Posts Tagged ‘therapist’

I Got Asked

March 13, 2018

I answered a phone call today, a phone call with a number that I did not recognize.

I knew immediately it was a number I should answer, it was not an odd ball number from Indiana or Wisconsin asking me if I wanted to renew my health care or a telemarketing scheme from some small town in Florida.


It was an Oakland number.

Therefor local.

Therefore, necessary to answer.

I am a well-trained monkey, as part of my recovery I stay connected to people in my community by phone.

I often give out my phone number to complete strangers.


Only the ladies, thank you.

So that’s what I thought the number was.

A support call from someone, someone who I gave out my number to, some one who I may have recently met.

Happens quite frequently and when I am able, I answer those numbers.

It was not who I was expecting.

It was, in fact a woman, and it was also a stranger, but not from my fellowship.

From my school!

I got the call!

I got the call!

I got the call back to go in to interview for the PhD program.

I have made it through to the next round.

I mean.

I am going to sound a little cocky, but I am fairly certain I’m getting in.


It was thrilling to talk to her on the phone and to set up a time to go in and interview.

I will be interviewing with the department on Wednesday, March 28th at 10 a.m.

I have already cleared it with the mom to go into work late that day.



Yes, I just did.

I finished it before I started to write this blog.

I sent in the Diversity Scholarship application.

I got my financials together to show proof of need.


I could just say I’m a nanny and I live in San Francisco, doesn’t that prove need?

But I sent in my tax forms to be transparent.

And the application itself as well as the personal essay explaining a little bit about me and what I am going to do to further diversity in my community.

I think I wrote a pretty good essay and I just let it flow.

Here’s what I wrote:

Diversity Scholarship Application

My name alone should alert one to the applicable nature of the scholarship, Carmen Regina Martines. I am Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Polynesian as well as Caucasian. I am a melting pot, I am a mix, I am the person who straddles the line between. And in that space I have an important role to play. I have dealt with the internal racism of my family, the white part as well as the non-white part, apparently neither side of my family wanted a “half-breed” a moniker one set of grandparents gave, while the other referred to me under their breath as Hapa Haole, a prettier way to say half-breed.

I am neither and I am both. I have found myself often wondering to which side I truly fall, not realizing that all along I fell along with the Puerto Rican and Polynesian parts of me—at least physically, if not spiritually (your  great, great-grandmother was a witch, my mother told me, on the islands she was well-known and revered). My great, great-grandmother was a midwife and a medicine woman, in other words, a witch. I have brown skin, brown eyes, curly brown hair, wide flat Polynesian feet, a wide Puerto Rican nose, full lips, I have been called a “wet back” I have been told I should go back to Mexico (I am neither Mexican, nor have I ever been to Mexico). I have had my name constantly and continuously mispronounced and misspelled. An Aunt, my favorite aunt on my mother’s side of the family recently spelled it wrong on social media, an aunt who lived with my immediate family for years.

If my own family cannot spell my name, then who can? I can. I lead by my example, I lead by strength and resilience, and I spell my name out to the world and I keep correcting the world until it sits up and listens, I am not here to be quiet any more. I am here to meet the two worlds halfway and instead of being somehow lessened by who I am, I become more. I have advocated for myself to get into the ICPW program at CIIS despite extreme financial hardship when I applied, I won the Diversity in Leadership award and that helped greatly, and then I won something else, I won self-advocacy, I won my voice, the full strength of it and I have every intention on using it, growing it and advocating for others, especially women, especially now, to step into their power and find their voice.

I began that journey by getting sober and abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and though I never felt different __________________, I will say I have felt different in school where I found myself to be the “only” quite often in my cohort. I grew strong first in _____ and then in school and I believe that between the two I have created a kind of crucible for change that I do not believe many have the capacity to manifest. I plan on carrying forth this deep identity and passion, my voice, my person, my experience, forward in my studies to help others embody their own power and story, and also to create new narratives, while not letting the old stories die, but rather to have them inform the new. I do not wish to stare at my past, but rather to acknowledge where I have come from—extreme poverty, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, classism, and sexism, and show how those defects, thrust upon me by others to create the worlds they needed to move through, are in actuality, assets by which I have grown, and grown through.

