Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Change is scary

I've been working hard on applications for jobs in the social work field in another state.  I got an email yesterday that said that I met the qualifications and they are going to review my application.  That means I actually have a shot at getting an interview!  I'm excited and scared and everything else all rolled into one.  I've been thinking a lot lately and I am really ready to leave LA--terrified, but ready.  I want to move to a city that I've put off moving to for my ex girlfriend.  I already have a few friends there.  I have to admit that I'm a little excited that I will get to dress up my dogs in sweaters and coats for the cold weather.  Ha!

I am flying to this city tomorrow and I'm gonna get to see Melody, and another friend I haven't seen in a very long time, and my sister.  I'm filled with nervous energy.  I've been running around my apartment cleaning like a maniac trying to dispel some of it.  I even did the dishes, which is the worst chore ever.  I hate the dishes.  I'd rather clean a public restroom.

Today Dr. K and I talked about why FancyPants was effective for me.  Dr. K said that she has seen "remarkable" progress in me these last few months and thinks that I've mastered most of the DBT skills (the ones that are effective for me anyway).  There are several phases of DBT and she thinks that I am close to moving into the second phase, which focuses more on trauma therapy.  Trauma therapy is what I need, but I have to be strong enough to handle it.  Read more about the phases of dbt here:  http://blogs.psychcentral.com/dbt/2010/09/the-4-stages-of-treatment-in-dialectical-behavior-therapy/

We also talked about CT and why therapy wasn't very effective with her.  And how her behavior triggered me and vice versa.  I had this unhealthy insecure attachment to her--very similar to those I had with foster parents.  I was always worried she would dump me at any moment.  I think we should have ended therapy, but the way she terminated treatment for me left me very hurt.  It left a scare when there were many better ways she could have ended treatment with me.  I have a strong urge to write her a letter and tell her this stuff, but I won't. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sliding Down the Holiday Slope

I don't know if it is just the start of the holidays or if I'm starting to slide backwards, but I have been awake all night crying.  Crying for what?  It seems like everything.  My broken record sob story about wanting a family has gotten so old for me but the pain is still very constant.  I've been awake all night thinking about all the families I could have been sharing the holidays with but won't be for whatever reasons.  And I miss these people.  Even the ones I shouldn't.

I will be totally alone for Christmas and Hanukkah (not Jewish but one of my families was) this year, like so many years of my life.  I won't have to sleep in my car like I did in college but I worry about where I will live soon this year too.  I can't find a job here in California.  I've applied for a few jobs out of state that I really want and would be really good at, but I am not feeling very confident I will get them.  My unemployment is exhausted so soon I will be without health care and I have no idea where I will live or how I will pay for it.  I want a job more than anything but I feel so defeated because I haven't been able to find one in a long time.  I lived in my car with a cat for a while before but how do I do that with two cats and two dogs?  The few friends that I have are planning their trips "home" for the holidays.  Home-- such a foreign concept for me.  And most of them are complaining about and dreading having to be with their families.  Their feelings about their families has nothing to do with me, but it hurts when they complain to me about that stuff.  I do have friends but when it all comes down to it, I'm truly alone in life.  Every time I've needed someone they leave so I don't know how I will ever trust anyone in my life.  I fear I will always feel alone, even in a room with friends.  I won't have a family this year.  I won't have a gf/bf this year.  What am I doing for Christmas and New Years?  Cat-sitting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Girl's best friend

How is it possible to feel so lonely with such a sweet face constantly staring at me?  But I do.  I feel pretty lonely and alone and I don't know if that's my reality or just left over from my past.  Is this just a comfortable feeling that I can't shake?  I question every emotion I have lately.  Thanksgiving is a hard time for me.  It's a trauma anniversary and a family focused holiday.  I want to hide until it's over but I'm forcing myself to participate.  I've instigated a dinner with 9 other people, but I don't know all of them.  I'm even cooking the turkey.  I hope I don't poison anyone.  I also ahope I don't freak out in front of my friends. 

He follows me from room to room, staring at me with loving intensity.  When I look at him he thumps his tail on the floor.  I want to find a human who loves me half as much as this guy does.

