I will not lie to you. I went to work in a very unhappy state today. It wasn’t anything to do with work, and I made every effort (as I always do) to keep my focus on the people in my sessions. As you can imagine, by the end of the day, I was fading a bit, and it was sort of hard to stop my sadness.
My last session of the day is with two gentlemen (M and G, both of whom I like very much) who experience life on the autism spectrum. We had had a tough time in the previous week, because M kicked G on Monday and then he kicked me on Thursday, and G and I were both sporting bruised shins. G, on the other hand, tends to scream very loudly on occasion (with a tendency to be near one’s ears when he does so). So, of course, when we started there were reminders to try to use words and musical sounds to express any frustration or distress rather than kicking and screaming as a means to make salient points (thank you very much). [Hm, I just noticed that together M and G do, in fact, kick and scream. They do this separately, mind you, but how interesting that they ended up in the same session together. What a very nifty new thing to know. Anyway...]
G has a hard time staying with us for the duration of the session (although he usually hovers nearby or returns to check back in to our space in the back hallway of the cottage). M, on the other hand, likes to draw while we work (I think because it helps him to focus on the session more effectively and less directly).
Well, something about G’s hovering today triggered the sadness with which I’d started the day, and I had to pause for a moment. I rested both of my hands on the table and looked across it to M, who suddenly stopped what he was doing, put the pen down, reached out and enveloped both of my hands with his, looking at me quietly. Then he went back to his drawing.
It was such a sweet and kind gesture, and I knew that he understood that I was sad, and he wanted to offer me comfort (which he did). I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, and we continued on peacefully for the rest of the session.