Now That I'm Forty...

Born in New York and now going to die in New York. Someday.

About Me:
Raised:Here and Here
Education: Here, Here, Here, and Here
Location: Here now!
Profession: This

Contact Me:
Your Blogger

Cool Hobby
Subversive Radio
You Will Love Skull Too
Old-Timey Radio Goodness
Webcast Sci Fi
Cool British Accents

My Computer-Savvy Friends:
Grim Jester
Childhood Bud
Goin' to CA
The Antihero
"Local" Boy Makes Good
New Girl In Town
The Female Me (Or IS That An Insult?)
Simply Saidy, (Not For The Faint Of Heart)
Mental Office Girl
California Hip
Dec 26, 2003 Dec 27, 2003 Dec 28, 2003 Dec 29, 2003 Dec 30, 2003 Dec 31, 2003 Jan 1, 2004 Jan 2, 2004 Jan 8, 2004 Jan 9, 2004 Jan 11, 2004 Jan 13, 2004 Jan 14, 2004 Jan 18, 2004 Jan 19, 2004 Jan 21, 2004 Jan 25, 2004 Jan 27, 2004 Jan 28, 2004 Jan 31, 2004 Feb 1, 2004 Feb 2, 2004 Feb 3, 2004 Feb 8, 2004 Feb 13, 2004 Feb 14, 2004 Feb 15, 2004 Feb 16, 2004 Feb 17, 2004 Feb 22, 2004 Feb 23, 2004 Feb 24, 2004 Feb 26, 2004 Feb 28, 2004 Mar 2, 2004 Mar 3, 2004 Mar 4, 2004 Mar 5, 2004 Mar 7, 2004 Mar 8, 2004 Mar 9, 2004 Mar 11, 2004 Mar 13, 2004 Mar 14, 2004 Mar 15, 2004 Mar 16, 2004 Mar 17, 2004 Mar 18, 2004 Mar 20, 2004 Mar 22, 2004 Mar 23, 2004 Mar 27, 2004 Mar 28, 2004 Mar 29, 2004 Mar 30, 2004 Mar 31, 2004 Apr 2, 2004 Apr 3, 2004 Apr 4, 2004 Apr 8, 2004 Apr 13, 2004 Apr 18, 2004 Apr 26, 2004 Apr 27, 2004 May 1, 2004 May 3, 2004 May 6, 2004 May 10, 2004 May 12, 2004 May 15, 2004 May 18, 2004 May 20, 2004 Jun 3, 2004 Jun 16, 2004 Jul 13, 2004 Jul 14, 2004 Jul 22, 2004 Jul 26, 2004 Jul 27, 2004 Jul 30, 2004 Aug 1, 2004 Aug 2, 2004 Aug 3, 2004 Aug 4, 2004 Aug 6, 2004 Aug 8, 2004 Aug 10, 2004 Aug 11, 2004 Aug 13, 2004 Aug 14, 2004 Aug 17, 2004 Aug 20, 2004 Aug 23, 2004 Aug 30, 2004 Aug 31, 2004 Sep 7, 2004 Sep 14, 2004 Sep 23, 2004 Sep 25, 2004 Oct 7, 2004 Oct 10, 2004 Oct 18, 2004 Oct 24, 2004 Oct 26, 2004 Oct 28, 2004 Nov 3, 2004 Nov 17, 2004 Nov 18, 2004 Nov 25, 2004 Dec 2, 2004 Dec 11, 2004 Dec 16, 2004 Dec 17, 2004 Dec 20, 2004 Dec 21, 2004 Dec 24, 2004 Jan 10, 2005 Feb 11, 2005 Feb 24, 2005 Mar 19, 2005 Apr 1, 2005 Apr 10, 2005 Apr 20, 2005 May 12, 2005 May 17, 2005 May 26, 2005 Jun 8, 2005 Jun 15, 2005 Jun 16, 2005 Jun 20, 2005 Jun 27, 2005 Jul 7, 2005 Jul 11, 2005 Jul 21, 2005 Aug 1, 2005


This counter provided for free from!

[ Sign My Guestbook] [ View My Guestbook]

Now That I'm Forty...

