Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Itching to go whale watching!

I really messed up the comments on my blog and they may be gone forever, but maybe I can see this as a way to start over.

I'm feeling okay today.  I'm really stressed out from my insurance because I've reached my out of pocket max but for some reason my insurance is being weird about it.  After being bounced from company to company and speaking to a million people and nearly losing it I decided to let my university benefits office deal with it instead.  Hopefully it gets sorted out soon because I am so broke.  I'm lucky to have a girlfriend who makes enough for us to get by if we budget correctly.

I'm really excited for this weekend because some friends and I are going down to Orange County (about 60 miles away) to go camping and blue whale watching.  We bought super cheap tickets on groupon.  I'm super excited.  I've never been on a boat before, well not one in the ocean.  I've been on a boat-ish thing on a lake once before and I've kayaked but I've never been on a boat in the ocean.  I've never seen a whale before either except for this one time when I took my dogs to the dog beach and there was a dead beached whale on the sand.  Really sad, but also kind of cool to see an animal like that up close at the same time.

My meds are helping me maintain my base level of emotions a little bit.  They aren't making me feel better but they are helping me not feel so extreme, more level.  These are the meds that are making me itchy and can cause that dangerous rash.  Doctor Patrick wants me to stop taking them, but I asked if we could please try it for a few more days to see if the itching stops because this is the first med I've ever taken that has made any difference for me.  He said that if the itching doesn't stop by Friday or even if just one bump develops I have to stop.  I hope that doesn't happen.  In the meantime I've feeling kind of itchy and bitchy.  haha.  I'm taking a ton of benadryl which makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck, but it stops the itching.  I guess we'll wait and see.

I've also made plans for the 4th of July weekend which I'm also excited about.  I've decided that I need to start planning things that I cannot back out of.  If I make a commitment to someone else or buy tickets, I'll actually get out of the house and start living my life and maybe feeling better.  No one else is going to do it for me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I've decided to come back

Sorry I keep switching.  I just thought about how I started my blog to be open and honest about myself and with myself and how I moved my blog to hide again.  Blogging is hard and I'm still learning about the boundaries and rules and quirks.  I'll get it eventually even though it seems to be taking me awhile.

I screwed up my comments in the process, but hopefully that will be fixed soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Talking even when it's scary

I'm mentally, physically, and intellectually tired.  I'm tired of...I don't know.  I guess I'm just tired of not feeling okay and working so hard to feel it.  When I was 12 years old I went mute, pretty much for a year.  I had a few bouts of muteness here and there before and after that major episode, but I don't know why I went mute.  I don't think I did it on purpose.  I just sort of lost the ability or energy or need to speak.  I basically shut down completely after I moved away from Maggie and Tim's foster home.  I haven't been mute since I was 13 years old, but somewhere deep down I feel the silence seducing me whenever I'm stressed.  It's always there, pulling at me.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's mental illness but the only mental illness with this symptom that I can find is selective mutism and that doesn't really fit.  Why does my brain always want to shut down?  Why are simple things so much harder for me than they seem to be for other people?  I don't know.  Group therapy is nearly impossible for me, but after two months of it, I'm beginning to be able to share in the groups.  I'm going to the program four days a week and therapy with CT once a week.  I'm exhausted.

I've started attending the recovery group in my program.  I didn't choose this by choice, and I was a little apprehensive at first but it's okay.  Most of the people in this group are substance abusers.  I'm the only one in the group for self injury.  This is the first time in my life that I've been able to be open about cutting myself. I've hidden it for years, until I couldn't hide it from my girlfriend anymore.  I managed to hide it for years, cutting only in places I knew she wouldn't see and explaining away old scars.  Luckily I don't scar very easily and I learned a neat trick when I was bitten in the face by a dog when I was a kid.  If you pop open a vitamin E capsule and rub the oil on your wounds, you can almost prevent and cure scars.  I had 16 stitches in my face and you cannot even tell today.  But that might also be because it's covered by some acne scars now.  So I've been very good about hiding my habit since I was a kid.  My cutting got worse and worse to where even friends were noticing and I kept having to come up with lies.  "Oh, I cut myself on some chicken wire." or "I cut myself hanging reed fencing."  Those were the only things I could think of to explain the nearly parallel lines on my skin.  I always cut myself horizontally, and usually on my legs, but sometime I run out of room and cut on my arms or hands.  I'm pretty sure people knew I was lying when I came up with those lame stories, but most people are never brave enough to call me out on it, fortunately.  I've become less and less careful about where I cut myself but it's not really intentional.  Sometimes I don't even realize what I've done until after I've done it.  I dissociate when I do it sometimes so I don't realize I'm doing it or I know I'm doing it but I don't really have the consciousness to really think about it until after it's done and then I feel really crazy and stupid.  This is the first time in my life since I was 10 or 11 that I've been able to talk to other people about what I do to myself.  My anxiety when I talk about it is almost unmanageable, but I pushed myself to do it even though my automatic response is to deny, make up excuses, and go mute.  I opened up about it in group on Friday.  I talked about cutting myself at 3AM on Friday morning and I talked about Maggie trying to talk to me through my email chat before I did it.  I was near a panic attack with anxiety and then I began to cry in front of a room full of people, both older and younger than me, as I talked about it.  Everyone was really supportive.  I actually felt much calmer after the group.  I was able to participate in more groups after that on Friday.  It's taken two full months of an all day program, but I'm starting to actually participate now.

I was really upset last week because my social worker in the program told me I had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.  I was open to it at first but after researching it, I became really offended.  While some of the criteria fit me, a lot of it doesn't.  I wrote out this long essay about why it was an inappropriate and unhelpful and potentially damaging diagnosis for me because my insurance will not cover it.  I discussed each of the nine criteria and explained how they did or did not fit me and why.  I gave it to the nurse to give to my doctor on Tuesday.  On Friday I requested to see Dr. Patrick because my medication increase has caused extreme itching and I crave salt so badly that I literally poured some in my hand and licked it off over and over again.  GROSS!  The craving got to a point where I just couldn't resist the urge no matter how gross it was.  I had to get a blood test and depending on the results I might have to stop taking Lamictal because it can cause a dangerous rash and something called salt wasting.  I also talked to him about what I wrote and the borderline diagnosis.  He said that my social worker was wrong, he never diagnosed me with that and agreed that it didn't fit me.  The DBT clinic he wants me to go to in August is called the Borderline Personality clinic, but it's not only for people with BPD.  He has diagnosed me with severe depression and complex ptsd.

