Posts Tagged ‘Psychopathology’

The Final Push

December 17, 2016

All I could think about, well, not all, but a lot of what I could think about was getting through the day so that I could get to the thing and then go grocery shopping and get home and blog and have tea and maybe watch half of Project Runway, shut up, and then go to bed and get up and go to yoga and shower and eat breakfast and coffee, coffee, coffee, and go meet my person and then zip the fuck back here and write my fucking paper.

Damn you Psychopathology.

All I can think about is that span of hours that I will be writing.

Alternatively dreading and anticipating.

I mean.

By this time tomorrow I’ll be done with the semester.

If it fucking kills me.

Actually.

I will be done with it before this time tomorrow night or I might shoot myself in the head.

I jest.

Not funny for a therapist in training to joke about suicide, now is it?

Hahahahahaha.

Where’s the coffee?

Heh.

I mean.

It’s not that bad, I do know, without a doubt that I will write the fuck out of the paper and I’ve done my prep and I have my stack of notebooks, three, books, four, and my thoughts in regards to what I need to do.

There is much to do.

But I know the lay of the land and I will wend my way through the paper.

It’s going to take some sustained effort, but I got it.

I do.

It’s just stopping and pausing to enjoy the moment that is right now instead of living in that perpetual feeling of anxiety about writing the paper.

I came so close to calling in sick today.

And.

I’m not sick.

I just want the relief of being finished with the work.

I want the respite at the end of the tunnel.

Fast acting relief.

I’m not as good with sitting with pain as I used to be.

That being said, I did have a proactive day that wasn’t completely focused on pondering the Psychopathology paper.

I did get up and go to yoga.

I did not do any yoga though.

Which could have had the capacity to piss me off, but didn’t.

The instructor literally slept through her alarm.

I will cut the woman some slack though, she’s just gotten back from a long trip abroad to India and jet lag is no joke.

I left the studio after fifteen minutes of lolling about on my mat and doing some stretching and just figured that God had different plans in mind.

I had a nice breakfast and some delicious coffee and wrote a lot.

I have had a few things on my mind you could say.

And then I scooted downtown to campus to sell back some text books.

Of course the store was closed.

I’d gotten there too early so I went and idled around the practicum support table on the second floor and wrote out the two page practicum application paperwork that my advisor needs to sign for me to move forward in the process.

I was super grateful to get that out-of-the-way and by the time I was done the store had just opened.

I hopped downstairs, sold my text books and gave myself the permission to go buy some of my favorite lotion at Rainbow and wander around the aisles a little bit.

Some apples, some candles, a raw chocolate drink, my body lotion and then over to work.

I had a few minutes before my shift started and I made some phone calls and came to some really deep realizations about some personal things.

And though I will talk about sex and intimacy and dating I can’t and won’t always talk about what is going on internally.

I have to talk it out.

So.

I did that and was really grateful for the response I got back from my person.

It did leave a surreal taste in my mouth for the day, albeit a good one, I feel really free of some character defects that have been plaguing me without me even being conscious of them.

It felt really good, I felt graced and enlightened and though there was some sadness there too, I realized that the decision I had come to was the right one for me and it really was a fucking relief to let go of some old ideas that I had no clue how long I’d been holding onto them.

Pretty intense and pretty fucking fabulous.

Which left me really at ease in my person, my life, where I am with work and school and relationships in general.

I really had a fucking epiphany of gigantic proportions.

Things shifted inside and I cannot believe how being honest with myself could bring about such change.

But there I was sitting on the bench outside the store on the corner of Lexington and 20th having the most profound conversation with my person who was also reiterating to me how deep this shift was and I was blown away, just blown away.

Work, then, was amazing, just for me showing up.

Did lots of cooking.

Stockpiled some broccoli soup and homemade black bean chili for the mom.

Played with the boys.

Ran some errands.

Played with the boys more.

Read stories.

And confirmed that I would love to have dinner with the family after work on Monday to celebrate my birthday at Izakaya Rintaro.

Can you say sashimi?

I can.

Yummy.

“As long as it won’t interfere with you finishing up your finals and papers,” my boss said, “we’d love to take you out to dinner for your birthday.”

I assured them that I would be finished by Monday.

I better be.

It’s due Monday.

But as we all know.

At least I know.

I will be done tomorrow.

So that I can celebrate my birthday without it hanging over my head.

I feel like that is pretty spectacular incentive to finish.

Almost there.

I got this.

I really do.

Seriously.

One more big push.

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You’ve Lost Weight!

December 16, 2016

The counter woman at the postal office said to me today as I dropped off the last Christmas package that needed to go in the mail.

“Thanks, yes, I thought it was starting to show a little,” I smiled.

“You look great!”

That was a nice way to start my day.

Especially since I haven’t really lost weight.

Although, I am looking smaller, I’ve been doing so much yoga, signed up for a class tomorrow morning, because I still can before my schedule at work completely up ends and I have to figure out how I will make time with the new job, I haven’t, in fact, lost weight.

I’m just tighter, stronger, and my posture is a lot better.

I can feel it when I walk and I do feel lighter in my body, even though the scale said otherwise.

I don’t like using a scale, it’s a number that has a lot of connotations attached to it that aren’t mine and they don’t serve me.

But looking in the mirror, I do, in fact, see a slightly smaller body and I definitely feel stronger in my person.

And that’s nice.

“Have a good night kiddo,” the Uber driver said to me as he dropped me off tonight.

So much rain, I was not taking my scooter out in it today, so a ride to work, a ride to meet my person at Firewood Cafe in the Castro after work and a  ride home, good thing I’m selling back some books tomorrow!

I leaned back into the car, “thanks for saying that, I turn 44 on Sunday! Have a great night!”

My driver waited while I got into the front gate of my house, then leaned out the window, “you look amazing, you do not look 44!  You’re still a kiddo.”

Thanks man.

Hey, I’m single too.

hehe.

Anyway.

The yoga, it shows.

And I am grateful to be doing it especially as the holidays, though jolly, can at times be a little melancholic for me.

I don’t think I’m alone in that.

