I’d Open Up About My Feelings

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By Jonathan Smith, 15

 

After my brother and I were placed in foster care, we began to have visits with our mother. They were very happy visits at first. My mom kept telling my brother and me that we would be going home soon and that she loved us very much. I believed her and kept believing her.

 

As time went by, my mom started to tell my brother and me that the foster care system was trying to keep us in it forever. She told us that we were never coming back home. I did not understand that she was trying to explain to us that she was unable to care for us like a normal parent. All I heard then was that I was not going home.

 

My behavior began to change for the worse. I started running away from my foster homes because I was angry. This made people who were concerned about me upset, so it made me feel I was in control. I disrespected my teachers and cut classes. What I really needed was to talk to someone about what I was feeling, but I would not do that then.

 

If I had understood things better, I would have given myself this advice:

  • I would have spoken to someone about my feelings. Maybe to foster parents, case workers, or therapists.
  • I would have explained to my mother what I was feeling and how things were affecting me.
  • Think more about the consequences of the things I said and did, before I said and did them.