I am your foster child. Sometimes I say things that confuse you. Let me help you understand.
When I say “I don’t care”: Well, I do care, very much, but I’m afraid to say so because I don’t think what I want matters. So, when you ask me if I want to do something or even what I want for dinner, I may just brush you off by telling you I don’t care. Just remember that I do care and like that you ask my opinion on things. Even if I won’t share it with you yet.
When I say “I’m stupid”: I may have moved around a lot and been to many different schools. It’s hard to keep up. And, it’s hard to learn when you’re worried most of the time. I’ve never been in a stable situation long enough to concentrate in school. So, I think that I can’t learn and that I must be stupid.
When I say “I hate you”: This is a tricky one. It can mean lots of different things, but probably not that I hate you. I miss my birth family and worry that they’ll be mad if I say I care about you. I worry that I might have to leave here at any time. So, I better not get too close to you.
When I say “I want to go to a different foster home now”: Remember that in my experience, when things get tough, you have to leave your family. So, if I think I’m on thin ice in your home, I might as well live with another family. If it’s going to happen anyway, at least I might be able to control when I leave. Or, I might be feeling closer to your family and this scares me. Going to another family feels like a way to protect myself from those scary feelings.
As you get to know me, some of the things I say will make more sense to you. And, as I feel more comfortable with you, I may be able to share how I really feel with you. Please be patient with me.
Written by Diane Kindler