Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Choosing the miracle.

August 12, 2010

Life is sometimes a series of extravagant miracles; sometimes they only have meaning to you. Imagine what it feels like to be told you could be permanently disabled. A life bound to a chair, a life dependent on only taking short range walks. Imagine two years of being unable to walk, and then imagine today.

Three miracles.

This morning I went into town with my family, with no thought of being disabled, unable, or anything other than ordinary. The pleasure of waiting in line at the bank. The joy of waiting outside the health food shop, dancing on the pavement to the delight of my clapping and appreciative son and daughter. Casual walking through this street, to that store, across a bit of lawn.

And this evening, plugging music into my ears and choosing the direction that includes a hill, rough ground, space and peace.

Each step I take is a courageous choice to reclaim my life.

I’ve been told now it will be another three to four years before I recover, but this evening I chose to believe I could do it, to treat myself with compassion and love and trust.  I chose to give it a try.

I walked along the path that took me to work a couple of years ago. Down the road sparsely populated with houses hundreds of years old, extensive flowers lush and thick in their front gardens. I turned down a deserted lane, the hedge flashing green and red in alternate stripes as I walked along….and stopped to take pictures.

I got lost.

Even that was a pleasure, standing suddenly on the corner of a busy road and wondering where the hell I was and how I was supposed to get home. Cars whizzed by, I looked around, I chose the way I thought was right, and I walked.

I walked.

I walked.

My feet moved along the concrete, a breeze wafted across my face, and I moved of my own volition and will. This time last year I required gas & air, as well as morphine and a host of other drugs, just to get myself on or off the toilet – to or from the confining seat of a wheelchair. I had not freely walked for months and months and months, and I thought I would regain the ability quickly after giving birth.

Instead I was unable to walk at all, lying on the couch as my newborn babies lay on my tummy, on the floor, on playmats. Months went by and as they learned to move around the room, so did I. I took hesitant steps, hooked up to a TENS machine on full blast, tears streaming down my cheeks.

And now as they learn to walk with the help of my hands, as they learn to stand on their own, I echo their progress. They are brave, they take risks. They don’t realise things are impossible or a challenge – so they do it all, and they take joy in the learning. Growing is play to them.

Growing is play to me, too. Never again will I take for granted the simple and complex pleasure of walking. Of being alone on a country lane in the gloaming, pausing to watch a stream as it twists and turns. This is the miracle, in these gifts we have been given but forget to notice because they are just always there.

Maybe this is my gift – in having my legs taken away from me for two years, my life has been coloured with a richness and a gratitude I would not have had otherwise. Because as my children learn to walk, as they widen their lives into bigger and bigger circles, so do I.

I choose hope. I choose persistence. I choose to forgive myself when these choices seem too hard, because along come these moments of sweeping grandeur, alone on my feet, walking on the road.

Miracles can happen, but sometimes you need to help them along.


I am a non-train spotter.

October 19, 2008

I talk about the train station all the time. Want visuals? (Apologies for quality, taken on my phone.)

The walk to the station:

My train platform going into work, where all the Crazy Shit With John happens:

The platform when I get home (and huddle under cover from the rain waiting for TMD to pick me up!):

Lovely road behind the park behind our house (behind the front of the house, behind the street in front…):

Last bit of walk home, where I imagine a crazy killer could get me at night, were it not so peaceful:

And now, our cat (I am becoming everything I hate by posting pictures of my pet, appreciate the sacrifice):

A life of one’s own.

October 4, 2008

Nanowrimo starts soon. Still, before it begins, I will:

take another driving test
have four more driving lessons
become a citizen of this country
hopefully register to vote in my other country
have my four month anniversary at my new job
possibly get on the birth control pill for the ivf stuff
see High School Musical 3
see Ani DiFranco in concert
go to some Chuck D lecture thing with Aussie

I’ve just noted that November 1 we are due to have a Risk tournament at Epilady’s house. I’ve never played it before, but merely being in a house together with a group of people who think it is cool to play board games should mean that it’s quite a fun time. No, I am not being sarcastic.

