Posts Tagged ‘therapeutic communication’

Stay

December 5, 2015

He said and rolled over into me.

I put my face next to his.

“Close your eyes,” I whispered.

He did.

His stuffed cat was tucked under his arm and the blanket pulled up high under his chin.

He grabbed my hand and wrapped it around his little belly.

“M—-, I have to go now.”

“Stay.”

I sighed.

I stayed a little while longer.

Homework was calling.

It is still calling.

It is calling with an insistent urgent whine like an engine that needs oil or will seize up.

I have a final project that I need to go to the library and do some work on.

I need to go to the library to check out some books.

I have done a lot of the pertinent research online, but for the class I need to have just more than internet research.

Albeit the papers I have been reading are written by psychologists at UC Davies, so not exactly something to sneeze at.

Yet.

I will feel better having hard copies in my hand.

I suppose I could muddle through the project doing all the research online, that’s where the majority of my focus has been on, but I think I will be better off spending a few hours at the library picking through what they have too.

I have a busy day tomorrow.

Doing the deal at 11 a.m.

Meeting my person at 12:15p.m.

Two ladies back to back after that.

I should be finished with all that by 3p.m.

Then I figure lunch, which I may finagle my last ladybug to go to the taqueria with me instead of Tart to Tart, kill two birds with one stone.

After that I plan on taking the scooter downtown to the main public library.

I will find what I need there.

I will find more than what I need there.

And I will check out a few books and articles and take them home with me.

I may or may not do the writing bit for the project tomorrow evening.

I had sushi and movie plans but my friend has been down for the count with a nasty bug, so not certain that those plans are on.

In fact, pretty much planning on them not happening.

So.

I won’t be getting the Christmas tree either, but I will be getting some work done.

I have a general idea, more than that really, of what I want to say.

It just needs to be polished, much more so than what it is in my head.

And organized with a handout that I can give to the class and a bibliography, done in APA format, to hand to my professor.

I suspect writing the bibliography will be the biggest pain in my ass.

The format for the project will then be an eight to ten minute presentation in front of the class.

I am good at speaking in front of folks.

I have been since sixth grade and taking a public speaking class.

I was extraordinarily surprised by how well I did.

I was anxious.

I remember that well, before my first presentation, but I was also able to somehow harness that feeling and use it to power through the topic.

I remember also that I got creative with the topic and did it on pencils and graphite.

I hadn’t known what to talk about and was chewing on a pencil in the library when I recalled the myth of chewing on pencil lead.

Next thing you know, I have a topic, I get up in front of the class, I say some stuff, I talk out of my ass, and I got an A.

In fact.

I got the highest score of the class.

I was shocked.

I don’t know what it is exactly, but public speaking is not too big a deal and for that I am grateful.

I don’t expect that it will be too big a deal for the class either.

It’s more like I said, being polished and presenting the information well.

I am a perfectionist after all.

I also made a huge intuitive leap today while I was reading the last (the last!) article in my Human Development class.

I won’t bore you with the theory other than to say that I was very happy to make the intellectual leap and to have one source completely knocked out of the way.

I mean.

Thank you Jeebus.

And let me for a moment go back to that part about reading the LAST article in the Human Development reader today.

Oh what a nice feeling that was.

Especially before embarking on a ten hour work shift.

I’m at 9.5 hours currently.

Yes.

I’m blogging from work, the boys are sleeping.

The mice are creeping.

And the clock is ticking down the hours until I am free to go home and go to work all over again tomorrow.

Uh oh.

Oh.

Craptastic.

The birthday party is going really well.

I just got requested to do another two hours.

Le sigh.

I guess I will be doing more research after all.

I can’t complain.

I can also do some reading for my other class–Therapeutic Communications.  It’s the only class I have any reading left in and not much at that.

I figure I will have all readings done, excluding the extraneous from doing the final project, by tonight and then all the time that I normally spend in the mornings before work reading can be devoted to practicing doing my presentation.

I also have a tiny leg up from doing debate and forensic in high school–regular and French.

Plus.

Um.

I also probably speak in front of a group of people about once a month for 15-20 minutes, I’m fine doing that, last time I spoke it was in front of 100 plus.

I’m not worried.

It’s just having the research lined up and the bibliography done.

Some bullet points and a few rounds of practice, I’ll time myself to make sure I don’t go over, and voila!

One more project done before I go to Paris.

The count down is so on.

T-minus 17 days and counting.

I’ll keep you posted about the progress on the project.

Happy weekend!

I’ll see you at the library.

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Let Yourself Off

November 27, 2015

The hook.

He said to me on the phone as we wrapped up our Thanksgiving count down of all the stuff and things.

I am doing just that, letting myself off for the rest of the day.

It has been a day.

I did a lot of work.

I did not go eat out turkey anywhere, I stayed in.

I did make a run this morning to the SafeWay in the neighborhood, which was full of people doing that last minute scramble, and I got what I needed and I got the hell out.

I also went and filled up the gas tank on my scooter.

$2.00!

Full tank.

Got to love that.

I was planning on going out this evening and wanted to make sure she was gassed up, but I didn’t.

My plans changed and I let myself be ok with that.

