Friday, December 29, 2006

my friend phillip


picture it, atlanta georgia, 1997...ok, so maybe i watched one too many golden girls reruns in my tweens, anyhow, i lived in a one story house with three other individuals- leah, don angel, and sara- on a quiet suburbian street called mimosa drive and located one block away from the infamous Agnes Scott (or Anxious Twat as the baby dykes prefered) College. the college was infamous for becoming the campus used in the film "Scream 2" with neve campbell...

don angel and sara were a couple at the time, and so much fun to have around. she was a goth chick who worked for mindspring internet (no clue where she is now-i couldnt even find her on myspace), he was an industrialist, ayn rand kinda guy who worked in a printing press (now he works for a museum) i was going by my middle name, and the two of them referred to me as "The Katherine". one day sara came home and said to don angel "i need to introduce The Katherine to phillip". phillip was working with people affected by schizophrenia at the time, i was depressed from riding the coat tails of my MS diagnosis, and sara, being the busy body she is, thought it would be good for me to interact with him.

so one day, i was home (like normal for the time frame) sitting in the black leather chair pushed right up to the tv for channel surfing since there was no remote, watching "the last temptation of christ" and in walks sarah with a tall delicate bearded guy with fascinating eyes and a head balanced by dark curls

"phillip" says sara "meet The Katherine"
"shhhhhhhh" i say "this is the best part of the movie!! check out the tattoing on barbara hersheys feet"
"hi, im phillip, ive heard quite alot about you" his unfamiliar voice caught my attention, and big toe found the stop button on the vcr.

i turned around "im molly katherine" i said, surprised to hear myself referred to as such. my head was heavy, suddenly, filled with "youre finally here!" and "how strange" and "why do i play games like this with myself? he doesnt feel me" and "are we supposed to know each other?" ...

"yes" said phillip "its one of my favorites, you know, the last temptation...can i watch with you?"
"yes" said i "should i restart it?"

Phillip hung around through the evening. we talked about our loves (he did marry his, his melissa left me for a bull dyke named courtney then came back apologetic three months later. we found a way to rebuild a friendship. she now lives in oregon as a born-again republican with her wife francie), we talked about his initial schizophrenia diagnosis and how it was changed (he had a benign tumor i think), i talked about finding out my brain was dis-eased (it was just so fresh.) we kind of shut sara out and she huffed off at some point

"i need to talk to you" says phillip as the sun went down "can we, can we sit down" so we sat. "this is going to sound so strange" yes, i think "but i have to say something, its not like its common and i cant afford to let anything pass" my poor body, just get on with it

"molly katherine, i swear i know you, i am supposed to know you and i have no idea what that is about, but there it is"
"yes, i know, me too" i say, and we just sat together in silence for a little over an hour, just sitting. then i said i was tired and asked him to leave

i could never look him in the eye after that, i avoided whenever i heard he was coming over, but he managed to corner me at some point after a week or so

"whats up with this? why are you freaking out" he asks
"i dont know, i just am! im sorry, im really sorry!" is all i could say. we have not really kept in touch-mostly my responsibility, but not entirely.

our story, however, is not over.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

pms and closure

ok, having gotten my period, i decided to put my closure posts back up...the closest i came to breaking any confidentiality issue i think is my using the chair's words, and if she has issue with that, then she can tell me...the experience of closure is universal, which is why i was able to connect this gestalt experience with two other successful experiences of closure i have had in a group setting.

but man, does being a chick really mess with me sometimes...the horomones make the simplest things seem like unscalable mountains and the world can turn into a big drooling golum that will eat me for lunch if i dont eat it know?

Song of the day: i am woman- helen ready


i am so tired of feeling tired...i know i am an energy system, and that there are things i could be doing to help out with my sleepiness, but there also is the reality that i had been a lazy schlump for about four months and now i am suddenly busy for a month, and the transition is difficult for me physically....ofcopurse, i hate keeping in mind that part of my schlumpiness was due to my body as well....grrrr, i hate these cause/effect circles that are entirely easy to get stuck in but a bitch to think your way out of...what is, is...and one thing follows the other...right?

