Posts Tagged ‘saying goodbye’

You’re An Incredible Therapist

April 24, 2018

Aw!

Thanks man.

I had my last session today with my practicum supervisor.

Which means that as on this Friday I am no longer a trainee.

I am an intern.

I know.

I’ve been calling it an internship forever, but it’s always been “practicum” which is basically a trainee.

Now I become an intern and what that means is that I don’t have to do as much supervision.

Which means I will go in once a week to group supervision and that will cover 10 clients of direct face to face time.

As a trainee I was only allowed five clients face to face per supervision session, so I had to go twice a week.

Truth be told.

I wish that I didn’t have to continue with group and that I could continue with my, now former, supervisor.

I just got so much out of working with him.

I also got some strong admonishment from him about where I am interning and how I need to hold boundaries and about what clients I want to cultivate and what clients I need to let go of.

He also suggested that I look into private practice internship.

And I think he’s right.

He recommended someone who I had as a professor and I am going to ask her ASAP.

I feel like I should actually be drafting an e-mail right now.

There.

Did it.

Not letting any moss grow on that stone.

Onward and upward.

What it means to be a private practice intern is that I would take clients and use the license of the therapist who I work under, said person would also supervise me and my clients.

I would also get paid, though not that much, the majority, usually half, sometimes more, goes to the therapist with the client.

It helps though, and it is certainly more than what I am getting now, which is nothing.

I could also stay at my internship and see clients.

There are options.

But  won’t know what they will look like unless I start exploring them.

I will say I almost asked Bruce if I could intern for him, but I got the impression that he didn’t have the space, though he did express that he was going to miss working with me.

I was very flattered by that.

I also teared up a bit at the end.

And!

He broke the therapeutic frame and hugged me.

It was so sweet.

It was  really nice way to end.

He also encouraged me to stay in contact with him, he’d like to know where I am going to end up.

I told him I would of course be inviting him to the office warming party when I open up my own private practice.

I can’t wait.

Oh.

Yes.

If only just to decorate.

That’s a ways off.

But.

Getting slowly closer.

I got a few other things done today to advance me down that path as well.

I zipped over to CIIS after supervision, found parking after circling for a minute, right in front, jumped out, hopped up to the 4th floor and registered for my fall semester of my PhD program!

And.

I was just proactive and logged into my student account to see if my financial aid package was ready.

It was.

I accepted.

I’m a little nervous though.

I’m not quite sure, but it looks like tuition for the year is $24,500 and my financial aid package tallied up to $21,500.

That means I’m shy three grand.

Which is not good.

I wasn’t expecting to pay anything out-of-pocket.

In fact, I was hoping to get a little extra to help cover cost of living expenses.

There’s still a chance that I could get some scholarship monies, and who knows, maybe I can take out a grad plus loan too.

It’s all a lot to juggle and I need to remind myself that I have done a fucking lot today.

As I also turned in my Letter of Agreement paperwork to the practicum office and updated my student id at the registrar’s office then returned my library book and flew down the stairs, hopped into my car, and zoomed over to work.

Work was good.

Pretty chill.

I had a little headache, I think I was a bit stressed about getting everything in today that I needed, I also had my supervisor sign off all the paperwork from the last year and a half, so yeah, juggling a lot of moving parts today.

And of course.

Seeing a client.

My early client cancelled.

So just one today.

I used the time in between work and the second client to go to SafeWay and get some groceries, that felt good to do and it was nice to have the extra time to take care of that.

I was too busy writing my Research Methods paper yesterday to get to the grocery store.

All in all it was a good day, definitely busy, but so grateful to have gotten the things done that I needed to accomplish.

Slowly building up momentum towards graduation!

Tomorrow I’ll pick up my practicum site evaluation and I’ll need to take that in as well to CIIS and drop it off.

Last time I mailed it and it got lost in the mail room for weeks, this time I’m not going to risk it, I’m just going to drop it off in person.

All the things.

All of them.

Coming together.

Almost there.

So, so, so close.

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So Many Things

July 24, 2017

This Sunday.

Although I did not set foot out of the Sunset.

I almost didn’t get out of the Outer Sunset, but I did manage to scooter up to a lovely little church shrouded in the heavy fog this evening.

Wow.

The fog tonight was no joke.

It was super spooky riding home and the visibility was little to none.

I went very slow.

Grateful to be in a neighborhood that was quiet and sleepy and muffled.

The few cars I did pass basically blinded me with their headlights refracting in the fog.

So careful.

So slow.

I don’t want to die.

I say that with and without tongue in cheek.

There has been a lot of death around lately.

I joked, in a rather morbid way, the other night, the God must like taking folks in July.

“What is under that fear,” I asked her today.

“Well…..” she said somethings and got closer and closer and then, “I’ll drink and then I’ll die.”