The fact is I focused on doing some very necessary work for school so that I would not have to have it all on my plate before heading to Paris.

I don’t really have time week days to do sustained writing, I attempt to do a little reading every day, but I keep the big writing to the weekends.

And this being a four day weekend I knew it was going to be my opportunity to get as much done as possible.

I actually succeeded beyond my expectations.

Well.

My stated expectations.

I had a moment last night when I thought, hmm, I bet I will be able to knock out my Human Development paper faster than I am budgeting time for, but I wasn’t going to push it.  If it happened, it happened.

If not.

I would still have three more days to work on things.

As it happened, the first paper went off really well and I was done with it and had sent it to my professor by 2:30p.m. this afternoon.

I had a phone call with a friend and ate a late lunch.

I even, shocker, flipped through a W magazine.

One I have had for months and not cracked.

I figure the next time I will be looking at a magazine will be on the flight to Paris.

The rest of my time from here until there is full.

But not quite as untenable as I first felt it would be.

I got the pre-paper anxiety going well this morning and had to do a little praying to get around it but I did and I just breathed and opened up my notebook and opened up my text book and opened up my reader and looked at all the little blue flags of post-it notes and got the feeling for what I wanted to write.

I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth this morning thinking about how I was going to frame the paper and the image of the imago came to mind.

In biology, the imago is the last stage an insect attains during its metamorphosis, its process of growth and development; it also is called the imaginal stage.

Thanks Wikipedia.

I repeated the world out loud, “imago.” that’s it!

The butterfly, was the insect I was thinking of and I used it to frame the paper and it worked beautifully.

Once I had the frame work and the outline and the blue flags all waving at me with direction and purpose, it didn’t take long to hash out the paper and it felt good writing it and reflecting on the things that resonated with me.

I gratefully spell checked, edited, and proofed.

Then.

Off to the professor and the TA with a Happy Thanksgiving note and on to the next project.

I tried to do the reading for my Psychoanalytic paper and found my brain was not co-operating.  I put it on pause after reading four pages and not feeling like I retained any of the information.

I decided I would leave the house and do the deal.

I got all geared up, went outside and turned right back in.

It was too cold and too dark and I just did not have it in me.

So.

I made some phone calls so I wouldn’t feel isolated and I sent some messages out, chatted with a few ladies, called my mom, and felt connected to the world.

Then I launched into my Therapeutic Communications transcript.

Which really is not that hard to do, but time consuming, and I suppose, it would be really time consuming if I wasn’t already a fast typist.

It still took some hours and by the end of the transcription my brain felt a little loose in the skull.

I took another break and then went back into it and added the commentary that the professor requested be done and sent it off as well.

Two down.

Two to go.

I don’t know what the rest of the weekend will bring, but I have blocks of time that opened for me.

Some of those blocks have been filled with meeting ladies and doing reading and fellowship and doing the deal as it should be.

Some of that time, like now, is going to be devoted to chilling the fuck out for the rest of the night.

Maybe a French film?

To celebrate Thanksgiving!

A purely American holiday.

But one in which I felt no sense of loneliness in the work I did today to perpetuate my goals.

Rather I felt an ‘all one’ ness.

A gratitude for how it is all connected and wonderful and good and strong.

Love.

Community.

Sobriety.

Recovery.

Graduate School.

Friends.

Family.

Life.

This constant evolution of love and growth.

Thanks has been given.

 

Keep On

November 26, 2015

Keeping on.

I just have to keep putting one small foot in front of the other and this work is going to get done.

I had to be at work early today, the boys were off from school and so I went in a few hours before my normal start time and had a great big full day.

I normally do some school work before heading into work, but I decided to sleep instead and do the work when I got home.

Thus finishing the reading and outlining for my first of four paper projects that I will be attempting to do this weekend.

Every day has a theme.

Thursday is Human Development and the reflection paper on middle life, covering lectures, videos, handouts, article readings from the reader and the three great big chapters in the Arnett text.

5-7 pages, 1.5 spacing, 1 inch margins.

I know this shit like the back of my hand since I got docked a whole grade my first paper for not conforming to the above directions.

Who the hell uses 1.5 paragraph spacing anyway?

Isn’t it always standard to double space?

I digress.

Then Friday I have two things on the plate, one for school and one not for school but will lead me to being in the right place at the right time to facilitate the Friday project–which is my final presentation with handout, also for Human Development, on using sign language with infants and toddlers.

I am going to be downtown meeting a friend for coffee and poetry at Cafe de la Presse at 1p.m.

My benefactor for the poems that I wrote for his ARTumnal project.

He has wanted me to read them to him and we are finally, after months of trying to fit something into our mutual schedule, able to meet.

I figure coffee, maybe lunch, then over to the San Francisco public library.

Black Friday shopping?

I think not.

Black Friday will be spent in the library working on this project.

I hope to have all the six sources I need to find and dealt with by mid-late afternoon.

Then some doing the deal and then back to my hood to do more work.

I should have the presentation ready, not polished, certainly, but roughed out in a very solid way by the end of Friday.

Saturday I have a couple of things to do, folks to meet, back to back at Tart to Tart in the Inner Sunset, then later that night I will be up in Noe Valley for a meeting up at the Starbucks and a little gathering of friends at St. Phillips.

