Monday, September 24, 2012

play therapy

No question last week was a challenging week, it was very overwhelming. My anxiety level was through the roof but things seemed to settle down some over the weekend. I was hoping with the new week would come a fresh start, but then Sunday night the washing machine burned up, so we may be in for another rough week. Time will tell.

Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments and emails. Every one of your kind words helped me get through last week. Thank you! Thank you!

There were actually some positives from last week too. I am so tremendously thankful that Laura and the kitties are all alive and well. Everyone here is in good health. That is a significant positive! Laura took Oliver to the vet on Saturday to get his wound looked over. The vet thought it was an old injury that got infected somehow. I'm not so sure, but I don't have any other ideas and Oliver's not saying. I hope the fur grows back! Oliver was coming close to needing his annual check-up and shots too, so we killed two birds with one stone (figuratively, not literally - no birds were harmed!)

Oliver watches a squirrel in his yard
I had a class all day Friday and Saturday. That helped me get my mind off the week that was, although the class is about learning a therapeutic modality for processing trauma and I had a week of trauma. So when it came time to practice what we had learned, it was nearly impossible not to think of the week's events. Thankfully though, the people I was working with were all kind and understanding.

Even though I rarely talk about my spirituality here, my faith is very important to me. It permeates my life on all levels. As I view faith, it's a matter of believing in something that doesn't make sense and something that it beyond my comprehension. This last week in particular has raised all sorts of theological questions as I wonder what's going on in my life on a spiritual level. A lot of things have occurred (a number of which I have not shared here) that really feel bizarre, like something is happening on a spiritual level. Trying to figure out all this stuff feels like trying to navigate a storm with a rusty, scratched and difficult to read compass. Anyway, thankfully, I did not feel spiritually alone in the midst of last week. Symbols of my faith stood out like beacons throughout the week found in unexpected places; the cab of the tow truck, on the city bus, and in a conversation with a fellow student at class.

Friday, while on the lunch break at class, I called a friend and shared the events from my week and to ask if it might be possible to borrow a car for the weekend. Before I could get to the ask, she offered me the use of one of their cars. Tears of gratitude filled my eyes. I held back the urge to sob fearing that if I allowed myself to go there and released that energy it would exceed the duration of the lunch break. Being overwhelmed with gratitude when feeling vulnerable is so much more pleasant than being overwhelmed with more anxiety.

This weekend, when not in class, we were car shopping, which is one of the least favorite things I can imagine doing. We met a handful of colorful used car salesmen and drove a number of cars. After all that pain and suffering, we remain carless And here comes another moment of gratitude, for the most part our schedules don't require a car, so we are able to get to work and most of our routine activities without the use of a car. Meanwhile I'm gathering the parts to get the old car fixed. Hopefully the old Jetta will run again!

I talked with my mom this past weekend, she seems in positive spirits. She has started an estrogen-blocking medication that is suppose to get rid of the cancerous tumors. I hope it works!

My main soothing strategy for getting through this weekend involved play therapy. Playing with the cats that is! I have been putting in every spare ounce of energy lately on various projects around the house, which has left them starved for play. After just a few minutes of playing they all came alive! Like wilted plants getting their first rain after a long drought. Playing with them is always such a great joy.

Nahum being the gentlecat that he is, let his adorable sister take the first round:

Now Nahum follows me everywhere with his string. It's hard to be overwhelmed with everything when fluffy Nahum is carrying his favorite string over to me so I can wiggle it for him.


  1. Play therapy seems pretty effective to me. :-)

    You know, years ago I used to take Yoga classes. My ex and I still were together at the time, it was in the early years here in this city. I used to get to class, get into the relaxed pose, and start crying. Sometimes I'd cry the entire class--I'd always try to be at the back, where I was less visible. It was the relaxation, the letting go of the tension, that opened up the tear ducts; I couldn't help it.

    Which is to say that some private meditation or relaxing stretches might help you as well. We all need to fall apart now and again.

  2. Love the play therapy! It helps me feel connected to my life again! Kitties and babies (my Grand) this weekend have given me more energy for the week ahead. On a Spiritual level, be aware that 'evil' senses when we are down and weak and will attack. God is there for you and showing you his signs that he has not gone away! Stay strong my friend. Hugs, Linda

  3. So glad you can find some moments of relief playing with your cats. Animals are so intrinsically good, you know you can trust your feelings with them. They honor and love you just the way you are, in happiness or high stress. I'm glad your Mom has positive feelings in her treatment. that will relieve you somewhat to focus on the not-so-good parts of life currently. As the wheel begins to turn, problems will hopefully drop away and your Mom will begin to get better. Beaming good thoughts your way.

  4. Cats are always good therapy! That's why they say cat owners live longer! :)

  5. We certainly hope this week takes a more positive turn (and you lived closer we would point you to a good car salesman as well). Sometimes just turning out the world and concentrating on something simple like the cats can help - their ability to live in the moment and not sweat the little stuff is something we could all take a lesson from.

  6. Cats are the best medicine. I love some of those Willow "action" shots!
    Glad to hear you are chipping away at the stresses. I hope your mom's therapy works. My mother had cancer, and I felt as though that disease was a journey for everyone involved. Yoga is actually not a bad idea. I used to do it at home (from a book), and my cat really enjoyed it when I lay down on the floor to do some of my poses. The yoga was very calming and centering. I did it every day when I came home from work. Sometimes classes are good, but I found them distracting.
    You will find your way. Purrs.

  7. I loved what Linda@A la carte said about evil sensing when we are down. Playing with cats,grounds me too. I have my Palm Sunday crosses dotted about the house... they help ground me also.
    Jane x

  8. I had no idesa of all that has happened and I will go backward to see. Your blog is NOT showing up in my reader and I don't know why. I was gone too, so that didn't help. I am so so sorry for all that is happening or has happened. God bless you. I will go backward in your blogs now,

  9. The Lord knows you, from me, as the "Man with the Four White Paws". The photos are great. The next to the last looks like Nahum is issuing a challenge. As each day passes, we with strong faith are one day nearer heaven.

  10. Rose looks just like my tinker belle. Your blog is very interesting. I get daily therapy from my kitties as well. Would be lost without it....


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