Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful

Thanksgiving is a very difficult holiday for me.  It serves as a reminder for what I am missing in life.  If it were up to me, I'd take a long road trip and camp in the wilderness until this gluttonous holiday is over.  I can only really remember foster care after the age of eight.  I don't remember much of my time and placements before then.  There are 10 Thanksgivings in foster care that I remember.  I spent every single Thanksgiving, except for a couple, at a strange table with strange people in a strange house.  Every family had their own traditions and quirks.  One family made these special cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle of them and everyone had to eat one and say what they were thankful for that year.  One family had a treasure hunt.  One family played a basketball game before dinner and the list goes on and on.  I never got to enjoy these things as tradition because I was always the new person.  I was always unknown.  I was always just a guest.  I was never part of the family.  I spent every thanksgiving as an outsider.  I observed.  I sat quietly and watched families enjoy the time they had together and studied them.  I would watch my foster family interact with each other--everyone grazing on appetizers, hanging out and enjoying each others company.  This is what family is, I thought.  I want this.  I want to be part of this.  Will I be here next year?  Will they be my family next year?  Do they remember my name? 

Thanksgiving is a day that reminds me that I've never had that kind of connection.  It reminds me of what I'm missing.  It reminds me that I don't have family.  It reminds me of all the Thanksgivings I cried myself to sleep overcome with desire for family, stability and tradition.  It reminds me of how different I am from the average American.  It reminds me of how undeserving I am of family.

While I have somewhere to go this year, that wasn't always the case.  After I aged out, I always spent Thanksgiving by myself but not by choice.  When I lived in the dorms in college, the entire dorm would shut down for the weekend.  I would be the only person in the entire building.  I would run up and down the hallways, check out all the laundry rooms, and lounges on each floor.  From my room on the 12th floor I could see a family sitting down to their Thanksgiving dinner.  I watched them for a little while and made up conversations I thought they might be having.  One year I lived with my now ex girlfriend in a dorm room.  When Thanksgiving came, she went home and I was all alone in an empty building again.  She couldn't take me home with her because her parents were against gay relationships.  I know her family is more important than I am/was, but it still hurt. 

Thanksgiving reminds me of how lonely I am and how much I fear I will always be.  It reminds me of how alone I've been my entire life.  Thanksgiving also makes me angry.  I'm angry that I've lived in 42 foster placements.  I'm angry that I never got adopted.  I'm angry that I almost never spent Thanksgiving in the same place twice.  I'm angry that most people have families and I don't.  I'm angry at myself for not being cute enough, smart enough, special enough to be adopted.  I'm angry that no one ever wanted me.  I'm angry that I'm serving a life sentence for the crimes and mistakes of my mother.  I'm angry that she gets to live a free life while I'm confined and caged by my anxiety and memories.  The night after Thanksgiving dinner is also an anniversary that haunts my dreams and thoughts today.  Thanksgiving night was the beginning of my three year sentence in hell.  Thanksgiving was the beginning of my second long term living nightmare of my childhood.

I don't mean for this entry to be so negative.  I want to like Thanksgiving.  I really do.  I want to enjoy this special family centric day despite it's controversial background.  I am thankful for a lot of things in my life now.  I am grateful for having somewhere to go this Thanksgiving.  I am thankful that I will know most of the people at dinner this year.  I am thankful that I love the people that will be around that table.  I am thankful that those people are in my life.  I'm thankful that no matter how alone I feel, I'm really not.  I am thankful that I have people in my life today.  I am thankful for that little boy that shares my DNA.  I cannot imagine my life without him or his parents.  I am thankful that they are still in my life after everything that happened.  I am thankful they didn't drop me when things got hard like I expected them to.  I am thankful that they didn't even have to invite me to dinner this year.  It was just expected that I would come.  I've never had that before.  I've never had a home for Thanksgiving.  I am thankful that I have a home and a job.  I am thankful that I am healthy and relatively sane.  I am thankful I don't have schizophrenia.  I am thankful that I have access to health care and therapy.  I am thankful that I have a great girlfriend who loves me very much even if she can't read my blog or hear my life story because it upsets her too much.  I am thankful that my childhood is over and I am thankful that I am an adult.  I'm thankful for pecan pie.

I truly am thankful for all these things.  How do I get myself to focus on the good things in my life today and not the pain?  I want to find a way to make the darkness and memories to go away.  I want to just forget all these things and enjoy the holiday.  I want to be excited for holidays and not dread them.  I hate this time of year but I want to love it.  I want to feel festive and excited and happy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Overwhelmed with words

Schizophrenia is swallowing her alive.  She's drowning and all I can do is watch her disappear into the deep.  All I can do is watch this invisible monster take my little sister away.  I reach out for her but she's too far gone to take my hand.  I so desperately want to save her.  I want to rescue her from her own brain.  Why does this have to happen to her?  Why her?  Why her and not me?

I called her a few moments ago just to check in and see what she has been up to lately.  I also wanted to make sure she had somewhere to go on Thanksgiving.  I dread talking to her and then I feel guilty about it.  I'm such a selfish person.  "Hey (her name), what are you up to?"  She responds slowly with unnecessary pregnant pauses every few words.  Instead of greeting me back, she launches into a story.  "I did something really big.  People are writing back to me as a common courtesy for using my music.  I hear them on the radio all the time.  It's blowing my mind."  I am utterly confused so I ask her to explain more.  "Well, you know how people are taking my music and artist have been playing it for years?  Well now they are writing back to me."  I still didn't understand so I asked, "(Her Name), do you mean they are writing you letters, emails?"  Her breathing quickens and she sighs with force ever few seconds.  She's getting frustrated.  "No, they are writing me back through the music.  They are writing me back through themes and lyrics," She says almost through clenched teeth. "Oh, okay," I say and change the subject.  "How are you otherwise?"  She was silent for quite a awhile.  Is she upset?  Is she thinking?  I called out her name to prompt her to answer.  "I'm overwhelming myself with information and I'm not eating because I'm glued... I worry about things and I think too much to remind myself that I need food... and it's starting to... really... get.... to... my concentration and I don't know.  I'm overwhelmed with words... I turned myself into a monster... but if words are the only human form of communication I think I did something really big.

No matter how I tried to swing the conversation, she always guided it back.  "You're not going to believe me anyway," she kept saying, but she couldn't resist talking about it.  How can I feel sorry for myself when my sister is so lost and so alone?  I don't know how to handle this.   I don't know how to make this better. The only way I know how to take care of people is to fix things for them but I can't fix this.  Will anyone fix this?  Will medication fix this?  I have to fix this.  

I never really got to know my sister, not really.  Our time together was stolen by foster homes and foreign countries.  I want to go back in time and cherish the moments I had with her.  I want to study who she used to be so I can remember my sister... so I can remember who she really is.  I want to remember who she was before this alien possessed her body.  I remember less and less everyday.  I want to hold onto those memories.  I want to hold onto my sister for just a little while longer.

