Friday, 02.13.2015 - 4:42 pm.
My dream last night alerted me. There were common themes and I woke up wondering things. Especially in the context of acid reflux/gurgling/throwing-up-air that's been non-stop for a few days. Yesterday and today it's been less severe but the days before it had been constant.
About that, I have one question: what am I rejecting? Sure, when there's a physical discomfort one must rule out that it has a physical, material explanation, before searching for answers on a psychological plane. I've kind of done that already: I know I have some slight (doctor's words) reflux tendencies and I'm seeing another doctor next week for good measure. And yet I ask that question because, for instance, I'd get severe, loud gurgling whenever I'd see a certain patient whom I, simply put, did not want to treat anymore.
I talked about it with my friend Anita a few times last year. This patient was just so annoying to me, for a number of reasons. I told Anita about my physical reaction and she, being more of a psychodinamic approach, interpreted my symptom. It made sense. There's something in my body that wanted to come out when I was with her. Feelings and words about how she was making working with her so difficult and frustrating (being late, giving one-line answers, changing the days of our session at will).
It's because of this patient that I've decided to give up my clinical practice. I don't want to deal with her at all but it's not just her. Working at the university psych clinic for students is very difficult in itself. Most students are awful patients and I can't deal with that anymore. I LOVE clinical psychology but it takes a lot of time and energy, and my work is not valued there (it is, by Anita and another colleague that works there, who are overwhelmed by the demands of the workplace and have always shown how much they appreciate having me around; but not by the management, nor by the users). I already have a full time job in research and a part-time job in teaching: they pay me to dedicate my time and energy to them. This clinical practice was voluntary work to keep that muscle active but on top of everything, I feel my skills have stalled and I no longer feel prepared to deal properly with cases. And I don't have the time to catch up on my own and self-train.
I cried when I realized all this, and when I told Andrew. It hurts to give up clinical psychology, that was the field I was mainly drawn to and I'm passionate about, along with social psychology. I think of W., my friend and mentor. But life has simply taken me on a different road. Andrew both understood my pain and supported my arguments. The fact that it hurts doesn't mean is not the right thing to do.
I digress. I needed to though, I hadn't discussed that here.
I was saying: what am I rejecting, in general? I know I get reflux/gurgling when I'm angry. I'd get them last year while I was in class sometimes, or when dealing with students' attitudes. Today I got angry for a while when we were out with Andrew and I felt my stomach burning. It passed, but I wondered if this "it passed" is part of the problem: it angered me but I let it passed. The thing is though, I got mad over one thing that was indeed a bad moment but had no consequence other than making me mad because I would have wanted it other way. So I also refrained from talking about it and making it bigger than already was in my head.
Is there something from my current life that I'm rejecting and I don't know it? Two things that I dreamed last night stand up. The first one is that I dreamed of Joseph. Andrew and I were in a car, we were on a street that I've seen in my dreams before (and yet it never is the same twice), where Joseph lives. A fat woman and a fat kid leave a house. I wonder if that's Joseph's wife and kid. Andrew turns around our car and we leave, but as he does that I see Joseph's face come out from the same house. He's looking in the opposite direction but then I just know he looks into our direction and sees our backs...It should be the back of our car but the narrative/feeling was he saw our backs. He sees our backs and he recognizes me and he longs for me. He wants to see me, he wants me to turn around.
I don't know what that's about, other than my irrational and undying wish that I haven't disappeared from his mind. And more than that, really. But I do wonder if I still have some things to "throw up", to speak up about Joseph. Sometimes I think it'd be nice to be friends (i.e. "be back in touch in the form of Facebook friends and be civil") with him. It so would not. Therapy can't come soon enough.
There's something that also comes up often in my dreams, other than Joseph. Wait, there's two more things: one, my family. I dream of them nearly every night; not all of them at once, a few members at a time. Mostly it's about taking trips and being together on trips or visiting each other. Two...I dream of toilets. Of toilets overflowing with poop. I have to unclog them and inevitably the shit touches me. I carry on, I don't even try to avoid contact with it because I know it's inevitable, it's too much shit and it doesn't stop flowing. Usually I end up unclogging the toilet but only after (what feels like) a long time and I'm dirty.
I think of the Freudian anal stage and I try to make associations that would explain the dream: toilet training; I consider myself anal-retentive and this is the contrary to that; bladder and bowel control; I have irritable bowel syndrome (meaning my digestive system is fucked up from start to finish). I looked up the Wikipedia entry to refresh concepts and there was a line about anal-retentives being careful with money and do you remember my money woes from a few entries ago?
Still, I got nothing.
But I do feel my unconscious, my body even, know something I don't know.