It is important what the abused person actually emotionally knows and understands. It is also important to know what is in their own symbolic toolbox. Mine was survival and threat analysis. It was on the order of spider-man kind of stuff. Can you imagine a kid with severe astigmatism and 20/900 vision out on the streets of Clearwater Florida at night in the early 1970's. Not being able to see and yet still navigate safely on a Black motocross bicycle and with a tested IQ of about 70. I'm no Spiderman and I pretended to be Batman as a kid.
The kids you may be counseling have their own gifts and talents. They are simply repressed or like in poker kept close to their chests. These abused and tortured souls may not even be aware that they have any gifts or talents. They may be like I was only knowing how bad they are, how unwanted they are, how all they know is pain, suffering and loneliness. If they are with you then it is you to help them even if they are not being responsive as I was not. Yet, I do remember those who tried. The G Group home. The D foster home. The one Clearwater Police cop who removed me from my adoptive family and took me to juvenile jail. That was my first night in foster care in my second state of Florida.
Something sparked a memory for me and the realization of how gratitude and love were absent from me. Oh yea, I was just thinking about my adoptive grand parents who invited me for visits and I would just disappear. Thus, using their place as only a bed and for food. I never thanked them for anything. I was just a bad person back then. That even goes for the teacher which tried to help me and all I offered in return to her was grief. I'm being polite in that "grief" reference. (Miss V.)
Even when I was in foster care. I had no emotions for anyone. Not that I had any understanding of those good and important emotions such as love, mercy and compassion. Let alone kindness and gratitude. To me a child who was almost killed by his adoptive mother several times and nearly starved in shelter and foster homes. I was very underweight and everyone was a threat, not to ever be trusted. So I guess no one really did or if they tried I caused them to feel just how wrong they were. Which is what many of these kids may cause you to think and feel. For some deep down they are saving your from even trying as they already know their own inner truth. They are worthless, They are unloved, They are not cared for. If you can begin to prove to each one that they have worth and that you actually care. None of which can be expressed with words. Then maybe each one can begin to realize a new truth about who they are and what they are. From those very basic realizations can form into a new foundation in which there was none before. Then out of that foundation can begin hope and a self guided direction within their current interests. Which will evolve into other interests. Maybe, you will even be gifted with a genuine smile.
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