I feel so lost.  I wonder what it feels like to be her, to be a prisoner in your own delusions?  What can I do for my sister?  She won't listen to anything I tell her.  I want to protect her from herself but I can't.  She parties, drinks, smokes, and gets herself into dangerous situations.  Just a few months ago she was assaulted.  I begged her to move to California.  I want to keep her safe, but how can I do that if she's so far away and won't listen to anything I say?  Today she told me she's started smoking marijuana again because her anxiety medication isn't helping her relax.  "OMG, what is wrong with you?!"  I want to scream at her, but instead I say nothing. 

I feel like a horrible person because part of me hates her.  I hate her for hurting me.  I hate her for being schizophrenic.  I hate her for constantly making bad decisions.  I hate her for adding difficulty to my life.  I hate her for never being here for me.  I hate that our relationship is always about her and her mental illness.  I hate her for leaving me.  I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her until she stops it.  I want to shake the schizophrenia away.  Why can't she just realize that her thoughts are delusional?  Why can't she realize that her thoughts are bizarre and impossible?  How is it possible that she can recognize fiction and fantasy in the world, but she's oblivious to her own delusions?  What am I supposed to do?  I want my sister back.  I want that sweet, goofy little girl back.  Is she gone for good?  Will I ever see her again?  I miss her so much.  Why did she leave me? 



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taken Away

I remember the last time CPS took me away from my mother.  The times before the last time were before my ability to form memories or the memories blend together so much that I can’t really decipher what happened when.  The last time was traumatic so it remains clear in my mind.  The last time I was removed, I was 8 years old.  We were living in a house in a bad part of town.  A giant saguaro cactus stood in the front yard.  There was a family of wood peckers that lived in a hole near the top of one of the arms of the cactus.  I used to spend a lot of time outside watching the mother bird fly in and out of their little home in the saguaro.  I called them my little cactus family and she was the little cactus mommy.

A police car pulled into the driveway and immediately my siblings and I started running around aimlessly, panicking.  "The police are here!  Momma, the police are here!"  We knew what this meant.  The police men were going to put us in their car and take us away.  I was going to jail.  I had done something wrong or I was bad and now we were all going to jail.  This is what I thought.  Even though it happened over and over again, I always thought I was going to jail.  Foster care was my prison.  It probably didn't help that every single time we heard a siren my mother would tell me they were coming to get me.  "Uh oh, they are coming to get you,” she would say while chuckling.  It was a joke to her, but my heart would go crazy.  It was never funny or a joke to me because sometimes they did come get me and take me away.

We did not have any furniture in the one bedroom house we were living in at the time, only an old sofa in the living room, and a mattress in the bedroom where my siblings and I slept.  Despite the lack of furnishings, the house was filthy.  Our mother never cleaned.  The carpet was caked in dirt, food, animal droppings, and little bits of crack my mother had dropped.  There was trash everywhere.  There was only one closet in the house.  It was my closet.  It was where I spent a great deal of time "thinking about what I did."  This closet was in the bedroom, in the back of the house but I could still hear my mother and siblings when I was in there.  They always seemed to have a good time together when I was in the closet.  Maybe it just seemed this way to me because everything was better out of the closet.  I used to think that maybe the reason my mother was so unhappy was because I made her that way.  She would be so much happier without me.  She told me this often, but she didn't have to.  Just hearing her laugh with my siblings when I was locked away was enough.

The police knocked on the door.  My mother was passed out on the sofa, crashing after coming down off of crack cocaine.  “Momma, the police are here,” I said while feverishly shaking her."  She didn't budge.  They knocked on the door again.  I nearly had a heart attack.  "Everyone be quiet, maybe they will think nobody is home," I whispered to my siblings.  The police officers knocked again and my brother began to cry.  "Who is it?" I asked. "We are police officers.  Is your mommy home?" They said.  "She's sleeping.  Can you come back later?"  The police officers called me by my name and asked me to open the door.  "It's okay sweetheart, can you please open the door for us?"  The fact that they knew my name sent me into a severe panic attack.  I could barely breathe and my head was spinning.  I gathered my siblings, helped them climb out the back window and we ran into the desert.  Our mother had shown us the route to take to get to our aunts house in case of this very situation.  Our aunt’s house was pretty far away and in my panic I had forgotten which way to go. 

We were running barefooted through the hot Arizona desert for what seemed like hours but I‘m sure it was only minutes.  Lost and scared, we stopped and sat underneath a large Palo Verde tree.  I thought our mother would come get us, but she never did.  Four police officers eventually found us.  As they approached us, I was trying to think of what to do.  "Run!" I shouted at my siblings and we scattered.  We all began to run, but we weren't much of a challenge for three adult men and an adult woman.  They caught my siblings right away.  "It's okay.  We're not going to hurt you.  It's okay" They kept saying.  They were lying.  I screamed as one of the officers lunged at me and grabbed my arm.  I got free and took off.  I ran like I had never ran before.  I was running for my life.  I was a very fast kid.  The desert ended and now I was running on the sidewalk leaving bright red footprints on the grey cement.  There were a million foreign objects invading the bottoms of my feet, but I didn't even notice.  I didn’t feel anything.  I rounded the corner and continued running.  A police officer stopped his car a little in front of me, jumped out and caught me.  I was small for an eight year old and he lifted me pretty easily.  He hugged me to his body as I began to scream.  "Let me go.  Let me go!!"  I kicked and screamed and then began to sob.  "I don't want to go to jail."  "You're not going to jail, honey, your mommy is."  Those words were meant to make me feel better but they made me feel worse.  I didn't want my mom to go to jail either.

The officer put me in the back of his car and then drove me to a DCFS building where I met a woman named Susie.  Susie was my case worker.  She was extremely nice to me.  When she met me, I was filthy, bleeding, and covered in bruises but she hugged me anyway.  "I know you're scared sweetheart, but you're safe now, I promise."  If only that promise were true.  I sat on the floor in her office for a few hours.  There were chairs and toys but I chose to lie on the floor and try to fall asleep.  I guess I felt that sleep would make it all go away.  Eventually she drove me to my foster home.  I was going to be staying with a woman named Mickey.  I expected her house to be full of Disney characters but it wasn't.  When I arrived, my sister was already there.  I was relieved to see her and rushed to her.  No one told me where my siblings were and I began to look for my brothers, but they weren’t there.  They were at a different home.

