Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

One Down

April 23, 2018

One to go!

Holy shit batman.

I did it

I just now, I mean, literally two minutes ago, sent in my Research Methods paper.

Fuck did that feel good.

It’s not due for two weeks, but the fact is between working full-time, over time this week and last week, seeing eight clients, doing the deal, and whatever else life throws at me, I only really, for my money, had this Sunday and next Sunday to do the writing on the papers I need to write to wrap up the requirements for my coursework.

I did it!

I wrote my paper.

10 pages.

3,760 words.

It is done!

Such a good feeling.

Today went so well for timing and getting things done, it really unfolded in a lovely, sweet way.

So much so that I am a little in awe as I look back over the day, one thing leading smoothly into the next.

I got up early like I planned.

I went to the 7:15 a.m. yoga class.

Frankly it was perfect timing.

Oh sure, maybe my head was a little grumpy about getting up, but it was just great timing, to get up early to go to the 7:15 a.m. class instead of the 9 a.m. class, it gave me some wiggle room in my day and it was also the most pleasurable part of my day.

Yoga with my best friend than coffee and breakfast.

Then some household chores.

And.

Yes!

Getting all the paper work together for my supervisor to sign off on tomorrow.

Tomorrow is our last day together.

I’m excited to be moving into the next chapter and whatever it holds, though I will miss him, it’s been a good run and I do feel ready to move forward.

It will be good to thank him, hand over the paperwork and get that shit signed off.

After I took care of that I did a bit of food prep and tidied up, not that there was much to tidy, then I took a hot shower, got dressed in my super hero outfit–I like to dress up too when I’m writing a paper, especially since my Sunday evening commitment is in the Castro, and I like to represent–and then did the writing that supports the writing.

My morning pages.

I had a good run, wrote four pages then got ready to meet a ladybug and do the deal.

An hour later I was raring to go for my second lady of the day, but she’d gotten tied up in traffic and wasn’t over the Golden Gate Bridge at our regular meeting time.

I told her to relax, she could do a phone check in and besides, I had a big paper to write.

And.

That little bit of extra time was just exactly what I needed.

I had a small lunch, the breakfast was big, but oh so yummy, so I had just a pear, a piece of cheese, a bite of prosciutto leftover from having my friend over for dinner the other night and then I sat down.

I wrote a little note asking for help writing the paper, said a prayer and dropped it in my God box.

I got all of my resource materials out, all the books and articles, and sources I needed, my notebook and laid them on the floor around my little kitchen table.

One day.

Oh, one day, I will have a great big writing space, a big long kitchen table that I can spread out all my work on, but until then, the kitchen floor suffices.

Then.

I opened my laptop, opened the page to write and jumped in.

Two hours and forty minutes later I was pretty much done.

I had written 10.5 pages.

The paper is only ten so I knew I would be doing revisions.

But.

Well it was 5 p.m. on the nose and I had to meet my person in the Castro at 5:30p.m.

And I did.

We had a great meeting, a great check in, and then I went and spent time with the fellows and that was fantastic.

I am so grateful for my community.

Am I ever.

Then home again home again, jiggedy jig.

I opened my computer back up, did a deep spell check and grammar sweep, and then edited the paper down to a crisp ten pages on the nose.

And after taking a nice deep breath I saved all the changes, opened an e-mail to my professor and attached the paper.

Bye bye!

God, what a nice feeling.

So, so, so nice.

One down.

One to go!

I am so close, I can smell the bonfire on the beach at my graduation party.

Seriously!

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$508.90

April 21, 2018

I just wrote a check out for my car insurance.

Which means that I have had my car now for five months!

I’m sort of amazed by that and how quickly I have adapted to driving her, the car’s a girl, Priscilla sometimes, but most times my cute little marshmallow.

My slightly dirty little marshmallow.

She’s getting a wash tomorrow, I wanted to take her in last week but the rains, it looks like nice clear weather for a while, so tomorrow I will hopefully get her in.

I love her.

I love how compact she is, how easy to park, I love that she’s a stick shift, I really feel at home and comfortable driving a stick shift, the hills really haven’t been an issue.

I killed it a few times my first month, but I haven’t really since.

I’m driving every day, every where I need to get and gas is running me about $20 a week.

Granted, yes, it’s higher than when I was on a scooter and gas ran me $20 a month, if that, but all the things my car has that my scooter did not.

Including.

Heat.

Blue Tooth for making phone calls.

Oh my God.

How nice it is to drive and talk, it feels like I’m staying better connect with my people just because I can talk on the phone when I drive to and from work and back and forth from my internship, it really is a nice perk.

Music.

I love having music while I drive.

So much.

I use Bon Entendeur, a French House music app, Spotify, and occasionally my Itunes on my Iphone.

Plus there’s the radio, which my best friend actually helped me program recently.  I hadn’t really bothered with it because I use my phone for music, but it’s nice to have it programmed and it’s set to either the jazz station or classical.

