what do i truly want? a view from a young person in foster care


“If you had asked me what i really wanted to do more than anything i would struggle to answer. What would i truly want? I would say i wish i could have worked harder at school, have more confidence, be different, be someone else. These are all choices in reflection i would change about myself. I could say i wanted money, fame, world peace! How many of you would choose World Peace because it sounds the right thing to do? World peace would be fantastic and like everyone else i would like it to happen. However when i consider options that are achievable to me, world peace is not one of them.

“What is it i really want? Some may see this as strange but i would like to have a better attitude towards life. Life to me is such a struggle. I struggle to work out what is expected of me on a a daily basis. Expectations are so hard to deal with.

“Take an ordinary day – i get up, i am expected to have breakfast as this gives me energy to help me get through the day at school. I struggle so much in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person. I find it hard to eat first thing. Therefore i have failed at the first hurdle of expectation. No food, no energy. I am aware of this limitation on a daily basis.

“It feels like i am doomed from the very start of each day! I should say this type of expectation only occurs during school days. How is it different on non school days? Well the schedule of expectation is different. I can decide when i get up, what it is i will eat, when i want to eat. The expectation of a school day is different. I have to be up early, i have to eat, wash, dress and get to school by 8.45am to get registered as present for that day. I feel the burden of expectation greatly during the week. It seems that whatever i do, i struggle to make a difference in meeting the demands of routine and expectation. I am always tired!

“As i reflect on this i suppose it could be argued that the reason i am so tired has more to do with the choice i make outwith the routine and expectations of daily school life. Have you any idea how difficult it is to sleep? Each night it is the same for me. I do have a bed time routine but it might not be the same as most other peoples.

“I shower, which i know a lot of people do before bed. I play on my Xbox or on my tablet. This helps me escape from reality and into a different world. This is a world that takes me away from being who i am. I am stress free.

“Sometimes i do my socialising through the tablet or phone. I can make arrangements, to meet friends for a jamming session. This type of expectation is good for me. I have made a commitment to friends to do something i really enjoy, play the guitar. When i play the guitar i can be expressive. I can use this to show the mood i am in by my choice of song. It is my way of expressing my feelings. I don’t really play joyful or happy music, you know the pop music that is played.

Music is important to me because i think it is the only thing i am good at. This is in school and out of school. So what is it that i truly want? I want to be able to play my own songs and have people know it was me that wrote and played the piece. This is my way of escaping. However, my main purpose in playing my Xbox in the evenings is to escape for a while from being me.

“I can chose to play online against competitors i do not know except through the ether of the internet. I have played against and won against people from around the globe. I especially like the racing games where i compete with others. I can feel the excitement and adrenaline within me as i race others on the screen.

“I know what you are thinking! You think this might be the reason why i am so tired in the mornings and why it is so difficult to meet the expectations of the day. There is another way to look at this. I like to just close my eyes and go straight to sleep but sometimes i think so much about the next day and what i might be faced with that getting to sleep becomes difficult.  I like to make plans for the weekend or just generally chat to my friends until i feel sleepy.

“I also like playing strategy games with my friends. I think this is my way of coping with being me. After each school day i am exhausted and need to relax. Has anyone really thought about how school work drains you? My body feels tired and my mind is tired. It is hard to explain but my mind just gets tired. I suppose some people might think this might be laziness on my part but at the end of each day i struggle with tiredness.

“What is it i truly want? I am still struggling to answer this. I would like a happy relationship with my foster family. I want to be with them forever. I don’t want to leave them when i am eighteen. I know that leaving them is not going to happen. They are not going to kick me out or anything. I suppose in some ways i don’t really worry about it because i know i won’t really leave. It is a change that will happen when i am eighteen and it is something i know about. I just take everyday as it comes. It is an expectation that will happen when i am eighteen but it will not affect me.

“What I truly want is for me to lead a happy life.”

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