Posts Tagged ‘therapist’

One Hell of a Day

July 10, 2018

I’m still not sure how I got through it.

But.

I did.

And I just had breakfast for dinner to celebrate.

Sort of.

I just made oatmeal and had a hard-boiled egg because I did not have the opportunity to get out and do grocery shopping and by the time I was done seeing clients tonight.

Well.

I was done.

I didn’t want to go out to eat either.

Besides.

I did have a very nice lunch at a place in the Castro today that I have never been too with my person and he convinced me to have the grilled romaine salad.

It was really good!

I will be back.

So.

I did  have some nice food today and you know, I do like oatmeal, it wasn’t a hardship for me to eat it.

It’s not like I’m eating stale nuts and flat water.

It was more that it was a big day, I had a lot going on, I did a lot, I did the deal, I spoke, I had a lot of things to organize this morning, research that I needed to do, places I needed to call.

Stuff and things.

I’m being a bit vague as not all of it is sorted out and I don’t need to report on something that hasn’t happened it.

Suffice to say.

Things are moving.

And after some intense moments, hopefully in a direction that is beneficial to all involved.

Speaking of moving.

I am really looking.

I did get a response back from one place, but no follow through.

I feel like this may happen a bit, I figure the demands for housing are so high that people who are posting are probably inundated with requests.

I will soon be posting to social media that I am looking too, so that may be another avenue of possibilities.

I haven’t done so yet, being in a sort of limbo here.

Clarity is on the horizon, it feels and things moving enough to say that I am actively looking, hell I’ve been actively looking for a bit, but that I will be letting my friends, family, and social  networks in on it as well.

I haven’t yet done that.

I’m hoping that is where the juice is at.

That someone I know will have something or know of something.

Word of mouth always feels like the best way to find something.

And it’s not a resource I have availed myself of yet.

I have also done other work these last couple of days, lots of emails about the internship.

I have already gotten back one letter of recommendation!

Which was so good to read!

It made me really happy to read it.

Especially right after I saw my clients tonight.

I had some big sessions tonight.

Here’s the letter:

Dear ___________________
I am very pleased to write this letter of recommendation for _________ AMFT. I have
worked with ______ for over a year at The Liberation Institute of San Francisco, and as her clinical supervisor in weekly group supervision and periodic individual consultations, I have close knowledge of her work with clients.

_______ possesses the qualities of an excellent professional psychotherapist. She is self-aware, compassionate, mature and fully dedicated to her work. She provides a caring, consistent holding environment for her clients and has the ability to form a solid working alliance with clients from a range of backgrounds, experiences, diverse life styles, and cultures.
________’s personal qualities and life experiences have informed her capacity to be a healing force for her clients. She has established effective therapeutic relationships with clients dealing with very challenging issues and has sustained long-term work with many as they have stabilized and made important changes in their lives. Given an interview opportunity she may share some about this.
In group supervision _______ has been a very valued contributor. She listens well to others and offers astute insights in a supportive way. She is open to others input and comes prepared with questions and things to share about her own work. Carmen also knows how to establish boundaries in the clinical situation, has a good grasp of professional ethics, and has helped others in the group by sharing her own experiences.
I believe ______ would be a strong asset to your organization and have no reservations
whatsoever in recommending her for a clinician position.

Yay!

God that was nice.

I don’t know if I’ll see the letter from my other supervisor or not, but he was happy to write me up one and I feel very comfortable that he will portray me well.

Grateful for the kind words, it’s nice to see how others think of my skills and abilities and I am happy to have another little piece of the next part of the puzzle in place.

And I got a response back from the woman who was going to be my supervisor and she expressed excitement for me and also that she would like to talk further about it.

We’re going to establish some contact tomorrow and figure that out.

I also made another coffee date with a friend for this week.

Which is super nice.

I am going to be coffee’ed up!

But I’m glad for that.

I have a coffee date tomorrow, a hiking/hot tub date and meet the new baby in Berkeley date on Wednesday, a coffee date and possible walk around the Mission Farmer’s Market on Thursday, and not one but two coffee dates on Friday! Plus maybe dinner Friday night too?

Grateful to get some connecting in.

I need it.

As I have alluded to, it’s been some stressful times and making plans with friends has really helped.

Really helped.

And soon, I feel certain, everything is going to fall into place.

And!

Let me not forget.

Paris.

I leave on Sunday.

Paris always makes everything feel better.

I am a very lucky girl.

Very.

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Being Proactive

July 9, 2018

I got a lot done today!

I also forgot a couple of times what day of the week it is.

Heh.

It is not often that I have the luxury of forgetting what day of the week it is, but I did today.

It was sort of nice to just do the next thing in front of me and let go of the results.

Life goes pretty smooth when I do that.

I am happy to report I got up and went to yoga.

Two days in a row!

And despite having the next few days “free” in the mornings, I won’t make another yoga class until Thursday or possibly Friday.

The classes available don’t quite fit my schedule.

A schedule that does have a few time slots of delicious opening, but that I have made some time to see friends and do lunches, grab coffees, catch up and connect.

I’d rather connect with friends right now than worry about making another yoga class appear in my schedule.

Suffice to say.

I am glad I went though, it felt good and I felt good for going.

I also did meet with a lady today and do the deal and I got a lot of work done to apply for the paid internship that I have been researching.

Namely.

I updated my resume for the position and I reached out to two supervisors to write me letters of recommendation.

Both gave me a resounding yes they would be happy to do so.

That felt really good.

I’m about half way done with what the application requires for the internship.

There’s a lot they want to see.

The rest of it is a matter of sitting down and doing some writing and figuring out a mission statement for myself and my vision of a private practice.

Fortunately, in my last semester one of my classes, Integrative Seminar, made a big point about this and I feel like all I have to do is go back through the notes I took to be able to give the internship what it’s looking for.

