Monday, June 4, 2012

Part 2

Yes.  I know I'm a shitty, crazy, unreasonable, self pitying person.  I was crazier as a kid than I thought I was I guess.  I still don't know what I did when I was 15/16 that was so crazy, but crazy people don't know their (not a typo) crazy, I guess.  I kind of hate myself for my response.  I wish I had not pushed send.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  She's a normal, sane, caring woman who tried to care about me but I was too fucked up.  That's really my fault.  She says it's not my fault, but how can it not be?  It's happened to me repeatedly since the day I was born.

It's easier for me to deal with my mom's or even Maggie's emails that are kind of mean and blame me for everything then to have someone talk to me like she did.  Why is that?  It's kind of fucked up that I am more sad about someone being nice to me than someone being mean to me.

I guess it makes me feel like such a freak.  This woman isn't a bad person.  She's not crazy.  I can't just tell myself that it's not my fault when this personal obviously cared about me and tried her best.

How do I become a better human being that someone can tolerate and love?  While writing this email I realized that I've wished I was dead my whole life.  I tried to kill myself when I was 12, then again at 15 or 16 when I tried to shoot myself with their gun and the force of the gun made me miss, and then I tried last year.  I have notes I wrote when I was 8, 9, 10, 11.  I've carried them around and read them when I self injure.  I know it's crazy.  The note when I was 8 said, "No one loves you.  You should die."  I've felt this way my WHOLE life and it makes me realize that I'm always going to be fucked up, crazy, and wish I were dead.


This is me at 17 wearing my foster dad's college sweatshirt.

Email is long.



My email:




Thank you for writing me back.  I really didn’t think you would.  I can appreciate what that experience must have been like for you, but some of your explanations are hurtful, although I realize you did not intend them to be.  What it all comes down to, for me, is you made a commitment to me.  It wasn't just promises you could not keep.  You could have kept them if you wanted to.  You chose to take the easy way out, and that hurts more than you will ever be able to understand.  I have no idea how to articulate just how much.  If my responses come off as angry, I'm sorry.  The truth is, I am angry.  That doesn't mean I don't appreciate your experience or the fact that you're putting all this time and energy right now when you really have no obligation to do so.  I do.  I also know you have the best of intentions when you talk to me about God and your beliefs.  But please know that it just hurts me.  I'm sorry if that upsets you, but I really would prefer if you could keep faith out of all of this.  I'm very happy you believe in something and find happiness through it, but no matter how hard I've tried in my life, and I've tried very hard because I really do understand the value in having faith, but no matter how much I try and want it I cannot believe. 

I’m not really sure how to respond so I am going to respond directly to your writing in a bigger bold font.  It's just easier for me that way.


I was in ­­­­­____ this weekend thru last night for a wedding.  I brought my PC and thought I’d get up before the family to work in the mornings – but I did not do it once.  Sorry this has taken longer than I had planned.  I knew I would need the time to read over your letter again and respond to the items.  I’m going to make the comments in order of your writing.  Don’t try to read more into my writing than what is here – I’m trying to write what comes to mind –there are no hidden agendas or subtext.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.  It means a lot to me. 

I am glad you are in counseling. For it to be most effective, you have to want to be there and be ready for whatever it brings up.  I am glad you wrote the letter.  No one should carry around so much inside – I hope you will allow my reply to help you put closure on this.  On the same note, I am not sure my response will be very satisfying or help you make better sense of it.  The truth is I let you down in several ways – there is really no “ah hah” reason for that – other than my own lack of maturity and understanding, issues with D and, in general, my own imperfection.

You're very right in that your response wasn't very satisfying because your mistakes were more than mistakes to me.  I am trying to come up with a better word, but the only thing I can really say is what happened was pretty cruel to me.  I know you did not intend to hurt me, but that doesn't mean your actions were any less destructive. 

At Desert Hills, your chart history read like a horrible and sad movie script.  It was incredibly sad and my interest in you was based on true compassion and empathy.  It made complete sense to me why you did not want to eat, talk, be alive.  I am glad you see it for what it was – I truly cared about you – and not because I was paid to.  The same is true for when I became your Special Friend.  I enjoyed spending time with you, opening up your world to new experiences, ideas and things.  I had no agenda – just wanted to be a source of support and love.  I remember you being so uncomfortable with gifts.  I remember you acting squirrely the first time I took you to a sit down restaurant.  I think it was Olive Garden.  It had never occurred to me that you had never been to a restaurant before and were nervous about it.  I also did not understand at the time that all this attention was scary for you.  For me, it was just a simple act of kindness to a kid that really deserved and needed it.

