Place of Impact: Aging out of foster care!

Yesterday, I was riding my bike in the rain from work, and was hit by a car. I’m safe, but injured. My bike is ok! I called my foster mom, my grandma, aunt and I was yelled at. Last week I was drugged and sexually violated and I called a trusted aunt and God-Mother and no one returned my phone call.

My God-Mother’s daughter reminded me that, I’m not her “real daughter”. It brought my mine back to the day my foster mom’s bio. daughter told me “she didn’t ask for me”, and her son told me “I’m replaceable.” Then my mind brought me back to being abandon from childhood, and no one advocating for me. My cousin told me I was tiring, and that she won’t help me. I swore at her, we almost had a fist fight.

One aunt, my favorite aunt told me, it’s “ok.” She will always answer her phone, but I’ve heard that before, and then I know I’ve burned bridges too. She told me that I have to control my emotions, and I wanted to yell “I’m bipolar” and then I realized that just because I have a mental illness, I’m on medication and I have a certain amount of control over my actions; even if not my emotions.

When the doctors were examining me, I was crying, not because I was in pain. No. But, because no one was there with me and I was going through this alone. I cried because I faced my reality. I’m no longer in foster care, there are no more social workers and I’m a grown woman. Whether I feel alone, abandon and/or my emotions/mental health is out of control, I have to be my own advocate and stand up for myself. I have to use my voice, and have faith in a higher power. I have to pray daily that my heart is renewed, my mind is healed, and that I have the power to live a God driven and purposeful life. At this point, it’s my choice.

So this is my message:

To those aging out of foster care, we have to accept that we’ve had it rough. We have to admit that we cry at night, are angry, confused and are trying to make it, in a complicated world. Sometimes when we go to the hospital, no one will come. We will have to walk home from work because no one will answer their phone. We will have to go to the doctors and hear hard words.But we’re not alone. There is a God that cares, and we have to remember the words of support, those good social workers and those who cared for us even if we don’t we never see them again. We have to believe in ourselves, get our education, get a job, and create our own families. We have to be open to new friendships, and new opportunities. We’ve made it this far, beat the system. Let us not give up. We will make it!

You are loved! I’m praying. I’m your advocate.

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