Plus.

Safety.

My car is safer than my scooter and I’m no dummy about that.

Oh.

I plan on using my scooter occasionally, I’ll use it my last weekend of school classes, that’s for sure.

Although I found parking much easier than I had thought it would be, it was still pretty freaking expensive to park all day down town while I was in class, I’d like to not have to do that again, but I will if there’s rain.

Absolutely will.

I’d been wondering when the car insurance bill was coming and there it was in the mail when I got home tonight from seeing clients.

When I first opened it I was shocked, but then I realized the $508.90 was for six months.

That’s actually really affordable.

I get a lot of good discounts, I have it wrapped with my renters insurance and scooter insurance, plus I get a good driver discount and a low mileage discount.

Pretty damn pleased.

So I wrote the check and I’ll drop it in the mail tomorrow.

I pay for my bills 24 hours within receiving them.

A habit that helps me not bounce checks and know always how much money I have in my account.

I was uncomfortable with the suggestion when it was first given to me, but I am used to taking suggestions, especially from those that have more experience than I do, so I did it.

And I have to say.

It’s always worked out.

The money has always been there.

Even though I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down, I’m happy to have it paid and done with until November.

I’m also a head on my car payments, I don’t owe one until July.

I’ll still make one in May, I like to stay on top of it, plus it will be nice to have my car payments paid out a little in advance so I don’t have to worry about them when I’m traveling.

Oh man.

I can’t wait for the traveling.

I am so ready.

But first.

Of course.

I have to get through the next few weekends and get my school work done.

I feel better today about it all falling together.

I actually had a really good conversation with the mom at work about what I have to do this weekend to get what needs doing done.

Saying it out loud helped.

I really do have everything that I need to write the paper, all my sources, all my quotes, the idea, the feel of the paper and the direction.

I just have to sit down and write it.

I have blocked out time Sunday after noon after doing the deal with the ladies and before my Sunday night commitment up in the Castro.

I am feeling excited to write it and prepared.

Grateful for that shift in feeling.

Grateful too for another day without reflux.

I’m not sure why and I’m not going to question it.

My tummy was a bit upset through the night, but no reflux, so I’ve signed up for a 9 a.m. yoga class tomorrow and yes, yes, I did.

A 7:15 a.m. class on Sunday.

My best friend and I are going to do yoga than coffee and breakfast and I’ll be off to a bright and early start to my Sunday, I’ll get every thing I need done household wise, cooking, cleaning, laundry, then be ready for the ladies and then the paper.

That’s the plan anyway.

Who knows what will happen.

I’m going to let myself sleep in a little tomorrow and do the 9a.m. yoga class, though I did briefly flirt with the idea of doing the earlier 7:15 a.m.

I decided that since I have had a very busy week and a pretty packed weekend, that the best would be to get lots of sleep and then go into it full throttle.

I also have a dentist appointment tomorrow and group supervision, so I think that it’s a nice way to start, a little extra sleep and more time to digest dinner before getting all twisty and sweaty.

I think it’s going to be a good weekend.

I feel really positive.

And I’m looking forward to spending time with my best friend and also that I blocked out a little time too for some pampering, I’ll definitely be getting a mani/pedi tomorrow after group supervision.

My car gets a wash.

I get a polish.

Heh.

Hold That Thought

April 18, 2018

I was supposed to register today for my fall semester in the Transformative Inquiry PhD program.

But.

Nope.

Holds on my registration.

My first thought, “but I don’t have any over due library books!”

Literally.

Second thought, “or videos!”

When I was in my undergraduate program at UW Madison Four Star Video was affiliated with the UW system, I don’t really know why, but it was and I had a video that was over due.

By like a year.

And the school wouldn’t release my financial aid funds until I returned the video.

But I had already.

Or so I thought.

I had given the video to my boyfriend, my first boyfriend, now that I think of it, Rob, to return to the video store.

He said he did.

But as it turns out, he did not.

I hadn’t been dating him in a while, a while for me at least, six, seven months, and had barely seen him around the campus, he wasn’t a student, but his father was a professor in mathematics at the school.

I was so broke.

I remember it so distinctly.

I really needed my financial aid and I had to pay out $90 to the video store to replace the rental.

It was “Gone With The Wind,” I have no idea why they hell I had rented that movie, although I do like it, though the book is so much better, and was astonished that to replace the video it would be $90.

Partially because it was a double cassette movie, two different cassettes.

I am so dating myself.

I couldn’t track down Rob, but I could track down his father.

I went to his office and I waited until he had office hours.

He remembered me fondly and asked after me and I was suddenly shy to say why I was there, but I needed that money and the financial aid office refused to let it go, I mean, I reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to just give me the fucking money and I pay the fine?

But no.

I had to pay the fine first.

I girded my loins and told Rob’s dad and he was so sweet, he opened his wallet pulled out the money and wished me the best of luck.