Weblog Commenting by Listed on Blogwise
Monday, August 01, 2005

Now That I AM Forty...

I'm closing this blog now, because I've went and had a big ol' epiphany today. It's led me to change the tenor of my posts and in doing so, I'm going to open up a new blog just to keep the blog flavor consistent(-ant?)

In short, the poverty is still the same, the joblessness is still the same, and I'm still probably going to have to move to Paramus. I have until August the 31st to pony up the money I owe on the rent, and unless my NY license 1) magically shows up and 2) the industry magically decides to treat the NY license just like the license for social workers, sight unseen, then I won't make enough in a month to pay what I need.

What has changed is my attitude and my outlook.

I invite you all to go to the new blog and check it out. It's bare bones right now, but I will zhush it up as I've done this one, to match the tone of the content. If you've been at all interested in my life as it reads so far, you just might be pleased to know how things are going to go now.

So that is what happens Now That I'm Forty!

Me at 8/01/2005 01:41:00 AM

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hey Childhood Bud, Gimme A Link

So's the folks can reach ya betta.

Meanwhile, I think I'm feeling better because I'm blogging more.

Even if I have to leave NYC for a while, I'm going to come back.

It's almost as if I'm in an abusive, co-dependepent relationship with this city. She lured me in with promise that she'd take care of me (well actually, her daddy in Albany did that) and I ignored her faults because I was so besotted. Now destitute, I slink back to New Jersey to lick my wounds. And the minute she says she wants me again, I'll come running!

Me at 7/21/2005 11:02:00 AM

Okay NOW I'm Aggravated

Has anyone deciphered exactly want these bombing people WANT? And what, precisely, is the success rate for bombers' causes? Do many of them receive what they are killing people for? Do ANY of them?

This stubborn, destructive mentality points to mental illness to me. Mental illness with little to no chance of treatment because they've got an entire culture behind them, supporting them. See, a mental disorder is only that if it causes you not to be able to function in your society. Most terrorists operate just fine in THEIR socities, so they have no evidence that something is wrong with their way of thinking.

That's the kind of reasoning I do when I just want someone to perform pre-emptive nightstrikes on every last one of them. Obliterate them off the planet, the way one would do carcinoma off the skin.

Not very politically correct, I know. And whatever about their causes and their points of view and their voices subjugated by oppressive power structures and whatever whatever whatever. If they kill innocent people in order to gain a voice, then I am automatically not listening, okay? I could give a rat's. Again; if a man is trapped under a bus and no one hears him cry for help, so to get attention he pulls out a gun and shoots a passing teenager in the head, AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL EMPATHY FOR HIS STRUGGLE? At that point, I'd rather the bus grind him into paste.

Doesn't anybody GET that after all these years? As many problems as I have, am I the only one to whom this makes sense???

Me at 7/21/2005 10:30:00 AM

Plan B

Friday I go into court for my third eviction trial. This is because the new landlords apparently have to get a new eviction order against me, else they could have used what's already at the sheriff's office to padlock me out.

As you know, I took all my books off the shelves. I have not put them back. I am getting myself used to the idea that I'm moving.

My New Jersey option is open again, according to the latest contact with my friend. He is getting work done on the house, so there's a waiting period, but when the coast is clear, he said I'm welcome to move in and use the time to make whatever money I can and get financially stable. There isn't anyone who thinks this is a bad idea, including myself. Unless the new judge is some sort of relative of mine with no morals, I will most likely lose any requests I may think to make and will this time be evicted. I could not pay July's rent, thanks to my naivete and the job's slipshod way of handling my payments. I was wrong to think that what they said I'd get would actually happen. I underestimated the strength of at-risk teenagers to avoid getting help when they don't really want it.

So this week I've been back at Starbucks and loving it. I learned three of the oldtimers there are moving on, so I'd be able to entertain the thought of becoming a Shift Supervisor. That'd jack my hours up to guaranteed 30-35 per week, plus a raise. From that I could go into managing a store, which is not a bad little salary, and from that I could parlay into district manager or something. I'd need not ever go back to the therapist's chair, except to be a client.