I haven’t been there in ages.

It will be nice to run into my fellows.

Since I’m meeting up with three people on Saturday I have saved that day for the “easy” assignment, the transcription of a role play therapy session from my last Therapeutic Communications class.

It’s a fifteen minute session and the last one took me about two and a half hours to transcribe.  I have to do some more work then just transcribing it, there’s a format and things I have to write about, but at the heart of it, it’s probably 75% transcription and the rest is analytic critique.

Three hours tops.

Which brings me to Sunday.

Meeting with two ladies then the Psyschedynamic paper.

This one, though not being a big paper, 3-5 pages, I have to do some more reading for and I have to nail it.  It’s a post-Freudian theory dissemination that I will probably write on Melanie Klein’s theories of projection.

But I’m not 100% sure and I have a lot of re-reading and reading for it that I need to do.  Plus, it’s Dubitzky and I will have another 45 minute phone call or face to face to discuss the paper and I really want to feel in control of the material.

And that’s my four day weekend.

Ugh.

I just had friends over for tea and catch up after doing the deal over in the hood and it was really good to have company and feel, just for an hour, like a human being, instead of a human “doing” and be myself and chat and let my hair down.

Aside from that interaction I don’t foresee a lot of hanging out and chilling in my near future.

But every time I feel overwhelmed by it, and it’s not so overwhelming as it’s been, I feel like I have a tiny bit of a system in place to help with the doings of the work, plus, I don’t have distractions at all this weekend.  Just me and my books.

I don’t feel left out.

And I’m not upset that for Thanksgiving I’m doing homework.

Rather.

I am just super grateful to have the time to apply to the work.

And.

I have the light at the end of the tunnel.

Paris.

My dear, sweet Paris.

I know you are just around the corner and though said corner is blocked by a  stack of books and readers, I can see it just there, the surprise of the sparkle lights on the Eiffel Tower the first time I saw them at night flashing out and luring me along.

Really.

God gave me the best carrot ever to get through the final push of my first semester in graduate school.

That is a lovely sentence to write.

My final push.

Which is not exactly my final push either.

I still have one more weekend of classes.

December 10th, 11th, and 12th, I will be in class.

But if I get the work done this weekend  I will only have two papers to deal with before I leave.

So.

Here’s to getting the work done and being grateful for it.

This is a gift.

I am aware.

This life.

This experience.

Getting to do this.

It’s all a gift.

One I accept with wide open arms.

Gracious.

And.

Full.

So full.

Of.

Love.

READING?

November 23, 2015

You’re reading?

Take a break.

Alright.

But wait.

I have to e-mail my professor.

Fuck my mother.

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

Then I see the regarding part of the message.

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

How shit.

Of course I did.

Damn it man.

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

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

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

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

Cue vibrator.

I mean, come on.

I need to get some stress out.

I came so fast I couldn’t believe it.

Sorry.

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

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

Anywho.

Yeah.

So.

That was fast.

Note to self efficacy of said fantasy extremely high.

Baha.

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

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

Yup.

Needed to unwind.

Then.

Into the shower.

SUPER HOT.

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

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

I deserve a break.

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

Plus I went grocery shopping right after school.

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

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

So was I.

Done that is.

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

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

I got overwhelmed in SafeWay.

Oh duh.

It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving!

It was packed in the store.

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

I got in and I got out.

I got home and I made some dinner.

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

Hella good.

Then the dishes.

Then the phone call.

Then the fuck this I need to relax.

And I feel a lot better now.

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

Note to self.

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

Speaking of which.

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

Excuse me for a moment here.

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

Second ingredient.

Honey.

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

I just washed it off and skin feels lovely.

And slathered self with coconut lotion.

Now self smells like Mounds Bar.

I smell delicious.

Is it possible to make out with own self?

Oh.

My.

God.

I am nuts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And whatever the season, it’s Paris.

Christmas in Paris.

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?

Better than say, Christmas in Daly City.

And we have plans, ma poulette et moi.

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

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

It’s a museum of modern art and photography.

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

I see a souvenir in my future.

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

I am extraordinarily excited.

And much more relaxed.

Scent of face mask fading.

Body relaxing.

Hot tea taking affect.

Laundry wrapping itself up in the wash.

Food prepped for the week.

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

Rather.

A video.

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

Well.

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

And a full night’s sleep.

Then back to the grind tomorrow.

But that is tomorrow.

Tonight.

I relax.

Yes.

Yes.

And more.

Yes.

I swear that wasn’t meant to be sexual.

Freudian slip.

Ha!

 

 

 

You Are A Self Made

November 22, 2015

Intellectual.

That may be the best compliment I have gotten all week.

Especially as it came from a dear friend.

A French friend.

A Parisian friend, there are no better for telling one that, I felt so flattered and seen and a little in awe of what she said.

“If you had been brought up a different way, I think you would be a psychoanaylist, in fact, it soothes me that you somehow made it here, to this now” she continued as we were gathering up our books and papers, notebooks and pens, departing class to hurry home to get settled down and do it all over again in the morning.

I have already, like a good little school girl, packed my lunch for tomorrow.

And perhaps like an adult.

I made sure there was plenty of coffee in my back up Mason jar.