I ran back to Four Star Video, which was a haul, UW Madison is a huge campus and Rob’s dad’s office was on the other side of Bascom Hill, it was probably a two-mile hike, but I feel like I did it in twenty minutes.

I paid the fine.

I got my financial aid.

As it turns out, I don’t have any outstanding video rentals or over due library books, note to self, I do have a book I need to return next class session.

LAST CLASS SESSION!

I can’t get too excited yet.

I am not there.

I still have two papers to write.

I still have work to do.

My therapist and I talked a lot about it, how it feels surreal, how it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening.

I’m having my best friend over for dinner tomorrow night to do party planning and catch up and I have to say it feels weird to be planning the party as it’s not really hit me yet that I’m going to graduate.

My therapist look at me at one point in the session and said, “you’re going to graduate.”

I’ll take her word for it.

Therapists are supposed to hold the hope.

heh.

Anyway.

The hold seems to stem from the fact that I am not yet graduated from my Master’s program and I can’t register online for a PhD while my grades are still out.

I have been provisionally accepted.

Which means I have to graduate before I can be in the program.

But.

I can register for classes.

I just have to go to school and do them via hard copy.

Hard copy!

Shit.

That sounds like craziness.

I remember when I went for my undergraduate the school had just switched from the stand in line and hand register and hope that you can get to all the classes you want to get to, to using the phone.

And man.

It was so important to call ASAP.

Once your time was up it was a hustle.

I remember waiting with my booklet of classes and the phone, dial-up, though at least not a rotary phone (although, yes we did have a rotary phone in middle school and high school, a big yellow one that hung of the wall in the kitchen nook in the house in Windsor, that had a super long curly cord that my sister would stretch tight so she could have phone calls in the bathroom without anyone overhearing her), and I would have to put in my student id pin number and then punch in the code for the class.

Sometimes I was lucky, especially by second semester Junior year and most of my Senior year, and I would get right into the classes I wanted.

But often.

So often.

I would not get what I wanted and thus began the negotiation of what class to pick up that would fulfill my schedule needs, I worked full-time (nothing’s changed, well, that’s not true, I don’t work in a bar anymore), my school requirements for my degree, and whether or not I had any interest in the class.

Sometimes I would get home from work and comb through the class lists, looking for an interesting class that I might have overlooked, sometimes I would sit on the phone, continuously dialing and re-dialing the number.

I was persistent.

Persistance paid off.

Someone would drop the class I wanted and I would be having one of my twenty-minute or half hour tries at getting into a class.

It was always the best feeling when I would dial-up a number for a class that I had been trying for days, sometimes weeks (happened a few times) and suddenly there was a spot open.

And it was tricky.

I would not be able to register for the class and then drop the one I didn’t want, I’d have to take a leap of faith and drop the class first, knowing someone might grab the class I’d drop or that someone else might be trying for the class I wanted.

It always worked out.

I remind myself of that now.

Things will work out.

I will get my papers written.

I will get it all done.

I will get registered for my PhD.

And I will have a party.

All the things.

They will happen.

I have faith.

Thank God.

Knock On Wood

April 17, 2018

I’ve had a few days with either mild reflux or no reflux.

And.

Today, yes, I have felt some relief from the weird bloating I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of weeks.

I’m quite happy.

I can still feel that something is up, something is not quite right, but it seems to be settling, at least for the moment, and I will happily take that.

Other things are settling too.

Like.

Holy shit.

I only have one more week with my solo supervisor.

I have worked with him for a year and a half.

I am going to miss him.

And I’m not going to miss him.

I am going to miss the guidance and the deep learning, but I am not going to miss having to haul across town during mid-morning commuter traffic, today in the rain which makes everyone gonzo, to get to Hayes Valley at 9a.m.

I am super happy to only have to do this trip one more time.

I’ve been quietly debating whether or not I tell the mom that I will have Mondays available now to come in at 10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.

Or I could see a client in the morning before work.

Or I could sleep in a little.

Or.

I don’t know.

Go swimming or yoga, not that there’s a yoga class at my studio that would accommodate my Monday morning schedule, although they have added a few more early morning classes.

On the weekends.

Which I really don’t get, but the classes showed up on the yoga class schedule recently, 7:15 a.m. classes.

Which is not a bad thing I just wish that there were more options during the weekdays.

I’m actually feeling like I could get back into it this weekend if the reflux is staved off and I am not bloated and nauseous.

We shall see.

For right now I am happy to have had a reprieve.

I feel more like myself than I have in sometime, cautiously optimistic that this will continue.

A girl has got to hope.

I will still, of course go see the GI on May the 2nd when I have the appointment to see this new specialist.

Oh!

And I just realized.

I have two free chiropractor sessions to use yet!

I have totally spaced that.

There!

That was perfect.

I was able to get into a 10 a.m. on the Monday, April 30th.

