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(For a beautiful, rigid, misunderstood, Autistic, creative, anxious, clever, very loved former foster youth) 

See me. Look at me. Don’t look past me. Don’t see through me. 

Look at me. See me. See the quirks. See my eyes- they’re blue. See the fear and uncertainty swimming in that blue.  See the questions and pleas for reassurance. 

See past the pacing.  See past the mumbling and fast talking. See my heart. See my love of stories, Minecraft, special drinks, Roblox, and music. Try to show interest when I info-dump about these things I love most. Look at me.  Look at me when I talk.  I will talk fast and without room for reciprocity.  But when you look at me while I talk, I feel heard. I feel seen. I feel you care. See me when I keep talking, even when you are done listening. See that I need to connect.  See that I need to be accepted.  

Look at me. But look past the twitching, the hair pulling, the skin picking, and fast blinking. Look past the strange noises I sometimes make, strange voices I sometimes use. Know that when I repeat what you say, I am trying to be calm, I am trying to connect. But I don’t know how.  

Look past the constant movement, the inability to sit still. See me – like a butterfly-  floating and flying, occasionally landing, not still for long.  If I am still, my sad will catch up to me. My scary things will find me. 

Look at me.  

Look at me struggle with people around. See that… and know that I wish it could be different. 

Look at me when I struggle.  Look for ways to help. Look past the yelling and screaming, the impulsivity and aggression. Notice my pain. Keep me safe. Know that I am ashamed when I hurt someone. See that I hate myself.  

See what calms me down. Share your calm. See that I am not purposely trying to disrupt where I am- in class, at a gathering, in a restaurant or store, and at home. I have deficits. I am not trying to be disruptive. Try to accept that. 

See me. 

See that it’s hard for me to live in my body, to feel where my body is, to hear what my body is telling me. See the ways I want things “just right”. Look at how I need help. Help me. 

Help me when I am worried at night. Know that I am worried all day long too. Worried I’ll never have friends. Worried my family will get rid of me. I know I bring hard days and pain. Even though mom and dad tell me how loved and special I am, I still think it would be better for them if I wasn’t here. They tell me their love will find me wherever I go. 

Tell me. Tell me it will. 

Look at my face. Look at my freckles. See my blue eyes. Know that those came from someone who gave me life, someone I long for, someone who is gone. My first mom. Look at me love who I came from AND love where I am. Don’t tell me I am wrong. Don’t tell me to pick. Don’t tell me to be grateful.  Just see me. Just listen to me. Cry with me.

See me ache for answers. About her. About me. For me. Look at my hesitation to ask. Why? Why is it this way? Why couldn’t she take care of me?  Wait with me. Sit with me. See how lost I feel at times. See how unloved I feel at times. LET me feel. Help me feel my feelings. Help me grieve.


Stay long enough to see me for ALL of me. Look past your thoughts and ideas about how I should be. Don’t try to change me. Don’t try to fix me.  Please look past that quick irritation or embarrassment you feel about things I say and do. 

Look at all the times I get it wrong. But SEE all the times I get it right. Celebrate those! See my good intentions. See me show up when I can. Encourage me. 

Please look. 

Really look. See that my pacing, my rocking, and my chewing on shirts means I am uncomfortable and overwhelmed. See that I need support. Help me.  

See my smile. And see my gruffness. Look at my light. See how it shines. See how the darkness pulls at me.  

Look at me. Look at me alone. Say hi. See that I want that. See that I don’t always know how to ask for that.  See WITH me. See my world. See me in it. Look at me while I try to make friends.  See that I need encouragement.  See how much I want friends.  Look at me trying. Notice me struggling.  And see that I want that connection.  

See me get too close, touch too often, speak too loudly, spill too much, drop things too frequently. Hear me interrupt. Please pause. And breathe. Look past your annoyance and see me asking for your time. See me trying to share my world.  

See me laugh. See why. Look at my joy. Look why. Help me laugh more. See me worry and wonder.  Speak to me. Teach me. Guide me. Comfort me. Learn with me. Try to understand me.

Watch me. Look how often I try not to be myself. Look how I try to hide all the quirks. Look at me. Don’t look past me. Love me. Accept me. Help me belong.

Will anyone notice me?

Will anyone look at me? 

Will anyone see me?         

Do YOU see me?  

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