Aussie once made us play some Dracula game, and I even enjoyed that; TMD did not.

I am going to try and not let Risk ruin Nano for me (for a link and more information, click ‘my memory stick’ at right), though my mother is also coming to visit for a week in November. Anyway.


September 30, 2008

Have a little looksie at the link ‘my memory stick’ on the right. I’m using this as a handy list of links I visit regularly, or just sites I go to once in a while and still think they are worth posting.

Two blogs ago, back in the old school days, I had a list of websites I thought were odd. It ended up being quite cool because loads of people emailed with suggestions of other websites. So feel free to comment on the bottom of that page with things you think I might like, things you like, or just surreal websites you want other people to know about!

I’m in a better mood now – driving test be damned – as my Scary Meeting today was cancelled.

Even the grey clouds can’t get me down.

September 24, 2008

Today is shaping up into an altogether tasty day. Highlights include:

1. My new career as an envelope decorator. One of the children I work with has a birthday soon, and I have rarely enjoyed coloured pens and stickers so much.

2. Myself and a friend at work are talking entirely in Haiku.

3. The session I was anxious about all last night was kickin’. I took the lead and I think it went really well. A little of my confidence is back.

4. My sister and I are exchanging very long emails about very big stuff. It feels gorgeous.

The only thing that would make today better is if I already had my license and TMD had left the car at home, allowing me to drive and pick up dinner. She’s out really late this evening, and I really fancy chips.

The only blight in my day, which is actually so screwy I kind of enjoy it, is that my septum really fucking hurts if I push up on it. I think this is my nose’s way of telling me it is not happy that it is not pierced. Damn TMD for repiercing her nose and looking so good – and not wanting to be ‘twins*.’ She wants to be ‘a cool lesbian mum.’

I will have to find a way to be cool. I suspect it will involve envelopes in some way.

Peace out, bro’. For reals.

* Besides, I tell her, you aren’t twins with someone if opposite sides of the nose are pierced. Dental health be damned, I never should have taken out my tongue ring. That’s cooler than the nose thing any day.

September evenings smell so good.

September 20, 2008

Went back to the clinic this week for – drumroll, please – more blood tests. We also had ‘counselling.’ Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had an intensifying feeling that I really may not be very good at my new job. Still, TMD keeps doing impressions of the counsellor we saw, and I think all I have to do to remember that I don’t suck is realise that at least I’m not OPENING MY MAIL during sessions.

Still, she hooked us up with what will probably be a useful network, told us to sort out our wills, and also showed us a book I really rilly want. It’s called Our Story, or something like that. It’s the story of two moms and their baby/child – how they had to go to the hospital to help get pregnant, etc. It’s not as creepy as Heather Has Two Moms (sorry, I know I am offending all you right on lesbians out there, but I remember that book being fucking WEIRD), and has cute kid-drawn illustrations. I want it, dudettes. Only seven smackaroonies.

The other useful thing the counsellor said was that we are already trying to conceive. In a bizarre way I already feel pregnant, though obviously that hasn’t happened. However, A Good Friend Who May Wish To Remain Anonymous thinks she’s pregnant with the next Jesus, and if that’s true I’m pregnant with Jesus III.

I think the only thing I have any doubts about is donating eggs. Am I not the altruistic kind? In a way, it feels like giving a child up for adoption or something. It’s odd as I have no ethical qualms about using donor sperm; though I do think women tend to be more precious about their eggs. Since our visit to the clinic on Thursday (?), I’ve been googling ‘IVF versus IUI’ a lot, and I am feeling really rock solid about IVF. It is the right choice for us.

There are fears – if IVF doesn’t work, it would feel sort of hope-draining to have to go ‘backwards’ to IUI. But as much as I resist it, I am feeling ridiculously positive and shining about the baby I know IVF will bring us. We’re going to the clinic again next week to have the IVF consult. The only thing hanging over my head is this fucking laparoscopy. The pain in my lower right abdomen is clearly going away, and I am so impatient to cook me up some baby pancakes that I almost don’t want to bother with the surgery. I’ve got the consult for that next Monday.