“So, you’re afraid to die,” I said softly.

I am too.

I remember the first time someone spelled that out to me.

I hadn’t made the correlation from the resentment I was holding onto to the point that I was ultimately afraid that I was going to die, that so many of my fears stem from that oh so basic fear of death.

Oh.

There’s littler fears, smaller fears, the classic ones that come to my mind are always the same, fear of being unlovable, fear of being abandoned and alone.

Always they come up.

But tonight.

Well.

It was just plain old fear of getting hit by a car on my scooter because the visibility was so bad.

I was very glad I had my scooter jacket on.

Aside from the fact that it’s a great windbreaker and it has padded elbows, shoulders, and a back piece, it is also pink and has reflective fabric sewn into it.

I’m pretty visible.

I mean, nothing is 100%, but I would say that I have more visibility than someone who is riding in a black jacket, that’s for sure.

I’m running around in loops.

Get to the point.

Today another person died.

Taken off life support.

I knew her a little while after I got into recovery, she’d been around, on and off, for at least ten years, maybe eleven of my time doing the deal.

Always a bright light, always a lovable woman.

She came in and out a lot, there were many times I saw her after a relapse and they were not pretty.

But.

She got out and she was doing well and had relocated back to the Midwest and was doing it, she had two years when she died, had gotten married, had a great job, she was a step mom and happy, and you could see it in her photographs and in her cute little quips and fuck, she just recently recommended to someone in our community who recently had a baby that they reach out to me as she knew I was a “great nanny.”

She’d been a nanny too.

We often times would commiserate about our families, and more often swap pictures of the babies we worked with, our charges, and we would share stories of endearment about them and our nanny adventures.

It takes a special kind of person to love unconditionally children that way that she did.

That’s what she was doing.

Swimming.

Teaching a child how to swim.

If I understand the story correctly.

And she drowned.

She was pulled out and they tried to resuscitate her and she spent some time in the ER, but she never came back.

She passed this morning and once again I find myself taking a big break from social media and trying to titrate how much I take in.

I did reach out to a dear friend of mine and offer some support.

He’d dated her and though the relationship hadn’t lasted, I know how very important she was to him and how much they still stayed in touch.

He was devastated.

He’s got a great support system though.

And I think of the community and support system I get to be involved with, all the gratitude I have for my fellowship.

And.

Yes.

Sigh.

I think about Shadrach.

He would have run the marathon today.

He was supposed to ten years ago today.

But that was not what happened.

Ten years ago he was hit on his scooter and though not outright killed, he was in the ICU on life support for a week, he was killed that night.

He just hung around long enough for us all to say goodbye.

And sometimes it feels like there was never enough time to say goodbye or never will be and I keep going on living and when I used to feel guilty I just feel graced now that I get to be so exuberantly alive.

I bitch about going to yoga.

But fuck.

I get to go to yoga.

I get to do so many things.

All the things that he didn’t get to do.

And I wonder about this woman too, what things did she not get to do.

I am grateful that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was at the best place she’d ever been in her life and that God took her at the peak of her experiences.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not sad.

God damn it’s sad.

She was so freaking young.

I’m forty-four.

I think she was about to turn 40 this year.

I just recall that we were close in age.

Sigh.

Shadrach would be 42.

I don’t feel the sads the way I did a week or so ago when I was walloped with emotion, but it is there, soft, and slow, and muffled, like the fog, creeping in and nestling down in my heart.

So.

I lit some candles and I will have a moment and I have looked at his handsome face today in the photographs I have on the wall.

And I will say thank you friend for showing me how important it is to live to my fucking fullest every damn day.

Sometimes it’s tiring.

But.

Fuck.

I get to be tired.

I am so lucky to be here.

If life was fair I would be dead.

I am not.

I am here and I promise.

YOU.

I will keep loving with all my heart.

Loving so damn hard.

Regardless of how much it can hurt to live.

The pain is worth it.

I get to live.

I get to love.

I get to.

I am so, so graced.

 

Saying Hello

December 15, 2014

Just to say goodbye again.

Goodbye papa.

I love you.

I kissed his cheek.

It was surprisingly warm, and the warmth and the prickles of stubble startled tears from my eyes.

I left his room.

I had said my goodbyes.

I told him what I needed to say, I wrote him a card, I held his hand, I stroked his arm, his knees, and the tops of his feet.

If he wasn’t wearing a helmet to protect his head, I would have stroked his hair, so like mine, still so dark, the gray is in his beard.

That was new.

I have never seen my father with a beard.

It was not a full fledge beard, but it was far more hair on his face than I can ever recall having seen.

“Does anyone know what happened,” the night nurse asked.

“No,” I replied, but the nurse who I checked in with on Friday read the intake notes to me and it sounded like he was assaulted for his wallet.

