Monday, February 05, 2007

Miss E plans to move

This morning Miss E told me that Annabelle to her that she would be moving soon and she should keep her things organized and prepared.

I sighed and said, "That's what you have been demanding for a while, isn't it?"

Miss E claimed to be surprised. She said that she didn't think that they were going to move her as they kept telling her that they liked Annabelle and she should be able to work things out with her.

"If you want to keep trying, I'm sure your social worker will help you talk to Annabelle about it. I think that Annabelle's is the best place for you. I would like to see it work."

But no, Annabelle and she never did get along. Annabelle doesn't understand her. She knows she could talk to her more, but the other girl talks to her and Annabelle doesn't understand her either; she just listens.

This is why I doubt I could be a social worker. I suppose there are joys and rewards too, but seeing kids self-destruct like this on a regular basis is difficult. I only see one or two a year. Imagine having to deal with it all the time.

Miss E has done this to everyone. She has verbally abused every person she has lived with. She has told everyone who will listen that they are not fit to raise a dog. She has demanded that she be moved. She has made the lives of the other children miserable. And then the adults have said, "Okay, we will move you." An exhausted, hurt foster or even adoptive mother has cried and let go.

And then Miss E says, "She never did understand me. She never tried. I knew she didn't like me from the beginning."

And my heart breaks to watch it happening.


I want to cry out, "Why? Why does this happen?"

But I know why. The kids are traumatized. They are afraid to let people close. If they trust, open up, they risk being hurt again. So they push people away. They push with everything they have.

And they wear us out. We try to just keep going, but sometimes we can't. For many of us the line is the other children. You can make me miserable; you just have to be respectful of the other children.

And so we give up. We say, "Okay. You can go. I will let you leave."

And the child says, "See. I knew you would give up on me. Everyone has."

Miss E settles


  1. This is exactly what's happening with our foster daughter right now. She's triangulating the situation between her mother and I, making life sound miserable at home and pushing to live with us.

    I know emotionally I've crossed a line but I've professionally been able to maintain. But it's getting harder for me to do.

    I see her destroying her life -- she thinks she'll get to come here for good if she misbehaves or acts out enough -- but in reality, she's not probably going to be here. The focus is to get her home, with her family, and she has been sidetracked by our family.

    Sometimes, they do let you in ... and it hurts just as badly as being pushed away.

  2. Poor Miss E. What a scary life. The world has been so cruel to her and she sees nothing good in herself. Nothing worthy of love. She's trying to convince everyone around her that this is the facts - she's even trying to convince herself.

    I once had a very difficult job working with at-risk adolescents. I had a Q-TIP in my desk to remind myself to "Quit Taking It Personally", sometimes it helped.

  3. That's so sad. And I know it isn't uncommon.


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