Random Thoughts From Childhood Series - On The Other Side of the Door - Rage
Yes that's me and look at that innocent and gentle looking little girl face of mine. The social worker introduces me using my birth name, this is Jenny. To be honest, as I think back on that moment, it really was not a proper introduction. The correct and honest introduction would sound more like something along the lines of; hello, my name is RAGE! The lovely little girl staring back at you represents the little ray of sunshine I was before being subjected to all the turmoil irresponsible adults put me through.
In most cases, a child is placed in the system due to some form of neglect or abuse and sometimes both. From the point of view of the child, the foster care experience can feel like the straw that broke the camels back.
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In order to understand what these children are feeling, try and put yourself into our shoes. Imagine for a second that you have experienced everything I mention below.
By the time I ended up at my first Foster Care home, so much had been taken from me. I no longer had a sense of self, family, belonging, comfort, familiarity, unconditional love, trust, confidence (lets face it, this comes from stability), and hope!
If I use my adult voice I can explain that I was angry, hurt, devastated, abandoned, emotionally disconnected, confused, verbally abused, ridiculed by society and my peers, and completely petrified! I am almost 4 years old.
As a child I vividly remember having episodes of strong and uncontrollable rage. I was not able to understand or articulate the tornado like emotions whirling around inside me like a 65 mph wind storm. These episodes came without warning, calm one minute, and then the rage would surface. I was like a walking volcano, disguised as a cute package with pretty wrapping, ready to erupt without warning.
Once at school during recess, an older girl came up to me and grabbed my lunch money from my back pocket. She started dancing about as her friends joined in, forming a circle around me. I was focused on watching my lunch money which was clutched in her hands (now waving high in the air for all to see). A crowd of boys gathered around to egg her on, chanting fightfight..fight. This was not the first time this had happened at recess, it was a common occurrence. The children that I went to school with had an uncanny knack of picking out the foster care kids. Once identified as a foster care kid, the teasing and bullying was relentless, my lunch money and or lunch was taken from me on a regular basis. I was pretty used to skipping lunch and pretending like I didn't care, but not on this day. The volcano of pent up and misunderstood emotions over flowed in the school yard that day and I unleashed my rage on this lunch money thief! I not only gave her something to remember me by (a punch, a kick, a hair pullrepeat), I made sure to go after her friends too! I got up off the ground and focused my attention on her friends, eyes looking through them like a thunder bolt! Her friends quickly scattered like a group of insects when the light turns on. The boys took off as soon as I looked in their direction!
As adults, if someone or some event makes us angry, we can easily pick up the phone and vent about it to anyone who will listen. We have a network of people to talk to, allowing us to get it off our chest. As a child, we simply do not have this ability to articulate verbally what is upsetting us or what we are feeling. I think this may well be the reason for temper tantrums. We can certainly identify what we don't like at any age, however having the ability to translate exactly what the feeling is and what bothers us about it.well, this all belongs to the big you not the little you.
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Posted in Childrens services Post Date 01/18/2017