That is my first Monday without having to be in Supervision and since I don’t have to be at work until 11 a.m. I will just keep that under my hat for the time being and let myself have that chiropractor appointment and then use the next one for the following Monday as well.

I have gone in a lot the last couple of weeks early for the family and I think it’s ok to let myself do some self-care this way.

It’s much-needed.

Although.

I will report.

Yes.

I took yesterday off.

Oh.

Sure.

I had commitments, three to be exact, but I also decided to not work on any papers or school work.

I had time to do so, but I just needed a “free” day.

So I didn’t write a paper, I didn’t do research, I had a nice morning breakfast and did lots of writing, did some grocery shopping, did food prep for this week, met with two lady bugs, then, yes, I went and got a manicure.

And I took my time going where I needed to go next and I did a little shopping and picked up a couple of picture frames and some glitter lip balm, because really, I had too.

It was pink and called, heh, “Unicorn Snot.”

Bwahahahaha.

Perfect.

I am a sparkle pony.

I was feeling it today, even wore blue eyeliner.

Pushed myself a little outside of my usually therapist attire, even did wear the glittery lip gloss for part of the afternoon, although, I will admit, I tamed it down before I went off to client sessions.

But it was fun to sparkle a little today.

And last night after my commitment I had the most wonderful time with my best friend and a really great meal at Frances in the Castro.

Highly recommend it.

The company was superlative and the food was nice too.

I didn’t get as much sleep last night since it was a late dinner and I wasn’t home until after eleven and not in bed until after midnight, up at 6:30 a.m., but without much reflux, I had a tiny touch last night when I went to bed but I chalk that up to eating a bit late, and none so far today, I felt really good all day.

I also felt greatly appreciated at work.

I helped out a lot today and the mom came home from running errands and gave me flowers.

God I love getting flowers.

It was such a sweet gesture and it is so nice to be appreciated.

My dinner went over really well too.

Homemade meatballs, spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce, mixed greens salad.

Super simple.

And satisfying, for me, to make.

Although I ate none of it, I do so like cooking and it is such a pleasure to make food that people like.

Then off to my internship and my sessions went fast and I got home and found parking, had a good dinner, and yeah, it was a good day.

I’m going to make some tea.

Do some reading.

Watch a spot of a video.

And call it a day.

Not bad for a Monday.

Not bad at all.

I Tried

April 15, 2018

But I did not go.

I got up.

I didn’t feel so hot.

I didn’t feel so bad either, except in my head, let’s be honest, the head wanted to have some make me feel like shit say, but I didn’t feel great either.

I ended up last night having some reflux before bed, so I didn’t get off scot-free, but it wasn’t a bad day for it.

So to today, I feel like there’s a little happening, but it’s not been a bad day.

The, sigh, the part that has been challenging, is that I’ve been bloated.

I have no idea what that’s all about, may have something to do with whatever’s going on, that’s what it feels like, another symptom of whatever the issue is that needs to be addressed, but a symptom that’s a bit noisome, frankly, not one I’m a fan of.

And there’s a feeling of always being rather full, even when I haven’t eaten.

I felt like I could muster the will power to go to yoga class, but then I just felt like I was going to be nauseous the whole time.

I talked with my best friend on the phone and I realized when I was in tears that I was mostly frustrated because I had made plans in my brain and those plans weren’t happening and I was mad at myself and mad at my body.

My friend suggested a nice long walk instead of yoga, go move my body, but just in a gentler way.

Fuck.

I honestly wouldn’t have thought about that, I would have beat myself up for not going to yoga and then felt bad.

Instead.

I took the suggestion and since I was in my yoga clothes anyway, I went for a long walk on the beach.

Sometimes I forget how close it is and that it’s right there, just three scant blocks away, the big beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the big swath of Ocean Beach that I’m at in about five minutes from leaving my house.

I walked for an hour.

I felt better.

Oh.

Sure my stomach is not itself, hasn’t been in some time, but I felt better, I felt better having sunlight on my face, I felt better because I was active, mildly active, but still, and I felt better for having the sound of the ocean in my ears, which was meditative.

So too, the sight of the water, calming and soothing.

I am so lucky to live by the ocean.

I remember growing up how much I wanted to get back to California, how much I missed it, how important to me the ocean was, the dream of being by it, of living by it.

I still want a home and I often think, that although it’s crazy to think I could possibly buy a house in San Francisco, I still think that I could, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a place by the sea?

I have found myself rather fond of it out here.

Oh I know.

It’s not all that central, but it’s sweet and has a neighborhood feel that I much appreciate, and there’s the ocean, which is such an intense and wonderful source of power for me.

I appreciate living in the outer most reaches of the city for reasons I could not have expected when I first moved to San Francisco.

The Outer Sunset felt like another country to me.

But having a scooter and more recently, a car, it’s not too bad getting around, and well, there’s actually parking most of the time.

Oh, sometimes I have to park further away than I want, but I generally find it pretty quick.