Cooper



Saturday, November 10, 2012

A strange kind of sadness

Despite the amount of stress in my life and scary unknowns, I'm feeling really hopeful about life right now.  This feeling of... What is this feeling?  This lack of feeling out of control is unknown and scary, but also really amazing.  It does come and go.  I still have waves of complete hopelessness and utter despair, but those moments have become much more tolerable and don't last nearly as long.  I can't promise I will feel this way thirty seconds after I publish this entry, but  I've never felt as capable and hopeful as I do today.  Ever.  I still have nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, self injury urges, but I feel like I can manage them more than I could before.  Fancy Pants and the therapists there helped me more in 7 weeks than years of therapy elsewhere.  I truly hope that I will be able to find a way to return and continue treatment there.  I'm so grateful that I was given the gift of Fancy Pants.  

I'm feeling pretty sad today, but it's a strange, unfamiliar kind of sadness.  First it's strange because it's not so all-consuming that I want to die, but it's filled with so many unknowns, fear, gratitude.  Honestly I don't know how to describe how I feel.  Things in my life need to change, and it's scary and hard, and unknown, but no matter how scared I am, things still need to change.  And I think I'm ready for change.  I'm not sure what the future holds for me or if I can handle it, but I think I'm willing to try.  I'm terrified.  My eyes well up with tears at random times when I think about it all.  I'm terrified, but I'm willing to try which is something I wasn't able to say just months ago.

This year has brought me immense pain but many gifts as well. This year has changed my life is so many ways.  Amidst the cyclone of extreme pain, chaos, and suffocating dysfunction were some pretty amazing gifts in my life.  How strange is it that someone who read my blog for a while, and then became my email friend would turn out to be my neighbor.  We lived so close that I was able to connect to my WIFI from her house.  I've been thinking about how strange it is that I met her in real life not long before I got the first set of photos.  Life gave me Melody right before it gave me something that almost killed me, and probably would have otherwise.  And how strange is it that she also recently moved to THE city I've been waiting (on someone else) to move to for years?  Life is weird.  This year also brought me Fancy Pants and the therapists there.

2012 has almost killed me but it has also brought me hope, willingness, and the feeling of capability.  For some reason all of this makes me sad.  Really sad.  Like I said, it's a strange kind of sadness.


Friday, November 2, 2012

You can make a difference and all you have to be is you.

November is Adoption Awareness month.  While it has become "fashionable" to adopt orphan babies from third world countries, people have forgotten or perhaps never even thought about the children in their own backyards.  Children that are starving for a home and a family.  I have found that many people believe that North American foster children are better off than children in other countries, but there are things that happen in foster care that people believe only happens in third world countries.  

Is it still possible for me to have a family someday.  People who don't go away when I'm not perfect?  Intellectually I know it will never happen for me and intellectually I know I need to accept this fact and try to build a life without it, but this is a near impossible feat.  It goes against nature.  A child is not meant to survive and grow up without a family.  Human beings are meant to be part of a family unit.  That's how we evolved.  I've yearned for love and family my whole life and I know I'll never get it.  All I've ever wanted was to BE wanted.  And I don't know how to to stop wanting for someone to adopt me.  For someone to want me. I'll never understand why no one ever wanted me.  Kids who aged out of foster care, age out believing that they are defective and unlovable because we grew up in a system that told us that over and over again. 

I've never known how to answer the question, "Who raised you?" because no one raised me.  I just grew up.  Alone.  No-- worse than alone.  I grew up surrounded by people.  And I grew up desperately searching for love.  I grew up surrounded by so many people who could have given me a home, love, support, a sense of belonging if they wanted to.  But I never got those things.  I grew up in a system that abused and neglected me in a society that ignored me.  I grew up invisible.  And I don't understand why.  Dogs and cats will mother orphans of a different species.  Why don't more humans take care of orphans of their own species?

Right now, in your city is a terrified little boy who hasn't been hugged in years.  There is a little girl that cries every single night for a mom.  And she's not picky.  She's not looking for a rich mom or a fancy mom.  All they want is a mom, or a dad, or both, or two moms, or two dads, or grandparents.  All that little boy and little girl wants is a home with people they can call home.

One question I was often asked as a child was:  "Who do you live with?"  And the only thing I ever wanted in the whole world was to be able to answer that question with:  "My family."

November is Adoption Awareness month.  There are hundreds of thousands of foster children right here in your country.  You don't have to be perfect.  You don't have to be rich.  You don't have to be young.  You don't have to adopt or foster.  There are many other ways to help foster children in your area.  You can make a difference in a child's life.  All you have to be is you.