I also have to do a business plan.

That feels a little more challenging, but they have some templates and I’ve been reading over everything and I believe I can come up with something that will do the job.

It is certainly good practice no matter what comes of it.

I do feel good about the internship though, my friend whom I spoke to about it really felt that I would be a good fit and after speaking with her, I feel the same.

I also have to acknowledge that in the 8 days since I found out the internship that I thought I would have had fallen through I have done a lot of footwork to find a new one.

I have researched and reached out.

I had a coffee date to sit with my friend and find out if it was a good fit for me.

I reached out to two supervisors for letters of recommendation.

I also reached out to the woman who I was going to intern with and asked her if she still had any interest in renting out office space to me.

I don’t know that it makes sense for me to rent my own office.

In fact.

I don’t think that I could afford it.

Hell.

When I look at what’s available on craigslist as I navigate through my current living situation, I can’t afford what’s out there to rent, let alone a full-time office space.

The best bet for me is to do what my friend does, she shares the office she works out of with another therapist.  She’s in her office two days a week with clients, the other five days the licensed MFT is using it.

I figure that the woman who was going to supervise me does have office space availability, I mean she did when we talked and unless something has changed she probably still does.

Thus the email inquiry.

I also asked if she might still want to supervise me, but under the auspices of the internship who would pay her the rent on the office and pay her a fee for supervision and then the internship with take out admin fees from my account and whatever is left over would be my paycheck.

It will probably take some months before I even get money, but if I do it right and I work at it in a steady way, I could be making a decent amount after about half a year.

Not enough to quit being a nanny, not by far, but enough to help pay the bills and maybe go down to part-time nannying instead of full-time.

Of course.

I also have my school program coming up to contend with.

I have been thinking it will be much like my Masters degree the last year of it, working pretty much full-time as a nanny for my current family, seeing clients after work, and then doing my homework on the weekends.

I will slowly accrue hours.

And that will be alright.

As long as I’m not stagnating.

It’s work, but work towards an end goal.

And I really like being a therapist.

It feels good and right and it feels like this is how I bring more love into the world.

I saw the Mister Rogers movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” today with my person.

It was so good.

I was so happy he persuaded me to put aside our recovery work for an afternoon and just go duck into a movie theater and watch an amazing movie.

If you haven’t seen it, go!

It was astounding.

And I grew up watching Mister Rogers, so it felt especially poignant.

I also appreciated it and the principles of spirituality, basic child psychology, inclusion, and love that he was obviously basing his life work around.

It was a beautiful movie and I left feeling hopeful and happy that as things progress it’s all going to work out.

I just have to keep love in my heart and be honest in my person.

I have faith I can do that.

I really do.

Having The Emotions

July 6, 2018

And moving through them.

I feel really quite good right now.

So much better than I have in some days.

I also did a big inventory today.

I toss that word around sometimes without much explanation–inventory is a way for me to work through resentments I have about people, places, and things, sometimes concepts.

I inventoried the fuck out of my housing situation.

I saw selfishness and fear and self-seeking and dishonesty.

I saw my part, you could say.

And I found a way through.

A way to continue this process of not knowing what is going to come next.

I had a conversation with my landlady yesterday.

It was not what I expected and I was baffled by the exchange.

But.

It was enlightening and I have deep compassion for the both of us.

I mean.

That’s the only way through.

We both have things we want and ultimately, we both want the same thing at this point-me to move the fuck out.

I need something better and she doesn’t want me living here anymore.

The means to the ends is where we disagree.

And that’s fine.

There may always be opinion about that and opinion is not my business.

What people think about me is not my business.

God.

Fuck.

Of course I want to know.

I want to know so I can manipulate myself into making everyone fucking happy so that I can be comfortable.

I’m comfortable when others are taken care of.

I can relax.

But.

The facts are.

NOBODY is taking care of me.

I have to do it.

I have to put myself and my needs first.

So I have to let go of what others, the landlady, my friends, my fellows, clients, my cohort at school, my employer, think of me.

I have to.

Or it will kill me.

I can’t go around making everyone happy.

I just can’t.

So.

I got some good freaking clarity after seeing where my part was, seeing how trying to get acceptance from others or relying on them rather than my God wasn’t working.

Never has.

Never will.

People are failable.

Fuck.

I am failable.

I will fail you.

Guarantee it.

There was a time I would have apologized for that failing or tried really, really, really hard to be the perfect person and not fail.

But.

You know what?

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok for me to not be perfect, it’s ok for me to fuck up.

I fucked up.

I made a decision based on fear at the beginning of my tenancy that led me here.

I’m ok with that.

Sure.

Wished I had done it different, but I can’t change that, I can accept that I was doing the best I could, in a co-dependent people pleasing sort of way, and that seeing the results accrue over the past five years has brought me to this place that is requiring me to make a really big change.

Self-advocacy.

Non-personal.

Do right for myself sort of change.

I was really grateful I did the work to get to that place and really grateful that I have been earnestly praying for my landlady.

I mean.

I have.

For her happiness, joy, financial success, romantic love, family love, relationships with friends, success with her job, everything and anything that I could think of.

We all deserve the best and by focusing on that rather than trying to make myself out to be a victim and her some overblown hyperbole of a landlord, I get to see her as a human being doing the best she can do.

We are all doing the best we can do.

It’s ok.

Another persons best interst is not my best though.

And I recognize that.

I have had a lot of time to reflect on things today and I am grateful for that.

Ooh!

I have also spent a lot of time researching an internship!

Check it out:

Grateful Heart Therapy

Grateful Heart is a therapy organization in the Bay Area which provides sliding scale psychotherapy for all sorts of folks.

It was recommended to me after I told my therapist about the internship that I was going to do falling through.

