Emotions are Human
There is a story for each child in the Foster Home. Unbelievable things happen to every single child. And it is truly amazing how resilient the human spirit can be.
I decided a long time ago that I would change the foster system by helping the kids one by one where I have success at home. When my kids are angry or troubled, it usually has to do with their gut. These kids are a little different, but we can help a bit with the right foods. We introduce probiotics, and notable improvements occur. But some of the successes at home are not replicable in a group home. My power is, good, real food. Over and over, I witness children improving their gut and subsequently their behavior.
But today is about a boy I lost. Keeping my composure with the kids is important, but when I get back to my home after taking food to the home, I sit in the car, and UGLY cry. Today, this boy’s sister shares her concern, while his little brother shares details. But I know the root cause, immediately, because I witnessed the process.
We will call him J. J is 14 years old and has hilarious, dry humor. When we test foods on Wednesdays, he always has the most amusing comments. J has a younger sister and a younger brother in the group home.
Each week we try crazy, new foods to expand their palates, and we talk about the; cost, where to buy, and the importance to read the ingredients – not the marketing label. All of this is vital, so these sweet kids are equipped to choose a safer, healthier life. Most foster kids end up in prison, and it horrifies me. Surely, a little bit of love, education, and good food can go a long way.
Most donations are junk food and left-over bread because people feel sorry for them. But these kids experience real trauma that most of us have never faced; which is why they need a healthy diet to deal to have a strong immune to cope with their trauma.
A Supporting Diet
It’s natural for them to be angry and share their frustrations. It’s healthy. I’m not a psychologist. However, I work with these kids a lot and have for a long time. I’m also a mom. If we don’t discuss issues, then it can build up inside of us. We must have healthy ways and a healthy gut to deal with the delicate parts of life.
Looking back about two months ago, J changed. His behavior changed. He became more recluse, and he didn’t laugh or make pithy comments anymore. Because I spend hours two times per week, I ask him what is wrong. Something is not right. He responds with, “Nothin.” “But something has changed in you and affected my J,” I persist. Casually, he states that he shared his “anger with his therapist, and she put me on some psych meds,” he says. My heart drops, because I have no jurisdiction here.
I write the menu for the home and encourage them to take great care of their bodies. It helps tremendously, but I can’t help this problem.
It is commonly known that when starting psychotropic drugs, there is a trial basis while the balance is worked out. But bad things can happen in these trial periods. Each week I see J decline, and I encourage him to eat well to support his body and to help balance out the medicines.
But last week, J wasn’t there. On Wednesday, we had snacks together. I ask if he is okay, and then my heart stops when his little brother blurts out the answer. “J is cutting his body and bleeding,” says his little brother. “He is alive, but he is in a Psych Ward.” My J. Usually, everyone is getting healthier as we teach and empower better foods and attitudes. It has never occurred to me that this could happen.
My thoughts are careful and guarded here as my heart is heavy. As a minimum, I want us to allow each other the grace to experience emotions without drugs being the first answer.
We each need space to safely communicate our frustrations without judgment. It is crucial and healthy to use words and art to express the wrongs in this world. My heart aches deeply because I don’t want our world to become so sterile that no one is allowed to say angry words. Being human means we can express our emotions in a civil manner. Conversely, being a robot, is the lack of emotion.
We need to feel the wrongs in order to acknowledge WHAT is wrong.
It is not okay for a parent to sexually abuse a child. It is not okay for a parent to abandon a child. These are valid reasons to be angry and have emotional struggles.
With hope, I want these kids to figure out their purpose and how wonderful life can be. Therapy is useful and more successful with good food. But every therapist tells us that each child must be allowed to be fully human; to have time to feel the emotions needed to work through a healing process.
As a Mom, I want the kids to find a way to express themselves in a safe, respectful way. If humor helps, do it! When crying releases the stress, do that. For now, beyond good food, I’m praying for them to overcome.