I am a Community Drama Therapist.
I live and work in the community that my clients live and work. I see them at the grocery store, in the coffee shop, at the park, up the hill from my house. A young man that I saw therapeutically for over a year met my new baby before my co-workers did. He was out and about when I was out and about, in the first weeks of my maternity leave. In fact, as I was walking around the block trying to jumpstart my labor- he and his friends hollered at me from the basketball court across the street and I hollered back “I’M TRYING TO HAVE A BABY HERE!”
This leads to complicated boundaries. I am definitely one to pull toward looser boundaries anyhow. I have always had trouble with my filter (my mother would say I push it too far)- my humor is crass, I’ve got a potty-mouth and it’s hard for me to hide my emotions or the truth. On top of all of that, I’m probably way too ‘huggy’. Also, since I’m in full confession-mode, sometimes when I find something just too hilarious- my arm involuntarily hurls its weight out into the air looking for whoever’s shoulder might be nearest to WUMP, as I loudly guffaw. No one is safe. My sister was a many-times victim. Who knows? I may have done this to you.
At work, these types of boundaries are grey.
When I was a home-based therapist, I ate meals with families in their home that they prepared (with much thought and conversation and supervision before and after), I rode the subway and waited at bus stops with families. I used their toilets when I REALLY had to go….but being a Community Drama Therapist is a whole different bag.
I mean really- SEEING YOUR CLIENT WHILE IN LABOR- c’mon.
As a Community Drama Therapist working at a community center in my neighborhood, I have donated clothing items (of my own) to my teenage clients, attended sporting events and graduations, and gone on countless field trips. I drive youth home when there is inclement weather. And sometimes, I’ve driven them home when they’ve asked because I’ve felt bad that they live so close to me and I could just swing by- no big deal….BOUNDARIES!
You see? Complicated. You’re probably wondering all sorts of things about me. Who is this loose-tongued, huggy lady out there in Minneapolis? Don’t worry, I have parent permission to drive youth in my own car as part of my job, I always ask permission to hug before I reach out, and I’ve only humor-WUMPED one client on the shoulder (impetus for this blog, actually).
But that’s really not the point, is it?
This blog isn’t about the countless hours spent thinking and discussing these things before and after….not about the permission or the job description. It’s not even about my clients really, and how my boundaries affect them. No.
This blog is about me! My boundaries! And how lately, I’ve been really thinking about this strange place I’m in. This wonderful strange place that I live and work and how I’m so grateful. And how I must be getting wiser too, beginning some sort of new transformation anyhow, because my flippant tongue is starting to catch in my throat before I speak.
Good skill for a 33 year old, eh?
(She’s says sarcastically.)