My case worker and Mickey chatted for a while before my case worker left me.  My sister and I played with a toy piano at their feet.  As soon as my case worker left, Mickey took me into the bathroom.  She ran a bath and told me to get undressed.  "I don't want to."  My legs began to tremble.  She only wanted to give me a bath, but I didn't know what was going to happen.  "Don't be silly, we need to get you cleaned up and get those bugs out of your hair."  "I have bugs in my hair?!"  I began to panic and sift through my hair looking for bugs.  My dark golden blond hair was gray from dust and dirt.  My face was also gray from the dirt except for tear streaks down my cheeks.   "Your sister had them too, it's okay, I have a special shampoo to kill them."  I still refused to get undressed so she began to undress me and I began to cry.  "Please, I don't want to."  I said.  "You'll feel much better when you are clean.  Look, I got you some new clothes.”  She held the shirt up for me to see.   “Look, the shirt has kitties on it.  Do you like kitties?"  Through my tears, I sniffled, "yes."  As she undressed me, Mickey examined my body and wrote things down on a paper.  This made me even more nervous.  She explained to me that she was just taking inventory of my wounds and bruises.  “I just have to write down wherever I see a bruise.  Where did you get all these bruises kiddo?”  I said nothing.  Mickey was very gentle with me, and I remember how good the hot water felt on my feet, but I could not relax enough to enjoy it.  She washed my hair and pulled the green comb through it to get ride of the lice.  She wiped my face with a pink wash cloth and said, "You're such a pretty girl when your face is clean.”  I sat in the tub, staring at the bubbles in the dirty water.  "It's okay honey.  There is no reason to be scared."  Why did people keep telling me that?  I had every reason to be scared.  When the bath was over she wrapped me in a towel and lifted me out of the tub.  She dried me off and then let me get dressed on my own.  When she left, I cried some more.  I sat on the bathroom floor and stared at my new clothes, a pair of shorts, and a shirt with a cat on it.  I did like the shirt but putting in on felt strange.  It felt wrong.  Why was this lady giving me new clothes?   A few moments later, Mickey knocked on the door and told me to come to dinner.

I came out of the bathroom and nervously walked to the kitchen table.  “Have a seat,” my foster mother told me.  I was starving but I didn’t eat.  I just sat at the table and stared at my food.  After dinner it was bed time.  Mickey tucked my sister and me in, and read us a story.  She turned off the lights and said “Goodnight.”  When the lights were out I looked around.  Everything was strange.  I wasn’t used to sleeping in a bed by myself.  I asked my sister if she wanted to sleep with me and she came over to my bed.  She cuddled against me and fell asleep.  I took comfort in the little breathing noises she made while sleeping.  Later that night my stomach was killing me.  I was starving.  I tiptoed out of the room and into the kitchen.  I grabbed leftovers from the fridge and took it into the bedroom where I ate it.  I ate so much that I got sick and vomited.  I was scared that I would get in trouble so I threw away the plastic food containers, cleaned up as best I could with toilet paper and then covered the rest with my pillow.  I eventually fell asleep despite my determination not to.  When I woke up the next morning Mickey wanted to talk to me.  “You don't have to sneak food in this house.  If you’re ever hungry just let me know and I’ll get you something to eat, okay?”   I looked at my feet but didn’t respond.  I was so ashamed.  I only stayed with Mickey for a few weeks.  Eventually my sister moved to a different foster home and I was sent to a childrens' shelter until a more permanent foster home could be found for me. 

Mickey did everything right for me.  She was gentle, sweet, and caring, but not ever child who enters foster care is as lucky as I was in this home.  Being taken away from your parents is extremely traumatic, no matter how it’s done or how abusive your parents are.  It didn’t matter how nice Mickey was to me.  I was terrified because my connections in life had been taken away.  

Connection is the basis for all human life.  All human beings need connection to survive and thrive.  From the day we are born we are programmed to connect with other people.  Our very survival depends on it.  If an infant doesn’t connect with other human beings, it will die.  That child will fail to thrive.  Vulnerability and tenderness are vital from the day we are born.

When CPS “saved my life” they also severed my connections.  They should have found new connections for me, connections that would allow me to grow into a healthy adult, but they didn’t.  Instead of connections they bounced me from placement to placement.  I only had disconnections.  Sadly, my story isn’t unusual.  While my number of placements is a bit unusually high, you have to take into account how many placements were temporary foster homes and children’s shelters.  Those placements were only meant to last a month or two.  If you take all those placements away my numbers drop down considerably.  Only ten of my foster families were potential adoptive families.   I had ten chances at connection but never got it because by the time those chances came into my life I was too old, too damaged, and unwilling to take risks with my heart.  My purpose in life became solely to protect myself.  Foster parents were not worth the risk.

In order to feel love and belonging, a person needs connection.  Without it, he or she will not have a sense of worthiness as adults.  They will not feel worthy of love or success in life.  He or she will not be able to be vulnerable or be able to accept themselves and what life throws at them.  Their lives will be filled with fear and shame.  They will not be willing to take risks with their heart. They will not be able to take risk in any area of their lives.   They will try to numb themselves in order to survive.  A person cannot numb hurtful feelings without numbing the pleasurable feelings too.  When we numb the pleasurable feelings, we are left needing to find purpose and happiness in life.  Life feels unworthy.  Life isn’t worth the struggle without the happiness.  We can't find happiness without connection.  It's a vicious cycle. 

How do we find connections for foster children?  How do we make sure they don’t lose their ability to connect with people and grow into healthy adults?  I wish I had the answer to that.  I don’t.  I don’t know what needs to happen in foster care.  All I know is that what happened to me should not happen to children and it continues to happen today.  Foster children are used and abused before foster care AND while in foster care.  For too many children, trauma continues and gets worse in foster care.  While in foster care I experienced every kind of abuse possible but it was worse than with my mother.  My mother abused me, but she was my mother.   I was connected to her.  She was a constant in my life and constantly abusive.  In foster care I never knew what to expect and I didn't have any connections.  I didn't have tenderness.  I didn't have love.  I never felt connected.  Instead I felt suspicious, scared, and shameful.  I never knew when I would be moving again.  I never knew if my foster parents would get angry at me and then get rid of me.  As much as I say that I didn’t ever connect with my foster parents, it’s not entirely true.  The reality is that I put in a lot of effort NOT to care about my foster parents because I knew it would hurt later, but no matter how hard I tried, I always felt a little bit attached to them.  I always wanted to stay with them.  I wanted them to want to keep me.  I ALWAYS wanted them to love me.  I just wanted them to tell me they loved me first.  I wanted them to risk loving me first.  I wanted to be sure it would be safe to love them and I wanted them to prove this to me.  I wanted them to show me that they would love me and keep me no matter what, and no matter how hard and stubborn I acted, it always hurt when they didn’t.  It still hurts that they didn't.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not a whole person because part of me died a long time ago.  I’m hoping that that something is just broken because I’m ready to fix it.  I’m ready to start living my life.  Twenty-something years is enough suffering.  I’m ready to move on.   How do I let myself feel with my whole heart again?  How do I learn to love without fear?  How do learn to be vulnerable again?  How do I let go of all my shame and torment?  How do I learn to accept who I am and where I’ve been, and allow myself to feel the feelings associated with those things and move on?  How do I make myself believe that just being me is enough?  How do I make myself believe that I am worthy of love and connection?  Is this even possible for me or am I too damaged to ever live a normal productive life?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Folk Music and Cigarettes

There is something deeply satisfying about puffing on a cigarette and watching that white and gray cloud exit your lips as you exhale.  It's so relaxing.  That's the only thing I miss about smoking.  I don't need the nicotine.  I don't need the taste.  Nor do I need the smell, but I miss that puffy white cloud of smoke dancing on my tongue.  I miss the act of smoking.  I miss that slight distraction it provides during social situations.  That small act was just enough distraction to lower my anxiety level just enough that I could actually enjoy myself.  I only smoked for a year or two and only in social situations but I had to stop because I kept getting throat infections and headaches.  It's probably a good thing. 

