Sixteen-year-old Jarrod began writing furiously, requiring two separate pieces of paper to express his thoughts. His emotions which centered on his relationship with his mother, and the abuse he endured, flowed feverishly onto the paper:
“You cried when I left you, but you didn’t do anything to prove that you cared…
You never listened…You went to prison, you got out, and you started again…
You beat me when I was little. Now I put holes in the
wall because I wish you could have stopped, but you
Jarrod’s freshly penned emotions were shared as part of a music therapy class provided to youth in Cunningham Children’s Home’s Residential Treatment Program. In this particular session, Jarrod was asked to write lyrics that would artistically represent his expressions of anger. Something clicked within Jarrod. This exercise provided a safe environment for him to open up and be vulnerable with his feelings for the first time. Cunningham music therapist, Kyle, worked with Jarrod to process his emotions about his mother and his traumatic past.
At Cunningham, music is one of the incredibly powerful treatment tools used to help youth like Jarrod respond to the abuse and trauma they have experienced. By writing out his thoughts and feelings in this creative challenge, Jarrod is taking the first of many steps on the road to healing.
*All stories are real, however names are changed and photos selected to protect
the privacy of our youth.