Posts Tagged ‘reading’

How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”

Ayup.

I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.

But.

The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.

Oh.

That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.

A LOT.

Happiness.

Love.

Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.

Joy.

Excitement.

Affection.

Awe.

Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.

Elation.

I like to be elated.

Euphoria.

That one’s super fun.

Wonder.

Ecstasy.

Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.

Meh.

Not so much.

Jealousy.

Anger.

Fear.

Worry.

Sadness.

Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.

Frustration.

Envy.

Lust.

Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.

Lusty.

Ahem.

Humiliation.

Pity.

Fear.

I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.

Yet.

I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.

Well.

The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.

Then.

It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.

Sigh.

That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.

Whew.

Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.

Baby.

I really fucking have.

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Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018

I really haven’t any resolutions to share with you.

I prefer to just treat each day like it’s a new day instead of having expectations that I need to change or get better or perfect something.

I need to grow a little everyday and not try to cram a bunch of resolutions into my day and think that I’m going to change over night.

Little bits by little bits.

Baby steps, baby.

And I took some nice ones today.

I got out of bed.

I know.

Crazy.

I really wanted to stay in bed and in fact, did sleep past the point I would normally get up.

My brain was trying to hijack my body though and convince me that I didn’t need to go to yoga.

I needed to go to yoga.

It, my brain, almost won out, but I have smart feet and I also have inborn knowledge from having done enough yoga that I always feel better after a class, even if it’s with not my favorite instructor at the studio.

Which is the excuse that I used the day before to not go, but really, I assure you I had gotten plenty of exercise the previous twelve hours to not feel upset about missing a class and I think that I needed the extra sleep yesterday.

Today, not so much, and I knew that I would not be happy with myself if I skipped yoga two days in a row during a time that I could be going to yoga.

I can’t typically make it to classes during the week, work and my internship conflict, so I’m a weekend warrior.

To not go on both Saturday and Sunday would have been sacrilege.

So I got my happy ass out of bed and into my yoga clothes and I stayed in them for a long time.

It was a great class, I was really surprised, maybe not having any expectations that I would enjoy the class I actually did.

I came home thinking that I wanted to go on a bike ride too, the bike ride had been running around in my head for a few days now that I think on it, and I figured I could actually make it a nice physical day for myself, maybe even go back to the late yoga class.

It’s a restorative yoga class, so it wouldn’t have been like a big effort, although I didn’t end up going, something else came up.

But.

I did go on the bike ride!

It was great and in fact, I might let myself go on another tomorrow.

I was supposed to meet with a ladybug today, but she had to cancel, so after a good check in via phone, I pulled my bike out and pumped air into the tires, grabbed my messenger bag, a water bottle and my bike locks, in case I wanted to stop anywhere I could lock up my bike.

I rode out from the house down 46th to Sloat, then up to Great Highway, up past the zoo a bit, and then stopped right before the hill to gaze at the ocean for a while and snap a quick photo of my bicycle, she is a pretty, pretty thing, before I headed back down Great Highway, riding past my turn off to Fulton Ave, the up to 47th and around the park for awhile, around the soccer fields and the back side of the Beach Chalet, I went past the archery fields and eventually popped back out onto Lincoln Ave at Chain of Lakes, back down to 46th, then two blocks back to the house.

IMG_E0126

It was smashing.

I am so glad I did it.

Aside from the exercise it also felt really meditative and I reflected over and over again how amazing it is that I live somewhere so beautiful, that I literally am blocks away from Ocean Beach, that I get to ride my bicycle around a world-renowned park, that I get to live here in San Francisco.

It is a huge gift.

After the bike ride I had a late lunch and then made some chicken soup.

I’ll be visiting my person tomorrow, he just had a hip replacement surgery, and I wanted to bring him some more chicken soup, he’s gone through the two big Mason jars I gave him right before the surgery.

I’ll be heading is way by 1 p.m. and we’ll go for an easy walk around the block.

Like literally.

Just around the block.

And maybe a few minutes of hang out time.

I don’t think he’s got the energy for big visits, but he wants to see my face and I, his.

It will be good to see him.

I’m also going to hit up another yoga class tomorrow.

It’s nice to have a Monday off and the studio is open.

That will make three yoga classes over the weekend and a bike ride.

Not bad.

Especially for someone who is  loath to exercise.

I generally like it once I’m doing it and I know how important it is to move my body, but my brain is a sabotaging machine.

Anyway.

I signed up for the 10 a.m. yoga class and I’ll see my person at 1p.m.

Other than that I have no New Year’s Day plans.

Doing the deal somewhere and chilling out with my new book.

NEW BOOK!

That’s not a psychology book.

I know.

Crazy.

