Posted by: Marie | December 29, 2013

(911) The value of clarity – Part 2 of 7

Post #911
[Private journal entry written on Friday, August 3, 2012 about a conversation between my therapist and me – continued from previous post]


Me: So . . . speaking of learning new things . . . I wanted to tell you about the CASA stuff . . . if it is okay for me to change topics . . .

Edward: (Smiling) I’m fine with changing topics!

(I described to him what all is involved in being a CASA, including building a relationship with the child as well as keeping track of how well the adults are following the plan for getting the child back in the home . . . )

Me: The job would fit me so well! I would get to make a major difference in the life of a child . . . and all my life experiences give me the skill set needed to do all the administrative stuff . . . it would be right down my alley!


Photo by Martin Chen

You can state your preferences . . . you can say that you prefer a certain age group, or a certain geographical area . . . and you can say if you want to handle cases that involve drugs or violence or sexual abuse . . . or not . . .

Edward: Do you think you would want to handle cases that involve violence or abuse?

(My breath caught . . . I have been giving that issue quite a bit of thought since the CASA meeting . . . and I knew how I would answer – I do want to handle those kinds of cases . . . but I wasn’t sure I wanted to give Edward that answer because I was concerned he might think I wouldn’t be able to handle it . . . despite my hesitation, I answered his question . . . )

Me: I think I would like to handle cases like that . . . I feel drawn towards the idea of that . . . and I might as well use what I’ve experienced in life for a good cause . . . it seems like a great way to make something good of my own experiences.

So, yeah . . . I definitely feel drawn to those kinds of cases . . .

(I took another deep breath in preparation for my next statement, still unsure of Edward’s thoughts on the matter . . . )

Me: In fact, I think I could handle some really tough cases . .

I mean . . . I don’t know that I would want to take on a tough case for my first case . . . I think it would be wise to take a less stressful case for my first one, just so I could get my feet wet . . .

Edward: Or, you could jump right in and take a challenging case right off the bat . . .

(Well, that gave me a clue about his thoughts on the matter! I felt my shoulder muscles relax a bit . . . )

Me: (Smiling) Yeah, well, I guess I could always do that!

(I allowed myself to take a few easy breaths as the realization started to sink in that Edward supported my plan to become a CASA . . . )

Me: So, do you think that would be wise?

Edward: Do I think it would be wise for you to handle cases that involve violence or abuse . . . ??

Me: Yes . . .

Edward: I think it would be a wonderful idea . . . I think you would be uniquely qualified to provide the kind of support kids in that situation would need. I think you would do very well with cases like that.

Me: Thank you . . .

I also think I would do well with that . . .

Edward: Did you think I might think otherwise?

Me: I wasn’t sure what you would think . . . I mean . . . when I told you that I was going to attend the informational meeting, you just said that it is good that I’m gathering information . . . you didn’t really indicate if you thought it would be a good idea for me to be a CASA . . . so I didn’t really know if you supported the idea or not.

(Edward smiled but didn’t say anything for a moment . . . then he responded . . . )

Edward: Well, rest assured . . . I think you would do very well as a CASA and I think you would do very well with those types of cases . . . and I think it would be beneficial to your healing for you to be of service in that way . . .

Me: Thank you . . . it means a lot to me to hear you say that . . .

Edward: You are very welcome!

Me: (After a pause) In the last couple of emails I sent to you, I mentioned how I think there are some things that need to be in place before I become a CASA . . .

Edward: Oh, yes . . .

Me: There are some business processes I need to implement so my business runs as efficiently as possible . . . and, there are some self-care habits I would like to be in place before then . . .

Edward: What self-care habits would you like to be in place before then?

Me: Um . . . eating well . . . as opposed to binge-eating . . . I would like to not be binge-eating at all and I would like to be following a healthy eating plan . . .

And, I would like to have an exercise plan in place that I’m following on a regular basis . . . including hiking on a regular basis . . .

Mainly, it would be things that ensure I’m taking care of my health so I can tolerate the stress . . . and things that would give me healthy ways to deal with the stress . . .

I know that I will see things as a CASA that will be very emotionally triggering and stressful . . . and the schedule will be very demanding . . . I need to know I have ways to handle that before I allow myself to be in that situation.

Edward: That’s great insight!

Me: Well, once I start with a case and develop a relationship with a child, I can’t really afford to back out of the case . . . and abandon the child . . . that would be traumatizing to the child . . . so I want to know that I would be able to stick with it for the long run.

Edward: That seems like a wise intention!

Me: Here’s what’s interesting to me . . .

I’ve been wanting to implement the same kind of healthy habits so that I can manifest a romantic relationship in my life . . . I believe that the fact I don’t have those healthy habits implemented is one of the reasons – maybe the biggest reason – I don’t have a relationship in my life.

But, when I try implementing those habits so that I can create the possibility of a relationship, I get triggered and I end up doing more of the things I don’t want to do in order to deal with the pain of being triggered . . .

So, approaching it from that direction has not been working . . .

However, when I think about implementng those healthy habits so that I can create the possibility of being a CASA, it is not triggering . . . in fact, it is quite motivating.

I’m excited by the possibility that I can make those changes to my life if I keep my focus on the CASA stuff . . . and maybe one of the side benefits I’ll have is a relationship at some point . . . maybe . . . but I can’t allow myself to use that as my motivation . . .

Does that make sense?

Edward: It makes total sense to me!

Me: Do you see any problem with that approach?

Edward: Not at all!

Me: Okay . . .

Edward: Do you have a concern about that approach?

Me: No . . .

(We sat in silence for a minute and looked at each other, and then I continued . . . )

Me: So . . . okay . . . um . . . so then, I’d like to talk about the dating thing . . .

Edward: Sure!

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 821

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