Granted.

My car is hella small so I probably find spaces others can’t fit, but I wager I would have a much harder time in other parts of the city.

I mean, I cannot fathom the idea of having a car in the Mission.

Not unless I did own a home or have access to a garage.

So being out here is great, the parking, the ocean, the quietness of it, and the feeling of being a part of the neighborhood.

I do like that.

And I like how that walk on the beach rather set a different and unexpected tone to my day.

I felt resourced and taken care of and I came home and had a nice breakfast, which in hindsight does really speak to the fact that something is happening for me, I got up at 8:15 a.m., did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, talked to my best friend, went for an hour-long walk on the beach, and I didn’t have breakfast until nearly two, two and a half hours later.

Normally, before the tummy trouble, I would have been bats if I waited two hours to eat.

But I didn’t feel hungry, it was just something I noted as I went about making my breakfast, the thought that it was late in my morning to just then be eating.

I don’t know if I will do yoga tomorrow or not.

I’m not going to sign up tonight, I made that decision, but if I feel ok in the morning I can sign up for a class.

And if I don’t, well, I go for another walk, I at least take the time I would have been doing yoga to move my body and get fresh air.

Or I go for a bike ride, I thought about that too.

Then home, a good hot shower, a nice breakfast, meeting with a few ladies to do the deal and then some food prep for the week and some work on my Research Methods paper.

After which up to the Castro for my Sunday night commitment and then off to Frances for a late dinner with my best friend.

It’s going to be a really lovely day.

I feel it in my bones.

So grateful for the sweet unfolding of my day today and all the small unexpected beautiful moments therein.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Dot An “i”

April 9, 2018

Cross a “t.”

One more small bit of paperwork in the works.

I have had this gnawing feeling for weeks now that I was missing some paperwork for my school.

My God.

The amount of paperwork that is required to prove I have been doing the deal for the last three semesters is horrendous.

I have had four supervisors.

Two that I primarily work with.

Two that I accrued a couple of hours with.

Hours that no matter how small, matter quite a lot, little by little those hours are going to add up to me being licenced and every single fucking one of them is important.

So I have four separate pieces of paper with all their relevant information on them for the BBS.

And then I must have another set of papers, not the original signed ones, but facsimiles or copies thereof to show my school.

Plus.

Every hour.

EVERY SINGLE HOUR.

Has to be signed off by a supervisor.

I have had one main supervisor.

I will, in fact, be seeing him tomorrow.

And he’s the one that will be doing the majority of the signing.

I have had another, my group supervisor, who will also be needing to sign a fair amount of paperwork.

What I did not know is that there needed to be a Letter Of Agreement between my site supervisor and my school, CIIS, supervisor.

I had no clue.

No one ever told me.

It just slipped through the cracks.

So that nagging feeling of there’s something missing was not wrong, I just didn’t know what it was that I needed.

I found out yesterday and today when I got done with school I zoomed over to my internship and left the paperwork on my internship supervisor’s desk with a big fat note saying please sign this ASAP, and oh yeah, pre-date it.

Thankfully he got my email and I just now received a response and all is good.

I will still have to pick up the paperwork and take it to my other supervisor who is not affiliated with my organization, and have him sign it, then return all that paperwork to the school.

That will all happen next Monday.

Tomorrow I will just go meet with my supervisor and we will start my review.

I received it today while I was in class and it was something else to read while I was on my lunch break.

Carmen continues to demonstrate an amazing work ethic.

Aw.  Thanks man!

Carmen has done extremely well at Liberation Institute and is currently seeing about eight regular patients. She is on track to complete her hours for graduation.

I have completed them!!

I needed 225 to graduate and as of the last time I checked I have 244.

I actually have more hours than that, 385.75, but some of those hours while counting for the BBS requirements, do not count for CIIS’s graduation requirements.

The school’s requirements though, have been met!  I have enough hours, I will graduate.

Pending signing of a fuck load of paperwork, but my hours have been met!

Regarding supervision, Carmen attends every session on time, is eager and prepared to
speak about many patients, and appreciates the time together. She is a quick learner and
leans on her supervisor to help interpret difficult situations and seems increasingly
comfortable with handling her treatments.  Carmen is demonstrating an aptitude to manage the amount of psychic space and time that she allows her patients to consume and is making mature decisions.
Carmen is ending her last semester of practicum and seems ready for the next challenge.

You bet your ass I’m ready for the next challenge, bring on graduation.

I am also ready for a break, truth be told, but that will have to wait for a little while yet.

Carmen’s treatments have been diverse. She sees both men and women. She sees both
straight and gay patients. She has a culturally diverse practice. Carmen is able to manage
cultural diversity well.

That was nice to hear, I do see a great range of people and I am quite grateful that I can hold more than one type of client.

