"and i say, well so what if they're just stories? what if i need them"-ben rector
i think my family is composed of natural storytellers. i remember listening to my grandma carlton telling these elaborate stories about our family that came from poland, or what life in chicago was like when she was a little girl, or about my aunts and my mother. they were always really colorful stories, which i'm sure had details added for interest, but that's what makes a storyteller great. if you've ever had the pleasure of hanging out with my family, you will have heard my brother or my mom carry on the same spirit that my grandma carlton had. some of those stories i know so well, because i have heard them told so many times. however, i always want to hear them again because they are important to them and now to me.
when i was little, my mom would tell me about this storytelling festival that she had attended. i would watch it on public access. i was fascinated by the way that these people could captivate an audience for a few minutes. i always wanted to be like them. storytelling has really paved the path that my life has been on.
my favorite part about being an art therapist, working with the people that i've worked with, is being able to allow them to tell their stories. my job as a therapist isn't to persuade them to tell a different one, or even change their story. it's to allow them to really feel those stories and decide how they, as the characters, are going to react to what's happened around them. the only thing i really have to do is give them a space of hope. hope lies somewhere in all stories. i, sometimes, get to help them find it. i never want them to deny or forget the previous chapters, they give them power and strength for the times they forget how far they've come.
the best part of my job now is that i get to watch stories change. i get to see our clients be innocent, relaxed, and safe. i won't get to see how they change, or how they write their futures, but i get to be part of the hope.
i've had conversations with friends and family about what i'm doing, and sometimes it's hard for them to see past the BS these people have had to go through. it's hard on some days to see past it myself. there have been times i've been filled with a rage that i can't really explain to anyone. even though this is my dream job, i never could have imagined the parts of my character it's bringing out of me. it's shaking the dust of apathy that had settled over my life for the last few years. there are emotions and feelings i have never had before. all in just a few short weeks. i feel like i've lived months. sometimes it feels like my story is just really beginning.