It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Terminal Uniqueness

Years ago, I worked with a 13-year-old girl who lost both parents in an automobile accident. She fell completely apart, which, I suppose, is understandable. Attempts at living with relatives did not work out for her, so she was placed in an emergency shelter. That’s where I met her. One of the child care workers in the shelter brought me something the girl had written. This piece was titled simply, “Alone.”

I’m all alone.

And I rock myself with my arms around me,

Thinking someone loves me.

But deep down inside, I know it’s nobody.

I watch everyone being loved but me.

As I look for someone to love me, I get hurt.

The pain I’ve been through, I can’t forget.

I feel it strongly I wish I can forget it all.

But, as I know, I’m all alone.

With nobody at my side.


In a few sentences this girl has stated and restated her “terminal uniqueness” with 20 references to self (“I,” “myself,” “my,” and “me.”) Even though there were plenty of adults and peers around trying to reach out to her, she was not receptive.

Wouldn’t it be easy to become angry at this girl for rejecting our attempts to help her? If you said, “Yes,” welcome to the human race. It helps to keep in mind that, if she knew exactly what she should do to be happier and for her life to work out, she would have done it a long time ago.

When we help a youngster break through their “terminal uniqueness,” we move them a step closer to resiliency and recovery. It’s not always an easy task to help a youngster break through a potentially devastating condition–their own thinking.

But it’s a task well work the effort.

James Sutton, Psychologist


December 15, 2007 - Posted by | adversity, Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s