I went up to Blackbird Books, the new book store in my hood next to Trouble Coffee, and splurged on the new Jennifer Eagen book, Manhattan Beach, I’m going to indulge my literary self and not read any psychology for at least a week.

So freaking sexy.

I may just spend most of tomorrow lazing on the chaise lounge after I get back from helping out my person and just read.

Such luxury.

And that’s it, that’s my New Year’s Day plans.

To chill the fuck out.

The year is going to be full and amazing, hello, I’ll be graduating, going to Paris, and starting  PhD program, traveling to D.C., and who knows what else will happen, seeing many clients and nanny’ing up a storm.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of New Years!

Big love from the city by the Bay.

May the year bring you so much love and joy.

So much.

Whole Lotta Nothing

December 30, 2017

Not that it was bad.

No.

It was divine.

I only left the house today to go to yoga.

And.

I almost didn’t go.

My brain said, hey, you were sick yesterday really bad, you should lie in bed and make sure that you’re ok.

Even though I was pretty much back to my normal self by the time bed time rolled around last night, no nausea, no headache, so no reason for me to lay in the bed this morning.

I got up and got dressed and walked over to yoga.

And it was good.

I got nice and warm and sweaty and had a good work out and stretched and my back is slowly feeling better, between a couple of chiropractor visits and doing a little more yoga, I have a much happier back.

Sure, some poses still not great at and I couldn’t hold a few of them today, tough on the tender ankles, but I know that balancing is helpful for strengthening my ankles and I also did some foot exercises today that my chiropractor recommended to me for strengthening my ankles.

I went though and I am happy I did.

It was the only time I went outside today.

I ended up taking a huge hot shower, wrote many pages in my notebook, and then had my best friend over for hang out time.

Lots of talking, hanging out, getting caught up, and I made some yummy food.

I cooked up my version of a Cajun gumbo/jambalaya.

Sans the crayfish.

I used shrimp instead.

It wasn’t really a gumbo and it wasn’t really a jambalaya, but it was somewhere in between and it was tasty.

I am very happy I made it too, knocked out some food prep for the week, what wasn’t eaten was put up and frozen and I’ll probably run some over to my person too, who’s recuperating from a hip replacement surgery.

I got the best text message from him regarding one of my soups that I had given him.

I made him an Italian sausage with white bean soup and then my version of chicken soup with veggies, brown rice, and Andouille sausage.

He was very, very happy with them both, but I think the latter got the big applause.

I do like to cook, it’s a nice way to show someone who you care for that you love them.

Since I don’t eat sugar or flour I don’t make super intricate stuff for myself, but since I know how to cook and have cooked plenty with those ingredients, I know how to combine flavors.

Sometimes I have no idea where the stuff comes from, I’m just like, hmm, put that with this and see what happens.

It’s a nice skill to have and I’m always surprised that so many people can’t cook or don’t know how to do even basic stuff.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m good and I feel like I’m definitely better than the average bear.

My friend seemed quite happy to eat the food.

I don’t recall any complaints.

We hung out past sunset, which really isn’t that late since the sun goes down around 5p.m. and by the time my company had left and I washed up the dishes and put everything away I had absolutely no desire or urge to go outside.

It’s just too cozy in my little house and I’m happy to stay put.

It feels rather nice to not have clients tonight, to not have work either, which is why I was able to go to a 8:30 a.m. yoga class today, the family I nanny for went out-of-town for the weekend.

I’ll be going back into work on Tuesday.

Back to therapy, back to seeing clients, back to it all.

Fortunately the kids will be going back to school by that time as well, working early every day this past week, with the obvious exception of yesterday having called out sick, is a bit of a grind.

I don’t mind it horribly and I’m always glad I can be flexible for the family, but it will be nice to go back to my regular hours.

In the meantime I don’t have a lot planned for the weekend, and no plans at all for New Years.

I would just rather skip it.

I have my dance party on January 13th and that will be my dancing fun, I don’t need to go and be out amongst the hoi poi over the weekend, I’m more than happy to skip lines, drunks, amateurs, and Uber and Lyft crazy drivers from out-of-town.

Not sure what I’ll do, if anything, to celebrate.

More yoga.

The studio has classes on Monday, so technically I could do yoga tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday, making it a four-day run for me.

I think that’s the best idea.

And maybe I’ll take a little trip to Stinson or Muir in my car.

I got my FasTrak in the mail today, so I can pay tolls via that instead of cash and it’s a no brainer to get over the bridge.

I do have group supervision tomorrow, lest I forget, though it was a very, very quiet week for clients, only one client, I only have to attend group, which is nice, but I do have to attend.

My solo supervisor is still out on Monday, which is New Years Day, so I won’t start back up with him until the 9th of January.

