being a foster kid is not conducive to normal self-care
dr, val believes that part of why i am so dam tired, is because i have terrible self-care. since i was so fucking tired, i listened to her and nodded alot when she talked my ear off….. but only later have i been thinking about what she said. she is correct, that i have terrible self-care based on “normal population” standards. BUT, based on growing up as an abused child and a foster kid, i believe i have typical self-care…
If you have ever noticed, my blog usually comes out between 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM… because I am awake. Most people are sound asleep while I am wide awake. As nighttime comes, my internal anxiety increases. Even if I don’t shout out “I am afraid of being abused” every night, my body responds to years of conditioning. Being an abused child set the stage for being afraid of sleep. Even if it was not sleep time, when the sun goes down, “men” come home from work. When the sun goes down, it gets dark and night-time = fuck time. Being constantly on the edge is NOT conducive to sleeping soundly.
Even if I know I am not in a dangerous world anymore, my body still believes that it needs to protect itself. My body still believes it is not safe. So, when the sun goes down and it gets dark, my body wants to stay awake. This is a form of self-care. SELF-CARE learned because of my past.
.My self-care means I nap alot. Perhaps I am “sleeping my life away,” but my body is NOT used to being safe at night. Sleeping during the day feels safer. And even when I do nap, it is totally irregular. Could be 10:00 AM or my nap could be at 3:00 PM. My body can’t adjust to normal sleeping patterns, not time, not place, not length.
i have discussed this both “intellectually” and personally on this blog. i cut myself, i eat poorly, i used to smoke, i used to take drugs, i drink alcohol, i call myself horrible things, etc. i abuse myself in multiple ways daily. but this is my life. this is what i know, both consciously and unconsciously. abuse from others started early in my life. my bioparents treated me like shit…maybe even worse than shit. some foster homes treated me like shit too. at some group homes i was treated like shit too. sometimes on the street i was treated like shit. it MAKES PERFECT SENSE that all i really know is how to treat myself like shit. BUT what you see as abuse, is “soothing” to me. Why? Ask the therapists…but i am sure it has a physical and emotional component.
i hate when people assume that people hurt themselves to hurt others. i have NO OTHERS to hurt and i still hurt myself all the time. its not about YOU, it’s about US… and what is written in pain, hurt, bruises, blood, etc. on and in our bodies. in my case, part of it is probably wrapped up in conscious and unconscious self-hate. i despise myself so much… every part of me, i hate. hate. HATE. FUCKING HATE ME.
i can’t stand it when people just assume that you can stop… if all you know is being treated like shit, it is written in your heart, mind, and soul that you deserve to be treated like shit. for once in my life, Dr. Val is the first CONSISTENT person who is modeling self-love…the first consistent person in my life…and she is a fucking therapist.
3) i dont feel pain like you
i dont. physical pain is a joke to me. when i broke my wrist which eventually needed surgery, i thought “i twisted it”… when i take a razor blade to my skin and cut deeply enough to require stitches, i dont feel it. i truly believe i could stab myself with a knife and stick it in and not feel it; i think about this frequently. i dont know if it is that i have a higher tolerance for pain because i was so abused or because i “switch” or because my brain chemistry changes such that i dont feel it. i dont know.
but what i know, is that i dont feel physical pain like you. when i lived in fucking ____ children’s home, kids used to burn each other with cigarettes or lighters or hot forks. it was a game. you were a wuss or a baby if you quit first. once i remember smirking so long that the kid that was holding the cigarette on me stopped. i never felt it. and i won. fuck that kid holding the cigarette and fuck the kid i beat. i won.
emotional pain is more complicated. sometimes i feel nothing. numb. cold. nothing. distant. numb. but sometimes the emotional pain is raw and feels so powerful that it is overwhelming, uncontrollable, and powerful. both responses are different than you. both are a result of years of abuse. numbing protects from the original feeling. but then it has to come out somehow, somewhere, at someone.
years of pain creates amazing ways to deal with pain.
4) love, sex, companionship, and marriage…
i have written numerous times about how i never had any real friends.. part of self-care is establishing supportative relationships. im not going to write about friendships, because i have before, but i am going to talk about love, sex, companionship, marriage, etc. yeah, hold your fucking horses, for unchartered territory. im not gay, i am pretty sure of that. i dont care if i were because i dont really understand the “issue” others have about who people choose to love, ANY LOVE IS BETTER THAN NONE, so mind your own business people if it is not hurting the person or illegal…. but i said it because it is something i think i know. i have no desire to hook up with a girl. BUT i have no desire to hook up with a boy either.
i am not going to go into my life on the streets and relationships, because i am not sure that you could ever understand street-life, but i can tell you, i have never loved a boy; never had a true boyfriend, and almost have no desire for them in my world. boys to me represent pain, hurt, violence, abuse, sex, sex, sex, and hate. dr. val tells me that “i am generalizing because not all males are like that.” i tell her “whatever, name me one that isnt.” … and then she blabs something i dont listen to. clearly i am NOT ready to go there. BUT, someone my age should be hanging with friends AND romantic interests. instead i am at the age of about 5-6 where i think some boys have “cooties” or maybe 9 where i would hang a picture of Brad Pitt on my wall, all starry-eyed. the stages of pyschological development include finding a companion, a love-interest, or a partner… that is not happening here.
how could it?
there has been no safe, consistent male role model in my life. i was mostly an object to be used; not loved, cared about, or cherished…the stuff that helps aid in developing a romantic life. with the exception of a few foster fathers most of my time with men was extremely damaging. doesn’t make for trusting enough to let a relationship happen. and ironically, by me staying away from boys, it is SELF-CARE in my mind… because i can’t be hurt. “generalizing” …. i know.
It is interesting to me how Dr. Val sees lack of self-care, when I see survival…