The supervisor I was going to work with made it abundantly clear that it had nothing to do with my clinical skills or abilities, she really likes me, she believes I am a great therapist, but, it wasn’t a good time for her to go from being a solo practitioner to having to incorporate a LLC.

I get it.

I was upset.

But you know, opportunity to find something that will be a better fit.

With Grateful Heart Therapy AMFTs can lease their own office underneath their supervision.

MY OWN OFFICE.

Now.

It will take time to get my own office up and running and it will take money, money that I don’t necessarily have, although I flirted really hard with the idea of using my credit card, the one I got nearly a year ago and have never used.

Or.

Hmm.

Maybe I could do a GoFundMe?

Thoughts to explore.

Anyway.

The center provides the infrastructure, they do payroll, billing, supervision.

They have over 40 supervisors and they have groups that are supervised, they do trainings and they use psychotherapeutic tools developed by the master herself–Nancy McWilliams, a clinician I have written about wanting to work under, she’s amazing, I loved reading her work in my Master’s program.

It takes some time to get things up and running, but I would be able to see clients, charge them, and have my own office.  Grateful Heart would take $350 a month for operating cost and to cover supervision, I would pay payroll taxes, etc and they would cut me a check.

I saw an empty office today at the building my current internship is in.

The door was unlocked and there was a sign that said “Take A Peek!”

Peek I did.

It’s small, but clean, on the fifth floor where I already see clients, a view of Twin Peaks.

I could imaging pictures hanging on the wall, a couch, a therapist chair, file cabinets, plants, lamps to provide soft lighting,  a spot for an electric kettle and tea cups.

I stood in the warm little space and dreamed a little dream.

It felt pretty damn good to contemplate.

Tomorrow I will be having coffee with a friend of mine who is currently working for Grateful Heart and I’m going to pick her brains about it.

I can’t wait.

I feel like I can breathe again.

And sleep.

I know where I stand with how I need to proceed forward with my landlady and I have a new internship to explore with the option of starting my own private practice office much, much, much sooner than I had expected.

I am sincerely.

And truly.

Over the moon.

It’s Been A Day

July 4, 2018

It really has.

It was preceded by a night with little sleep.

I had a really hard time falling asleep and I couldn’t stay asleep when I finally did.

I rarely have insomnia, but last night there was a kiss of it.

So much to think about.

And my wild thoughts got me up so early.

Really too early.

But.

I have to say I am surprised that I didn’t feel tired today.

I also had a bit more to do than I thought I was going to.

In between my therapy session and dropping off paperwork to a former supervisor in Hayes Valley, I got a text from my boss asking for a huge favor and could I go help out at the house for a few hours.

I said sure, I went, I let in the cleaners, I hung out and listened to French House music, I did some spending plan for July and I added up my expenses for June.

I got a bit walloped yesterday.

Truth be told.

Unexpected conflict.

Lots of fear.

High amounts of anxiety.

And lots of having faith and leaning in.

I spent most of yesterday outside the house, I didn’t feel safe here and I didn’t want to have more conflict escalate.

Fortunately nothing further happened.

You want details you contact me directly I am being circumspect about what goes on my blog for a little while.

When the dust settles I may elaborate more, but tonight as I write, suffice to say it’s been unpleasant and I have been taking actions around my housing situation to the best of my abilities.

I also have to say thank God for my external support and for the people who I could call and talk to and get suggestions from.

So much lovely help.

I needed every bit.

And so, it was of no surprise, not really, when I got home after a long stressful day yesterday and found a bill from my health insurance for $867.23.

Fuck.

Really?

I knew it.

I had a feeling I was going to get a sucker punch from the endoscopy.

I looked over the bill and though yes, I was a touch upset, in the end my insurance did cover $3200 of the procedure.

Grateful for that.

I sat down and wrote out a check.

Then I balanced my checkbook.

Then.

Well.

I have therapy and need groceries.

I am sitting with money in my account, but it’s earmarked toward rent, my rent check has not been cashed yet.

I double checked my addition and subtraction and I thought about a few things I wanted to do today.

Car wash.

And decided to pull money from my savings account.

Did I have to?

No.

I would have been ok until payday.

I mean.

I would have bought nada.

But I would have been ok.

Then I thought, why feel pinched when I have money there that can be used?

I transferred the money that I had earmarked for Paris into my account and decided to make sure I looked over my budget and spending for the month.

It’s a big month for travel.

I have no regrets about what I spent in New York.

I am very happy for the trip, the memories, the mementos.

Absolutely no thoughts that I should have done it any different.

It was a wonderful trip.

Paris will be too.

I may not have the $867 that had to go to the hospital bill, but I have enough.

I’m o.k.

That became sort of the theme today.

I am o.k.

I am going to be o.k.

Everything is o.k.

Yes.

Things are hard.

Things are challenging.

Life is showing up and doing what life does, giving me opportunities to learn and grow and expand my capacity for love.

Yes.

There were tears today too.

Therapy.

I talked for the first half about my living situation and what happened yesterday.

My therapist really applauded how I handled the situation.

I was not expecting that, to be told that what I did under pressure was admirable.

That felt good to have reflected back to me.

I still had few moments of feeling overwhelmed when I talked about what had happened, but hey I didn’t die and though it was intense and unpleasant, I got through it.

I had lunch with a friend today after therapy and he reflected some of the same things back to me.

It was super fun to see him.

He works in a cool tech company and they have lunch delivered and so yay, free lunch and an hour with a good friend.

He also helped me figure out my bottom line around my situation and gave me some brilliant language should I need, when I suspect, it’s not going to be a should, it will be a when, to stand up to the situation and what is happening.

It was calming and I appreciated hearing it and that he also acknowledged I do have a lot of power in the situation.

Ultimately.

Faith.

Faith.

And more faith.

It shall prevail.