That being said, I am super happy to have the family and fellowship and friendships that I have and I am realizing where I need to cultivate them, those relationships, and where I need to let them go.

“You are like me,” my person said tonight, “one act of kindness and forever in the other person’s debt.”

Oh.

Damn.

So true.

Things are changing internally and some relationship changes are occurring and have been occurring and I realized that I could be grateful for the time I have had with people, with relationships, and not have to hold onto them or force them to work.

The only relationship I really need to cultivate is one with myself.

And others will follow.

Being respectful to myself, loving myself, taking care of myself, it shows and it’s nice to give it back to the world.

“We’re going to miss you around here,” the girl at the register said to me today as I picked up a few extra supplies for the dinner I made the family tonight–lobster, corn, sushi rice, and teryaki roast salmon.

Yeah.

Like that.

“Do you like lobster,” my employer asked me today when I was going down the list of things to do and cook and make.

Um.

YES.

My boss had picked up three and it was a lobster boil tonight.

I haven’t had it in a little while.

I even clarified the butter.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had to dash out in the rain to the corner market and get some extra ingredients and had a sweet chat with the woman who works the register and wished her happy holidays and told her about leaving my current job and moving over to the Glen Park neighborhood.

The aforementioned complement and a request that I not forget them and come in for a visit once in a while.

I loved that.

It feels so nice to be appreciated, to be seen, to be acknowledged.

Although I don’t act nice for the acknowledgment of it, or for accolades, it just feels better to be thoughtful and kind.

Heck.

I even got a hug from my yoga instructor today.

He’s become a favorite of mine during the week and I won’t be able to take his classes anymore since my job schedule is changing.

Today was my last Thursday morning class.

He commiserated with me about my schedule and school and said he was really going to miss having me in class and he hoped that I would stick with the yoga.

I am sticking.

I just don’t know what it will look like.

Story of my life.

I don’t know what anything is going to look like anymore.

Which, really, if I admit it, is rather a relief.

I like surprises.

I just know that I am going tomorrow and after that I will take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and go sell back my books.

Then work.

Then the big paper on Saturday.

That is sort of all my focus at the moment.

Get through work.

Get through this paper.

There will always be something to work on, to do, to be, to become, so I also wish to just stop and acknowledge that it was a hard day, work had some challenges I didn’t really feel like writing about, and I’m grateful for every moment, because I keep learning about what I want and don’t want, in relationships, in employment, in school, in life.

It’s good stuff really, even the challenging stuff I can be grateful for and when I look back over the arc of the day I could complain about the difficulties, but really, when I was treated so warmly, so kind, with sweetness and compliments, and well, love, why the fuck would I bother to focus on the negative?

No thanks.

Today was a good day.

And I’ll end on that note.

Because.

Well.

lt was.

 

 

End Days

December 15, 2016

I had my last day with the family up in Noe Valley today.

My key ring is just a little bit lighter.

And my heart a little bit softer and sad.

But a sweet kind of sad.

A grateful kind of melting in my heart, all the brood wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, even the dog cuddled under my arm, the oldest boy reading his own book, the middle boy and I counting meerkats in the find the meerkat book, and the littlest girl on my lap intermittently reading Pete the Cat with me.

It was pretty awesome.

We even had a special bubble bath, heaps of bubbles and finger painting soap.

It was hilarious.

I was a little remiss to discover that I had the full afternoon to myself and the baby and the boys were getting picked up by grandma to do cookie baking.

I had thought I would have all three the whole day.

I had plans.

Oh well.

But.

I still got to have some time alone with all of them and it was good.

I also kicked myself a little for not bringing my Psychopathology with me to work on, I could have knocked out another couple of hours.

But this morning I decided I wasn’t going to lug around all the books and notebooks, I have never had a Wednesday when I was able to get time alone to do homework.

Let alone breathe, most of the time juggling three is a new level of nannying for me.

It was good practice though and the experience will not be lost on me as I transition to the next family and their soon to be three children–mom is due on December 30th.

I start on January 2nd.

That’s not so far away and yet feels like years away.

So much in between here and there.

Just knocking them out day by day.

Doing yoga.

Got up again today and went.

It was hard.

Super fucking hard.

There are some poses that my body just can’t get to, I’m too tight, too stiff, have had too much damage done, bad ankles, bad knees.

I leaked tears.

I have a really hard time doing any of the squatting poses and I tried, I really did, but between the shoulder that’s been a pester and my ankles being awful (I mean I may have sustained that ankle injury two years ago, but that bitch flairs up all the time, ALL the time) I ended up seizing up.

My legs cramped.

I got a Charley horse.

And my foot began to cramp.

I fell out of the pose and tried to catch my breath in child’s pose while the rest of the class blithely went about doing it as if it were nothing.

I cried, but it was not an angry kind of cry.

It was sort of surrendering to the moment cry and the tears were yes because I was in pain, but also, there was some emotional baggage there that I just didn’t even realize until a little more time had pass and the class was winding down.

As I lay there on the mat, eyes closed, tears sliding down my face, I made an amends to myself.

Out of nowhere, this part of me just sobbed, inside, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

And then.

I forgave myself.

I beat my body up.

I used my body as a shield.

I over ate to protect my too tender heat not realizing how harmful it was going to be later down the line.

I took relief and succor where I could find it.

It did not serve.

My brain perhaps, it alleviated the pain of being in my body, in this world, with all the suffering contingent therein.

I didn’t know any better.

And I did the best I could.

I wore shitty shoes and didn’t exercise and ate crap for decades.

Until I didn’t.

But it took awhile and instead of going to that place I do sometimes in my brain when I want to explain to everyone around me why I can’t do something, why my body, older by far than the whippet lithe bodies of twenty year olds around me, wasn’t capable of doing what everyone else could do, I stopped.

I don’t need to tell anyone my story, I don’t need to justify my experience, I don’t have to explain.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

All that matters is that I showed up.

And when I think about all the abuse I have been through and all the abuse I have heaped upon myself and all the things I put into my body, well, fuck, thank  God I still have a body to walk around in, to do yoga in, to make love in, to sleep in, to enjoy eating food in.