It meant a great deal to me.  Don't get me wrong.  It terrified me, confused me, but it also excited me a great deal.  I had never had anyone pay as much attention to me as you did in my entire life.  Not even my Casa, Eileen, spent very much time with me.  Taking me hiking, taking me along with you to do things at the UofA for your dissertation.  Just spending time with you meant a lot.  No one had wanted to be with me in my life and it made me feel cared about.  I had someone to look up to.  I had someone to love.  And I loved you VERY much.

I am sorry you were so abused.  I knew from your chart that you had been sexually abused, but I don’t think you and I ever discussed it.  You always completely shut down whenever it was brought up.  There is so much to respond to in the paragraph about when we decided to be your foster parents.  What prompted us to be your foster parents were the circumstances of where you were living at the time.  You were in a home with other girls – the foster mother lived in a separate unit.  Food was rationed. The living conditions were horrible. You had almost no clothing that fit you.  Your hygiene was very poor.  She was doing nothing to help you – other than providing shelter.  It really angered us.  She was collecting quite a big check because you were a “therapeutic” placement.  We figured that we could do better – because we had good intentions.  We did not care about the money – we just wanted a better life for you.  I don’t remember all the details that you do.  I am sure you have it correct – my long term memory is not that good because of the head injury I got when I was 16.  I am sorry you felt interrogated.  We probably felt like we had to have that conversation because other people or the training scared us.   Taking you on as foster parents when we were just married and only 29 and 33 was against the advice of many people in our lives at the time.  We did not fully understand what we were signing up for.   Regarding your comment that we were trained to be a therapeutic foster home – the training was very broad and not very practical.  It was really kind of a joke given what these foster parents may have to deal with.  

I'm not sure I agree with the hygiene but maybe you're right.  No one ever taught me how to take care of myself.  I was never taught basic things like to brush my teeth, brush my hair, change my clothes everyday.  A lot of that came from self-esteem too.  I had NONE.  I wish you had taught me what I should do instead of just telling me when I did something wrong.  That would have been a lot better and a lot easier on my self-esteem. 

I understand how the training could scare you.  There must have been a better way to ask me about my sexual abuse rather than sitting me on the couch and telling me you needed me to tell you about what happened because you wanted to make sure that I wouldn't accuse you and D of abusing me.  It made me feel horrible.  It made me feel like you didn't believe me.  No one ever believed me when I was a child.  No one.  No one helped me when I went to the hospital with injuries no child can sustain in any "innocent" way.  You should have been more gentle and understanding.  That was terrifying for me.  I was so hurt and scared that I missed my group home.  I was going to ask you to take me home instead of keeping me for the weekend, but I didn't because it was a 2 hour drive for you. 

We really did not understand the degree or impact of the trauma you sustained before coming to us.  Everything you say you felt makes sense given the circumstances.  Here’s what we saw: a good kid, a smart kid, a kind heart, a great sense of humor, a loving kid, an animal lover and more.  I would not accept some of the diagnoses I was told you had– including  ____________.  I could accept depression because it made sense given your history of loss.  Perhaps herein lays the problem – on the outside you seemed pretty together aka “normal” – good in school, active in community, had friends, kind hearted, etc. However, clearly on the inside you had all sorts of turmoil – we did not understand that.  Also, keep in mind that D and I are pretty practical people.  “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” types.  If you knew how I handled our divorce, you would see evidence of that.  Our lack of maturity and understanding did not make us the best suited to be sensitive, set appropriate expectations, communicate clearly, etc.  There are so many things we could have done better.  

It frustrated me that you cannot remember everything because these things were so very painful to me and it makes me sad that you can't appreciate the depth of the pain that was caused because you don't remember it. 

As for diagnosing me with _____.  I remember that.  That angry psychologist that diagnosed me with that.  He questioned me for five minutes and insulted me about my experience in Middle East country and sexual abuse history.  He made me feel bad for being depressed.  I do not think you can accurately diagnose a teenager. 

.......Deleted cuz I don't want to share.....

