Monthly Archives: February 2010

Guilt vs. Pain

A year and a half ago I decided I wanted to be one of those people that were emotionally unavailable.  I knew it was one of those things you only read about in crappy, cheap Harlequin books (or anything Casi’s reviewed, really), but it was nice to dream.  A few months ago my mother and I had a conversation about how when I get a notion in my head about something I want for myself, without realizing it, I make it happen.  Neither of us are sure how, but we agree on that.  I tend to like challenges.  I’m trying to stop that, because I find I only seek out certain men for that specific purpose (there are only a handful of people who might get this reference, but there’s a new boy who doesn’t really know I exist whose attention I want, but I don’t trust my reasons anymore, so I’m trying to convince myself it’s a bad idea and leave it alone until I’m “healed”).  In any event, I was wondering exactly why I couldn’t feel for the person who’s been around that’s basically been my perfect equal.  It seems to be this way every time we get back in touch with one another.  And I’m starting to wonder if I continuously look to him to keep me from losing all of my emotion.  It’s almost like every time I think I’m going to teeter on the edge of giving up on searching, I look to him, and as wonderful as he is, it’s just not enough and I fall into The Nothing.  That’s just not fair to him.  I keep this up and the boy’s gonna get a complex.  Or think I’m a total bitch, at least.

Song quote to portray the feeling:  We stand like burning timber; helpless among the cinders; I prayed for rain when the sky was blue; what else could I do? (The Rembrandts; over a decade ago)

So this morning I’m showering (less focus on that, more on the topic here, folks) and I realize I just don’t care.  And I’m not entirely sure for how long I haven’t cared, but it’s been a WHILE (I’m thinking since at least, well, Sam).   I didn’t want to feel the pain of caring about someone who either didn’t feel the same, or eventually changed their mind about feeling the same, so I managed to stop.  I became The Woman With A Cold Heart.  And sure, not feeling rejected, or flawed, or pained at all is great.  I don’t need to take responsibility for any negative feelings towards me (go psych major, go!).  I don’t have to spend an entire month crying my eyes out every single day, acquiring vocal nodules in the process, burdening all of the people close to me because my boyfriend is too chicken shit to tell me he doesn’t want to be with me, thinking he’s sparing my semester, but instead he’s just making life worse by being a total asshole to me every waking moment of our life together.  (However, I digress.)  But what do I feel instead?  Guilt.  Because I know I should be giving more.  I know I should want to see people (or just the one) and have/make time for them.  And let myself get lost in a good thing.  But I can’t.  I just…can’t.  I don’t know how.  I try, but it feels fake.  I tell myself, “well, self, it’s just not the right person.”  But I don’t believe that for a second.  The right person could be sitting on my doorstep, bestowing gifts upon me every night, sharing every psychological view I’ve ever had, the perfect combination of hilarious and crazy and serious, and I would deem him annoying for being persistent (and he has done all that, save the doorstep & gifts thing, but it still hasn’t stirred anything).  Because right now, no matter what, I cannot find myself excited about someone.  I won’t give anyone an ounce of dependence, and I’d rather not see them at all than risk any form of disappointment at all.

I don’t mind getting rejected now, because I didn’t care in the first place, and I wonder if that is a self-fulfilling prophecy of rejection.  But I’m not entirely sure what the lesser of the two evils is: am I better off not feeling the pain of trying, or not feeling guilty because I can’t?

More apropriate lyrics! Go run for cover; you better fucking love her, so much you’re moving on; I’m so pathetic, you made me finally see it; got what you want? I’m gone. (Evans Blue)

Oh yeah, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. (No, really, I mean this one.  It’s just ironic, is all.)

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Ooooh, child. Things are gonna get easier.

Maybe not less hectic, but certainly easier.  I knew it would only be a matter of time (two weeks, it would appear) before I could get used to a groove of sorts.  Of course, this week wasn’t the best for that, what with being sick and all, but I managed, and it’s certainly not as soul-sucking as the first week.  More entertaining, yes, but not as soul-sucking.

So, yes, I spend the first few days of this week sans voice.  I co-hosted my first Drugs & the Brain review session on hoarseness, cough drops and two bottles of water, but thankfully I had two other T.A.s there to help me out.  There was a great turnout, a lot of excellent questions (some a little too detailed, IMHO), and a definite future T.A. candidate in attendance.  Proctoring the exam was kind of one of the cooler things I’ve experienced lately.  Knowing the class’ procedure helped, but there was a natural leadership that just kind of poured out of me.  Maybe I just wanted to look good for someone whose attention I can’t seem to grab.  In any event, the test went well and we were out fairly early.  I worked, I went back to school for sleep deprivation study pre-test training, then went to child learning & development seminar.  Monday’s my long day, but it’s usually the one in which I have the most energy.  Unfortunately, this particular Monday I had a very slight fever and a bad case of laryngitis.

Tuesday was my mostly-sick day.  I worked my three hours and I recovered (coincidentally??) during LOST, which I watched with my mom.  I also checked under the Wednesday sleep deprivation pre-test study slot on the school’s participant site and found no one had signed up for my Wednesday slot (there’s no signing up within 24 hours of the study time), leaving my some extra time to get work done on Wednesday.

