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My foster dd hates myself and my dd.(19 Posts)
Foster dd 9 has lived with me for 4 years. I also have her younger db. I have a birth dc 13 and a adopted dd 5. We also foster a teenage girl.
The children came from a background of DV and were living in an extremely controlling environment. They were allowed no opinion on food, clothes, haircuts, groups etc.
Dfd Is a very subdued child who never talks about her feelings and will always answer questions with what she thinks the person wants to hear. She never pushes boundaries with adults.
She tells SWs that she is happy and wants to live with us but I don't believe that is how she really feels. She knows a return home is not possible. I believe she is desperately unhappy but feels she has no options but to do her time with us. She could have a great life if she would only allow herself to be happy.
Recently several things have happened that are really hurting me and making me question where we should go from here.
Last week I hoovered her room, under her bed there was a drawing of a large heart. She had written her families names in the center with her school friends and teachers around them inside the heart. My family were around the edge outside of the heart with DDs name written as far away from the heart as possible. This is therapy she has used in her CAMHs sessions, only there our names were in the hearts center because that is what she thought the counsellor wanted to hear.
This morning I found (again under her bed) some paper she had written on. She said "being in foster care can be fun if you don't have a carer like mine".
I have found things like this many times. I have shown her SW but because FDD tells adults she is happy they don't see it as a problem. Plus I think because long term placements are few and far between they don't want to take my concerns seriously.
I have also frequently heard her telling her younger db that we don't love them, they are only guests in our house and they should run away but if they do they will have to live on the streets for ever. She rejects all the physical things I do for her. When I do her hair she takes it out. She only wears clothes I buy if there is no option (but wont choose her own). If she asks for help with shoe laces and I do them she unties them (and loads of other things along these lines).
She has told our teenage FD that she hates my DD. She does make her dislike of dd quite obvious but I was shocked to hear she feels she actually hates her.
Obviously having someone in my home who dislikes my child for no good reason is very hurtful for me. After 4 years I can't see her feelings changing. I also worry about the effect her behaviour is having on her younger db. He has many issues but is thriving in our care and is very happy. Part of me wonders if FDD would be happier in a placement with just her db. Moving would be devastating for her db though and I really care about these children and desperately want this placement to work. She is waiting for more work with CAMHs but the wait is long. She is clearly a very damaged child but because she keeps all her feelings inside and is very compliant she is not seen as a priority for help.
I have tried taking FD out and spending time together but that is painful. She doesn't talk and doesn't seem to enjoy our outings at all. She is very close to my DS and DH it's just DD and myself she hates.
Sorry I have really rambled and reading back I haven't got over just how unhappy DFD is but any advice would be great.
Hi, I am an adoptive parent with 2 children, I don't have great pearls of wisdom that would be very helpful, but wanted to recommend a book by Dr Bryan Post called the great behaviour breakdown. He is an expert in child behaviours, is an adoptee and spent a long time in the care system. It gave me a lot of ideas and different ways to deal with the destructive behaviours my children were demonstrating because of their traumatic history and alternative ways of understanding their neurology and biology, the behavioural language of trauma, I think he called it! He has a website too, which has been helpful. It gave me a different angle to view things at which saved my sanity at one point! I obviously don't think that just reading a book will solve all and apologise if it is of no use to you, but hope it may help a little bit.
Disclaimer: no personal experience of fostering or adoption. Coming at it purely with an opinion.
If she has been with you for 4 years then realistically she can have no memory of foster care that isn't you. I'd agree that she sounds like an angry little girl, and maybe -like birth children can as well- she is turning that on you at the moment as the only possible targets for her anger. As you say she is clearly very damaged, but you are offering the best possible home for her and her brother. With your kindness and help she will grow through this. It sounds horribly tough on you but honestly I do not think she means it. She is so young at the moment.
She may be scared to love you or to relax as she may feel that any day she could loose you all, by saying she hates you all she could be trying to convince herself to avoid getting hurt at any point in the future.
Thanks Minky I will look at that.
duchesse she is nearly 10 so does remember home life. I do agree with what you say but I'm all out of ideas to deal with it. I think she feels a lot of jealousy towards adopted dd. Maybe she feels that I love dd more because we adopted her. There is no possibility of us adopting her and her db. We could go down the SG route but we are reluctant because we would have to maintain contact with their extremely hostile family with no support from SS. We also feel that as both dc have so many issues we would get more help and support for them while they are in the care of the LA.
I'm not a foster parent either (sorry) but I do have a 9yr old dd and she can be v.hard work at times.
I tend to take the view that when she is being particularly tricky it is because she wants to talk about something or be reassured but doesn't know how to start the conversation, ie its easier to shout "you hate me" than say "I am feeling really miserable about this, come and tell me it will all be ok" . Does that make sense?