A tiny bit more of a break.

School is back on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of the month, January that is.

I still have a few weeks before I have to start thinking about it, although I already have a tiny bit.

I just checked my grades, I’m still carrying a 4.0!

Huzzah.

That’s always nice to see.

I also need to start looking seriously into applying to the PhD program at my school if I’m going to do that.

I think I have to apply by February or March.

My supervisor at my practicum site already said he would write me a letter of recommendation.

I definitely want to have that!

Plenty to think about and do over the next few months, but for the rest of this weekend, I’m just going to chill out, do lots of yoga, cook some nice food, maybe I’ll even buy a book that’s not related to psychology.

Maybe.

 

Almost

December 10, 2017

I am so close to being finished with this semester.

One more class tomorrow.

9a.m. to noon.

Then I am done.

I’ll be doing a sushi lunch with my best girlfriend in the cohort after class to celebrate.

I can’t decide if I’m going to come home and kick out the last paper or just collapse in a heap on my bed.

It does not help that the professor extended the due date until December 18th.

Not really what I wanted.

Because now I could technically procrastinate the paper until next weekend.

I won’t, but it’s a possibility, it’s a temptation.

But really what I want is to finish the fucking semester tomorrow, which means writing and turning in that last paper.

I have some ideas about what I want to write on so I just need to sit, review my notes, review the readings I have done and leap in.

I suspect I could have it written before the sun goes down.

And then I can run up to 45th and Judah to the Christmas tree lot and get myself a Christmas tree and celebrate that I am done with the semester and maybe even wrap a few presents or write a couple of cards.

I’m a little late to the cards, normally I would have already sent some out, but this semester has been my toughest by far with the amount of work and the load that I am carrying.

But I’m making it through.

I turned in my last hard copy paper today that I needed to do and I nailed my final project presentation.

All I have to do is show up and sit through the lecture tomorrow and the last group of presenters and that’s it.

It would be tempting to skip, I’ve turned in the final paper, done the final presentation, there’s really nothing else that I need to do for the class.

But.

It doesn’t feel right to not sit and bear witness to my classmates who haven’t had a chance yet to present as well as say thank you to the professor, especially since he came out to hear me do my lecture on Tuesday.

Something I was very flattered by.

Very.

So.

Yeah.

Show up tomorrow and just do the last bit of the class and then a nice sushi lunch with my friend.

I had thought about going and doing Open Studio’s in the Mission, my friend has a studio, Hold The Phone, and I wanted to pick up some art from her.

And my boss has an open studio too at Art Explosion studios which is right in the same neighborhood.

But I have been thinking it might feel a little too much like going into work and I’m not sure that I want to re-route to the Mission from Hayes Valley.

I suspect that the best use of my time is going to be getting on my scooter, get the fuck home, write the damn paper and get it done.

After that I will allow myself some fun.

Write the paper, write the paper, write the paper.

Finish the semester out and be done with it.

One month break.

From school anyway.

Work will be work and my internship will be happening.

But I’ve already had a lot of my clients tells me that they have holiday plans.

I will have some slow weeks there I feel and that’s ok.

I may have some clients transitioning out as well, I’m not sure yet, I’ll know more this week.

I will also have my sit down with the family I work with and sign a new contract.

I’m a little nervous about that, but there’s really nothing to be worried about, every time I work with the family I am told how much I am appreciated and how much I help and I know I do a good job.

It will just be a sit down and a chat and yeah, signing a new contract.

And for a month I’ll not have to write papers or read or attend classes.

It will be a nice break.

Plus I’ll have two three day weekends in a row–Christmas and New Year’s are both on a Monday, so I’ll get a three-day weekend with each holiday.

That will be really nice.

Maybe I’ll take my little car on a tiny road trip.

Go see some lighthouses.

Maybe go see the monarch migration in Santa Cruz.

Maybe go across the bridge and up north a little, get some oysters at Hog Island.

I don’t know.

I’ll have some time and I suspect that a little jaunt out of the city may be a good thing for me.

Or I could just go over the bridge and drive to Stinson beach.

I haven’t been to Stinson or Muir beach in a long time.

In fact.

I think the last time I was at Stinson was right before I moved to Paris five years ago.

Wow.

Yeah.

That can’t be right.

I’ve got something nudging my memory, but I can’t place it.

Oh, I know, I did a motorcycle ride there with an ex boyfriend three years ago.

Anyway.

My brains fried, it’s been a busy weekend with school and really, a busy last few weeks of constant working, reading, writing, and preparing for lectures, papers, presentations.

No wonder I can’t remember.

Time to wrap this up and make some tea.

My bed is calling to me in no uncertain terms.