I am angry that someone thought it would be okay to leave me alone in a room with an abrasive Arabic man, even if he was a psychiatrist, when I was abused by one as a child, and very traumatized in The Middle East.  It really infuriates me how stupid people in foster care are.  Seriously?  How was that okay?  I'm not blaming you for this.  All you did was take me for an appointment.  I'm just so astounded by the stupidity of the adults who are supposed to "protect" abused children.  I have no idea exactly what diagnoses you are referring to, and I know I had a lot of them, but almost EVERY foster child is given an alphabet of labels, most of them totally unfair.  Every behavior is a symptom for foster children when they would be age appropriate behavior for "normal" children

As for me looking normal on the outside but not on the insideI understand how young you were, but CC, you have a Ph.D in psychology.  I don't understand this.  You worked at a children's psychiatric hospital.  I do not understand how you could say that you didn't understand that trauma hurts children in EVERY aspect of their life.  I know that most children don't do well in school when they've had a hard life, but I took it to the extreme the other way.  You don't remember calming me down after having panic attacks over tests and quizzes?  You met me at a psychiatric hospital.  How could you not understand that I was a very hurt child?  Please, help me understand.  I'm not saying this to make you feel bad nor do I mean this to come off as angry as it probably does, I just honestly do not understand what you're saying.  Was I not a normal kid?  Was I not all of those things you listed?  I was a foster child who had been severely abused.  My mother served 4 years of her 10 year sentence for felony child abuse.  I was in foster care.  I had a life history that "read like a sad movie script."  I had been sexually abused.  Please help me understand how that didn't seem important to you?  It makes me cry as I write this because I feel so...  actually I'm not really sure how I feel.  It's kind of like this giant ball of everything.  I feel compassion for how hard and confusing it must have been for you, but it still really hurts that you're basically saying I was crazier than you signed up for.  I was crazier than you were willing to deal with.  It pushes on a very sensitive spot in my psyche that tells me that I've always been too screwed up for someone to love.  You're expectations of a 15 year old girl were not appropriate.  I am pretty sure you expected me to be a little adult.  No 15 year old girl is anywhere near an adult in maturity.  I WAS A CHILD.  Most of my behavior was NORMAL.  I also remember talking to you on the phone and trying to comfort you while you cried about your divorce with D because you always wanted to be the person who was married to only one person in her life.  Even practical people are capable of compassion and understanding.  How can someone with a doctorate in psychology call herself a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” type of person?

Keep in mind most parents grow into teenage years with their child.  I have a 13-year-old step-son in the throes of puberty.  I see his mood swings and know this is temporary and hormone driven.  He was not like that at 11.  I talk to other parents in the same boat and learn their son also cries for no reason at times and will withdraw at times.  I learn this is what teenagers are like.  My X-year-old daughter looked up some things on the internet.  After asking if she had anything on her mind, I find out she wanted to know how big her boobs would be some day.  (Hope that made you chuckle.)  I am 100% sure that D and I had very unrealistic expectations of you.  I am sorry for that.  You are correct – your behavior listed was normal –but we had no point of reference.  The paragraph you write about the Christmas note is absolutely correct.  We had no idea how to deal with a normal teenager – let alone one that had sustained so much trauma – in so many areas of her life.  Looking back – I can see our good intentions were not enough to provide you with the best care and environment.  

I do think what S did is pretty cute, but it also makes me sad and angry because it wasn't that different from what I did.  I know how young you were.  I really do, but why didn't you read books, or search out ways to gain knowledge?  Why didn't you go to foster parent support groups, or search for ways to better understand what to do as young parents of a teenage girl?  You could have gotten a better point of reference if you had researched better.  You wrote a dissertation.  A giant research paper.  Why was I not worth that?  Your good intentions COULD have been enough if you had wanted them to be.  If you had tried to keep your commitment to me.  Your home could have been the best environment for me.  All I really needed in my childhood was someone to keep a commitment to me and love me through everything.  I needed someone to want me and love me enough to put in the effort to be the best environment for me.  Why wasn't I worth that?  Why didn't it even occur to you that you could have changed my life if only you kept your promises to me.  My whole life has been about broken homes and promises.  My whole life has been about people leaving me and telling me I'm not good enough.    
 
