Thanks, Bob.

Oh, believe me, I was prepared to throw in the towel to becoming an art therapist at all a couple of weeks ago. However, my therapist helped me to see that young people/children are not the population for me to reach out to. My experience with my adult heroin addicts is truly relaxed. One guy dove for the scissors to use on his girlfriend and, although it did alarm me, I maintained control, was able to throw them both out and leave for the day with a mental reminder to get a tool bag to to carry exacto knives, scissors, and other art tools that could become weapons. No triggering. My class is filled with thugs, many homeless, either dealing or using hard drugs, or both, but I actually feel at home with them. I have no fear. Odd.

My therapist told me they get my pain and they know I get theirs from unspoken cues. Believe it or not we give each other a safe space. My therapist keeps telling me the hard drug addict demographic is considered to be the most difficult. He said it may be one of my niches since I do not experience it that way. He pointed out it is important for me to make a mental note of that moving forward when I consider where practicing art therapy will be most effective.

The experience with the Youth Specialist job taught me that not every population is for everybody and that youth populations are not where I would be effective in a positive way.

I hear you about the shame and sleaze -- add on filth, evil, faggot, and a few other choice words for me. Inside I don't think those personal identifiers will ever go away.

I really don't have a family or friends, at least not that I am close to. I have a partner (husband;New York State) but I cannot bring myself to rely on him for support. I sent my friends on their way a long time ago. My T and I are presently in a "dialog" about building my support system. Yeah, well. ...

Interesting that you should mention that your behavior to that woman turned this "excellent and healing environment into just another place where could lead a double life of shame...." Lately, my experience here reflects exactly those sentiments just in the fact that I come here. For me, no place is truly safe. No place ever will be.

Anyway, I appreciate your feedback and comments. Helps me think.

BTW I do art therapy for myself already. I have produce and continue to produce collages reflecting my personal emotional and psychological growth. In a little over a year I have produced a body of work consisting of about 56 pieces.

O