Because if life were fair.

I’d be dead.

Seriously.

So as I lay on that mat, softly tearing up, welling with emotions, I forgave myself, I forgave myself for it all and I made a promise, to my body, from my heart, I will do the best I can to take care of you, body, I will love you and nourish you and treat you kindly and exercise and keep showing up for yoga and it will be a life long amends.

I felt soothed and relieved and wiped out and it wasn’t even time to go to work yet.

A hot shower.

A hot cup of coffee.

Some oatmeal.

And work.

And love.

And yeah, so I didn’t get to that paper today, it would have been interrupted anyway, I did have a wonderful day with the baby and the boys and I took a long walk and I wrote the last of my Christmas cards and I sent out little reminders to friends about Sunday and brunch on my birthday.

My birthday feels so far away.

Until I finish the last paper, it all feels very far away.

Anyway.

Right here.

Right now.

I’m tired.

I’m going to make some more tea and snuggle into my cozy bed, watch my Christmas tree, revel in my body, grateful for all the places it has carried me today.

So grateful to be in this body.

Especially.

As I sit quietly waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

Seriously.

That’s Not A Shower Curtain

December 13, 2016

Then I burst into tears.

I got an early birthday present.

Two beautiful Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Be still my heart.

My favorite notebooks of all time.

Gorgeous, smooth, silky, satiny, soft, soft, soft, French paper that is the most exquisite thing to write on.

I am a tactile person.

I love textures and things that soothe.

Writing on this paper makes me happy.

Happier than one would think, all things considered, it’s such a small luxury, but not a luxury I allow myself very often.

It’s special, they are special.

And sometimes I have a hard time letting myself have nice things.

I’m working on it.

In the mean time.

There are those out there who love me and that’s what it was like.

Getting a big box of love.

And it was sweet and made me feel tender.

I was already feeling a little tender.

Date cancelled.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Shame is on me.

I sort of knew it too.

A pricking in my thumbs.

A feeling like something was up.

And I find it funny since I was planning on approaching the date differently than I have in the past.

No such practice was to be had.

I reminded myself, gently, that “rejection is God’s protection” and there were probably many things that I needed to be doing instead of this date.

Psychopathology paper.

Organizing my books to sell back to the book store at school, although the majority of them I bought online, the store will buy back books that they didn’t sell.

So there’s that.

And I did actually work on my Psychopathology paper today, although there was some push back and it took, what felt like Herculean effort to open up my books and notebooks, I got in there.

The baby took a nice long two-hour nap and yes, I did take my sweet time cracking the books, but once opened, I dove in and I wrote a bit of the paper out.

Not, actually, in my computer, I’d left my laptop at the house.

But rather.

By long hand, in my notebook.

I began the outline and I got my thesis statement written.

I wrote four pages long hand in outline, which should correlate to about seven or eight on my computer once I format the paper.

I know what I am going to write about for the first section of the paper, I have my symptoms outlined, and I have my diagnosis and I have my differential diagnoses, and I have my reasons sketched out as to why the diagnosis that I chose is the “correct” one (there technically is no correct diagnosis, I have to argue my point of view) and I can support my decision quite well.

Doing that work today really felt good, actually.

That means that I have a third of the paper written.

Even though it’s not written formally, having the knowledge of what I’m going to write is huge, and as all the previous papers for this professor have done, I am learning more as I go.

Which is pretty fucking cool when you think about it.

Albeit a little exhausting.

I really did have a hard time getting into the books.

But I knew that I would be more upset with myself if I didn’t, especially since I had a pretty good feeling the baby would sleep for a while.

And now.

Now I feel really good.

I have officially, in my brain anyhow, set aside Saturday afternoon to write the paper formally.

I will do yoga in the morning, meet with my person in the Inner Sunset at noon, then scooter back to the house for lunch and sit my happy ass down and write.

I have a commitment at 7 p.m. and I will be done with it by the time I need to leave.

Guaranteed.

I’m feeling a lot better about it since having done the preliminary work on it last Monday and again another couple of hours on it today.

Including the time reading and re-reading the material I have put in quite a bit of time already on the paper.

But.

I want that “A.”

I’m going to get that grade.

And then.

I’m going to go merrily to my birthday brunch and not give two fucks about school for a week.

No practicum freaking out.

No ordering my books for the next semester, unless the syllabi go up, but I don’t think they will, it usually takes a week.

No reading, except for pleasure.

I will definitely let myself have a least one pleasure book for the holidays.

And perhaps a real date.

I’m ready for some fun.

Which is what I thought tonight was going to be about and I realize that it’s not on the menu, it happens sometimes, the fun runs out, and the next dish doesn’t seem that special.

But having gotten to unexpectedly open a birthday present early I feel quite happy and very loved.

I really didn’t realize.

I’m usually quite the good girl about waiting.

My mom sent my birthday and Christmas present already and I haven’t open those yet.

I’ll open my birthday present on my birthday and my Christmas present on the 23rd, since I’m going to Wisconsin that evening on a red-eye and I don’t plan on carrying that with.

Although I will be traveling with gifts, I got my friends some little things and their boys some stuff, I’m actually quite excited to give them their gifts–Arrrgh maties, I went to ye olde pirate shop–826 Valencia–the only pirate supply store in the world.

At least that I know of.

It’s like the coolest kids store ever.

And got the boys some ridiculous gifts.

So.

Hey.

Look.

It’s ok that my date cancelled.

I had better things to do it turns out.

Like let myself experience love.

That was the better choice, despite my best laid plans.

And truly.

I’m ok with that.

Although I did burst into tears when I got the notebooks.

They were good tears.

Sad.

Sweet.

Bitter.

Sweet.

And happy.

All wrapped up in one beautiful package.

Love.

Love.

It’s all that really matters.

Seriously.

You Mean Your 33rd

December 12, 2016

There is no way you’re in your 40s!

Thanks darling.

That was nice to hear.

I was texting with a friend in regard to my birthday brunch next Sunday at Zazie’s in Cole Valley.

One week left of 43.

Not that I’m counting.