Carmen has met her goals for practicum. She shown that she can do intakes (consults),
get patients interested in a treatment, and retain them. She can build alliances. Her
patients come regularly and seem to enjoy their relationship with her. Carmen is able to
be herself in session, manage her anxiety, negotiate boundaries and the frame, and deal
with the rudiments of transference (i.e., idealization / devaluation).
Carmen enjoys her case work and is progressing beyond what is expected.

I am enjoying my work!

I really like my clients, and I feel like I am a good therapist.

Carmen shows an aptitude for intuiting transference and countertransference issues.

I am very proud of this.

It may not mean much to a lay person reading that, but I remember how confused I was just defining those terms when I first started my program.  I still need a lot of work around theory, but as my supervisor writes I will have years to work on theory and that my beginnings have aptitude.

That makes me happy to hear.

And then there was this:

Carmen has done extremely well in her practicum. She establishes a solid frame, sets
good boundaries, builds trusted alliances and is increasingly comfortable conducting
treatments with her patients. Carmen is an extremely hardworking and reliable therapist for her patients, listens well, empathizes and provides support. By listening to her countertransference, Carmen intuits patients’ motives and conflicts. She has the capacity to progress her treatments in deep and generative ways. Carmen’s patients are extremely lucky to have such a gifted and committed therapist.

That last sentence.

Oh wow.

That was so nice to read.

To be told by someone who I respect, and perhaps revere a touch, the man is a fucking genius, that I am a gifted therapist, that my clients are lucky to have me, my God, that just amazed me.

I am so, so, so grateful for this opportunity to get to be of service and to get to use what I know to help others, it means so much.

And it doesn’t hurt that I have a real career that I am investing myself in, a chance to become more and do more than I have done before.

To help others and also, truly, myself.

I am so blessed.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Where Do I Start?

April 2, 2018

It’s been a really busy weekend.

You may have noticed.

I was quite absent from the blogging.

Which is unusual and not like me, but things came up and I got to have some amazing life experiences and make some connections and also.

Yes.

Get some much deserved sleep.

Sometimes lying in bed is just the best option.

I got to do that today, and I cannot begin to express how lovely it was.

So lovely.

I did  a lot today too, which, really, when I think about it was fueled by that laying in bed, by the leisurely way I let myself be this morning, by letting myself have a late start.

I actually got a fuck ton done.

I met with two ladies, did all my laundry, bed sheets, duvet, name it, it got washed, and I worked on my case study presentation for my Integrative Seminar class, getting all seven pages polished and just now sent out.

I hung out with my best friend.

The best fucking time.

Seriously.

The best.

We had an amazing brunch.

The company, well, spectacular seems an understatement.

I also met with my person up in the Castro, did the deal, and went to my Sunday night commitment and had great connections there.

I got to share my big news.

Which was lovely.

I mean, really so nice, to share that with folks in my community who have watched me all these years change and grow.

Of course.

The big news!

I haven’t blogged since receiving it.

Dear Carmen, Congratulations! I’m delighted to inform you of your provisional acceptance to the California Institute of Integral Studies Doctor of Philosophy program in Transformative Studies for the 2018-19 Fall Semester.

That’s right!

I got in.

I’ll be getting my doctorate!

I nailed the interview, I mean, I just nailed it.

Best interview I think I have ever done, I was a little surprised to hear the things coming out of my mouth, but I didn’t let that surprise stop me from talking.

I was told that my story was fascinating, that I have so much to offer, that my dissertation idea is unique, not one that the department has ever had or heard of.

I was told my writing was really good, compelling and deeply insightful.

I was rather blown away by how I was received, it was an amazing experience that ended with me being told I was accepted into the program!

Although, the head of the department said, “unofficially accepted, they keep telling me to not tell anyone that they’re accepted, but frankly, you’re being accepted.”

I just was asked to not make it an official announcement until I received the letter, which I did.

I got in!

The provisional part is that I have to graduate from my Master’s program.

I’m so close!

So freaking close.

I have my next weekend of school coming up and I just finished the third part of the 30 page final thesis paper I have to write for Integrative Seminar-the case study I will be presenting this weekend in my class.

I’m the first one up.

Hoping to hit it out of the park.

I don’t think it will be a problem, I’ve been working with this particular client for ten months I could talk about the client easily for the 20 minutes I need to present.

I wrote up a seven part, seven page case study and zipped it out to my writing partner for any editing suggestions.

I will present on Friday.

I’m so ready.

I also have done all my reading for my other class, Research Methods, and I feel really on top of that work too.

I still have to write a final research paper for that class, and, but it will happen.

I still have a month.

In the last month of school I am going to have a lot to do, get all my graduation paperwork ready, get my paperwork ready for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences), and of course, finish the coursework.

So the provisional acceptance means that I have to do all those things, then I get to keep going to school.

Which is great because I can defer my student loans for another two years.

Those motherfuckers were Johnny on the spot, I got a letter a couple of days ago about my loans coming out of deferment and how I will need to start paying on them, one month after I graduate.