Good night.

And Just Like That

November 29, 2017

I have registered for my last semester of class!

I can hardly believe it.

It feels very surreal.

And.

Fucking amazing.

I will have three classes next semester.

Once a month I will be in class.

Five weekends.

I will be in class from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

January.

February.

March.

April.

May.

I will graduate Saturday, May 19th.

Holy fuck.

It’s really happening.

I have to take Integrative Seminar, I really don’t know what that is, and Research Methods, which sounds boring as fuck and like a class that is a box to check off.

The other “class” is my practicum, or what I often refer to as my internship.

I’ll still be seeing the same amount of clients, but I may move some of them around, I’m not quite sure yet.

And that’s ok, that can be figured out later.

I was just looking over the piece of paper that I have been making little check marks on for the last three years.

Here’s a list of the classes I have taken and passed, passed pretty well, you could say, I’ve got a 4.0 thank you very much.

I have taken Group Dynamics.

Therapeutic Communication.

Human Development

Integral Philosophy

Psychodynamics I and II.

The Clinical Relationship.

Professional Ethics and Family Law I and II.

Multicultural Counseling and the Family.

Applied Spirituality.

Gestalt Therapy.

Family Dynamics and Therapy.

Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment.

Child Therapy.

Trauma.

Couple Counseling.

Community Mental Heal & The Recovery Model.

Special Topics in Psychotherapy.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Counseling.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Jungian Dream Work.

Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

Elder, Spousal, & Child Abuse.

And practicum which includes Individual Supervision and Group Supervision.

Whew.

That’s a lot of reading.

Just reading the list made me shake my head, I did all of those?

Really?

Amazing.

And I just have to do three more classes.

Sure.

I have to finish this semester first, but I will, I will.

OH, and although its a not a “class” I am also required by my program to attend 52 weeks of personal therapy with a licensed MFT.

Today marked 26 weeks.

Half way there.

I’m not actually worried about getting in all the therapy, which is one little thing that I don’t have to stress about, thankfully, my therapist went through my program and she told me that she would sign my paper even if I didn’t get the full 52 weeks.

I get the sense though that I will get the requisite amount of hours.

The therapy is good for me.

I have been getting to work through a lot of things that I never even knew I had to delve into, some of which I probably have been needing to address for years without even realizing I did.

I like my therapist a lot and she really has a good perspective on me and who I am and sometimes there is a lightness and a friendliness and almost a sense of talking to not just a contemporary, but a friend, a friend with a lot of perception.

A lot.

And a really helpful way of reframing my experience and also validating all the work I do.

I do a lot.

In some sense I’m a fucking therapists wet dream.

I do the work, I don’t make her work, I process the fuck out of my shit.

I do a lot of grieving, I let go of a lot and then I jump right back in.

Today’s session left me pretty wrung out and sad.

It was mainly expressed first through anger, which has always been a very dangerous emotion for me, I don’t think it was ever safe for me to express anger in my family and I didn’t often even realize I had it unless I was enraged and that feeling, rage, scared me to death.

Very dangerous and very rarely expressed.

Almost never.

I can remember a few times touching into it and frightened me badly.

I know better now, there isn’t really anything wrong with anger, it’s a sign, and it’s a primary emotion, it’s a top emotion, but there’s generally secondary emotions underneath it and that’s where I need to look, under the covers of anger and see what’s underneath.

Most often for me, it’s fear.

Fear of losing something I think I have or fear of not getting what I want.

I had a lot of fear come up today and it was hard to slog through, but I knew the anger I felt was about fear and eventually it all came out and I felt sick with it, on fire with it, I felt like I wanted to vomit it all out, retch it into the wastebasket, scream it into a pillow on the couch.

I just cried a lot and it moved.

It’s probably still moving.

Ah, all the things I get to work on, so very many.

I have discovered so much about myself from doing my course work and now, in the therapy, getting out the secrets and the sadness and the trauma and all the stuff I carry around like it’s a special knapsack full of rocks.

I just want to let them all go, put them back into the stream and let myself float away.

I have burdened myself for so long with false ideas.

“I failed,” I crumpled into my hands, I buried my face in my palms and just sobbed.

I won’t get into the specifics, they’re not relevant, but I can say in a general sense that I have been carrying around the idea that I failed at something and that I had not even realized I believed about myself, that I failed so badly at something that I ruined another’s life.

A.  Who am I to say I’m God?

I’m just not that powerful.

B. I was a child.

I was a child doing an adults job.

Granted.

A super precocious child who might have given off the impression that she knew what she was doing, but ultimately, at the end of the story, I was doing an adult’s job with the resources of a child.

A poverty-stricken, neglected, abused child.

