Archive for April, 2011


Weekend trip

The strangest thing about having a new family is that now I have grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. I’ve never had that before.

We’re leaving today to go to the next state over for a late Easter/early Mother’s Day get-together family…thing.

I have never met any of these people. I’ve only been here since after Christmas, which was when they had the last family thing. My new mom said that it’s no big deal, that there have been a number of foster kids in this family and they’ve never been treated with anything less than complete love. They still keep in touch with foster kids from years past, birthday cards, Christmas presents, school pictures. It’s not that I don’t believe her, but…

I’m nervous.

Morgan’s Story

Morgan has seen me writing here, on “my computer story,” and she wanted to be included. (I don’t tell her what I really write here, of course. If she asks, I tell her some story about my other siblings, not lying but not saying everything. Fortunately she can’t read well enough yet to know differently.)

Here is one of her stories. She had me type it up word for word and made me read it back to her several times during the course of the writing in order to make sure that I got it right.

Morgan and the Moon!

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Morgan. She was the bestest Morgan. Morgan’s favorite was the moon. The moon is round and big and white, and Morgan likes that.

One night Morgan dreamed that the moon sent down a bridge. The bridge curled down to her like a curlicue, and one end was on the ground and the other end was on the moon. The bridge was smooth and dark, and Morgan walked on it. Her feet never slipped, not even once.

Up on the moon, everything was white and pretty, except for a big field of flowers. The flowers were red and had big red blossoms and little dark leaves. There were lots and lots of flowers. Morgan played in the flowers but she didn’t pick any. She knew that the flowers were alive and they didn’t want to be pickeded.

The moon told Morgan that she could come back any time she wanted to and play with the flowers. The flowers sang a song and waved their leaves to talk to Morgan. Morgan smiled and danced and laughed with the flowers and the moon.

Morgan was sad to go home, but she knew that she could always go back. The next time Morgan goes to the moon, the flowers promised to give her a present. She’s very excited to go back! Moon flower presents must be awesome!

The next day Morgan woke up and thought it was a dream, but it wasn’t! There on her pillow next to her face was a big red flower!!!

The End!!!!!

(Morgan insisted on the exclamation marks, too.)

Giving me grief

They say I need to mourn. They say I need to grieve. They say I need to move on, move past, move up, just move, somehow, someway, anyway I can. They tell me that I’m just confused, that I have a chance for a good life but I need to leave the old one behind.

This all might be true. But they’re talking about the wrong person, every single time.

They keep saying that I need to mourn for my Mother. That what happened to her was terrible, what I saw that night when I returned home was horrible, and it’s natural for me to be having “difficulties” now. It’s normal for me to be a little “confused.” They don’t say that it’s normal for me to have invented four younger siblings who were eaten by a man without a face in order to distract myself from my Mother’s grisly doom, but that seems to be what they’re getting at. They want me to write about my feelings, to express them and move beyond them, but they keep getting it wrong. They keep thinking that it’s about Mother.

I loved my Mother. She was a beautiful woman, though her face in my memory is always sad, her eyes ringed with circles of grief. But she had a full life. She got everything a person could want. She loved, and married the man she loved, had a nice house in a nice suburb, had the love of family in her children, enjoyed carnal pleasures with many, many boyfriends. She went to college and walked in the grass and felt the wind and got drunk and numbed herself with pills when loss became too much. She lived and lived and lived. Yes, she was only in her forties when she died, but she lived long. She lived.

Nathan didn’t get to live that much. Esther didn’t go to college. Johnny never fell in romantic love. Kenneth never tasted wine.

So if I mourn for them, and not for her, can you really say I am wrong?

I wish resurrection was real. But doesn’t everybody?

Tiny helpless things

Matty and Katelyn found a wild baby rabbit today. The neighbor’s big mean cat was playing with it, like a toy, just following it around and keeping it from running, backing it into corners and sniffing at it, that sort of thing. Matty chased the cat off and Katelyn picked up the bunny. It wasn’t hurt at all, just scared and tired. It sat still in her hand, just resting after its long ordeal.