Last day of class for the second to last weekend of the semester.

By the time class reconvenes next month I will actually be registered for the next semester.

Crazy.

How is it happening so fast?

I don’t know, but I am glad it does.

The above compliment was not the only compliment I received today at school from a classmate, earlier in the day two of my cohort in our role play for Therapeutic Communication (we did triads as opposed to the dyads yesterday–consisting of therapist, client, and observer) told me I had a really great voice.  Something akin to late night smooth jazz or love station request lines.

The smooth sounds of night love with Carmen coming right into your ear this evening.  Call the hotline for any request, Freudian or otherwise.

It was a good day at school.

I felt really connected.

I was really present.

I was on top of the material, it was helpful that I read most of it, and I got so much from my Psych(e)analytics class I just about burst with it.

I have said before that it is my favorite class, despite the horror of talking with my professor on the phone for 45 minutes this past week to discuss the paper I wrote on Mourning and Melancholia using sonnets.

Heh.

That was bound to be uncomfortable anyway, but I did get a lot out of it and every time, every single time I am in the class I learn something I make a leap, I find a connection, or see something, my brain gets lit up.

“Don’t psychoanalyze me!” The professor shouted at me.

It was a fierce admonition, but also a compliment, she could see that I understood and I turned the theory right back on her (I have no idea what I said in hindsight, but I remember how it felt to say it)  and I was happily startled by her response.

I am getting the material and utilizing it in real time in the class room.

It just makes sense.

Who knew I was so Freudian.

“Are you thinking about going into psychoanalysis?” My friend leaned over and asked after I was out of the hot seat with professor, “you would be really good at it.”

I believe she is right.

And that makes me happy.

In fact, how my friend saw me makes me happy.

It was a new way to think of myself, a new way of seeing myself, and I was flattered to be called a “self-made intellectual.”

I find it similar to the idea of what Frederick Douglas said about the “self-made man.”

Self-made men […] are the men who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results.

I do not know that I have ever resonated so purely with an idea.

I felt honored to be seen like this, acknowledged, and deeply respected for my abilities.

I stood comparing (but not despairing, no not at all) at the reflection of my chic Parisian friend and in the window glass of the classroom.

She tall, thin, elegant, Roman nose, royale profile, bright brow, dressed in the simplest clothes, but chic, and clean and savvy.

I next to her was a bright clown, my hair pulled back in a mass of curls beneath a hot pink bandana, my pink star tattoos peeping out of my sweater collar, my bright safety orange pants a sweep of color next to her dark plaid slacks and soft grey cashmere sweater, the ameythst ring on her finger the only flash of color and therefor more alluring for being there, just there, perched on her finger like a small flower of violet knowing.

I felt for a moment like a clown.

Then.

I really looked again and saw myself.

Colorful.

Bright.

Brilliant.

Both in my mind and in my dress in my heart and in how hard I love.

And that is why I get Freud.

He is all about the love.

Yes love.

Most folks think Freud and think sex, and yes, there is the sexually charged eroticism and the titiliating sexually categorized stages–oral, anal, phallic.  And lest anyone forget, Oedipal, but the argument of Freudian theory is that it’s all about the love.

Just like I am.

All about the love.

I got excited.

I get excited in this class.

Maybe it’s the professor.

She is a hoot.

And she is hella smart and funny and kooky.

Maybe I see a bit of myself in her.

Who knows.

I don’t have to analyze it.

Suffice to say I was over the moon to realize that my friend is right.

I should go into psychoanalysis.

This is thrilling and scary all at the same time.

I am not sure what the next step is, the not knowing is always a bit unnerving; however, I can see that there is a path here for me to follow.

And as my friend so astutely noted, had I had the benefits of growing up differently, I may have made it to this point a lot faster, but regardless, I made it to this point, the guiding force behind the intellect I have been gifted with, and it is a gift, has led me here, to this fork in the road.

I am nervous to see where it goes and also accepting of and approving of this turn in my path.

Not what I was expecting from a school focused on ‘warm and fuzzy.’

Nope.

I just happened to fall into the radical Freud camp.

Ha.

How the hell did that happen?

That is a rhetorical question.

One I am happy to leave unanswered and rather to rest happily in this new bit of self-knowledge.

Now might be the time to start talking to an advisor!

Well.

Maybe I’ll wait until I hand in my final paper for the class, I do have a few things to write before the end of the semester after all.

Ha.

 

 

All The Deliverables

November 21, 2015

All the things

All the god damn time.

All the homework.

All the reading.

All the ibuprofen I took when I got home from classes today.

I got all my things situated when I got home.

Get the mail, grab the package in the hall, unpack from the day, then repack it all back up so that I can have it and be out the door when I need to be.

This morning was my first time riding the scooter to school.

It was great.

And not so great.

Great was–it started, it ran smoothly, it was a nice ride in.

I even split lanes a few times.

Although not with that vigor and vim that I saw a lot of fellow motorcyclists and scooterist doing.

I was a bit more cautious.

I will likely be for a little more time to come.

It’s just the way I run.

And I am fine with that.

In fact, I didn’t think I was going to split lanes at all and then, there I was doing it without much thought.

Except when I wasn’t and a few cycles zip past me.

