Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surrounded and alone

Therapy really depresses me.  I have felt so much better these last two weeks I had off from therapy.  I went today and now I’m depressed.  I’m not sure why I’m going anymore.  Is it helping me?  That’s highly debatable.  Why is it that I have so much trouble talking about anything in therapy but I can be so open in this blog for thousands to read?  Literally thousands.  That's how many people read my blog about Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure what made my Thankful post so popular.  It's a bit daunting knowing my blog is now so public.  I don't know how I feel about it.  I'm excited and terrified.  I guess I do know how I feel about it.

After my usual twenty to thirty minutes of uncomfortable silence my therapist suggested we email each other in session.  That would be so strange.  I can't email my therapist with her sitting right in front of me!  She asked, "What if we weren't facing each other?" OMG.  I can't do that, plus therapy would be even slower and stranger than it already is.

Eventually we talked a bit about how my GF can't read my blog or hear about my childhood.  I don't know how I feel about it and my therapist says it would make her angry and a little lonely.  I told her I've always been lonely.  I'm surrounded by people and totally alone.  It's so hard to find anyone that I can connect with in life.  I can't find anyone that truly gets it.  I want someone who knows what it's like to be me--to grow up the way I did, to carry around what I do.  Someone who knows what it's like to feel so alone in a room full of people.  I don't know why I suddenly find myself needing that kind of connection when for so long I tried to stay away from anyone with a background similar to mine. 

I started this blog so I could express myself in a way that I can't in real life, to tell my story and let people know what it's really like to grow up in foster care beyond statistics, to help other former foster children and future foster parents, and maybe find someone I can connect with.

I feel like I can't really connect with anyone in life.  Not beyond a superficial level anyway.  I cannot connect with people with anything to do with family.  I really can't.  Someone shares a story about their childhood or their family with me and I listen and try to relate it to something in my life but I usually can't.  I can't connect with other gay people either.  When gay people talk about what it was like coming out to their families, I have nothing to share.  I didn't have to come out to anyone because no one was there.  No one would care.  When gay people talk about how their families deal with their sexuality I have nothing to share.  My gay friends don't know what it's like to be a gay kid in foster homes or group homes.  My gay friends don't know what it's like to sign contacts or to be afraid your roommate will smother you at night if you act too gay that day.  My stories are always conversation stoppers.  I always stress about what I can and cannot share with other people.  I don't want to be the person that never talks about herself because than I'll never connect with other people, but if I do talk about myself I make people uncomfortable.  My stories make people uncomfortable.  My stories drive people away.

Even among other foster children I feel totally alone.  Most don't believe me or my story, or think I must be exaggerating.  They think I must be making up the number of placements I lived in or they believe that I couldn't have had it as bad as I say because I appear to function so well in life.  On paper, I'm functioning better than most of the statistics and other foster children I have met.  I'm a "foster care success."  I'm a college graduate with a long term job and a long term relationship, what more could I possibly need in life?  This is how other foster children look at me.  These things are all true, but I wish they could see me beyond all of that.  Sometimes I wish I was able to wear my pain on my sleeve for everyone to see, like I do in this blog, so that maybe someone could finally understand who I really am.  I feel like most people see me for who I am not rather than that who I really am.  I'm not a total fuck up, so I must be a success.  I'm not extremely mentally ill, so I must be okay.  I'm surrounded by people so I must not be lonely.  I seem to have everything I need in life, so I really shouldn't be hurting.  None of these things are really true.  None of these things are really me.  I'm just a master of pretend and emotional trickery.

I want someone that can handle my life--all of it.  I want people who can hear my stories and still be able look at me the same way.  I want people who can hear my stories and not feel sorry for me.  I want people who can hear my stories and still see me for the person that I really am.  I want someone who truly understands what it's like to grow up the way I have.  I want someone that knows what it's like to be shuffled from home to home being rejected by family after family.  Who knows what it's like to be unwanted.  I want someone who understands what it's like to age out of foster care with no one and nothing.  I want someone who knows what it's like to graduate at the top 5 percent of your high school class despite attending seven high schools, moving homes every six months, and have no one notice or care.  I want someone who understands what it's like to put yourself through college without any family or support system.  I want someone who understands what it's like to feel nothing when someone tells you they love you, well--nothing positive anyway.  I want someone who understands what it's like to be twenty-something or thirty-something or forty-something and still want a mom.  Someone who still dreams that someone out there will adopt them, that someday they'll finally have that family they have always needed.  I want someone who knows what 18 years of foster care does to your soul.  I want someone who knows what it is like to grow up alone.  I just want someone who understands because I don’t want to be alone anymore.