I’m a foster kid.
I used to be so embarrassed about that part and hated to talk about it because life as a foster kid was everything but roses and glitter.
I questioned for a long time why anyone would love me if my own parents couldn’t even love me. It’s taken me years to stop looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s taken me even longer to move on from co-dependency and self-destruction.
I was promiscuous all through my teen years and abusing alcohol because I didn’t want to feel a damn thing. It was much easier to drown how I hated myself rather than recognizing all that was good in me.
I not only married the same guy twice, but I broke up a long-term relationship trying to break free just to end up back together. Until last year when I finally called it quits and started putting myself first. Co-dependency at its finest but once I started setting those boundaries, I knew I had to make a change but the shift wasn’t easy to come because as a single mother and special needs mom, I didn’t believe that I could become self-sustaining let alone raise my kids on my own. I was riddled with lack of confidence and self-doubt.
And then one day it dawned on me, I am a foster kid success.
And this is where my shift happened. When I started to look at all the things I achieved despite the naysayers, and my own disbelief, I could celebrate my existence. There are some negative statistics about foster kids who are unable to break the cycle of abandonment, self-loathing and rising above everything that comes in our way.
I not only recovered from alcohol abuse and self-loathing, I am independent and self-reliant. I not only graduated high school, which is a huge deal considering but I also put myself through college, twice earning myself a spot on the National Dean’s list three years in a row and made honor society. I never gave myself credit for those.
When I began working as a therapist, I had the guidance of a supervisor, who validated that my work was good. Sometimes outside validation isn’t a bad thing, but I knew that validating myself would bring me to the life I craved.
When venturing into being an entrepreneurial my confidence was lacking even though I fully believe in my mission and am passionate about helping people move forward. But it’s been a hard journey going from hating myself to loving myself and truly believing that I am on this earth to help and support women on their own journey, but I am so glad that I made this shift and that I have the confidence and mindset to keep pushing my own life forward but help others along the way, because that for me is the best feeling ever.
Celebrating confidence in my success!
Lessons don’t always show up immediately, especially when you are a teenager!
Shortly after turning 13, my foster parent moved me to a new foster placement. I suppose it was a lot easier than addressing the problems I could be experiencing.
It was easier than sending me to therapy. No of course not, instead they thought that if they removed me – well they would no longer have to deal with me, my problems, let alone think about me being the problem.
My foster parent personally drove me to what would be my new home, leaving me standing in the stairway she wished me well.
Will I see you or my brother again?
I don’t know.
It was easier running from my problems than facing them head on. I was a messed-up kid in a messed-up world.
- What had I done so wrong?
- Why was I so unlovable that no one wanted me?
My actions were now driven by the experiences I had in my life.
This move was the scariest thing I had experienced at that time. I faced the new people, my roommate who is an amazing soul on this planet took me under her wing. She is three years my elder but she was one of the first ones to show me what caring looks like.
I encountered bullies of a different kind, sexual harassment and finding love in all the wrong places. And yet despite all that I experienced, I was happy and you couldn’t tell me otherwise.
I may have been a foster kid, but I was problem free.
Eventually, I quit talking about being a foster kid – I was a reject.
Abandoned by my parents and then foster parents. A kid in the system headed to nowhere good.
Happy I was not. I hated life and I hated me.
It was easier to get high, get drunk and run away for weeks on end until I was turned in by the old man for not having sex with him. I was 14.
It wasn’t until years later I recognized how messed up I was and my life and my inside was nothing but utter chaos.
In my last year of high school, one of my residential counselors at the foster home started talking to me about how I was not stupid and that I don’t have to go the route of a loser. Instead, I could graduate with good grades and land a great job. She may not say those words, but thanks to her I graduated from high school.
Sometimes it takes one person to shake you awake and even though I still ran from my problems for a long time, even well after I graduated from high school. Running away was a theme I carried on well into my twenties. I ran from being a parent to my children and I ran from my marriage like it was holding me back. I cherish these lessons and am grateful for every moment I have experienced!
I have wondered who I was for a long time and continued to run away – but as I continue my healing path I love stepping into myself and learned to see and speak my truth.
It does not matter how good or bad your childhood was and the negative lessons you may have learned. You CAN overcome them and heal and step into yourself to shine!