I have a roster of multi-cultural clients at my practicum (soon to be internship!), some full; some half, some mixed ethnicities, all with their own traumas around diversity. I am so situated to hold those stories and help reframe them in meaningful strength based ways. I believe that the continued furthering of my education will only help me to continue as a strong voice in my community, in recovery, in San Francisco, in California, and yes, I do believe, that it does ripple out, one person to the next, throughout the world, landing where it is most needed and welcomed. That is what I believe.


Ta da.

Hopefully that works.

And though, it’s not the essay I was planning on writing, it was what came out and I am happy with it.

And now.

I am happy to wrap this up.

I have done enough work for today.

Supervision, before work, work with a screaming baby (poor little guy has a UTI!), two clients, and all the work on the application.

I am done.

I am good.

I am so happy it’s all in.


I go the interview!



So Glad

March 11, 2018

For my car.

The fog.

My God.

I don’t know that I have seen it this thick ever.

I am so glad that I rode my scooter home today in between school and my evening commitment.

My scooter was hit and run and I had ridden it home yesterday from class without too much worry, the guys at the shop pretty much said it was just some body work damage that was slight and nothing that was mechanical so go ahead and ride and bring it back in the morning.

Which I did.

And it was foggy this morning, but nothing like tonight.

I had the sense that it was going to be bad and I decided that I didn’t want to be out and get caught in it, visibility is just awful, the fog is so thick it condenses on my helmet and it might as well be rain, the roads getting slippy and if I’m riding close to the park, the fog condenses in the trees and drops down in big fat heavy wet drops on you.

No thanks.

My fear was that if I came home I might not leave, but after getting my scooter from the shop I just knew it was the best idea.

Besides, I was, I am all caught up on my homework and had nothing to do.

I suppose I could have found something to do to kill time, but I really just wanted to get my scooter home and get it covered up and put it away far a while.

I love my little car, I have become spoiled.

But the truth is.

I’m also safer in my car and I know it.

I am more visible and I drive safer and I feel so much more comfortable being warm and dry and having music.

I love having music in the car.

The fog was so dense coming home I had my windshield wipers on.

All the way home, it would have been a nightmare on my scooter.

I’m happy that I was safe and let myself have a home cooked meal as well and make a phone call with my best friend and get caught up on the day.


I got my new glasses!

I like them.

They are different and I had a few moments of fear that I wasn’t going to like them as much as I did when I tried them originally, I also couldn’t remember what they looked like.

And they are a different look, but I think they flatter my face well and I am already used to the prescription, except when I look up quickly.


They are progressives, the optometrists nice way of saying bifocals, so they are for both near and far and when I originally got my first pair of progressives, my just recently retired frames, it took me days to get used to the prescription and I was off-balance in very alarming ways.

I actually fell into a door at work and I walked around like I was drunk for a couple of days.

My entire equilibrium was off.

But once I got used to them, it went away and hasn’t really ever come back.

I had a touch of it for the first half hour I wore the glasses and now, well, now it’s gone and I really am happy I updated my prescription.

It’s not that much different from my previous one, but it is a little stronger and I have noticed the difference.

I like clarity.

I like seeing things well.

It’s nice to have them and I am sure I will get used to the frames as well and how they look on my face.

I’m already wondering about how to wear my hair tomorrow.



Also being annoyed that I am losing an hour of sleep for Daylight Savings time.

I was already planning on getting up early so I could get in a shower before class and I forgot I have to turn my clock ahead.


I guess I’m getting up really early.

Which is fine.

I’ll show up to class and be on time, like I always am.

I do like being in school, even when it annoys the piss out of me, like it did yesterday, I do like showing up and seeing the people in my cohort and I also like running into people who haven’t seen me for years who are all excited about my upcoming graduation.

That happened tonight when I went out to do the deal.

I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in four years, possible a little more.

And it was so good.

It was good to talk about life, she’s gotten married, I have gotten 3/4s of the way through grad school, and get caught up.

“You’re going to be an amazing therapist!” She said tonight.

That feels really nice to hear.

It’s been such work.

And I’m grateful for the work, it means I’m alive and I get to keep learning and that life is not, no it is not, at all boring.

I can say that without a shadow of a doubt.

My life is not fucking boring.

It is full of love, passion, adventure, emotion.