I’ve been to hospitals/clinics/my doctor more times since July than I have in the ENTIRE time I’ve lived in this country.  (Oh, I’m almost an official citizen! My ceremony is on October 6. Rock on free passport holder!)

Have I ever told you about Daisy and Joey? When we were growing up, my sister liked punching me in the stomach. Fuck knows why. I got around this for a number of years by telling her I had twins growing in me. At one point, another baby called Petunia joined the crew – but it was really Daisy and Joey who ruled the roost.

In a completely crazy, mostly unscientific sort of way, I am convinced we are going to have twins. One in four IVF births does result in multiples, so it’s not too unreasonable to think it might happen to us. I think the whole Daisy and Joey argument is perhaps erring on the side of wack-a-doodle-doo…..but my friend Opposite Gender Soulmate told me he had a dream a few months back that he was looking at pictures of me and TMD on Facebook, and we had twins. While he initially wrote this off due to stalking my profile AND seeing a scary movie about twins (why oh why didn’t I ask the name of it? I wish my wife liked scary movies!), he now says he thinks he ‘saw the faces of our future children.’

He also pointed out that I do like having two of everything (ie ‘one for best’).

Fuck it. If I’m not allowed to be chirpy and charmingly superstitious in my own diary, where can I be?

(I still am having big pooping problems. TMD is not amused.)

PS – The counsellor asked me what my orientation was. My reaction was a quiet astonishment, since I was there with my wife. Turns out she meant my theorectical counselling orientation.

PPS – I had a PPS but wanted to get down the PS first, and now I forgot it. Fuck.

PPPS – Fuck! Thought I remembered it, but then got dissauded by another PS and now I think I’ve forgot that one as well.

PPPPS – YES. Had a dream last night – been dreaming a lot about IVF. Last night we had two perfect embryos ready to be put back in my womb, and it was a boy and a girl. (No, we’re not planning on asking for this information in real life.) This is what TMD would like to happen, and I turned to her in the dream and sort of sigh-talked, ‘It’s just what we wanted!’

PPPPPS – I changed the name of this country’s currency for ‘smackaroonies.’ Am I uber-paraboid or what?

For John.

September 19, 2008

I sat down on a bench at – where else – my train station this morning. No sooner had I read a couple of pages of The Stand, the guy next to me said, ‘Look at this.’ He held out a very tattered book full of notes in the margin. He flipped to the title page where he had drawn out an elaborate mind map and pointed to the middle circle.

‘This says women like men with emotional variety. Do you think that’s true?’

An odd beginning to a conversation with a complete stranger, but also a complete delight. Our conversation meandered along – gender politics, accents, counselling, psychics. At the end he offered his hand and asked for my name.

If there were more Johns in the world, what an exceptional chance we’d all have for early morning meaningfulness.

Countertransference, much?

September 16, 2008

Receiving gifts from clients is an interesting thing. There are some therapists who just wouldn’t do it, some who probably unconsciously encourage it – and then there’s the rest of us. As a counsellor, I do not ever expect to receive any gift aside from that of the other person’s presence. Sitting beside someone as they confront themselves and their life is a deep honour. I know that sounds corny, but sometimes after sessions I’ve sat quietly in my chair, just feeling. I think there is a quality of awe that comes with witnessing – really seeing – other people.

This morning I received a little blue envelope covered in hand drawn hearts. On the inside was what my manager described as ‘a work of art,’ and she was right. Careful joined up writing from a child, more hearts, glued on buttons, rice, sequins. A thank you letter.

This child thanked me for my help – and I thought, But I haven’t even started yet! This is really a reminder that my idea of help is probably very different from other people’s. With this child, I’ve just been a friendly presence, a warm grown-up who isn’t threatening, judging, or telling them what to do. This makes me feel powerful in the sense that I can believe in myself.

Operation Fingerpaint, as I said yesterday, is quite a directive service. We tend to go into sessions with definite plans of how the sessions will go. This just isn’t me – and when I’m on my own with children, it’s easier to just trust them and myself and believe that whatever is supposed to happen, will. I also think that the quality of the relationship between two people, whatever their ages, is what makes the difference. I know from my own experience in therapy that it’s not the great insights Kleinette offered that I remember now, it’s the little acts of human kindness.