Last week, however, in the New Jersey practice to which I reach by public transportation, I had 5 clients in a row. Four of them were new to me. All four said they wish to return, and one who missed last week will come this week. So that makes six in one night. This is due to becoming an insurance provider as I'd detailed.

I've also learned that the Social Work laws and laws concerning mental health counseling are changing for the state of New York as of Jan 1, 2006. Any unlicensed counselor practicing in New York will be doing so illegally as of the new year. Even Social Workers will have to obtain these licenses to do counseling. Those LCSWs who already enjoy a successful practice will get their licenses, I'm sure. But those who do not get them, and the others with no real qualifications to do so, will be replaced by the likes of myself, who have the licenses. Employers will all have to make these requirements of their unlicensed practitioners, and open up their job markets to such as myself to make up for whatever possible gaps are left.

That's all good news for my future. Not my present, but my future. If my license arrived in the mail tomorrow, it'd still take some time for me to get set up as I've done in New Jersey's practice. I might as well do it living for free with my friend in NJ. I'll have no car, but I'll just have to get a bicycle. And the same public trans that gets me to the office from here will get me back to NYC when I need it. If I keep my NYC Starbucks job, and live with my friend in NJ, I should be getting all the exposure I need to feel connected and save money besides. Especially if I do go into management.

Now, of course, I could drop Starbucks altogether and concentrate on working as much as I can in the NJ private practice. Instead of one day a week, I can do two or three days. That, at least, was my NJ Friend's suggestion. In fact, he couldn't understand why I WOULDN'T do it. He had me on the spot. I had to answer him honestly.

The reality is, and I've said this here, thankfully (so I know I do mean this) I'm not emotionally stable enough to believe I'm that good of a therapist. I may be that good. Evidence is weighing in to help me believe that I am a good therapist, what with all these returning clients (even a long-departed couple called tonite to request a return visit!). But again, it is a stressful job and I'm going through all this crap right now, having to throw away 7/8s of all my worldly possessions, etc., so if I'm going to take on 15-18 clients or MORE, I got to have my stuff TITE. I can't be slopping up to the office, half-stepping. Above all, I want to be responsible to these people who are coming to me for help. I want to be well-read and confident in manner, technique, and personal issues. Truth be told, I want to be perfect. Since I can't be that, I want to at least feel competent.

Else I'd rather work at Starbucks 4ever. At Starbucks I get instant gratification. I know what I'm doing behind that counter so I have the confidence I want. Every 'Thank You' from a customer and smile when they drink the yummy is a much-needed pat on my back. Instant job-satisfaction. And that's okay, right?

More than okay.

But here's the other thing--at the end of my therapist's night last week, after my fifth client walked out the door, and they all had plans to return because they felt that I was helping them---


THAT was job satisfaction.

A fella could get USED to that, ma honies. And if it starts to pay the kind of money I was expecting at the start of this madcap jaunt to New York?


Won't that be fine?

It WOULD be very fine.

The best I can do is move to New Jersey for now, live rent-free. Put up with this guy's crazy family when they visit, and him when he's drunk. Rent free means more money to spend on distractions---oops, I mean to pay all the wonderful people back who have tried to help me thus far--who have believed in every plan I have made and believed in me.
Yeah. This is the right thing to do. It is.

It is.

It is.

Even if the judge has an anyeurism on Friday and they delay my eviction another month, I need to go to Jersey get out from under the financial thumb. I need to survive better than I'm doing right now.

And who knows? By the time I'm 45, I might actually BE somebody.

Me at 7/21/2005 12:21:00 AM

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hallelujah Breakdown

My first Pastor used to call them that. Pretty indicative of his state of mind at any given time, but I was 16 yrs. old at the time and had no way of knowing.