All the emotion.

I have feelings.

And they tell me that I am very much alive.

Grateful for those, feelings, even when they are hard to hold or I want them to be different from what is coming up.

I find that today, in this moment, after much work, and I know it is not done or even near to completion, that I have a great container to hold those feelings.

A vast, enormous heart that is ever expansive.

To feel is to know that I am alive.



I am so alive.

So in love with life.








Of course.


Long Days

March 6, 2018

I don’t feel much like writing, truth be told.

Habit I suppose.

To sit and write.

Although I’m semi obsessed with a playlist I’ve been making on Spotify.

My head’s just not in it right now, the writing not the music.

I sang my heart out driving home tonight.

Good thing there wasn’t much traffic out there, I did not need to be witnessed in my crazy torch song belt out.

It was a long day.

Mondays are and I have to remind myself of that.

Supervision in the morning was intense.

I had to terminate a client today so there was a lot to cover and I have another termination on Thursday.

It’s tender work.

I’m super glad for my supervisor, he’s a really good match for what I need to be learning.

I have seven weeks left with him.

ON one hand I am rather glad for that.

To not have to be in Hayes Valley every Monday morning at 9 a.m. is going to be a relief, to avoid rush hour morning commuter, that would be divine.

I will miss his guidance though, he’s hyper intelligent and has an amazing way of showing me how therapy works.

He also believes that I am a good therapist, kick ass in his words, and that’s nice.

Although I would probably never say that to him when he’s got a critique of my technique or the work I’m doing with clients, I think he’d give me quite the look, “hey, don’t you remember when you said I was a kick ass therapist?”



We did a fuck load of work today it felt like two sessions packed into one.

I covered a lot of client material.

And then I got assigned a new client.


My head was a little spun today.

Distracted and not really present.

I did try to get grounded and I was able to sneak in a shopping trip to the grocery store in between work and supervision, which was so helpful, I shouldn’t have to do any more shopping before the upcoming school weekend.


I am exhausted thinking about that.

I’m not ready.

I have to write another paper and I have a bit more reading to do.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.


The mom reached out and asked me to come in early again on Wednesday, so that’s a ten-hour day.

After a twelve-hour day, today, an eleven hour day tomorrow, which might morph to a twelve hour day, I have a homework assignment to speak with a licensed MFT and that’s tomorrow after I wrap with clients.


I’ll get it all done.

And maybe going in early on Wednesday isn’t such a bad thing, I can take my laptop with me and do some work while the baby is napping.

Fingers crossed that neither of the older kids are home sick from school.

If I just have the baby for the first half of the day I could actually do some homework at work while he naps.

I did manage to get a little bit of reading done today and I found another source of material for the annotated bibliography I have to put together for the class.

This is the kind of crap I’m not good at.


That’s not true.

I am good at most academic work, I just don’t find this interesting and when I am bored with a topic I’m not compelled to do the work.




It’s a required and I’m almost halfway there, halfway through this final semester.

I’m ready for a break.

I know.

I know.

I just applied to a PhD program, but hey, there’s the summer to come.

Still waiting on my friend’s parents to get back to her, by the way, regarding buying tickets to Paris.

I stopped looking.

I’m just going to sit and wait until she reaches out.

I’m willing to spend what needs to be spent.

I don’t need to obsess on when I buy them.

I have realized though that I won’t be able to do the dream work seminar and retreat that I was going to go on withe some friends in my cohort, it would mean unpaid time off and I’m just not going to do that right now.

I will have to take unpaid time off if I get into the PhD program as there’s a retreat that starts out the program in the fall, but aside from that I really won’t be taking any other time off except for when the family is on vacation.

Who am I to complain?

I’m going to get five weeks off paid.

I won’t mind having an unpaid week off to pursue my educational goals.

I can hardly believe it sometimes.

I got notification today that my last set of transcripts were sent out to the school today.

Which means they department will have all my materials soon and can process my application.



I almost forgot.




I need to apply to the Diversity Scholarship.

It’s five thousand dollars.

I can really use that.

Five thousand less in student loans is nothing to sneeze at.

When the fuck am I going to get that done?

The application deadline is March 15th.

That gives me ten days.


I’ll get it done.


I am tired.

I was going to go to yoga in the morning before therapy.