The confidence will grow.

I found parking.

It was not the parking I wanted, that was actually taken, much to my surprise.  Although later in the day it was free and I could have moved my scooter but I was just around the corner on Minna Street and I didn’t feel uncomfortable parked there.

Granted I had to move the scooter a few times as it’s two hour parking on that strip of Minna, but it’s not metered and I had breaks and the building abuts Minna Street, so it only took a few minutes when I had to do it.

I won’t have to on the weekends proper.

Just on Fridays.

Tomorrow I will have my pick of the parking and not worry about it at all.

And now I know that on Fridays I may, if I don’t secure the parking that I want, have to do a little moving around of the ride.

No big deal.

The big deal was actually coming home on the scooter.

Not the traffic or the cold–the new motorcycle jacket works like a charm and is a super wind break, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.

No.

What I was concerned about was the fog.

It rolled in big time and the visibility was hard.

I had to lift the visor on my helmet as it became too fogged up to see.

That was uncomfortable.

It is one thing to ride through fog on my bicycle with my glasses off, another to ride down Lincoln Avenue at 35/40 mph with fog smudging it all up.

I rode slow and resolved that for the future if the fog is bad I can take the park, which has a lot less traffic.

Granted the speed limit is ten miles an hour slower, but as they say, better safe than sorry.

My other thought when I was riding is don’t they make anti-fog helmets?

I wonder.

I bet they do.

Something to research.

Do they make them in glitter?

Yes.

Glitter is a color, what’s your issue?

So the scooter ride in went off without a hitch and I loved having my basket liner to carry all my food in and my books and notebooks and readers and coffee.  It all fit and a light sweatshirt, as I didn’t want to wear my motorcycle jacket in class or carry it around for that matter–what was great was getting to the kitchen at school, taking out my food from the basket liner and sticking my motorcycle jacket in the liner and setting it on the shelf.

Perfect.

So self-contained.

It was lovely.

And school was lovely too.

Good to see friends.

Good to catch up.

Good to get back into the feeling that I am not the only one fumbling around with time management or skills sets in therapeutic communication.

I am not the only one in the adventure.

There are others in the same boat and the common peril we all face–another god damn final paper to write–is a balm to my soul.

The final paper projects were handed out today and as I looked at the deliverables I wanted to vomit and in fact, my head got super full, so full with the last lecture of the day on Freud and transference, that when the professor laid out the final paper project I just about cried.

Well.

No.

That isn’t true.

But I wasn’t happy.

“You don’t look happy,” my professor said when she saw the face I made after she announced that there would be another paper due for the class.

I have no poker face.

I pasted some semblance of a societally acceptable pleasant mask on my face and hollered on the inside.

NO MORE FUCKING PAPERS!

Damn it.

Ugh.

Except, well, it wouldn’t be graduate school would it, it wouldn’t be getting a Masters in Psychology, it would be something else and I know that I am worth doing the work and that ultimately, the work will get done.

I have some how showed up for every class.

On time.

Not missed a one.

Even the weekend when I got sick and ran a fever and was out of my mind with exhaustion.

I have shown up.

I have turned all my papers in on time and I am doing pretty damn good.

I got an A- on the Pschoanalytics paper that I went out on such a huge limb for and I was happy with it.

I have gotten A’s and one B.

The one B was for formatting and should I choose, which I probably will, I can write an additional paper to self-correct that only B on my class roster.

I am not going to think about it yet, since there are so many other things to think about.

Between now and Paris.

I leave on the 20th and I refuse to go to Paris and have to write a paper for school there–although it is an option, my last paper deadline is for December 22nd.

But I can imagine no hell greater than having to write a paper while I am on Christmas vacation in Paris.

Maybe it’s somebody’s dream.

But it’s not mine.

Thank you very much.

So between today and when I leave for Paris I have to write–two papers for Human Development, plus give a presentation on an outside research project of my own developing (I have chosen teaching infants and toddlers how to use sign language as a skill that parents can develop to help negotiate communication with their children prior to the child’s vocal cords being developed in an effort to ease parental frustration and encourage another form of language skill in children); one final paper for Psychoanalysis, and two papers with transcriptions of therapy sessions for Therapeutic Communications class.

In toto: five papers and one class presentation with hand out.

In between now and December 20th.

Thank fucking God I have Thanksgiving weekend.

Four days.

I will be entrenched in my homework and I am going to do as much as possible to have what I can done by the beginning weekend of December.

If I negotiate the homework and readings well I can have three of the papers done by the first weekend in December.

Plus the final project presentation for Human Development.

Which will leave two papers to do before Paris.

One which could be optional should I choose to pass on the extra credit opportunity.

It’s a lot.

But.

It can be done.

I have faith in myself.

And much gratitude for a four day weekend next week.

As well as an awesome little scooter to get me where I need to go to get done with what I need to get done.

All the deliverables.

All the time.

All the things.

They just keep happening.

 

Delighted and Dumbfounded

November 15, 2015

I finished my paper.

I finished my Group Dynamics paper.

I FINISHED MY PAPER!

Oh my God.

The relief.

Ten pages, 3,357 words.

In fact, I wrote eleven pages, so I had to cut and that is fine, good really, tightened the work and it’s always better to have a little too much rather than too little.

