Posted by: Marie | October 23, 2013

(883) I can only do so much – Part 2 of 2

Post #883
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, June 30, 2012 – continued from previous post]

————–

Since she seemed to be open to hearing what I had to say, I figured I could say something that might affect the behavioral choices she makes in the future . . .

————–

Me: You know, the adults in your life might not always do what is best for you . . . and you are limited on what you can do about that . . . they are going to do what they are going to do . . . and, at some point, you have to decide to be your own hero . . .

At some point, you have to decide that, despite what other people around you do, you are going to find your own way through this experience of growing up while taking care of yourself and making the most responsible choices . . . choosing to do what will best support you and what you want.

(227)

Photo by Martin Chen

I am concerned that, in dealing with your pain and all your struggles, you might make choices that are harmful to yourself . . . like making out with boys because you really want someone to tell you that you are cool . . . making out with boys can have some pretty intense consequences . . .

Or, maybe you choose to try drinking or drugs or something like that . . . and I’m just really scared that you might head down a path that is very destructive and harmful . . . all because you don’t feel that you are loved or that you are important . . .

Renee: I do have low self-esteem . . . so yeah, that is something that could happen . . .

Me: You have the opportunity to choose better . . . you’ve got to be your own hero and make choices that are good for yourself . . . choices that are wise beyond your years . . . regardless what the adults around you are doing. You gotta be your own hero.

————–

And, with that, it seemed our conversation had come to a natural conclusion, so I guided our focus back to the piano lesson . . . and she participated in the lesson with a significant amount of enthusiasm . . .

I was really tickled that she was not doing the “helpless” thing she had done at her previous lesson where she kept saying she wasn’t capable of doing even the simplest exercise . . . instead, this lesson, she was very willing to try new techniques and she laughed it off when she made mistakes . . . it was a whole new side of her I hadn’t seen before . . . her self-confidence was showing through!

I wonder if it was because she felt connected and safe with me . . . ??

She actually learned an entire song in the 25 minutes of the lesson in which we actually studied music . . . and then we played the song’s duet (I played the “teacher” part that compliments the part she learned). Her dad returned and listened in on the last five minutes of her lesson, and during those five minutes, we played the duet for him. He seemed really pleased with her progress and praised her enthusiastically.

So, I don’t know if this week’s lesson will inspire and encourage her enough to continue practicing . . . I guess I’ll just have to wait and see . . . take it week by week . . . I can only do so much, she has to do her part . . .

I’ve always had a policy that if I have a conversation with a student that is sensitive or personal in nature – like the conversation I had with Renee this week – anything that is outside the scope of what a reasonable person would expect to occur in a piano lesson – I always report it to the parents (if they weren’t there to observe it) because I think it is my responsibility to report such occurrences . . . they need to know when an adult is having conversations like that with their child.

But, I think this is a situation where I need to not do that . . . I think Renee needs to know she can talk to me and I’m not going to go repeat everything to her parents.

It’s a fine line . . . I’m nervous about it . . . I want to do what is best for Renee . . . what will give her the best shot of making it through her growing up years without destroying herself . . . but I understand I have responsibilities as a person in a position of trust . . . whew . . . it’s tough to know how to best handle this . . .

I don’t know if I can make a difference in her life . . . I don’t know . . . I hope I can maybe make a difference. Maybe the best thing I can do is to just “be there” for her . . . I can’t push her to do anything she isn’t ready and willing to do . . . I have to let her know that I care and I support her as she finds her own way through . . .

And, I really care about her . . . a lot.

Anyway, on a side note . . . I had a lesson this morning with James, the cop . . .

I had left sitting out on my desk the aggressive driving complaint that the female State Patrol officer handled several years back . . . but James didn’t notice it . . . and I didn’t have the balls to bring it up . . . still too weird . . . I guess I’ll just let it go . . . if something is supposed to come from my running into her, it will happen without my interference . . .

And . . . I did talk to James a bit about Renee and how to best handle my dealings with her . . .

I told him how I had spent 20 minutes of her 45-minute lesson just talking . . . and how that felt inappropriate from a professional standpoint but that my gut told me it was the best thing to do . . . how that created a conflict in my values . . .

He said that he felt I made the better choice . . . he believes I should trust my gut . . . he said I might make sure she doesn’t try to make every lesson a time for talking just to get out of doing the piano lesson . . . and I agree . . .

I told him she had really opened up to me . . . and that I told her that, if we ever stop doing lessons, she could still call me and I would still care . . . that I gave her my business card so she would have my cell phone number . . . that I feel that she trusts me because she shared a lot of her personal story with me . . .

When I mentioned to James that I learned from the conversation that she is more “at risk” than I first realized, James asked me if I thought she was being abused . . . of course he would think to ask that, given that he deals with the abuse of children every single day because of his job in the “crimes against persons” division . . .

I told him that I hadn’t seen any obvious signs of abuse . . . although I don’t think she is in a very healthy and supportive environment . . . but I haven’t seen anything that would cause me to file a report with law enforcement.

James asked me if I knew how to recognize abuse and what to do if I saw signs of it, and I assured him that I’ve had quite a bit of training and that I have reported suspected abuse as both a school employee when I was a bus driver, and as a private piano teacher.

That’s as far as we got in the conversation because my next student showed up . . . but, at least I got some input from him . . . and I feel better because of it.

So, I guess we’ll see what happens . . . whew . . .

Quotes 793


Responses

  1. Hope you have made a positive difference for Renee

    • I’m not sure . . . it’s hard to know the impact . . .


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