So I'm doing better in a lot of ways, but I still don't feel "better" whatever that's supposed to feel like.  One minute I'm learning to accept that I'll never have the family I dream and the next I'm in pieces.  I'm really tired of people deciding they don't want me anymore.  I don't have the brain power to articulate just how much it hurts to have your family tell you they don't want you anymore.  Those of you who have families, imagine your mom and dad deciding they don't want you anymore and not really understanding why.  They don't claim you anymore and don't want you in their lives anymore.  Then imagine that happening to you over and over again your entire life.  I would rather lose a limb.  I would rather have cancer.  I know that some of you understand how this feels.  For those of you who have overcome this, how do I keep surviving this?  How do I survive surviving?  I don't want to survive anymore.  There has to be more to life than just this.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friends as family

Well meaning people often ask why I can't just make my own family.  Why can't I just find some amazing people that I love and love me back and count them as my family?  Why can't I just count my friends as my family?  The people who say this are always those who have grown up in a family and just can't understand what it's like to grow up alone.  You will never see or hear a foster child or someone else without a family say this.  The reason it hurts when people tell me to just make my own family of close friends is because it's not that easy.  When you grow up being bounced from home to home, school to school, you learn not to attach to anyone--adults or children.  You learn not to rely on anyone.  You learn not to trust anyone.  You never learn how to make or keep friends so creating this family of friendships is difficult.

What makes friends different from family is that your family is kind of stuck with you no matter what you put them through or at least they are willing to put up with a lot more from you than your friends are.  You can put your family through a lot and still trust that they'll stick around because well, they are your family and that's what family does, or so I've read.  I've had plenty of people promise me that they will never go away, but ultimately they always do because they are not attached to me in a way that is unbreakable like a family would be.  Our bond is not unbreakable no matter how much we pretend it is.  There are always more conditions and less toleration of stress and hurt feelings with friendships than with family relationships.  If your sister is a complete jerk for a long time, you're more likely to keep some kind of contact or relationship with her because she is your sister.  If your friend is a complete jerk for a long time or does something hurtful to you, you're more likely to end the relationship.  If your friend has a mental break down, there is a limit to how much you are willing to be there for them even if you are the most well meaning, supportive person.  Eventually you'll tire of supporting a friend.  If a family member has a mental breakdown, most people work harder to help that person and be a support to them or at least make sure they have the support they need from some other source.  Maybe it comes down to obligation.  You are obligated to your family in some way that you are not obligated to friends.  You are bonded to each other in a way that you are not with friends.

I've never had a person who has always been there for me.  Don't get me wrong, I have a great supportive girlfriend although I wonder how much more she's going to be willing to deal with before I exhaust her too.  I also have another supportive friend who is being there for me a lot right now and I've had friends be there for me in the past, but I've never had someone that is always there, that I know won't go away even when it gets a little insane for a little while or if I end up acting stupid and hurting feelings.  I don't have anyone that I don't have to worry about exhausting, like a mom or a sister or a brother that I grew up with.

I'm a human being and a pretty wounded one.  I make a lot of mistakes and I have a few challenges that make life and relationships pretty difficult for me.  I don't have anyone that I know will put up with that no matter what.  People always say they will be there for me, but ultimately they change their minds when things get a bit difficult or they realize that they can't save me.  I don't want people to save me.  I want people to accept me, wounds and all, and love me anyway.  That's not to say they can't push me to better myself or disagree with my choices.  I just want someone who says they love me unconditionally and mean it.  I've never had that and I desperately need and want it.  I desperately yearn to be good enough for that.  I desperately yearn for a mom.  I'll never get one, but I need a network of supportive people in my life in order to survive and heal and become a better person.  How can I do that when people keep going away when things get hard?   I tried to make my own family of friends over and over again but it never works.  I don't know where I'm going with this ramble.  It's been too many hours without sleep and I'm awake, ruminating about the family I never had.  I guess all I'm saying is I know I'll never have a family and I don't know how to survive without one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Trying to get help is making me crazy

I'm back in my program four days a week now.  My doctor had to appeal three times to my insurance.  I don't know why.  I went on Thursday last week, but just couldn't make it on Friday.  I saw my CT (current therapist) on Wednesday but I sent her some of K's emails and told her I just don't know how to deal with it all and she scheduled me in for an extra session on Friday.  I cried.  And cried.  And cried.

I spent most of the week and weekend laying in bed.  I get up when I have to, but otherwise I just can't make myself do it.  I don't want to do anything.  I don't want to eat.  I don't want to watch TV.  I don't want to read.  I just want to lay in bed and watch my ceiling fan oscillate above my head and space out.  So that's pretty much what I did for most of last week between bouts of extremely hard sobbing about difficult things in my life that I don't really understand or know how to manag..  I'm not articulate enough to describe just how crushed I am about a few things right now.  My face is always covered in little broken blood vessels after one of those crying sessions.  That's how hard I've been crying about it.  All this crying scares me a little bit.  I didn't use to be the kind of person that cries.  I still don't cry very often but when I do I can't seem to stop.  I switch from bouts of being very angry at them to just being sad and confused. 

This weekend my gf made me get out of bed to go figure out what we were going to do about the car.  The car insurance decided it was a total loss.  We owed less than the car was worth so we could get a new car and actually not lose any money at all.  This time we got a dark blue Honda Fit.  It's cute and zippy and everything.  Normally getting something like a new phone or a new little gadget would make me giddy with excitement, but here I was getting a brand new car and I felt flat.  I felt nothing.  I just wasn't excited and I really wanted to be.  I wanted to be so excited.  We got a newer, cooler, sportier, cuter car and actually came out ahead financially.  We didn't lose money by the accident, we gained money.  I should be excited by this too, right?  Why can't I feel excitement?  Maybe part of it is I'm just worried about how we're going to make payments when I'm not working.  I've applied for short term disability insurance with the University and I'm looking for a summer job, so hopefully that will work out soon.

Yesterday in the program I found out that I've been diagnosed with something that I REALLY REALLY disagree with.  I've looked at all the criteria for this diagnosis and while I will admit that some of the symptoms fit me (I think they fit A LOT of people) I don't meet enough of them to be diagnosed with it.  I feel like my diagnosis of severe MDD, CPTSD, GAD are enough.  I DO NOT need a fourth one on top of that, especially one I really don't agree with.  Going to this treatment program has not helped me at all.  The program is too big and the groups are so repetitive.  They never change.  The lessons are always the same.  How is that helping me?  People in this program are giving me labels without consulting me.  I think if you're going to label me with something, you should talk to me about it first.  I'm very offended by my new label because it just doesn't fit me and it doesn't help me in ANY way whatsoever.  I don't think it's fair to count my unstable childhood relationships in order to meet this diagnosis.  How can you tell me it wasn't my fault as a child and then label me with something that explains it?  

