My Lost Decade

Reflections on Ten Years in Foster Care and my life since.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Seeking closure with old ghosts

I have mixed feelings about my experiences in foster care. Sometimes I am able to conquer my negative feelings in order to appreciate the positives that being raised in the system brought to my life and sometimes the memories of injustices left unfixed and pain left unhealed is too much to push aside.

I wonder sometimes if I will ever be able to forgive the foster parents who abused or neglected my foster siblings and I. The things they did sometimes got told to case workers and therapists and sometimes we were too afraid to say anything until it was too late to address the issue.

The thing is, when you are unable to ever talk about this stuff, it is harder to forgive, harder to forget and harder to move past. I still have dreams where I am stuck in those old situations. I still get angry sometimes when I think about the things the foster parents in those homes cheated me out of like normal childhood and teenage milestones, a sense of personal dignity and the ability to trust other people.

The people who I know have suffered as a result of the things I learned at those homes include my foster siblings in those homes, the foster parents who helped me age out, the men whom I dated (including my husband) and myself. There may have been others in my own life or the lives of my foster siblings as well. I feel like those foster parents owe apologies to all of the people named above, but I never want to speak to them again, so I cannot get those apologies from them.

I sometimes write letters to those foster parents, to get what I feel out of my system. I never mail the letters, but it helps me to let things go for a little while. It never lasts forever though and sooner or later I am feeling those same feelings and having those same nightmares again. I wish I could find a way to permanently get past it forgive, forget and let go. Then, the ghosts of the past will have no power over my future.


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