I am sorry we made promises we could not keep.  We did overreact with some things.  I think we handled the car accident pretty well.  I don’t recall the gun drawing but I cannot forget the gun accident.  I do remember you laying like a stone under the covers and not wanting to talk.  That was scary for me.  I did not know what it meant.  What I remember is that you threw a pair of scissors out of frustration– D felt that it had come close to one of the dogs.  You did not intend to hurt anything, though. D over-reacted. Also, you became depressed and could not promise me that you would not hurt yourself if left alone.  We both worked full-time.  We could not take time off work to stay home with you.  We had you admitted to a psych hospital for suicide precaution.  We spoke with your caseworker.  It was clear we were in over our heads and she thought it would be best for you to be with more experienced foster parents.    After we told you about the move, you shot my gun in your room.  We came running into the room to find you sitting on your bed and my gun on the floor with no expression on your face.  I was terrified.  I did not know how to handle that.  I did not know what to do.  You almost shot yourself.  I knew we could not take care of you the way you needed.  Your caseworker found a very experienced couple that was a therapeutic foster home.  They lived in a really nice home – it appeared that they were foster parents for the right reasons.  D and I brought you there.  I cried when we drove away.  But we thought we were doing what was best for you.  It was not a matter of not wanting you.  We no longer felt we provided the best situation for you.  

I’m not going to address shooting your gun because that only happened because I couldn’t handle losing ANOTHER family.  I'm sorry about that.  I can't imagine how scary that was for you.

When you rushed in after I threw the scissors scared me too.  You were both yelling at me.  I mean, really yelling at me.  I had been beaten up by adults my entire life at that point.  You and D were so angry because I threw the scissors.  I never meant to hurt anyone.  I threw the scissors at the wall and they bounced.  I would have been devastated if I had hurt someone.  I hid under my covers because I was scared, and then I did what I had done to survive my childhood.  I went away.  I dissociated.  I went to another place.  It was the only way I knew how to protect myself.  You ripped those covers off and broke the precious moments figurine you got me for Christmas, ironically the one with scissors and about being part of your family.  I was so very scared.  Two adults screaming at me, telling me that I could have killed the dogs.  I thought I was going to be hurt.  How could you not see how terrified I was?  What I really needed was for you to see that and be compassionate.  Hold me.  Tell me that you weren't going to hurt me.  SOMETHING other than what happened. 

I understand that you worked full time, but would you have gotten rid of S or W?  Would you have found a way to take care of them?  This hurts me.  Why does your commitment to them mean more than the one you made to me?  I get that they are your own flesh and blood, but you told me you loved me like I was.  So why didn't you? 

That "experienced" foster home was crap.  I lived there for two months.  All the walls were mirrors in the house.  She was such a weird lady and I had to move because she told me I was hard to live with and I said, "You're not a cakewalk either."  That is what it took for this "experienced" foster mom to get rid of me. 

You were no longer the best situation for me because you didn't want to be.  Don't you see that?  I wasn't worth it.  You could have kept your commitment to me.  You could have sought out therapy, or professional help to make it work for me, but you didn't.  I wasn't worth it.  You gave up. You took the easy way out.  You threw me away just like everyone else in my life.  I know you think you did the right thing for me, and I know you did the right thing for yourself, but you could have changed my life if you had only shown me that someone loved me enough to help me through it.  Someone loved me enough to make it work, that "unconditional" really meant unconditional.  You say that no love except for your God's is unconditional, but tell me, would you give up on your biological children so easily?  You decided to make me your daughter.  I don't care how young you were.  That's not supposed to be a breakable commitment and you broke it in SEVEN months.  Can you honestly say you tried the best you could when you only kept me for seven months?  Do you really believe that?  I wasn't worth more than a seven month commitment to you?

We stayed in touch. 
 We stayed in touch because I emailed you some time later asking you why you got rid of me and you sent me a letter in the mail in response.  I still have the letter. 
Eventually you got your own apartment.  We saw that it was not going well.  You were becoming more withdrawn, failing classes, gaining weight, and it appeared that living alone was not good for you.  So, we stepped in again.  This time I think we did better at setting some expectations – we made a plan to get your academics back on track with Summer school – so you could graduate on time.  I am sorry I stopped you from moving to New York.  However, I did think we would stay in AZ and that we could be that safety net for you while in college.  

I had gotten a full ride to Sarah Lawrence.  You told me that it would be best if I stayed in AZ so you could be my support system.  I gave up a full ride to Sarah Lawrence because I wanted a family.  You still promised to adopt me when I turned 18, remember?  You were going to wait until I started college so it wouldn't affect my scholarships.  I do appreciate all you did to help me finish school, and make up for the time I stopped going to school.  I was able to change all those F's to A's because of you.  I was able to get my GPA back to a 4.2 on a 4.0 scale and graduate at the top of my class because you did that for me.  That was amazing and I am so very thankful for that.  