They came and found me, wanted me to help, wanted me to give it some of Baxter’s food, help keep it safe. I held the tiny thing in my hand. It was so soft and warm. The weather here has been cool and gray, the grass damp and very green in the new awakening of spring, and this baby thing was little and mottled with many different shades of brown and black and gray. Beautiful. Two tiny silky ears pressed back against its head, big black eyes watching the world without ever seeming to blink.

It didn’t tremble at all when we held it. If we set it down for a second, it would try to hop to some secluded corner, but in our hands, it was still. It just filled up the shape of my hand with its nose on my fingers and its rump on my palm. Tiny and fragile and alive.

Matty and Katelyn are twelve and ten. Being close in age and similar in outlook, they spend a lot of time together, and they love animals. The family already has housecats, a Corgi, two noisy parakeets in a cage, and of course my Baxter. But they’d never had a pet bunny, and oh, they were enamored. I understood. It was very cute and very soft.

But I did some reading on the internet and found that it’s actually very difficult to keep baby wild rabbits alive, even for seasoned professionals. This bunny (they’d already named it Quentin, though we couldn’t tell its sex) was uninjured and had its eyes open, which meant it would probably do fine on its own. If it was young enough to need milk, we really weren’t qualified to provide, and its mother would come and feed it at night as wild rabbits do.

Eventually I persuaded Matty and Katelyn to let the little thing go. We set it down in the grass by the shed in the backyard. At first it just sat there, frozen, and I pushed them away, saying that rabbits always freeze when there are predators around and we needed to leave it alone. When they went back half an hour later, it was gone.

I hope it survives. At least it has a chance.

I can’t help thinking, though, that we released that tiny babe into the wild just to be eaten. So many things around here could eat a helpless baby rabbit–dogs, cats, foxes, coyotes, even raccoons, I bet. I need to stop thinking about it.

Still, tonight I know I will be waking in the darkness and moving to each of my siblings’ rooms, looking in to check, just to make sure that they are there, and no pale empty face watches them from the window. Tiny helpless things must be protected.

Sorry

Sorry for the outburst yesterday. I was just frustrated. I know my post didn’t make much sense, but it was what I needed to get out of me.

Maybe I should say that I’m not sorry at all, actually. This is my place to tell my truth. If I want to scream and cry, that’s my choice, isn’t it?

My counselor says that I need to show more emotion. I deal with things by forcing myself to be calm, pushing down everything else. I know I don’t smile or laugh very often, but I also don’t frown or cry or get angry. Except yesterday, when that huge burst of anger pushed its way out of me.

I want to say it felt good, but it didn’t. After I wrote that, I just felt dusty and old and so, so tired. I held my pet rat (he likes to curl up under my shirt and sleep next to my skin) and pushed it all down again, and then I felt better.

My counselor and my new mom and dad all promised not to read this journal. They said that it’s my place where I can do and say what I want. That’s nice. But what I really want is never to think about any of this ever again. I just want to live my new life and try to feel safe. My hopes for that aren’t high, but maybe, someday, if enough time passes and I don’t see his face again… Maybe.

Here’s hoping. Here’s hoping I’ll never want to write anything here ever again. Because that will mean I’m done with it at last.

They keep trying to force their truth on me! OVer and over again they say, Look, Adele, you can’t have had four younger siblings, you just couldn’t have. There aren’t any records anywhere, no birth certificates, no pictures, no one remembers them, no teachers, no friends, not even the social worker who kept visiting you year after year after year because your Mother was so unstable. YES I KNOW THE FACELESS GENTLEMAN ATE THEM ALL UP HE ATE THEM ALL UP EVERYTHING I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.

Ugh!

The STUPIDEST thing they keep saying is that I cuoldn’t have had siblings because my Father died the year I was born overseas with the army. Like, hello! Have they never heard of boyfriends? MOTHER HAD FOUR MORE KIDS AFTER ME. SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO DO THAT. Who teaches the sex ed in this stupid country, and why haven’t these adults had it yet? I’ll sign them up myself if it will help.