The program wants me to go to this DBT mindfulness program in august but I have to sign a year contract before I can do it.  I can't sign a year contract to work with someone I don't know if I like or trust, in a program that I don't know will help me, and one that I have to pay for with insurance when I have no clue what my insurance will be in a year from now.  I'm not going to sign a contract.  I'm just not.

I talked about this in therapy today.  I talked about how I'm ready to just quit everything.  I'm ready to quit therapy, the program, medication.  All of it.  My therapist told me I should talk to the program about all of this before I do anything.  I know that all they are going to say is that there are plenty of people willing to take my place if I don't want to be there.  I talked about how I'm tired of people deciding what's best for me without asking me and I'm tired of being passed to other people when they can't help me.  I'm tired of all of it.  None of it is helping me.  My therapist said that she would like to be a part of the process of my treatment and I just laughed.  She wanted to know why and I told her that even she doesn't know if she wants to work with me or can help me at times.  Now she wants to talk about that next week if I come back.  I'm tired because I don't feel any better and I've been working so hard to feel better.  The doctors are just throwing medication at my brain to see what happens.  Yesterday Dr. Patrick suggested I try this brand new medication.  Basically it's so new I would be a guinea pig for side effects.  Um..NO THANKS.  He already gave me a medication that gave me hives all over my body and I'm on another one that could give me a deadly rash.  Two years ago I was on NO medication.  Last year I was on three medications, two for hormones and Lexapro, and this year I'm on seven!  That's just insanity.  Trying to get help has done nothing but give me labels and drugs and side effects and none of it has helped me deal with my traumas or anxiety or depression.  None of it has helped me at all.  Trying to get help is making me crazy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learning how to love and be loved after foster care

It's 5 something in the morning and I'm still awake; thinking.  It's just one of those nights that I can't turn my brain off.  I'm feeling pretty self reflective at the moment.  I'm not sobbing as I write this blog post like I usually do with my more melodramatic posts; I'm just thinking.  As someone said in an earlier post the common denominator in all my failed relationships is me.  I've actually said this over and over again in my life and therapy sessions.  Usually those I talk about it with try to reassure me that there is nothing wrong with me.  It's them, not me.  The foster parents just weren't right.  My therapist says that it's not my limitations that my foster parents' didn't keep me, but their limitations.  This is what I should want to hear, right?  The problem is I just don't believe it.  I'm glad someone else pointed out that it cannot possibly be their limitations and it has to be mine.  It's not mathematically possible.  I mean there were dozens of them and only one of me, so clearly the problem lies in me.  My Lifebook tells me that there was a total of 42 foster placements in my life.  It's hard to keep track of how many were shelters, hospitals, group homes, etc... I'm sure I've gotten the number wrong a few times which ends up making people doubt my story, but honestly everything kind of blends together now.  I'm not always sure what happened where or when. Anyway, the point is, a fair amount of those homes were foster homes with the potential for a forever family, but I never got one.  I entered foster care as an infant and bounced between my mom and foster care for years.  I wonder if I would still be as bad at relationships if I had been adopted as an infant or never entered the system.  How much of my problems are purely me, my chemistry, my brain, my genes, and how much of it is foster care?

When I became adoptable I was 8 years old.  I was in special education until about fourth grade, but I was still a smart kid.  I was a funny kid.  I was white, blue eyes, female, musical.  I looked great on paper and there were a few families that wanted to adopt me, or at least said they wanted to adopt me.  So why didn't they keep me?  What made them change their minds?

I was going through some books of mine since my very cheap target bookcase collapsed.  In the pile of books I found my copy of The Horse Whisperer.  On the front page of the book my former foster mom wrote: "My dearest XXXX, I could not love you anymore if you were my own flesh and blood.  XOXO CC."  I met her when I was 12 years old and mute, but she didn't become my foster parent until I was 15.  Did she write that because it was true or for some other reason?  Was it my my inability to feel love, my excessive need to feel love, or her inability to keep loving me that ended her desire to be my family?  I truly don't know.

I wonder if maybe the amount of things I had that were "good" about me actually hindered me.  Maybe people expected me to be a better person that I was capable of being because of the good things I had going for me.  Maybe I just wasn't able to live up to the expectations?  I was good at a lot of things as a child except for the one thing I needed and wanted the most--Family.  I've just never been able to do it right, even today despite my long relationship with my girlfriend whom I love, but sometimes I feel a bit like a project to her, like she's with me because she wants to save me.  Maybe that's what happens too.  Maybe people start out wanting to save me and then give up once they realize I can't be saved.

Now I just expect people to leave, to reject me once they know me.  Sometimes I feel this complete lack of desire to connect with another person especially if I like them--I don't even want to try to get to know them.  Other times I have this overwhelming need for someone to like me, love me, want me--even if I don't really like them that much.  It's natural to want others to like you, want you and love you, but I don't seem to be able to really find a balance with that need.  With me every emotion is pretty intense.  I don't just feel things a little bit.  If I have a feelings it's a big one or none at all.  I am either flooded with intense feelings or they are extremely muted or even lacking.  The same is true with relationships.

Sometimes my desire for someone to like me and want me is a bit extreme.  It doesn't happen often but when it does the other person ends up running away and never looks back.  And even then, I can't let it go without an explanation.  I want them to tell me why they don't want me.  I do this both online and in real life.  I've done this recently with someone I met through blogging.  I just felt so much empathy and then that intense desire to connect with them that I scared them away and ruined any chance of any kind of relationship.  I desperately want to know why my relationship with K is the way it's is now because I honestly have no idea what I did.  I have my theories but I want a concrete answer; Something I can fix.  Maybe part of the problem is I don't even really know who I am or who I want to be.  If I have no idea who I am or who I want to be, how do I find the people that want me?

There are a million "what ifs" and "whys" about my time in foster care that I'll never get an answer to, but the desire for those answers remains strong and constant in my life.  Why didn't anyone keep me?  Why wasn't I ever good enough?  Why didn't anyone ever love me enough?  Why do people still leave me?  What did I do wrong with all those relationships?  I obsess over these questions a lot.  It's probably not healthy, but I think about it every single day.  What is wrong with me?  Maybe I think an answer to that question will give me this magical cure to all my problems.  I know that's not true, but how do I find a way to accept that I never got a family and that I probably never will?  How do I find a way to live with that loss when the desire for a family is still so overwhelming?