I think I may skip it and just let myself get some rest.

Even just a half hour is going to do me well.

And with that.

I am going to bid you adieu.

I am tuckered out.





March 5, 2018

And the weekend is over.

Where the fuck did it go?

So fast.

It went so fast.

I did get a lot accomplished today, however, which is probably why it went so fast.

I wrote like a maniac.

I wrote a lot personally and I wrote a paper for class, I have another weekend of school coming up.

I did not write the two papers that I had hoped to get to, but I wrote the one that took the most time to do.

Fingers crossed I will have some time this Wednesday to address the other paper and if worst comes to worse, which I am really fucking hoping it won’t, I will do it Friday after class and before my client at my internship.

I think that I can get it done this week, I just need to be diligent.

I also needed to throw another thing into the mix as I had to get an appointment with another therapist.

Not for more therapy, I have a therapist for that, but as an assignment for my Integrative Seminar class.

We were assigned a coffee, tea, lunch date, to talk with a licensed therapist about what they would have done differently in their journey to licensure and what they would suggest I do.

I reached out to three different therapists in my community and thank God, one of them finally got back to me tonight.

I will meet with her Tuesday after I wrap with my client.

Fortunately I had a cancellation that night so I will be getting done about the same time, it’s not an additional hour on top of having seen two clients.


She works in the same building as my internship, so I will only have to go to her office and hang out and ask her a few questions and be able to report back to my class what I got out of the interview.

I am so grateful that she got back to me, I was starting to freak out about being able to do the assignment.

And now I have a time and I have the paper written for that class I feel ready for going into the weekend with the class.

The other class I have to write an annotated bibliography.

Not really my cup of tea, but I’ll get it done and I’m fairly hopeful that it won’t take all that much time.

I also have some reading to do for the class.

The professor added up some online content that I haven’t had a chance to dive into yet.

I’m not going to beat myself up about that.

Not tonight.

It was a day.

I did so much work.

I can let myself off the hook.

I can let down my guard a tiny bit and let myself reflect on the work done.

Some of it was super fun work.

Like meeting my best friend for coffee and going to yoga today.

And I didn’t mind my chores either, I went and did a little grocery shopping at the co-op and I made soup for the week for my lunches and I roasted a chicken to have for my dinners.

I met with a ladybug and did the deal.

And then yeah, I hit the paper and knocked out six pages.

The total paper will be thirty pages.

There are four parts and this part was the shortest part of it.

I’ve already written ten pages, so the two combined gives me 16 and leaves 14.

Very doable.

I just need to do seven pages for the next weekend of classes and seven pages following that

And then.






I received word that the ceremony will be from 3p.m. to 5p.m.

Which gives me a time frame.

I can invite up to six people.

I have my people chosen.

I am lucky for their support and love.

So lucky.

I have had such a lot of help getting to where I am now.

I have done a lot of the work to get there, but I have also had such support.

One of those supports I met with tonight and got super honest with and did a lot of work with and reading and praying and talking.

Intense heart wrenching work.

I am grateful that I showed up and grateful that I walked through fear.

It is not easy to walk through fear.

I do not know what lies a head but I realize again tonight that I just have to practice having faith.

Fear and faith are very much alike.

Belief in something that you cannot see.

I just tend to get stuck in fear.

I promised myself that I would stay in faith.

In trust, in belief, that I am loved, that I am doing what needs to be done.

It’s scary stuff and I’m just going to have to do it.

I have faith that the outcome will be even more love.

That’s what it’s all about.



I can’t put it any other way.

Love and belief that I am being taken care of.

That you are being taken care of.

That the world may not make sense to me right now as I walk down this corridor of experience.

I may feel like I am walking through a dark hallway, not knowing what will happen.

But there is light.

And I will step out into it.

With more love.

More compassion.

And more faith.

God did not bring me this far to drop me on my ass now.

I don’t fucking think so.

Or you.

We are being held.

Taken care of.





I promise.


Sick Day

February 22, 2018

Oh all the poor, sweet, sick little monkeys.

I had a long nanny day.

Both my little charges were sick.

It was a day of snuggles and naps and a lot of videos.

I had to constantly be holding the baby, he just wouldn’t have it any other way.

