Sunday, September 23, 2012

I used to

admire foster parents.  They are the ones who take the tough children and have to keep giving them back to a relentless system that has no answers for the pain and struggle.  Now I envy them.  They are allowed boundaries.  After they have struggled and loved and given all they have and banged their heads against the wall and rent open their hearts, they can say Enough! and pass the children onto a fresh heart, a renewed head.

Adoptive parents don't have that luxury.  After we've banged our heads against the wall, we do it some more and then some more and then still more until we are bloody and raw.  We rend our hearts open  to be stepped on and broken into a million pieces and still there is nobody, still we are the only ones standing, loving our children and doing the best we can.  It's a hard, lonely place to be.  The very lucky ones among us will have a few standing around us, offering band-aids and holding our hands.  There is not much more they can do.

I haven't posted here in a long time.  It's been a really hard year, an impossible journey.  And here is what I have learned about our "system".

  • Those who can help, won't.  
  • Those who will, can't.
  • If you lower the standard far enough, everyone can "succeed".
  • Schools can be places of neglect, arrogance and abuse or safe havens - it all depends upon whether those in authority are more concerned about self-preservation or the preservation of the souls, hearts and minds of children.
  • Most choose to self-preserve.
  • Those who choose the children should be cherished as the greatest treasures one can find.
  • Those who self-preserve will do all they can to break those who choose the children and when they have broken someone they will consider themselves a Winner (although most will not admit this).  The child is no consideration at all.
  • Those who choose the children will close the doors, turn off the world and inwardly weep with you.  Then you know whose hearts are still intact even though they speak in the secret code of child preservers lest they be routed out and forced to convert to those who self-preserve.
  • Those who self-preserve are intimidated by intelligence, love, sound logic and anything that attempts to pierce the heart and make them feel, pierce the mind and make them think, pierce their boxes and make them create something new.  They will fight hard and dirty to avoid confronting any and all of these things. (and if they read this they will fight to prove my point)
  • Even Very Strong people can be broken.
  • The mentally ill are truly the "least of these".  Their illnesses will quickly tear and rend all those around them or slowly drip all the sanity out of them.  For the most part, they go unnoticed by the "world".
  • Our "system" is broken beyond repair.  It cannot identify or help the mentally ill and their families.  It must be torn down and replaced with a new model.  Until then, the "system" itself will continue to perpetuate illness in the madness it creates in neglecting the needs of those who need it the most.
  • The "system" has no ears with which to hear.
I hope the Winners are happy.  I hope they can sleep with themselves at night because I can't sleep at night.  I worry about my children, my family all.night.long.   I get up in the morning and have to face another day of living, breathing, walking proof that my child will be neglected as soon as she leaves my house and gets on a bus and walks into a school.  I was broken by a school 30 years ago.  I thought surely it would be different.  It's been a long time, it's a different school, different people.  But the same "system" continues to neglect and abandon children.  And now I've been broken again.  I fought so.hard to get my child what she needs, to get someone to notice, to get someone to feel, to care, to help.  But I can't fight a standard that sets up mental illness as the norm and then labels it healthy and good.  I don't get the luxury of calling things what they are because those things have already been renamed by the people with the power to make decisions.  I am wrong, guilty until beaten into submission.  When I can agree, then I will be right.   I will not agree so I fear I will never be right.  Instead I am broken against this wall of  Craziness.  Everything is upside down.

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