I'm not sure if I mentioned on my blog that I've been taking a summer course at the local college. I started college last fall with 2 classes and then did 4 classes in the spring semester. My plan is to take a summer course this year and another one next summer to catch up for only doing two classes in the fall last year. This summer, I'm taking Gender Studies.
And look what chapter was just put up for this week's assignment. This is a "loaded" chapter for me in a lot of ways. For those of you that aren't familiar with the religious group my parents got involved in when I was 14 and the hell that they put their family through, make sure you click over and do a little background reading. This is an article that I wrote as an overview of what I went through from the ages of 14-20: Freedom from Patriarchy. I haven't updated my story there in a long time, but if you want to do some further reading and start from the beginning of the journey my parents took our family on, here's a bunch more links for you: Erika's Voice
I took my book with me down to the lake this afternoon while Zach was catching fish. I haven't gotten too far into this chapter yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be a bit triggering for me. I paged through the section on Christianity in this chapter and it appears that the author isn't even aware of the neo-conservative patriarchal cult that is growing in America at alarming rates.
Right now, I'm working towards my Associates in Human Services. My goal is to eventually work all the way up to my Doctorate in Psychology. I have plans to be an art therapist. I want to use art as an outlet for people to express themselves in therapy. I love art and I love the field of psychology and I have a deep need to help others through their hurt and putting the two together seemed like a natural fit.
When I started this journey of higher education last February, I decided to get my high school diploma and then see what happened from there. When I went in for my first appointment with my assessor, I had a sudden urge to pursue something more right away. I decided on psychology because that seemed to be my calling. In the year and a half since then, I've tossed back and forth what type of therapy group I'd like to work with. I originally thought of women and girls coming out of spiritually abusive groups, then I thought of working with women and girls coming out of any abuse whatsoever. As I've been helping my grandfather with his appointments, errands, finances, etc., I started thinking about working with elderly folks. Then I came upon another idea as I was watching an episode of The Secret Millionaire. In this episode, millionaire Hillary goes to volunteer at a center that offers grief counseling. In one scene, people that are grieving are creating art work. What a beautiful way to give people an outlet when they're grieving for someone they've loved and lost.
I really don't know where I'll end up and what groups of people I'll be working with when I get to that stage, but I know that there are many people out there that are hurting or need someone to listen to them and I want to be a part of that healing process. I want to give them a creative outlet to let their "voice" be heard when they can't find the way to say the words. In my own life, I've found my art to be very therapeutic and I want to provide that same source of therapy for others.
I've registered for all of my fall classes and getting really excited for the new semester to begin while also working on the current summer course. I'll be taking my text book with me when I head to Florida tomorrow to pick up Girly from her summer missions trip. It's a long drive down and it's a fascinating chapter, so I know I'll have plenty to keep me busy.