But I don't want to write about smoking.  I'm only thinking about smoking because last night I saw my favorite musician perform live at Spaceland in Silverlake.  There were a lot of smokers there.  Spaceland is this cute alternative bar with a stage for live performances.  I felt like such an outsider amongst the fedora clad hipsters with their skinny jeans, plaid shirts and funky asymmetrical haircuts.  I am jealous that they seem to really know who they are, or maybe it just appears that way.  Maybe they latch on to the hipster image because they don't know who they really are on the inside, so they need to define themselves on the outside.  I suppose that is possible.  I just really desire some sort of concrete identity.  I desire a group of people where I clearly belong--where I feel totally comfortable and accepted.

Chris Pureka, my all time favorite girl with a guitar, began to perform on the stage.  The loud, chatty crowd suddenly quieted.  She is amazing and it doesn't hurt that's she's adorable too.  There is no time in my life where I feel more at ease--more inner peace than I do when a talented independent musician is playing in front of me.  For some reason I am able to just let go and enjoy the music.  All the traffic and congestion inside my brain just stops and I feel...nothing, but a good kind of nothing.  I listened to Chris Pureka and quietly sang along into my margarita, a bit lost in my own world.  I feel content in this world amongst dancing hipsters and folk music.  I feel moved and alive.  Maybe that's why I miss my violin.  I miss how it quiets my brain.  I miss feeling normal.  I miss the time in my life where I was able to avoid my torment.  Is it therapy that is doing this to me or have I just begun to explode from the inside out?  Maybe I've reached my emotional maximum capacity and now I need to purge.  I need an emotional purging.  I want to stick my finger down my throat and expel everything.  Is that what I need?  I don't know.  I don't have a clue. 

Friday was a very hard day for me.  From 12 AM Friday night until about 3pm Friday afternoon I cried.  It really scared me because I couldn't stop.  I tried everything--a hot bath, calming tea, some fresh air.  Nothing helped.  The minute I thought I had gained some calm and self control, I'd break down again.  I cried uncontrollably, but I really didn't know why.  Not really-- well, not totally anyway.  I think I cried because I discovered something about myself -- I'm lonely.  It seems odd that this is the first time I am aware of this feeling because I think I've felt lonely my entire life.  I feel lonely for someone who understands me.  I have great friends and a great girlfriend but I don't really have anyone in my life that truly empathizes with where I've been or anyone I can truly be totally open with.  There is no one in my life that REALLY knows me. 

When friends share stories about their families, I am uncomfortable.  Perhaps I am also a bit sad.  I'm not sad that I don't have happy family stories too.  Well, I am, but I'm more sad that I can't understand their stories.  I can't share in their experiences and connect with them.  I can't share stories from my own life because they are always negative and make other people uncomfortable.  They cannot connect with my stories either.  I don't want to be a negative person, despite what this blog has become lately.  All I want is a way to just be.  All I want in life is health, happiness, and family.  That's really all I need.  I want to find a way to survive and thrive and be myself and connect with other people.  I want to find a way to accept who I am and where I've been and not be ashamed of it.  But how do I do that?  How can I find a way too see in the dark?  No--how can I find a way out of all this darkness in my life right now?  I am trapped here and I'm dying.  I'm dying to find a way to live.  I'm dying to find a purpose, a passion, and a way to a healthy productive life.  In the mean time, how do I survive?  How do I survive the darkness?  How do I survive the lonely?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The man in the middle east

I posted this the other day and then removed it because it freaked me out.  I've decided I'm going to post it again even if it makes people think I'm abhorrent.  I've edited and added to it.

This is my blog.  I started this blog for me and I shouldn't worry about what other people think about it. 

I've very nervous about making this public. I've only talked about it in therapy once and it was extremely hard for me to even tell my therapist.  It's something I can't stop thinking about, so I wrote about it.  This is the worst thing I've ever done in my life.  It's horrible and it's graphic...and it's RAW.

Read at your own risk.




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hiking, dreams, and therapy


 Hiking for three hours with the dogs and a friend and then going out to dinner has left me exhausted, but in a good way.  Today has been a really good anxiety day.  My anxiety level has been nearly zero today which is unheard of for me.  I panicked a little bit this morning, but that's it.  Is it strange that I feel a little anxious over the fact that I didn't feel anxious today?

I've been pretty content today despite the level of deep conversation with my friend today.  I find deep personal conversation engaging, but rather draining.  For some reason I've been drawn to share myself and learn from certain people more lately.  Maybe I'm not as reserved as I used to be.  Maybe something has switched and I'm a little less ashamed of where I've been.  I'm not sure that's 100 percent true.  Just yesterday I removed a blog entry after twenty minutes because it lead to quite a bit of panic.  It was way too honest and way too much, even for THIS blog.  In other words -- I was way too chicken to leave it up.

I am laying here in bed, pleading with my brain to turn off so I can get some sleep before work tomorrow morning.  I have to be at a school about 45 minutes away at 7 am tomorrow.  At least there won't be much traffic that early in the morning.  My gf is in the other room working on her proposal for her dissertation.  God, I hate that thing.  It gets far more attention than I do.  I wish she was beside me.  I want to lay my head in the crook of her neck and listen to her heart beat until I fall asleep.  Being with a Ph.D student can be pretty freaking lonely.

I got three hours of sleep last night and was physically active nearly all day long.  How am I still wide awake?  Maybe the problem is I'm a little bit afraid to sleep.  That's a lie--I'm terrified of sleep.  I'm terrified of my dreams.  Why are they so graphic?  Why can't I dream in metaphors and symbols like a normal person?  Well sometimes I do, like the other day I dreamed that I adopted a little girl and named her Sayonara.  I told my therapist and she laughed.  She laughed, and then she wanted to analyze this stupid dream.  It's not rocket science why I would name my daughter "Goodbye."  No one ever stays in my life for very long.  Everyone I love always goes away.  Everyone leaves me eventually.  I might as well name everyone "Goodbye." 