Today I went to the Human Resources Administration up in West Hell to try to parlay my request for another One-Shot Deal on my rent into an ongoing request for Rental Assistance. I gave up on the second One-Shot request because the tall pup handling my case told me point-blank not to return to complete the process if I couldn't come up with July's rent in a money order by July 6th. Well, given the problems I'd been having with my kids-chasing job, it was a longshot. That job has been like Lucy with the football, and me as Charlie Brown. One week they withheld my check because I didn't fill something out correctly, or at all. The next week, they withheld my check because they THOUGHT I didn't fill something out. The following week the mail never arrived--still hasn't, despite that I sent it Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. Yes, I called to track it, and it's true. The Post Office lost my large, red, white, and blue envelope with the words PRIORITY MAIL on it. You see, as they explained it to me, they don't guarantee anything but Express Mail, but they'll begin an investigation of the lost package in 14 business days. So they'll start the investigation tomorrow. Meanwhile, the job fronted me the money and now they believe I lied when I gave them a sob story. For all they know, I'm a crackwhore transvestite with a sugar daddy paying my cellphone bill. But when I'm not having problems of that nature, the kids just plain bug out on me. I suck, so they don't want me to be their counselor. No, that's not true. They just don't want a counselor. I don't totally suck.

With all this money juggling, I barely managed to pay June's rent, cannot pay July's, and couldn't put a dent in the outstanding balance.

So on July 6th, which came after the vignette that I posted about trying to get the right kind of picture taken, I got a haircut, took an adquate picture, drove my car to my favorite neighborhood (just because it's my favorite neighborhood) and for two hours hunted down a Notary Public to ratify before mailing away my final piece to the NY license puzzle. When I went back to my car, it was gone. I parked it too near a fire hydrant (apparently not to MY estimation) and the ticketing officer ran my plates, found that I still owe outstanding tickets, not to mention new ones, and had the sheriff come and take it on it's second trip to the pound. Despite all my plans, I hadn't made enough money to pay off the outstanding tickets, not to mention the new ones. So I ignored them all this while. And it caught up to me.

I walked home from my favorite neighborhood, a mere 70+ blocks. Kid stuff. I'd done it last summer when life had just begun to kick up the suckitude. What was I feeling? I was feeling relief. It was an ironclad excuse to get out of chasing them kids in Jersey. No car, no job. No job, no chance of failure. Shame, because after all the hours that I didn't get, I had one kid left who wanted me to increase my hours because he liked me that much. Yeh, and that's actually because I was acting as a mentor with him, rather than a counselor. I just took him out and we played basketball, or I'd watch him play with the other kids. I was a glorified babysitter who didn't bust his chops too much. For this I was getting paid $60.00 an hour. Yeh, and if I'd gotten all the hours I was hunting, I'd be sleeping on a mattress of money, paying back my friends and keeping the hounds at bay. Mm hmm. They pay $60.00 an hour because you pay for your own gas and tolls, and if you buy any food or recreation costs (when 'counseling' a ten year old starts to become very much like amateur dentistry), that comes out of your pocket too. So this time out, I was keeping an accounting of my expenses. I haven't totalled it yet, but by the tolls alone, I had to have shelled out $300.00. Why'd I think it was a good move? Bah. Because I needed to. I needed faith to get me through that second eviction hearing.

Now there's a registered letter waiting for me at my local post office. Yeah, THAT they don't lose. I suspect it's an eviction notice from the new landlord. They were going to work with me, and I was going to pay July's rent, and then hoped a One-Shot Deal would make up the rest of my arrears. Didn't happen.

Anyway, this morning, I found out that I have to wait until they've denied my One-Shot Deal again before I can attempt to try to get ongoing rental assistance, and that reactivating my Food Stamps will require me doing an entirely new process (even though I never did one before--it was issued to me based on my first application for the One-Shot Deal, which I ALSO didn't get).

So I came back home because I just didn't want to deal with it again. There was standing room only in the Food Stamps place. And after loitering around my apartment all weekend and all week last week, in fact (especially after I lost my car), I felt too guilty to do it again today.

So what'd I do? I emptied all my bookshelves and packed all the books away. I bought a Clorox wet head mop (I have money, just not enough to pay rent). I'm preparing for the worst. I will next clean all the dusty, empty bookshelves, and my entertainment center. Dust is actaully dead skin cells you know. I've enough in here to make another me. Lord, that's ALL I'd need. Then I'm going to clean these floors with my new mop.