I’m grateful for my age, my authenticity, my life, my person, this body of experiences of heart aches and belly laughs, or sorrow and pain and vast oceans of gratitude, love, and happiness.

I get to encompass so much.

For that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for more affirmations of myself, my abilities, and my work, I received some amazing feed back from my Psychopathology professor today.

I got back my mid-term paper from her.

I was actually a bit nervous, she’s the professor I asked for a letter of recommendation from and I want to impress her (hell fire, I want to impress everyone, truth be told) and she’s the professor that’s got the biggest paper yet to do ahead for me to have the semester of work completed.

I got an “A.”

I was blown away.

Especially as she was explaining her grading scale yesterday in class to a student she hasn’t had before in class; who was asking with the same anxiety that I remember having so well when I first started taking classes with this professor (I will also have her next semester for Trauma), how she graded her papers and assigned grades for the class.

The professor explained and basically expressed that a good grade was an A-.

The a decent grade was a B+.

You don’t want to get less than a B in grad school, FYI.

A B- or a C+ you might as well be failing the class.

That an exemplary, you went above and beyond was what it took to warrant an “A” for her class.

That I got an “A” on my mid-term paper boggles my mind.

After her explanation, which I just summarized, there’s a little more behind how she grades, I was sitting in class thinking I definitely had gotten a B+ for the paper and if I was lucky, perhaps an A-.

I got an “A!”

Fuck yes!

And fuck me.

Now the pressure is more on than before to produce a good final last paper for her.

Especially after the end note she left on my paper: “Carmen, this is by far the most heartfelt, touching, and comprehensive psychopathology paper ever!  You show a deep integration between your personal experience and conceptual understanding.  I appreciate the seamless ways in which you wove in the material from McWilliams (one of the text books I referenced in conjunction with the DSM V)–I can see how much you have made this material your own.  Impressive!”

I just about fell out of my chair.

And.

Yes.

I did indeed tear up.

It just feels so god damn good to be on the right track, to finally, after so many years of soul searching, have a way forward, a goal, an identity (although certainly only a small facet of who I am, but one in which I get to use all that I am), a career path, and that I get to use all those things, all that soul suffering that I went through, to gain access to that path.

Such a gift.

All the pain was not for naught.

All the experience I have and all the resilience.

I’m just stupid grateful.

Which is good, tis the season after all.

My heart full and warm as I pause and look at my Christmas tree, at the neat stack of Christmas cards I just addressed prior to getting started on this blog, on the soft candle light in my home, the hot tea in my body, I feel replete.

Not quite relieved.

No.

Like I said, there is still another paper to go.

But.

I am inspired, alight, and yes, a little nervous.

One of my friends from Wisconsin whom I am shortly to be visiting, sent me a weather update about the cold, the snow and the negative temperatures and asked if I was still coming.

I had to laugh, the cold is scary, but not enough to scare me off from my trip.

And.

I am so looking forward to seeing my friends, their sweet boys, the snow, the Christmas lights in the snow, the smell of firewood burning in the cold night air–one of my favorite smells of all time, wood fire smoke on a cold night (only to be super ceded by wood fire smoke from a beach bonfire).

I messaged him back that I was indeed still coming and that I was in fact finishing up my final classes of my last weekend of the semester.

He pinged back that he would send me something to read.

I said, NOOOOO.

Not yet.

Nope.

I have to write this paper and now I have this additional problem of having some big expectations for myself around writing a stellar paper.

I loved his response: “what a good problem!”

He’s right.

If I am going to have “problems” in my life, this is certainly one of the better ones to have.

Heh.

Goodness.

I just realized that two weeks from now I’ll be there, in the snow, cozy in their home, my best friend, her husband, their three boys, and it will be Christmas.

I am such a lucky girl.

Friends.

Travel.

Snow at Christmas.

Wrapping up gift boxes to send to my mom and my sister.

Christmas cards addressed and stamped.

Meaning and purpose and a design to take all the soul suffering and transmute it into the language of love.

How many people get to do that?

I am blessed.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Yes.

Very much so.

Grounded

December 8, 2016

I will not be riding my scooter the rest of the week.

Eek.

Tense ride home in the rain, cold, and wet, and slick and yuck.

The weather calls for rain for the rest of the weekend.

Damn it weather.

I got places to be.

School.

Work.

A wedding.

I’ll either be using cars or getting out early and using the MUNI, which sucks, but hey, at least I have options and for that I am grateful.

I hate blowing the money on cars.

But.

I also hate the waste of time that is MUNI.

If I was on a more direct route it would be fine, but to get to work would be either a half hour walk from the closest train station or a transfer to a bus, the 22 Fillmore, and still a walk, but more like 10 minutes.

Either way a pain in the ass.

I’d rather spend the extra dollars and take a car.

The next couple of weeks don’t look good weather wise, lots of cold and lots of rain.

More rain than I have seen in years.

Sigh.

Oh well.

I am starting to count down the days, it’s getting closer, the last weekend, the last weeks of work, the starting a new job, the time is just sliding right past.

“What do you mean, next week is your last week,” the middle boy said to me tonight at dinner time, “where are you going?!”

I explained that I would be starting with a new family in January.

Next week the temporary job that I have had for the last two months will come to an end.

They have been a great family to work for and I am super grateful that I have gotten to know them, and that they happen to be psychiatrists who will happily write me letters of recommendation for practicum doesn’t hurt either.

I will miss the baby girl the most, she really digs me and I her.

She’s passionate and smart and likes to dance.

Nothing there I like.

Heh.

We had a big dance party tonight, the middle boy wanted to have a dance contest and I queued up some Kungs on my Spotify and we got down and boogied.

It was a fun day with them.

The rain kept us inside and cozy.

The oldest boy read for most of the afternoon.

I would bring him snacks and peel his clementines, and I got him a snuggle blanket and just checked in with him every so often.

He’s a peach.

All the family.

Really.

“Wait! I know!” The middle boy looked at me, eyes big and round and brown, ruffled with the thickest, prettiest eyelashes, “we can come a visit you at your house! Once a week, or even better, once a day!”  He nodded his head solmenly at me.