I know what I know. I know the truth. My turth! IT”S MY TRUTH stop trying to take it from me. Oh god now I’m crying on the stpuid keyboard i’ll shor it out if I’m no tcaerful.

None of us had the same father. Well, Johnny and Kenneth might have, but we’ll never know for sure. And it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. They were my sister and my brothers and I miss them I miss them I miss them so bad

Ugh. I need to go cuddle Baxter for awhile. I can’t think about this anymore.

The song feels familiar. This video would be creepier if the man who came to the door was a bit taller, though. And skinnier. And had less… Face. Anyway. But the eye looking in like that, yeah. I don’t like that part. Mostly it’s just kind of cute and interesting, though.

My new brother Eddie introduced to me to this song. He said it makes him think of me. That’s…nice. I guess. I hope it’s the butterflies that make him think of me, not the leather bondage gear.

He’s a good boy. Kinda weird, though.

Baxter & Morgan

Morgan just came into my room. She wanted to play with Baxter, and he popped his head out of his hidey box as soon as she opened the cage door and climbed down to meet her. Baxter loves Morgan.

They’re sitting on my bed now, her small body curled around him, holding him in her hands before her face. He tickles her with his whiskers and she giggles and giggles. It’s sweet.

Morgan was the first to really treat me as a sister when I came here to this new family. Not that anyone was unkind to me or anything like that, but for Morgan, I don’t think there was ever any differentiation between “sister” and “foster sister.” I was her sister the moment I walked into the door, and that was that. I hadn’t been there for five minutes before Morgan grabbed my hand and dragged me away to play dollies.

It felt so nice.

She’s only six and I would do anything to keep her safe. Baxter loves her. His ears pop up when he hears her voice, hears her coming up the stairs into the room to play with him. I think Baxter loves her for one of the same reasons I do.

She reminds us of Esther.

Their truth

My new mom said that for this to work, I have to be truthful.

“But I am truthful,” I told her. “I’m never not truthful.”

“Not just your truth,” she said. “Objective truth.”

I huffed a sigh at that, like I always do. I know what she wants, though. I know what she’s trying to say. She wants me to tell their truth to you, you strangers on the internet. Rather intrusive of her, pushing herself into my story like that, but that’s what she wants. I am an obedient daughter, so I will tell their truth as well as mine, and let you choose for yourself.

I told you that I used to have four younger siblings, Nathan, Esther, Johnny, Kenneth. This is my truth. I told you that they died. This is my truth.

Their truth is that Nathan, Esther, Johnny, and Kenneth never existed. Never lived. Never walked beside me holding hands in the sunset, never ate around the table with me and smeared food on their faces to make me laugh, never cried from nightmares when the moon was gone. They say I made it all up, that it’s just in my head, and I Need to Let It Go.

Most of all, they say that I never saw a Faceless Gentleman tear them apart with fingers like branches and eat them in front of me while I stood shocked and silent, unable to move. They say that didn’t happen, that it couldn’t have, because I never had four younger siblings. Their truth. So much easier to live with, isn’t it?

I let them have their truth. I don’t try to take it away from them. I know how comforting it is, how warm and soft and nice. Four children were never killed by a monster. No indeed, no, that never happened. No, this girl, she’s just a little cracked in the coconut, that’s all. It happens all the time. Monsters eating children, no, that didn’t happen, that never happens.

I understand, I do. I even envy them their truth, sometimes. Such a lovely thing, it is. Oh, yes, so sad that this girl has mental problems, but at least monsters aren’t real. It’s a beautiful truth and I wish I owned it. But I don’t. I can’t. I never will.

Because at the same time as I wish I could accept their truth, at least I knew them. At least I have their sweet faces and beautiful eyes in my mind. I can remember playing games, reading books, sleeping curled up in one bed when the storm howled. And as much as it hurts, all the time, forever, at least I knew them. I wouldn’t give them up for the world. I’m the only one left to keep their memories alive, and that’s what I’m going to do, for as long as I can.