Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Writing Technique - - Letters

According to the book "Writing for Self-Discovery" by Schneider and Killick, another way to ones' inner feelings is to write a letter to an individual, a company, a school or where ever it is that the venting needs to be directed. Generally, this letter approach is for the writer; the letter is not sent or given to the 'intended' recipient. It is a way to say all those things that must be said...a clearing of the air if you will, so life can go on a little better than before. It's a damned good technique for some really difficult issues.

This is actually something I have written a while ago, but fits the technique rather well (all this before I actually read a book on better writing; I guess when it has to come out, it comes out!)

Letter to my Foster Parents

You were there for my brother and I at a time when no one else could, or would, take care of us. On my first day with you I remember how grateful I was that there was someone who could fill that need. You were a stranger taking us in…well God said he would provide for our every need. Perhaps I took it for granted in my childish little eight-year old mind...poof! Then you were there.

I noticed early on that your family was different than mine. Mine, being the time I spent with my grandparents. How loving and nurturing they were. They did not have much, but they gave what they had so willingly, It was mostly just love and togetherness. Sure we had to do without, and farm life can really be demanding on a child who has real chores to do, but then everyday there were those family times...that melted the harshness away. The memory of church every Sunday and chicken and dumplings afterwards, the thank you God prayers and goodnight kisses and the early morning rituals of who gets the outhouse first, yes this was a very different lifestyle than yours.

I noticed that you didn’t have thank you God prayers. So I guess goodnight kisses for strangers would have been out of the question, but your own children didn’t get them either. I thought that strange.

I noticed that you always seemed angry, I couldn’t figure out why. I was still just grateful that you were there to fill that need. You gave us shelter and food and a pretend family, how fortunate we were. After all, there was no one else who could care for us, but you. Yes, I was learning that life was very different.

Then your own children broke all your rules and pointed the finger of guilt at me.
You were really angry that day!I explained that is wasn’t me. I pleaded that it wasn’t me.

I cried to tell you the truth. NO! Insolent Child! Full of evil, I will teach you not to lie!

The tumbler glass full of sudsy Tide detergent solution looked like a mountain that I would never get past. Drink it? Me? No, I can’t. You can’t make me. Your threats and bullying overwhelmed me…and I did drink it…all of it. How horrible your actions were.

God must have sent me to you so I could learn that not everyone was like my “grandma”. You certainly were not. I was so afraid of people after staying with you. I couldn’t trust adults and I couldn’t trust people my own age. Who could I trust…only me and God, those are two who will take care of me…always. Everyone else was suspect until proven otherwise.

It wasn’t until many years later I realized you were probably more needy than me.

The method the state uses to assign children to foster parents should have better screening methods so those who are already down and out are not further abused.I can only conclude you did it for the money…hope you did it for the money, for if you did it for the pure pleasure of seeing innocent children suffer…then you are truly sick individuals.

Now, I can add a happier ending to this letter. While I carried many years of hatred toward you; the distance that time has created makes it a very less painful memory. I did learn that in the world there are good people and causes to care for children in need of it. I can direct my efforts toward funding such organizations so your kind of treatment of needy children doesn't happen any more. Each time I help such organizations I inwardly feel I have delivered yet another blow to injustice

1 comment:

Goldenrod said...

Oh, God! Whale, is this a true story? :( If only you could see my face right now.

I really liked your story about the bus ride. I could just hear that man going on and on and on. For a while there, I was afraid he was going to try and make you another of his girl friends!