The rest of the day was nice, like I mentioned, helping out the family, getting to do the work on my spending plan, taking time to eat a nice dinner, just a salad and sparkling water, but it felt good to nourish myself on the earlier side of dinner as I had a client cancel and I wanted to do the deal tonight at 8p.m.  I was able to leave after my first client and get across town right on time.

Where again I got to be aware of fear and faith and that they are similar, belief in something that cannot be proven.

So I chose faith.

I will continue to choose faith.

Knowing that I am loved and carried and I just have to show up and take the next actions in front of me.

It will all work out.

It really will.

It’s Still Light Out!

June 20, 2018

Yes.

I know it’s Day Light Savings and we’re just a few days away from the longest day of the year, but that’s not it.

Both my clients cancelled tonight.

Both.

And then the boss let me go a half hour early.

Not only was I able to go hit up the spot and get my God on, I actually got home and have eaten dinner and it’s still light out!

I cannot remember the last time I have been home this early.

It’s nice.

It’s a little weird, but nice.

And since I do have to get up early tomorrow for another early start at work, I’m ok with it.

I briefly flirted with the idea of going to yoga class.

But it seemed better to have dinner earlier than to wait until 9p.m.

Which is what would have happened had I done the yoga.

And I knew who the teacher was today, I had checked the schedule and I noted the instructor, who isn’t bad, but also, well, isn’t good either.

Another instructor I might have decided to do it, but this guy, well, home and an early dinner and some relaxing sounded about right.

Grateful for a mellow week so far.

I’ve only had one client this week, when typically I would be in the middle of my fourth session of the week right now.

I have three clients left to see this week and no one tomorrow.

It feels like I got a little mini-break in the middle of my work week.

This makes me laugh.

Just working a full-time work week feels like an easy week.

I’ll also be putting in a little over time, but really, it does feel really quite relaxed.

Just thinking ahead to that mystical far off, well, maybe not so far off, but still a few years out, when I just get to be a therapist for work and don’t have to juggle full-time nannying along with my internship.

When that happens I will happily put some of the things in my life that I have not had much of back in.

More doing the deal.

More fellowshipping.

More yoga, or some sort of exercise.

But for right now, I am content.

I’m not upset that this is where my life’s at, I’ve been working really hard for the last three years to get to this point.

I still have two to three years before I’ll be fully licenced.

By which time I will have taken my boards, all the tests that I will have to take to get there, plus I will have finished my PhD program.

I haven’t any real clue how much work that is going to be, but I suspect it will be similar to what the load was when I was getting my Master’s degree.

There is a part of me that hopes that I can cut back on the nannying by June or July of next year.

There is a part of me that hopes I’ll be done with it completely, but I am not sure if that’s a for sure thing.

I would need to carry a lot of clients.

I will get there though.

And I do think that I could possibly get there before I am licensed.

I know  of people who have had full-time client loads as interns.

It’s doable.

I just have to make enough money.

I feel that what will happen is going to be gradual.

Come January, when my contract is up with the family I may say, hey, let me cut down to four days a week or three, then pick up clients full-time on those days.

I have discussed it a little with the mom, but not in detail.

Fact is.

I don’t know how it’s going to look, I can only speculate.

I do know that I have a date to meet with my new supervisor on July 11th and fingers crossed I will have my AMFT # by that point.

I have started to watch the mail.

I’ve been watching the mail for a minute now, actually.

I haven’t gotten my SF Tenant’s Union hand book yet and I’m wondering where it’s at.

I need to write my landlady that letter and it would be helpful to have the handbook.

I probably don’t need it to do the letter, but there’s a part of me that wants to have the extra support as I’m writing the letter to make sure that I have the pertinent details listed.

My therapist and I talked about it a bunch today.

It’s good to have that support.

I won’t see her for a couple of weeks what with my upcoming trip to New York about to happen.

That letter will be sent before I fly out.

I’m sure I will have  much to cover in our next session.

I reflected on that today.

Life keeps showing up.

Things keep happening.

My therapist and I had briefly discussed what it would be like for me moving forward and how she could support me and whether or not I go down to therapy every other week.

But fuck.

Things happen.

Graduation.

My mom’s visit.

Travel.

Relationships.

Work.

The 90 day move out bomb.

I don’t think that now is the time to cut back on the therapy.

It’s super helpful.

Super helpful.

And, well, I like having the resource too for other aspects of my life.

There are things that I don’t talk about with the majority of other people in my life that my therapist gets to hear and it’s such a gift to have that outlet.

It’s nice to, that I get to also give that gift to another.

Even if it’s a light week for me.

I am still showing up for my clients.

Partially just by living my life to its utmost fullest.

With love.

And boundless gratitude.

No matter how life shows up.

It’s life.

I’m alive.

It’s all good.

Dirty Dishes

June 13, 2018

For the first time since I have lived in this home I came back from a long day to dirty dishes in the sink.

I always wash my dishes.

Always.

But.

Fuck.

I totally screwed up this morning.

I was late and I had no idea.

I mean.

I had not one single clue.

I had gotten up with my alarm, took a nice hot shower, dried my hair, got dressed, made the bed, chatted with my best friend, did some morning reading, did some prayers, I had made breakfast, a lovely latte and I was slowly digging into some emails when I had this moment of.

Oh.

It looks like I need to go in about fifteen minutes.

I had just started eating my breakfast.

Does not compute.

I looked at my watch.

I looked at my computer clock.

What the hell was wrong?

I’m doing exactly what I would be doing on a normal morning and I’m not writing and I, oh shit, I realized right then and there.

I had set my alarm a half hour later than I should have.

If I have a shower before work I have to give myself an extra half hour, mostly for dealing with my hair.

But I hadn’t factored that in.

Oh.

I thought I had.

I mean I was right on schedule, except for being a half hour behind.

I shoveled in my oatmeal.

I mean.

It was not pretty.

