Monthly Archives: April 2012

Going through some old memories…

So today I finally decided to go through some old memories…

The day started out fine (well barely)…I went to my therapist and we revisited some of those “old memories”. It was more like free association which proved to be a very effective technique to use for my current situation. It was very helpful, but we still have a long way to go on this exercise. I feel very curious with the direction of it, but still rather perplexed with some things.

As I get older and think ever so more critically…I feel like sometimes I am just going to go mad. Or so I thought…

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GETTING OLDER! It has everything to do with who I am. Yes, it may develop over the years, but the foundation…the core…the very building blocks…have ALWAYS been there. At least that’s what I found out…

I got home after a very long day of work, therapy, long conversations with myself and with my ex-boyfriend (of 7 years) and getting together with close friends…(I must admit I’ve had at least one bottle of wine by now.) I felt the need to go through 5 VERY BIG ENVELOPES (the “manila” extra large types) that I’ve kept over the past 20 or so years, with letters I’ve written, cards I’ve received, e-mails I’ve sent and received, little notes left on my car windshield, etc…

I took a nice long shower…I opened yet another bottle of wine and poured myself another “healthy” size glass, as my good friend slept on my very cozy sectional sofa…and then off I went to look for the 5 BIG ENVELOPES!

I was keeping them in one of my closets…really tucked away in a corner, behind a large bin filled with old family photographs (really old…like back in 1974 or so). I used to keep them locked away in one of my file cabinets at work, believe it or not…but when I moved on to another position I had to bring them home.

Side note: I love my mom, but she is the kind of person who will go through every inch in my house to find bits of information about me…when it would probably be so much easier if she only asked me. I would very likely just give her a straight forward answer.

So…I was keeping these 5 BIG ENVELOPES “well hidden” pretty much from my mother…(I’m pretty sure she found them and never told me though. 🙂  and I wish I was there to see her face!)

As I start going through the faded handwritten letters and notes, emails, cards, notes that came with roses and other flowers…I suddenly came to the realization that I have always been the way I currently am and feel right now…I know you must be going “Uhhh…of course…duh!”, but it’s just that the same intensity of feelings and thoughts that I feel today, is probably the same way I felt 15-20 years ago when I was still a teenager! Eureka!

Now I’m thinking! Wow! I had such a breakthrough with my therapist today…but if I only brought some of these lettters on my next session for our collaborative exploration…it would help shed so much light on the questions I have…that he has…

I’ve posted some stuff that I wrote about 15 years ago…(please see 5 previous posts). While they may need some refining of the language…they still speak directly to how I feel today!

I remember writing those desperate appeals to “nothingness” while I was sitting in a very complex biochemistry class, or a quantum physics/physical chemistry class…or just sitting by myself at a coffee shop by my university, after my seventh cigarette and third cup of coffee (the days when you were allowed to smoke in public spaces, that is)…

And I’m so glad that back then…something in me strongly urged me to keep handwritten copies of everything…I now understand…not only does the nostalgic feeling takes over me all over again…but I can see how the core of the 19-year-old back then is not so different from the 34-year old of today…

I’m still not sure what to make of it…but I am so excited to share some of this in my next session…!


“untitled” (circa 1996)

Yesterday I stared into the sky,

Oh how the stars shone so bright!

I even saw the “Light”.

I called my brotherly love

and showed him the light.

he saw a reflection of the moonlight.

I saw an aura.

My aura was finally in the sky!

spreading its beautiful rays across infinity

then I close the door behind me

and walked into complete darkness

in the dark I saw all the complexion of this

world mingle before my blind eyes

The full (written on 11/13/1996)

I am full…

filled to the top of my soul.

I have so much inside

I want to give it away.

I feel this, which fills me up

pushing my whole self

through my pores

No! I don’t want to let go the quintessence of life,

let go of my soul

But I am so full…

so full of empty

Freedom (written on 08/04/1997)

Freedom I write…

sadness I feel.

I am free to feel!

to wake up everyday

to the warm morning light.

no wonders…

and sitll I am so desperate

I hear voices…

they are so many

You’re fool! You’re determined!

You’re cruel! You’re brave!

Which one? Just which one is right…?

there is so much to be lived.

on my carnal life…

I hope not all will

tear me apart from inside out like this one…

The finding (written on 05/27/1997)

I found today…

that I can understand

but understanding makes me more confused

Oh! How good it was when I did not know…

I have always known what I now know

Just was not aware of it!!!

I’m so lost in my findings…

I want to unlearn

to foget that I know

but there is no escape.

I am doomed

dooomed by knowledge

Oh! Precious is this knowledge

if I could just use it properly

but it won’t allow me…

it! it! The beast I mean…

I have to struggle with this duality of my being

the one I call human and the one I call the beast.

