Friday, March 30, 2007

A slight glimmer of . . . something

We had our bi-weekly therapy call with B last night. Some interesting stuff going on lately.

He is doing an exercise with the entire group, of having them write apology letters. He had Katie write one to EVERYONE. She said she had done 15, but actually had did only 9. She turned these in to him, he looked them over, and then tore them up in front of her. She was a bit pissed off, as you can expect. He then said that is exactly what she has been doing to everybody else in her life - ripping up and throwing out all the effort they have been putting in with her.

I like this guy.

So then in group, he starts reading these letters, including two more she has written. These are read anonymously after the first few. The girls all then comment on them, sharing if they were sincere and real. When he read Katie's letter to her teacher - the entire group immediately recognized it as hers because it was repetitve and empty. No feeling behind it - it wasn't real.

When Katie came on the call, she talked about her apology she wrote to her mother, and read it. It started out much better, but quickly degenerated into a guilt trip towards her. Now her mother will never see it, because not only has she not had any contact at all with Katie since she entered the program 18 months ago, but even the other boys have not heard from her since last June.

However, as we talked about her mother, something interesting happened. For a very short time, some real emotions came out. For the briefest time, she let down all the pretenses, and got real about some of the things she felt about her mother. Her mother is truly a major issue with her, if not the central issue. It wasn't long - she quickly 'recovered' from it, but we did acknowledge that was exactly what she needed to do to begin to progress in the program. Not try and make others happy, not try to be what others want, but to be herself, with real emotions.

So it was a glimps of something. A spark in the darkness. The question is, will the spark catch and ignite, to burn and fire the passion for change that she needs, or will it smolder and die, smothered in fear and doubt. So often we are so comfortable with the pain we know, as opposed to change, that it keeps us from every moving.

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