At one point I had him down for a nap in his stroller and he kept waking up, feverish and upset, I took him out, brought him to his favorite little play area and sat on the floor with him.

Floor time is super important, just getting on the same level as a child, being there, he’s so much happier, even if I’m not super interactive, with me just being there, down on the floor with him.

I had a bunch of his favorite little snacks and got out his favorite toys and just sat in the sun with him and he ate a tiny snack and played a little bit, then he just turned and crawled up into my lap and lay his warm little head on my chest and hugged me.

I cuddled him up and hummed a little tune and the next thing I knew, he was sound asleep on me.

It was super sweet.

I mean.

I was sort of trapped, but it was a good kind of trapped.

I probably sat on the floor in the corner of the room for about an hour.

Fortunately it was in a sunny patch and there was a cozy braided rug underneath me to sit on and a wall to lean against.

I was happy to be holding him and be in the sun.

Especially considering how cold it’s been.

I just got in from my Wednesday night commitment and the walk back was hella brisk.

It is cold out there baby.

I could use a warm snuggle.

Or a hundred.

Or a thousand.

I could use a lot of warm snuggles.

Just saying.

I snuggled a lot with my little lady charge too.

We watched lots of Curious George videos and I made her homemade chicken soup with alphabet pasta.

I roll like that.

I peeled her apples to nibble on and made cups of tea and made sure she stayed hydrated and when she was sleepy I rubbed her back and petted her hair, tucking the long strands behind her small, sweet shell of an ear.

She fell asleep underneath my hand and it was such a tender moment.

I am very grateful for it, for the job, even when I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day.

The little lady bug has been sick all week and the baby has gotten it and by the end of the day, even though I’m not sick, I was pretty tired out from it.

It takes a lot of a person to constantly nurture and in one way or another I do a lot of care taking.

That is what my job is and what my internship is.

My chiropractor told me after listening to me talk about what I do, that she really wanted to help me because people in the helping careers don’t get taken care of well enough and it was obvious that I helped a lot of people.

There was a woman tonight who asked me how I do it and honestly, I’m not sure.

I pray a lot.

I try to get eight hours of sleep.

Which like never happens.

I manage six to seven most nights.

I eat well, that helps.

I try to get some fun in my life now and again.

I turn up the heat when I get home from work to take the chill out of the air in m studio, I try to keep it clean and pretty, I like to surround myself with beautiful things.

Not necessarily expensive things, but things that reflect who I am and where I have been, my little travels and journeys.


I forgot to send myself a postcard from D.C.

I always send a postcard!


Oh well.

I have so many amazing memories, I am sure they will suffice.

Plus I have the ticket from the Phillips House Museum, a notebook I bought at Kramer Books and Cafe off Dupont Circle and a book that I got there as well.

I picked up The Princess Bride.

My friend had never read it or even seen the movie and I got so into telling the story of it one afternoon that when I was at the bookstore looking for a souvenir notebook, I had to pick it up.

I have not owned a copy of it in sometime.

I remember well the first time I had read the book.

It amazed me.

It was such a powerful love story for me to read.

I must have been seventeen when I read it.

I had seen the movie in the theater and didn’t even know that there was a book.

A friend’s mother mentioned it in passing and then when she heard I hadn’t read the book, she loaned it to me.

I ate that book.

I read it so fast.

I was so enthralled.

I remember being in a romantic relationship, my first and only long-term relationship, and our first Valentine’s Day I gave him a copy of the book.

I was so excited.

It meant so much to me, that book.

He never read it

I used to fantasize that one day I would read it out loud to the love of my life while stroking his hair while his head rested in my lap.

I made a lot of romantic gestures in that long-term relationship that were never returned and I suppose at some point though I realized that it was going nowhere I would still try.

Eternal optimist I suppose.

The story still means a lot to me.

Stories do.

I like to tell them.

I like to write them.

I like to believe that narrative has the power to heal.

That the love shines through the words and that whenever I am in doubt I can return to the thread of the story, know the truth of it, the strength of it and lean in there.

Old fashioned romantic.

That’s me.

Wishing you, now and always.

Happily ever after.

Always that.



Back In The Groove

February 21, 2018

Second day back to work.

Second day with clients.

A day of therapy.

A day of supervision.

I’m beginning to feel more grounded and returned than I was yesterday.