I tell my therapist I never remember my bad dreams.  Really, I just don't want to talk about them.  I don't know how to talk about them.  I'm too ashamed and too afraid of them.  I don't want to give them that much attention or power.  She doesn't really want to hear about them anyway.  I think she is really just trying to fill the silence.  We sit in silence a lot.  I must be the most boring client in LA.  I really wonder what she thinks of me, but I'm afraid of the answer.  Well-- no, I'm not afraid of the answer, because I know the answer I get if I ask will be her "therapist" answer.  I don't want that answer.  I want to know what she thinks of me beyond her therapeutic opinion.  I know the answer won't be positive, but I think I still want her to tell me.  What would she think of me if she knew everything?  I'm not even sure I can tell her about the self harm.  What would she do with that information?  How do I ask her that without sounding so neurotic?  Maybe it's not such a good thing that I want my therapist to judge me and tell me bad things about myself.  Why do I have this secret desire for my therapist to degrade me?  Shouldn't my secret desire be the opposite of that?  Shouldn't I secretly wish my therapist loved me?  Okay just writing that down makes me realize how nuts that is.  I think I just want an honest reaction from her.  Therapy is strange and there is something very forced and fake about it.  How can my therapist treat me if she doesn't care about me?  I pay her to pretend that she cares for an hour twice a week.  Therapy is so frustrating, uncomfortable, and fake.  I don't even know why I go.  What good is it really doing me?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

foster care success story

Since I was a teenager people have been calling me a foster care success--whatever THAT means.  Am I a success because I went to college?  Because I have a job?  Because I'm not homeless or in prison?  Is that how we measure success for foster children?  By what they are not?  That infuriates me.

When people call me a foster care success story I cringe.  My soul splits and cracks just a little bit.  I like that people think I am successful, but I also hate it.  I feel like they are not really judging my on my skills and talents and accomplishments, but are judging me on what I am NOT.  They are judging me as a success because I'm not a failure.  Because I'm not in prison.  Because I'm not a total fuck up in life.  I makes me feel like a loser that the standards have been set so low for me.

How can anyone look at my life story and think success?  I lived in 42 placements in 18 years.  I was severely abused by my mother and stepfather in the US and in the middle east.  CPS took me away over and over again until eventually they kept me when I was 8 years old.  I was severely abused in foster care.  I was never adopted.  I was never wanted.  I was never loved.  No one ever kept me longer than a few months, except for one foster home that I stayed in for three years.  That foster home left me mute, anorexic, and suicidal.  That foster father took something away from my soul that I will never be able to get back.  That foster home changed my life forever.

Maybe they view me as a success because I was so good at school.  Nothing could be wrong with a girl that gets straight A's right?  That girl must have a great head on her shoulders.  She must have it all figured out.  She must have a great support system.  I went to 25 elementary schools, two middle schools, and seven high schools.  How on Earth did I freaking manage to get good grades?  I don't know.  I used school as my escape.  I thought if I was good at school someone would love me.  Hours and hours of homework left me with little time to think about my life and myself.  I had school.  I had school and NOTHING else.  

My childhood is NOT a success story.  I tried to kill myself three times as a child.  I swallowed pills at 12 and then again at 14.  I tried to shoot myself in the head at 15 with my foster parents gun but the kick back made me miss and I hit the wall.  The bullet barely brushed against my head.  My childhood was hard, and painful, and scary.  The only way I survived was by turning off my emotions because I couldn't cope with my feelings.  My feelings made me want to die.  I learned not to have feelings.  I learned not to care about myself or other people.  I learned that the only person I could count on in life was myself.  I learned to focus on goals and not my heart.  I can master any craft if my heart hurts enough.  I can morph into whatever I need to in order to avoid myself and my pain. 

Today I live my life but I don't really feel like I'm the one in control.  I feel like I'm a passenger along for the ride.  Who is driving the car?  Who is navigating my life for me?  It's not me.  Not really.  I watch life happen through a little window.  I peek from behind a curtain but I never fully expose myself to the outside world.    I don't know if I have truly ever been myself since I was 12 years old or maybe I stopped being me at 9.  I don't know if I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin.  I have never truly wanted to be alive.  I have never truly enjoyed life.  I have little moments of joy here and there, but they always feel tainted.  My joy will forever be tainted.  Behind ever smile is a lot of pain. 

Am I really a success?  Would you consider me a successful person if I had a great childhood and family?  I highly doubt it.  I know people don't mean to offend me when they call me a foster care success story.  They are trying to make me feel good.  It doesn't make me feel good at all.  I feel like it diminishes the pain I carry around all day, every day.  It makes me feel like my pain doesn't matter because I can function in life.  My nightmares don't matter.  My panic attacks don't matter.  My flashbacks and dissociation don't matter.  None of it matters because I am a success.  My poor brothers and sisters must have been through so much.  They are struggling so much more than me, so they must have suffered more than I have.  Maybe people view me as a success because I don't wear my pain on my sleeve like my siblings do.  I'm good at hiding it.  I'm good at pretending to be normal.  I'm a master of emotional trickery.  I can laugh when I want to sob.  I can smile when I want to scream.  I can stick my hand in a bonfire and pretend like I feel nothing if I need to.  I feel it all.  I feel it strongly, and then I turn it off.  I store it for later, but later never happens.  I have a huge storage shed in my brain.  It is now overflowing, but I'm afraid to go through what belongs to me.  I'm afraid of what's in there.  Now I have a growing leak and I can't fix it.  My crazy grows stronger and stronger every day.  Maybe if I completely lose my mind, people will see what's really going on in my heart.  People will truly see me for who I really am and not for who I am not.

What I did

I received a horrible email because of a comment I left on someone elses blog about something I did.  It upset me and made me feel like crap.  It made me sad because it put down something I really care about.  I had planned to never share this on my blog because I know so many people are against it, probably especially the people drawn to the subject of my blog.  Maybe you will think I am a horrible person too. 

The emailer stated that what I did should be considered abuse and abandonment.  That what I did was unholy and disgusting.  It went on an on that way.  I had to stop reading it because it just made me sad and angry.  I can handle that people disagree with what I did, but there is no reason to call me names and put me down for it.  There is no reason to try to make me feel horrible about myself.  I already loathe myself.  They don't need to work so hard at making me feel worse.  Personal attacks through email are just wrong and cowardly.  Debate with me if you wish, but don't call me names and judge me without even knowing me.  I have removed my email address from my profile for that very reason.

Here is what I did.  Maybe you will think I'm a horrible person too.  I don't care.  I love what I did.  I love what I created.  Once upon a time, I met a friend at the dog park.  Our dogs became best friends.  Eventually we were friends outside of the dog park too.  About two years later, I consider them great friends.  I loved them.  I don't love people.  I don't attach to people, so this was not normal for me.  

I knew how much they wanted a child.  I could see the sadness behind her eyes.  I could see the longing whenever there was a baby nearby or even one just mentioned.  I recognized that longing.  I understand what it feels like to want a family more than anything.  They tried over and over again but failed.  Why is it that horrible people can have a million kids, but good people who will make amazing parents can't have one?  It really seems to happen this way and I don't understand.  My own mother gave birth to six children.

We were standing in line to watch a vintage movie and for some reason the subject of infertility came up.  We talked about her eggs and why they were not healthy enough to produce a child.  Right then and there, standing in line to see Lawrence of Arabia in Santa Monica, I offered my eggs to this woman.  "Well, you can have mine," I said.  The woman in front of us in line looked back at us.  I wonder what she was thinking.  To be honest I didn't think about it.  I just blurted it out.  I had no idea what was involved.  I didn't think about it.  I didn't have to.  I knew she would make a wonderful mother--the kind of mother I longed for my entire life.  I knew he would make an amazing father.  I just knew this was the right thing.  They made me think about it for a few months before we decided if it was right for me.  I had to have counseling and medical testing.  It was a huge ordeal, where I could have backed out at any moment.  