Smart as fuck.

But a baby.

I was just a little girl trying to hold it all together and I couldn’t, I couldn’t make it work and I have been, for years, decades, even, carrying around this idea that I failed.

I was shocked when that popped out of my mouth.

My God.

Oh, sweet, sweet, baby girl.

You tried so hard, you didn’t fail, you did the best you could.

And you got out.

I could barely carry the burden of taking care of myself.

Jesus Christ.

I’m still in awe of my session today.

That so much got sorted out.

Really astounds me.

Therapy.

Wow.

It fucking works.

It so damn does.

Thank God.

Thank fucking God.

So Fresh and So

November 26, 2017

Clean.

Clean.

My house looks pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

All the laundry done, all the trash and recycling out and swept, swiffered, vacuumed, scrub the bathroom down, tidy the fuck up.

Which means one thing.

Mama had a lot of homework to do today.

My God.

There is no fucking end to it.

Yet.

Me thinks I see a glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh.

The light is far off, but I can sense it getting closer.

I did so, so, so much work today.

My god.

My brain hurt.

Still does, not as much, and hurt might not be the right word, but I was worn out with the material, as I was warned that I might be, but I toughed it out.

I finished all of my Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class.

Huzzah!

But man, it took the stuffing out of me, and I don’t eat stuffing.

Haha.

It was a lot of reading, and a lot of watching some intense videos.

I wrote out responses to five of the sections, I got three out-of-the-way previously.

And I wrote a clinical mock-up of an elder abuse situation and what I would do, from mandatory reporting to clinical interventions and everything in between.

It was a lot of work.

But.

Fuck.

It’s done.

So happy I got all of that out-of-the-way, it really was the big monster in my block of classes.

I also finished all my reading for Transpersonal, which means, drumroll please…

I have no more reading to do for the semester!!

My God.

That feels fabulous.

I am not, however, out of the woods yet.

Tomorrow I have to write two papers.

One will be fairly short, two pages, on a dream I had, it will be my last dream to tun into my Jungian Dreamwork class.

The other will be a bit longer, but not too bad, five pages.

That one will, however, be a bit more formal and honestly despite having finished all the reading for the class I’m not exactly sure where I am going to go with the paper.

I was also in contact with my group today working on our final project presentation that I will be doing the last Saturday of classes.

I’m hoping to knock out both the papers and the group work tomorrow.

And also, if I can swing it, the Psychopharmacology online portion of my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

I have a paper in that class due at the end of the semester too and one for my Drugs and Alcohol Class.

Sigh.

That will be for next weekend.

I can get it done though, especially since the Elder, Spousal, and Child Abuse class is completed.

My God.

One more class done towards my degree.

Which reminds me, I have to register for classes in two days.

In two days I will register for my last semester!

I only have three classes.

It is going to feel miraculous after carrying six classes this semester.

I have only done four classes at once before, this semester was a stretch, and obviously, it’s not done.

OH.

And I still will have a final paper for Jungian DreamWork too, it’s just not due until after the last weekend of classes.

Which is always a conundrum.

Crush that bitch out of the park and get it done before my last weekend of classes, or finish that Sunday when I get out of classes.

Because the damn thing is due on the 15th of December and I’ll be working all that week and of course, seeing clients.

There’s no way I can do two big papers tomorrow and the small one and the online portion of my other class.

No.

I will be a wastrel of a person.

But.

Maybe I can do them next weekend.

Maybe.

If not, maybe I can get it started.

It would mean three papers next weekend.

Sigh.

I got invited out to the movies tonight.

I turned it down.

I got invited out to dinner.

I came home and made my own.

I am going to be over the moon when this semester is done, it will be nice to have a little more wiggle room for social outings and such.

Although I do have breakfast plans with my best friend in the morning.

Super excited for that, really happy to get to have some time before I get into the homework grind.

And if I’m good and grind hard and get a lot of it done, maybe I go to yoga.

Not the regular Vinyasa, nope.

My ankle is doing better, but not that much better, no, I was thinking maybe the Restorative yoga, my brain is going to need some restoring to normality by the time I crank out all the homework I have to do tomorrow.

Grateful I know how to write a paper and grateful for my ability to pull together my notes and book references and make it work.

I can do it.

I have my process and I’ve done the biggest work, which is the reading.

That’s the most important.

I’ll skim through my books, grab a stack of post-it notes and flip through my class notes, I will put together a skeleton of the paper in outline by looking through my materials and see what my common themes are.

Then.

I’ll write that bitch.

It’s five pages, so with prep time, reference time, write time, I am going to give it two and a half hours.

Actually.

That seems too long.

Two hours.