I was not expecting to get the paper done today.

However.

I realized this morning when I was sitting and doing some writing that though it is not at all about school, turns up to be so important to me being able to facilitate so much of my school work, that I was perhaps going about my school weekend prep plans backwards.

That it might actually serve me better if I wrote the Final Paper project today rather than putting it off until tomorrow.

The paper is not due until the 17th.

But I wont have time outside of this weekend to really devote to paper writing.

I can get into a groove where I do a little reading here and there, and it’s become a lot more reading as the days have progressed toward the end of the semester, but it’s hard for me to stop and start writing a paper.

That was the “dilemma” I faced today.

Do reading for other classes or focus on getting to the final paper, even if it meant cutting it in two segments of time.

I didn’t sleep in.

I wasn’t expecting to.

But.

I had not set an alarm, just in case I wanted to lie about for an extra hour.

Glad I got up.

Glad I got going.

Dumbfounded.

Still.

By how much I got in today.

My regular morning routine, plus the laundry, and marketing, and making food for the week and beyond into the school weekend, meeting with two different ladies, sitting and hearing the end of an inventory, reading for my Human Development class.

And.

Writing the final paper.

I still can’t believe it’s done.

So relieved.

I am going to focus tomorrow on Therapeutic Communications, getting as much of the reading done for the class as I can and also I am going to write the reflection paper as well.

That will leave me with the reader from Human Development, five articles, and all the reading for my Psychoanalytic class.

I mean.

I still have a lot to do.

But.

I feel so much better having this huge paper off and into the world.

Plus, having done my food prep today I don’t have to tomorrow.

I will meet with my two Sunday ladies.

Do the deal.

Get right with God.

Then read away the day.

I promise myself I will take a walk outside and get some fresh air.

That I will also sit in the sun and eat my meals without looking at a text-book.

I will watch the ravens swoop and sing through the air.

Have you ever heard the song of wind through raven’s wings?

Oily.

Thick.

Ruffled.

Heavy.

Dark.

Yet seductive, when I lift my face to the sun, prop my feet in a chair on the back porch and let my eyes close under the warmth of the sun.

I am hoping for sun tomorrow.

I know there was some today.

I did get out of the house for a brief moment to buy eggs and coffee and persimmons from the local market.

Persimmon season’s almost over.

I will miss you my sweet orange pumpkin friends.

I don’t want to jinx it but I am hoping to have all the reading done for the next weekend of classes, um, ha, before classes are in session.

I haven’t manage that yet.

I have managed to stay on top of the writing and I haven’t turned in any papers late, yet.

I hope not to.

There are only two more weekends of classes before the end of the semester!

How did that happen?

Of course.

I can barely see ahead of myself to know how I am going to feel heading into the final weeks of the semester.

Probably feeling that I am still behind.

There’s a lot of work and I have to acknowledge to myself, if only to myself, that I did real good today.

I got the massive amount of reading finished for the paper earlier in the week, I took notes, I made notations all over the book, it was full of little blue post-it notes, I used supplemental materials, and I wrote a really good paper.

I also learned how much I learned.

Which, I feel, is the signpost of a successful class.

I learned as I was writing and I made connections and correlations and my mind was a frenzy of activity.

I may have talked to myself a few times too

Ahem.

I learned that I can be flexible.

Or try to be more flexible.

I went to a friend’s house with a different agenda than what was previously discussed and watched my brain throw itself into spasms trying to figure out what to do.

Then.

I realized.

I was just panicking and looking for a way to not do the paper.

Any excuse will do!

Put it off one more day!

My friend helps me get accommodated and I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, stopped listening to my head, and listened for my gut.

Ok.

This here.

This notebook there.

My laptop here.

This book here, these notes here, my pens, turn off the phone, sit down.

Accept the help and suggestions being offered.

See what happens.

And what do you know?

There was nothing wrong.

I got lost in time.

Forgot that food had been ordered.

Wrote and wrote and wrote.

Took a break when my stomach said, “hey! I’m hungry,” and my bladder said, “yo, bathroom break!”

A bowl of corn and chopped chicken with egg drop soup, and some prawns with snow pea pods.

Yum.

Then back to the paper.

And about 45 minutes, maybe an hour after dinner, I was done.

I spell checked.

I edited.

I tightened.

I clarified.

I opened up my e-mail, composed a note to my professor, attached the paper and sent it out into the Universe.

And now.

I rest.

I actually have a sore arm, shoulder, and stiff forearm from typing so much.

I mean, what with my morning pages, the final paper project, and this blog, I have written over 5,000 words today.

No wonder my head is sore.

But.

It’s done.

I am truly.

Absolutely.

Over the fucking moon.

One Take

October 28, 2015

Damn it.

I had the whole thing, ten whole sonnets, in one smooth, seamless, gorgeous take.

Except.

Fuck me.

I thought I had my voice recording rolling on my phone.

As it turns out.

I did not.

Damn it.

Ugh.

I recited ten freaking sonnets, all my vigor, all heart, my voice nicely warmed up and lush, ready to go.

I had already read them once through, catching the places that didn’t roll off the tongue, practicing the words that are a little tricky to pronounce, getting it down.

