Saturday, October 3, 2009


Hey there, sparkling eyes. . . .see, I have loooooong vision. . .ho ho ho
It is very early Sat. a.m.. . . like 5:22 to be exact. What am I doing up at this horrible hour? Why. . ..writing to you, of course. ;-)

Friday evening was rainy, windy, tres in froide. . .hehe. . so when I came home for a latish supper I just plain stayed in. . . and did something just so odd. . heheee.. . I read a book! No studying. . .just read for the sheer pleasure.

Madame Bouvier. . .my grammy. . .we like to call her Madame. .Madame B. .even Ms Bouvier. . . .she goes right along with our camp. . .
well, memere had gone out to supper with The Girls. . .her own circle of friends. Mde B drives a red. .if yo please. . .a red VW bug. . . hehehe with a permanent red silk rose in a thin vial vase on the dashboard. . hahahaa...cute. .

Just to be sure her Justin was fed she left a hot casserole in the warming over. . . baked macaroni 'n cheese. . . .with a dash of Dijon mustard and pine nuts. Soooooooooo good after school food yesterday. Beside regular Psych 101 I teach, my own two classes and then a late afternoon sesssion with the group therapy people.

We are a group of seven psych majors wwho have been meeting regularly since we were 4th year undergrads. So this is our thrid year we are into. The group is 5ive gay guys, one of whom claims to be 'bi', and. . .ready for this?. . .a straight guy. He asked in by choice. Plus our mentor Dr K.who is also gay. This is where we put into hands-on practice what we are learning in our academic lives and personal lives. We each are "in therapy" -- the patient. We each are the therapist. We tske turns being group leader. We talk about our own isues. . .real stuff we are dealing with . . .and share to the degree each one is comfortable with.

The program is aimed at giving us real application of the tools we are learning in the academic setting. When we began we individually signed a covenant with one another. . The Group. . .to guard, protect, preserve the sacred dignity of each member with the professional conduct of licensed therapists/counsellors. . .we agreed to live by the code of ethics which we would be obligated professionally and legally to observe when we were working in the therapeutic community.

Knowing all that we have come to know about one another we also pledged to one another not to "hit" on each other. heheheee And we take that very seriously. Professional ethical conduct.

So we are teaching one another; learning from one another. Dr K keeps a parental/ professional eye on all of us.

Our straight colleague asked to be a member of our group so that he could learn from us about being gay so he could bring to his own life a love and compassion for real gay men. And we have learned from him about heterosexual orientation. . . and, perhaps strangely at the beginning, we have come to realize we have far more in common than differences. We are a diverse group living diversity. It is an invaluable caring. loving learning environment. Btw, there are a few other similar groups in the department. We all meet together twice in a trimester for a presentation, discussion and supper. And member-students take turns doing the presentation. On occasion we have visiting presenters from the broader commuinity.

I have found this experience of enormous value academically and personally.

So why am I up? I woke up hungry and then decided to write to you while I was munching..hehheee... Now I am going to crawl back into bed and hopefully sink into "the arms of Morpheus" and get some more zzzzzzzzzzzs. As you all know, Morpheus is the Greek god of sleep. Hence the name morphine for pain control and sleep-inducing medications.

sweet dreams. . . yaaaawwnnnn



J said...

Sounds like what Randall Jarrell called "an abyss of analysands". What a great concept.

Coop said...

I like the concept, too. Sort of like a dry run before you're thrown into the world with real patients, eh?? Don't feel pressured to give out details... but how many gay Men vs. gay Women?

Isn't that like going to Catholic confession, sometimes?... having to pull something out of thin air to share with the group?

Coop said...

Ohh... I forgot Goodnight to you, too! ;-)

Gary Kelly said...

I really do wonder about this relationships thing. No one talks about getting to know thyself. Methinks everyone is so immersed in getting to know others, that they forget about their best friend - themselves.

Me and I get along famously. I go everywhere with myself. We even share the same bed.

Some people feel awkward about being alone. Whereas I've always got me for company. I have no qualms about dining by myself in a restaurant, or going to the movies with myself. It's cheaper for one thing... only one ticket!

Seriously, when you get to know yourself really well, and become friends with yourself, it's a wonderful thing. It's a relationship devoid of arguments. Myself and I never argue about what to watch on television, or who's going to drive the car, or what to wear on a date. It's bliss!

I think everyone is missing the point.

Justin O'Shea said...

Thanks for you comments. . .here are a few of mine. . .of course. lol

COOP. . hi . . you mention or ask
""'Isn't that like going to Catholic confession, sometimes?... having to pull something out of thin air to share with the group?"""

No it is like catholic confession. . pulling something out of thin air. it is real. We are working on our own issues, talking about things that matter to us personally, hopes, fears, doubts,anger management, how to listen when we are bored silly, what does compassion mean, how do we know we are loving . . .what the hell is love anyway. . .and on and on.

WIth six of us, plus the mentor, even if i have nothing specisl I want to talk about, once someone gets going, talking about his thing, I am involved, listening, trying to understand, offer suggestions or challenging, as appropriate.

It is WORK we are doing. . we've all been in classes- five years anyway. . we've been exposed to loads of material. . . and each one of us is "a work of art in process" - we are all growing, becoming freer in and out, and so forth.

I have a question for you, babe. Why would one go to confession if he didnt need to/ want to? What do you "pull out of thin air". . .made-up sins,. .?

That would just be a sham; not real. Why bother? What's the point?

See, COOP, this is an issue that I'd be challenged on by the group...asked to explain what I mean, etc.

Btw, we are not into any 'dry run': we are in the world now, dealing with real people... ourselves. . it isn't practice. . it is using/working with the stuff we are learning in class, helping one another to grow into better men.

For this, since we elected to work as a gay group, we are all gay MEN., with our str8 colleague. . there is no US and THEM. . it is all WE. . .for this to be effective [and affective too] it has to be a rather comfortable environment where there is no competition; we are all equals.

Other groups are not orientation- centered. . we are. . the others are mixed groups.

AM I responding to your questions, the things you raise?

JustinO'Shea said...

"Missing the point", GARY. No. Not at all. It is ALL about knowing ourselves better,becoming more comfortable with ourselves, improving ourselves, becoming, growing into better persons. . . see? ;-)

BTW, in my reply to COOP, I left out and important NOT. . ."It is NOT like catholic confession.. . ." etc.
Sorry. . .

Coop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coop said...

Mornin Justino...

I revised this in the afternoon for grammar, etc... I'm glad you told me you were challenging me. I dunno about you and our fellow blog crew but e-mail's naked words don't always convey the whole communication.

Dry run was NOT the word to use, SHAME on me for that. You guys are using the skills learned in your psychology program to help each other out AND gaining practical experience interacting with a patient... does that better describe it?? It sounds pretty neat. I mistakenly assumed that everyone HAD to bring something to talk about every week (required participation, etc.) Sorry 'bout all that. huggies??

Confession. I read in a novel Revere Beach (set in Reeveeah of course... did I spell that right. I speak Boston English fluently but I can't write it). Anyway I read that the character goes to confession but he couldn't remember what he went there to confess so he throws every little wrong in... including white lies to his wife about her behavior while she was under meds for her cancer. The Priest is telling him to get to the 'real sins'.
It didn't hit me how I felt about confession until I read that. I feel bad cause I don't go I'm told I SHOULD but what do I confess to when I get there. The last time I went (which was a looong time ago) I tossed in every minor transgression... I NEEDED to be there out of obligation so what else could I do?

Sunday insomnia. Might as well stay up now.