My Lost Decade

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

Saturday, February 18, 2006


When I was in care, there were things that my foster parents just did not talk about. I think that they thought if they did not discuss them, then I would be blissfully unaware. Perhaps a normal child would have been. Not being a normal child, I frequently knew way more about what was going on than they suspected. I think this is due to a heightened sense of intuition. When something happened in my birth family that my foster parents knew, but I was not told about, I would sense something was up and start digging for clues until I found out what was going on.

This has served me well in my adult life. Keep in mind that I have no medical training as you read this. Just recently, one of the men in the group home where I work started having aggression issues which would be proceeded by a glazed over look in his eyes and a fall. We could not tell what the root of these issues were, as every trigger we knew for his aggressions was ruled out. I started talking to the staff and got a feeling like he was having seizures. I talked to the facility nurse, whom I do not normally agree with and she came to the same conclusion as I did. We took him to the ER that night for aggressions (sometimes an after affect of seizures because they diorient and confuse people) that we could not handle and the doctor looked at me like I was nuts when I told him to watch for seizures and told him why. The doctor said there was no reason to believe our guy was having seizures based on my statements and he wanted to send him back with us. Fast forward 24 hours and he is having BAD seizures in the hospital.

The weekend before that, I was talking to a foster family who told me how their foster daughter, a sixteen year old girl, correctly diagnosed a co-worker's leukemia based on bruising on her co-worker's back. I am sure that symptom could indicate dozens of diseases, not just leukemia and I thought it was odd that she intuitively came up with the right one. I could not get it out of my head, but now I think there is a reason why that convesration stuck with me. The next Tuesday, one of my co-workers mentioned bruises on her back that seemed to appear for no reason and would not go away and the fact that she has not been feeling well. I immediately heard the conversation about the sixteen year old diagnosing leukemia again in my head and I felt compelled to tell her she needed to go see her doctor and have him look at leukemia. Little did I know that she was already seeing her doctor for this and one of the things that he is worried about is leukemia. He is worried enough that he told her to quit her job and think about moving in with her parents.

Another recent weird intuition moment was when I started thinking about cutting back hours at work. I needed to do it partially for myself, but also felt (for no logical reason) like my mother-in-law is needing more from me than what I have been able to give while working 60 hours a week. I told my husband this and he said the she had not said anything to him, but to talk to her. I initiated the conversation with her and she immediately got a guilty look on her face. Within minutes she was telling me about how she has fallen more than once doing silly things like hanging pictures, nearly fell on the ice outside one day when no one was home and how she had made other risky choices that could have left her with a broken hip (she had them replaced last year) or worse. She had been feeling like she needed someone with her during the day but did not want to to say anything because she did not know how we could possibly make it work.

I guess the whole reason I am posting this is to tell foster kids to follow their intuituion on things, the let foster parents know that secrets are not always as safe as you think with foster kids in the house and to ask if anyone else has had similar experiences.


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