“Oh, my gosh, that’s the best idea!  I’d love it if you came and visited!”

Of course, my tiny in-law might be a bit cramped with a 21 month old, 4.5 year old and 6.5 year old, and their parents.

Maybe we’d have a dance party.

I’m listening to some French house music right now.

The dancing helps.

Gets me in my body, my sore body, I’ve been doing lots of yoga recently, making hay while the sun shines.

That’s figurative, if you haven’t realized it’s been raining buckets all day.

Although I did avoid the worst of the down pour having got home before it really unleashed.

It wasn’t raining when I left and I figured, hey, I’ve ridden home before, I can do it later.

But.

It was so cold.

And even with my sweatshirt, a jean jacket, and my scooter jacket, my scarf, and my gloves, it was chilly.

Plus.

It was slick.

I can ride home, I did ride home, I have done it, I may do it again, but when it comes right down to it, there’s no need for me to be miserable and there’s no need for me to be out on my scooter if I don’t need to be.

It’s stressful riding when the roads are slippery.

I don’t need any more stress in my life.

Thank you very much.

I will get up in the morning and get one more yoga class in before the weekend of class.

Otherwise it won’t be until next Tuesday that I will be able to get back to the studio.

So, even though I am a bit sore, I am going to go in and just take it easy and be gentle and keep the momentum going.

I do feel better in my body and I can notice some changes, my waist a little tighter, my arms a bit stronger, my posture straighter, and well, it does seem to lessen my anxiety quite a bit.

Not that I have any reason to be anxious.

Psychopathology paper.

Child Therapy presentation.

Which, yes, I worked on today before and after work and doing the deal.

I wrote out a vignette for the teacher and for my partner in the dyad and I fleshed out what I want to do and I feel quite confident that I can do the ten minute presentation without too much hassle.

I emailed my partner today and we chatted about the project, but more, we made plans to have lunch, AFTER, the presentation, the following day, when I will also be leaving school early to go to the wedding.

I may need to line up a few other lunches with folks, the class is having a end of semester soiree Saturday night after class.

But.

I will be at the wedding, or by that time, the wedding reception.

No last goodbyes to my classmates.

I will still be in a full day of classes on Friday and Sunday, so I will have to sneak some time in with my favorite people.

God.

I can not believe how fast it’s going by.

Quick.

Fast.

Like the red fox jumping over the lazy dog.

Just need to figure out when I’m going to wedge in the time to write that last paper.

Sigh.

Not tonight, though.

Not tonight.

It’s late my dears.

Time to watch the last part of the last episode of Westworld and have one more spot of tea before I retire.

It’s been a day.

I deserve a little down time.

I do.

I do.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

You know the rest.

I’m Not Dead Yet

December 5, 2016

Although I just got hit with the tired stick.

I mean.

It’s been a day.

A good day.

But a full one.

I am actually really fucking impressed with myself, if I do say so myself.

As I sit here and listen to the kettle boil and the jazz horn play, nothing says unwinding on a Sunday evening like listening to jazz, and smell the delicious chicken soup simmering on the stove I am replete and pleased with myself.

Grandly pleased.

Greatly pleased.

Happily pleased.

Extravagantly pleased.

I think you catch my drift.

I got it all done.

Well, ok, not it all done, I still have some stuff to do, but I got done what I needed to get done today.

I wrote my Family Therapy paper!

Seven pages.

1,883 words.

References and bibliography.

Even a nice little title page.

Done and done and done.

Good bye Family Therapy.

I’m done with you!

I mean.

Yes, of course I’ll be showing up for class this weekend, but I don’t have to do any more reading or writing for this class.

It is finished.

Show up, turn in the paper, be present and finish out the class.

Yes.

I also have my presentation prepared, mentally, for Child Therapy class.

We don’t have to have a paper to turn in with it, and I already wrote the reflection paper that is due for the class last week.

However, I was thinking I may write-up a quick family vignette just to have a little back story to give to the class so that when I do the presentation there is some information for the class to have so the intervention that I plan on doing in the dyad will come across.

I know what I’m going to do and it’s only a ten minute presentation and I’m going to bring in colored pencils and paper and work with a partner in my group who will be playacting a child in therapy.  I will be doing a creative arts intervention.  I am excited and pleased with the concept I came up with.

All I have to do is contact the person in my group with whom I want to do the dyad work with and lay out a few things for her to play act.

I actually don’t want her to do much prep since I want it to come across as natural.

So.

A quick sketch of a vignette to hand off to her and my classmates, a ten minute presentation, some colored pencils and white paper, and I’ll be done with Child Therapy.

I won’t be making the final class of the semester as I will be leaving early on Saturday to go to my friend’s wedding.

Again.

So very pleased that I was able to find shoes that will work with my dress, pretty shows, fancy shoes, but not too sexy shoes.

Speaking of sexy.

I love the new jeans I bought.

They might be one of the best fitted pairs of jeans I have scored in sometime.

And score is the proper verbiage here.

The original cost of the jeans?

$251.

Who the fuck pays that much money for jeans?

I don’t.

But.

I will pay $44 for them!

Heh.

So happy.

My ass looks great.

I say with no great conceit or humility.

Ha.

Anyway.

Yeah.

Happy with my new wardrobe additions.

And happy with all the things I did get to today besides writing my Family Therapy paper.

I did laundry and put fresh sheets on the bed, because nothing is sexier than fresh washed sheets, well, except maybe a very hot shower.

Which I had this morning after going to yoga.

Yes.

I made time for the yoga.

And so glad I did.

I’m sore.

But tomorrow since I have an early start at work, I won’t be going to yoga, I figure it will be ok, my shoulders will rest up and get a little reprieve.

Not too much of a reprieve though, I want to make sure that I continue with the habit of going to the studio, it feels really good.

The best part might be the floating walk home from the studio to the house.

It really is a divine little walk.

And though it was chilly today, the sun was out and I felt happy to be alive and ready to face the day.

One step at a time.

One moment at a time.

One unsweetened vanilla almond milk cafe au lait, at a time.