So from the time I had gotten back from West Hell and began to undertake this task of battening down my hatches, I downloaded some old Christian music CDs to my comp and made a playlist to accompany my labor. Oh, I got some good stuff palying on this machine. I wish I could share it with you. You've never heard anything like it. A Norwegian choir singing R&B Gospel and tearing it UP. (I found it! Check it out! Except the links don't play. Wah!) Cindy Morgan's stuff from the nineties when she debuted as Christian Music's answer to Janet Jackson. (Oh, I was so holy back then, I'd never have approved, but she won Dove Awards with her funky stuff. And every song having lyrics to sweep you into the throneroom of God.) All day I'm, singing and bopping and packing my books away. All day I'm reaffirming that, yes, actually, I am a Christian, thank you very much, and yes, He WILL never stop loving me, okay?, and Blessed Is The Heart That Gets Broken, But Keeps Holding On/For Another Day/Cause That's What It Means To Live/By Faith, I'll have you know.

It wasn't until my back started groaning like I'm 40 yrs old or something that I sat down at the computer and had a Hallelujah Breakdown. Sweet tearful release of the Me That Used To Be. The budding young minister with his eyes on God. With a heart to help the people, and not just squeeze them for every drop of money I can get out of their misery (well, that's not me--let me stop being so dramatic). Even my cat got concerned and jumped up in my lap to see what all my fuss was about.

It was part Manic Phase and part stress release, and part soul crying out to come back to God.

I hope I was listening.

Later this week, I shall be returning to Starbucks. I have already spoken to my old manager, and she's ready to give me what little she has and farm me out to another store, plus I'm going to farm myself out to whatever Starbuck has an open shift. I'm going to keep Thursdays and Fridays open for resting, except I'll continue to have clients in the Jersey private practice because I can reach that place by NJ bus transit. And I've mailed in for two low-income housing projects they are working on here in my neighborhood from the renovations of these buildings in hopes that I get one of them by the end of the year. If so, I could afford that rent even on Starbucks' pay--and even better if I get rental assistance!

I'm turning into a flat-out welfare recipient.


Me at 7/11/2005 05:24:00 PM

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Any Life But Mine

Before I left my apartment, I was confident that when I reached my destination and met the camera's scrutiny with my body pivoted and my head turned left, that it would be my best look. My head didn't seem as pudgy and my broad shoulders were well-served by a diminshed angle.

I took the M7 bus this time, departing from the usual #3 train. Something made me want to stay above ground--in visual range of the streets and the people. Block by block, my confidence built. I practiced the pose while sitting in my seat. The bus interior was cool and made for a wonderful studio. Blue was turning out to be my favorite color.

A heavyset woman whom I'd taken the liberty to assume was near my age but younger, boarded. She had been proceeded by her mother, I also assumed, who tottered unsteadily into the coach while her daughter paid their fare. They spoke misheard words to one another as mother tried to get her barings and grow comfortable with the strangers before her. She had a kind and gentle face. Her mouth was naturally dowturned and without makeup. Her chestnut skin folded in weathered patterns from her upswept brows and downdraped eyes.

In the seat just in front of me, a man contemporary to Mother's age was waiting for the bus to take him to his stop. He, like myself, was balding. His hair, unlike mine, was all white--a low-cut curly carpet of snow. The contrast against his polished egg-brown head looked good. I could only hope my hair would look as good even if my skin was darker than his. In my mind, I married him to the sad-eyed Mother and bid them create me.

I took leave of the bus at 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue. Two avenues east was my favorite neighborhood, and I headed. I had found that a branch of the store of choice was in this neighborhood from the new Yellow Pages, so a combination of need and pleasure created a determined course of action. I had watched through the bus window as the demographs transformed from where I lived to where I was now, and only felt a twinge of guilt at the spreading comfort it had created. Although I'd adopted the sad-eyed Mother and gently balding father for parents, I enfolded the bohemian white twenty-somethings of Broadway as my brothers and sisters.

