FOSTERSHARE (Discussion Board)
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OUR UNIQUE ISSUES
Many of us have found that as former foster children we have several characteristics in common. Having been separated from our biological parents, we developed many emotional problems that have complicated our relationships with other people. We have trouble trusting others; therefore we find it extremely difficult to bond with people. Much of this is due to the fact that we were moved around so often from home to home. This instability causes other emotional difficulties.
As adults many of us have become isolated individuals who are terrified of intimacy. We feel very different and alone. For many of us this leads to an unhealthy sense of self-sufficiency and independence. We adopt the attitude that we don't need others because of fear, due to our childhood experiences, which taught us that we could not depend on other people. Because many of our dependency needs were not met as children, we also tend to go to the other extreme and become overly dependent adults. Many former foster children suffer from the turmoil of either desperately wanting relationships (and doing anything to hold on to them) or being too independent out of fear of emotional investment and possible rejection.
As former foster children we never developed a strong sense that we belonged anywhere, that we had a home. Many of us live unsettled lives as a result of this instability. We want to feel as if we fit in somewhere but have a hard time feeling comfortable anywhere. We tend to alternate between the extreme of being terrified of change and feeling as if we must have change. Many of us compulsively seek change in order to survive the past trauma of having had the foundation of our lives repeatedly ripped out from beneath us at a moment's notice.
Our experiences as foster children left us with an overall sense of insecurity about ourselves and the world around us. We feel alienated in our own world, a world that is rightfully ours but from which we feel separated. As former foster children we feel the stigma of that label and have much shame.
Foster children have suffered many losses during their childhood and therefore have serious grieving issues. Many former foster children have problems with depression, largely because of our unresolved grieving issues.