I tried to drink some of my coffee down but it was too hot.

I like to leisurely sip my coffee, look over emails, check my schedule, peep my blog see if anyone’s read it, then do my morning writing.

Mornings that I shower before work I also don’t typically write, so my brain was all wired that I had this extra half hour.

In reality.

In that half hour I had to be at therapy in Noe Valley and I had not put on my face yet.

Oh no.

I mean.

I was dressed and I could have gone out without make up on, but you know, I like to put on a face.

I made the executive decision to not wash my breakfast dishes, dashed into the bathroom, did the fastest make up ever, grabbed my stuff and flew out the door.

I made it.

I found parking with three minutes to spare to dash down the block, let myself in the building, and have a cup of water from the fountain in my hand as my therapist open the door to her office.

I sort of sat and had to catch my breath.

It was a good session though, not a lot of tears, a little when I got into the feeling zone of what it was like when I heard the news that my landlady wanted me to move out, but for the most part I was able to make some serious connections, talked a lot about fear and moving forward and about self-advocacy and how it allows others to have strength and how I wanted to grow.

I talked about things I have to walk through, partially for myself, and also for my clients, as a therapist I always need to be doing some growing.  I need to always be integrating new experiences into my life and though I may never tell a client what is going on in my life, it will be in the therapy room.

My experiences are pure freaking gold.

I caught up with my old friend from high school today.

And although we did not get a chance to talk as long as I wanted, it was so good to hear his voice and to catch up.

I got to tell him a bit of what has been going on, but our conversation was cut short when the mom came back unexpectedly early.

One thing that stood out to me though, was his perception of me always being a therapist.

I had been telling him about the process and graduation and getting in my AMFT# application to the BBS and accruing hours and all the things and he laughed, because he didn’t understand half of what I said, but then when I said, “you know, all the stuff one needs to become a therapist,” he replied, “you mean what you’ve been doing all your life?”

I laughed out loud.

He was right.

I have been a therapist all my life, although I had no idea that was what I was doing.

Being kind, lending an ear, giving so many of the people I worked with a shoulder to cry on, I had an open door policy at one of the places I worked and managed and people would just come in and talk about things and tell me stuff that no one else was privy to.

I liked it.

I liked feeling needed and I liked listening.

I am a good listener and I remember a lot.

I also have a very good way of seeing something with perspective.

Oh.

Sure.

Not about myself, my vision there is skewed, but in others, I can see things fairly quickly and clearly make connections that they might not see.

Or might not want to see.

“If a client doesn’t want to take it in, or can’t accept it, they won’t,” my supervisor once told me.

It’s ultimately not up to me if the message lands or not, but it is up to me to show how I see it and to be an advocate for what the client wants to change in their life.

So being in my therapist’s office today I could see very clearly that the challenges ahead are an extraordinary opportunity for growth and for service.

I have to walk through this for my self and I have to do it for others to.

“It’s a political act,” she ended, my therapist, in regards to some actions I’ll soon be taking, “I’m in awe of how beautifully you just put it, thank you for letting me witness you.”

Anytime.

And hopefully next time I’ll remember to set the alarm another half hour early.

Fingers crossed.

Nobody likes to come home to dirty dishes.

At least not me.

Shaky Hands

June 10, 2018

I actually had some nerves today.

Oh.

I suppose, I have a touch of anxiety all the time, but I do manage it for the most part decently, but today, I noticed, shit, my hands are actually trembling.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

Everything is ok

And of course it was.

Everything was fabulous, but I was still nervous.

I was putting together all the pieces for my BBS application for my AMFT#.

This number which will prove to the therapy world in general that I actually graduated from an accredited university with a program that fulfills all the BBS requirements for eventual licensure.

Graduated with a 4.0 to boot.

Not that I think any of my clients are every going to ask what my GPA is, none have so far.

I certainly didn’t think about asking my therapist that, didn’t cross my mind.

Didn’t really need to.

I know she’s licensed and she was transparent with me and let me know that she had gone to CIIS as well, which was so helpful, has continued to be helpful, and she has become such a resource for me.

She was an advocate for me going after a private practice internship and she told me point-blank that she would refer clients to me.

That’s probably a better recommendation for a client to know than my GPA.

Granted.

I am damn proud of it, I worked my ass off to get through his program and I got through.

And sitting at my table watching the YouTube instructional video on how to fill out my BBS application really brought it all together.

How much work to get to this point.

Filling out this huge application.

Getting LiveScan fingerprinting, which basically goes to the DOJ and the FBI and then to the BBS to find out if I have anything wonky on my record, which, of course I don’t.

I mean.

I have been background checked for two different nanny jobs, plus my school’s program requires it before I am allowed to go into practicum, as I would be seeing clients, so I knew nothing was going to come up.

But the DOJ and the FBI?

Wowzers.

Next to the stack of application were my two envelopes stamped “Do Not Open” in bright red block letters, from my school.

One envelope held my transcripts.

The other envelope held the program requirements and verified that my program met all BBS requirements, like that I took Child/Elder/Spousal Abuse, or Psychopharmacology, and of course the big guy, the class on the DSM V.

Attached to the application was also my passport photo that I got at the Walgreens in the Castro last Saturday.

“You’re really pretty,” the young woman said who took my photo.

Thanks sugar, I was busy scrutinizing the furrowed lines in my brow and wondering if they had come about from all the reading that I had done over the last three years.

Then.

Another check, this time made out to the Behavioral Sciences Fund.

I don’t have a clue what that funds, but hey, here’s some money.

Now please.

Process my application and get my number to be ASAP!

Please and thank you.

And when I was in group supervision today I found out that the turn around time on the AMFT# is far quicker than I had thought.

I was told I would probably get my number in a month!

Holy cats.

So.

I let said cat out of the bag and told my supervision group that I had obtained a private practice internship and I would be leaving them for her.