Definitely more so than Sunday.

Sunday my flight out from D.C. was delayed so I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had told myself I was going to do.

In the end I am hella grateful that the flight was delayed.

I was able to spend a few more hours with my best friend and that time was invaluable to me.

I had such a fantastic time I cannot even begin to enumerate it here.

It was also a lovely weekend away from social media and perhaps the first time that I also stayed completely off my blog.

I was happy to do so.

I was happy to be present and connected and aware of all the things happening for me.

I was horrified to get back to social media and see a school shooting and that a person in my recovery community had overdosed and died.

I was like.


Is it worth it to even bother with Facecrack?

I do like Instagram, I won’t lie, I like photographs and I find it really compelling to see different places that I want to go and travel too as well as appreciating images from my friends lives.

I have a private Instagram account, so I’m not overly inundated with crap, but Facebook has really not been a platform that I have enjoyed in some time.

I don’t post much to it and I don’t like to spend too much time on it.

I check in with it, mostly I feel to stay connected to my cohort at school, we have a group and there is often things that get posted there that are relevant to my school program.


That was how I found out about the graduation application and processing fee.

I was able to deal with it a full three weeks prior to some members in my cohort who didn’t know that there was an application, let a lone a fee, for graduation.

I received the last bit of the application paperwork that needed to be filled out today.

I sent in the survey that the school requires as a sort of exit from the program and sent it in.

One more thing down.

And speaking of school.

This is it.

I have to get my PhD application together by the end of this week.

I just took a look at my syllabi for the next weekend of classes and saw that I have a modicum of breathing space.

I don’t have to devote any time to homework for school this weekend, I’m ahead of my reading and my assignments that are due aren’t due until March 10th.

Which means that I have the weekend of March 3rd and 4th to work on them.

Which means that this weekend, which is what I had pretty much planned on doing anyway, is clear to work on my PhD application.

I don’t think it will take too much time, but I do want to put in a nice effort on it.

And I still have a full weekend anyway.

I’ll be back in my group supervision on Saturday, and my Thursday and Friday are both full of clients.

I saw a new client tonight and I have another new client on Friday.

I’m back to eight clients a week.

I also will be meeting with my ladies on Sunday that I normally work with and my person up in the Castro before my new commitment on Sunday at 7:30p.m.

I want to do yoga, it’s been two weeks without, and I desperately need a manicure.

I have a busy weekend.

I have a busy week, it’s just Tuesday and it’s already been busy.


It hasn’t been horrendous.

It was a gentler easing back into my routine than I could have asked for.

Today I had therapy, such a good session, and after I got out of the session, I received a text from the mom that my little lady charge was sick and they had a pediatrician appointment.

It happened to be just blocks from where I was and the mom asked that I meet them at the doctor’s office.

I had enough time between my therapy session ending and having to meet the mom that I was able to pop into the Whole Foods in Noe Valley and get groceries for the week.

A huge time coup for me.

Then I met the mom and the baby was asleep and I got to take him and stroll down 24th street and go to Martha’s Bros Coffee and the bench outside the cafe opened as I walked out with my coffee and I got to sit in the sun and drink coffee and soak up some heat.

It’s been cold, cold, cold in the city.

And to sit, granted wrapped up in my hoodie, jean jacket, scarf, and half-gloves, in the sun as it warmed up the front of the cafe, was glorious.

My job can be really stressful juggling three kids, house work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and such, but it can also have these absolutely wonderful pockets of time that pop out of nowhere, when I need some time, a reprieve, a gentle break in routine.

And I find myself being able to be still.

To be able to reflect.

It is a gift.

I spent a lot of time thinking about my time in D.C. and how very grateful I was to get to go.

To see the things I saw.

To have the experiences I had.


The company, the environment, the quality of the time.


And so very much-needed.

It was a sorrow to part.

I won’t lie.

It hurt to say goodbye after such a grand time and I felt desolate coming back to San Francisco, which is not an experience I have much had.

Usually I find myself happy to come home.

And I am happy to be home, but I already miss my friend.


I missed my friend before I had even gotten to the boarding area of my flight back.

In a way I was also grateful for that.

It showed me just how much the time had meant to me.

A lot.

So much.

So very much.