My heart feels full from this little letter, this little painting. And particularly when I think of the child who painstakingly made it – what a fantastic job. If more people occasionally received treats like this, job/personal satisfaction would be a lot higher, I tell you!

It’s nice to know that when I am just being me, with someone else who is just being them, that all kinds of good things can happen.

I am reminded of the person who painted me the picture of ‘us’ – it feels like ages since we worked together. I’ve thought about that client a lot this week, for one reason and another, and it’s interesting that these thoughts have been floating around as art is used more heavily in my sessions with this child. I have never conceived of myself as a good drawer, painter, sculptor – and therefore have sometimes felt wary of using art with clients. With the adult who painted me a picture, it felt natural. With this child, it feels natural.

So much of counselling is me learning to be okay with being myself, and more okay I am with me, the more okay the people/children I work with seem to be okay with being who they are.

I love this quote from e. e. cummings – ‘It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.’ I’d take that a step further and say it takes courage to wake up every morning and be who you are, even when you don’t get it quite right. Life is bumpy and textured and sometimes we get lost.

But sometimes…sometimes we find ourselves, and that’s everything.

Little windows of pure happiness and job satisfaction.

September 15, 2008

Play therapy is starting to seem like a more and more kick ass version of my future. I am having a grand time testing glue sticks to see which is the stickiest, stuffing baggies full of polka dot feathers, giggling with little girls, and colouring.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Operation Fingerpaint is not a job I would have expected. I was not particularly interested in family therapy, and addictions were also quite far off from Planet Captivated. However, mix the two together and you’ve got a job I actually quite like. I think the atmosphere of the place helps; I imagine this will be the nicest, most mindful of emotional well being place I will ever work.

But it’s very directive. I think that’s always been a weakness in my counselling – I didn’t train to be directive (ie sort of taking charge in therapy sessions), and I don’t think it’s in my nature, anyway. I do believe people are the experts on themselves, and that people have an innate drive towards healing. Still, I have sensed that at the start of therapeutic work people were looking to me to provide direction, inspiration, understanding.

You can’t wax lyrical about the fact that the real therapy comes from the relationship (at least I believe it does) when you first meet someone; perhaps having a little bag of tricks helps?

I actually felt quite down last week, thinking I was just not good at this job. Then I waltzed into a session with my co-counsellor and it was actually quite fabulous.

I’m at my best one-to-one with little ones, though. This is something intriguing, because it’s a fact I had somehow forgotten along the way. I like hearing their take on the world, I enjoy believing in them as people, it makes me feel good to spend time with them. I think I need to do MORE therapy with children to make sure that I really like it as much as I think I do, and not just because I desperately enjoy my Monday afternoon sessions with a particular child.

Cast away.

September 14, 2008

For the moment, I’ve decided that is too much fucking trouble. Back to Fertility Friend I go.

Truth is, since we’ve basically decided on IVF life has turned good again. I’m still taking my temp every morning and peeing on little ovulation sticks, but I’m not so fussed about the whole thing. I’m having some coffee at work and some Diet Coke at home.

I’m got more relaxed about my cervix (although it was SO LOW today it felt like it was trying to make a break for freedom). Everything seems easier and more normal, and I think that is because IVF takes the trouble out of conceiving. Don’t get me wrong – it adds injections and all sorts of IVF-y problems, but it makes me less fearful to take an allergy pill because they dry out your cervical fluid, and that is a sign of fertility.

I took an allergy pill last night and it was almost sensual it’s been so long since I had one.

I think IVF is the way I’ll feel most like myself, able to just live ordinary life – at least for the next month or two while we build up to it. And I think pregnancy is best and most likely when life is going on as per usual (assuming, of course, that life per usual doesn’t involve drugs/alcohol/bad things).

While gardening today I kept thinking, ‘Next year at this time there will be a little baby.’ I really hope that’s true. Or true times two.