I reread that last entry, and suddenly fast forwarded in my mind 14 days. I don’t know what it will feel like to walk away from that blue front door and know I’m not going back.
Archive for November, 2007
I wish there was some way to capture the way this morning felt. I don’t know what I want exactly, but I think it’s visual rather than written.
I had a session with Kleinette, and it’s the best one we’ve ever had. I brought in a CD of music that had meant something to me over the course of therapy – songs implicity and explicity connected to my experience of myself, and myself in relationship with Kleinette over the past two years. Her home felt extra warm today.
It was comfortable, cozy, like two intimate friends sharing something very special. The first song was one I listened to over and over again in the first few months of therapy. I listened to it every time I walked to her house, and every time I left. (‘What Do You Hear In These Sounds’ by Dar Williams.) I was delighted with her evident delight of the song. She laughed and said she wanted to own it.
We spoke about therapy itself, about what it had meant to me, about imperfection. We listened to some other songs, and ‘Stop This Train’ by Jack Johnson was another biggie. It was so interesting to see the hours of therapy unfold in the space of a few minutes. We spoke about how I had changed, what certain moments of therapy had meant, about me as a therapist.
It was odd; as her head turned and she laughed at the Dar song, I suddenly thought with some degree of surprise, ‘She’s beautiful.’ And she is. I feel so blessed to have worked with a woman who taught me that despite wet hair, misdirected texts, and mistaken time arrangments, it is possible to be whole. I told her she modeled imperfection for me, and she said, ‘I take that as a compliment.’
I think I’ll always have the urge to be perfect, to be better than anybody else. But now I know that I can be crumpled, I can cry, I can say what I need. I can tell people what they mean to me. I don’t know how to tell Kleinette what she has meant. Just before leaving, I said the only gift I wanted to give her was for her to get a package in the mail in a few years, unwrap it, and see a book written by me. I told her she, my grandmother, and TMD would be in the dedication. Tears filled her eyes and we both laughed/cried. We hugged goodbye today.
I am going to miss Kleinette herself, and also what she represents to me. A place where I am safe and loved, a place where laughter and despair sit side-by-side. Time for someone to care about me, to really pay attention. A wise woman who believes in me, and makes me feel like I am worth believing in. And then Kleinette herself – her wisdom, generosity, humour, honesty, insight. I just really like who she is as a person. I feel so sad, and so happy, right now.
Tears are rolling down my cheeks, as they have threatened to do all day, but I am smiling. I went somewhere because it felt right, because I really liked her when I met her at college, and it was the right choice to make. Kleinette gave me so much time and space to just be myself, and I don’t know what to do to say thank you. Her laughter at the Dar song today, turned into something more quiet near the end of the song, felt like a thank you of sorts.
How can you thank someone for helping you withstand the blackest bits of yourself? How can you tell her that you are going to be absolutely okay without her, but that you’ll miss her? I guess I used those words, and I’m oh-so-conscious that we’ve only got two sessions left. I’m ready to leave, and this goodbye feels very real. Somehow, I imagine it will be nice to think that somewhere in the world, there is a little room with fairy lights and incense, and someone who cares about me.
If the universe is listening to me tonight, do something for her. Throw some butterflies her way in the middle of winter, or make her front door stop expanding.
I look at her and see who I want to become, who I am, a recognition that I can be myself – just as I am – and that’s okay. It’s more than okay, it’s marvellous and miraculous.
She said I owe her that book, that she wants to fill her front room with my books, and I feel like maybe one day I’ll pay back that debt.
I stepped off the bus laden with bags and packages, TMD pressed to my ear. Little cold bullets pelted down from the dark sky, and I instinctivly hunched over the phone. Once we ended the call, I tried looking down at the ground to keep the rain from my glasses. It fell onto my head, dripping down my back.
Then I stopped walking, just for a second. I looked up at the sky and smiled as the world became blurred under my glasses. It was like walking in an underwater world, and I decided to not bother with an umbrella, with trying to shelter from the rain. I walked along the wet street, rain soaking me, and I realised that it was pretty fucking amazing to be alive.
What a weird day of weird happenings this is. Sure I will be back with more info on that point.
One of the weird things is an email I’ve just got from an old clinical supervisor asking if I’m interested in taking on a year’s placement in a school. She’s offered me a one year counselling contract. Unpaid, of course. I may be totally cheeky and ask if they have any paying jobs going! I know the only paid work they do is facilitation, but it’s paid quite well after the initial training sessions. I think my life is destined to become piecemeal. I need to just suck it up, apply for some part time paid work, and leap into the unknown.
I can trust that other part time work will come along, and soon I’ll have my own little life-quilt of various therapy-related things. In the meantime, I’m not answering this lady yet. I think my answer is going to be a resounding no, though I’m flattered to be asked.
I am good enough to earn money now. I will hold out for money.
The only exception would be if I was going to get a lot of specialized practice in a specific field. But a school? Young people are my bread and butter. I love them dearly, but don’t need to volunteer to work with them when I’m surrounded by them all the time – and getting paid for it.
Remind me to tell you how good therapy was this morning. I made Kleinette cry. Bless.
Oh – I also have no one to blame but myself if I am doing work until the midnight deadline tonight. Despite having a month’s work of data input to do for client meetings, I went out for an extended lunch with a co-worker. I then came here, promptly signed into Facebook, and had a thirty minute chat with the admin girls upstairs about being gay, the democratic candidates in The Other Country, and Catholocism.