Perhaps she does feel that you love your adopted dd more because she is adopted, and doesn't realise that there are other reasons that make it less possible. Perhaps she is looking for you to tell her that you love her too.
It must be very hard and you have my admiration - I don't think I could manage it.
To follow on from Marius, she could also be feeling like she is not good enough for you and that's why you have not adopted her. Please tell her you love her like she is one of your own and you will do what you can to make sure she and DB stay with you as part of your family.
Hi - could I recommend a book by Kate Cairns. The book is:
Attachment, Trauma and resilience Therapeutic caring for children".
I have just finished reading it and it really helped me, although, like Minky says you need to decide for yourself.
We recently had a teenage girl moved from our foster care due to her not being able to settle after almost 3 years. Reading your experience was like looking in the mirror. Sometimes you have to let them go for the sake of the rest of the family and the child themselves if that is what they want.
Children traumatised by DV have much to work through (ours had parental addictions to add to the DV). At least your foster daughter is working on her new feelings (even if what you found was distressing) so must feel safe in your home or she would not be able to do this. The running away conversation was a bit of a worry so I would watch that one carefully.
I was pleased to see that you have CAMHS for her. I do hope whatever happens you can hold on to your great gift to her - the safety and stability you have brought to her life for the past 4 years that has started the healing journey.
Thinking of you - hope it all turns out ok for all of you.
an SGO doesn't necessarily mean you will have to maintain contact - the judge will decide that after reading the reports from the SW's
- does she/they have contact at the moment? If not, then I strongly suspect it wouldn't be recommended that it starts
It worries me about the phrase "just guests in your house" - maybe I'm naive, but that doesn't sound like a 9 year old to me... rather someone has told her that (not implying you or your family at all here).... is someone bending her ear? (being bullied for instance?)
Hi confused111, just had another thought have you ever used the adoption uk website, they have a foster carers section and it could be useful to post on the adopters board as well. You don't have to be a member to use it either. I have gleaned lots of useful advice from there too which has been really helpful too.
I also come to this with no experience but you sound lovely. The thing that struck me most was you saying she is compliant because she was never allowed opinions and options in her birth family environment. Do you think there is a possibility that she feels secure enough with you to actually start testing boundaries for the first time in her life? That she has singled you out because she senses actually that you won't give up on her? There could be mixed reasons why she says she hates DD. Maybe she sees your DD as competition for your attention and affection.
Could it be that Dfd isn't just "answer[ing] questions with what she thinks the person wants to hear", but rather that she feels differently about things on different days?
My Dfd wrote the other day that she wishes she'd never met me, and that she hates me. I was being strict (yet supportive) about homework, reading and spellings, and she didn't like it. She also wrote that she doesn't like my youngest DD, DD3, and that she's a "hateful toddler" (she's 6 1/2).
2 days later she's choosing to play with DD3, sharing toys, giggling together, making it quite clear that she likes living here and saying what a great foster carer I am. (While discussing what she'd written with her SW.)
It was all true, they were her genuine feelings - she wasn't being deceitful but her emotions are very much 'in the moment'.
I'm pretty sure my 3 other DDs have times when they hate me, and each other. So I'm hoping we're not too far away from 'normal'. Dfd and DD3 bicker and argue the most, as depite being furthest apart in age they are in most aspects the most similar in terms of maturity. Jealousy obviously plays a big part.
You mention taking Dfd out, and that it was "painful". Would it be easier to take her and a friend? You'd still be doing things together, without any of your other children, but she might be a bit more relaxed, and there's less potential for awkward silences.
Good luck, I hope things work out well for all of you.
She rejects all the physical things I do for her. When I do her hair she takes it out. She only wears clothes I buy if there is no option (but wont choose her own). If she asks for help with shoe laces and I do them she unties them (and loads of other things along these lines)
has she been like this the whole time she's been with you or is this more recent?
It sounds like she may have an attachment disorder and has discovered the best ways to hurt you and get under your skin. She probably is happy with you and it terrifies her. The hearts were left for you to find? Also, there may be a link with the total control she has experienced and possibly she is exploring what she is now able to control? The fact that she is allowed untie her shoelaces may still be a feeling she likes. You have done well to cope so far. On a lighter note, my niece left a notebook in the back of a cupboard. Her mum cleared it out and found the book and flicked through it. The anger my niece felt when writing in the book was shocking, she used language we never knew she knew!! My niece doesn't remember writing it and was embarrassed when she realised it was her. She called her family for everything!! She loves her family dearly.
I am not a foster carer so please, if I am talking rubbish, dismiss me, but I wonder if she has a lot of anger towards her mum, or feels really jealous about your mother daughter relationship because it's a daily reminder of what she doesn't have?
Where are you confused I was just about to post but read through the others, some of which were veryhelpful, but noticed you had not responded to the posts, so maybe you didn't find them helpful I don't know.
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