Song of the day: dont turn around- ace of base

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

islamists and iraq

really quick, i want to say that i am holding this dichotomy right now of knowing we never should have gone into iraq (as i have believed from the beginning) but also seeing more and more that there will need to be an international response to the islamist movement.

ethiopia has been bombing somalia, as they rightfully should in order to protect their nation, and adding this on top of afghanistan, uganda, sudan, chad...and i am sure there are more, there is a truth in that there is a group of people fighting to take us back to the dark ages (meaning theocracy, eye for an eye, sexist mentality) and the westernized world will have to find a way to approach this.

Song of the day:


sometimes im left feeling like there is no time... i went directly from my gestalt weekend to a week in jersey with my family, and flew home to immediatly work straight through the holidays (its something i always agree to do since im jewish and want the other social workers to have a chance to spend moments with their families) and all the free time has been filled with christmas parties (three of them) and such

its not that i am not a social creature, i am, and i am excited for things to go back to normal so i can actually be with my friends, but even more, i am looking forweard to having a little extra space to process what i have been learning...

i took down my posts on closure...i suddenly had an anxiety that some would consider my mention of our ending as a breach of confidentiality (and i dont know why i fear that, except people take different meanings out of the same thing)... and yes i know it shows a worry about what others think....

anyhow, gotta go to work....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

rethinking my experience of closure

i was mistaken when i said that camp and this past weekend are my only experiences of closure (and i would also change using the word 'ever' in my last post to 'in my concious memory').... i had a college class fall '05, the class that led to the creation of this cyberspace, where there was closure, music, laughter, listening....though i saved my crying for later.... a nice gentle ending to a rhythmic semester that flowed, a current i drifted around in until i found my future direction...just needed to add that

Song of the day: let me go easy- indigo girls

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

closure; always the hardest part

when i was a child, a camper to be exact, i remember dreaming and dreading over that very last night of the summer get-a-way, when the cabins appeared half empty and suitcases stacked the cubicle spaces where hours before had been clothes and toiletries and cardboard travelling drawers. we would all meet in the chadar (dining hall), from eight year-olds all the way up to old "mean jean" the nursing queen who had us gargle with saltwater for any ailment you can think of (it never did do much for a sprained ankle or bug bite).

we would sit in front of big, wax covered logs with holes drilled into it periodically and shaped into "C W" (for camp wise) and a candle would be placed in each hole to represent each cabin. hours would pass, filled with laughter, and music and finally tears ('bless this house' always made me cry- this link is to a different camp as it is the only copy i could find), and i remember the evening wouldnt end until after midnight...its the only true experience of closure (as in a successful completion of the gestalt cycle) i think i ever had..

this sunday, i didnt think i would care, i thought i would be relieved to be free from the overwhelming experience of a gestalt weekend. i was wrong

the weekends end with a kind of 'check out' circle, where everyone shares a departing thought...the chair of the program spoke last and she said unto us "i am aware that the bowl is full, filled with the uncontrollable laughter, growth, connection, with our tears...", and i felt one fat wet drop roll down each cheek, hopefully wiping them away before anyone saw.... another experience of closure, one that will occur every two months, and i think i am somewhat afraid of that, as i dont know how to share what i feel in that open a space.

Song of the day: bless this house- no idea and not the christian song

Monday, December 18, 2006

at the airport

travel light, with grace
barefoot through securing gates
greeting the present

Song of the day:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

lecture photos- field theory 2

Song of the day:

lecture photos- field theory 1

my overwhelmed and barriers

i was too tired to post anything yesterday, and i am not doing much better today, but topics i hope to approach over the next few weeks; field theory, embodiment, facilitator role, 'rule breaking', and ethics... we'll see what i actually get to :)

the theme of this weekend for me, i believe, has been breaking down barriers. i am finding that people who are not in the therapy/mental health fields are actually having stronger starts then me, who has all these rules instilled on what my practice can look like.

i went into the process thinking i would be focused on how i do my work, but its more focused on who i am and how to build stronger relationships, and yet i see myself missing points of contact (see gestalt cycle) because i am not approaching my partners as class mates but truly as if they were my clients, and that barrier is really in my way...but atleast i see it now.

its a painful, miraculous thing, learning about yourself and how to change...