I have always had this deep need to really connect with other people but it's always been the hardest thing for me.  I just don't understand people.  People terrify me and fascinate me.  I feel like some kind of martian on a foreign planet with foreign beings trying to learn the ways of the land but failing miserably.  I feel different, alone, defective and I don't know how to fix that.  Can therapy change that for me?  Drugs?  Time?  Was I just born this way?  Is it just who I am?  Did foster care make me this way?  How do I live without these answers?  How do I find a way to live without that family I so desperately need?  How do I learn to love and be loved after foster care?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I need

I don't need perfection.

I don't need saving.

I just need someone to love me

and not go away.

music, cars, and colors

I feel pretty good today.  I got up this morning, took a shower and then got a call from my group program saying there was a problem with my insurance so I couldn't come in today.  I don't think it's a big deal, they just have to figure some things out before I can go back since I've switched from intensive outpatient to partial hospitalization.  I was happy to go back to bed because I didn't sleep well last night.  My girlfriend says I had bad dreams but I don't remember them.  What I do remember is laying in the dark with a purring cat on my chest, listening to the rain and watching the shadows dance across my bedroom window for a few hours last night.  It was peaceful.  After the phone call, I didn't sleep, but I cuddled with my dogs in my bed until about noon before we got up and went for a walk.  The weather was great; cool; breezy.  Everything felt so clean and new.  After I walked my dogs, I decided to walk to Starbucks.  I got my usual tall soy misto, thanked the extremely eccentric barista dressed in a tie and fedora hat and leisurely walked toward my apartment.  My misto was perfect with tons of warm fluffy foam that made it super creamy and slightly sweet.

My actual coffee and bench :-)
Suddenly I heard this amazing sound of a cello.  I thought someone was practicing in their apartment.  I kept looking for the source of the beautiful noise before I realized that it was coming from my pocket.  My cell phone had turned on Pandora radio and it was on the classical station I love.  I used to play the violin and I started to learn the cello before I quit music altogether.  The cello is my favorite instrument.  The sad deep tones move me-- inspire me.  So I sat on a broken wooden bench under a large maple tree, moved by the cello music and the cool moist breeze against my face and drank my coffee.  I thought about the music and how much I used to love to play.  Then I realized that I feel good today, like actually good.  I haven't felt good in a very long time.

I didn't think about the things I usually dwell on all day long like I have been for months.  I had one panic attack this morning triggered by a head rush and nearly blacking out because of the nightmare drug which is also a drug used to treat high blood pressure.  I don't have high blood pressure, so when I stood up too quickly I almost blacked out and had extremely loud ringing in my ears.  The attack was short lived and mild though.  My hives aren't any better with the antibiotics so Dr. Patrick thinks it's an allergic reaction to the nightmare drug.  I have to stop taking it.  I wonder what that means for my mental health, but maybe it'll be a good thing.

I am excited about the prospect of maybe getting a new car since Toyota is willing to give us the very same deal we had before plus refund us for the warranties we bought for the other car.  That means overall we lost very little money because of the accident and don't have to pay anything out of pocket.  I have no money in my pocket since I haven't worked since February and a ton of medical bills coming in.  I wish we could just pay off the old car and use the rest of the money for bills, but for some reason it doesn't work that way.  We lose less money by getting another car.  I have no idea why.  I'd rather pay bills, but still the idea of getting a new car is exciting.  What color should we get?  Should we get the same model?  It's more fun to think about these things than ruminate on my wounds.

When my coffee cup was empty I decided to go back upstairs and clean up my apartment.  My bookcase collapsed last week and I've just left the broken case and pile of books where they landed.  My apartment looks like a hurricane passed through it because I have not had any motivation to do anything but lay in bed these last few months.  I was going to clean since I am feeling pretty good today but the giant pile of books felt overwhelming and I didn't want to waste my good day cleaning.  I decided to ink one of my drawings and listen to music instead.  I don't usually work with markers, I usually just pencil sketch, but I'm feeling kind of colorful today.  I took one of my favorite pencil sketches and copied it with my printer and then inked the copy because I was afraid of ruining the original.  I think it came out pretty good.  I prefer the pencil version, but I like that it's a little different from my normal colorless work.

I hope today means things are going to get better for me.  I hope my life starts to get a little easier for me

Monday, May 16, 2011

"For your safety... please transfer to line 5"

That's what I heard on the bus today, you know because I totaled my super cute charcoal gray 2010 Toyota Matrix that my gf and I bought together a year ago last week.  I was sitting in the front of the bus, text messaging with my really good friend, Jen, my former summer camp counselor and amazing friend who left the hasty comment defending me in another post.  She's the only person in my real life that knows my blog address now which I think it much healthier for my relationships.  I don't think it's good for the people close to me to read all my doom and gloom all the time.  Anyway back to the bus.  I was sitting in the front, playing with my phone, when the electronic speaker on the bus said in a pleasant monotone female voice, "For your safety... (dramatic pause) please transfer to line 5...(dramatic pause)."  I burst out laughing.  I looked around to see if anyone else was laughing too but I don't think anyone else noticed.  I think I'm the only one that heard it.  Then I start freaking out that maybe I hallucinated it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't because the little electronic sign said it too.  Anyway, it was totally dumb, but it cracked me up, especially because I was just thinking that the driver was going to crash and kill us all.  Silly I know.

I woke up this morning without a migraine for the first time in weeks.  I woke up feeling okay.  Not great, but definitely okay.  I didn't sleep well, but I didn't have any nightmares either.  For some reason that makes it easier for me the next day.  I got a package in the mail from my friend Jen the other day so I had tons of really great caramel corn to munch on while taking the bus and then my gf's mom (who is kind of crazy and someone that I can only take in very small doses, but she has a good heart) sent me a knitted hat she made for me.  It's looks like a giant Ya-mica on my head.  That or a really big concave doily. She really can't knit but she insists on making stuff for us and the dogs.  She made a sweater for my rottweiler once.  It was super sweet for her to make the hat for me though and she said she picked the color because she thought it was the very color of my eyes, which was also sweet.

Yesterday I went to urgent care because of a giant rash of hives on my legs and abdomen and one of my meds can cause a fatal rash, so I'm a little freaked out about it.  That, and my gf said it was scabies which really creeped me out.  It's not scabies.  The rash started before I started taking Lamictal (the fatal rash med), so it's not that.  The Urgent care doctor gave me two antibiotics to take, one twice a day and one four times a day.  So much medication to manage.  It's a bit daunting and scary now.  I feel bad for my poor little liver.  I told Dr. Patrick about it today and he looked at it and said it's definately hives and that it might be from the nightmare medication.  If the antibiotics don't help by tomorrow I have to stop the nightmare med.  I'm not sure what I want in the situation.  So far I haven't had very many bad nightmares on the med, but the hives aren't fun either.  I look like I a walking infection.  I'm glad it's on my legs and not my arms.