It was really nice to receive the congratulations and the acknowledgement of the work that I have done and also that I was super lucky, one of the members in my group has done work with my soon to be supervisor and we both gushed about her.

It was good timing to, for me, to find this out, because it started me in the mode of what I will do next to wrap up with my clients.

I will begin telling them soon, giving them all the opportunity to find closure with me and also that I will be available to them if they want to continue working with me.

It feels super great too that any clients that opt to come with me will be able to continue to go to the same facility.

I won’t be moving at all.

I will just be in a different office, instead of in a different office every night.

So.

Yes.

I noticed the shaky hands and I told myself it was ok, that I was doing great, that I had it all filled out correctly and if I had somehow fucked it up that would be ok too.

But I don’t think that I did.

I am pretty damn sure I crossed all my t’s and dotted all the i’s.

I headed to the mid Sunset and dropped it all into a fat envelope and spent the extra money, as the YouTube video insisted that I do, for tracking and I sent it certified mail so that it is signed for and I will now when they receive it.

I was told they would get it by Monday!

Holy crap.

So.

Sometime in July, fingers crossed, I shall get my AMFT# and I will be able to make the transition to the other internship.

An internship that I am very ready for.

I also called CAMFT and talked to a person there about what my supervisor and I need to do to set up the private practice internship.

I was given really good suggestions and directed to an article on the topic.

I will be reading that soon.

I have a “next steps” meeting with my new supervisor July 11.

I can’t wait.

I don’t know if I will have my number in hand.

But I know I will have it awfully soon.

And hopefully I will have a steady hand when I open the envelope from the BBS.

Fuck.

Who cares.

I certainly won’t.

But I might whoop with glee.

I have done that a few times today.

It feels so good to take positive actions.

So.

So.

So.

Good.

Summer

June 6, 2018

Or so it seems when I am on social media.

Not that San Francisco is exactly its normal summer beast of fog and cold wind, though, true, it’s been quite windy, it’s just not really warm.

Although I did catch a bit of sun this past weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about how it’s “summer vacation.”

It doesn’t quite feel like that.

I mean.

I got up, went to therapy, worked a full day at work, then saw clients at my internship.

It does not scream summer vacation.

I keep getting this cute, well-meaning messages about enjoy all the time you have now that you’re not in school!

Sure.

And I can’t complain, there is a feeling of easing into this moment of not having to write a paper or get something signed or run around to this supervisor or that, but I still have things to do.

Tomorrow I will get my fingerprints taken with LiveScan and then I am one step closer to turning in my application to the BBS.

I’m really happy to have the process moving along.

The faster I can get that number the faster I will start seeing clients at my paid internship.

 

That too, the paid internship, is going to have some working parts that I have to figure out.

My supervisor has not had a supervisee before, or an intern, I’ll be her first.

So I need to do some due diligence and find out the things that I need and the things that she needs to do.

I have a membership to CAMFT, the California Association of Marriage Family Therapist, so that means I get to call them and ask questions when I need help and this definitely falls under their bailiwick.

I get insurance with CAMFT as I’m still technically a student.

Which is really nice.

And I get to use their legal team too.

Not that I think I need their legal team for finding out what the necessities are for being a paid intern.

I just need to contact them and ask some questions.

Of course.

That has not so much been on my mind.

I’ve been trying to reconnect with the phone counselor who left me a message from the SF Tenant’s Union and not having any luck.

I may just end up going into the office for another quick drop in to ask a few follow-up questions.

Tomorrow I’m planning on getting my LiveScan fingerprints done at a place on Mission Street and if it goes quickly I am thinking I will pop over to the Tenant’s Union afterward, they are open until 7p.m.

I just want a little more direction on what next actions to take.

It feels better for me to be taking action rather than just sitting on my hands.

I am still looking at places, but I think that until I have a touch more clarity I am not going to move real fast on anything.

I know it’s important to keep doing actions though, as I don’t know which action will result in me finding a new place to live.

I, as I have said before, am casting a wide net.

I don’t feel as pressured to find a place as I did when I first got the news since I found out that the 90 day verbal notice is not legal, but then again, as I expressed to my therapist today, processed the shit out of this situation let me tell you, I also don’t like living somewhere I’m not wanted.

And I feel somehow small in this space now.

It’s gone from being a little cozy and sweet, to being cramped and cave like.

Maybe it’s that need for summer, for sun, for light, that makes me feel this way.

But I want something bigger, more expansive, something that will support me in this next phase of my life as I work on my PhD degree and accrue the rest of my MFT hours for licensure.

I want abundance.

I keep writing about what my next place will look like, I try to see it in my head, I don’t always, but I do have a really good sense of what I want.

Of course.

What I really want is my own place.

But that’s a pricey thing in the city unless I go with a studio or, as I just did, I continue to apply to the Below Market housing through DAHLIA, which requires that new buildings in the city rent a certain number of units below the market value of the apartment.

Tonight I applied for a lottery for 33 Tehama.

I’m not really interested in that neighborhood all that much, to tell the truth, but fuck,  a 1 bedroom in the brand new building at below market is renting for $1303-$1450.

I can fucking afford that.

I’m basically paying $1352 right now for my studio.

Few more bucks for a one bedroom in a brand new building with views of the Bay Bridge and a spa and bocce court, yes please, I’ll take it right now.

My dream is to have my own place, but yeah, unless I win the lottery, and I would love to win this one, or the Yerba Buena Dream House Raffle, which I did buy a ticket for when I got my tax return, living alone may be out of the question.

Unless I get a studio in the Tenderloin and that is just not appealing.

I would be in the thick of a notorious neighborhood with a lot of open drug use and dealing.

I can only imagine how long it would take for someone to break into my car after I parked to go home.

Two minutes.

So studio’s like that are out.