The Fromex store was small, divided in half by the counter. The clerk who answered my questions was Boricua. She snatched up a strange looking camera/computer peripheral and bid me stand against a paper drape taped to a mirror wall. I struck my pose, dismayed that the camera angle was coming from below my eye level. The twilight zone of infinite time between the photographer's word "Ready?" and the flash descended. I floundered in it. Do I smile a confident smile, even though I was missing side teeth? Do I let a funny thought pre-occupy my mind, or will that spoil the--


Oh well. There it went. She showed me the back of the device where there was a postage stamp-sized image of me in shadow and pixels, and asked me if it was okay. Like an idiot, I said "Yes." I sat on the window ledge and waited for the little computer image to become a real picture that I could use. When I turned to idly look at myself in the mirror wall, I watched me look back at me posed in my confident yet casual stance.

I was devilishly handsome. Black fuzzy vandyke framing my mouth and my sharp, full lips. I had canted eyebrows, the left salted with grey, over eyes that earned me many a question about a possible Asian geneology. I had a strong neck set into a chunky plateau of muscle. I had a feathery dusting of curly hair across the exposed V at my collar. I had a shadowy hint of a cleft between pectorals and collar bones. My eyes were confirming what I suspected--I had at least a chance.

Boricua Mami interrupted my self-love to give me the finished product.

The troll in the small picture stared back at and behind me, cross-eyed. From deep inside an eruption of reality and loathing boiled. Who the HELL was this pear-headed, fat bodied, scabby-looking, blotchy, pretentious mongoloid in these pictures? Everytime I took one--EVERY TIME--I was beset by this monster. A monster of benign, misshapen proportions. What happened to the chiseled jawline I saw in the mirror, gilded with an ever-so-slight Tom Selleckian jowl? Why did the camera turn it into the chins of pre-death Marlon Brando? Why did my alluring eyes become the product of an extra chromosome?? Why did my sexy Saturday Night Fever open shirt transform into a wrinkled, raggedy swath of cheap cloth in a death grip on my distended, bloated belly? Why was my chocolate skin now freezer-burnt and oxidized with ingrown beard hair?

What happened to the real me?

I paid the woman way too much for the insult and stormed out of the store. A few paces away, and I had to stop, just to ctach my breath. It was going to be like this forever. I was never going to get any better. I was ugly. I was fat. Putting my picture up on was tantamount to putting a gun in my mouth. Of course, I was supposed to be getting the pics to submit to the licensing board of New York State in the hopes that before the summer's end, I'd have my license to practice and not have to move out of the city to survive. Albany wasn't going to care what I looked like, just as long as it matched my driver's license.

But the fringe benefit would have been to also finish my application process on the eHarmony website and be able to supply the curious women who were matched to me with my image. Then we'd communicate enough for me to fall hopelessly in love, which is my pre-requisite for generating enough guts to go on a first date. I'd have to scour the internet for ideas on having Free fun in NYC and hope my inventiveness would be enough to impress my date away from the fact that I hadn't a pair of nickels to rub together. That hope was paired with another, namely that my wry wit and devilish good-looks would keep her entranced with me through the revelation of the truth. (That I'm a broke-ass, 40 yr old virgin just coming to terms with the fact that I'm also a survivor-wannabe of sexual abuse with a maladjusted method of escapism for coping, which has kept me out of social functioning through all my productive adult years).

But I don't even have devilish good-looks it seems.

And that's not the half of it! Wait until I tell you about how I lost my car again, and how my attempt to wrangle those kids has failed again, and how I'm going back to Starbucks, and how I'm going to try to get Financial assistance and reactivate my Food Stamps! Very entertaining.

Me at 7/07/2005 08:02:00 PM

Monday, June 27, 2005

Alright, Let's Do This.

I was victimized. I'm a victim.

Take Two.

Today it was too hot to go outside and lurk around my Manhattan. I took some time out yesterday to go out, but today, I had no appointments or plans. The elusive kids remain elusive so I have already called their care managers and told them to consider another counselor for their cases.

So I spent the day embroiled in writing a new storyline for a new Dungeons and Dragons game campaign I'm going to run for four friends a' mine. And then I went out to get some Chinese food. And then I went to City of Heroes and fought crime for hours. The sun rose and set behind my blinds today, and here I sat. I called no one. I only have basic cable, so I watched little to nothing (Unless you count that movie Ben Affleck did with Sandra Bullock about a groom-to-be getting caught up in madcap adventures with a free-spirit yet troubled woman).