Two years ago this month I gave my friends my eggs so they could have a baby.  I injected myself with hormones three times a day for eleven days.  My ovaries got so large with over 40 eggs that I had to hold my stomach if I was standing up.  My friend drove me to the clinic on the day I was to have the egg retrieval.  I got out of my clothes and into a hospital gown, had an iv put in my arm and then the next thing I knew I was in a different room and it was over.  No, it was just beginning.

They fertilized my eggs and a few days later they implanted three little blastocysts into my friend.  It's hard to believe that something so tiny grows into a human being.  From there it was a waiting game.  I was at work when I got a call from my friend.  She was crying and I assumed it didn't take.  "Campbell it worked.  We did it.  I'm pregnant."  I didn't know what to say, but I felt good that those tears where happy tears.  I'm not going to say this story is a "happily ever after" story because it's not...well it mostly is, but the road to get here was not.  The road was extremely painful for everyone involved.  I do blame myself for the pain my egg donation caused.  It makes me cry when I think about how much pain was involved, but no one could have predicted what happened, not even fertility doctors.

I'm not going to share the whole story here because I want to protect their privacy.  What I will say is they now have a beautiful, healthy, and bright baby boy that looks exactly like me and I love that.  He looks like his dad too, but he's so cute, that I don't mind taking all the credit.  I love him.  I love them.  I love that they have him.  I love that all that love came from a tiny piece of me.  How can so much love come from such an unlovable person?

This emailer said that they should have adopted from foster care if they wanted a baby so badly and that I am a horrible person because I should know better.  I should know better because I know what it's like to languish in foster care.  I wonder if this person knows what it's like too or if they just want to make me feel bad?  I have to admit that I felt this way in the beginning too, but do you know how scary it is to adopt from foster care in California?  Do you know how often adoptive foster parents lose the children they love?  It happens quite often.  Too often.  Adopting from foster care is hard and heartbreaking.  My friends watched their friend nearly lose a child she had since the day she was born.  They just could't bear the thought of going through that.  I couldn't either. 

Maybe the emailer was right and I was being selfish by donating my eggs.  Maybe my motives weren't purely altruistic.  Maybe I felt that doing this for them would be a way for me to force myself into a family.  A way for me to forever be connected to someone else.  A way for me to belong to someone.  

The emailer called me selfish and money hungry and said that what I did was equivalent to selling or throwing my kids in the trash.  I did not ask for or receive any money for my eggs.  I couldn't take money for something like that.  I couldn't donate my eggs to strangers.  I could only help my friends have a baby.

My egg donation came at a high price.  I am now infertile.  I have a hormone disorder, and I went a little nuts for a while because of the hormones.  Maybe that will make some of you feel better.  Maybe you feel that I got what I deserved.  Would I do it all over again knowing the risks and everything else that happened?  I have no idea.  Actually, yes I do.  If that little boy that exists today would exist again, I would do it a million times over.  He is the best thing I have ever done with my life.  They are the happiest family I have ever seen.  I truly mean that and I am not exaggerating.  I have never seen someone so happy to be a parent before.  I really haven't.  He is the happiest baby I have ever met, literally.  He's always smiling, laughing, and flirting with people.  He may be a little bit spoiled, but I like it that way.

I did not abandon my child.  I will forever be in his life.  I will forever be his aunt and egg donor.  I get to spoil him and buy him things his parents don't want him to have.  I get to watch him grow up.  I get to love him.  He knows who I am and he will know where he came from.  This child is the most loved child I have ever met.  He has SOOOO many people that love him.  It's a bit ridiculous really.  This kid is almost a celebrity.  No, he IS a celebrity.

I don't look at him and think that he is my child.  Well, in the beginning I did.  In the beginning I felt like I gave away my ability to have genetic children.  I felt like I gave away my chance at a family.  I don't feel that way anymore.  I don't look at him as my child.  He's not.  He is my DNA.  YES.  He will always be a part of my life.  He will always be a part of me, and he will know his story.  Family is not about genetics.  Family is about love.  Family is about growing together.  Family is about commitment and navigating through life together.  Family has nothing to do with DNA.  DNA is just how people are produced.  DNA does not produce families.  DNA produces people.  People make families.  Love makes families.

If what I did makes me a horrible person, than I'm fine with that.  I'm okay with other people looking down on me for it.  I'm okay with people thinking I'm a hypocrite.  Life is hypocritical.  Life is painful.  Life is sad and scary.  Life is nothing without family and this unlovable former foster child gave someone a family.  If you don't like it--too bad.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The pets

They keep me sane...well sort of.

Sawyer
Zealie
Wembley
They love each other
Cooper
Scout

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moving foster homes

Every move, every new family, every new set of rules, every new bed, every new school leaves a bruise on a foster child.  Packing up and moving was agony in the beginning for me.  I would cry and watch my foster mother pack my clothes in garbage bags.  Sometimes I would plead with her.  "What did I do?  I'm sorry, I'll be good.  I'll be better.  Please don't get rid of me.  Will I ever see you again?"  I would sob and beg my foster parents to keep me.  I never understood why they were making me move--why they were getting rid of me.  Why they didn't want me.  What did I do?  Even today I can't answer those questions for myself.  I feel like I need these answers in order to heal, but I know I'll never get an answer good enough to heal my heart.

While my foster parent was packing my stuff I would cry and wonder where I was going.  Would there be any kids there?  Will there be any toys?  Can I take my toys?  Can I take my pillow?  Will they have pets?  Do I have to change schools?  Will they be strict?  Will they like me?  Will they keep me?  Will THEY love me?

I would look around my room one last time.  Goodbye bed!  Goodbye pillow.  Goodbye pets!  Goodbye toys.  When I was younger I would hug my foster siblings goodbye.  I loved them.  I always loved them.  I always fell in love with my foster families in the beginning.  Always.  When I got older I learned not to care about my foster families.  I learned not to attach to my foster siblings.  They were just temporary playmates.  They were not my friends or my family.  I tried not to like them too much.  I would like them just enough to make our time together bearable.  

When I got older I would pack my own belongings.  I would stuff my clothing into large black garbage bags. Eventually I got so good at packing, I could be ready to leave in less then ten minutes.  My whole life consisted of clothes and stuffed animals that would fit into four large plastic bags.  I stopped asking why I was moving.  I stopped wondering what I had done wrong.  I stopped asking why they didn't love me or keep me.  I didn't care.  I knew the answer.  The answer was they didn't want me because I was unlovable.  I was a horrible person.  No one could ever love me.  I wasn't good enough to be in this foster home.  I learned not to attach to foster parents.  I learned not to love them.  I knew they would hate me.  I knew they wouldn't love me.  I knew they would only use me and then throw me away.  I didn't care about them either.  I didn't trust foster parents. My foster parents were adults and adults were liars.  Adults are greedy.  Adults will hurt you.  Adults can not be trusted.  Ever.

