‘I keep being told I don’t understand. I’m glad I don’t!’
My name is Tabatha and I have been a foster carer for 6 years.
The young people I have been privileged to meet have often been hugely affected by their life experiences and just want to feel safe. It is fascinating to see what they develop into when you assist them to find their voice! The results may not always be what you like, as they normally need to work through a lot of anger.
Since working for the Compass Group, I have provided a long term home for two sets of siblings, have offered respite for various young people and have supported two young people who were not in main stream schooling to return.
We are proud to be foster carers!
Monday 19th January
Is it just me or is everyone else feeling the squeeze in January?
I can hear my intake of breath when the 17 year old has a 40 minute shower. We are on a water metre and it’s a power shower! I am constantly turning the heating down and moaning about TV’s being left on when no one is in the room.
I am shocked that she buys a variation of the same coat in several colours, materials and shade of fur on the hood. I struggle to show my enthusiasm as I can’t make out if it’s the same as the last one or not. I keep being told I don’t understand. I’m glad I don’t!
This week is all about the BIG night out. It’s been planned for weeks and I’ve suffered hours of comparing the virtues of loads of internet dresses that all look the same and trying to look enthusiastic. We have had new nails, hair, eye lashes (which frankly looks scary) dress, make up and a bag borrowed from me (I’m not too old to borrow a clutch bag from!)
We then had the pleading eyes trying to focus on me in the hope of securing a lift for her and the two other mates with equally long eye lashes. I was left wondering how they all managed to blink in the same space?!
After trawling about picking up her friends and getting them to another friend’s house I gave her the talking to about alcohol and the horrors of drinking to excess. I’m not sure if she meant it as I could not see into her eyes but she sounded sincere when she said she was not getting drunk.
Exactly three hours later I had a call from her crying and clearly upset. It turns out that the friend had some booze in her house and they all had a bit before they went out. She was upset and quite obviously a soulful drunk, the kind you see with guitars singing sad songs in doorways.
So again Tabatha to the rescue. I arrived to see the friends giving her a pep talk, using the most amazing motivational conversation to boost her. They were doing a better job than I could ever do. I was humbled by them. My placement is clearly not emotionally ready to be out drinking at parties but she at least had chosen two really nice young people to go out with. She came in at curfew and was praised for this. She reported having a crap night and that her friends were unhelpful. I don’t think she will be touching alcohol again for a short while!
On reflection she is doing what I did at nearly 17 and experimenting with her friends. It’s great to see her acting her age and being sociable, shame about the great hangover the next day, though. At least I can use my “Was it worth it?” line. Oh, and the eye lashes have been taken off and I’m in trouble for not noticing that she had her eyebrows tinted!