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Friday, June 25, 2010


There are some ways in which I am very good with people. I am good at helping them feel understood, loved, and good at being nonjudgemental. I am good at believing people and believing they are trying their hardest and that they have no intention of hurting anyone else.

Unfortunately, these good qualities mean I'm also not very good at handling conflict, or speaking my mind directly, or confronting people when they are wrong or lying. And when people get upset with me and become irrational, I usually lose the ability to think clearly and get confused. I do not "manage" other people, I try to take the path of least resistance. This is great when I meet new people, but not great when it comes to remaining in control in my office, or confronting people's lies, or pointing out a change that needs to be made...

I hope I will grow into a balance of these things, where I can call it like it is and still be compassionate and understanding. I also hope I will be able to face conflict without my brain shutting down and involuntarily going into flight/freeze mode.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I was fired by a client's mom yesterday for not being able to give answers she thought could help her child.
When these things happen, which they do, from time to time, I handle it alright when they are in my office. Then, I crumple, even though this happens to all therapists from time to time. I end up feeling like a failure, despite evidence that most of the families that fire me have a lot going on and aren't always in a state of mind to do what's best for themselves, or that no one can be all things to everyone, althought we strive to, and that a little bit of failure is a part of being human.

I walk around the office feeling fragile, avoiding my cotherapists. "Do they know?" a voice in my head whispers. "Do they already know I'm a failure?" I resist telling them because I'm afraid they will judge me or tell me what I should have done, even though they have hardly ever done that. Its my shame, and not their actions, that drive me to keep to myself.

It always takes me a while to recover from these things. In the last year, I have been knowingly fired by about 4 or 5 different families. I have a caseload of 75 at any given time, so statistically speaking this isn't horrible. But that voice in my head doesn't listen to statistics, because it believes itself more than it believes fact.

So in a few days that feeling of failure will fade back into the background and be surplanted by other feelings, hopefully happier ones, as other families come to see me and show me how successful they can be, and other kid's lives are improved by having someone to care about them.

I hope that one day, I grow so much that getting fired gets easier and it doesn't have to hang around me for this long. Maybe one day, the upsetness will decrease to an hour or so, and be mild enough to hardly notice.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Singing my the side?

Like so many young people, I dreamt of a music career. Now that I get to sing so much more, that old dream is fluttering up into my face and getting in the way of other things I'm doing. I keep telling myself, it is okay to just sing, I don't have to rise to fame or anything, or get noticed or make a record, I can just sing as a part of my daily life- singing not to the top, but to the side of everything else already in my life. The teenage diva inside me rejects this line of thinking, and keeps arguing that this is not enough.
Then last night, I had a crazy stress dream about singing!

I dream that I won a contest to sing a solo at the State Youth Conference in December. I was going to sing My Redeemer Lives, the Nicole C Mullins song I sang at church on Sunday. It was going to be my Big Break. Well, I got onto stage, and I could barely hear my music! I kept motioning to the sound guys to turn it up but everytime they did it wasn't enough. So I tried to start my song but came in at the wrong time because I couldn't really hear and got way off track. Then I found out they were playing the demonstration track instead of the performance track and Nicole C Mullin's voice was coming through! Daryll Watts ( who is the guy in charge of S. Baptist youth events in California) made them kick me off the stage and wouldn't let me restart the song. I was so devastated and humiliated!!!! I knew then that I would never get my Big Break, and I had to go back out and face defeat in front of all those thousands of people.

