Shaken Up

Yesterday I went to study with a friend. She’s house/dog-sitting for a friend who’s out of the country, so I met her there. It’s technically only ten miles away from my house, but being that the NYC subway is configured in a very special way, I had to take a 58 minute trip that involved three trains.

One of those trains stops near Zooey’s home. Why do I know this? Well, for one thing – her address showed up on my insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs). For another, we “Googled” her at some point in September-ish and her address came right up (which matched the address on said EOBs). From there, we discovered she had a roommate – a gentleman friend, if you will.

She once used his name in session. She was referencing my wife, but she accidentally said his name instead of hers (to be fair, they are quite similar). So then we googled him as well. I won’t tell you much about him because I don’t want to be even weirder than I know this must already sound, but whatever – I think you’d be harder pressed to find a client who HASN’T done an internet search on their therapist than vice versa.

Regardless, this is a dude who likes to post photos. Especially of obscure abstract urban images from his daily commute and also: himself. So we all know exactly what he looks like. Also, he has an arguably unique look.

Enter yesterday, when I’m riding said train that passes by their apartment. Every time I’m on that train and make that stop, I hold my breath. I know the odds are pretty damn low that I’d run into Zooey, but I still worry.

I didn’t see her. Phew.

However, as I stepped off the train and bolted to take the three flights of stairs to catch the next train, I felt someone very close behind me as I was climbing the first escalator. I have this weird aversion to the very top and bottom of those scary machines. As I reached the top, two people were just standing on the steps of the escalator, allowing it to move them up (as it was designed to do). I hesitated to pass them because I worried about getting caught (I swear this fear comes from my parents forcing us to watch “Rescue 911” too much as a child). My slight hesitation made the person behind me come very close to running into me and he brushed my arm as he passed while I quickly stepped to the side to wait for the remaining stairs to electronically rise to the top.

As soon as I looked up to see who the in-a-hurry-New-Yorker-douchebag was that couldn’t possibly wait for the last four steps to get off the escalator, I immediately recognized him as this gentleman friend of Zooey’s.

At first I panicked, until I remembered that he has no idea who I am. (Right?).

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Spring Break

As you already know, my sister gave birth to a perfect little boy two weeks ago. I’d originally planned to be there when he was born, but due to my intense class schedule, I decided against making the trip. My sister said she’d rather have me there for a full week during my Spring break than for a quick 48-hour trip anyway. As it happens, my Spring break starts today. Which means I’ll be going to therapy this morning and then making the several hour drive to my hometown.

I’m technically not staying IN my hometown. Wife and I will be lodging with my “Mom” during the stay, who lives about 15 minutes outside of the town I grew up in. Also, my sister lives roughly 15 minutes on the opposite side of said town. So we may need to drive through it, but I don’t plan on spending much time in it.

Still, it’s hard to even be in the area. Living in NYC has made me into a true urban gal. I remember making the trip last year and going on a rant about how much I hate rural and suburban America. I’m pretty sure at one point I yelled, “I even hate their stupid guard rails!” Just driving along highways past towns that resemble the one I was raised in can be an intense trigger.


I haven’t been there in nearly eight months and it did not go so well during our last visit. The company is fine. I get along beautifully with all of the people I see when I travel there. It can be hard to navigate the specific dynamics in play simply because it is so reminiscent of the past, but the joy I feel far outweighs any negative emotions.

The system, however, was thrown into total chaos.

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you-have-the-audacityI’ve mentioned a couple times on here that I’m a college student. I already have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, but I didn’t spend too much time using that. I can tell myself a lot of crap about why I didn’t use it, but it’s mostly because the type of people that are drawn to the field of human services are the exact type of people that remind me of my sociopathic parents and thus inspire homicidal urges in me. No, not every person that works in the field is a narcissistic douchebag with a savior complex and a strong impulsive need to constantly be involved in some form of crisis, but let’s be honest – isn’t one person like that plenty? Yes. Yes, it really really is.

So I decided to change careers entirely. Which meant going back to school. When I started looking for PTA programs I realized there was one literally a neighborhood away from me. I can actually walk there (which I would probably do more frequently if I hadn’t experienced an attempted mugging-by-bicyclist the last time I tried that). It’s a very good program that was super competitive to get into. I worked my booty off to get in and was beyond stoked when I got that acceptance letter. In fact, it’s been magnetized to my fridge since the day I got it, 10 months ago.

Except now that I’m actually in the clinical program and, you know, learning how to practice physical therapy, I’m freaking out.

Part of the freaking out comes from how difficult the program is. I have a 4.0 and consider myself to be pretty damn smart, but this is some next level shit. Then there’s the sheer volume of physical contact I have to have with my peers. I certainly assumed I’d have to do lots of hands-on stuff with patients. And I guess I assumed I’d eventually be one of the “patients” – since we don’t have licenses yet (or even basic clinical skills at this point) we need to practice on each other so we don’t each get sued 400 times for malpractice. What I legit did NOT expect, however, was for my very first lab class to start with my professor saying,

“Okay, guys, choose a partner – someone you haven’t worked with yet – and pair up. Your first task is to properly drape your “patient”, remove their pants and shirt, and then put them back on, all while protecting your “patient’s” modesty and remaining professional with your touch.”

Guys. Omg. I literally stopped breathing. Pretty sure my heart stopped working as well. I was in full “freeze” mode for a good 2-3 minutes. I was panicking. But then I remembered that I know how to completely detach from my bodily sensations so I just floated up out of my body and went through the motions of being the “patient” all while this man I barely know literally reached under a sheet and pulled off my clothing in a crowded room with 23 other people I barely know. SO MUCH FUN.

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Today was Shit

Today was total shit. It started fine – I ate some breakfast and went to the gym. But as I was pulling off my hoodie in the locker room, I felt something janky in my shoulder. I figured it was just leftover soreness from last night’s yoga class so I went and did my cardio workout as usual. 

But then after I cooled down and stretched, I noticed that my shoulder just felt weird – as if it wasn’t aligned properly or something. I had my wife massage the muscles around my scapula and she said that their was definitely a difference between my two shoulders. Damn.

I tried just laying down to relax the seized up muscles and rubbed some sports cream on the sore area. But after an hour or so, it seemed to be getting worse. It was hurting a lot

Wife called our insurance company to ask where we could go for Urgent Care. Turns out the closest facility that was open on a Saturday night was a 30 minute train ride away. Fine. 

Except, when we got there, we discovered that the place our insurance company sent us trekking across our borough to find is actually a pediatric Urgent Care. Fuck.

At this point things get very fuzzy for me. I lost some time and then things don’t really get clear again until several hours later. 

I think the shoulder pain (trigger) combined with the frustration of not being able to find someone to check out said pain and being in the middle of a crowded (trigger), dark (trigger), unfamiliar neighborhood (trigger) was just too much. 

I’m home now. Wife drew me an epsom salt bath to try and soothe the muscle soreness. It was quite relaxing and I can feel my shoulder starting to calm down a bit. 

Hopefully this will turn out to be a non-issue and I will feel better in the morning. But if not, I guess we’ll try a different Urgent Care place tomorrow. One that takes adult patients. 


I am so done with today. I am so done with dissociation. I am done with it all. 

Very excited that tomorrow is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time and 12 days til Spring. But that also means we lose an hour, so I am going to pop another painkiller and attempt sleep.

Goodbye, Saturday. You were a bitch.