Before I begin the copy from the actually child summary that was typed out by my caseworker in 1989 I wanted to touch base on some of the things that are talked about.
One of the biggest issues that I have had, in reading from the big Box of Pain, is how They all saw me, how They described me. When I was more vulnerable than I am now, I had gone through and everything I read from the big box made me cry and I felt as though the reality that I had was in question.
I questioned who I was because how they saw me was never how I saw myself. I was also was seen as someone who was second class. In schools, in foster homes, even with caseworkers and my biological family. I was the throw away child and I was considered manipulative and apparently I put one person against another. I plotted and connived my way through childhood according to Them.
If I was sick, I was lying. If I wanted a hug or some form of affection I was manipulative. When I lived for one whole week with my half-siblings I was responsible for everyone else’s actions, it was all my fault. No one saw anything else. That perhaps people needed to be responsible for their own actions and reactions. That perhaps I was starved for love and affection. Perhaps that I always tried to get the best because I had nothing.
My biological mother would beat me, throw me across the room and deny me love and affection when she was off her medications. What they don’t say is that she did that shit when she was on her medications too.
The foster homes I was in never loved me. I was a paycheck and an inconvenience to them. They were always telling me that I was not enough. That I was not worthy and that I had to be better. But then they are surprised when I have low self-esteem? When I acted out?
No one saw me. No one protected me. No one wanted me.
I was the dirty foster kid. I was the abused and unloved and according to many of Them it was my fault. I did not try hard enough. If I could just focus and work harder I could be more, I could be better. That was the theme of my childhood. It was my fault and I was never enough.
Even my biological family did not want to care for me or protect me.
Look, the point of me doing this, going through this box of papers that coolly documents my childhood, is so twofold. I want to understand why I struggle like I do so that I can heal. I also want to help others. My story is bad. There are worse ones out there and there are others not as bad. The point is that our pain is not conditional on someone else’s pain. Our trauma belongs to us and it is very real.
I am exposing myself, showing you my deepest pain so that you can know that you are not alone and that it was not your fault. Fuck Them. Them. The ones who caused our pain. The ones who threw us away. The ones who did not love us. The ones who hurt us and broke us and left us. Fuck them.
Let me be clear. I was never what they saw. I was a child who was abused, unloved and thrown around. I wanted to be loved that I would do anything even for the smallest amount of affection. I would forget that you hurt me. I would forget that you had beat me. I would forget that you had said mean hurtful things to me, denigrated me. I would forget because I was that starved for affection.
I would ignore the looks, the raised eyebrows when I tried to get a hug. The knowing glances the adults would give each other. Because I wanted so badly to be loved.
I would hide it away and then it would manifest in rage. Rage I did not understand. Rage that I was disposable and unwanted. Rage that no one saw me. Rage that I went hungry while others did not. Rage that no one trusted me. Rage that no one felt what I felt.
One foster parent said that I thought I was the only one who ever suffered. If anyone ever says that shit to you they deserve a punch in the face. I was a kid! Suffering was all I knew. I was all I knew. As I have said time and again, one person’s trauma does not devalue your trauma.
Okay. I am worked up now. This is painful for me. Sharing this, opening myself up, letting you read what others thought of me.
There was a time when reading this made me question myself. What if I was unlovable. What if the emotions I felt were not real and I was incapable of having real relationships with people instead of only superficial ones which is something they seemed to think.
So I put the box away. Because it hurt too much and I doubted my own reality. I doubted the safety that my mother worked so hard to give to me, to wrap me up in when she adopted me. I doubted the laughter and love that she brought into my life. I doubted myself and my capacity for love and affection. What if I was not really who I thought I was?
Then, at some point I began to realize that no one has the power to take away my truth. Just because people saw me the way they did, did not make me who they thought I was.
My name is Jessica. I am an adult survivor of consistent childhood trauma. I have PTSD possibly Complex PTSD. I am loved. I am cherished. I am loving and caring and loyal. I am real. I always was. Just because They were to blind to see me did not mean I was not there.
Below, is just the start, I thought I would introduce you to the child that they saw. I will be touching on different aspects of this in the blog as time goes on but for now, I present the Child Summary of 1989 written by my caseworker.
