National Coming Out Day – A Queer Cis-Female Therapist’s thoughts

October 11 th is National Coming Out Day. Coming out is an extremely sensitive, brave, and ongoing decision one makes to be their most authentic self.

I came out approximately 10/11 years ago. I felt all the feelings one would feel; shame, fear, anger (towards self), and hopelessness. I had to come out to myself first, by acknowledging and accepting this is who I was, then to my immediate friends and family, and then to the world. I also continue to make this choice every day by being myself in the world.

Coming out is not always safe for everyone, I was lucky in my case it was. I had a support system that made an effort to listen and understand, without judgment. Funny thing is I still sometimes find this hard to do for myself.

Why is it important that I write this, identifying myself as a queer cis-female therapist? When we’re in the process of exploring our sexuality/identity, all we can think about is how much our loved ones and the world is going to reject us, judge us, be disgusted by us, and cast us out. Yes, I felt this way about therapists too. As much as we like to think we’re the least judgmental, we are ALL born with biases. When I made the choice to enter the social work field, I made a promise to myself that I would not lose who I was in the process, or ever. I’ve walked out of therapy sessions where I felt there wasn’t genuine care/concern in the therapeutic alliance. In order for you to show me who you are, you need to know a little bit of who I am. How can I ask someone to be vulnerable with me, without identifying my vulnerability, the vulnerability we all experience as humans.

I say this to say, I care about you, I welcome you, I embrace you, I do not see you as “wrong”. I do not judge you, I accept you, I AFFIRM you, and all of you.

I was born 31 years ago, but sometimes I feel like my story didn’t start until I was 22. Fast forward to today and I am currently happy in a relationship with a woman. I understand now that I am constantly given a choice to continue to live by my values or against them. I value authenticity, I value honesty, and I value connection. And the truth is, living by my values means more to me than the risk of being rejected when it comes to my life. I knew that the fear of staying the same was greater than the fear of change. I knew when I became older and had less time, I would look back and wish I gave this one shot at life all I got, as who I am. I couldn’t experience any of these values if I shut out parts of myself to myself and the world.

I am still learning how to be comfortable with myself in a world that wants to continue to send me messages that who I am is wrong, disgusting, and abnormal. I still look around in public places for safety before I kiss or hold my girlfriend’s hand. I still feel the pit in my stomach as I share a public display of affection and know my friends/family are watching. Coming out is not just a one-time thing. Its not just on National Coming Out Day. It’s a decision I make every single day and will make for the rest of my life.

This is my story, it’s time to start yours. Whatever you decide to do, please know that I see you, I am here, and I am ready to support you through your journey.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth-resources.htm

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Couples: 5 Relationship repair tips for cracks in your connection

Whether you have been together for years or just a couple of months you will have points in your relationship where you feel the connection has dwindled a bit. You may feel your putting in too much effort and your partner has become aloof and absent. Perhaps, you feel you two are at a standstill and the relationship isn’t progressing or maybe you feel you two are on different pages, that your lifestyles don’t match up anymore. Regardless of what the reason for the disconnection is, if the relationship is important to you there are always tricks of the handle to try and resurface a strong connection.

1. Discover your (and your partners) love language

Are you someone whose love language is words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, or acts of service? Knowing your love language is important and will help you communicate with your partner what makes you feel appreciated and closer to someone. Knowing your partners love language is equally as important because you want to be providing your partner with actions that matter to them and that take the guesswork out of what they are needing from you.

2. Take space

No, this does not mean going on a break! Taking space simply means taking a step back from the situation. Your disconnection with your partner may be such a constant trail of thoughts on your mind that you may need to step back and reconnect with yourself first. Sometimes we allow our thoughts to get ahead of us and we will make a mountain out of a molehill. There could be a chance the disconnection you are feeling about your relationship is actually not as major as your negative thoughts have allowed you to believe. Your partner may not be even feeling the crack! So ask yourself, “Is this situation really that big of a deal, or is it all in my head?”

3. Bring it back to the beginning

There is a theory that if you bring yourself to the spot where your love was at its strongest, the feelings you had there will return. Where was the date you two felt in total contentment and deep connection? Where you felt you two were at your best? Go back to that spot. Being at this spot may re-spark your initial feelings and allow you to remember what your bond felt like before.

4. Go get some cocktails together

Sounds like a first date, right? How long has it been since you heard from someone your interested in, “Hey, want to meet up for some drinks?”….probably too long! Go to one of your favorite restaurants together, put the phone away and act like this is your first night out on the town together! Having fun can be easily forgotten with all the noise. This can also be done COVID style by bringing the cocktails at home. Have a cocktail-making night; most grocery stores have delicious kits and mixes to make right at home.

5. Just ask

If you feel there is a disconnection in your relationship and you are not liking it, just straight up ask your partner if anything is wrong or if they have been feeling the same way lately. This is probably the scariest and most serious option out of them all, but probably the one that will give you the most clarity and answers to your concern(s). Lay out on the table what has been bothering you and what you have been feeling lately. Write it down beforehand if you want; sometimes the most intimidating conversations are the ones that are the most necessary.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Welcome to My Blog

Hi friend,

Wanted to do a quick introduction for all my new followers. First and foremost, welcome welcome welcome, I’m happy your here and the divine light connected us. My hope is that the daily posts bring you happiness, inspiration and hope.

I want you to know that I’m truly happy your here, my life’s dedication is to help, be there for those when they feel the most vulnerable, defeated etc. I’m here to tell you that your not alone, I see you, I applaud you and encourage you to continue/begin journey.

A little about me, I’m a mommy, true animal lover, advocate for all, entrepreneur and true lover of life and all beings. Once you get to know me, you know that I’m truly authentic, real, raw, funny (I think) and compassionate. You are here for a reason, I hope this page brings you what you need, the smile pick me up, the giggle, inspiration etc. welcome my friends ?
My practice provides counseling and coaching, clopanetherapy.com – when/ if you decide to make the powerful commitment to psychotherapy just know, whether it’s me, my practice or a colleague, we are honored to be apart of your journey, when you grow, we all grow. Its powerful work I get to do each and every day and not a moment goes by that I’m not grateful you chose me and my practice ?

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Flex that Muscle Girl

When we use the tools and skills we have learned to empower ourselves in therapy we begin to flex that muscle. I’ve been calling this strength and growth flexing the muscle for years. Every time I have a session and a client shares how they have been flexing that muscle, I smile, and not just a little smile, I glow with happiness. It’s an indicator that things are changing, evolving, and growing for the client. The client feels the strength to use that muscle and a new chapter has begun, I smile, we smile. This is exactly why I do the work I do. Flex that muscle girl, own your true authentic evolving self.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer, spread it like a wildfire now

I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you. I never thought in a million years this would be the world my son would grow up in. The pain, the injustice, the suffering. Today as a community, we need to all do better, it takes a village and our children deserve better. I pledge to give everything I have, work harder every day to do my part in healing this world we live in. I do believe we can heal, but it takes the entire tribe. Unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer, spread it like a wildfire now, right now.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella