I wish that you knew I’m not like the other kids. I wasn’t held as a baby. I don’t even remember where I lived. I just remember all the people who hurt me. I lived in over five houses in five years, and because of that my brain responds differently when I’m away from my mom and dad. I don’t like to talk about that, though. When I start thinking about that I usually am bad because even though you say I’m safe, if I’m bad enough I knew you’ll hurt me too.
I wish you knew that when Daddy has to go out of town for work, I get scared he won’t come back and so I’m really mean to my mom. Sometimes I hit her or yell at her just to see if she’ll leave too.
I get scared when he has to work late, too. I know it’s only a few extra hours but when I don’t see him at bedtime I’m scared he’s gone and I get angry.
I wish you knew that even though I want that piece of candy you offer me with good intentions, because of the red dye in it, when I get home I will become defiant and violent toward my mom. I don’t mean to hurt her, but something happens to me when I eat it and I just lose control.
I wish you knew that I don’t like when the rules change. If a rule is changed I suddenly fear that everything is changing and I will test all of the rest of the rules.
I wish you knew that even though most kids love to be hugged, I get scared when you hug me without asking and sometimes lash out.
I wish that you knew that I don’t mean to be bad when Teacher isn’t there… it’s just that I don’t know The Boy who is in charge instead, and in some houses the boys hurt me so I don’t want to listen to him.
I wish you knew that I don’t mean to push the other kids… sometimes my hands just move way faster than my brain does.
I wish you knew that it’s hard for me to look you in the eyes when you’re talking to me. I don’t really know why, but I promise I’m listening.
I wish you knew that I’ve never known when I was going to have to live somewhere new, so sometimes I steal things and lie because I want to be in control of something.
I wish you knew that the reason I don’t get to go to a lot of things is because if things are different I get really scared and I can’t just change plans all the time without being scared.
I wish you knew that I hurt myself because I am bad. Everybody said I was bad and then I had to leave. I don’t want to be bad.
I wish you knew that school is really hard. All of the other kids know the words and I don’t, so sometimes I don’t want to try. I’m good at making the other kids laugh, though. I like when I can make them laugh even when it gets me in trouble.
I wish you knew that it makes me feel good when you tell me I am good. I want to be good.
Our seven-year-old cannot express the struggles she has, or her emotions, or why she does what she does. But if she could, I imagine this is what she would wish. Every day I add something else to this list, and my heart just hurts as we try to overcome new obstacles each day. She is truly one-of-a-kind, and I just hope this helps give a little perspective for her and the challenges our girl faces each day.