I’ll kick out the dream paper in twenty minutes, I don’t have to write it up with references, it’s just me doing what I do anyway, write what I see in my head, so two pages will be twenty minutes, thirty tops.

So maybe I’ll have all the writing done with in that time.

And that should give me enough room and time to finish the rest of the online material I need, I suspect that will take an hour to two and also writing out an outline and making a worksheet for my final project for Transpersonal.

That will take forty-five minutes.

So.

What am I looking at?

Five hours?

I think I can do that.

Breakfast shenanigans are early so I’ll be in the mix by 10 a.m. like I was today, today I finished at 6 p.m. working pretty much straight through, yes, even when I was cleaning I was doing homework.

I had to watch a few videos, but I will admit, I was listening to some of them while I was cleaning, the material at times was graphic and I found it easier to integrate when I was cleaning and sweeping and washing.

So if all goes as planned I’ll be done by five or so.

I have an hour break at 1p.m. to do some work with a lovely lady and get right with God, a break after that for lunch, and then back in it.

It will get done.

It will.

I can do it.

I can.

Go team go!

Heh.

Hobbled

November 24, 2017

I did not do much today.

I did not go very far.

I stayed at home most of the day with a brief three and a half hour outing mid day.

My ankle really was tender this morning.

It took a while to get going and I was really gentle on myself.

I have had it elevated most of the day and I’ve iced it three times already.

I’m actually thinking maybe I should ice it again while I blog.

Hang on.

This may take a minute.

Ok.

Frozen bag of peas going on.

It’s a party.

Actually the party was up on Portola from whence I have just come.

I spent the late afternoon and evening with six of the most fabulous gay men.

God.

I am so lucky to have the fellowship and community I have.

I got propped up in a big comfy lounge chair, got an ice pack and had constant refills on my sparkling water.

Plus loads of chat.

I am a little out of the loop with some of the cultural stuff the guys were talking about, I don’t get out to as much of the social stuff as they do, really my head’s been so far up my ass with school I’m surprised I even knew what day of the week it was.

I did a good bunch of homework today.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s a holiday, but it really made the best sense of my time.

Especially since I was reminded by a member of my cohort that the paper for Transpersonal is not due the last weekend of classes.

No.

It’s due next Friday.

Fuck me.

I sort of remembered that, but as I had been thinking in terms of my online classes have the components that needed to be done by the weekend, not really my in person classes.

This is also a class I have a final project presentation for.

Which frankly is a little fucked.

To have a final paper and a final group project really feels like too much work for this class.

Sigh.

Anyway.

When that came to my notice and my need to be slow and gentle today, all else sort of drifted off.

I did do a lot of writing this morning.

And I did laundry.

But then.

I did homework.

I got a webinar out-of-the-way that was an hour-long and wrote a response paper to that.

Then.

Yes.

I did.

I completely finished my take home exam for CBT.

I don’t have to do anything more for that class but attend the last webinar on December 3rd at 7p.m.

Done and done.

Super happy to have that take home exam done and turned in.

When I finished I gave my mom a call and wished her a Happy Thanksgiving and then I hobbled out to my car and drove up to the highest part, or just about of Portola.

The view was so pretty.

There were few cars on the road.

I listened to music and found good parking.

And then I spend three hours with some of the sweetest guys ever.

I was loath to go but I also needed to come home and have dinner.

There really wasn’t anything there for me to eat and I knew that going in, so I had a late lunch and wasn’t really hungry anyway.

But as it got close to seven p.m. I could feel that I would be soon and it was a good idea to go, get home, get my foot elevated again and put on the cold peas.

Meaning.

I’m chilling out.

Literally.

And it’s early and I could do more homework, but this is where I will say, hey, it’s ok to not do more homework tonight, it is a holiday, albeit an almost done holiday, and I don’t have to push myself further.

I got done a lot today and I really don’t want to watch any child or elder abuse videos right now, I’ll save that for tomorrow.

I get to go get my massage tomorrow.

Looking forward to that.

I won’t do any yoga tomorrow and probably not either on Saturday.

But.

I do think I’ll try for the restorative yoga class on Sunday, I think that will be helpful.

And I’ll keep taking it slow.

Aside from a grocery shopping run and the massage I don’t have other plans.

I may go do the deal in the Inner Sunset.

That’s probably the best idea for me.

And I’ll keep chipping away at the work and I’ll get my papers written.

And I’ll get my final group project sussed out.

I will.

Things come together, they always do.

Just taking it nice and easy and slow.

One day at a time.

And real fucking mellow.

Like.

Easy does it.

Mellow.

Thanksgiving

November 23, 2017

Is just a few hours a way and I keep forgetting its Thanksgiving.

It’s a holiday so all about the food.

