It must be the most painful realization, knowing you are the only one in your sibling group that was not placed in a forever home. Not only did you not have your “forever family,” you have haven’t had a stable “temporary family.” No, what you have gotten is placement, after placement, after placement, mostly in facilities. The pain you must feel, feeling that you have never been good enough for anyone to want you. The results of this reality is not desirable. Now, you make it hard for others to get close to you. You push them away in various ways so they will not see the fragile side of you, the vulnerable parts that help you to connect with others. You make yourself unpleasant to be around so at least you feel that you have control over the rejection.
It’s tough for others to understand this part of your behavior. Logic says, if you want to have friends, make yourself friendly. Your fears tell you, everyone has always and will always let you down. You don’t need anyone. It’s safer to be alone. These are all lies. We, the human race, need one another. We need to be able to trust one another, to lean on one another, and to love one another. I only have a short time to help you understand this concept. This basic human need of belonging that you have not experienced. I’m scared too. I’m scared we won’t have the time we need to make lasting changes. I’m scared that when you leave you will not have the support you need. I’m scared you will never get to the place of loving yourself and loving others. I’m scared that your desire to receive love but fear of it will make you an easy target to be victimized. I’m scared that your heart will never know the freedom of love, the freedom of vulnerability.
It’s tough with you because you already know the cruel and harsh realities of the world but you still aren’t prepared for the world. It’s always a balancing act, pushing you towards your independence while having to hold your hand because that’s what you’ve never had before, a hand to hold during the scary times. No, my sweet sweet foster, you do not have a forever family, but you have forever been imprinted on my heart.
PS- Photo is by Mike Wilson.