Children who come into foster care often have been exposed to multiple traumatic events including the removal from their families, and may be at higher risk for mental health problems and emotional disorders. Too often multiple medications may be used without other kinds of effective treatments that might better address the underlying trauma children are experiencing.
I sit across from my grandmother at the Seder table. "Grandma," I say, "I'm wondering what it's like for you, as a Holocaust survivor, who fled Germany as a child, to read these words, 'in every generation an enemy rises'?" She raises her eyebrows and sighs, as if she doesn't have what to say. My grandma has plenty to say.
I've gone vegan, vegetarian and periodically nix wheat, gluten, and sugar, all which give me vile headaches and make me look and feel like Mr. Creosote, the exploding fat man in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Why did I choose these strategies? Not strictly to lose weight, but to gain mental health.
I escaped the cage and found freedom from the wood pellets and stale feeder food. Maybe certain people tried to look for me; maybe they didn't. I didn't care. I was a hamster with a plan. I came to a fork, took the road less traveled and began running like my life depended on it (and hey, maybe it did).