Seeing as Wednesday is my “hand in Drugs & the Brain notes” day, I polished them up extra nice at work and dropped them off under teacher’s door that night.  Sure, it was a rather kiss-ass thing to do, but I’m about to ask her to be my internship faculty sponsor, so I’m kind of glad I did it.

Thursday was my first “full” day back into the swing of things: 9:30-12:30 was spent yelling (with poor vocal range) over children, 1-2 doing my counseling assessment, 2:45-5:30 making insurance phone calls and other work related tasks until 9:00.  Needless to say, Thursday wasn’t a stay-up-late night.  I did, however, find out during that day that I was invited to interview with LaSalle College in Philadelphia.  The email was sent to a few people, myself included.  The program is a PsyD in Clinical Psychology, which would be so super amazingly awesome if I got in.  Philly’s close enough that the guilt won’t sway me from going.  Of course, I wouldn’t be able to work at the speech office anymore, but if I absolutely couldn’t find work near there in or around my field, I could always ask one’a my Philly peeps to put out a word for me.  Same for housing.  Okay, I know I didn’t get the position.  I still have a lot of work to do (for starters, how does one interview for a doctoral program?  What do I wear?  Do I take my nose ring out?  Should I bring a notebook?).  But the interview has gotten me incredibly excited.  Something about my application stuck out to someone, and that’s inspiration enough to keep a hopeful outlook.  I’ve arranged to be absolved of my responsibilities before 6pm that day (it’s Monday, February 22nd), and I’m going to see if my friend’s parents (her & her brother are away at school) will let me crash at their house that Sunday night, only miles from LaSalle.  Otherwise, I will grab a local hotel room.  It’s not like I haven’t been there before.  Heh.  I’ll try to remember to bring my license this time ’round.

Friday isn’t as bad a day as the others, since i only have T.A. class, work and then three hours with the kids.  But it’s the three hours they get picked up, so there are fewer kids, and the clean up is end-of-the-day stuff.  It’s usually a little more laid back, but alas, there are still fights all the time.  I’m getting there in the intervention department.  It’s certainly good experience and the practice will pay off, I’m sure of it.

I went to dad’s afterward; Kellen seemed genuinely happy to see me even though he buried his face in his Nintendo DS for the first thirty minutes I was there.  I definitely lost some of my play-with-my-brother umpf over the week.  I’m fighting bad guys and running from bombs, but I’m sitting down every time we stop moving, and I’m “hiding in the vent (a/k/a couch)” as often as possible.  I didn’t mind every time he stopped playing to gawk at another scene in the Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel.  But we squeezed in some Clone Wars, some piano mat, and some office playing before he had to hit the hay.  After he went to bed, I accidentally caught the second half of Role Models, which got me playing WoW for the hour and a half following that.  I obviously didn’t do anything productive after that.  I tried to read, but it was too late–I was at the pass-out stage by then.

Today was an eventful one at South Oaks. I had an emotional response to one of the adolescents and needed to restrain of the impulse-control-deficit children in a later group.  We started the day off with an assessment, which I like, because it gives me a chance to get to know a little something about a newcomer to one of our art therapy groups.  Unfortunately, we only got one in, so we proceeded with the girls’ adolescent group until we did the adult group a little later.  The adult one is the only group I really participate in.  I wasn’t really keen on last week’s project, drawing my reaction to a fairly abstract word, but this week I was fond of the task: we had to link up four aspects of the self (brain, heart, personality & ego) with a building material (sand, glass, iron, concrete, wood and/or rubber) and then draw the connection.  I was impressed with my own response and delighted to have been forced into thinking about that, something I never would have done on my own.  (For those of you playing along at home: my heart is glass–fragile, but maintained if you’re careful; my brain is concrete–chipping over time, but refilled from the bucket of concrete-knowledge; my personality is wood–the keystone in an arch (the cornerstone of my being) but also pliable or whittleable, with some room to mold; and my ego was rubber–because I like to keep it contained so it doesn’t get too out of control.)

Our next group was co-ed adolescents, which was comprised of 11 boys, 1 transgender (boy), and 2 girls.  I found myself being more encouraging than I was last week, but I attribute a lot of that to it being my first day.  A boy who first wanted to become a landscape designer changed his 10-year goal to being a pyrotechnical engineer (or something of the sort).  He drew a lot of fireworks and missiles, all in black, and told a lot of firework stories.  Honestly, he’s lucky to still have all of his fingers.  What struck me as most interesting about this boy though, was his appearance.  He was a 12-year-old Chris (okay, I don’t actually know his age, but I’ll be reading his chart next week to find out).  More talkative than Chris in his 20s, but I didn’t know him in his earlier years, and he may have been a talker back then.  I don’t know this boy’s history, or his name (not that I could write it anyway–thanks HIPAA!), but I can tell there’s some anger in there, and some loneliness, and something resembling social awkwardness.  But his face–my god this boy’s face was an absolute spitting image.  I mean, younger of course, and probably going to develop entirely differently, but for all intents and purposes, they could have easily been brothers.  It almost felt like I was given an opportunity to help wounded Chris back before he thought he helped himself.  But that’s just unnecessary guilt on my part–when that man decides he needs actual help he will get it and feel better, but not a day sooner.  I couldn’t do anything to “save” him just as much as I can’t “save” this boy.  But I felt this inexplicable need to protect him.  If he’s still around next week, I will learn so much more on him.