Song of the day: them changes- band of gypsies

Friday, December 15, 2006

the gestalt cycle

yes, yes, another one of these weekends is here upon me. and we started off yesterday with the gestalt cycle of experience. while each person/practitioner draws their cycle differently, interjecting different words, this is close enough

to explain it, i would use my friend robin and her son luke, as the infant is a perfect example. luke is not an unhappy baby, but when he getys hungry or tired or diaper rash, he begins to cry, leaving robin guessing what SENSATION is bothering luke. for lukes part, he has developed AWARENESS of the senssation, and knows that crying will bring relief after some guesing and experimenting on robins part, and that is his ACTION then, to cry. so Robin gives him the breast and there is CONTACT with not just nourishment for his belly, but also the experience of mother (another great infantile need). finally, as luke finishes eating robin gently ends the feeding session, talking and bonding with him to create CLOSURE/WITHDRAWAL... and there the cycle is complete.

try plugging anything in, and you will realise that this cycle is everywhere, and if not completed successfuylly, will crate problems for the person/system (imagine if everytime luke got close to finished eating, robin decided to quickly end and put luke in his crib? she would experience disturbances in lukes eating cycle, as it would not be SATISFYING him)...

Song of the day:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

an employment letter and falling anxiety

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 18:18:05 -0500
From: "> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Interview

I really enjoyed our interview yesterday and I hope you're interested
in our program. Our HR person is out this week so I wanted to tell you
the next step if you're interested. It would be to take the computer
test that we talked about. Just let me know and I'll email it on to
you. Again, thanks again for the interview and I look forward to hearing
from you.
- A

i feel so relieved, though i dont know why my anxiety was so high, i left the interview feeling positive, but i really do fear rejection...not that i ever change my behavior because of my fear, i just feel nausaus until i know how the other person experienced the moment.... now i feel like i have room to seriously consider the position and how i feel about what the work entails, as it is basically inhome...
Song of the day: nine to five- dolly parton

Monday, December 11, 2006

my presentable half

eating left over briskut from a hannukah party, im not ready to talk about the interview with bellfaire. i think it went well.... but i am really not ready to talk about it

Song of the day: the letter- kristen hersch

Sunday, December 10, 2006

dreams and scorpios

having overslept and knowing i have math to practice (and i am not doing so well with the combination of rational numbers, fractions and negative exponents), i have a dream the future i may leave things like this as comment on dreams and dreamscapes, but as for today, i have no physical journal and need to get this out...

at jackie's outside, its my birthday again, there are alot of friends and one named vanessa....skips to the next day at jackies, its a strange mix of both her old and new places (well, at least it is darker and has more furniture, like the old den) and we had left for the night and come back, and then i find out vanessa and her boyfriend had crashed there, and i was jealous (damn my scorpio-ness)....

there was so much more (as the dreamer in her dreamscape often says) but its intermingling with algebraic equations and i cant really grasp what else was going on...but it could come back in its own way later...

but i want to talk about being scorpio briefly, as even in my dreams it creates such difficult emotion. i was out with my friend kirsti a couple weeks ago and we were talking about her life a little, and she was telling me how i reminded her of her besst friend from germany, anka. i guess she and anka no longer have a relationship really, because anka disapproved of her life here, or maybe was just highly judgemental of it, and something about the way she was describing this womans behavior, i had to say "is she a scorpio?"

well, you could be laughing or rolling your eyes right about now, whatever, but anka is scorpio, and kirsti looks at me with her big eye look and says "how did you know that?"

somehow, for people born with these stars, it is very easy to become threatened by the closeness of others...i dont know why, but its a struggle for me to remember that i have many relationships in my life, and there is not one that counters out the importance of others, and that it most likely is the same for the people in my life....but jealousy is jealousy- i get jealous of others relationships, and it is often that i am hurt if others have no jealousy over me... but getting along best with virgo's leo's and sag's, there is plenty of stubborness but not so much jealousy.