Then.

I read them.

God damn, I was pleased.

Until I looked at the time on the recording and it said seven seconds.

Fuck.

I don’t have the energy to do that again.

The gentleman that asked me to do the collaboration with him wants me to read them to him, but his schedule and my schedule have not synced up yet.

And he’s leaving for Japan on November 1st.

So, not like there’s a lot of time.

Maybe a snippet tomorrow, a slice of minutes where we might be able to connect.

I had never used the voice recorder app on my phone, had no clue it was there, frankly, I’m not into recording myself, although I do like the sound of my voice, but we had to record for our role play on Sunday in Therapeutic Communications class, so I learned how to use the app.

It is super easy.

I should have been able to record the reading, but I did not.

I will try again.

I would love to perform the poems for the gentleman, I like the idea of that, the poems do take on a different feeling when I am reading them, I know that well.

There is still time.

And I could probably also just read them to him over the phone.

Perhaps I will try one more time tonight to record them.

I suppose I could also ask for help.

Ahhahaha.

God.

I amuse myself.

My first thought, literally, the one that just leapt into my brain, “who the hell is going to want to listen to me recite poetry?”

Ugh.

Martines.

Stop being your own worst critic.

I have been told many times that I have a nice voice, I am sure that there are people who would like to hear me recite them and if not, at least have the patience to sit and record them for me while I recite them.

Maybe I will ask the dj I collaborated with, Sunshine Jones, to do a recording of them with me.

I would like that.

It was fun to record “While You Were Sleeping” with him.

That reminds me too.

I need to figure out BMI.

I have a song writing credit on the track as well as vocal attribution for that album.

I could have money sitting there and I don’t even know it.

Time to reach out to a friend who said they could assist with that.

I put a little pinch of money in savings today and I am close to having what I need for the scooter, what if there was some money lying about that I could put claim to, I could get the scooter sooner!

I need to address that.

I need to address many things.

Reading for class.

Writing papers for class.

Time management.

Transcribing my therapy session for Therapeutic Communications.

All the stuff.

All the things.

There’s a full moon tonight and what I would rather do than read or write or work on papers or record myself again, damn it, is go down to the beach and watch the moon set, but it’s cloudy and overcast and a drop of rain fell on my face as I turned onto 46th Avenue from Lincoln on my bicycle.

There is not moon to be seen in the sky.

Anything to distract me from the work.

Although, I found, wonderfully, that I was able to reel myself in a little bit today when I was having anxiety about getting enough reading done this weekend, that I recognized I was living in the future, afraid that I wasn’t going to have enough time and it was distracting, and unnecessary.

I called a girl friend.

I got some perspective.

I called my person and got more.

I can catastrophize to make myself feel like I am being pro-active.

I am used to responding to emergency and feeling hectic about getting things done creates an unreal drama in my head, an urgency when there is no urgency.

That if somehow I manage it all better, control it all better, I will feel better.

Instead of knowing that what I am doing, steady, slow, sure, progress, reading a little everyday before work and as much as I can on weekends, is getting me by.

Not quite as on par as the syllabus, but I haven’t yet turned in a paper late and I know quite a few of my cohort are struggling with getting all the work in and done.

I am ok.

And my voice is warm.

I can feel it in my chest.

The hot tea I am drinking is not hurting.

I may try to give the recording another go here in a minute and see if I can actually do it.

It also doesn’t have to be perfect.

I am performing for a one man audience.

A person I don’t even really know.

Although I feel a connection to.

And a deep appreciation for.

I feel like I have a patron.

Jesus.

That just gave me goosebumps.

It is something special to be asked to collaborate and to be sought after for my words, it is a huge compliment and although I know I will write for myself no matter what, I am not unaffected by having an audience.

It is an honor to be seen.

And.

Heard.

So with that thought in my heart, I go forth again to record the sonnets.

Fingers crossed!

From Garbage Bags

October 24, 2015

To graduate school.

I was sitting in my Therapeutic Communications class and something was said about the video we had just watched, a really intense video of Nancy McWilliams demonstrating psychoanalysis with a woman who was trying to negotiate a domestic abuse situation.

It was a surreal story.

It was just an hour of therapy and so much ground got covered and the therapist was amazing, directing subtly, strengthening the client, reflecting back to her, empathizing with the client.

I got a lot out of it.

A LOT.

I also got annoyed with a fellow in my cohort who kept asking questions.

Pushing questions that, as I saw it, were serving the person asking them but then, the professor used the questions to illustrate some key points in the reading we had to do for class and also to help teach the class some really salient information about being a therapist.

We, as a class, were then invited to see how our own need for resolution may be at odds with the clients.

I remember flaring up inside when the questions were being asked and feeling that there was this well of antipathy inside me.

I got annoyed.

Then I realized that I was annoyed because if I had been that woman, if I had been that client, and the solution was to get me to see a solution immediately, I wouldn’t have been able to get there, in fact, I would have said, fuck you, fuck the therapy, and I will deal with this on my own.

In effect.

What I did do.

On my own.

With a lot of help from some close friends, I got out of an abusive relationship.

It was not physically abusive until the end.

He hit me when I broke up with him.

I ran out into the street.