I am now in the day program four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  I have individual therapy on Wednesday and I'm going to start doing yoga that day too, so my schedule is pretty booked which is good because it forces me to get out of bed and it forces me to socialize and deal with my issues.  I really really like Dr. Patrick, like maybe too much.  He's hilarious and warm, and just really seems to actually care about me and not just the meds.  I have an hour session with him once a week plus anytime I need him during the week.  I also have a session with my care coordinator once a week.  That means I have three hours of individual therapy a week on top of my group therapy from 9-3.  I think I've got enough therapy in my life right now.  I'm really trying to feel better.  I know my blog is often a lot of gloom and doom, but I'm really trying to get better.  It's just that sometimes I tend to think about everything that's happening and everything that's happened and I get in this space of total overwhelming despair, but my good moments seem to be increasing, even though it may not seem like it in my blog.

I got some more news from work.  They cannot fire me or lay me off because of FMLA because doing so would be discrimination.  That means I have my health care totally covered.  What's not good is I can't get unemployment or paid at work.  If I quite, I lose my unemployment and health insurance.  If I stay, I have no income.  Dr. Patrick said that it's possible for me to work outside of the university and be on disability with the university because the day program counts as hospitalization.  Basically he says it wouldn't be dishonest for me to get a job somewhere else.  I'm not sure I agree but I'm kind of in a bind since I have over a thousand in medical bills now, plus more coming in, my rent in LA is not cheap, etc...  I think I can always get my job back as a barista at Starbucks.  They really liked me there when I worked there four years ago.  I hope they will take me back.  My gf and I are going to try to get a roommate if we can find someone who doesn't mind living with three cats and two large dogs.  I was feeling really stressed and hopeless about money but Dr. Patrick helped me feel better about it, plus this means I won't have to pay 500 bucks in Cobra every month to keep my health insurance. 

My beloved little car is a total loss.  Because my gf and I were still paying it off the insurance is going to pay the dealership off for what what the car is worth.  After all the taxes and fees we actually come out ahead with enough to put a down payment on another car.  I just hope that Toyota gives us the same deal had last time which was zero interest for five years so our car payment was only like 200 bucks a month.  That's why we got a new car in the first place.  It was actually cheaper to do so in the short term.  Sadly I am at fault for the accident because I am an a idiot and thought because two lanes of cars stopped to let turn and the other lane was an empty parking lane, that it was safe to turn.  It wasn't empty and I got hit.  The guy was very nice about it.  If I had to get in an accident, I'm glad it was with that guy.

I had a panic attack in group today.  It was really embarrassing.  In the group we had to write down a relationship problem we are having right now on an index card.  After we wrote it down the therapist told us to pass it to the person to our left.  I had no idea we would be passing it.  Then we went around reading the card we had and saying how we would deal with the issue if it were our problem, then afterwords the rest of the group comments, and then the card writer responds.  When it came time for the girl to read my card my heart began to race and I was having trouble breathing.  When it was my turn to explain more about the problem I totally couldn't breathe, and panicked.  It was humiliating.  I cried.  The entire group tried to soothe me and tell me it was okay.  I left the room for a few minutes and came back and a couple of people gave me a hug.  It was really cool and supportive.  Group therapy is REALLY hard for me.  After I calmed down I talked about K and what's going on and it was really great to hear ideas and interpretations of the situation that I had not thought about before.  We closed the day with some Mindfulnes meditation for anxiety, which ironically makes me super anxious.

Right now I feel like life is really punishing me.  I feel like I have a huge pile of stuff to deal with on top of the huge pile of stuff I already had to deal with and I'm drowning a little bit, but today was okay.  Today was manageable despite the stressful news and hard day at the group program.  Today was a pretty good day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm just a girl fighting to survive

I don't know what it is about me that makes people hate me so much, but please, if you have the urge to leave mean comments or emails, please just move on.  I'm seriously not strong enough.  I started this blog as an outlet for my feelings not to start a debate about my life.  I appreciate all the caring supportive readers, I really do, but please if you don't want to be witness to my pain and drama, please just don't read it.  I am not my blog.  I am a real human being with feelings and a life beyond what I write about.  I'm sensitive and struggling and your mean comments hurt more than I think you know.  I post my most vulnerable self here and I appreciate constructive comments, but it feels like some people only come here to call me names and tell me what a horrible person I am.

Dear C,
You do not know me and I do not know you.  I'm not sure we've ever had a conversation.  The only thing I know of you is we read a couple of the same blogs.  You don't know know what I have or have not been through.  You do not know what my work life is like.  You do not know what I can and cannot been fired for.  You do not know that my work is a teeny tiny nonprofit organization with only 6 people that work there.  I am employed by a big university, but the nonprofit pays my paycheck.  Therefore, I have been laid off for undue hardship on the company because of my medical leave.  My supervisor was going to terminate me but she can't because I could take them to court for it so they have laid me off for undue hardship on the company which is legal. 

I have been in K's place, where a friend of mine became more and more and more needy.  i finally had to start cutting them out a bit, because i was not capable of giving what they were demanding.  As soon as she caught on, she 'attempted' suicide.  (In May's case she barely scratched her wrists, there was not even any blood.).  I believe what she did was for attention, because there was no actual threat of her loosing her life.  And she got her wish...  She phoned at 4:30 AM, told me that she attempted suicide and asked me to drive her to the hospital, and i was there... Do I believe there was real pain and needyness behind the 'attempt'?  You bet!!!  But do I believe the attempt was - at some level - a way of her saying that I was not giving her what she wanted from me?  You bet.

I realise your attempt was an actual attempt.  But I can understand K's point of view - that your expectations of her just may not have been possible for her to perform...

I also believe you truly wanted to die - thus the attempt.  It was not a way for you to manipulate K, but she might have viewed it that way because she already felt like she had failed you.

I know you feel like they 'dropped' you, but is it possible that they were just really, really busy with a new baby?  That they did not realise how much effort and sleep a baby would take, and did not have the extra energy to invest into the relationship with you?

Have you ever noticed that a new couple often 'isolates' themselves a bit?  They see their other friends a little less than they used to?

Or that married couple start to spend more time at home, with each other, when before they might have both been party animals?

I KNOW they promised that you would be family.  Is it possible that they MEANT to  be there more than they were actually able to be in the end?

I had to continue to cut May out because she really did head towards that cycle of "You need to be there for me whenever I want, or I will make a suicide attempt'.  that realtionship isn't healthy for her, or for myself.