There was no need to say the rest of the story, my father’s body tremors spoke the rest of the tale, the bruises and scrapes and scars, the toughened skin, the cracked toenails, the hair, too long—another thing I had not seen on my father, long hair—the swollen hands, the alcohol withdrawal was hard to watch and bear witness to, but bear I did.

“You did a fine thing, you showed up as a woman of valor and strength and whatever happens this is between you and your dad, and you deserve to go out and experience every rich and wonderful thing that life has to give you, you let yourself have those things.”

Thank you Honey.

I needed to hear those wise words.

And so many others.

My darling boyfriend.

My dearest best friend.

My mom.

My sister.

My grandmother.

The worlds all convened in one spot for me in one fulcrum of pain and sorrow and grief and joy and gratitude.

The gift of my father.

I thanked him for helping me find closure.

I don’t know if he will come out the other side of this, but I do know that I will.

Breathe and pray.

She said to me.

Breathe and pray.

And that’s really what I did.

I prayed and held his hand.

I also cried.

But have I had a really good sob?

Not yet.

I did for a moment break down when I left the ICU, said thank you to the kind nurses; I lost it for a moment there in the waiting room.

Barren but for I.

I crumpled.

My face fell.

The tears scalded my cheeks and I let loose a wail.

Then I breathed in and prayed out and asked for a little more strength.

There was no one to hold my hand through the walking out of that waiting room, but I was held nonetheless.

My eyes so blurred with tears that I could barely respond to the texts from my boyfriend, then, the elevator, the intake desk at the ER, the cab called, the wait while the crazy of a busy ER bloomed around me.

“Please, sit, really, the driver will come and call out your name,” the receptionist kindly spoke to me.

I thanked her, looked at the melee in the waiting room and withdrew to stand by the doors.

I am done with this place, this space, this ER, this ICU; I just want to go home.

Home.

San Francisco.

I met so many kind people while I was here, was helped immensely by the fellowship, welcomed and hugged, picked up and brought places, asked to read and share, drank many, many, many large cups of coffee, and cried in the safety of rooms that I knew would hold my tears and keep them safe.

I am so thankful, grateful, and in deep debt to these rooms and the amazing people I met, especially one lovely lady who really stepped up to help and be of service, may I have the graciousness within me to play that service forward.

I have thank you cards in my bag, which of course, I did not find a mailbox to mail them from, but they are there.

I bought them as well as a postcard and a refrigerator magnet at the Anchorage Museum.

I got out a little today in between the church basement and the hospital.

My new friend took me to a museum and we talked and laughed and shared our experiences and then went to a café and I had a big old green salad, oh San Francisco I do miss your lovely food, and it was so wonderful to connect with someone.

I met her just yesterday morning and she feels like an old friend.

Just one of the many gifts I am sure will come of this experience.

The gift of seeing my father and finding my way through to an adult experience to deal with the being there for my family and to also find a small space for myself to have my own experience and interaction.

My heart hurts.

I am tender.

I am wrung with tears.

“The Christmas lights are so pretty in the snow,” I texted my boyfriend.

The Christmas carols in the hallways of the hospital, the crying child, the mountains capped with white, the blue sky, the blaze of golden orange at 3:30 in the afternoon as the sun began its fast descent, the mix of cheer and pain and sorrow and joy.

The richness that is my life that I can hold more than one emotion at a time and allow space for all of them.

I am a vessel of love and I found that the depth and parameters of my heart are far bigger than I suspected.

That’s what happens.

God breaks open your heart to fill it further.

A split open heart has more room, more area, a cup, a chalice, and a field of blazing aurora borealis against the deep indigo sky, to hold love.

It’s a feeling I have not gotten used to, but it is not unfamiliar and in the feeling I know that the rendering of it will only make me love harder and more if I keep my heart field open.

That’s the best I have.

I let go.

I let God.

I surrendered.

I accept and am loved.

I was brave and will continue to honor my family, my friends, my love, myself, and most of all this wilderness that I have come through to another pivot point in my life, and that, that is the choice for me.

Life.

I choose to live.

Thank you, my father for my life.

I will live it well and full of love.

I promise.

 

 

 

In Blackwater Woods: Mary Oliver

Look, the trees

are turning

their own bodies

into pillars

 

of light,

are giving off the rich

fragrance of cinnamon

and fulfillment,

 

the long tapers

of cattails

are bursting and floating away over

the blue shoulders

 

of the ponds,

and every pond,

no matter what its

name is, is

 

nameless now.

Every year

everything

I have ever learned

 

in my lifetime

leads back to this: the fires

and the black river of loss

whose other side

 

is salvation,

whose meaning

none of us will ever know.

To live in this world

 

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

 

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it

go,

to let it go.