But.

hahahaha.

No.

I’ll be taking out more student loans instead to get my doctorate.

Which is fine, I keep telling myself that it’s ok, that the money will get paid back and that the investment, me, is so fucking worth it.

I really am.

I am super happy to be able to continue on, to get a doctorate is a dream that I haven’t told many and as the process was unfolding it felt so surreal that I am actually able to continue forward, that I am going to get it.

The program is intense, four semesters, a five-day intensive at the beginning of each semester, a cohort of 30 people, on-line classes and forums, but also, I don’t have to go to class, I don’t have to show up on campus, so that’s the bonus, the way that I can do it, that I can still keep working full-time and seeing clients and accruing my hours towards MFT licensure.

There’s lots of work, but I know I can get it done.

Before all that though, I just need to get through the next few months.

Ack!

Not even months!

I have to get through the next six weeks!

It’s happening, it’s all really happening.

So grateful I gave myself this weekend of fun and joy and sleep.

Ready for what the week has to bring.

Really ready.

One step closer to being Dr. Martines

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

The Last Roast Chicken

March 26, 2018

I thought to myself as I smothered it in salt and dusted it faintly with pepper, popping it into the hot oven to roast.

Sigh.

Now.

It may not be the last roast chicken ever, ever, ever.

But.

I am cutting out things that may be influencing the acid reflux I’m having and it’s been amply noted that fatty things are hard to break down.

Chicken, lean chicken, is not a bad thing.

It’s more that I roast the chicken and I eat the skin too.

It’s so good.

But.

It’s been mentioned to me that I could and should avoid that.

I had a chicken in the refrigerator though so, well, fuck, I roasted it up.

But I took the extra medication for the reflux and I ate it with brown rice and I had a banana for dessert.

Banana’s are supposed to help.

As too, oatmeal.

Greens, broccoli, fresh veggies, proteins that are low on fat.

I figure there are going to be a few more salads in my future.

And instead of roasting a whole chicken, I’ll get skinless chicken breasts, or ground turkey meat.

Stuff that has little fat content.

I had an amazing dish at China Live recently that consisted of butter lettuce leaves and ground chicken, like lettuce tacos, it was really good and I thought, that can be a dish I replicate.

I can make it very tummy friendly.

I can make a lot of things tummy friendly.

I can also eliminate a few other things that I found out may cause reflux.

Iron supplements.

What?

I have been taking iron supplements for years, like not even blinking an eye at it, I was diagnosed with severe anemia about seven, eight years ago, and started taking it then.

But I have noticed that when I take the iron, the flax supplement and the reflux med, something is getting triggered.

So.

Tomorrow.

I think I will skip the iron supplement in the morning.

I haven’t totally cut out coffee yet, but I have significantly cut back and I’m not drinking anything at all besides the double unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte I have with my breakfast.

I just don’t know that I can totally cut that out.

If I have to I will.

But today.

Well I had the coffee.

I didn’t go to yoga, I wasn’t feeling super well and I did not want to repeat yesterday’s experience.

I did however, get a lot of stuff done today.

Not everything.

But a surprising amount.

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

I did some work on my research paper and made a list of books that I need to check out from the library at school for the paper I’m working on.

I started writing up my case study too, I’ll be presenting a client to my Integrative Seminar this next weekend of classes.

I’m the first to go and I plan on setting a high bar.

I am actually rather excited to share the case, I have done a lot of work with the client and there’s been some prodigious change.

Therapy works y’all!

Yeah, so, lots of work on that, which is good, I have to write-up an 8-10 page paper next Sunday, so I was super glad to get this part done and also to have gotten all the reading done.

That feels really good.

It means I won’t have to carry my research methods text books around all week and try to squeeze in readings here and there.

I like that.

This week will be busy and full enough as it is.

I have supervision tomorrow, work, two clients.

Therapy on Tuesday before work, work, two clients.

Wednesday.

Oh yeah.

Wednesday.

I interview for the PhD program I applied to.

Oh.

My.

God.

What the fuck am I going to wear?

I hadn’t even thought about that.

Yikes.

I’m sure I’ll find something just fine.

I am excited.

Nervous, yes, a little, but I feel like I’m going to show up and I am going to be articulate and I am going to be myself and I have a great academic record, 4.0 as a Master’s student in one of the school’s own programs, great letters of recommendation, drive, intelligence, humor, and hopefully a tiny dash of modesty.

I don’t want to be too full of myself.

But.

I will do a good job in the program and I will do the work.

I am really good at showing up and doing the work.

I did that a lot today too.

I showed up for one of the women I do work with, we met and read for an hour, I showed up to meet my person at a Thai place in the Castro and did the deal there, then I covered my Sunday night commitment and connected with my fellowship, and that was lovely.

And it was work.

But the best kind of work.

Work in service to others.

Work that amazes me, shows me how to be a better person, encourages my growth, work that shows me how to let myself love and be loved, oh, it’s hard, still!

