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Sandra Dean – Registered Member


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January musings, marriage, babies, cats, therapy, being positive and more

Molly my hamster and I

Molly my hamster and I

My eldest brother, whose wife died a few years ago from breast cancer, is getting married again. It has been a whirlwind, as I only found out about her a few weeks ago and he only met her last summer! The wedding is in February and sounds to be nearly as big as his first. This got me thinking and others’ asking me, about my own marriage ideas. Personally, I have never dreamed of the big wedding thing, more thinking of a wedding on a beach somewhere beautiful and hot that is also the honeymoon destination. I don’t even think I’d want guests, since I feel it is a something to be shared between two people first and foremost. But that’s just me…

Having said that, I am now forty one and have never been married so that’s a laugh! I was asked, at the end of a six year relationship, but he was too late – I had already given up on him. Bloody right too, especially since I have found out he cheated on me and multiple times with the woman he married. It was funny, because shortly after we split and my reply to his marriage proposal was “Don’t be so ridiculous!” or something like that, he phoned me and told me he had a new girlfriend and that “her tits are bigger than yours!” Ha ha ha. Such a shallow man.

Titus and mum and dads gifts

Titus and mum and dads gifts

What with that, and growing up within my mum and dads marriage, it’s enough to put me off, but I did still want to marry one person – it just hasn’t worked out. Then, Christmas Eve, when my presents were laid out by said person, I asked, excitedly (yup I’m like a child with present) “Which is the biggest one?” and was told it was the smallest present which looked like a tiny box. My mind got thinking and one of those thoughts was an engagement ring…. Anyhow, it only took a day before I was unwrapping it to find a BT modem box inside. I thought it was a wifi thing, then inside was just a piece of A4 paper with a picture of a bed and a message wishing me to be comfy in my new bed. Ha ha. I introduced him to the art of wrapping things so that the person would be swayed as to what is inside, so I asked for it. I do LOVE my new bed though as, at my age, it was good not to be sleeping in a single bed any more 🙂

And so recently, when asked about marriage and babies by my nephew and friends, I just said “It’s too late now”. I am then told of all the people they know who are my age or more and having babies, which is very sweet.

My cat and my hamster are my babies. Sad eh? But true. And that is how I get to nurture… and is why I am planning to foster cats and kittens again. It is most likely why I am training to be a counsellor too – to help people and animals, who could ask for more? I WILL be the ‘crazy cat lady’ I could lay money on it LOL

It has been nearly five weeks since we have been in college and I found this break stressful and confusing. I was building my confidence during the term from September to December and then there was nothing. I did organise to do some skills practise outside of college hours with someone, as we do not get enough practise during two and half hours per week, but they changed their mind in the end, so I will try to organise it with someone else. Got to take positive steps.

My group analysis psychotherapy ends in mid-March and this is causing me some stress as I have been in the group for sixteen months now and find it extremely helpful and inspiring. I can take all my troubles there and either talk about them or not. I can gain others’ opinions and wisdom and can see things more clearly when they are analysed by others as well as listening to them and offering them support and wisdom. Sometimes their analysis can be hard to bear if they are saying what I already know and want to avoid, or when they make it obvious something is more negative and damaging in my life than I thought. But, this is how I learn to make my life even better than I can do by myself and I will have to use those last sessions to deal with the most important things so some thought will have to go into working out what they are.

I am comforted by the fact that I will have ten sessions of personal therapy as part of my college course and will be able to start that at the crucial time I start my placement. It will be lovely to be supported, each therapy session just for me for a change, during the first few weeks of my placement, which I am both nervous and excited about starting.

Subject to Health and Safety checks and a follow up meeting with my placement, I should be able to start in March. It has been a bumpy start, what with the surprise of having four weeks off over Christmas and then another two just five weeks later, making me very worried that I will not be ready or have the knowledge, to start my hard earned placement. I will be counselling people who are on the waiting list for NHS therapy so the clients will be very serious about engaging in therapy and finding the help they need to move on in life, being more responsible for themselves. I am very excited at the thought of being able to be one of the aids to help them on that journey.

I feel my multi work and dysfunctional life experiences give me a broad knowledge of how people tick and the kinds of adversities that surround us. This gives me the gift of empathy too, as I know that there is often more ‘behind the eyes’ of an individual than they often let people see.

At the same time, I am nervous about starting with real clients; how will they view me? Will they turn up? Will I be able to help them? Will they be silent and unable to talk to me? Will they be abusive? Will I stumble and freeze, unable to know what to do?

These are real fears, but when I re-read these questions and more, I can see more clearly that they are just normal fears, the same many others may have, and by admitting what they are, I can then work out how I will face them and deal with them should they arise. This self-awareness is key in making sure I am ready to work with clients and to have the humility to seek to learn anything I may need to know on a continuing basis. Only I can do that. Some of these things cannot be planned for, and will require me to ‘think on my feet’ as it were, which I have proven in the past I can do very well. Besides, most people get jitters before starting any new job, whether it be paid, voluntary, working with people, or alone. These are just normal fears and are what urge us to learn what we need to know and find the strength to overcome difficulties.

Saying that, I am now going to do some research and reading on counselling theories and skills and practise my mindfulness skills 🙂

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