Song of the day: drive me crazy- fine young cannibals

Saturday, December 09, 2006


i just needed a chance to consider the thoughts ive been having and i wanted to put them here for others who might be/have/will go through something similar, thats all

i am walking fine, i just need to be more careful and accept things like a helping hand a little more graciously, thats not dying or anything, just no worries, i didnt mean to worry anyone

Song of the day: psychotic reaction-fire escape

Friday, December 08, 2006

winter- for my mother

so it was really cold this evening, and i dont own any gloves (or a coat...or a hat), and i lost my scarf this morning, so i was rushing to get these, but i promised mum i would...and its much quicker to post then email

the lake already frozen

the waterfall is still falling though

Song of the day:winter tori amos

weakness vs. numbness: the things i dont want to talk about

something that came up in my discussion with the mellen center nurse yesterday that i really didnt want to talk about was the introduction of the word "weakness". i addressed my concern about my ankles only in terms of numbness, but jennifer said (more then once) that while i have no history of weakness of the feet, its good that i am watching for changes

its amazing the way we can push things out of conciousness (well, atleast until i dream about it, which i did last night). at this point in the course of my illness, the biggest block i come up against is my not wanting to have to change the way i do things in order to meet the needs of my condition and bringing the word weakness into the conversation changes things. physical therapy can address weakness, not numbness...only things like neurontin can address sensation, but i would never remember to take a pill every four or six hours...not to mention im not quite sure how a malaria drug can reduce sensation occurances in a neurological disorder.

anyhow, i mentioned my little tumble at jackies in the last post about ms, and its true, i did fall while standing completely still, and while i did not hurt myself in that instance (i think i just was on ice and slipped) jackie brought up the idea of independence, and ive been thinking about the way i push support away (and i do), and i think that if there really is something wrong with my feet (weakness or sensation wise) that i will have to make a change, and learn that support from others can strengthen every one involved, and that dependence does not always have to be the only other option besides independence

Song of the day: wild women do- natalie cole

Thursday, December 07, 2006

suburban poverty

from yahoo:
Berube said several factors are contributing to an increase in suburban poverty:

_Suburbs are adding people much faster than cities, making it inevitable that the number of poor people living in suburbs would eventually surpass those living in cities.

_The poverty rate in large cities (18.8 percent) is still higher than it is in the suburbs (9.4 percent). But the overall number of people living in poverty is higher in the suburbs in part because of population growth.

_America's suburbs are becoming more diverse, racially and economically. "There's poverty really everywhere in metropolitan areas because there are low-wage jobs everywhere," Berube said.

_Recent immigrants are increasingly bypassing cities and moving directly to suburbs, especially in the South and West. Those immigrants, on average, have lower incomes than people born in the United States.

Song of the day:

ankles and multiple sclerosis

so there i am, standing in my kitchen, just standing...not pacing, not dancing, just standing and suddenly, my right ankle gives out, and rolls the foot under and down on the floor i am again, in pain, and thinking "ok, something is up here!!"

this is the third time my ankle has turned like this in the past six weeks. it was the left ankle the first (and worst) time, but my right ankle rolled up at the lake about three weeks ago (kind of puts a new spin on the tumble i took out at jackie's, eh ladies?).

so i called the mellen center, a center that specializes in MS at the cleveland clinic, and i am waiting to find out if its possible that i cant feel my ankles and have just been unaware of it....and if so, what can i do to support my ankles while maintaining an active life....i did after all just start looking for work (beech brook has also called back, and i am having a phone screening this afternoon) and i dont want to have to sit down again while i figure out this ankle thing....just wanted to share

update: spoke with jennifer, my doctors new nurse, and after i was sure she understood that i was not asking for steroids, but wanting to discuss numbness (i do have a disability score on both my feet because of numbness), she gave me some common sense advice, but also said it was good i called. if this or any other issues with my feet come up, its important to document it as it can lead to a prescription for physical therapy.

Song of the day:

a good outcome with a bad intention?

ithuteng trust is an attempt to change the future of south africa, i think that is something on which we all can agree, but was the actual intention personal glory and fame, as well as profit? as hbo releases a documentary on this learning experiment, allegations from students, saying "mama jackey" was not what she appeared to be have been, or what she brought forward...judge for yourself...see link on side bar as well


Song of the day: greatest love of all- whitney houston

a brilliant solution

one mother is going to help her son stay alive in iraq with silly string, its an interesting story that involves a creative solution using cheap childhood materials. give this story a read, its worth it