Child Summary 1989
Jessica currently resides in a foster boarding home in xxx county. She was returned to her former boarding home from a pre-adoption disruption in another county in January 1989.
Jessica has been in and out of foster care for ten years. Prior to this mother would place Jessica with friends or relatives whenever she was hospitalized for mental illness. During these years Jessica would always return home to mother.
Jessica’s mother left the hospital on December 24, 1987, and never returned. Her whereabouts were unknown. In January, 1988, Jessica decided that she wanted to be adopted. She did not want to return to mother. Mother’s behavior had deteriorated and Jessica seemed frightened by mother’s behavior during her last episode.
On march 12, 1988, mother was found dead in the Hudson River. Jessica’s legal father (not biological) then took her to live with him and his family. After one week father returned Jessica and surrendered her on April 13, 1988. He and his wife said that Jessica was extremely manipulative and would set one family member against the other. They felt they could not cope with her and their other five children, who are half-brothers and sisters to Jessica. When Jessica’s parents divorced, father took the five older children. He did not take Jessica for he was the legal father but not the birth father. Birth father is unknown. When father returned Jessica, she was placed in another foster home for there was no room in her previous one.
Jessica currently visits her maternal grandmother occasionally. Jessica has also maintained contact with her half-brothers and sisters throughout the years. Every year they would vacation for a few weeks with Jessica and her mother and the grandmother and other relatives.
Grandmother is not able to adopt due to her health and there are no other relatives who are willing to adopt Jessica.
Jessica was her mother’s sixth child born after mother separated from her husband, the father of the first five children. The divorce was not finalized until after Jessica’s birth. Jessica’s birth father is unknown.
Mothers mental illness did not manifest until she was pregnant for her fifth child. Her diagnosis was bi-polar disorder, manic and schizo-atypical personality. Frequently mother would not take her medication for she didn’t like the side effects especially the weight gain.
While living with her mother, Jessica was exposed to religious fanaticism which manifested in various ways such as refusing to call the doctor or taking her medication for God would heal, anointing the walls with cooking oil, burning several candles set on the floor and in a closet. Mother would seclude herself in a closet and read the bible. Periodically she would lock Jessica in the closet to force her to read the bible. Jessica has said she does not want to be placed with a religious family.
During mother’s last psychotic episode, Jessica seemed very frightened. She apparently had observed her mother hitting a child with her fist and the child falling off her bicycle. The police were called and mother and Jessica were taken to the police station. Mother was admitted to the mental health unit and Jessica was placed in foster care.
Mother had also hit Jessica in the past. Their relationship had been described as symbiotic – a love/hate relationship at times. Grandmother said her daughter treated Jessie more like a sister than a daughter. She loved Jessie very much and was overindulgent many times. She would give Jessie whatever she wanted, if she could afford it. Then there would be times when Jessie and mother begged for food and were extremely poor. Sometimes mother would spend money for candles instead of food. Jessica said to caseworker that she didn’t want to live with a poor family. She has also said that’s he would like an older sister who could do things for her and a sister her own age to play with. Jessica is aware that we couldn’t make any promises to her about her requests.
Jessica was promoted to the 6th grade at the XXX Central School. She is in regular classes and received mostly B’s and C’s. Her teacher remarked that Jessica is capable of much more than her test scores and that if she would pay attention she would be an A and B student.
Jessica is in good physical health. She has no known allergies. She does sniffle a lot, bet her pediatrician believes that it is a habit of hers rather than a medical problem. Her doctor did want her to lose 10 pounds. Her food intake does need to be monitored.
To our knowledge Jessica has no diagnosed mental health problems.
Jessica is a lively, friendly bright 12 year old who likes to read, swim, bicycle and do crafts. She also loves kittens and food. Jessica is developmental on target.
When living with mother, Jessica was a parentified child. Jessica’s grandmother described Jessica as an 12 year old going on 30 because of mother’s mental illness. Jessica has low self-esteem. She is extremely manipulative and very adept as setting one person against another, adults and children alike. Jessica also has a habit of lightly slapping or tapping people when she is annoyed. Foster parents are working on this and sometimes Jessica is able to think before she hits and usually apologizes if she doesn’t think first.