During these blank-out days, I only feel guilty at the end, not during. During all the escapism, I'm just in the zone. I'm Anyone But Me. Outside of my skin and my life. Where I Wanna Be.

Then the day is gone and I review how I spent my time and I'm angry because I spent another day not dealing. What could I have accomplished today? For instance, why didn't I go to church today? Why didn't I make connections with another real human being today? Why didn't I try to advance my life?

Childhood Friend, I don't know what you meant. It may be that I'm not actually that great of a therapist after all. Should I find a punching bag and scream obscenities at it, and catharse and get past this living death by breaking out of the shell I put myself into? Or the shell that I was put into? Does that really work?

You know what, I just want to be normal now. Okay? Can I just pretend that none of this happened and just go be normal now? Heh. Obviously not, else I'd have done it.

Okay then, can I just be what I am, and stop with the drama? Can I just accept myself? Can I just stop telling myself that I'm doing something wrong everyday of my life?

I think when I'm The Therapist, I get to believe something different than that last statement. That's why I feel so good after a session--someone believes something about me when I'm a therapist, something I don't believe in myself. And this is why I'm so ready to leave the profession when I can't connect with these kids, or a one-time patient doesn't come back to the office. Failure with a client brings me back to the fundamental belief I have about myself--that I'm a failure and good to no one else. I swing between these polar opposites.

heh. That'd make me Bipolar. And judging by the way I live, it'd mean I have a Bipolar Disorder. haha. Something I've so handily diagnosed others with. A disorder.

Currrrrr... and if I really have it, then I should be on medication and off living in a supported housing facility, and be cared for by other people so's I won't go hungry or end up homeless. I should get me a Medicaid # and let the state support me. I should settle for an impaired quality of life and stop telling myself I'm doing badly when what I'm really probably doing is the best that I can.


So I'm making the best choices for me, even though they aren't turning out all that greatly. And perhaps I should try to turn this counseling career into a more scientific research field, and limit myself from seeking approval from clients as a method of self-esteem. It would certainly cut down on the stress. And it would pay a lot more--or at this point, anything.

And what do I need, really? I need enough money in the bank to pay my bills and eat my treats. I need some wiggle room for therapy and relationship experimentation. I need art to feast my eyes on, and music to dance to alone in my apartment and I need my cat, who just doesn't care anything about my self-esteem issues, but always wants to be within an arm's reach of me, and tells me when it's time to be fed and when it's time to be petted, and who, when curled in a big circle, sleeps with so neutral an expression on her face that it's easy to believe that there's at least one creature on the planet who accepts me the way I really am.

I think that's what I need.

Me at 6/27/2005 01:38:00 AM

Monday, June 20, 2005

But Being A Client Is The BEST

So I was able to tell my Soon-To-Be-A-Doctor Friend the below information because I'd already worked out how to say it through this blog. I was able to compartmentalize the shame and simply say the words. I was emotional, but not a wreck. Some tears leaked but they didn't cascade. My voice waivered once but didn't fail.

I suppose this is the process I would suggest for my clients, if any should need this kind of treatment. I would like to get some professional help with this first, and some graduate coursework in the topic, for competency's sake. Thus I'll need, again, the job with bennies for more steady income.

I hope they do a rush job in Albany for my NY license.

Anyway, that's whats up lately--my sense of self.

Me at 6/20/2005 12:07:00 PM

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Like Being A Therapist. It's The Becoming That Gags Me.

Always seems like I have something new to spill. But this is actually the first thing I should have ever said, because now it just feels like I'm making crap up.

I have to complete a correspondence test for the Reporting Child Abuse requirement for the NY license. So there I am this morning in an NJ Strabucks, reading the material, getting ready for my first client at the NJ office. I'm underlining stuff and absorbing info. Alanis Morrisette is singing acoustic tunes from her revisited 'Jagged Little Pill' CD over my head, sounding teeth-gittingly successful and well-adjusted now. I'm eating my croissant and sipping my latte. It's all so very grown up and very mature.

Then my heart starts to get a watery feeling. Kind of like a heavy weight is starting to lean on it. I feel my extremities going slack. My mood dampens. I want to stop. I want to go back over the bridge and go to sleep. Why?