Our last group, the kiddies, were treacherous today.  We had an incident where one of the girls grabbed the other intern by the hair and clawed at her face.  This was from behind her, so it was slightly difficult to defend herself.  I don’t know who else saw or was about to do anything, but I was only a few steps away and Dr. Carr’s spirit must have been with me.  The lines from his book stuck out in my brain — if a child is causing harm to another individual, force may be used to restrain them and when they are diffused they may be re-assessed.  I grabbed this girl’s wrists, knowing at that point she could only kick me, and letting go of the intern’s hair (with some strands already pulled out and in her grasp), she followed my order to get “outside. Now.”  I don’t think it really could have gotten much farther, but I am proud of myself for handling it, rather than letting the intern fend for herself, or needing someone else to rush in and help.  I feel better knowing I can intervene in the clutch without freezing up or shying away.

The rest of my night was filled with unpacking, cleaning up, foodshopping for my mother, dinner and a brief nap.  I was supposed to do some reading tonight and pay some bills, but I’m not entirely sure I’m up to the challenge(s) at this hour.  I have a fairly long to-do list tomorrow, but I wasn’t invited to any superbowl parties this year (two last year, zero this year), so I’ll be staying home all day anyway.  If I had actually gotten a majority of my tasks done by tomorrow I was going to go on a 7-mile hike with my meetup group, but it’s probably best (for my health) that I don’t do that immediately anyway.  I’ll be snooping around underground Monday night, which will be adventure enough for me this week!

Well, having gotten all of that out, I feel a little de-stressed.  I may have a lot to do, but it somehow feels more organized after I’ve gone on a writing rant.  That’s probably a good thing.  Then again, my brain gets a little fuzzy at this hour, so not all things make as much sense as they should.

Oh!  I also received a compliment on my writing today.  It came from an acquaintance of mine from back at Hunter–a guy I was told I went on a “date” with while I was with Chris.  I still claim a walk and talk in the park with a colleague is not a date, but many people insist, so the compliment came from a guy I went on this date with in Central Park back in my Hunter days (’06-’07).  He says its quite the compliment coming from him, and seeing as I know how in touch with himself (no pun there–I swear!) he is, I believe it.  So thank you for that, as I imagine you will be reading this.  I won’t mention your name because maybe you don’t want me to.  (Does HIPAA apply here as well? Doubtful.)

Anyway, loves, that is all for now.  More on the Incredible Life of Lin K. as the story unfolds!

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Being sick is not fun.

Sure, I get three hours off from child care today for having the worst sore throat of my life (that’s an exaggeration–I recall a time where it was way worse), a treacherous cough and no voice, but in the end it still hurts and sucks to be sick.

I had this dream last night that I had the flu, and I was somewhere with my father & stepmother (this will be an analyst’s wet dream, btw).  My stepmother was told that her Great Aunt had passed away, and both she & my father got upset and he was on his way to drive me home and then head to the airport (they were in separate cars, I guess, and there was no Kellen).  While we were packing up to go, I told my father I didn’t feel good, and he made a snide remark about how the attention had to be on me.  So I shut my trap and got in the car.  While we were driving, my fever had apparently climbed.  I moaned just once about how hot I felt, and my father touched my arm from the driver’s seat, remarking just how hot I was.  He pulled over so I could cool down at which point I drank some water and tried to stop being dizzy. Eventually though, he said he wasn’t never going to make the flight and I said, “nevermind, just continue to take me home.”

Wow.  Dream analysts, I know what that means about me–they’re feelings I’ve always had but have never been able to do anything with.  So I guess I just ignore them and then dream about them.  But I almost think I’d take daddy-dreams over Chris-dreams most days of the week (the daddy dreams tend to get repetitive after a while).

So now I’ve woken up, called out sick, have had about 10 hours of sleep and still feel like shit.  My fever is only a degree, so I’m still planning on going to work, but I’m not sure how I’m going to make the 12 insurance company calls I have to make for the files in my bag.  Should/can they really wait until Thursday??  Maybe I’ll just do the non-verbal stuff for now, and save the voice best I can.  That’s probably what any doctor would tell me to do.  Better than calling out sick completely, right?

I’m trying to figure out just what to do with myself.  I’m “free” until about 3:00, but the things on my to-do list for the day mostly require talking and I don’t feel like doing anything.  My neck is still sore from sleeping crappily on Saturday, I can’t breathe, swallowing hurts, Lord help me if I have to cough and there’s just no way I can really talk.

I think I’ll drift in and out of sleep for a little while longer, then make some tea, oatmeal and watch a movie.  If I still want to be awake, I’ll read some homework, have soup for lunch (and dinner, probably), and nap again if there’s time.  At some point I’ll shower and head to work.  Only to come back and rest up all over again.

This being sick and tired sure is tiring!

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