Angry Boy had been horrifically abused for the first six years of his life and he didn't know how to handle the rage that resulted from the loss of trust. He often hid under furniture refusing to talk or comply with any redirections.
On that particular day, I remember telling Angry Boy that he was safe with me. There was nothing he could do to make me not love him. Angry Boy growled and cowered deeper under my desk.
I went about doing some paper work telling Angry Boy that I would be ready to talk when he was ready.
After some time, I realized that Angry Boy was reaching up to the top of my desk and plucking off the blooms on my new Christmas Cactus. When he saw that I saw, he smiled - and not a nice smile. I know he thought he'd upset me.
I simply reached over and grabbed the plant placing it closer to him. The move baffled him. He picked off a couple more blooms while looking at me. I just smiled at him. He then crawled out from under the desk, picked up the plant and placed it back where it belonged. It was the beginning of building some trust with a little boy who didn't know how to trust. A few months later, he was adopted by a relative who lived in another state and he moved away.
That year the Christmas Cactus had only a few blooms as most were picked off. Each year since, it has grown and flourished.
I hope the same is true for Angry Boy.