I’m open to studios out here and I have checked out a few, but nothing that compares to what I have.

I’m open though.

And I really do believe that things are going to work out for me and the new place I move into will be amazing.

I really do believe that.

So, yeah, summer.

It’s here but not here.

I’m sure it will feel like it soon though.

Three weeks from today I will be flying into New York City baby!

I cannot wait.

I am so very ready for my summer vacation.

So ready.

 

A Tire Swing

June 2, 2018

Floating in the air over the dense thick grass of a lawn between a thicket of trees and a few farm sheds and cabins.

A hammock in the background that is almost as tempting, an invitation to loaf, snooze, to fall upwards while laying back, high into the blue skies and the clots of cream fluff clouds drifting lazily by.

2018-06-01 13.37.08-2

I adore a good tire swing.

This was one of the better ones I have seen.

If not the best.

The swing was rigged from a line of rope strung between two trees, not from a tree specifically, so it drifted back and forth on this kind of clothes line, swinging in loopy circles and ovals.

I did not go for a ride on the swing.

Though I was sorely tempted.

I could feel it in my body, the desire to climb in, push myself up into the air and drift through the warm breezes ruffling through the trees.

It was such a pretty day.

Sunny and warm.

Not typical San Francisco weather.

Then again.

I wasn’t in San Francisco.

I was outside of a small town to the south of Half Moon Bay called San Gregorio.

San Gregorio is tiny.

Population 214.

There’s a general store and a post office.

And then just beautiful rolling mountains.

It’s close to the coast so the drive in was gorgeous and breathtaking.

I am always so stunned when I get to drive down the One, it’s just such a tremendous gift to live next to such beauty.

I am in awe of the Pacific ocean, the sunlight, the green mountains, the twisty curving roads.

The family I work for have friends staying in San Gregorio and they were moving back to Finland, so there was a drive to meet them for lunch at the Air BnB they were staying at.

On a goat farm.

Yes.

I got to go hang out with some kids, not just the ones I work for.

It was precious and sweet, and the sound of the baby laughing in my arms as the goats crowded around me melted my heart.

I love animals.

And I am good with them.

I am not afraid of them or of getting messy, though for a minute I was like, damn it man, had I known we were going to a goat farm I would have dressed differently.

Especially knowing that where we were going was warmer.

Ha.

I was all in black, black leggings, black therapy dress, black, black, black, and the dress is long-sleeved.

It’s a super comfy, but professional little jersey dress I got from the Gap last year when I started seeing clients, it works for nannying and with a simple switch out from my nanny shoes to my “therapy shoes” I feel like I can be very professionally attired to see my clients in the evenings after I finish my nanny shift.

Though perhaps a great outfit for in the city, not necessarily the best for a goat farm.

Three times I had to take the hem out of the mouth of a goat.

It made me laugh though.

And after the week I have had up in my head about the whole 90 days to move thing it was a relief.

Sidebar.

Phone call message from the Tenant’s Union confirmed that my landlady does not have just cause to ask me to move out.  I got the message while I was in transition from nannying to my internship, so I missed the call, but the woman left me a lengthy message addressing all the points I had brought up and she confirmed that legally my landlady does not have the right to ask me to move out.

She encouraged me to get my copy of the Tenant’s Union handbook when I go into my drop in session tomorrow, and that I was protected despite not being on a lease and living in an illegal unit.

That was a relief to hear and also a bit like, ok, here we go, this is really happening, what do I need to do next.

I spent some time talking out loud in the car on my way home, how would I say it, would I write it down, would I ask another person to be there with me, what would happen, I could tell I was getting scared, I don’t like conflict, but also that really I just need to take the emotional bit out of it and be business like.

I have rights, here they are, make counter offer.

Done.

And of course, more will be revealed tomorrow when I sit down with the counselor and see exactly what my rights are.

No need to have the conversation before I have all the information.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A relief to be outside, in the fresh air, in the sun, getting to play with the children and push my oldest charge on the tire swing.

He had trepidations at first, but I had a feeling that once he had a ride he would fall in love with it like I did when I was his age.

And he did.

It was the sweetest thing to watch the simple pleasure on his face as he floated through the air up high, against the bright green of the trees.

Such joy.

It filled me up.

There was a house in Wisconsin that we lived at briefly in all our transitions from here to there (I told my therapist how hard it was to separate this thing happening with the notice to move out with the shame and fear and running away in the middle of the night my mom did on more than one occasion to avoid getting evicted by the police for not paying rent.  I am not my mother, I have paid and I’m not doing anything wrong, but that voice inside that insisted, you’ve been bad and now you’re being punished, took a whole lot of talk to calm down) when my mother had moved us cross-country from California to Wisconsin where she had grown up, in Lodi, a small town 30 ish miles to the North of Madison in Columbia County.

I don’t remember the house very well, we were only there for a brief time, I think she was crashing with friends on the couch until we moved into a small apartment in Baraboo, but I do remember the tire swing.

It was my savior.

This succor from the trauma of running away in the middle of the night, the constant moving, the constant uprooting, the wondering where I was going to sleep next, if it would be safe, was there anywhere that was safe?

The tire swing.

It was safe.

Although it was exciting to go high, really, I just like being held secure in the middle of the tire, arms wrapped around it, swaying back and forth in slow swoops and circles, staring up into the leaves of the old oak tree that it hung from.

I was in that swing every day until we moved.

I can still feel the rope in my hands and smell the faint rubber smell of the tire and see the smooth patch around the rope where many small hands had worn the treads smooth.

My childhood was not one I would wish upon another, but it was mine and to say that there never was joy in it would be a lie.

I was a happy kid when I was allowed to be happy.

I was happy in that swing.

2018-06-01 13.37.22-2

And I was happy pushing my sweet little boy charge in the tire at the goat farm for his first time ever, quiet and sure that he would be as safely held as I was.