I do not agree that your expectations of me were appropriate the second time around either.  You kept going back in forth between treating me like a child, and then just a roommate.  You left sticky notes all over the house telling me to do basic things.  D was also pretty mean to me.  He told me how much he hated me, that he wishes he had never met me.  That he couldn't wait until I moved out.  He said these things in front of my friend when we went to buy my computer for college.

I am not sure how the whole thing unraveled myself.  I do not remember why you left at 18.  What I remember is that the summer before college you came home from camp and left a pile of muddy clothes on the laundry room floor.  We had the house for sale at the time and never knew when we had to have it ready to show.  I was upset at the mess.  You had left a screwdriver on the hood of the corvette and it had scratched it.  D upset about that.  I also remember something about having arranged for financial aid and housing and you not appreciating that or agreeing to what I thought was best.  (These things could have been normal teenage behavior, too.)  There were issues between D and I then already that ultimately ended our marriage.  You would not have understood that some of my behavior was an attempt to shield you.  There was a lot of stress in our marriage plus I was pregnant.  You were angry at us when you moved out.  We were frustrated, too.  I remember when I left for college telling my Dad angrily “I cannot wait to move out!” and him saying back, “I cannot wait for you to leave.”  Now, I know he did not mean that.  In talking with other parents, there seems to be a tension that occurs right before the move to college.  Perhaps it is a normal part of “leaving the nest.” 

Your back and forth on what you wanted to be in my life was so very hard for me.  I did appreciate that you help me get financial aid but I was so upset that you called my future roommate and told her parents all about my life history.  That was so not okay.  You violated my privacy in a very big way.  That devastated me and made me feel like a freak.  That tainted how my roommate saw me before I even met her.  One of the very first things my roommate talked to me about was to ask me what it was like to grow up in foster care and to tell me how sorry she was for me.  You wanted me to be an adult when you wanted me to, but then did things like that.  I could not do anything the way you wanted me to because you did not know what you wanted from me. 

I was scared of D, but he did a lot for me too.  I know.  The minute I heard his car pull into the garage, I would run upstairs.  One time he saw the chair still rocking and came up to yell at me about being scared of him.  He actually got made at me and yelled at me because I was scared of him. 

When I was 15 you both got upset with me because it hurt my feelings when you told people the picture of just the two of you plus your dogs on the wall was your "family portrait."  You both said I was being stupid (not the word you used) when I cried about it later.   Don't you remember his nicknames for me?  They were not very nice.  We had to ask him not to call me mean names as terms of endearment.  We said Goober was okay.  I actually liked that.  It felt very "goofy dad" like to me.  But he used to call me pretty mean names.  He always said them in a teasing, playful way, but they never made me feel good. 

You made me move out.  You told me I had a forever home.  That I was part of the family, that I'd always have a place to bring my laundry and raid the fridge.  And then you told me I was a charity case.  You were FURIOUS that I let Aldo meet my friend even though nothing happened.  You kept a dog that bit me in the face and I needed stitches when I was 15, and attacked another woman before that and you got angry at me because your dog was aggressive and unpredictable.  It was an accident that he met my friend, but he was okay with her, so I didn't think it was wrong.  You and D were so angry about it.  You were so angry about everything I did.  I tried so hard to please you but I just couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do.  I had no idea what I was doing wrong all the time and I was so tried of being yelled at for everything.  You two really did scold me for almost everything I didYou got angry at me for walking home from work late at night, but you told me you wouldn't pick me up.  I had no other choice.  You really made it pretty impossible for me to do the right thing.  You pointed out everything that was wrong with me all the time.  I was too fat.  My acne was out of control.  I didn't dress the right way.  I was honestly really amused by that because I worked for the GAP and you were telling me that the way I was dressing wasn't cool, when in reality, you just weren't young anymore.  

For some reason there was enough anger and frustration between us that I did not help you move in to your dorm.  I think that is very, very sad.  I am so sorry for that.  What a lonely time that must have been for you.  We did not speak for many months.  S was born Nov X.  We moved a little after Thanksgiving. I am sorry there was a rift between us.  Looking back on it now – I should have been the adult and reached out to fix it.  I am sorry I did not.  That was so crappy of me to move and not tell you.  I am mad at myself for doing that.   I know my Mom, "Oma," tried to keep in touch.  She said you never wrote her back, so she stopped writing.  I’m sure my sister wrote you for awhile as well. 