And.

Well.

I’m not really in that place anymore.

For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what I’m thankful for.

I have so, so, so much.

Love.

A home.

A bed.

A closet full of clothes.

I have food in the refrigerator.

I have a laptop.

An Iphone.

Recovery.

Sobriety.

Abstinence.

Shit.

I have THREE vehicles.

I ran into a neighborhood friend out walking his dog this afternoon as I was headed into a job in the Mission and he saw me getting on my scooter, “not taking the car?!”

And I told him that since I was going to the Mission for a five-hour job and it’s only two-hour parking it was easier and cheaper to ride my scooter.

Five hours of metered parking for a scooter in the Mission is $1.55.

I don’t know what five hours of parking at a meter in the Mission would be, but I know it’s triple if not quadruple that.

Fuck.

Probably more.

“Nice to have choices!”  My neighbor said and strolled off with his dog and a “happy holiday!” over his shoulder.

Damn.

He’s right.

It is nice to have choices.

I used to not have any choice but my feet.

I was so broke for so long, especially in the early part of my recovery, even taking a bus sometimes was out of the question.

It took me a long time to get financially stable.

A fucking real long time.

It feels surreal to know that I have a car on the street, add that to the list of things to be thankful for, I own a fucking car.

I really never expected that to happen this early into my therapy career path, I figured it was in the hazy future, not like, this past Monday!

I have choices.

I have a bicycle.

I have a scooter.

I repeat, but, it still is amazing to me.

That.

I have a car!

Wow.

Yeah.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a job.

I am in graduate school.

I have wonderful friends.

I have better relationships with my family than I have ever had.

I have perspective.

I have faith for the future and a deep abiding belief that I am being taken care of.

I don’t have great big plans for the holiday.

Like I said, the food part paled for me many, many, many years ago.

Tomorrow I will be with my person and some other friends in the Upper Castro/Twin Peaks area, I think I still am waiting on the address and details, for “pizza and Netflix.”

I obviously won’t be eating the pizza.

But I will be enjoying the company, that is a given.

And that’s all I really need to do.

I will sleep in and rise without an alarm.

No yoga at the studio.

I got a good work out today and frankly my body could use a rest.

Not sure how, but I once again sprained my fucking right ankle.

I am currently icing it.

Same ankle that I sprained right before I left for Paris in May.

Not as bad as that sprain, but still it’s gotten tight and swollen, so I took some ibuprofen and I have it elevated and I’ve got a bag of frozen peas on it.

I’m sure it will be fine after a couple of days of chilling out.

God’s way of saying, slow down.

I’ll do homework.

I might even knock out a bit tomorrow, depending.

Then Friday I’ve got the massage in Pacific Heights and I’ll do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I’m not really a Black Friday kind of gal, but there are a couple of stores on Fillmore Street that I want to pop into, mainly Nest, I got a very sweet Christmas ornament there last year.

And the rest of Friday and I suspect all day Saturday, will be homework.

I’ll finish up a CBT assignment, do all of my Child an Elder Abuse homework assignments and finish up the readings for my other classes.

If there’s motivation to do so Sunday, I may write a paper, or work on my final project presentation for my Transpersonal Psychology class.

All the things.

They will get done.

The big push towards the end of the semester.

One more weekend of classes!

Whatever I don’t get done this weekend will be attended to next weekend, then, yes, one more weekend of class!

Very excited for that.

And I’m going to call it a night.

My ankle feels pretty numbed out.

Time for some tea and some rest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

May it bring you many blessings.

And.

Much.

Much joy.

 

Slow It Down

November 22, 2017

I left my therapists office very, very, very aware that I was not going near my brand new car.

No way.

No how.

I needed to just take a walk for a moment, slow down, get regulated, be in my body.

Then when I felt like I was not going to crash into anyone I walked back to my car, drove it a few blocks and got right back out.

I was up in Noe Valley and I wanted to take a moment and let myself have a little self-care and to sit down and grab a coffee and enjoy the fact that I wasn’t going into work.

Usually after I get out of therapy I make a quick run to Whole Foods on 24th and then skeedadle to work.

Today I wanted to go grocery shopping, but I also wanted to window shop a little and really just to slow down and appreciate that I had some time off.

Oh.

There was a little bit of a niggling voice that reminded me, hey lady, don’t get too comfortable, you’ve got a fuck ton of homework.

Nothing brings that home more than getting an e-mail from a professor reminding me that all assignments for that class need to be turned in by December 9th and um, I haven’t turned in any of those assignments yet.

I have been waiting for this week off to get all caught up with that class.

I had started the readings, but really not gotten too far.

This time off, fyi, is going super fast, I can’t believe tomorrow’s Wednesday already.