I’m having the most marvellous day EVER, but I will pay for it when I’m up all night, banging my head into the computer screen. If I’m not writing a story, I do not relish lots of time behind the desk. Unless Scrabble is involved.
Librarian asked me for the recipe for our/Weight Watchers butternut squash enchaladas. It occured to me that S.Drawl might wish to also have it, as she is newly embarking on the WW lifestyle. Then I thought, fuck, this is one suprisingly tasty dish and everyone else puts recipes in their blog. So:
800 grams (1 pound 11 ounces) pumpkin or butternut squash peeled, de-seeded, and cut into chunks
1 bunch of spring onions (green onions) chopped finely
200 grams (7 ounces) low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs (like philly cream cheese)
1 tablespoon of wholegrain dijon mustard (though we use cheap dijon!!)
8 tortilla wraps (soft shell)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
25 grams (1 ounce) reduced fat cheese grated
bunch of fresh corriander
4 tablespoons of lowfat plain yogurt (to serve it with, scooped over top. therefore optional, but very yummy)
salt and pepper
1. Steam the pumpkin or squash in a steamer for 15 minutes. Alternatively, put 5 cm (2 inches) boiling water into a medium size pan with a lid and place the chopped pumpkin in a small metal sieve. Suspend the sieve on the edge of the pan so that it hangs down over the boiling water. Put the lid on the pan over the pumpkin and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
2. Place the pumpkin in a large mixing bowl with the onions, low fat soft cheese and mustard. Mash together and season to taste.
3. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 degrees centrigrade or 160 degrees in a fan oven). Place one of the wraps on the work surface and put a couple of spoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture in the middle of it. Roll up and place, edge side down, on an overproof baking dish.
4. Repeat with the other tortillas, laying them side by side in the dish. Tip over the chopped tomatoes and season. Scatter with grated cheese and coriander and bake for 20 minutes. Top with a tablespoon of yogurt each to serve.
I’ve gotten off my high horse and purchased The Impossibility of Sex. We only had two books on our reading list around the topic of therapy and the erotic, and I bought the other one. I just don’t like something about Orbach – and I don’t know why. By my own standards, she’s a rockin’ chick. Yet completely making up case studies? It smacks me in the face like a rotten fish.
But I read a couple chapters of the book for class last night, and actually quite liked it. It was more of an engrossing read, a peek into make-believe therapy. However, the follow up bit really caught my attention. It was talking about erotic feelings between a female client and a female therapist, as well as implications for long-term same sex relationships.
Let’s face it. The tutor last night was superb. I had her last year for a session, and I played client for 30 minutes. She was great. Last night’s topic centred on the erotic, and she made it all so comfortable. I stayed a few minutes late to have a chat about training as a sex therapist. It’s nice to hear about the training and various routes in from someone who does not really know me, and certainly has no vested interest.
So. Anyway. Three sessions left with Kleinette. I’m simultanteously being quite obsessive about compiling a CD for tomorrow’s session, and sort of ignoring the fact I have to do so.
Let’s jump from that topic and over to sex and relationships training. We did an awesome exercise yesterday around being put on the spot to answer awkward questions. My first question was, ‘Why do vaginas smell like fish?’ This isn’t that bad, I thought, and launched into a straightforward answer about the wonders of the vagina. Turns out not one other person managed to answer the question.
All this year I am monitoring myself. When I discuss sex with teens or adults, I am always thinking – Am I comfortable? Does the other person feel comfortable? Do I enjoy this?
The same thing with the training last night: Do I enjoy this enough to do an MSc in this? Can I put up with years of cognitive behavioural stuff, even if it does revolve around sex?
I think all my answers are yes.
A man on my counselling course wants to fuck me. Of all the things I could ever have imagined happening on this course, I can quite confidently say this was not one of them.
Frickin frickity frick.
Do you know I have bad problems with my hips, knees, and ankles? I won’t bore you.
But today I almost could not walk. Fun times, my friends. I think the real issue here is my mental stability regarding wanting a cast. My mother has these same lower body problems, and an associated issue (a side effect of fucked up skeletal structure) meant she had to be put in a cast last year. Aussie and I had a very detailed conversation about how jealous we were that we have never had a cast.
I think my new work colleagues were trying very hard to ignore my crazy conversation in the middle of a silent room. It involved recounting the time I slid down a snowy hill, smashed into a tree, and almost passed out from the pain. My only conscious feeling was joy that I had broken my leg – and thought I could get a cast.
Boy, was I pissed when my leg wasn’t broken. My bones are strong, you see, just not lined up correctly.
Off to the doctor’s I go tomorrow morning.
My mother has thrown away my childhood. Those of you who know her already know this. What you may NOT know is this:
These McDonald’s Happy Meal toys are called ‘changeables.’ (Thank you, Ebay/Google.)
They were one of my favourite things I had when I was a kid. I thought it was pretty awesome to have food transform into these:
Now, let’s peal another layer off this memory onion. There are very few things in life I hold onto, no – that I cherish. These are one of them, no lie. It is my dream to have the complete set in my life once more. But at this point? I’d be willing to donate an organ in order to get my hands on that hot little milkshake. Or any of them, really.
This appears to be the one shitty toy that is NOT sold on Ebay, much to my horror and disappointment. Let’s all join hands and bow our heads in sorrow.
Story submitted. And believe it or not, I worked in the word ‘Scrabble.’ TMD snorted when she read that.
Earlier in the evening she said this version of the story had more of me in it – the sloppiness, the depressive tendencies. Why not add Scrabble? Boy howdy, we’re onto a winner. Who says cancer and word games don’t mix?