Fun Fact #11 Teens In Foster Care & Attachments

Fun Fact #11: Foster children have a difficult time with attachments and.. basically everything in between.


I’m mid-twenties and I’m still trying to figure life out, especially when it comes to forming friendships and developing bonds, I’m just not good at them, and for the VERY few people that I somehow manage to keep around for more than a few weeks or months- it’s an accomplishment, I swear. For those of you that have stuck around for at least a year or more – you must be some kind of special. Remember that.

I’m still learning how to love people and develop positive attachments or let-people-in. Growing up, I never let anyone close and rebelled a lot. Today, I’m very selective about the few people that I keep in touch with. I’m great at making friends, and very social, but keeping them is a whole ‘nother story. Trust me, it’s not because I like being alone or that I don’t want to have people in my life, its because people will inevitably let you down in one way or another and I prefer to avoid uncomfortable situations. Or at least that’s what I learned at an early age, I know that’s not always the case, I KNOW there are good people in the world doing amazing things to help each other, but as a kid, I was hardly ever exposed to that sort of thing, so here I am years later trying to cope with years of abuse, neglect and everything in between.

Pushing people always my way of letting people know  Hey-you’re-getting-too-close-I-don’t-want-you-even-though-I-need-you kinda thing.

Most foster kids – by the time they have reached a certain age will have built this emotional brick wall that disconnects them from the rest of the world. Its something that took years to establish and it’s not something you’re going to fix overnight, I promise. It’s something that is going to take years of work and months of you restoring their values and views of decent relationships and trust (also keep in mind It’s not something that a therapist is going to fix or help with until THEY are ready to receive the help)

In fact, most (keyword) OLDER foster youth will avoid therapy sessions at all costs, and that is because therapy sucks! You know it sucks, WE know it sucks, so don’t expect therapy to be something they look forward to. In the bigger picture YES, therapy is helpful and positive and makes changes from deep within that are necessary in order to grow and move on from the past but that’s not something you are going to be able to explain to your foster children because they won’t care. It’s difficult to sit there in front of someone you hardly know and bare your soul, I can guarantee you that no one who is forced to go through therapy will enjoy it, nor will they gain anything from it.

But I promise you, they will let you know when they are ready. We all come to a point in our lives where there is nothing that will numb the pain. There isn’t a drink or drug available that will cure the void that fills our heart, and for those children that develop bad habits that are hard to break, understand  that its a soothing mechanism. The best thing you can do is re-direct and guide them, hoping they will take on healthier habits. TEACH them, what life is really about and show them new sports, games or physical activities that will interest them.

The “teenage years” are supposed to be one of the most difficult stages of life, it’s a time when children are just figuring out what they like, who they are and what they want to become.

It’s:

  1. High school
  2. Getting A License
  3. Preparing for college
  4. Playing sports/music
  5. First loves and first heartbreaks

and so many other things that we as adults, forget because it’s been so long. Back then is what what made us who we are today and we lived in a different decade, so let’s be real. No one understands teenagers, I was a teenager and I didn’t damn well understand myself, and they know we don’t get it. Don’t they? Don’t they tell you all the time? how you never “understand” them.

Let me tell you something, How do you expect a kid who is in the system and experienced more than most adults you’ve known your whole life – How do you expect them to react when you start giving them rules, expectations, normal chores, responsibilities and consequences like every growing teenager should have. I’m sure more than half of the time you get hostility and backlash in response (It normal I swear) The only difference is, we are emotionally damaged and need more attention than most. Basically, we need you to hold our hands like children.

I’m sure you get frustrated with a million different situations that you can’t control right now, you’re probably feeling powerless, like your never going to get through to them, or you’re hurting because: “why do they keep doing this to me?!”

Right? Wrong.

It’s time to get over feeling defeated and unsure of what to do, and its time to start UNDERSTANDING what it is these kids are going through and what it is they need. They need you to be there for them through all of their good and bad days, because yanno what? no one else was.

This wall was built after years and years of attachments gone wrong and broken “happily ever afters” that never happened. Right now, as these older youth are transitioning into adulthood they are still learning what positive relationships are, WE are still learning that there ARE good people in the world that won’t hurt us. So stick with us through our bad days, and our good because even though they may run out screaming they “hate you now” or they “don’t care” or “Screw You” what they are really mean is..

