Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Foster care has left me seriously socially limited. I just don’t know how to be with other people. I have relationships in my life but I question every single move I make and thought I have with every single person in my life. I don’t just walk on eggshells around other people; I walk on tiny thin shards of broken glass--each step incredibly painful and bloody. After a while walking seems like a horrible idea. I would rather just stay where I am and not progress any further. I can’t just relax and be with people. I don’t know how.
When I was kid I was labeled with an “attachment disorder (not RAD).” I’ve always thought that was ridiculous but I totally get it now. I am totally incapable of having a normal healthy relationship. I either want way too much from people way too fast or I don’t want enough from them fast enough. I either run into things totally exposed and vulnerable or I don’t expose myself at all. I give too much of myself or not enough. Why can’t I learn to do things in the appropriate amount? Why is that so hard for me?
Maybe that’s why everyone leaves me. I’m impossible to be around. I’m pretty hard to tolerate sometimes. Even when I am trying to make other people feel good, I screw up and create chaos and disaster. I don’t even have to try to mess things up. It’s like a natural talent. It just happens without any thought whatsoever. That’s why I have so few close friends. I have friends, but I wouldn’t say I have many friends that I’m super close with. I have friends who I’ve known for a long time, but they’ve become pretty much Internet and text message relationships. I have friends that are pretty much just Facebook friends even though they didn’t start out that way. It’s just easier to keep me at a distance I guess, but I even manage to mess things up on Facebook and email, and text messages. I am seriously socially challenged.
How does a child learn to have friends when she is constantly moving? How does that child learn to have adult relationships? How does that adult learn not to be so awkward? Relationships in my life have always been temporary. I don’t know how to let things progress naturally. I don’t know how to bond the appropriate amount. I don’t know how to feel about other people. I don’t know how much to love other people. I jump around from extremes in the same relationship, sometimes in just a few minutes. Sometimes I love someone so fast and then I get scared and end up doing something that eventually makes the other person leave me thinking "what a freak.". It never fails. Ever. Pretty much the only constant in my life is that people are never constant.
Foster care is creating a generation of young adults who don’t know how to have relationships. Life is all about relationships. How can a foster child live a normal adult life if they can’t form relationships with people? I feel so disabled sometimes. It IS disabling. Is it too late for me to learn how to be a normal person? Is it too late to learn how to be charming? Is it too late to learn how to be a friend? Is it too late to learn how to be a coworker, girlfriend, patient, acquaintance, mom? How do I socialize without severe anxiety? How do I learn how not to be so stupid? How do I learn how not to be so socially fucked up? Sometimes I am so enraged at myself that I can’t do much more than pace around my apartment thinking about what a freaking idiot I am. If I hurt you today, I’m sorry. Please forgive me…or don’t. It’s up to you.