I realized I left my last post on a bit of a cliffhanger. I didn’t intend to do that, but my life took off like a shot right after I started working. I forgot how exhausting it is to be on your feet all day!

But I did sign the contract and I absolutely love my job. My direct supervisor is amazing. She reminds me a lot of my second clinical instructor, someone I really enjoyed working with. She’s incredibly smart and our personalities fit well together. My clinic director is a classic football-loving athletic guy who seems great, too. I haven’t had the chance to interact with him as much yet. Honestly, everyone at my clinic is super chill and friendly, even (most of) the patients.

I’ve also had the chance to attend a couple of events with the company – a social event and a professional development event. I was able to meet the CEO and many other senior staffers. The whole company has a “family” vibe to it, something I know they work very hard to achieve. I felt welcomed by each person I met and was thrilled when people recognized me at the second event and remembered me!

Extra fun: my supervisor took on a new student this past Monday and that student is a current student at my alma mater! SO COOL! It’s great to have a student working with her because I’m a new grad, so there’s a lot left to learn. Having a student gives me a chance to learn alongside her as well as help to teach, which always reinforces learning.

I just love it. I keep saying that if I could have designed the perfect job for myself upon graduation, it would literally be this job. I know things may not always be quite this ideal (relocations and other changes happen fairly regularly across the company as it continues to grow) but for now, it’s wonderful.


Tomorrow is my first day of work!

Well, technically it’s just human resources “onboarding” for two hours, but I get to sign my contract and becoming an employed adult again! Wednesday will be my first full work shift, following by another clinician-specific training on Thursday. Then Friday I’m completely ready to be an official employee. I’ll be working part-time until I take the board exam next month, which gives me some time to transition back into working. It’s been several months since I was in an orthopedic clinic, so I’m feeling a little rusty. I’m sure I’ll pick it up again quickly, but I’m still kinda nervous.

I spoke with both of my nieces (and my nephew) via FaceTime this evening, since they also start school tomorrow. My older niece seemed indifferent at best and terrified at worst about starting 3rd grade. The younger kiddo was mostly just totally stoked about starting Kindergarten and told us about how she’ll be riding the #4 Giraffe bus. It felt good to talk to them. They bring such joy into my world.

My sister also announced that she’s returning to college soon. She didn’t get to complete her Bachelor’s (she got pregnant senior year), so I would be thrilled to see her achieve that goal. She said she was inspired by my decision to go back to school to change careers, which felt nice to hear.

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I got a phone call this morning offering me the position for the job interview I had on Tuesday. I immediately accepted and received  my offer letter within a few hours. My official start date is next Tuesday. This company has many clinics and I was also informed today that I’ll be working at a facility within a half-hour commute of my home (which is pretty awesome when you live in NYC).

So, yeah, it’s all pretty much exactly what I wanted.


Gahh! It’s all incredibly exciting. I know I worked very hard to set myself for success upon graduating, but man does it feel good to actually reap the benefits of all my efforts! It’s so surreal right now. This also means that beginning in exactly five days I have to be a legit adult again and, you know, work. Scary stuff. But it certainly eases my anxiety to know that I was able to land a job at the exact company I wanted and my job hunting process was remarkably uneventful and abrupt. Win!

Throughout all of this excitement, it was not lost on me that (once again) my schedule will be completely shifting. My therapist and I have always, somehow, done an excellent job at rearranging our schedules to fit each other’s needs, but it’s something that always makes me intensely anxious. Since things have been more relaxed lately, I didn’t panic about my changing schedule as much as I usually do. But I did worry that since I’d have to cancel two of my three appointments next week (after she returns from a TWELVE DAY vacation) it would simply be too long to go without our normal sessions.

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I had a very hard time sleeping on Monday night. I think I was nervous about my job interview Tuesday morning, but I was also just extremely agitated. I couldn’t get comfortable and I felt something that I struggled to identify. Loneliness? Grief? Sadness? Emptiness? Anger? All of the above?

I’m not sure.

When I mentioned it to my wife and we spoke about it, she said that she believed she briefly spoke with a part that she’s never talked to before. She guessed perhaps it was Scooter because this part seemed young, but also very angry, expressing intense anger at my therapist for leaving us (i.e. going on vacation). Interesting.

The interview went very well. I wasn’t particularly nervous for the actual process of being interviewed. My résumé is stellar and I have a charismatic, articulate, confident presence that tends to impress people. I also went into the interview knowing I’m a very good match for the company, so I was more or less scoping them out to see if it seemed like a good fit for my career trajectory. I ended up being quite impressed with the two interviewers. There was a moment when I could tell they switched from “interviewing” me to “selling the job” to me, which felt nice. I love the idea of being a prize candidate and I’ve worked damn hard for it!

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Knocked The Wind Out Of Me

Right now I’d be going to session if my therapist wasn’t on stupid vacation. I’m still super irritated with this whole thing. I’ve never been thrilled when she leaves but I usually just suck it up and block out anything I’m feeling until about an hour or so before I see her again.

But in an effort to stay connected to the work, to her, and to what’s important about all of that, I’ve been actively pushing myself to stay present with whatever feelings come up. Which sucks. I had another dream with my therapist featured in it last night. I don’t remember much of the actual material, but I know that I felt scared (not of her, but of someone or something) and she was there. I can’t really explain it, but something about the dream felt very intimate. We were in a place that was emotionally closer than I’ve ever felt with her in real life, at least not that I’ve ever been consciously aware of anyway.