I never got any letters from your mom or your sister.  I wish I had because I was so alone in college.  I had NO ONE.  I didn't have anyone to help me or teach me about life.  I didn't know how to rent an apartment, how to balance a checkbook, how to do any of the things adults are supposed to do.  I had nowhere to go on holidays.  I lived in my car.   You were angry with me for my normal teenage behavior and let me be homeless every school break.  Do you know I watched the people in the house across from my dorm during Thanksgiving, crying that I would never have a family and a house to go to on holidays.  I had no idea you were moving.  I honestly felt like, you got pregnant and didn't care about me anymore.  You moved my stuff into a storage unit and gave me the key.  I moved into college from my storage unit.  I went to bring you gifts for Xmas and tell you I missed you and there were different people at the house.  I thought maybe you just got different cars.  I knocked on the door and they said you didn't live there anymore.  That was such a huge blow when I was already as far down as I thought I could get. 
  
Maybe you think I'm being dramatic, but out of all my foster homes you hurt me the most because I really let myself believe that the things you promised were real, both times.  I let myself believe that you loved me and would be my family.  I had my heart closed off so I couldn't get hurt anymore, but I opened it up for you because you had been such a big part of my life since I was 12.  I wanted to believe that someone really loved me and was going to keep me, even when they are angry.  I let myself believe it twice.  And I got wounded twice.  It's not like breaking up a marriage or breaking up with a boyfriend when a parent leaves you.  It's different.  When you break up with someone you love, you still have your family.  You still know you belong somewhere.  You have someone who still loves you.  It's not a huge blow to your ego when you break up with a partner.  It sucks and it hurts, but it doesn't make you feel like you are totally unlovable and worthless.  It doesn't make you feel like complete trash that no one could ever love no matter how good you were in school, or how much you volunteered for charity, no matter what you tried to make yourself worthy of love and a family, you would never be good enough.  That's what you told me when you by moving away and not telling me. 

I’ve been working on this letter for several hours now.  I am sad that I let you down.  I have several major regrets in life and how I handled you when you turned 18, going off to college and me moving is one of them.  Until you wrote me – I did not realize how much I hurt you.  I believe I let you down more than anyone else in my life.  My heart aches and I am very sorry for that.  There are so many things I could have done better.    I am sorry I hurt you in regard to your weight and me saying you were a charity case.  You’re right.  You were not overweight.  I did not mean to cause that pain.  I am sure I said many stupid and insensitive things. 

What started as compassion and empathy did grow into love.  The only example of true unconditional love was when Christ died on the cross for our sins.  All human attempts at it are flawed – as evidenced by the rates of divorce, substance abuse and child abuse.  I still care and want good things for you.  I’ve asked you several times to let me know when you come to Chicago so we could see each other.  You would be welcome in my home any time.  I am taking the time now to write in hopes of helping you heal from this.  I don’t know if that meets your definition for love.  But I can tell you there are not many people, other than family and my closest friends, that I feel the same way about.  

I’ve not kept in touch with most people since I’ve moved to Chicago.  Don’t take my lack of calls or writing personal.  It is hard to summarize X years in one paragraph.  D hated it here within the first week.  After 6 months of being here, his parents moved in with us for 13 months.  D traveled a great deal until our son was born when S was almost X.  We started having marital problems when S turned X and W was 6 months old.  We separated when they were X and X years old. The divorce took 7 months to finalize.  However, there have been many court issues that followed…………………………………..  Deleted portions to protect her privacy.  I’ve kept my career going throughout and am glad I can provide for everyone without child support.  Throughout all this, I believe God has held me in His hand. My faith has grown stronger.  

You need to understand that you did not do anything bad or wrong that deserved how we handled things.  We were ill-equipped and made many mistakes.  This was our fault – not yours.  I hope and pray you can close the wound in your heart that resulted from all this.  I wish for you to find joy and love in your years ahead.  I encourage you to continue counseling and to find a church where you feel accepted and comfortable.  For many in your situation, the only true healing has come from experiencing God’s perfect love.  Don’t get so stuck in the past that you cannot live, love and be happy in the present. 

