Sometimes I get tired of processing how foster care affects me. I have a therapist for other reasons, and that's a good thing. We've talked about how other things may be coming out during this break, other things about past fostering experiences, past losses and challenges. It is good. I have supportive people processing with me. That's also good. I'm a fairly reflective person, but after talking to the third or fourth person in a week about how I'm doing, sometimes I start to get monotone, start to close up and give shorter answers.
But I have to keep dealing with the grief, the stress, and the worry or it deals with me.
I felt like I had a couple rough weeks after Crocodile's move, then I was feeling unusually fine, then I was moving into what felt like "normal" missing of a special person. I watched videos of him and felt a little sad. I thought of things he would like to do with us and felt the loss tug my heart. Then I moved on. I breathed a sigh of relief that maybe this was it.
Then I started sinking down again. I had a day of really not being okay. I had just talked to a dear friend about how change just makes us sad, and it frustrates us that we have to endure it, we just need to. I still felt so frustrated with myself. I just didn't want to.
Back up, back down. Today was a difficult start because of a dream. I dreamt Caterpillar crossed the street running to the caseworker I was with. He was about 4 years old. It took him a moment, but he recognized me and just glowed. I embraced him and picked him up off the ground. But then he got very serious and kept saying "I made baby sick." What baby? We crossed the street. There was a house with four kids, including an older baby hooked up to some otherworldly sorts of tubes. There were no adults in the home. Did he reunify? What was going on? The caseworker disconnected the baby from the tubes and we walked around together some more, Caterpillar, the baby, the caseworker and myself. The caseworker was going on and on about how happy the baby was. She was cute, but I was upset, anxious. Why had Caterpillar said "I made baby sick?" Who was taking care of these kids?
I woke up. Soon after, Dinosaur came into our room earlier than he's supposed to and I blew up at the poor child.
It's still dealing with me, that's for sure.
Tonight, I wish I could give any of them a hug. See a smile. See them run to the arms of their loving caregiver and see they are loved though I can't show it to them daily. Breathe in the scent of each child. Exhale.