She often tells me that my extreme fear of intimacy is what generally leads me to pick fights with her or sabotage our conversations. I always find that strange because I think I’m a person who generally embraces intimacy. I have a beautifully intimate relationship with my wife along with several close friends. There are certain people that I don’t ever really censor myself for when I’m around them. But maybe that’s a different kind of intimacy, or a false intimacy or something.

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Initiating Disengagement

I woke up this morning already beginning to feel crushed under the deep shame of wanting and longing for connection with my therapist (or any human being, really). I’m basically already initiating the “disengage from therapist” sequence because I’m so terrified of the space I’m in right now…probably because I love how it feels to actually trust my therapist.

It’s very scary to feel like I suddenly have so much more to lose.

But I really don’t want to back away from this.  I want to hold this space for myself and keep reminding myself that I enjoy it and it feels nice and (gasp!) I deserve it, dammit!

I’ve made couple of videos since I mentioned wanting to keep some sort of video log during my therapist’s vacation. I kinda hate them because I hate my own face and voice, but I’m trying to remember that she looks at and listens to me at least three hours each week, so she’s used to it.

I’m feeling slightly anxious that the videos are somehow too intimate to be creating, let alone bring to her to view for herself. Not sure why, and that’s probably worth exploring. For now, it’s comforting to have my phone to talk into as if she’s eventually going to hear those words.

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Trying to Hold Onto Connection

My therapist is officially on vacation now. *Sigh*

Today’s session went pretty well. There’s nothing that was bad or negative about it, I’m just sad that she’s going to out of the office for 12 damn days. Boo.

I opened the session by asking if she was ready for vacation. She said,

“Well not yet! Are you still mad that I’m going on vacation?”

I said yes and then outlined many of the things I spoke about in my last post. I was very honest with her. She figured I was worried about the usual fears (abandonment) but I added my concern that we would lose the momentum we’d worked so hard to build up over the last several weeks. She agreed and said that although it could (and likely will) be difficult to pick up where we left off, we also won’t be starting over again.


But I’m still concerned. I feel so good right now about where we are, relationally. I feel so relaxed in the relationship, in a way I’ve never experienced in therapy before. I found myself beginning to jump to conclusions during session today regarding her thoughts about me, but then I “reality checked” myself and realized I don’t actually believe she’s thinking anything bad about me. I suppose I have a different level of trust with her. I feel very calm and open right now.

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I Hate Vacations

My therapist will be on vacation next week. Although I’m grateful that we were able to move through this latest rupture in time for her to leave, I’m incredibly anxious about her being away. I struggle just to go from Monday to Thursday between sessions. Weekends are generally not as much of a challenge, perhaps because I tend to transition into “off work” mode, understanding that this is time for my therapist and I to be apart. But being separated from her during working hours is always much harder for me.

Today’s session was fine. I did a lot of talking, free association style, about various aspects of my past. I’m not sure why, but it’s random stuff that’s been on my mind so I figured it was worth mentioning. I felt good about the conversation. I felt her presence, and we really felt like a team. But I’m also aware that I tend to do more talking about non-relational feelings when she’s due to be out of the office.

At the end of the session, she mentioned her vacation and wondered if it’s something I wanted to talk about. I just told her that I’m pissed that she’s going away and there’s not much more to say about it. She asked if we could maybe just hold onto that for now and discuss it further tomorrow.

I really do want to talk about this some more. I told her that I feel more or less okay with her leaving, but that I can definitely feel other parts that are less than thrilled. She thought perhaps that’s something they could bring in tomorrow…

We’ll see.

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My session yesterday went very well. I’m a little surprised because I was so anxious going into it, but I think all of the writing and talking I did throughout the weekend helped me feel more confident.

Before heading into session, I started to regret not making an exhaustive bulleted list of everything I wanted to cover (which is my usual routine). But then I remembered my posts here and all of the important dialogue I had with my lovely readers, and I started to calm down. I reassured myself that I knew what was important to me and found some confidence that I didn’t even know I had.

I opened the hour by saying,

“I feel like it’s been forever since I was here…I’m like ‘wait, what were we even working on?’ But it also seems like I never left. It kinda feels the exact same…like we’re just hitting the replay button or something.”

She asked what in particular I was feeling.

“Anger, I guess. Like…I feel okay-ish outside of here. More optimistic, to be sure. But then I come in here and sit down and I just feel so pissed!”

She speculated that my anger comes from all of the tension and difficult emotions surrounding our latest discussion about boundaries. This is when I felt my throat start to tighten. I was so worried I would say the wrong thing and lead us back into an argument. But I also didn’t want to just surrender, so I said:

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As much as I was soothed by the phone call I had with my therapist on Friday evening, I continue to be very agitated regarding the issue of boundaries and affection. I’d say I was probably at about 8/10 on the panic scale when I left session, 6/10 after talking to her, and since then I’ve been hanging out around 4-5/10.

I really loved her metaphor about the elephant. And I appreciated that she made a point to let me know that she wants to support me and would never intentionally or deliberately deny me what I need. I also understand that her version of giving me what I need will likely always differ, sometimes vastly, from what I imagine.

But I also can’t shake the feeling that all of this is happening within the realm of where the therapist is most comfortable. I think she has a flexible way of conducting therapy that also exists within a very rigid framework. Which is to say that she is only flexible when it suits her particular needs, or her specific version of therapy.

And so here I am, twisting and bending and trying desperately not to break, in an effort to preserve the therapeutic relationship. I will admit that I do see her bending as well, but as I mentioned – I feel as though she only does so within a limited range, whereas I’m expected to move far outside my comfort soon.

Which, you know, may very well be the whole point of therapy.

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