A nice breakfast, the aforementioned coffee, and a lot of morning writing.

One of my ladies no showed this afternoon and I had an extra hour.

But one of my ladies did and that was great, to catch up, to do some reading, to talk about the holidays and our plans for travel.

I also started wrapping up some Christmas presents.

Yeah.

Like that.

Because it makes me happy to give gifts and because it makes me happy to see them nestled up underneath the Christmas tree.

They won’t be there for very long, most of them will get sent off to my sister and nieces and to my mom.

A couple of small ones for friends in my cohort and the rest are for my best friend and her family back in Wisconsin.

I still need to get my boys, the boys I take care of, something, I usually do, I just haven’t figured it out yet.

I did find them very sweet cards though, I want my last Christmas present to them to be reflective of our time together and the cards are quite fitting.

One is a “I love you to the moon and back,” for the four-year old.

And the other is “you are my sunshine,” for the six-year-old.

Both with lots of glitter and sparkles, as they are both partial to all things shiny.

Speaking of cards.

I even sent out my first batch of Christmas cards.

I got seven cards off in the mail today.

I roasted a fucking chicken people and then made soup.

I’m impressing myself all over the place.

But.

I will say.

l am knackered and just about ready for bed.

Which is still a little ways off, but closer than my typical night since I’ll be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the start of my very, very, very long week.

Four days of work followed by three days of school followed by five days of work.

I won’t have another day off until December 17th.

Sigh.

The day before my birthday.

And I might be spending that entire day working on my Psychopathology paper since it has to be sent in by the 19th and fuck if I’m going to be writing a paper on my birthday.

I had to take a final on it once and that blew.

I would rather have the day free and clear.

Ah.

I get a head of myself.

There is time and there is time.

There always is.

 

 

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisionsm

Before the taking of toast and tea.

 

Cold Hands

December 1, 2016

Warm heart.

I spent a lot of today being just a little bit cold.

Not horrible.

But my feet have been damp all day long and that gets to a person.

Granted.

My heart has been full.

Lots of love from my charges.

So much love.

Just smashed with it.

I wasn’t expecting to go through the day wet, but I got caught in the rain on my way to work on my scooter and just got soaked.

It also meant that soccer practice for one of the boys was cancelled, so I had multiple charges today when I would have just had the baby for the first half of the day.

I had brought homework.

Ha.

Ha.

No homework today.

That being said, however, I did have something pretty freaking awesome happen today at work.

I asked for a letter of reference and got a resounding yes, of course, we’d love to!

Both the parents for this particular family are psychiatrists.

They met in graduate school.

Hello.

Too cute.

And I’m always so shocked that they’re doctors, and practicing and have been for a while.

Both of them were ready to write me a letter.

I may get two out of the deal!

Super stoked.

Like.

REALLY.

I prefaced my ask with I know I haven’t worked with you for very long, and it’s true, I haven’t, but, they have seen me balance my job with my school work and have commiserated with me about the hours of reading and they’ve been witness to my rapport with their children.

And um, I’ll probably work with kids, heh.

So.

Yes.

Very excited for that piece to fall into place.

I will be going to a practicum fair this next weekend of classes and I will be getting more information about sites then.

I also will be making time to meet with the co-ordinator of the practicum placement team and asking for suggestions about resumes and where I should be focusing and what to do next.

I do know I need to get my advisor to sign off on my readiness, which I have already received verbally, but paperwork has to be submitted.

I shall be submitting the next weekend I’m in classes.

Especially since it’s the last weekend of the semester.

Ah.

Warming up.

Hot tea.

Sorry, ha, back to school.

My last weekend of the semester is almost here!

Party.

Well.

Not yet.

I looked over the paper guidelines today for my Psychopathology class and I have gathered my books and notes and want to at least take a stab at getting some thing of an outline sketched out.

I also looked over the final paper that is due for my Family Therapy class.

It’s a little more involved than I first thought, but a much shorter paper than my Psychopathology class, 5-7 pages.

I am thinking I may get it started and possibly finish it on Saturday.

Then, give myself Sunday, after I meet with a couple of ladies, to start the Psychopathology paper.

One of the parents got excited today when I described what I have to do to write that paper, I almost wanted to give her the vignette to look over.

But I know that would be cheating myself of the experience and this is all stuff I have to learn and re-learn and remember before I go into my practice, I have to do a lot, A LOT, of reading and practice myself.

But I’m grateful for it.

It’s really nice to have a goal.

I have drifted for a long time wondering what I should do, what was I going to be when I grew up?

I never thought I would be a therapist.

But.

You know.

It makes pretty good sense.

I’ve been an ear for many a tale.

Many a secret.

Many a confidence.

And a rather empathetic one at that, if I can toot my own horn.

Just grateful to have these experiences to draw on as well.

So many things.

So many ways of seeing and being seen and gratitude for all of it.

True and sure.

The parents expressed to me again, as well as signing off on doing letters of recommendations, how much they will miss me when I transition to my next family.

Which is really sweet to hear.

I have two more weeks with them.

I will be sad, I do like the family  a lot.

And I got the ‘I love you’ today from the 4-year-old.

The last hold out of the bunch and in ways the most squishy, snuggly one of the bunch.

He just looked up at me at dinner time and said, “Carmen, I love you.”

Big awed brown eyes.

I have had that told to me so much this week, I have to say it’s been so nice to hear and get confirmation that I’m on the right track, doing well, having an influence and giving just as much as I’m getting.

I also found out that my next family is really excited to work with me as well.

Early this evening as I was getting dinner ready for the bunch, a family friend swung by with some shoes for the oldest boy, she happens to have a very sweet 6-year-old in the same school as my main family.

“Oh!  I was hoping I would get to say hello, it’s so nice to see you,” she smiled and handed off the shoes.

“And, I heard you’re moving on soon?” She asked, eyes bright and inquisitive, “buy you’re staying within the _____ (private school they all go to ) family, right?”

I smiled, “I am, I’ll be working for ________ and __________ and their new baby, I’m super happy to stay within the ‘family’.”