I can get lonely in my routine and my comings and goings and doings and I had such splendid time with my friend that I found myself facing some loneliness coming home that I don’t usually acknowledge.

Thankful for it too, that realization, and those emotions tied to it.

I have such a rich emotional life.

I am aware.

I am alive.

I am loved.

I love.


Although not always easy.

A blessing always, though.


A gift.

This exquisite life.

This grand love.




Over The Annoyance

February 14, 2018

But it stuck for a moment.

I got the last-minute, as I was opening the door to leave for my internship, request from the mom to come in early tomorrow morning.

I didn’t want to come in early.


I couldn’t say no.

I had to cancel a chiropractor appointment, which blows and I’m still unhappy about, my back was bothering me today, is bothering me now, and I could have really used the work.

Especially since I’ll be on an overnight red-eye to D.C. Thursday night.


The annoyance passed once I was in session with my client.

And by the time I had wrapped with my second client I was completely past it.


I suppose I’m still inconvenienced, it would have been a good thing to have my back adjusted, but ultimately I won’t be getting up earlier than I would have had I just gone tot the appointment.

Granted I won’t be doing much of my morning routine at the house.

I’ll be getting up at 6:30 a.m. and just getting ready to go straight to work.

I’m going to skip coffee and breakfast at home and have it at the house.

Gratefully I will only have the baby in the morning and hopefully he’ll do a double nap day.

And even if he doesn’t I will be happy to be one day closer to leaving for the East Coast.

I don’t know how much more eager I can be for my trip.

I am so ready to fly the coop.

Today seemed to utterly drag and I think that may have also played into the annoyance at being asked to come in early.

It doesn’t always happen that I go in early on Wednesdays, but it’s beginning to be a little more and more of a habit for the parents to ask.

I don’t like working a ten-hour nanny shift.

It’s too draining.

And when I add into it that I haven’t had a day off, since I was in school all weekend, for a week and a half, working a ten-hour day when I was expecting an 8 hour day is not at all appealing.

Then again.

Few more bucks in my wallet for travel spending.

That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

Oh well.

I’ll be tired tomorrow, but I will have a good day.

As it will be one day closer to my vacation.

I am so ready for the time off.

I am so looking forward to it.

It will probably go by quickly and I will wonder how the time flew by when I fly out on Sunday.

Today the mom was talking to me about plans for next week and I couldn’t bear to think about it.

I don’t want to think about next week at all.

I just want to think about this week, this weekend, this travel.

Fuck next week.

Don’t even talk to me about it.

Next week will be taxes and homework and getting my application together for my PhD program.

This weekend.


Suffice to say.

There will be no homework.

There will be no clients.

There will be no group supervision.

There will only be me and my best friend and time to do all the things that we have been talking about doing like a couple of giddy teenagers.

On the phone for hours, making plans, hatching ideas, giggling.


I giggle.

Laughing and free and happy to get to see each other.

It is such a gift.

I am so grateful that I booked this ticket, made this plan.

Especially since I didn’t really do any trip this past semester, I try to let myself have a trip right after the semester ends to dangle a little carrot to get me through.

This carrot was delayed a few months.

I’m happy I finally get to have a nibble on it.

I do also plan to do some travel after I graduate in May.

I’m just not quite sure what that looks like yet.

I have to wait for my employers to figure out what they are going to be doing as far as travel goes.

My plans hinge on theirs as there is the off-chance that I may travel with them for some part of their vacation.

My friend in Paris has also alerted me that she and her husband will be traveling to a wedding July 21st, so that I should not book around that time.

Of course, that feels like the time when my employers will be over in Europe, but I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up.

I also still have a ticket voucher to use up.

I couldn’t get the travel dates that worked for my friend via the airlines that I had the voucher for and just said fuck it and bought the ticket.

I know I should have consulted my friend, but man, I was just too excited by the prospect to not buy the ticket.

I’m so glad I did.

It will be epic.

But, yes I do have a $485 flight voucher to use up by October 15th.

There is travel in my future after D.C.

Grateful for that too.

But first.


Oh baby.

I am so ready.






That Was Fast

February 13, 2018

Today just flew by.

For which I am grateful.

I am so ready to get out-of-town and hit the East Coast on my mini-vacation that it was a pleasure how fast today went by.