I found today…

I can love.

Brutal constructive criticism…

…is ALWAYS welcome!

I’ll have to expand on this later when I have more time…

Triaging the sick…and the healthy


The madness is neverending…no matter where you are…geographically or mentally!

So, I’m still in NY for work and I just got back from a night out with a co-worker. Very nice person, she is…but the kind of girl who (UNFORTUNATELY for her) has a low self-esteem and just doesn’t have much self-confidence…(well…i guess they go hand in hand.)

We had a nice day of work today in a place in Long Island called Port Jefferson. I have to admit…people in this nice little town were very friendly. I went for a stroll around town to get my co-worker and I some food, and found some surprising things along the way.

For one…people were really nice and just said “Hi!” all the time…and this my friends!…is very important to me and gives me an “after taste” feeling of my hometown…

The day was truly beautiful and warm…and I! Of course being the quintessential  “New Englander” (not really…I’m Brazilian…tssttt tssttt)…wore a pretty thick sweater with black pants to keep myself warm. I was feeling really hot at one point in my happy stroll around this nice little town…I had little droplets of sweat running down my back and down my cleavage…and I knew that if I let it continue for some time the result would be a rather unpleasant experience to my olfactory system (and those around me.)

It was then that I looked to my right and saw a colorful store with a bunch of “sales” racks! Well…I went inside to try to find myself a solution to my sweaty and stinky problem.

Well…I found the perfect little modern “pin-up” t-shirt…a white shirt with blue stripes that fit very well and cost me only about $8 dollars. I was so excited to have found the perfect cheap t-shirt for myself that I just wanted to come out of the fitting room wearing it to show it to the world! In all honesty, I just felt really lazy and didn’t want to put my sweater back on; come out of the fitting room; pay for the striped shirt; come back into the fitting room to change into my brand new t-shirt. Although, I did get a bit concerned that they would think I was trying to walk right out without paying! But everything went smoothly…in fact, there were some other women waiting in line to pay and they all looked at me and said “That’s such a cute shirt! Where did you get it?”. I pointed to the sales rack and they all rushed to it like it was a big diamond ring…or in my case…a nice juicy steak!

I should’ve asked for my part of the commission on that one!

Even on such a beautiful day, I have to admit to having countless deeply involved conversations with myself. Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. There are so many thoughts that at one point I think I am just going completely insane. Sometimes I can walk for hours and never realize where time went…with a complete unawareness to my surroundings…

I’ve been trying to compartmentalize some of these thoughts for the sake of keeping myself sane. It’s like triaging patients at the ER. You know? When I used to work as a medical interpreter several years ago, I remember helping the nurses communicate with patients in the “triage room”. There were several types of patients…the very severe and urgent, the young, the babies, the overly and often unecessarily concerned…

* Some patients came in and you could tell right away that there was NOTHING wrong with them

* Some were hypochondriacs

* Some were not sure if the spot they found on their genitals was an STD or just a stain from the marker they kept in their pockets for way too long

* Some were “serial visitors” sometimes because they were lonely

* Some other patients would come in, usually accompanied or forced by a loved one, to get checked for that sharp chest pain they had been feeling for some time, or for the strong ketoacidic acetone-like smell coupled with endless visits to the bathroom to pee, etc…

You get the picture right?…

Because I always like acknowledging every thought I have…it’s almost as if I didn’t my thoughts would feel offended…ok! That is just straight up crazy right?

I also don’t want to turn completely mad because there’s only so much one brain can process. So I resorted to using the “ER triage room” approach.

It really doesn’t work all the time…I may have mistakenly triaged some compulsive and unrealistically self-critical thoughts into my “Future plans/goals” category, or maybe intricate and logical explanations for my current aversion to romantic involvement into my “I want to explore life after a long long long term relationship” category, when maybe it could be better suited for a category like “Self-denial, cynicism, and cockiness are good friends” or maybe “I’m a coward who’s been hurt in the past and has built a pretty fucked up wall, bigger than the Great Wall of China, around herself”…

Again…you get the picture right?

All I know is that I’m trying…I really am. I need to make sense out of all of this. I may be triaging the very sick to rooms where the “hypochondriacs” belong to, while also triaging the perfectly healthy to psychiatric wards…I may even have triaged babies to gerontology divisions, but a girl can only try.

I saw this happen a few times in the ER when I worked there…and most likely than not, the ER “triagers” have the advantage of concrete measurements, tools and signs to help them triage patients to the right place to maximize the patient’s chances of getting/feeling healthy/surviving.

What does one do to successfully “triage” abstract feelings and thoughts that usually have their roots in even more abstraction and complex and multifaceted experiences?

All I can say is…I’m trying…I really am but I may have to reassess my approach…