In the middle of January with no socks on, a pair of jeans underneath a flannel nightgown.

Now.

For those of you that know me, this is highly unusual.

Even in the dead of winter.

Even in Wisconsin.

Even in January with below freezing temperatures.

I always, since I was about 17 and the step father moved out of the house, I always, slept in the nude.

That night.

I wore a nightgown.

Intuition.

Premonition.

I don’t know.

I can’t say.

But I did.

And when I ran shivering, scared, uncertain where to go and which direction to take.

I knew I couldn’t go running down East Johnson Street, he would find me too fast.

I ran to the Sentry Shopping Centre that was on East Washington.

I ducked along the cement walls and found my way to a pay telephone, remember those?

I called 911.

I got a response and they said they would be sending a car out to me.

That was when I heard my ex-boyfriends car.

In all actuality, our car, it was just as much mine as his, we had both bought it, an older Jetta.

I could hear it turning and I hoped it was heading toward East Johnson.

But.

It wasn’t.

And I got frantic with the operator on the phone and tried to cram myself down into that very small phone booth and make myself invisible in my flannel nightgown with corn flowers on white cotton, with a ruffled that was piped with blue ribbon, with cuffs that reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie.  I watched the car, the little blue Jetta grinding up the street, hoping against hope that he could not see me flattened against the wall of the phone booth.

I believe.

Looking back.

That was the last time I ever wore a flannel night-gown.

It’s been thirteen years since that night.

Almost fourteen.

Will be fourteen in January.

That’s when I left him.

The operator on the 911 call held me together until the police arrived to take me to a friend’s house.

I will never forget the way the lights looked wicking past the back seat window, the calls coming in over the radio, the destination never seeming further away as the sodium street lights glowed sullen in the snow, the hush of the streets, the lack of traffic, the drive around the lake on John Nolan Drive.

Then my friend’s house.

I refused to talk to the police.

I did not give up the ex-boyfriend.

I was too co-dependent.

I did not want him to get in trouble.

He got in trouble anyway, it just took a little longer.

I suppose I could have navigated it differently, but I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know how to do it.

I do now.

But I look back at that girl, that young woman with such love and compassion, what I went through to get from there to here.

And.

How long I told myself that it was normal, that it was something that happened, that I could somehow normalize the trauma of fleeing my own home in my nightgown in January in Wisconsin.

I was isolated.

My friend, my best friend and her husband were in town visiting and they noticed it.

Another friend and her partner were in town.

They all had tried to get me to see the light at some point.

My ex-boyfriend pretty much blamed them for the timing of the break up.

He was probably right, but I did not understand how much until later.

My best friend navigated me going into work the next day to tell them I had an emergency and was leaving town for the weekend.

The plan was to get my stuff and take me up North to Hudson where I could chill out and figure out what I had to do next.

I was in shock.

My ex saw us leave my place of employment, he had been driving around Madison all night looking for me and who knows how many times he was circling the block where I worked.

He whipped into the parking lot and flew out of his car, our car.

He tried to get to me.

He tried to talk to me.

My friends were all in shock.

Then.

He spit on me.

Full on in the face.

Suddenly the guys stepped forward and corralled him.

My friends got me into the back of their car.

We pulled out burning rubber.

Two seconds later my ex got in his car and pursued.

My friend’s husband lost him after a few intersections.

We flew to my house.

I unlocked the door and having no idea what to do, I grabbed a large black garbage bag and threw random clothes into it.

I ran around my house.

My sweet little home that I had lived in, nested in, hosted Christmas dinners and Thanksgivings in, had made our home, was now an unfamiliar territory or terror and fear and I just had to get out of it.

My ex didn’t get back to the house before I left.

I was that fast.

I huddled in the back seat of my friend’s Saturn and numbly watched the landscape go by.

I remember passing a refinery and thinking how spooky and eery and utterly beautiful it was in the night with the flashing lights and the mists shimmering into the black void of sky.

I reflected on this in class.

All the memories that came up.

Then the tears.

The joy of knowing, that despite myself, for it would be another long year and a half before there was closure and ultimately, really not until I moved to San Francisco in 2002 did I get finality on the relationship (he stalked me for a year and a half and I got a restraining order that he violated once then he got to go jail and do work release through the Huber program the city had in place for inmates with work release options, two full years of restraining order and yet I saw him twice more before things were all said and done.  Ah alcoholism, how I love thee, not), I had made it out.

I made it out.

I had tears of utter gratitude and awe on my cheeks at how far I have come.

From being a woman fleeing her own home with a garbage bag full of random grabbed things.

To a fully self-supporting, radically self-reliant, strong, resilient, loving, kind, compassionate, tender-hearted woman.

From garbage to graduate school.

A small transformation.

A flowering woman in bloom.

A wide open heart.

Vulnerable and strong.

“We both were tempered by fire,” my friend told me, leaning into me in sweet confidence, “but the heat of your fire was hotter than mine, and I want you to know I acknowledge that.”

Tempered.

Strong.

Flexible.

And full of empathy and compassion.

For the client on the video screen who couldn’t get out.

And.

For myself.

The woman who did.

My life continues to unfold.

And amaze.

I am graced.

I.

Really.

Truly.

Am.


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