If you change your perspective, maybe you can salvage some of the relationships in your life.  I think you may be misinterpreting several people's interactions because of your horrible past.  I see that other commenters have offered the same suggestion.  Perhaps we are not all wrong?

DONT TAKE OFFENCE - because nothing I wrote was intended that way.  Really.  Take the good and leave the bad.

Dear C, I am not your friend and you are not K.  You cannot know what either of us is going through.  I did not fake a suicide attempt, nor did I call my friend for help when I did it.  I wanted to do it.  I really want to die.  I really wish I didn't exist.  I really wish I wasn't born.  I went through a lot for K and her family.  K told me she was my family but when it really mattered she told me she could not find time for me and abandoned me.  You cannot know the whole story based on two emails that I've posted here.  I understand that you feel a connection to K or a resentment towards me, but you do cannot understand what it's like to go do something so huge for someone with the idea that you would finally be part of a family, paying a huge price for this medically and emotionally and then being abandoned the ONE time you need this person to be your family.  We made this 2 year old baby together.  I want to be a part of his life like I was intended to be.  They are not too busy with a brand new baby, they are just too busy for me.  I was totally there for her when she had a mental breakdown and bipolar episode in which she was peeing in the floor in front of people, washing out urns for the twin that died.  When she was completely insane and mean and just scary.  I didn't give up on her.  I was there more than I needed to be.  I was there for her however I was needed.  I dropped everything for them.  All I wanted was the woman who called herself my "unofficial mom" to have coffee with me and be there for me when I'm really suffering.  She said no and she did in fact abandon me.  She refused calls and emails, and therapy.  I would not treat my worse enemy the way these people have treated me these last two months.  I really wouldn't. 

Some people keep saying that I have the power to change my life. Of course I know this.  What do you think I'm doing the partial program for?  What do you think I'm taking medication for?  What do you think I'm blogging for?  I'm doing EVERYTHING I can to change my life.  What else am I supposed to do?  I am faking it.  I get up and go to the program.  I participate even though it's so hard for me.  I go to therapy, I take so much medication even though I hate medication.  I'm even taking a medication that can cause a fatal rash in the hopes that it will help me because I want to change.  I'm really trying so it really hurts when the only thing people have to say is that it's my fault I am suffering so much.  I wouldn't choose this for myself. 

II don't believe your sanity was only affected by you having a child.  You choose to do it - and there were negative consquences that suck.  But I believe that any child that went through what you did is going to suffer psychologically.  So you can't just blame having a child for someone else (I recognise that it had MAJOR adverse effects/hormones etc etc).  You will never be able to have a good relationship with her if you harbour this resentment.  You have stated in your blog that you were struggling before this event.  You have a mental health history.  So while I agree that things have probably gotten worse because of your 'gift of life', it is not fair to single it out as the main cause.

Or course I chose to do it.  Do you know what is involved in egg donation?  I pumped my body full of very powerful hormones, three times a day, for eleven days.  I currently have a hormone disorder which does affect my mental health.  Yes, I was struggling before the egg donation, but I did not need medication or this much help until afterwards.  My ovaries do not work anymore.  All of my hormones are too high or too low all the time which makes it hard to regulate everything in my body including my mental health.  I do not harbor resentment at the family for my medical problems.  I harbor resentment for the way they are treating me since getting the child they wanted from me.  I've never singled it out as a main cause.

There are a LOT of broken relationships in your life.  Your Mom is a nut case, so you can hold no responciblity there...  But it does seems like, at present, the common demonimator of all these failed relationships is you - why is that?
I have never once ever said the problem wasn't me.  I have always said I am the problem.  I have always said people don't want me.  I have always said I am the common denominator.  I was a fucked up kid.  I'm a fucked up adult.  I know that I'm the reason no one adopted me.  I know I'm the reason people keep leaving.  I realize this.  I'm a piece of shit who deserves to die.  My life is a mistake.  I am a complete waste of space.  My life has absolutely no value.  Do you think its possible to be kicked out of foster home after foster home and not know this?  My own mother hates me.  My own mother wants me dead.  Family after family gets rid of me.  Once people get to know me they don't want me.  I've known this since I was 8 years old, so you don't have to tell me.  I know.

I have never lashed out at my readers.  I just write how I feel.  My blog is about my life, my therapy, and what it's like to survive foster care. Basically it's what my life is like and it's so hard to put yourself out here like this and have so many harsh comments.  I don't know why people never like me.  I honestly don't.  In real life I'm extremely quiet, reserved and shy.  With my friends I'm able to loosen up and then I become the class clown, but that's also so I don't have to be too close to people.  Writing this blog is hard for me but I do it because it's something I need to do.  I do it because I want a better life.  I do it because I want people to see just how fucked up foster care is.  I do it because I want people to see just how fucked up foster care leaves those who age out.  I do it because I'm tired and need help and I'm doing everything I can to help me survive because I don't think I'm going to survive very much longer.  I don't know why people don't like me.  I don't know why I bring out so much anger in people.  I've done it my whole life, but please go easy on me because I'm really struggling and I'm really sensitive.  Please try to understand.  I'm just a girl fighting to survive.  I'm just a girl fighting for her life.

i just want out

I really wish I was dead.  I really wish I could disappear.  I really wish I was ashes that could be scattered someplace beautiful. 

People make lots of assumptions about me and make them harshly.

I was told the egg donation was 100 percent safe.  I did not ask for money nor did I receive any.  The procedure was not safe as I now have life threatening health conditions that require expensive medication and lifelong treatment as well as my own infertility.  My ovaries have remained to be the size of oranges when they should be about the size of an almond.

The hormone problems are also when my major psysiological health problems became unbearable.  Yes, I've always had depression, and PTSD, but never to this level, not as an adult anyway.  I have up a lot for a family that I thought was going to be my family and the minute they got what they wanted from me, our relationship began to change.  Instead of being treated like family, I was treated like that friend you invite because you have to invite to places but no one really likes.  That sort of thing.  As soon as they got those embryos from my our time together totally dropped.  I saw the all the time when I was carrying their precious cargo, my eggs, but they stopped having much of an interest in me once they had what they wanted.

Then the babies were born and it was a tragedy and a miracle all rolled into one.  One baby survived and beat all odds to be a normal, smart, beautiful little boy and one little boy didn't make it.  I was promised to be a family no matter what by these people.  I was family for that little boy and they'd never kick me out.  Except they have over and over again.  I've never asked them for anything except for their time.  The one time I need help.  When my mental health is really low and I really needed them to be there for me, they back out and abandoned me.  They said they could not find time for me and neither one of them works.  They told me they thought my suicide attempt was for attention.  They said some other mean things and then they did not allow me to attend that little boys 2nd birthday.  They promised they'd never block me out of his life and they have since done that three times.

