Saturday, November 15, 2008

small victories...

This week I am counting the small victories and letting go of my grandiose expectations.

I have been co-facilitating a teen girls group once a week using a new therapy ~ dialectical behavior therapy. Basically its holding 2 opposites in your mind at once with both being true. Confused? OK try this: Say (and believe!) "I accept myself just exactly as I am" and at the same time also say and believe "I need to change"
Its a hard concept for adults, let alone teen girls. And these girls are troubled, have mental health issues and some have very low IQ's. So, this experimental group has been a bumpy ride. I went in with expectations of them eagerly sitting and listening as I explained how relaxing silence could be, how to meditate, how to use breathing and yoga to relax...
But I forgot I can't work those things in my daily life! and they are forced to come to group!!! So they are not exactly open and eager. Rather they are grumpy and defiant...

HOWEVER they have begun to share their troubles in group. Open up and talk about what is going on in their lives: being expelled from school, removal from their parents and placement into foster care, their babies taken away and put into foster care, failing school, abuse, trauma, death, depression...
Things you don't expect. Things that are pretty heavy for adults to carry, even tougher for girls age 13 to 16. Yup, 13 to 16. My heart breaks.

I was so blessed to have had my family when I was that age. I had great parents, great older siblings. I never had a moment in my life that I doubted I was loved and wanted. No matter how bad things got I always knew that I was loved. These girls don't have that in their lives. They look for love without knowing fully what love looks like. And often they accept a shoddy imitation of love...
Again my heart just breaks for them.

I don't know if our group is helping or not, I hope in some way, that they take something away from it. Some self esteem. A way to cope. A tool to help them get through the day. If I can give them at least that, then it will be a success.

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