I gave one of the men I work with a seven-minute warning (we really struggle with endings and transitions) before we had to end today (knowing it would probably be more like a fifteen minute process).
He was drawing, and he suddenly decided he needed to get in to my guitar case (which necessitated practically climbing over me). He started to hit at my arms when I asked him to stop trying to rummage (over me) through my case. I reminded him that it hurts when he hits me and that he should tell me what he wanted rather than hitting me and assuming I was saying “no” when I didn’t even know what it was he wanted.
He finally removed himself from my personal space and said “pen”. Mind you, I’d given him three pens when we started our session (one of which was apparently drying up, because he handed the offensive item back to me, dumping it on the table in front of me). I explained that we would be leaving soon (denial? what denial?), “so please try to live with the pens you have.”
I was all set to be annoyed because here we were having this drama and we were almost done. Ding! “I don’t want to have to end, Roia. This is hard for me.”
So began our (as predicted) fifteen-minute ending. Honestly, I’m not sure how it comes across to readers, but my heart is truly touched by the fact that this young man feels so strongly about being in music therapy.
It was literally hard for him to let me go today, and I say this because he always walks over to the door to “say” goodbye to me (he doesn’t usually actually say “goodbye”), and he hovers around (sort of the same way our parents hover around when we leave their house as adults, waiting until we’re truly gone).
Today he took my hand (which I offered, because he still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of my being his music therapist and the fact that we say “goodbye” differently from the way he says “goodbye” to mom and dad). He took my hand, looked away and back and then away and back, and he just held on for a while.
[You can listen to the song if you click on the title and go to the original posting.]