my fretting about school and so I could re-send the paper.

I got it off and the professor sent me a sweet note saying not to worry and it’s all set.

I decided to take my friend suggestion and relax the rest of the night.

Cue vibrator.

I mean, come on.

I need to get some stress out.

I came so fast I couldn’t believe it.

Sorry.

Should have put in the warning about relatives reading said blog.

Sorry, relations, you should stop reading blog.  Pick it up tomorrow.

Anywho.

Yeah.

So.

That was fast.

Note to self efficacy of said fantasy extremely high.

Baha.

I actually went for round two and the same thing happened.

I can’t remember the last time I had two back to back orgasms that fast.

Yup.

Needed to unwind.

Then.

Into the shower.

SUPER HOT.

And I just sat under neath the falling water and let all the cares sluice down the drain.

I am taking it easy for the rest of the night.

I deserve a break.

Twenty nine hours of school over the weekend and yes, ma’am, I do need a break.

Plus I went grocery shopping right after school.

I had not quite calculated enough food for the weekend and was a little short in my fridge.

I knew I needed to buy staples and I was going to go and do a nice run to Rainbow, I was on my scooter, after all, but by the time class was done.

So was I.

Done that is.

I negotiated with my self and decided I would just do a run to SafeWay for some staples and then over to Other Avenues for eggs, coffee, and persimmons.

I am grateful I didn’t try to do more than that.

I got overwhelmed in SafeWay.

Oh duh.

It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving!

It was packed in the store.

I don’t know that I have ever seen so many people in a SafeWay.

I got in and I got out.

I got home and I made some dinner.

Pot of brown rice accompanied by ground turkey sauteed with mushrooms, garlic, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Hella good.

Then the dishes.

Then the phone call.

Then the fuck this I need to relax.

And I feel a lot better now.

The hot shower and I even splurged when I got out and slapped a face mask on myself.

Note to self.

Lovely gift from friend smells way too good to put on face, want to put in mouth, want to lick off self, perhaps use as aphrodisiac for next self-gratifying session.

Speaking of which.

I need to go wash the mask off my face before I start sticking my tongue out the side of my mouth and snacking on it.

Excuse me for a moment here.

I just looked at the ingredients on the facial masque–first ingredient–raw cocoa.

Second ingredient.

Honey.

Well, of course I want to eat own face off.

I just washed it off and skin feels lovely.

And slathered self with coconut lotion.

Now self smells like Mounds Bar.

I smell delicious.

Is it possible to make out with own self?

Oh.

My.

God.

I am nuts.

Just a little tired from three day weekend of psychodynamics, human development, Freudian theory, processing, group triads in therapeutic communication, playing therapist, playing the client, showing up in class, being on time, writing, writing, writing, reading, reading, reading.

But as I stare down the rest of the semester, there is just one weekend left in December before I am finished with the semester, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s called the City of Lights and I can’t wait to go!

“You know it will be cold and gloomy, and somber after what happened,” my darling Parisian friend said to me this weekend.

“Yes, I do, and I am ok with that, I lived there during the cold, dark, dreary, and I am prepared for that, besides, I am happy just wandering the streets, I don’t need to have the best weather in the world.”

Although when Paris is warm it might be the most delicious place in the entire world.

And whatever the season, it’s Paris.

Christmas in Paris.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?

Better than say, Christmas in Daly City.

And we have plans, ma poulette et moi.

She is going to show me the Jeu de Paume museum.

Which I can’t believe I never went to when I was in Paris, but it just went right under my radar.

It’s a museum of modern art and photography.

I am really interested in the galleries and also of the Phillip Halsman photos of Marilyn Monroe jumping.

I see a souvenir in my future.

Plus, she, my Parisian friend, vowed to show me parts of the 1st Arronsidesment that I have never seen.

I am extraordinarily excited.

And much more relaxed.

Scent of face mask fading.

Body relaxing.

Hot tea taking affect.

Laundry wrapping itself up in the wash.

Food prepped for the week.

And I have a few hours of down time that I will not, I promise, devote to school work.

Rather.

A video.

A call back to my friend now that I am in my right mind.

Well.

I may never be in my right mind, but I am a lot more settled down, that’s for sure.

And a full night’s sleep.

Then back to the grind tomorrow.

But that is tomorrow.

Tonight.

I relax.

Yes.

Yes.

And more.

Yes.

I swear that wasn’t meant to be sexual.

Freudian slip.

Ha!

 

 

 


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