Healing

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Sucker-Punched

Hello. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. Internship has taken up a lot of my time. I feel so much better at this internship site than I did at my first one. Still I feel like I am lacking in so many ways. I have so far to go in terms of skill building. I am still nervous to varying degrees with the students and I feel absolutely clueless sometimes when trying to process their art work in a group setting, especially since their imaginations and, in some cases, their cognitive development are limited. This is simply due to their normal course of development in some cases but in others their perceptions are skewed due to trauma and/or poorer socioeconomic status. My nerves get in the way a lot but I think I have developed a pretty good relationship with the students. It’s a strange balance trying to walk the line between therapist and teacher and it is one I am far from comfortable with, especially since in my art therapy program it is expected that we are more therapist than teacher. When it comes to case conceptualization and implementing art therapy I struggle, or at least I struggle in thinking things through. Sometimes I feel like I struggle putting it into words. I apply half-assed art directives with half-assed reasonings in a setting where “group” is just one of 8 classes our students have to attend everyday. Sometimes, many times, it is as if “group” is the least of the students’ worries where, in many cases, they only half care about their classes.

And so, I found it extremely frustrating and devastating to my sense of…confidence? security? and suitability for this profession, when this week my professor returned a paper to me with an ominous message calling into question, I felt, exactly that. I have been sick off and on since receiving this message even though, I think, it was sent with the best of intentions, enhancing/ furthering my learning. It has been extremely nerve wracking and exhausting to me since I put so much work into everything I do. To have my own doubts and fears virtually confirmed has been at the root of feeling as if I was punched in the gut and the throat simultaneously. I am afraid. And part of me feels as if I don’t know what she, my professor, wants. Part of me feels like I will never put this feeling of nervousness and anxiety behind and I will never be 100% comfortable in this profession.

A gaping black hole feels like it is in front of me sometimes. It is that feeling you get when you are 15 floors up in a building and look down. You know in your mind that you are secure and won’t fall but something in the pit of your stomach makes you want to cling desperately to the floors and walls. When I receive feedback like I got this week it forces me to look down at the street from the 15th floor of a building. It has left me scared, weak, and searching for something to hold onto.