The light dappled down over me and the warm smell of hay arose in my nose and I let my eyes close for a moment as I pushed his small weight towards the sky, remembering again and again that I am loved, safe, and perfectly held.

Now.

And.

Always.

 

Sometimes

May 30, 2018

It’s nice to get mail.

Sometimes it’s really, really, really nice to get mail.

Especially from the IRS.

Holy shit.

I got home today, as per usual, a little tense, a little upset, a little in bafflement, as I have been over the last few days since I was told that I needed to move out, to a few items of mail.

One was a very sweet and unexpected card from my grandmother with a $20 bill congratulating me on graduation.

So sweet.

The other from the aforementioned IRS.

And it looked like a check.

But.

I already got back my tax returns, both state and federal, and I filed electronically so the returns were sent directly to my bank.

What was this check looking thing?

Could it possibly be?

Could it really be?

I was almost afraid to open it.

I had a thought, but my thoughts are not always the nicest to me, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Cue an earlier thought, that I sort of joked about, but not really to my boss that it was ok, me getting asked to move out, because I have a tent, and I can hang out on the beach.

My boss laughed, but she was horrified to hear my news and also very supportive, there will be no beach for me necessary.

I can stay in the spare room that is currently the kids play room if worst came to worst.

Such a kind offer.

And one I hopefully will not have to take up, but it’s always good to know that I can.

I did once before when I was in transition, stay with employers, actually, former employers, who were remarkably generous and let me stay in their attic room with private bathroom and yes, with both my cats, while I was waiting to get into my next place.

Nothing says worst nightmare to me than homeless with cats, but in a sense that was exactly what I was.

I used to say I was in transition, but it was a transition that was horrendously uncomfortable, especially at seven years of sobriety.

I used to beat myself up about that, homeless with that much sober time, but it was just God preparing me, winnowing down the unnecessary things in my life, so that when the time came a few months later when the opportunity to move to Paris was presented to me, I was able to go without much thought about stuff and things.

I didn’t have much.

I don’t now when I look around.

The only furnishing in my studio that is mine is my bed.

That’s it.

The chaise, end tables, chairs, kitchen table, bookshelf, all my landlady’s furniture.

She’s a realtor and I believe they were used for staging at some point.

Anyway.

I won’t have much to move when I move, just the bed and the things hanging on the wall, the clothes hanging in my closet, and my kitchen stuff.

I could very easily move and do it quite efficiently.

It’s just a matter of finding a place to move to.

I began slowly putting out more feelers today.

I got a tip on an in-law on Silver Terrace, but out of my price range at $2,000.

I figure I will be comfortable spending $1500.

And if I have to I could go as high as $1800.

But that would be super freaking tight.

And I know this sounds crazy, but whatever, I have a feeling it won’t be that expensive, I do have a feeling the right thing will come and it will be what I can afford.

I told my therapist today how scared I have been and upset and angry and how it’s been hard to fall asleep because my brain will attack me with horrifying scenarios about not finding a place to live or not being able to afford what I find.

So.

Last night I said, enough brain, knock it off.

I can’t live in a future where there is no God.

God is right here.

Right the fuck now.

I am being taken care of.

I have paid for June rent.

I only have to be concerned with today.

Stop with the future tripping.

And if you have to think about the future, think about it with faith.

Magic.

God.

Love.

Abundance.

Light.

Envision where you want to live.

Think about what it looks like, really get into the details.

Hard wood floors, light, oh man, give me some light, I have been living in my little cave for almost five years, I could use a god damn window.

High ceilings.

Or at least higher than they are now.

I have low ceilings.

A nice kitchen, a gas range, a washer and dryer on site.

A place to park.

A big closet or two.

I mean.

A bathtub!

Oh.

Fuck wouldn’t that be nice?

Ruminate on the nice things, not on the bad things, see it, visualize it.

It will come.

It will!

I don’t know what exactly will happen next, I have to go to the SF Tenants Union on Saturday and do the drop in counseling.

Until that point all that I can do is what I have been doing.

Reaching out quietly to friends, avoiding social media, but just texting a friend here and there and asking them to keep ears open.

And practicing staying in the moment.

Where there is nothing wrong.

And.

There is only a little envelope to open from the IRS.

So open it.

I had put away all my stuff from my day out and about and put away my groceries, and I was heating up my dinner when I opened the card from my grandmother.

I left the envelope from the IRS alone.

But I really wondered.

If.

Well.

Could it possibly be?

And.

OH.

OH.

OH!

It was!

It was!

It was!

It was my refund from 2014!

2014!

In January of 2015 I did my taxes early and I did not have all my paperwork, I didn’t realize this until after I had filed.

I received some paperwork a month later and realized that I had fucked up my taxes and that I actually was due a bigger return than what I had filed for.

So.

I filed an amendment with the paperwork that I had left out and sent it in.

I never heard anything back.

I don’t know what I was expecting.

But.

Well.

I was hoping for something.

I sort of forgot about it after a while.

Although it would peek up above the surface of my unconsciousness every year after when I was filing and I would remember to make sure that I had all my necessary paperwork available to me before filing.

Certainly didn’t want to make that mistake again.

And there it was.

My fucking amendment refund check from 2014!

I laughed out loud with joy.

I’m going to be ok!

I mean.

I know I’m going to be ok.

But now I can stop stressing about the money I wanted to have for my traveling this summer.

I was afraid that I would find a place and have to use up my travel savings to put down a deposit to move into a new place and then have nothing left to travel with.

Maybe I would have to break out that credit card I got months ago but have never used.

Maybe not!

Not when I got a check from out of the blue for.

Wait for it.

Like you haven’t this entire blog.

Heh.

$2,126.34!

Boom.

Can you say happy?

I can!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking free to travel about the country.

Luckiest girl in the world.


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