An old letter I found to myself:
I realize that I am writing this to you as an assignment, but PLEASE do not refer to it as just an assignment. I have been contemplating these things for many days and found the opportunity to discuss them to you through this letter. I am to discuss with you the qualities you portray and the gifts that make you unique.
I have thought MANY times throughout these dreadful years that we have lived about the qualities and gifts we have acquired. At some points I decided we were nobody’s and at other times a somebody. I never really realized how blessed we are to have received the opportunity to live a life much different than most others. A life full of sorrow, loss, hate, anguish, and so much more; but we are, we are one of the most blessed and to that I am grateful. I understand so much about you, about us, yet there is even more that I don’t understand. You have blossomed since we have been in foster care, a lot. More than probably anyone will ever know. When we lived with Mom and her husband and all of the other awful places, you were mom. That’s who and what we defined you to be. You were the one to do all that our mother was to do and she didn’t. That is who you have been! You NEVER had anyone to turn to, no one to take care of you. From the time you were 3, you did it all on your own, and sadly before that- all you had were the boys. No Mommy and no Daddy. Then you became Mommy, even to the boys. You were robbed of your childhood yet you still manage to hold STRONG. When we were placed in care, you withheld in a family where you knew none of what they were saying and all of their traditions were foreign. Not just because they were foreign but because it was not something you were not accustomed to, you feared that if you ate the food they would hurt you, if you didn’t make their dinner they would hurt you. If you didn’t do everything perfect they would hurt you. You are very BRAVE. Then you were moved time and time again, kicked out time and time again… and strangely you managed to keep a smile on every time. You held strong for those of us that couldn’t. You were a HERO. You have come to a place where you thought you could open up, and sadly have found out that they are just like the rest and you can’t trust in their love or care for you either. You have lived your entire life with NO ONE there for you. You still decided that you wanted to learn to do those things that normal people do. Yet no one has been willing to help, especially not these people who you thought would be. You are a very PERSEVERANT person. You have blossomed into a girl who has MANY issues but have accustomed to hide them and push past them in order to save face. To save those who hurt you and betrayed you. For that I say you are very WISE and HONORABLE. So I know to you and I we tell ourselves we are nothing, but to those who have watched us recently and listened to us recently… to those select 3-4 we are strong, brave, a hero, perseverant, wise, and honorable.
You my friend have many hidden gifts that you cannot see, but are told about all of the time. One of the greatest gifts you acquire is the gift of caring. Caring is complex thing for people like us to obtain, but you managed to grab it and keep it. You have the ability to care unconditionally about the people surrounding you. Unlike many you care for everyone, including your enemies and not just the people you like. You also have the gift of listening. You do not try to solve anything you just simply listen; therefore you have many people come to you to get the load of their shoulders. You also have the gift of not keeping others burdens as your own; letting people give you their issue, but not making it one of your own. Not everyone can do that, and those that cannot seem to get overwhelmed and frustrated because they can’t separate their own issues from those of the people who are sharing their issues. You have the gift of forgiveness. You have the gift to forgive others who have wronged you in the past and who continue to wrong you. You don’t let them drag you down.
You have acquired all of these gifts and qualities from the life you were dealt. They make you unique because so many people that have come from your situation simply give up. They turn their backs on the world and shut everyone out and end up spiraling down just as the generation before them. You didn’t, you decided to take a different path, a happier path! But even though you have these gifts and qualities from this “previous” life you also have a few downsides. You are a self injurer because you don’t trust people and that is your “escape” that other people couldn’t bring. You are very shut-down towards people to make sure they do not do hurtful things to you. You don’t have relationships. No not just boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, but any! You don’t trust enough to build one, not even with your adoptive mom. And you struggle in everyday settings. You are NOT normal. As there are many more I am sure, I am going to stop here and focus on what we can do to turn these things around, or what we are doing. You have come to get to know your therapist(s) quite well and have actually started to confide in them minor details about your life. For that we need to give ourselves a pat on the back because that is the beginning step to trusting. Once you have acquired the ability to trust the other “issues” will seem to slowly fade and become less important in your life; therefore you will have an easier time with life in general. You will then be able to live a happy life and be able to marry and have kids of your own and raise them successfully. You will receive the ability to nurture like you would have never been able to if you were to have chosen the other route.
I have to go now. I really hope that someday we can discuss this again. That maybe by then we can lengthen this letter out a little. To maybe have all those negatives, not so negative anymore.. Maybe soon- hopefully one day! Good luck in life dear friend. I will always be inside of you!