In this blog, I am going to be talking about what it is like from my own experience being in foster care and questioning my own sexuality. For many of us growing up we can explore who we are in different ways and be confused of who we are, whether it is to do with our sexuality or who we are in general, however for a lot of people who go into foster care, having the trouble of knowing who they are and even questioning who they are can be very scary and frightening, but most of all, it can feel that you are alone.
From my own experience of being in care, I struggled massively with my own sexuality and was afraid to admit to myself and others of who I was, weather this was that I was gay or bisexual or whatever, but over time this feeling of not wanting to admit to myself who I was kept eating away at me and made me feel ashamed of who I was, because I found it hard to talk to anyone about what was going on with me.
Not knowing who you are, is the worst experience that anyone could go through, weather they are care experienced or not, but when being in foster care, it puts a massive barrier between how you cope with being able to know who you are compared to your peers, as from my own experience, a lot of my friends and peers from school, when they found out who they were weather it was the fact that they were confused or going through a time of experimenting or even the fact that they were actually feeling that they liked the same sex, they were able to talk about this to their family and be open and honest more quickly compared to those who are in care.
Admittedly, being in care can be amazing for some, as they can have great foster carers who want to know what’s going on, weather this is about their day, or in school or even the small things about how they are feeling, but a lot of the time this is not the case and feeling that they can be open with their foster carer can make it feel like an endless battle, especially when it comes to talking about a subject as sensitive as not knowing who you are or even coming out.
I can remember the time that I discovered that I was defiantly gay and me thinking it was time for me to come out, I was completely frightened to tell my foster carer as I felt that If I told her, then things would be different and that she might want to ask my social worker if I could be placed into a different placement because she didn’t want to look after someone who was for instance gay.
However, after having the confidence to tell my close friends at the time that I was gay, they were able to give me the strength to tell my foster carer, which in the long run was scary, but after I did it, she was very kind and supportive about helping me find myself but also to understand that being gay was not something to be ashamed off and that I shouldn’t be ashamed off it.
The reality of struggling with your sexuality and not really knowing who you are either when you are a young person or a young adult, can be very scary and a lot of the time can make you feel that you are alone, because you never know who you can talk too and who you can trust, but from my own experience, I want to let you guys know that once telling someone you know and who is close to you, it can get a lot better and easier to tell someone else, but never do it until you are ready as if you come out to early, it can make you feel a lot worse than you might already do.
So, a message to care experienced people who might be struggling with your own sexuality…. Going through something like this is totally normal, not everyone knows who they are, or whether they are straight or gay or whatever…. questioning and trying to find who you are is all part of growing up, but never feel that you are alone, because there are always going to be someone around who will always no matter what help you if you feel alone or struggling, whether this is you foster carer, a friend or even your social worker… someone will always be there to listen and help you understand how you might be feeling, but most importantly the one piece of advice I would like to give is that if you ever feel like you are struggling, make sure to try and talk to someone as keeping it all locked away and dealing with it alone, can make everything much worse in the long run….
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger.