Veteran’s Day 11/11/17

I guess every generation has its war. For mine, it was Vietnam.

I was so angry about that war and I could not have told you why………other than my well-intentioned, but naive Flower Child commitment to nonviolence.

Even though I could not have justified it with any political understanding, I marched and protested and wrote passionate letters and participated in every way I could think of…believing with my whole being that we could actually stop the war.

Though I lost my innocence back then, as well as many friends, I never lost my belief in pacifism.

It took going to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC some time in the early 1980’s for me to finally be able to make room in my black and white thinking about the Vietnam war. I had never even considered how many of those names on the Wall represented men and women who chose, out of honor and deep-held passions of their own, to fight for our country.

I was still biased, and so angry on that trip. I made pencil etchings of 17 names, “brothers” from my childhood, that had served in Vietnam…but did not make it back home. Each one of them had been drafted.

Now, this print of Lee Teter’s Vietnam Reflections War Memorial Poster sits in the most prominent position in my office/Group Room. Everyone who comes to me for therapy is greeted by this powerful image. Such a small homage to all those we lost, in that war, as well as because of that war.

Vietnam Wall Painting

We didn’t know back then what we know now. So many of us would do it all differently…

especially the welcoming home part….

This is one of my favorite videos ever.

 

I ask for forgiveness for not knowing this back then.

And I dedicate this post, with deep gratitude for their service, to the following people I am blessed to have had in my life. Most, but not all, served during the Vietnam War.

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force

James Fletcher-US Army

Jimmy Schack

Mary Paananen

David Taylor

Joe LaFayette

Eddie Leachman

Ari Cowan

Bret Burkholder

Vince Horan

Saralee Blum

Jim Sorensen

Ron Holst

Michael Adams

Dale Beuning

Colonel James Kowalski

Kirk Boettcher

Mriana Williams

Richard Hartman

James Malone

Shawn Dennis

Colonel James Sampson

Steve Dryden

Don Ulmer

Lou Chirillo

Dave Bartholomew

Jason Bogar

Colonel Bill Head

Captain Roy Gurd

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

PS Sorry I could not get WordPress to work yesterday so this post is a day late…

 

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday 10-22-17

 

I cannot add a single song to the theme for this week for Helen Vahdati’s weekly challenge. The one she chose would have been mine also. Please treat yourself to a visit to her site (and check out my comment at the bottom).

Song Lyric Sunday – Let It Be from Across the Universe

 

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Song Lyric Sunday

https://libbyroderick.com/how-could-anyone/

Especially for you Helen! I have a great story about this song but when I looked it up, I found that many, many others do also.

Here’s mine.

To become a practitioner in the kind of therapy I do takes a ton of personal work first.

You have to practice what you preach. You have to model behavior you hope to see in others. You have to be impeccable….ALL THE TIME! Not just in front of your clients.

After 30 years of practice, I figured I had this one down, until my wonderful therapist/mentor/teacher/”Mom” passed away! She is the person who first shared this song with me and it became my anthem for myself, and eventually for many clients. But when Elaine died, I had forgotten all about this song.

At her memorial, with hundreds of people there, someone told me they got a “message” from Elaine that I was supposed to go up to the front of the room and lead the group in a song.

I said “WHAT??”

First of all, I do NOT sing in front of people after a traumatic high school event where my choir teacher broke my heart and spirit by telling me to please just lipsync because my voice was so bad.

And second of all, how was I supposed to know what song!!

I resisted…but my training kicked in (and maybe a little “fake it ’til you make it” self-love).

I’m not one to ignore channeling or messages from beyond or whatever it was, so I marched up there, and without a second thought, I belted out THIS VERY SONG! Clear, loud, and, later I was told, even on key!! I lead the group in singing several rounds because anyone who knew Elaine, knew this beautiful song! (I still get goose bumps remembering this moment!)

That action, compelled somehow by someone else’s belief in me, finished one more piece of work for me that had lingered all these years!

Close your eyes when you listen and imagine these words coming from the person you most need to hear them from.

Love,

Kathie

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 10/1/17

 

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SongLyricsSunday-“Lying” 8-6-17

One of my “areas of expertise” as a Psychotherapist is relationships, but do not take the following as professional advice. Certain decisions are 100% personal.

Something I have seen so many times is outright lying, and I still don’t understand it.