Song of the day: stayin' alive- the beegee's

finding an interesting blog

one thing about memories such as the ones brought up by the camp wise sing along is that it usually gets connected to other memories and drags those up to the surface right along with them

when i was living in atlanta, a received a call from a once upon a time camp wise counselor. she was never my cabin counselor, but she was my fourth favorite ever camp counselor (yes, i have a list, and its ordered, of my favorite camp people),. my fourth favorite called and said she wanted to move to atlanta, could she stay with me while she found a place.

well, i said yes, as i had been friends with her sister, and that is how stacey singer ended up sleeping on a double papazan placed in my bedroom for a little over a month.

anyhow, i introduced stacey to my friend chris mcguire, lead singer for the local atlanta band "mary fortune express", and got to know michelle malone in a different way through stacey, who had befriended her at some point in the past...stacey moved on to working for daemon records and eventually started her own band...thats the last i heard of her...

jump to the future, there i am at the camp wise sing along with robin, and her friend rachel is there. rachel used to live four houses down from me, right next door to my friend RM, but she was quite a bit older then me and my friends, so i did not know her that well. we started talking about our connections an effort to know eachother better , and stacey came up, bringing mary fortune express to mind.

so last night, i did a yahoo search, wondering if any of the band members were active in music at this point. i did not find anything pointing in that direction, but i did come across a blog where the author was talking about this band....take a look at "tunneling" on my side bar. its an interesting journey that i have not had much of an opportunity to explore, but it approaches my music and my profession, and i think it will make others think differently...

Song of the day: non-perepetual care- mary fortune express

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

an interview

bellfaire called today, and i have an job interview at 2:00 p.m. on monday. i know to go buy a suit that fits (since i can not yet fit into my clothes) and i think i will buy a nice folder and within place a hard copy of my resume, a reference list.... and beyind that, i am not sure how to best approach this interview. please feel free to give suggestions

i am so glad i am ready to move forward

Song of the day: im tirtzu- i have no clue

remembering- camp wise sings

i went to the camp wise sing along this weekend at the mandel jcc. in some ways remembering camp, a definite highlight in my solitary childhood, was an amazing opportunity, but in other ways, i just became so sad.

there was only one woman i saw that was a camper with me, and when i smiled at her she gave me a sneer/smirk. she wasnt someone i was ever very close with, but jeez, its been 20 years since we were trapped in a wooden box together, so why still the nastiness? i went with robin,a once counselor/now friend of mine though, and was also able to connect with an old neighbor of mine.

but all of that is unimportant in the face of the music. music is truly what i believe keeps most of us connected to camp. certainly, there is no Wise-kid from the late eighties/ninties who doesnt smile a little camp wise smile when ever closer to fine by the indigo girls or circle by harry chapin comes on the radio...

my favoritest part was the way the hebrew songs, with words that i wouldnt possibly think i could hold on to, just came pouring out of my mouth just as easily as my name does.

thank you camp wise for making such a difference in my life

Song of the day: our hands are strong- unknown (its number 12)

Monday, December 04, 2006


yesterday was the most boring day i have ever experienced at work. weekends tend to be slower since, for no other reason, most agencies are closed on the weekend, so unless all the paper work for discharges, transfers etc. are done and submitted on friday, it aint happing til monday. there were only two admissions on saturday and none on sunday, and there were only kaiser insurance discharges, and since kaiser is an entity in and of itself, they take care of all their own discharge/aftercare planning. i had finished all the paperwork left undone for monday on saturday, so all that was left for me to do was to run a 10:30 relapse prevention group and a family meeting at one in the afternoon.

except for the family meeting, this was the type of day on which i would have given up my pay, knowing that i was quite without purpose, and just gone on home. listening to the nurses, hospital administration is all about productivity, and to save money, they often leave nurses and unit secretaries with large amounts of work because they draw a line on the census level, and if it is one patient low, they will call a nurse and a secretary off, and there i sit, doing my crossword puzzle, trying to help with the phones (which dont ring as much when the census is low, but since we have two floors and only one secretary on low days, one floor is left with no one to pick-up), and feeling mildly guilty that i am making money for nothing, while i watch the nurses scramble to pick up their larger case loads (but theres nothing i can do to help the nurses really).

i really do wonder about the "bottom line", and why it is staffing where they make the cuts. productivity should not be more important then the client. maybe i live in utopia, but it is a strange set-up that i think could use reconsideration and redesign

Song of the day: city of new orleans- arlo guthrie
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