Well, I learned the definition of an 'abused child', that's why. I thought I knew it before, but now I've got sentences in black and white that follow the words "such as" and "for example". And it wasn't until I got to the parts about sexual abuse that I lost my strength. I even went to websites just now to cut and paste these definitions for you, but the websites don't get as graphic as this booklet of mine does.

So why do you think I'd get skeeved out? Because the material is tragic? Yeah, that's part of it. The other part? Is because it happened to me.

No I didn't block it out. I remember it. Here's what I remember--I remember enjoying it. I remember having fun and looking forward to it happening again. No, this wasn't me searching out my mother's porn while in Spring Valley. This was me before Mom came and moved me up to SV. This was me in NYC. This was me no more than five years old. And a neighbor in my building, who my father and babysitter trusted. This was a pretty sick individual who did literally untypeable things to a small child. (Because I can't type it. Right now, I'm fairly calm in typing what you're already reading, and I'm pretty sure I'll hit the "Publish Post" button and send it. But I can't go into detail about what happened to me. Some is that it's fuzzy, and I can't recall the detail. Some is just straight-up shame.)

And being here in this head of mine, I see it from my own view, which is still attached to some desire and some titillation. But in reading what constitutes child abuse in detail, from the POV of someone who has to report this if they see the signs, I was filled with the revulsion of the act--the violation--the cruelty of the perpetrator.

I'm of two minds. 1) I want to say it's okay and I'll be okay, and the damage wasn't so bad and I'm not the only one this ever happened to. 2) I want to scream and I want to kill the person who's name I'm even too ashamed to type for changing what I could've been forever. (Yup I still know his name.)

I didn't know it was this bad. I've been asserting that I'm just a strange kid, who happens to be 40 yrs old. Fortunately for credibility's sake, I've already put it out there that I got myself involved with my Mom's porn, and established this symptom as fact. But now I'm thinking how twisted it was/is. How wrong it was to have that kind of appetite so young. And if not "wrong", then inappropriate. Inappropriate because I'd already been violated and my innocence was already gone. My chances of correct sex education and development was forever changed and warped.

My definition of self changed today (yet again), and I recognize what the deal is, but at the moment, I have no idea of my prognosis. Is it going to be able to change? Should I start looking for support groups and crisis counseling?

Today I called my friend, the Soon-To-Be-Doctor, and I was going to tell him what I've discovered. We started talking and of course, I couldn't. With all the drama I've unfolded for him over these years, I felt like the character in a tired and boring soap opera. I felt like I had yet developed another cliched plot twist written by hackneyed writers just to keep the viewer tuned in. I felt like the message board fans in the great beyond were writing posts about how rediculous this storyline about me has become and how they'll stop watching if the writers don't step their game up.

And yet, when I'm with clients, and we begin to talk about their young children, tears spring up in my eyes. I've already posted about the torrential rains I cry when watching movies about innocence and sex ("The Other Sister"). And I may not have posted this, but I have not, to date, watched an episode of "Judging Amy" without leaking a trail or two. Children, not teenagers, are my weakness. Caregivers and struggles for the preservation of young life moves me every time.

I'm constantly mourning the little boy I was, who died at the hands of a pervert. Now I know that.

What I've become today as a result is not an adult. I'm arrested. Something in me is still trying to recapture the innocence. Escapism is my coping mechanism now, and damn, why didn't I realize that? Dissociative Identity Disorder is just an extreme version of Dungeons and Dragons. I may not have blackouts and missing time, but I'd rather play City of Heroes and be someone else for an entire weekend and not leave the apartment in the city for which I have fought so hard to stay in, than call up a friend, or visit relatives, or fight for my place in a relationship.

I only have one defense against this--one thing I can tell myself, and try to believe it.

It wasn't my fault. Let the Republicans and Christians hate me for abdicating responsibility, but this time, it's true. It IS true. I'd tell any other victim this, and it's true for me. It IS.

It wasn't my fault. I was just a child.

All those who abused and neglected me are dead.

I hate no one.

But it was still not my fault.

It wasn't.

Me at 6/16/2005 11:36:00 PM