Take their side if you want, but you do not know the whole story.  Maybe it is my fault.  Maybe I get everything I deserved.  I don't know.  I don't care.  It doesn't matter anyway, because I honestly don't want to be here anyway.  I want to go to sleep and just never wake up/  I tried that and it failed.  I fail at everything I do.  I fail at life.  I fail at death. I fail at relationships.  I fail at ending them.  I just fucking suck at life and I want out.

There is no point in pointing out what a fuck up I am in life.  I already know.  From the day I was born, there has been something really wrong with me.  I've always known this.  I don't belong here with the rest of the world.  I'm not worth much.  I don't deserve much.  I shouldn't be alive and I don't want to be a live anymore.  My life was a mistake and the universe has been trying to tell me that since the day I was born.  I just wish I didn't exist.  I wish I was never born.  I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up.  I truly don't want to be here anymore.  I really don't.  My next attempt is to point a toy gun at a police officer and hope that he shoots me.  I'm so tired of hurting.  I don't care what any of you say or how mean you are.  I'm just fucking tired of life and I'm tired of being the cause of so much pain in the world.  I just don't want to be here anymore.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Loser

When I was a little girl no one wanted me because I was too big. I was too old.  All of my siblings got families really fast, but I stayed at the children's shelter and temporary foster homes always wishing that one of them would keep me.  I moved over and over agan because people just didn't want me.

When I was 8 years old I found a good family.  The dad really seemed to like me a lot and the mom called me her daughter and told me she loved me.  Later the dad got violent and raped me at night but I kept quiet because I wanted a family more than I wanted my safety.  He also told me I'd be sent to live with crazy people if I told anyone and he was right, I was.  Maggie didn't want me because she chose her husband over me.

My bio mother blames me for everything in her life.  My bio father knew I existed but didn't care.  He has a daughter older than me and one younger than me that he stayed around for but not me.  He did not want me.

Foster family after foster family just didn't want me.  They all said they did at first but the first time there was a little bit of tension I was out.  Group homes kids didn't like me because I got straight A's and spend all my time at school.  I worked so hard at school because it was my only way to cope with my life.

Every foster parent that promised forever--that promised adoption always changed their minds.

I get that I am a fucking loser in life.  I deserve nothing.  I deserve to die.  Everyone in my life would better off if I were dead.  My genetic child is probaby better off forgetting me.  I'm better off being infertile now so I can't start my own family even if I wanted to.  I'd be a horrible mother.  I'm a horrible mother.  A horrible friend.  A horrible girlfriend.  No one wants me and I KNOW WHY.  I know that I'm a fucked up loser that has way too many problems to deal with life.

I get through life right now by taking nyquil, ambien, and klonopin and sleeping it off when I'm not in the day program which is really just filled with other crazy people who dont give a crap about me.  I hate myself.  I hate everything about myself.  I wish I was dead.  I realize I am the problem in my life.  I am not the victim, I am the cause of all of the shit I've lived through.  I did nothing to stop any of it.  I did nothing to help myself.  I'm not pretending that I am a victim in life.  I know that I am not.  I'm a fucked loser that deserves to die.

I should just fucked forget about all of it.  I bring nothing but crap into the world.  I bring nothing but destruction and pain into the lives of people who get tangled with mine.  I just need to end this some how.  I need to end it all.  I need to disappear.  I need to go away.  The world would be a much better place without me.  I mean, why would ANYONE want to love me.  Look at me!  Really look at what a fucked up loser I am.  I don't even like me and I stuck inside this vile body and mind.  If the world had any mercy whatsoever, I wouldn't exist, or Id' die some violent painful death so that I can feel all the pain I bring people in this world.  I'm so tired and I'm so read to die.  I just want to disappear.

I get it. I suck.

Even in my own blog people feel the need to let me know that no one wants me.  I'm not lovable.  I'll never have a family and it's my fault.  I get it.  I have always gotten it.  I am a screwed up fucked up piece of trash that no one could possible ever want to keep around in their life.  They keep me wround until they really get to know me and then they throw me away like the trash that I really am.  I get it.  My life is worthless.  I bring nothing into this world.  It would be so much better without me in it.

I'm done.

I'm really freaking done with life.  I'm not even sad anymore, I'm must angry.  I'm fucking pissed off that my life is such a fucking mess.  My relationship with my gf is no more.  My relationship with the people that I gave my mental health, health, and fertility to so they could have a baby is no more.  My car is a complete loss.  My medical bills are huge.  I lost my job.  My bio dad's wife died today which is very sad, but I'm expected to do something for my bio dad when he's never been there for me.  I don't even know the guy.  I didn't even hear his voice until one year ago and even then he's NEVER been interested in me and who I am. 

K responded with this letter:
Dear Campbell, Please hear this: My intention has never been to abandon you!  From the very first, I just said I needed some time and I hear your explanation of what that brought up for you, but I am not a higher being, just an easily wounded cancerian who cannot reach out to someone who's lashing out.  A lot has happened and very fast.  I'm so relieved you reached out now in such a calm, loving way.  What I want to do now is take some time (about a week or so) and write you a long email with my thoughts about everything that has happened and my thoughts about our relationship from the beginning and my plans for a healthy, new and improved relationship to come.  What I want is for you to take this email to your therapist and process all the feelings that come up around what I say.  Because I truly believe that right now, when we are both still so raw, one hour is not going to do much good and I fear it may lead to angry words and a big setback.  I'm
 going to put everything down in am email and I'm asking you not to respond to the email, but work through whatever your initial reactions might be with your therapist.  Then, when you both think you're ready for me to come in and talk, I would be happy to.  Again, dear Campbell, this is not about me trying to abandon you.  I need time to think and to look at myself and to see what my part in all this has been.  And I need you to take time, too.  I really believe if we take things slowly now this incredibly hard time can end up being a really good thing for our relationship that jolts us both out of the paths that led here.  I LOVE YOU.  K

It sounds good right?  But I KNOW her letter is going to be all about what I did wrong and how it hurt her and nothing about what she did wrong.  I'm fucking sick and tired of everything being on HER terms.  I don't care what she says.  I tried to kill myself and really needed her to be there for me and she wasn't.  she DID abandon me.  She basically made me beg her to write me back and I don't want to do it anymore.  You do not treat someone who pumped her body full of hormones that ruined her mental health, and her health, and her fertility so that you can have a baby the way she has treated me.  I'm tired of the relationship being all about K and K's needs.  I'm tired of my life being full of selfish people who use me.  I"m fucking tired of life and I don't want to be here anymore.  I really don't want to be here anymore.  THere is no fucking purpose to my existence except to have people use me.  No one REALLY cares about me.  It's all about what I can do for them.  I'm sick of it.  I"m sick of me.  I'm sick of life.