“I saw her today when I went to pick up __________ from school, she’s so excited for you to start with them,” the family friend said, “really excited.”

“Oh, that’s so nice to hear,” I said.

And it was.

I mean.

It’s one thing to hear it from the mom when I interviewed, but to hear that she’s talking to other parents at the school and that she can’t wait for me to start.

Well.

That made my day.

It might have been a little grey and a little cold.

But.

l was so warmed by the effusive outpouring of love from my charges and the lovely words from the parents and their friends.

I barely noticed the cold at all.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And recommended, referenced, referred, and totally taken care of.

I mean.

Totally.

Things Falling Together

November 30, 2016

I got up early.

I did the yoga.

Or the yoga did me.

Good class, challenging, but I can see again where I am making progress by just showing up to the practice.

So much of life, my life, is just that, constantly showing up.

Sometimes, most times, with expectations.

Once in a while, without them, and then, oh glory.

So good.

I had that happen today in yoga class.

The class was hard, but I could see and feel improvement in my body by making it regular in my schedule again.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when I change my jobs, but I’m not going to worry about that today.

There is too much going on.

December is jam-packed with all the fun.

All the things.

Travel.

Work.

School.

A friend’s wedding.

Yoga whenever I can get to the studio.

It does seem to make me more efficient.

Whether that is because I’m less anxious and able to focus better, or if I just feel better in general and it’s easier to keep a thing in motion in motion.

I came back from yoga this morning, took a shower, threw laundry in the wash, made breakfast, ate it, oh the deliciousness of a persimmon with my apple in my oatmeal–so good–and drank some tasty coffee.

I wrote four pages long hand.

Then.

I made a second cup of coffee and did my makeup.

A nice make up session, I’ve realized that though I like the big bold colors sometimes, that softening as I grow up, yeah, I’m getting older, what of it, is nice.

I feel prettier and more approachable and I rather like that.

Anyway.

The makeup was just a distraction as I found myself with a tiny bout of nerves this morning.

I registered for my second semester of classes!

I was counting down the minutes as I was drinking my coffee and writing and I realized I had a little bit of anxiety around it.

Not nearly as bad as last semester and certainly nothing at all like it was the first couple of times I did it when I was newly in school, but just there, a little rankling of my nerves and I caught it.

Oh.

Hey there.

You’re nervous, that’s ok, be nervous, I’m going to let God take care of this, just show up to the computer, sign into your student account when the clock turns 11:30 a.m. and do the next thing in front of you.

I had multiple tabs open on my computer with instructions from the school and an updated code for one of my courses.

I signed in, updated my account information, signed the waiver saying I had read the policies, nope, but what ever, I’m signing away my life to student loans, I’m not turning back now, then I was in the system.

It took less than five minutes.

Now what?

I basked in the feeling of having registered and then I brushed my teeth and washed my breakfast dishes.

I flipped the laundry into the dryer.

Hmm.

I have some time before work yet.

I could do some Christmas shopping.

Or.

I could work on some homework.

You guessed it.

I chose homework.

I started by first reviewing what I needed to write for my Psychopathology paper.

I got some ideas and I have an idea of where to start.

But.

It’s a honking big paper and I’m going to be spending a lot of time reviewing my notes and re-reading and researching my text books, so, just having an idea of where I can start was nice, but it was just an amuse bouche to pique the appetite.

No.

The paper that I knew I could knock out and get done was for my Child Therapy class.

It was basically a reflection paper on one of the text books we had read over the semester, we could choose from any one of the four and I chose the one that was latest in our syllabus, it was the freshest in my memory and really quite easy to ground myself in the material.

I wrote a paper on the book Odd Girl Out; The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.

I had some experience with that.

I was bullied a bit in middle school.

I got over it.

I learned a great deal from it.

And.

I didn’t let the bitches grind me down.

Besides when I see how far I have come, part of me is grateful for those girls, they’re mean strivings only propelled me further.

But I did take something from the book that I have found to be true in my life, that I was raised to not be in conflict, that conflict is bad, and that I can’t afford any conflict in my relationships, not my friendships, my family relationships, romantic relationships, work relationships.

Increase the list ad infinitum.

However.

All relationships have conflict.

Conflict is not the problem, it’s how I resolve it.

I’m learning.

I still can fuck it up, but I have discovered that I really do blow things out of proportion and I am super sensitive to being in conflict, it feels like I’m going to die and I have inventoried it a lot.

A fucking lot.

I don’t have to be right.

I do have to be happy.

And I’ve been a lot happier just realizing that.

So much happier.

Unhappy still happens.

I mean.

Hello.

Lice.

But.

I can get out of the bad stuff faster and when I allow myself the room to make a mistake and not try to manipulate you into behaving a certain way because god forbid we be in conflict, well.

Life is a whole lot better.

Really.

So I kicked out that paper.

When I know what I want to write, the words just flow.

I formatted it, gave it a little bibliography, and printed that bitch off.

I was done with it a half hour before I was due in at work.

I gathered my gear, hopped on my scooter and made it to work three minutes before my shift started.

The dog gave me love.

The mom updated me on the things that needed to be taken care of.

I did a fuck load of cooking.

But the best.

The best.

Was the four-year old running through the house, running, arms wide open, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, I missed you, I missed you so much, I love you, I want to spend all day with you.”

He literally threw himself into my arms.

It took a lot not to cry, but I definitely teared up.

I had missed him too.

We had ourselves a love fest reunion and then built trains all after noon and he helped me “make dinner” (up on the step stool with the pepper grinder and the salt grinder adding “special” seasonings and “magic” to the chicken I was about to roast).

It was the perfect afternoon.

Until his brother got home.

Then.

It just got beyond exquisite.

He had drawn me a picture.

“Carmen!  This is your house, this is where you live.”

He had drawn my house in bright colors, full of love, big, juicy, heart breaking wide open love.

My little house was basically a tiny little happy house that was covered in a HUGE rainbow that filled the page and scrawled off the edges of the paper.

It made my heart just swell.

I felt like the Grinch who stole Christmas when his tiny heart got three sizes bigger.