It’s one thing to engage, for example, in “cheating” in a relationship. It’s a whole different level of yuck to lie about it, straight to someone’s face…even AFTER you’ve been caught!

I can almost understand the act of being unfaithful…there is almost always a perceived element of being carried away by something bigger than oneself, feeling helpless in the face of something, etc.

But the lying part…willful…crazy-making…calculated…that’s the part that would do me in. I couldn’t cheat because I would suffocate under the incredible crushing weight of the having to lie part.

And the lying part ends up to be the most damaging part of the whole thing, not the act of infidelity itself.

People who do finally do tell the truth about cheating can rarely offer good explanations.

Even my own former husband, after 13 years of what I thought was wedded bliss, only had this excuse to offer when I asked him why.

“Well, I thought I could get away with it.”

So if you wandered and did not get caught, think long and hard before indulging in that guilt-relieving dump some people feel compelled to do under the guise of total honesty, or “coming clean”. It is usually just for the cheater to get out from under the hefty guilt-weight of his or her actions. Or worse, it’s a passive aggressive move to make sure your indiscretion is known so it can actually hurt your partner.

That is your shit to carry…possibly forever. So shut the fuck up and live with it. Deal with the real issues!

But if you have been busted, tell the truth, for God’s sake!!

Don’t gaslight someone you supposedly love.

 

End of obviously biased lecture of the day!

Lyrics from Google Play

There ain’t no use in me trying to tell you how I feel
’cause what I feel ain’t what you’re feeling
I don’t know what we did wrong
I just know if you come home
I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again

There ain’t no use in me trying to find out where you’ve been
Where you’ve been ain’t where I’m going
’cause if I ask you where you’ve been
The hurting starts and it don’t end
So I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no
I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no no

Tears don’t become me
Pain ain’t my friend
It seems like you enjoy my crying, baby
You always said that I was strong
But I believe that you were wrong
Lately, God knows, I have been trying

There ain’t no use in you trying to kiss away the hurt, baby
’cause it hurts where it’s deep down inside of me and it’s hiding
If you decide you’re coming home
You walk in, it won’t be like before
’cause I ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no
Ain’t gonna let you break my heart again, no no

Written by David Lasley, Julie Lasley • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 8/6/17

ChosenPerspectives on Collage for WPC 7/12/17

Collage

My life is FILLED with “Collage”. I love surrounding myself with collections in categories.

The are each a Collage I made for someone else (top to bottom). A jewelry box filled with the jewelry pieces from a dear friend’s Mom, Memory Boxes for my Grandsons containing tiny symbols and souvenirs from their adventures, and photo cards.

My dear friend who gave me her mother’s jewelry pieces and old jewelry box above inspired me to facilitate a Collaging for Grief Workshop. My participants would collect the small things they couldn’t part with after a death. We would gather together to put all the trinkets in collage shadow boxes, all the while telling each other the stories behind the pieces. It was a wonderful way to let go of the large piles of things we can be left with when a loved one dies, but still end up with a lovely memorial piece of art in their honor.

I have posted before the embarrassing proof that most of the walls in my home are giant Collages

This is a series I called “Toy Baskets”. Trinkets from my own childhood. If you are of a similar age you might recognize Monopoly, Pick up Stix, Tiddly Winks, etc.

 

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More Wall Collages from my home and Office

 

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I could never stand to throw away the beautiful cards my clients have given me over 40 years in private practice, so I would always turn them into collages and display them. They so enjoyed spotting a piece of a card I had saved from them.

And many of my clients have been artists so I have many beautiful handmade pieces.

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This is titled “a Million Tears” (cried in therapy). Each tear hand-inked with a blue pen

This one below is my favorite. It was when my practice was HUGE. I had 8 groups of 10 people each (5 therapy, 1 couples’ group, a Graduate Group, and a training group). The artist who did this mixed media sort of collage told me it represented the path of my heart through my professional life, with many, many connections shooting off into the world, like stars. I was so moved by this. The piece always remains a focal point of my current Wall Collage display. Hand done painting, stitching, gluing, etc. (I especially love this piece since my current practice is only 3 clients.) It’s so sweet to remember that I used to have a larger impact on my world…..

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She told me this central line was my heart path….connected to and spreading out to the world, each star and sequin representing a life I had touched. It’s taken me years to accept (not my focus at the time) that I really did get to love a lot of people!!

Author note: Sorry for bad photos and for lack of editing. I wanted to get this in before the new challenge happens today!