I seem to have two emotions lately, complete and utter sadness and rage.  Neither of which I can tolerate and I'm just freaking done with all of this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why I tried to die

Warning:  Extremely honest.  Extremely raw, extremely triggering. I also cannot get myself to read through it to edit it so I'm sorry for the quality.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love, Foster children, and Pound Puppies


Pick me!  I’m good!  Pick me, I’ll love you!  Pick me, I’ll be the best companion in the world!  Foster children live a life not unlike the animals at the pound.   Many children painfully and earnestly wait for a family to come take them out of their cages and take them home.  Sadly some children wait for years and some children are never taken home.  Instead they are thrown out of the shelter when they come of age.  As a child, I had a lot of people come look at me, take me out for a walk, maybe even a short visit home and then decide to go with a smaller, younger puppy.  You know, a puppy without any bad habits.  One without a history, a blank slate. 

This analogy may seem ridiculous to you, but there have been times in my life that completely parallel that of the animals in shelters.  I have been to the children’s shelters quite often in my childhood.  Sometimes they let potential foster/adoptive families come and watch the children play to see if any of them might “match” your family.  It’s a lot like picking a puppy from the shelter.  There are also these events at a park where families come to meet all the available children to see if they want to take one home.  These things were always really hard for me.  Families would come and usually only interact with the younger kids.  I’d watch all the moms and dads come and interact with the other kids and wonder why no one wanted me.  Sometimes a family would be interested in me and then they would hear that I have four living siblings and change their minds.  Sometime I felt like livestock on farm at these picnics.  I felt so looked over and scrutinized that they might as well have examined my teeth and physical form.  It doesn’t matter though because nobody picked me at these events.

I was even a “Wednesday’s Child” on the news and in the paper a few times as a kid.  That’s when they put your picture and a description about you in an advertisement for a family.  Mine usually had a picture of me holding my violin or I’d be in some overly cheesy pose that made me look younger than I really was.  The description was very sugary sweet too.  It just went on and on about how good I was at school, my IQ score, and pretty much every mildly good thing I ever did.  Sometimes they wrote about challenges too.  It was humiliating when kids at school saw those things.  Sometimes they would quote the paper and laugh.  No foster children ever laughed.  Only the kids who never had to think about where they will live tomorrow thought it was funny.

Whenever someone did choose me, they always expected me to come trained to their lives.  I expect many people adopt older dogs hoping they would come already trained as well.  I was expected to know how to fit in with their family.  No one ever taught me how to part of a family, but still I was expected to know exactly what to do in every home I lived in.  I was expected to be better than a typical kid or teenager.  Often I felt like I was expected to be perfect and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that.  Every mistake and misbehavior was scrutinized as signs of an illness or ungratefulness.  Everything I did was a sign that I was an ungrateful, unruly, problematic, mentally ill child.  When in reality I was a terrified, confused, lost, and lonely child. When I adopted my cat from the humane society when I was 19, and she was 5, she would be really sweet for a minute and then turn around and attack me the next.  Then she’d run under the bed and hide for a few days.  Other families gave up on her and sent her back to the pound.  I kept her.  I totally understood how she felt.  I kept her and loved her no matter how many times she lashed out at me or what she damaged.  Today she is sweet and not afraid of me or my guests.  She is a little bit needy and wants me to hold her like a baby all the time, but I understand this too.  I want that too.  The point is, I never gave up on her and now she feels safe and loved.  She's not perfect, but her problem behaviors have almost disappeared.

I was not an ungrateful kid, but as a foster kid, you’re expected to feel grateful for absolutely everything.  It’s hard to feel grateful when you grow up in foster care.  I didn’t feel very grateful to the people that I knew would hurt me and then get rid of me.  Everything you do as a foster child is analyzed and over analyzed by so many people that normal childish behaviors are seen as abnormal signs of illness.  Because of this I left foster care with so many labels and disorders.  PTSD, attachment disorder, mutism, depression, eating disorder, defiant disorder, hyperactive, some other disorders I can’t remember, and I also wet the bed until I was about 12.  I can’t believe I’m making that public, but whatever.  It wasn’t my fault and I’m not ashamed of it anymore.  A lot of foster families would punish me and humiliate me when I wet the bed.  They’d call me a baby and make me parade my dirty sheets down the hall in front of other children.  Many foster parents thought I was dirty and lazy and did it on purpose.  It wasn’t something I could control.  I wanted nothing more than to be able to control that.  I know now that wetting the bed is common in abused children.  I wish my foster parents understood that too.


The point is foster children are labeled for normal childish behavior.  Dogs at the pound come with labels too:  Barker, jumper, aggressive, biter, escape artist, separation anxiety, not house broken, etc…  I was labeled hyperactive, but really I was a 12 year old in a group home that never let me go outside to play.  I had to stay inside at all times unless we were going on a supervised walk around the block.  I had a lot of energy but I was not abnormal.  I had an attachment disorder, but really how does anyone expect a child to bond normally when they lived in 42 placements in 18 years???  I had a defiant disorder but really I was just an angry teenager that was tired of being abused and neglected so I started to talk back.  I had PTSD, depression, and anorexia, but really I was an abused, scared, lonely, and totally powerless child in foster care.

Foster children are not their labels.  They are not puppies at the pound that you can take back.  Foster children are HUMAN BEINGS with fears and dreams and the desire to be loved.  Every child wants to be loved.  I don’t care how difficult or problematic they seem.  Every child wants to be held and loved.  Some of us want you to prove to us that you love us before we let ourselves love you back so we act out.  We make your life difficult for a little while because we are scared that you are like everyone else.  We are scared you are going to hurt us and leave us because so many people already have.  Foster children just want you to pick them and keep them and love them forever.  When I acted out in my foster homes it was usually when I started to feel something for my foster parents.  I was scared but really I just wanted them to hold me and tell me they would never go away, and then actually never go away.  That’s all I wanted.  Foster children need to feel safe before they can believe that they are loved.  Even today I find myself looking for evidence that people are going to go away and then I push them away first.  No one ever picked me as a kid, but there are still thousands of girls and boys out there waiting for you to pick them and prove to them that you won’t go away even when the going gets tough.  Thousands of foster children are waiting for someone to love them.  There are thousands of foster children waiting for someone like you.