I squeezed him very, very hard.

And when we had finished dinner–roasted chicken legs for the boys with roasted mashed sweet potatoes and sliced apples and mandarins–I had music playing and I danced with him.

“I love this song,” he said, all melty and dreamy against me.

His eye so big, so brown, so round and full and sweet, swollen with love, it was like looking at the sun, I thought I was being swallowed up whole in that love.

I sang the words to him and we slowly swayed back and forth.

He’s a big kid now, 6 1/2, but I picked him up anyway, and we danced.

It was a full beautiful day.

I really couldn’t ask for more.

Well.

Ha.

I could.

But I won’t.

My needs are met beyond my wildest dreams.

And I am so loved.

So.

So.

So loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Almost Clear

November 27, 2016

Not 100%.

But.

95%.

I’ll take it.

It was a big relief.

Although I still feel a little stigmatized and a little off, the last three days of being pretty isolated, being alone on Thanksgiving, it rather got to me a bit more than I think I was even letting myself know.

I had a few crying moments.

Not huge.

Just a softening sorrow that streaked my cheeks and left me feeling a little bereft, a bit alone, a little lost and at wits ends with what to do with myself.

So.

I did more homework.

And more laundry.

The good news that Hair Fairies gave me today is that I can cease and desist with the constant washing of the laundry.

I mean.

I like a nice warm set of clean sheets, and I probably change mine out pretty consistently once a week.

Not once a day.

Shit.

Tuesday I changed them twice.

I did one last big load of laundry when I got back from the treatment and washed it all out again.

They still found lice though.

Not like what they found on Tuesday.

I’m not sure I even wrote down the number from Tuesday, I was so grossed out.

The four people working on my hair, the two plus hours of fine tooth combing, the having to make phone calls and tell anyone who had been close to me, oh hey, um, guess what?

I have lice.

Yuck.

It was bad though.

120 + eggs.

There were more, they just stopped counting at 120, which qualifies as a severe case.

Great.

Plus.

36 live lice.

And they stopped counting the live ones at that point as well.

Shiver.

SHAVING IT ALL OFF!

Was my first thought.

And my second, third, fourth, and fifth.

Hell.

Every fucking time I had a tiny itch I was paranoid.

The woman doing my hair today put me at ease around that though, “your scalp will still itch for a few days, you have micro abrasions and scabs.”

Oh god.

Gross.

But.

At least it wasn’t because I was in severe infestation.

Severe.

How lovely.

Yick.

Anyway.

Today they found 2 baby lice and one egg.

The babies, thank fucking God, were too young to have started laying eggs.

The treatment today was about an hour and half.

And I was upped from 70% clear to 95/98% clear.

But.

Of course.

Not 100% since they found the two babies and the egg.

Fuckers.

That being said, I still got the full on treatment and if it could get rid of over 120 nits and 36 bugs, I was feeling pretty competent that what was done this morning would take care of the two babies and one egg.

Get off my head.

Please.

And.

Thank you.

I have one more appointment.

Sigh.

I will be going back to Hair Fairies at 11 a.m. on Friday.

And pray to God that’s the last time I ever need to go there again.

I’ve had more than an ample experience dealing with this, I can mark it off the check list of life experiences I don’t wish to have again.

Boyfriend decides to spend Christmas day with his ex-wife?

Check.

Boyfriend breaks up with me morning of my ten-year anniversary party.

Check.

Former best friend sells me bunk knock off Vietnam Vespa.

Check.

Which I injure myself on and have to have a month off from work while not on disability.

Check and check.

Lice.

Check.

And.

Check fucking mate.

I’d like some fun now that I’m in the “clear.”

Tomorrow I decided to go to yoga in the morning, signed up before I started my blog, then a couple of ladies will be coming over to my super clean and louse free abode to do some reading and doing of the deal.

And after that.

I am going to go out and get myself a Christmas tree.

I am getting it earlier than I have in the past, but I need a pick me up.

It was a sad lonely holiday.

And though I made fucking really good use of it, I mean, the reading I got done!  It was still super isolating and I missed being around people.

So.

I am going to hop on my scooter after I have lunch and go to an Ace Hardware store in the Castro and buy some ceramic blue old-fashioned Christmas tree light bulbs.

I may swing through Cole Valley first and see if they have them at Cole Hardware, they might and that would save me having to go all the way to the Castro, plus I like Cole Hardware, they’re local and like patronizing them.

The hardware store in the Inner Sunset had the big bulbs, but no in blue, multi-colored, which I considered, but I prefer the blue.

I also picked up two more ornaments for myself while I was in the Fillmore neighborhood.

Which can be a challenging place to shop, very high-end and a bit expensive.

I felt a little out of my league.

But.

I did find a very sweet painted glass toad stool with glitter on it at Nest.

And.

The most beautiful glass hand blown glass swan at Mudpie, a very high end upscale children’s store.

Expensive.

But.

Oh.

So, so pretty.

And though my five-day weekend did not turn out at all, AT ALL, like I had planned, holy moly, God laughs when I make plans, it wasn’t all bad.

I had some long, genuine, sweet phone conversations.

I took a nice long walk on the beach.

I cleaned my house.

I did laundry, a lot of laundry, ahem.

My house smells hella good.

I did so much reading for school.

So much.

I feel really good about that and I started to get some ideas for how to approach my last big Psychopathology paper.

I took a nap.

I mean.

That’s something.

It wasn’t all bad.

It was lonely.

True.

But I was never alone.

I always was taken care of and though there were moments of sadness and tears, I wasn’t drowning in them.

Ok.

Ok.

I did a little bit, I was pretty fucking upset Wednesday morning, but hey, I got through it and didn’t do anything stupid.

Like.

Cut off all my hair.

Or drink.

Or use.

Or start smoking cigarettes again.

Or eat a bunch of sugar.

Nope.

I bought myself sunflowers to remind me to look at the bright side of things.

And I roasted a chicken.

Self-care for the win.

And.

Frankly.

The holidays can only get better from here.

I mean.

Really.

It’s time for fun.

Bring it the fuck on.

Seriously.

 


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