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Family & Relationships Life In Foster Care Is Isolating, Frightening And Lonely. But I’m Proof You Can Survive

13:20  21 february  2020
13:20  21 february  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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She aims to recreate that stability by making sure the majority of her volunteers have lived experience, and that they align with her values of walking My goal is to make them feel special, because they haven’t been made to feel special in their whole fucking lives . In my eyes, if you can survive foster

I like that you 're broken Broken like me Maybe that makes me a fool I like that you 're lonely Lonely like me I could be lonely with you I met you late night, at a party Some trust fund baby's Brooklyn loft By the bathroom, you said let's talk But my confidence is wearing off These aren't my.

a close up of a person: Getty Images © HuffPost UK Getty Images Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

I remember it was a bright, summer day.

I was 15 and going to see my boyfriend in Cambridge. I remember being excited as I carried my bag through King’s Cross. I had packed the usual stuff for a weekend away – a change of clothes, toiletries, a phone charger. In my mind, in a couple of days, I’d be coming back home to carry on as before. To await my GCSE results. To enrol in college.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, I got a phone call that told me I couldn’t go home anymore. 

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Bohemian Rhapsody Lyrics: Is this the real life ? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see I ' m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy Because I ' m easy come, easy go, little high, little low Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to

Let him know that you know best 'Cause after all you do know best Try to slip past his defense Without granting innocence Lay down a list of what is wrong The things you 've told him all along And pray to God he hears you And I pray to God he hears you .

That moment was utterly surreal. Here I was, not really a child but nowhere near adulthood, with nowhere to go. My parents were migrants, we had no other family, and I was quite clearly, and quite suddenly, on my own. I just started to cry, and I don’t remember when I stopped.

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My motto is always,
Comforting me, my boyfriend’s parents said I could stay a while, until his mum could call social services. I didn’t really know what ‘social services’ was, but it set off alarm bells. Kids at school had been fostered and adopted, but they always seem to come from ‘bad’ families with drug addiction or violence. I suddenly felt like I was a bad child, that I was tainted. That embarrassment and shame stayed with me for the next six years.

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Though that sentence shouldn't bother me, it stays in my mind for an uncomfortably long time. Nothing else seems to matter. Not the fact that I ' m eighteen “Freedom is the possibility of isolation. You are free if you can withdraw from people, not having to seek them out for the sake of money, company

You feel lonely and isolated . Not knowing the situation or your age causes me some pause but here goes. Volunteer anywhere a couple of hours a week. Helping people out is a good start. You can make someone's life a little happier and take away something your self. I don't have a family of my own.

As we waited for the social worker, something switched in me. I guess I moved into survival mode. I thought, I’m on my own now and the only person who is going to protect me, is me. That day I stopped crying, and I haven’t cried since.

I signed some forms and got in the social worker’s car. As houses came into view, I kept thinking, oh, I hope that’s it or that one looks nice. She stopped outside a tatty terrace and introduced me to my new foster carers – a young married couple. They showed me to my room, and the social worker got in her car and drove away.

  Life In Foster Care Is Isolating, Frightening And Lonely. But I’m Proof You Can Survive © Getty It’s very hard to understand life in care. You’re so alone, so untethered to anything or anyone. You don’t feel as though you belong anywhere. 

For me, that was damaging from the start. Straight away, I struggled to make friends in sixth form. I felt disconnected. I felt that I was stupid. I felt like I wasn’t good enough.

What didn’t help was that the foster system is incredibly transactional. Carers are given money to feed you and put a roof over your head... and that’s it. My foster mum said I should spend my weekends working unpaid in her parent’s fast food shop, when I wanted to concentrate on my A-levels and try to somehow make friends. “You should be helping out,” she would say. “You’re being paid to cover my costs, so why?” I remember saying back. Life got more awkward after that. After an incident with my foster dad, I called my social worker, told her I couldn’t stay there, and locked myself in my room for two days until she could collect me.

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Life is but a dream (A trip to find identity) I slouch like a monkey I ' m a physical being That 's why I called you up (To get down with you and share my cup) You say the feel of this is Better than love You said «the best things in life aren't free» Touch your money, hold your drug.

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The next place was better. But it was never home. I wasn’t allowed to use the living room or the television, only ever able to watch my laptop in my room. I couldn’t choose what to eat. I wasn’t allowed to cook. My bedroom was on the ground floor and I wasn’t allowed upstairs. They had a bath up there, but I never saw it. I was often left to babysit my foster parents’ grandchild, or left at home to look after their two dogs, while they went away. I simply wasn’t part of the family. I’m an optimistic person who always keeps a spark of hope alive, but I will never forget the feeling of being left out.

  Life In Foster Care Is Isolating, Frightening And Lonely. But I’m Proof You Can Survive © Getty Education kept me going. I got a place at university and moved back to London. I remember being stood in halls with my few boxes of stuff and, rather than freedom, that feeling of complete isolation came back. I still had no network to fall back on, nowhere to go if things went wrong. 

I got a part-time job and juggled it with coursework. With my first payslip I bought a TV – the first luxury I think I had ever had in my life. My housemates were amazed, asking how I managed that. And then it struck me. I didn’t have the same open doors they did, but by working hard, I could make things happen for myself. I felt empowered.

Once I graduated, I found a charity who would help me get out into the real work. When I spoke with them, I was able to voice my ambitions and hopes for my future: a place of my own; a job where I’d be able to work hard and achieve. Thanks to someone finally listening to me and understanding me, I was able to make the necessary steps to where I am now. I have a job in the civil service, a warm comfortable flat. I have somewhere I belong. Somewhere I can call home. 

Going into care was frightening and confusing and painfully lonely. But I survived it. And besides, you don’t need open doors in life to succeed, you just need to make the key.

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