Hopefully tomorrow and the next few days will go by as fleet.

I had a good supervision session, so grateful, constantly, for the supervisor I have, he just really hits things out of the ballpark for me and he is brutal honest with me about what I need to do and how to work with my clients.

It’s good stuff.

Fucking intense, but really good stuff.

I had a lot to bring him this Monday, last week was a big week for me and I was very happy to be able to process some of the work with him.

I will miss him as a supervisor when I wrap up this semester, I can already tell.

I like the group I’m in for group supervision, but I do not get the kind of guidance from the group supervisor that I do from my solo supervisor.

I don’t really respect my group supervisor, if I have to tell on myself, although I do like her.

She’s ineffectual at holding a frame and a bit vague and nebulous in her approach.

Which always baffles me a bit.

How the hell do you hold a frame for a client if you can’t hold the frame for a group of therapist in training?

I have hopes to switching out to a different group when I get done with my Master’s program.

I’m in the group that works the best for my work schedule and my current solo supervision and therapy work.


I do a fucking lot.

And I’m still doing my own personal writing.

I am very proud of myself for that.

I stay grounded when I do my morning and evening writing.

I didn’t do a few days of my blog over the weekend, but I did do my morning pages every morning.

I don’t really recall all that many days when I didn’t do either of them.

Probably being at Burning Man last year and not taking my laptop for the first time in a long time, although I still did do plenty of writing out there, I ended up doing it during the heat of the afternoon at the cafe with a big iced coffee and a shady spot under the Center Camp Cafe’s gigantic circus tent.

The fact is.

I am a writer.

I believe that it’s a huge contributor to my therapy work with my clients.

That I am constantly self-reflexive, and continually processing my stuff and finding my way through things.

I don’t know that I would be where I am without the practice.

I like where I am.

Even walking through some really challenging personal times, I still like who I am and that I am trying to grow more, change more, become more myself.

Advocate for myself, for my own change.

The only person I can change is myself.

And I’m not talking about self-improvement, I feel that’s a slippery slope, self-improvement implies that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not good enough.

It also has connotations of always having to strive to change myself to be better and that when I’m finally better I’ll be perfect and everyone will want to be with the perfect version of me.

There is no perfection.

I am perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Humility much?

I can be a perfectionist, so the way through that for me is self-acceptance over self-improvement.

That still means change, it just may not mean change in the way that I used to think it did.

Some miracle wave of a wand and poof!

Happily ever after fairy princess unicorn castle in the cloud magic glitter balloons of joy.

Not so much.

It just means that when I focus on what someone else needs to do so that I can feel comfortable I have to look at myself, what do I need?

How can I change?

Where can I be in acceptance?

There’s loads of room for that kind of introspection.

How can I care for myself when I want to focus on helping others, which is wonderful, but also recognizing that I can’t help anyone if my own needs are met.

Which means that I have to know what my needs are.

Tricky thing that.

I get better at it the more I practice.

The more I get used to paying attention to what makes me happy.

What brings me joy.

And trying to cultivate that.

My writing brings me joy, being a good therapist does, being with people I love, accepting love, travel, eating well, flowers.

My God.

I have a gorgeous bouquet that keeps getting prettier and prettier.

The lilies in the bunch of flowers have been opening over the last few days and it is like looking at a tender heart opening to the sunshine, shy and pink and exquisite.

I feel such sweetness when I look at my flowers.

A girls like her flowers.

And hearts.

I made Valentines Day cards today with one of my charges that came home sick from school and we had such a sweet time with it, drinking tea and taping the Valentines up on the windows at the back of the house.


It was a happy afternoon.

I felt a lot of happiness today.

Some sadness at the beginning, some tenderness, some tears, I probably should skip the sorrowful music I had been listening to for a little while, but this morning, for some reason I just indulged.

A sort of get it out-of-the-way at the beginning of the day and get on with the day.

It seemed to help.

That and it just being a great big full day.

Grateful for navigating through, being of service at my job, showing up for my clients tonight.


Showing up for myself with my writing.

Day and night.




All the damn time.



I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018


To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,


Um yeah.


So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.


I was not expecting the quick response.


The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.


And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.



It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.


I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.


l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.


Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.





Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.


The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.



My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?


I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.





For all the love.


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