I’ve subdued my urges-
As often as I can…
Quieting the undesired parts of self.
But still… it’s not enough-
Now, inactions aren’t enough…
Words now forbidden-chastised-shamed-
I had the most interesting insight today. To be honest, I will probably be reconciling and revisiting it over the next little bit. As I sat listening to a client today, I made note of a realization I had to contemplate later. Lucky you, I am doing that now.
I’ve noticed over the years that I am able to connect with people because somehow I am able to find something in them, experientially or otherwise that I can empathize with. I used to joke that I was a good social worker because I could identify with every Lana Del Rey song. More sad than funny now, I suppose, but still true enough ha.
During grad school, I often allowed myself to feel badly about this, as it was labeled countertransference. And if I am honest with myself, sometimes it may have been negative countertransference, for sure. But we learn to check our biases, as much as we can, as continually attempting to be informed humans. And the dance between empathy and countertransference is certainly a tricky one to navigate.
But what got me today, was realizing how easily I could understand the reasons, internal and external, subconscious and conscious, that this client was making the decisions that they were making. And I realized that I understood them because I had made the exact same decisions once before, for the nearly identical reasons.
All the parts of my personality and situation were right in front of me…
All the parts I have hated, questioned, forgotten, burned, and buried…
All of them.
And I felt no hatred, no questioning, no judgment for the client. It all made perfect sense.
But it was a grace I have struggled to provide within. As if I didn’t deserve compassion at all, let alone from myself. I have always felt a certain level of shame about some decisions I made in my earlier adulthood; even shame regarding smaller decisions I have made, more recently than that.
I have rarely felt any animosity or disdain toward a client, as I feel like I can understand so much of the reasons people do the things they do. Regardless of whether it is experiential understanding or trauma informed book learning, I can still understand most situations that humans end up in. (Mind you, I said MOST not all).
Yet the amount of doubt, anger, loathing, disgust, and pity I have felt for the younger versions of myself?
Vast. Expansive. Shifting. Sinking. Consuming.
I have BEEN Artax.
And yet, looking at myself, tonight, as I would a client?
Never before seen footage of a grown ass woman heffalumping sobs of forgiveness and understanding. That was a long drive home. Good gracious.
Who even the eff am I?
And I performed all the rituals;
To excise you from my being:
I said the words, I sang the songs,
I burned the poppets, offerings, and herbs.
The vernal equinox brought forlorn surrender
With all my naked tears,
thrown at the ocean.
Midsummer brought quiet understanding
Still the skyclad blood dance was all for naught.
Acceptance turned to woken realization,
The exorcism had not uncleaved…
My self imposed division.
The queen of cups,
The knight of swords,
Time brought on the autumnal passing.
Themes of knowledge and woe,
Of things that cannot be unsaid, unknown.
Samhain a solemn reminder,
Of the work remaining to be done.
The full moon purge,
The blessings be,
The earth is coming full circle.
I had my first supervision with my new supervisor today and I would just like to say upfront that I am pretty effing stoked about this new placement. Not only do I get to do community based social work that is essentially training me for my dream job, but I also get to do a lot of clinical work that I was afraid I would not be able to do because of the stupid track system at my grad school. We have to pick direct service, administrative or community based as our focus final year; I chose community based because of the future jobs that I want and my lack of professional experience in that venue. I had been pretty disappointed in that choice for the first few months of this year but now that I have this magical hybrid placement; I am pretty stoked. I feel good about my job prospects. I may not even have to move.
Moving is something that I feel like I should do, it’s my natural tendency to retreat back to my homey home when I am hurting and needing to regroup. However, that pattern never seems to work for me. I am not sure yet. The networking and opportunities here may outweigh the perceived benefits of running away home, Jack.
I digressed. Oh well.
I shall continue to digress in saying the following: the next few months are going to be different for me emotionally, financially, etc. My relationship is in transition (to what I am not sure), my sex life will be in remission, my formal education is ending, my $2,837,402,384,702,384,720,384 in student loans will be coming out of deferment, my 2nd professional life will be beginning, and both of my kids will officially be teenagers in 3 months.
So you may read some vague posts here and there.
You may read some cryptic, sad, manic, or even downright dirty poetry.
You may feel that I am yelling at YOU specifically; but I won’t be.
I am just going to therapize myself through this blog and lucky you! You get to come for the ride.
You may want to take some Dramamine.
No really. I mean that.
The last two days, my house has been trashed.
Papers are strewn about, there are open boxes on tables, counters, floors, files open and stacked, from room to room. It seriously looks like a crazy manic event has gone on here. Maybe it has, I don’t know. I digress.
It started out at a vain attempt to find my seventh grade school picture to compare to the girlchild’s, but it became a self-imposed therapeutic event. As I have been going through boxes of my life, looking at pictures, questioning why I have kept the wrapper for a package of garbage pail kids for 25+ years; I have been processing. Letting go. Thinking about people I haven’t thought about, wondering why I kept things they gave me, notes they wrote. I even wrote a poem about it.
Dealing with things left undealt with in a millenia. It’s like the end of my own episode of ‘Hoarders’.…keep, sell, trash….keep, sell, trash...Only mine is keep, share or trash….It’s been cathartic to say the least.
Now my house is still beyond trashed and I am sure that my half unpacked and sorted boxes are pretty physically representative of my brain these days. BUT I have also began to delete, resort and annihilate my narcissistic self-representation I call my Facebook, so it’s been multitaskinspirationalistic. And really, if you know me, I function soooo much better with 8923470387304750345 things to do. Don’t let me get bored. I will think of a reason to save a wrapper.
Throwing things away feels good.
Sharing forgotten and remembered memories for that matter feels good.
It’s been a long time coming, this unpacking of Jani.
You should try it; throw something away from your childhood.
Look at it. Hold it. Share it. Remember and then toss it.
Why do you keep what you keep?
They’re only things, after all.
I dealt with things better once upon a time and I am trying to relearn that now.
I notice literally everyone in my world is having relationship issues, so I offer this. It’s, of course, through my lens but its a nice start because I am sure everyone who reads this is guilty of at least one:
Soooo how about:
Once upon a time, I would do a wrap up “I have learned” type deal every season/school year/end of summer. Now I maybe get one done once a year, just to take stock and evaluate my personal evolution, growth and to check things off my bucket list. This summer, I have done a few items from each of the previous list and I share (albeit some of them vaguely) with you…
I am sure that there are more and I am sure they are much more interesting to me than to you, but maybe something up there can inspire you to change something simple in your world in the quest for a moment of happiness.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”