It is hard still.

To let myself be loved.

Heck.

I even asked for help tonight and was met with such a resoundingly sweet yes to my ask, I was a bit abashed at how clumsy I was when I made the request, that I was just bowled over with the response.

Fuck.

I am so grateful I asked!

I love my people.

I am so lucky to have the people in my life I do.

So very lucky.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Graced.

 

The Miracle

March 19, 2018

That is sleep.

My God.

REVELATORY.

How much better I feel from having gotten a full nights sleep the last two days.

I mean.

Fuck.

I feel like superwoman.

I”m also a little afraid that I won’t be able to wind down from this good, good, good feeling in time to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, I do have supervision in the morning before work and that means an early start to my day.

But for right now.

Damn.

I felt really good today.

And yes.

A teeny tiny bit sassy.

I rocked some blue glitter lipstick for the fuck of it all day.

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Because sometimes a girl has to work it.

Plus I had my Sunday evening commitment up in the Castro and I need to bring it for the gay boys.

“Girl.  I am LOVING the blue lip,” was said to me many a time tonight.

My pleasure to provide the glam.

I love going up to the Castro and being fabulous.

Fuck.

I love being fabulous in general.

But even though it is San Francisco, there is still a lot of tech culture here that seems to translate to some pretty fucking boring ass clothes and looks.

Lots of yoga/work out gear.

Which I suppose is fine if your going to the gym, but all day long?

Please.

Some style.

Sundays I also feel like I can be a bit sassier too as I’m not seeing clients and I’m not working.

I don’t have to find that oh so fine balance between what I can wear as a nanny and then what will translate to seeing clients in the evening.

I typically find something neutral, black or grey and then bring a long a pair of my Fluevogs to slip into when I finish my hours with the family.

My shoes elevate my outfit and make me feel like I’m stepping into my psychotherapist persona.

One day.

One day in the not so distant future.

I will not have to wear nanny shoes again and I am certain I will let my wardrobe reflect in the not necessary to wear something that may stain easy, shred easy, get yanked on by a toddlers hand, spilled on by an eight year olds excitement with helping me cook dinner, or have stickers put all over my outfit by a five-year old with a thing for glitter and unicorns.

I feel her though on the glitter.

It’s silly, but it makes me happy.

A friend in my cohort once sent me a little article about why humans are drawn to glitter–it reminds us, that animal part of us, of the way light reflects off water.

Makes complete sense to me.

I just now that it makes me happy.

Today I felt happy.

I might have also allowed that to spill over into a few purchases today.

I got myself a new Iphone 8 phone case.

The family I work for gave me a brand new Iphone 8 for my birthday along with a silicon cover.

Unfortunately the silicon cover won’t work with most glues or adhesives, so the magnet that I have on the dashboard of my car won’t work with the cover.

My best friend suggested a thin magnet in between the cover and the phone but I decided I really just wanted a new cover, one that I could affix the magnet to, and one that’s more me than the bright red cover that’s on my phone.

I mean.

Red’s nice and all.

But when a girl can have pink glitter?

Well.

Yeah.

So, happy equals getting a new Iphone cover in pink glitter as well as a new set of headphones.

I am over the moon at the ones I found and pretty happy with the price, $79.

I got a pair of retro over the ear headphones from Imego.

They are super cute.

And I am happy to have them for my trip to Paris.

It’s a long flight, a bit over ten hours and I will want good headphones.

I can’t wear ear buds for too long, my ears are actually pretty small and the buds hurt my ears after a while, they are too big, and it gets really uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing them, usually I can’t go more than that without having to take them out.

I splurged when I moved to Paris five years ago an a really nice over the ear set from Head Candy and I had them for almost four years, but they got worn out and the last time I went to Paris they died.

I was going to get some before I went on my trip to D.C. but never got around to it.

Since I recently got my tax refund I decided it was time to get a new pair.

I’m quite happy and I know that I will have happy ears on the long flight there and back.

Yes, it’s a bit early to be thinking about Paris travel, but I also know that sometimes when the timing strikes I just have to do the thing and get it off my list of stuff to get.

I got a lot done this weekend, the sleep really did help, from doing all my laundry and housecleaning, to selling clothes, getting a manicure and my eyebrows waxed, to dropping off clothes to get mended, and a pair of my dear Fluevogs to get re-soled.

I also cooked lots of food, roasted a chicken today and also made an Italian chicken and sausage stew with crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and artichoke hearts, so yummy.

I got to hang out with my best friend and have some spectacular connection.

I got to be of service.

I met with some of the ladies I work with.

I did my commitments.

I went to group supervision.

I went to Office Max and got some folders and a binder for keeping my paperwork together for graduation purposes.

I even did some reading for school.

And now.

It’s time to wind down and get ready for Monday.

It’s going to be a week.

But.

Then again.

When fuck isn’t it?

Heh.

 


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