Every time I moved, my case worker would pick me up.  I had about seven case workers before I aged out.  Most of them were horribly inadequate.  Most of them were liars.  Most of them just didn't understand.  My case worker would pick me up, load my things into her car, and then drive me wherever I was going next.   In the beginning I would cry the entire way to my new foster home.  I would ask my case worker why I had to move.  "I liked it there.  Why do I have to move again?  What did I do wrong?  Why can't I stay?  I'll be better!  I'll be good, I promise.  Tell them that I'll be good!"  My case worker never had the right answers for me. The answers were never good enough.  "They just weren't the right family for you, but you'll like this new family."  What does that mean?  What is the right family for me?  Is this new family the right family for me?  Would there ever be a family for me?  When I got older the car rides were silent.  I didn't ask any questions.  I didn't want any answers. 

Going to a new foster home is scary, no matter how old you are or how stubborn and stoic you act.  It's like going to a new land with new customs and rules.  A new land where they judge you and size you up.  A new land where they get to decide if you are worthy of their love or not.  A new land that may or may not be your forever home.  A new land that could change your life or cause more pain.  A new land that decides your future.

I never knew what to expect, no matter how much my case worker tried to prepare me.  The minute we drove away from my old foster home, my heart would race.  I could barely breathe.  When we got there, my case worker would unload my belongings and then knock on the door.  The new foster parent would answer.  It was usually a foster mother, but sometimes it was a foster father.  Sometimes they were excited to see me, sometimes they seemed nervous, sometimes they seemed indifferent, like I was forced upon them.  I would walk into the house and immediately be attacked by a wave of sensory input.  New smells, new sites, new voices, new textures below my feet, new people.

You would be so surprised how many foster parents are in it for the money.  A large percentage are!  After I went mute and tried to kill myself I became a "special needs" foster child and needed a "therapeutic foster home."  To be a therapeutic foster home, all you have to do is take a few extra classes.  My foster parents received $1200 a month to keep me!  I know this because my last foster parents shared this information with me and even let me see the checks.  $1200!  How does it cost $1200 to care for a quiet, mute, anorexic child?  Many of my foster parents were in it for the money.  Too many of them.  One foster mother even made me sleep in a one room guest house and eat in the laundry room.  I was NOT allowed in HER house.  I was NOT allowed to use the telephone.  I was NOT part of her life or family.  I hardly ever saw her.  I went to school, came home, went to bed, then did it all over again. For this she received $1200 a month!

Moving made me extremely anxious.  So anxious that I would have panic attacks at bed time.  I would panic and then cry myself to sleep.  I would cry for my mama.  I would cry for my brothers and sisters.  I would cry for my last foster parents.  I would cry because I wanted so badly for someone to love me, but no one ever did.  I would cry myself to sleep every night until one day I couldn't cry anymore.  I couldn't speak anymore.  I couldn't feel anymore. 

Foster care needs to change.  It should be illegal to allow a child to move 42 times in 18 years.  It should be criminal.  Foster parents need to know what they can and cannot handle before they take in a child.  Foster children are NOT merchandise that you can return if you don't like them.  Foster parents need to be honest with foster children.  Wondering why I had to move over and over again was not healthy.  It didn't protect me to not know why I had to move repeatedly.  I'm an adult now and I still wonder.  My heart still remembers every move I made.  My heart still knows that no one wanted me.  My heart knows nothing else.  I'm an adult and I still want a family.  I still want a mom.  I still dream that someone will adopt me even though I know it's ridiculous and will never happen.  I still want to belong to someone.   I still think about how my life would be different if someone had wanted me.  If someone had committed to being in my life, for the rest of my life.  Every child deserves a home and a family.  Every child deserves to have their own bed, their own pillow.  Every child deserves to know where they will be sleeping that night.  Every child deserves to know that someone will hug them today.  These things aren't true for too many foster children.  Too may foster children are thrown away like garbage over and over again until they are eventually thrown away for good by the government.  This leaves us with nothing.  This leaves us feelings like nothing.  This leaves us feeling like garbage.  Even after 18 we still need to be loved.  We still need to be cared about.  We still need families.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Facebook

Facebook in an interesting place.  It's almost a necessity in today's world.  You almost have to have a facebook in order to have friends and to keep in touch.  I would feel so lonely if I didn't have a facebook.  I think my life would feel emptier.  I know that makes no sense because I'm not really connecting with people beyond a superficial level.  Facebook makes me feel like I have more friends than I really do.  Facebook allowed people to find and contact me, whether I wanted it or not.  Facebook is a catch 22.  Nearly everyone has one.  You need one to keep in contact with people, but facebook also decreases face to face contact with your friends.  Facebook creates drama and decreases your privacy.

I logged on to facebook about an hour ago and was assaulted with my mother's name and image.  She was all over my computer screen.  I was shocked to see my biological mother's face show up in my friend feed.  My heart began to race.  Why is she on my page?  I don't have any mutual friends with her, do I?  Than I noticed that the mutual friend was my littlest sister.  This made me feel like crap.  My sister has rejected every single attempt I've made to connect with her.  She responds to me if I contact her first but doesn't reach out to me at all.  I have sent her long emails and I get two word answers in return.  She was very actively communicating with my mother--our mother-- on these posts.  They were exchanging sweet little messages with each other.  She prefers a woman convicted of felony child abuse over me.  A woman that spent years in prison for child abuse.  A woman arrested over and over again for drugs, abuse, and other things.  A woman who beat her children, who chose her drugs and lifestyle over them.  A woman who cares about nothing but herself.  A woman who cons churches into helping her.  Right now my mother is a member of the Mormon church AND she is a Jehovah's Witness.  She does this for the handouts they give her.  I'm less desirable than a convicted child abuser, drug addict, and con-artist.  I looked at their playful facebook posts to one another and then I deleted my youngest sister from my friends.  I can't look at this stuff.  It makes me anxious.  It makes me angry.  It makes me wish I were dead.  It makes me feel like crap.  I don't need her in my life.  I wish she had never found me on facebook.  Why did she look for me if she didn't want to have contact with me?  Why doesn't she want to know me?  

I know my mother is telling my sister a lot of horrible things about me.  That's how she bonds with everyone else.  They find a common hatred for me.  I wish I knew what it is I have done to deserve all this hatred.  She did that with my other brothers and sisters too and for a while they all hated me.  They all hated me so much they felt the need to post about it publicly in places they knew I would look--facebook and myspace.  Now Ali is going to hate me too.  I don't even know what she's telling her so I can't defend myself.  I don't know what lies she's making up.  What must my youngest sister think of me now?  I don't understand why my mother hates me so much.  I've only seen her one time as an adult.  I wrote about that time in my post titled "Mother."  Before that one visit I hadn't seen her since I was 8 years old.  She's always hated me.  Even when I was a small child she hated me.  She locked me in closets, beat me, and told me I was a worthless girl that ruined her life and that she couldn't stand me.  I was hideous, ugly, stupid, worthless.  She writes me an email a few times a month to remind me how much she hates me--how much she wishes I were dead.  How much she doesn't want me and that no one ever wanted me.  The thing is-- she's right!  Her emails are cruel but they are freaking accurate.  Her emails are mean but they are honest. 