I was so relieved to wake up this morning and find out it was a dream. It was revealing to me, however, of the struggle that's been re-awoken in my heart. I'll have to figure out a way to resolve this if I want to have peaceful sleep.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Career Woman

I always wanted to have an illustrious career. Even as a young girl I imagined having some awesome job that let me trot the globe, probably in pursuit of rubies. Now I am a career woman. This is ironic, because now I would love nothing more than to be able to have a family, work around the house, and do volunteer work at church. I would always want to work part time, I think, but having a high-powered career? I wish I could make jam instead.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They Never Changed

I have clients who have never changed. They are as troubled today as they were when we started. As likely to behave poorly as before, as likely to go to prison as before...but somehow we have forged a relationship. And now on the eve of saying goodbye, I am discovering that maybe they were changed and affected by our time together. Their unwillingness to accept another therapist, their conversations between themselves, their questions about why I'm giving up my reminds me that maybe it hasn't been so meaningless after all. Maybe out there, they were crummy, but in my office, they were usually pretty polite, and shared their successes with me, even if they didn't trust enough to show their failures. I wish I could have been a better therapist to them- I wish my plastic magic wand could have really healed them...but at the end I'm finding that maybe it wasn't so useless after all, our meetings together. Now I just hope they will lead good lives. I hope they get better. I hope they find Christ. I hope they learn right and wrong and why it's important to be decent to people even if they aren't decent to you. I love my kids. I sure hope they'll be okay, and that someday they really will change for the better.

Looking Forward to the Future

There is a bend coming up in the road that is my career, and I am excited for the change. I also feel the trepidation that occurs anytime I am about to go down an unknown path. I have hope and I have worry, but no matter what, my course is set. I thank God for answering my prayers by giving me a new task- I've known for a long time I needed a change, a transition, in order to keep from entering into despair. I just hope it doesn't lead to a dead end!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Shoes

There are some in the world with shapely, slender feet
and shapely, slender toes, which fit happily
into designer shoes.

Then there are those of us who struggle
and cannot understand why
no one else in the history of the universe
seems to have their shoe size.

And that is why today,
I am happy to wear my new, heavenly-fitting shoes,
which allow my digits to wriggle freely
and for the first time in years I will leave a day of work
without pain in my little toes.

Sometimes the little things are the important things:)!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Song in My Heart

I have noticed that I have a subliminal soundtrack in my mind most of the time, and the songs on it coincide nicely with life themes. Most of the songs on my playlist are hymns and oldies. Because of the theme of Joy I have been pondering lately, "Rejoice in the Lord Always" has been on repeat, taking turns with "Oh Praise Him," "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength," etc.

I personally believe that God created music as a memorization tool to learn scripture, and a meditation tool to help us contemplate His Glory. Of course, we can use it to memorize or meditate on everything else as well, and people do. This is why people learn lyrics without even trying when music is in the background. Advertisers are obviously aware of this! 

I wish my playlist was always as good as it is today. When things get really stressful, I'll find, "I Want to Break Free" by Queen, "Monday, Monday" by the Beatles, "Hotel California," or any number of Eagle's Songs get stuck in there. Sometimes I get junk in my head I can't get rid of (like Lady Gaga, or Madonna, ew!!!) or life gets so overwhelming I can hardly hear the soundtrack at all.

What about you? What soundtrack plays in your head? What's on your playlist?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Time for Joy

The Bible tells us to rejoice in the LORD always. Lately, I have not been joyful at work, at all. I have felt dead at work. So I was getting rather down on myself for not being joyful, which , FYI, didn't help to increase joy! So, in a rare moment of wisdom, I brought it to the LORD in prayer. I have been talking to Him about this for the last few days, and yesterday, at church, I started to notice what we in the Solution-Focused school of therapy call "Exceptions." Times when the worst case scenario isn't true. And what I discovered is that there are many venues in my life where I am a very joyful person, not because I had to work at it, but because God granted joy to me. The place where I experience the most joy is when I get to lead worship. I get VERY excited when I lead worship, because I have the Savior to be excited about! I am filled with joy when I get to sing for Jesus. This is not because I worked for it, but because God quite kindly gave me this joy.

So, armed with the old, yet new to me, truth that Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, a gift of God, not something I can guilt myself into experiencing, I am praying expectantly for joy at work. This is not always easy, but it is working so far, and I already notice there is a little more song in my step. I used to hum and sing all day long, and its time to get that back. It's time for Joy.