I hope to hear from you again, CC

I don't know why people tell me not to live in the past.  That's not possible for me.  It's like telling a burn victim not to look at their scars anymore, pretend their skin looks normal now.  It's not like breaking up with a boyfriend or losing a job, or any other normal life hardships.  My whole life has been about people throwing me away.  I can't just "check my baggage at the door."  I have PTSD.  My brain won't let me get over the past.  I'm trying so very hard to make my life worth living today.  Tons and tons of therapy, but I have been so hurt by so many people.  There is so much more to my abuse that you will never know.  Violent rape, being severely beaten by many adults in my life.  Watching a man be beaten with wooden sticks by police in Middle East for touching me inappropriately.  My sister dying when I ran away from my raging mother.  42 foster placements.  Being abandoned over and over and over again.  Having people promise adoption and forever family and then throwing me away for normal child behavior.  It's so very hard for me to live in the present.  I’m too crazy.  My brain won't let me.  I have nightmares, and what I call "sad-mares" where I wake up sobbing.  

Out of all the moms I’ve ever had, I wanted you to mean it the most.  

Maybe you were young, but you promised to be my mother and then gave up when it wasn't as easy as you had expected and that has wounded me more than you will ever know.  I appreciate you taking the time to write the email and to read mine.  I realize that my anger and pain is probably hard for you to take in, but I just feel like I have to tell you.  I have not let myself see you since I was 18 because I'm so afraid you're going to offer me family again and pull it away.  You did it when I was in college too.  Remember when you told me I could come live in your basement?  Remember when you were going to buy that bar and said I could be the manager?  You made all those promises to me again, and then suddenly changed your mind, again.  Why do you keep doing that to me?  I am honestly very afraid you're going to judge me if I go visit you.  You can ask my girlfriend.  I cried when we were in Chicago because I wanted to see you very badly, but I was afraid to be judged.  I don't know if that was logical or rational or not, but it's the way I feel.

Deleted this portion cuz I don’t wanna share it.  

I felt judge by you again.  I felt abandoned by you again when you no longer welcomed me in your basement and gave that job to someone else (even though I know you didn't buy the bar).  The point is, really, that you have offered me something I'm starving for over and over and have ripped it away.  

I honestly don't know what I want or expect from you.   You tell me that you don't care about people except for family and close friends the way you care about me, but you don't reach out to me.  No contact on my birthday (do you remember it?  I remember yours),  No contact on Xmas.  No offer to come see me.  No contact or offer to see me graduate from college.  Even if you don't think of yourself as a mother figure for me anymore, I don't understand these things and I want you to know that they hurt.  It hurts that I don't hear from you unless I'm the one to initiate the contact and when I do send you a text, I always get, "Who is this?" as a response.  It's always a bit of an "ouch" because I don't know why my number isn't in your phone.  And it devastated me when you told me not to take it personally because you don’t keep in touch with many of your “former friends.”    

You wrote in a book for me when I was in the hospital that you could not love me any more if I were your own flesh and blood.  But that's not really true and it makes me sad because it's something I have never had.  The only thing I've ever wanted in my WHOLE life was to be part of a family.  You told me I was your kid, and then changed your mind.  I don't know how to heal from that.  The need to be part of  a family hasn’t ever gone away. 

Deleted portions cuz I don’t wanna share.

So what is so wrong with me that everyone throws me away?  I don't understand.  Why did so many families promise to adopt me and then change their minds?  Am I really that horrible?  Am I really that unlovable?  What's wrong with me?  I'm feeling so very lonely right now.  I am having a very hard time dealing with my past and the current case for child pornography.  I have no one to share this stuff with.  No one. 

……Deleted cuz I don’t wanna share…….

Therapy and dealing with all of my past and current stuff feels so impossible and painful and lonely.  I suffer from insomnia and horrible nightmares.  I’m crazy and my brain does this weird thing where I basically have to relive horrible stuff over and over again and it happens at really random times, so I'm always afraid of when it's going to happen next.  Perhaps this is what is spurring my emails.  I feel so alone and afraid with all of this and I'm angry because I shouldn't have to be.  I could have had a family to help me through this, but no one thought I was good enough.  And so I ache to be good enough.  I am consumed by overwhelming feelings of sadness, confusion, anger, and total worthlessness over what happened with us. 

Thanks for listening, responding, and the willingness to evaluate and explain things to me.  I have no idea what I want from you.  I have no idea what you can possibly give me because nothing will ever change the past.  I know this.