And I have been doing homework diligently every day, every damn day, reading, getting caught up, getting ahead, or finishing the reading.

I’m done with all my readings for Jungian Dream Work and all my reading for Drugs and Alcohol.  I’m 3/4s of the way done with Transpersonal and about the same amount done for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.

So not bad, but all those classes also have a final paper, one of them has a final project as well.

I need to get as much work in as I can this week.

And.

Oops.

Fuck.

I’m working tomorrow.

I sort of want to kick myself over it, I should never had said I was available and not think that the mom wouldn’t take me completely up on it.

Not my current family, they are on vacation.

No.

The family I used to work for.

I got a huge mournful face of longing on the last day of school pick up from my former charge and a deep sweet ask for a play date, “when are you going to come over?” He asked with such sweetness and desire I just couldn’t say no and when I bumped into his mom I mentioned I would have down time.

I thought maybe an hour or two, a playdate, something fun and easy.

I got asked to work five hours.

Ugh.

Of course I said yes, the mom had already told the boys I was going to see them and I didn’t want to disappoint them.

I also think I knew, at least in the back of my head, that though I like and respect the parents, I have a much more enjoyable time when I am, or have been, alone with the boys.

So I have a hunch the parents are going to take an afternoon day date and go see a movie or go out to lunch and I will have my two sweet guys to myself.

And maybe the dog, she’s a sweetheart, it will be good to see her too.

It’s not a bad thing the work, it’s just a little like come on kid, you’re busy, even though you’re not working, you’ve got a lot of reading and homework that needs attending to.

But.

Ugh.

Sometimes I have a hard time saying no.

Not always.

And I have said no to this family before when some requests were made, so it feels like a sort of concession, as well as, yes, an opportunity to make a little cash and to get some boy snuggles from my little guys.

I have gotten to do a play date with the youngest and one of my charges that was super fun and sweet, but I haven’t had any alone time with the older boy and I think he may need to see me.

I just got the sense.

And I can often times say no to a parent, especially if I’m busy, but wow, it’s super hard to say no to a child that needs you.

So with a tiny touch of chagrin, yes, I’ll be working tomorrow.

But.

I won’t go in until 1p.m.

So.

Yoga in the morning.

I haven’t been in over a week, or just over a week?

My back’s been sore and I’ve been busy, even though the work hasn’t been happening, oh man has the homework, so tomorrow will be good to get back into it.

I had thought originally with the time off I would be at the studio a lot, but I let myself get some sleep this past weekend and when my back was feeling super tender it felt better to rest than to push it.

I don’t express pain a lot, but I was definitely in some pain, still am, but it seems to be easing up a bit.

I’ve made a doctor’s appointment and I’ve been taking ibuprofen, but the appointment is not for a few weeks.  I’m going to try to be gentle and fingers crossed another few days of not carrying the baby around in the carrier will be good to my back.

And.

I was super nice to myself today, and I got a load of work done.

I re-parked my car in Noe Valley and went to Bernie’s Cafe and got a cafe au lait and sat on a bench and let the sun hit my face.

I got into being in my body and letting go of the material I worked on in therapy.

Suffice to say my therapist is recommending more therapy.

Ugh.

EMDR.

Just check the link, I don’t feel like describing it 100% however, I will say that it is a trauma treatment that is often used for PTSD.

I did it in a session once ten years ago with a therapist and I will say it worked, but it was close to the end of my time with that therapist and I didn’t have more follow-up.

I am ready to do it again.

Although I am loath to go and get more therapy, once a week at $120 a pop is enough.

Then again.

I want to work it out, get it out, process it, I want it out of my body, I want my body to be free, my heart to be free, my soul to move about the world and not go into traumatic reliving.

I need to be in the light.

And I know that means more work.

Fine.

I’m ready.

I told my therapist today that I feel like I can do it now, when I couldn’t before, I could barely touch into the trauma without falling completely apart.

I am much, much, much stronger now.

Internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually.

I am ready to do the work, and I suspect that I will finally get to resolve some things that have been burdening me for decades.

Let them go.

Embrace my life.

Help others.

It was good for me to take the moment today to sit on that bench, to get sun on my face, to slow down, I did some window shopping, I got some groceries, I came home and ate a nice lunch, I sat outside on the back patio.

Then.

I jumped back into the homework.

I kicked out three more hours of reading and I did two of the eight assignments.

Sigh.

There’s a lot to do, but I’ll get it done.

Even with working tomorrow.

It will all fall together and I have absolutely no regrets about being easy with myself at the beginning of the day.

I’m a fucking therapist.

I have got to practice what I preach.

Let me reframe that.

I get to.

 

 

 


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