 

All My Important Things

August 16, 2013

Are exactly where they are supposed to be.

They are in bins and boxes, plastic bags, stacked, packed, and ready for the dust.

I got it all here.

Including myself.

I am in San Francisco.

The bike, the bag, the computer, the playa bike, the boxes, bins, and tins, all in the back of my employers garage to be loaded into their vehicle sometime tomorrow.

I am done.

I am still a little astounded that it all, including me, got here before 11 p.m. tonight.

After I dropped the man at the BART I dashed back to Graceland, finished the coffee, finished the one small load of laundry, brought down the rest of the clothes and small electronics that I always bring (my IHome cube music player, which I adore, and goes every year, the rechargeable battery thing–I will take loads of photos–my camera is ready, and all the little cords to recharge the laptop and the phone.), stacked them all in the back of the employers car, drove to Emeryville, got lost, but still managed to be five minutes early to work, put down the monkey pie for her nap, wrote last nights blog, and ate my lunch.

Whew.

After my little pumpkin woke up and she had her lunch and some time to adjust to being awake, I packed her up and we drove her papa’s car into the city to drop my stuff at the Cole Valley house.

I actually backed into the driveway as the mom and her little boy were strolling around the corner.

I hollered out, got shown were to put my stuffs, confirmed my arrival time this evening, and my start time for tomorrow morning–9:30 a.m.

Then I drove back, sans stuff, to Emeryville, made a trip to the bank, to let them know I was changing address, not Black Rock City, but the Sunset, and got a new check register.

Then one last trip to the park with my ladybug.

Who today.

Today.

Said my name.

And I love you.

I just died.

Kid you’re killing me.

Of course unless you speak her language you may not recognize my name, but her dad did later, and I totally got what she was saying and then she clearly said I love you.

More than once.

More the twice.

It was so nice.

My heart just got a little bigger thinking about it.

She was just such a peach today.

I am enamored.

It is true.

I did not say good-bye to her in any kind of formal way, I will still likely have her in the city once a week and I am, fingers crossed, hoping for more than that, but I won’t be going out to her house any more.

I will miss rocking her in her room, the sound of the noise machine set low to ocean surf, reading her books and snuggling before nap time.

I will miss putting Pandora on to the Scissor Sister’s channel and dancing around the kitchen like a maniac with her giggling in my arms as we spin across the floor.

I will miss putting her hair up in little pony tail poofs.

“Who did your baby hair?” A little girl with the most audacious set of braids I have seen in sometime, asked me today at the park.

I have to say, I rather proudly responded, “I did,” and smiled.

“They look good!” She exclaimed.

“Thank you,” I said and scooped up the little ladybug to go head back to the house.

“Home!” She said.

Then, “my turn, push,” she meant the stroller.

She leaned forward, grasped the push bar with her two little wee paws and I held her, Superman style, straight and flat, arms around her little waist, with her legs sticking out behind and we pushed her stroller down the sidewalk to her house giggling at our silliness.

The child has an outrageous sense of humor and some of the best comedic timing in a kid I have ever seen.

And she’s not even two!

After her pops got back we settled up and I grabbed my bicycle, headed to BART and hit it to the city.

I had a moment when I almost turned to ride toward Graceland and not the BART, then shook it off, and went to MacArthur Station.

Off at 16th, deposit the check to the bank, head to Whole Foods, where I practiced amazing restraint and only got a small salad, a bottle of water, and apple, a banana for the oatmeal tomorrow and a small container of yogurt.

Up the hill and over to Vermont and Mariposa where I saw some folks, ate my salad and made plans to see some friends who are also headed up tomorrow.

I already have plans to be somewhere 8p.m. on Saturday night.

Thank God for friends.

A few more hugs, then back on the bicycle and off into the fog.

I marvelled at the fog, I won’t be seeing any for a few weeks, and thought how it’s all happening, it’s all falling right smack into place, pedaled from Potrero Hill through the Mission, cutting up to the Castro to hit the Wiggle, on to the Pan Handle, through the park, which at night always reminds me of a scene out of CS Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, all the lamp posts, tall trees, curlicues of fog, and then over Haight Street, crossing to Cole and up to Frederick.

And voila!

Here I am in Cole Valley, typing away.

My last blog from San Francisco for three weeks.

I don’t know what my internet connection is going to be like where I am camping this year, fingers crossed I will get me some access.

But I do know I will do what I do, and that is write every night and if I can’t get a blog posted, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t written.

I’ll be posting when I can, but writing every day, just like I do anyway.

Most of the time.

One more cup of tea, a little light snack, and off to bed I go.

Tomorrow is suddenly here.

Less than an hour away.

You’ll hear from me next in Reno.

Blog postcards from the playa soon to come.

 

 


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