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Rocky

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment

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This little guy threw himself against the screen door a couple of times before he stuck. I have no idea how Frank kept his cool throughout this, because I found it fascinating and hilarious. I expect he’ll be back.

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Falling in love all over again

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

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Oh, Malibu…you are so beautiful. The beach, the palm trees, the ocean, the wall of brown mountains nestling you tight against the waterfront…

I need to go back to SoCal for a vacation, and soon!

Going to California

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Hey! I’m in Los Angeles for less than a day! Fourteen-and-a-half years ago I visited LA for the first time, and I swore I’d be back soon. Oh, how badly I wanted to do my undergrad in Southern California! I never would have expected my next trip to LA to be under these circumstances (work trip to tour manufacturing facilities, essentially). In fact, as we flew down the coast this evening, thinking about 15 year old Caitlin versus current Caitlin made me feel pretty sad and disappointed. Then I got to thinking about how comforting it would be to have the soft cheek of a sweet kitty resting on my cheek, and I started missing Frank terribly. Ugh, avoiding my feelings and not thinking about tough things is only making things worse.

I Googled my last-summer-therapist today (I really shouldn’t be allowed to Google people) and discovered something about his past that kind of makes sense of the therapeutic connection we had (and also explains his PhD research focus). Now I wish he and I had talked more about that thing we have in common. (I’ll be vague for now, but will probably disclose some things relatively soon.) And the reason I bring him up right now is that when his internship ended last fall, he said he was planning to head back to LA. I toy with the idea of contacting him for therapy guidance, especially since we’re in the same time zone, but there are an awful lot of variables that would make this tricky. (The main thing being: how do I swing the payments? And would he even be willing to help?)

Okay, I probably shouldn’t be allowed to stream-of-consciousness blog in the wee hours of the night after a really long day. Tomorrow I shall frolic on the beach in steel-toed boots!

Happy mother’s day

May 13, 2012 Leave a comment

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(Regardless of the species of your baby.)

With buttah!

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m having one of my random Ohio cravings this evening, something I didn’t crave too often back in the Midwest, but whoa buddy, do I want a stack of Bob Evans’ pancakes for breakfast tomorrow!

With a pat of melting butter on top.

Mmm.

Getting lost in my mind

May 11, 2012 1 comment

I remember my high school Spanish teacher warning us that for each month we didn’t practice our Spanish, we’d lose about 10% of our language skills. I feel that’s the case with the progress I’d made in therapy before I left for Oregon. At first, I practiced what I’d learned, and in talking with friends around Christmas, I summoned the courage to share some of the things I’d disclosed in therapy. I was half afraid that my experiences would be invalidated (as they have always been with my family), but also afraid that the response would be more along the lines of the folks in my therapy group and a couple of my therapists (that reaction being something to the effect of ‘that’s so wrong’, without the minimization I typically apply to the stories). At any rate, as the months have ticked by and I haven’t been talking about this stuff in detail, not even with my hippie therapist, I find that my former near-fluency in the language of ‘this is not right, I deserved so much better’ is nearly lost. In the past couple of months, I’ve convinced myself that my perception of everything has been wrong for so long, and I must really be the crazy one in the family. I’ve been talking with the folks with some frequency over the last month, and oh hey, they’re still pretending that nothing happened. Not decades ago, not recently, and certainly not when I divulged the traumas to my mom and sister. I hate that I require so much external reassurance that this stuff did happen and that it was wrong. Library books and Google searches will only get you so far. The notes that last-summer-therapist had me take – so that I could reassure myself when necessary – aren’t as effective as we’d hoped they’d be. The words of last-school-year-therapist are simultaneously helpful and unsettling at times: ‘There’s nothing that you could say or do that would make it okay for someone to physically assault you. No one should ever touch you like that.’ This is all well and good until you convince yourself that you did deserve that, that you have always been a frustrating, difficult person, and the only way to get you to behave was through fear and pain. The group therapist encouraged us to stop falling into the comfort of the fantasies we’d created to survive the abuse, but I really, really miss that comfort. And I’d like to continue working through the emotions and events that I’d tried to block out for so long – maybe hippie therapist will help. I’m half-tempted to ask the last-summer-therapist to provide phone or Skype therapy for me, because in the end, he was the most straightforward with me and the one who advocated for me with a passion that scared me. I think I need that kind of intensity for this work.

The shame of taking care of oneself

May 10, 2012 1 comment

I can’t figure out the source of my reluctance to take care of myself. Is it cultural, peer pressure, some psychological remnant of my past? I stayed home from work today because the exhaustion I’m experiencing from whatever ails me is unreal. I slept for about 15 of the past 24 hours. I feel like a schmuck for taking time off when I don’t feel well, because even though I clearly am not feeling well (wanna check out the perpetually swollen glands in my neck?), I feel as though I don’t feel sick enough to have a legitimate reason to call off sick. Pinkeye? Legitimate. High fever? Legitimate. GI issues involving one or both ends? Legitimate. Feeling as though you’re drowning in a deep pool of exhaustion? Eh, tough it out. Last Wednesday through Sunday, I was barely able to stay awake for 10 hours each day, and since returning to work, I still feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. I went back to the doctor today since, well, I still feel sick, and my latest diagnosis is a sinus infection. Here’s hoping that antibiotics are key to returning to the land of the (alertly) living. ‘Cause right now, I’m avoiding taking deep breaths to avoid coughing to avoid back pain and spasms. And not taking deep breaths while being a mucus machine provides a greater chance of developing pneumonia (an undesired legitimate reason to stay home from work). So keep your fingers crossed that I’ll finally be on the mend!