Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unadoptable CBT

I was going to write more about my stay in the hospital, but honestly it wasn't that different from the first hospital I was in except the nurses, doctors, and the social worker actually seemed to care.  The building was a little older and more run down, the food was disgusting, and the patients were crazier than the rehab unit I was in, but not the first unit.  Other than that it was fine.  I really liked my doctor in the hospital and the nurses were actually involved with the patients.  

I am in a day program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-3.  Today was my second day.  Group therapy is extremely difficult for me, but I’m trying as hard as I can to participate as much as I can.  The dynamics of the group is a bit bizarre.  Most of the people in the group are in the adult partial program, so they are there every day, but I am in the intensive outpatient program which means I just go for 11 hours a week.  Most of the people there are either super young, like barely 18, or very old, like 73.  There are a few middle aged people too, but there is no one in the group that is my age.  For the most part, everyone is really nice and supportive of each other though.  

My psychiatrist in the day program is awesome.  He looks like he’s fresh out of medical school.  He talked to me for over an hour on Thursday and for about half an hour today.  I’ve never had a psychiatrist talk to me for more than ten minutes before so it was a little weird at first.  He’s really warm and very funny.  He asked me questions and listened attentively to my answers about my history.  He kept making comments like “I’m really sorry about that,” when we got to the parts about abuse in my life.  It was a sweet sentiment but it felt a little awkward to me.  What are you supposed to say to someone who says they are sorry you were raped as a child?  “Thanks?” or “Don’t worry about it?”  What is the appropriate response to that?  I seriously don’t know.  Besides little awkward moments like that he was very funny.  He told me that he would totally get it if I wanted to stand on top of a building and shoot people.  I had been taking a drink of my orange juice at the moment he said that and nearly choked to death because I started laughing mid gulp.
He also said some really supportive things too like he hopes that I am able to find someone, in this program or not, that can hear my story and accept it no matter how I want to tell it and no matter what feelings come with it.  I like him a lot.  I wish I could keep him as my doctor outside of the program too.  My little South African doctor is scary compared to the last two doctors I’ve seen recently. 

The people in the program are pretty nice and everyone is pretty normal.  Everyone is there because they want help.  I also like that there are all kinds of people in the program, lawyers, home-makes, retired people, police officers, fitness instructors, students, nurses, etc...  

One of the groups I had today was Cognitive behavior therapy.  For this group everyone had to list:
(A) An activating event
(B)Your beliefs about the event
(C)How it made you feel

At first I passed when I was called.  I didn’t want to talk about the only thing I could think of, but eventually I forced myself to go. 

I read my answers as I wrote them.
(A)  I was never adopted
(B) Nobody ever wanted me.  There is something wrong with me.
(C) I feel defective and unlovable

One girl in the group who wore a yellow shirt and a black beanie hat tried to help me when I couldn’t answer the questions the therapist asked me.   She also kept telling me all these things I should feel proud of about myself, but then she tried to make me feel better about the fact that I was never adopted.  She said, “At least you weren’t stuck in a bad family for years.”  But I was stuck in a bad family for years.  Just because I wasn’t adopted doesn’t mean that I just floated in bubble with no one around to hurt me.  Yeah, at least I wasn’t adopted by a bad family.  I get where she is coming from, but the truth is, I would have given anything to be adopted by any family.  I really would.  I would have done anything for any family that wanted me, even if they weren’t exactly healthy.  I would have done anything to stay with Maggie and Tim despite what happened to me there.  I would have put up with anything to be somebody’s daughter.  At the end of the session she said, “It’s really sucks that you never got adopted but at least it’s over now.”  It’s over now?  I don’t know how to process that.  It’s not over.  It’s not over that no one wanted me as a child.  It’s not over that I never got a family.  I still need a family.  I still dream about someone adopting me.  I still yearn for it.    It’ll never be over for me. 

I parked my car a few miles away from the program and took a bus the rest of the way because I didn’t want to pay 10 bucks for parking.  After the program I had to take the bus back, but as soon as I got to my car I broke down.  I don’t know what it is about my car that I keep crying in it.  I guess it just feels safer to fall apart in my little private bubble in my car.  I wish there was a support group for former foster children that aged out at 18 that I could join because I feel like no one can truly understand what it’s like to be rejected by family after family until you turn 18 and then have absolutely no one in the world while you try to go to college and create a life for yourself.  I don’t know anyone in real life that grew up and aged out of foster care.  I don’t know anyone who can relate to me.  I yearn for someone who understands.  I just want someone that understands me because I’m so tired of feeling so different from everyone else.  I’m tired of feeling so defective and broken.  I'm tired of feeling so alone.