 “Dammit I messed up again, I don’t know how to fix this””

“It’s the only thing that makes me feel better, I hurt”

“No really… I NEED you, Please don’t leave me or give me back

I feel like everyone is entitled to a bad day but the difference between foster children and maybe a child you have raised since birth is, We are going to have bad months, bad weeks and bad years. It’s going to take time, I mean A LOT of time to reverse and rewire all of these negative thoughts. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it a million times because it’s so important. BE PATIENT and understand that the only thing that you need to do right now is BE there FOR them.

As an adult, I’ve tried my best to become the person I never had, a person that is loving, caring and genuinely good and loves unconditionally because that’s what children need (especially foster children), someone who loves them unconditionally, so become someone that loves them unconditionally. We all have a child within us that is fragile and just needs a little care, sometimes I still feel this lingering void of a girl that was never loved or sheltered. Sometimes I still have bad days because once you’re a foster child, You’re always a foster child.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved Erica DeCima

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Fun Fact #11 Teens In Foster Care & Attachments

  1. My heart goes out to you and others who have been through or are going through similar experiences. Your posts are excellent, I am sure the information and your story will help foster parents stay strong and keep going. Your writing is really good, and comes across as really strong and knowledgeable as well as being very moving. All the best, Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “sigh*
    I feel much the same as you, Erica. Thing is, though – I haven’t been fostered or adopted or mislaid or mistreated in any way. I find it inexplicable that I feel this way and I’ve always wondered why.

    You ever dodged a bullet? I have – plenty of times. I’ve been shot at by circumstances and they have often missed. After the miss, I’ve felt stuff. If the bullet had hit, I’d have said ‘yeah, I feel that way because of the wound from the bullet.’ But I didn’t get hit. So why did I feel that way?

    One thing I’ve learned from that, is not to attribute effects to causes, no matter how obvious it appears that are absolutely, definitely linked – beyond a shadow of a doubt. There’s a much more tangled web behind stuff than what appears on the surface.

    I’d love to have something concrete to blame for how I feel – but I don’t. It leaves me feeling uncertain and unconfident (is that a word?)

    I’m happy for you that you have that certainty in your life, Erica. Cause -> effect. Nice.

    Kindness – Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sorry for your pain! I agree the system is not perfect and such damage should never be done … but humans err and others suffer deeply.
    Self-healing is a very long and difficult path, therapy does help but you need to do it with someone you have a heart connection with … someone you feel is listening.
    Good luck with it all and keep these posts coming people need your honest clear sharing!
    Just pray that some foster parents are reading this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so glad to have discovered your blog, and very grateful that you decided to follow mine. Thank you for so honestly sharing your insights. The mother in me wanted so much to reach out and hold your hand as I was reading. I am so happy that you are letting a few people into your inner circle…xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Erica, thanks for liking my blog, not just for the act itself, but because it let me find yours. What an incredible and brave thing you’re doing by putting yourself out there and laying your feelings bare. That alone says that you’re now a million miles from the teenager you may once have been. My wife and me have discussed the possibility of fostering when we get back home and so I feel like it’s fate I found your blog and can now follow you. I know I’ll learn a lot. With much admiration, Hayley from Nosightseeing.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Hayley, I am so happy to hear that! Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the kind words and WOW! yes, Please consider fostering. It’s such a rewarding experience. If you ever need anything or have questions or want advice, feel free to email me directly, ericadecima@gmail.com Good Luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good morning my dear foster friend. This is an excellent article that was written honestly and valiantly. Yes, we cannot acceptll the “supposed friendship” we are offered, especially if you are a gregarious human being like I presume you to be.It’s better to put some new acquaintances in a sort of “emotional quarantine” to check their intentions and liabilities. And never trust someone that offers you too much from the start. There is a nice saying in Spanish that says: “Cuando la limosna es grande, hasta el monaguillo desconfia.” I will start following you too.
    Un baciione. Arrivederci

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning and Happy Sunday dear Erica. I’m glad you liked my commentary. I expect you to return my gesture by commenting one of my articles. Please remember the most important rule of Politics ( and all the other mass communications activities like blogging) that we all have to heed if we want to succeed in this cruel world:
    “Manus manum lavat.” Arrivederci!

    Like

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