My sister Ali has gotten everything I haven't in life.  A family, a stable home, a good education.  She grew up in ONE house with ONE mom and ONE dad.  I can't even imagine what that would be like.  What would it be like to sleep in the same room every night?  What would it be like to have your own bed?  She has EVERYTHING and now she gets to have my mom.  My mom's messages to her on facebook were so sweet.  She's never been sweet to me.  Ali gets her own mom, dad, seven brothers and sisters--her own huge happy family and now she gets to have my mom on top of all of that.  She gets to have the mom I never knew.  A mom that is sweet and wants to know her.  She gets to have my fantasy mom on top of her adopted family.  WHY?  Why don't I deserve that?  Why does she get everything and I get nothing?  I know these feelings are totally stupid and irrational but I can't make them go away.  I can't stop thinking about it.  Nothing is helping me get over it.  Working out does nothing.  Eating does nothing.  Taking a bath does nothing except make me look at my legs and think about cutting them.  I hate her.  Why doesn't she want me?  I hate them both.  I hate myself.  I wish I was never born.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Waste Of Space

Do I really care who reads this freaking blog?  Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.....MAYBE.  It's seriously making me angry that I can't decide.  I think this blog is so personal that it's scary for me to think about what others think about me as they read it.  I know they are thinking, "WHOA, this chick is nuts."  I know they are thinking that this is all way too much information.  Part of me doesn't give a crap about what they think.  Part of me feels that if what I write in this blog makes people think negatively about me, then I just sped up the inevitable and saved myself some grief down the road.  What if my therapist somehow found this blog?  I would be mortified if my therapist read my blog.  I wish I had been more anonymous in the beginning.  I was way too open with my identity and even posted a link on my facebook for a few minutes.  Does anyone from facebook read this blog?

The truth is, I am ashamed about what I write in this blog.  I am ashamed of who I am.  I am ashamed of how I've lived.  I am ashamed that no one wanted me.  I am ashamed that I grew up an orphan, totally alone and unwanted.  I am ashamed of how freaking crazy I really am.  I don't want to be ashamed.  I feel like my shame makes me crazier.  If I am ashamed of my whole life, how can I get over it and move on?  How can I get better?  I wish there was a shame switch that I could flick off.  How do I move on? 

Anxiety makes me an idiot.  It makes me jump to conclusions.  Anxiety takes away my ability to think things through.  It takes away my ability to rationalize.  When I get anxious about something I act impulsively and then ALWAYS regret it once the wave passes.  Why can't I just wait for the wave to pass before I act on things?  I hate this about myself.  It gets me into trouble a lot.  It makes me angry at myself often.  Right now I'm really upset with myself for making someone else feel bad for doing nothing wrong.  Why do I do this?  No wonder no one stays in my life for very long.  I wouldn't stay in my life either.  I wouldn't even be my friend.  I truly am a horrible person.  I just hide it really well.  I'm a sociopath.  I'm a selfish jerk.  I'm weak.  I am insane!  If people only knew what goes on in my mind...  I loathe myself, inside and out.  My life is a waste.  I am a waste of oxygen and energy.  My mother wrote me an email on Thursday, my birthday, that said, "Bad things only happen to people who deserve them."  In her mind, I have deserved everything that's come my way because I'm a horrible human being.  Maybe she's right.

Today at work I watched parents love on their children as they dropped them off at preschool.  Both fathers and mothers were so affectionate with their young children--hugging, kissing, with genuine love flowing towards their children.  It was sweet.  It made me happy and it made my heart ache.  I doubt any of these children will ever end up in foster care.  What makes these children more fortunate than others?  Why do they deserve all this love while children like me did not?  It's something I ask myself often.  It's constantly on my mind because I'm bombarded with images of family all day long.  I can't escape it.  l am flawed, unlovable, and unwanted. 

I feel like there is there something wrong with me.  What is therapy doing to me?  Before therapy I didn't care if there was something wrong with me.  I never thought about it.  Before therapy I didn't want a family, or at least I was convinced I didn't need one.  Before therapy I didn't think about this all day and night.  Before therapy I was fine.  Therapy is ruining my self esteem.  Therapy is not making me better.  It's making me worse.  I feel worse.  My anxiety is worse.  My nightmares are worse.  My self harm is worse.  I think about it more and act on it more often.  My panic attacks are worse.  My dissociation is worse.  I'm worse.  I understand that Therapy takes time, but I'm just not sure I have the ability to continue this way.  My brain is tired.  My emotional resilience has reached it's limit.  How can someone be so resilient as a child and be so fragile as an adult?  I'm not sure I believe my therapist when she says that I'm struggling today because I never dealt with things from my childhood.  It happened so long ago.  GET OVER IT ALREADY!  Just fucking move on!

I hate my therapist for encouraging me to cry.  Tears are stupid.  Tears are for the weak.  Tears never fix anything.  Tears only make you red, swollen, and wet.  I hate my therapist for making me cry.  I feel like I'm constantly fighting back tears these days.  I don't want this!  This doesn't make me better.  This doesn't fix anything. Tears don't make things easier!  I don't even know what I'm feeling.  I can't name feelings.  I can't say, "oh, I feel sad right now."  I'm an adult, I should be able to do this by now!  All I know is that these things called feelings overwhelm me.  I don't feel just one at a time.  I'm flooded with hundreds at once.  They weigh too much.  They create battles between me and my tear ducts.  I have no idea what my feelings mean.  I really don't.  I'm like a preschool child and need a chart to identify them, but even then I'm lost.  Feelings don't make any sense to me.  I want to feel nothing again.  I want to turn them off.  I hate feelings.  Feelings are not helping me.  Feelings are hurting me.  Feelings are pain. Feelings are overwhelming. Feelings are agony.

Too Much Information!

Having a blog is a very strange thing, especially when people that know you in real life read it. I know my blog makes me seem like I'm a pretty open person, but I'm really not.  There are only a select few people in my life that I've shared anything with.  A VERY select few so as much as I find this blog a bit therapeutic it's also a great source of anxiety for me.  I worry about who is reading it every day.  I write things here that I would never talk about in person--stuff that I haven't even been able to talk about in therapy.  In person it would be strange and uncomfortable.  It would be over-sharing.  It would be socially incorrect and incredibly scary.  This blog gives people a window into my brain.  Is it a window I really want open for others to peak into?  I'm not sure.  My opinion on this issue changes by the hour.  Is this blog worth the risk?  Do I really want people to know this part of me?  Do I really want to let people see just how wounded I really am?  How crazy I am?