I’ve got a terrible feeling in my chest, it’s like a bird that won’t take a rest
I’m struggling to breathe, and I feel really sick
My head feels heavy and my heart like a brick
I don’t want to take things, but they say I’m a thief
I’ll be in prison if I keep on like this
I must be as bad as I think I am
Disgusting, unlovable, totally mad!
When I steal stuff, I get a great big high
It makes all the bad feelings appear to die
Not for long though as It’s worse when I’m done
I know I’m not worthy of being your son.
Like a scratch that I’ve got to itch, an urge that I can’t control
For a moment, a second, it makes me feel whole
I forget about everything else at the time
I just want it, I have it, even though it’s not mine.
I will take things I don’t even need
I lie and say “it wasn’t me” or find someone else to blame
At night I lay awake as waves of shame envelop my soul
To be a thief was never my goal.
Like a self-harmer who cuts their arm
A warm whooshy feeling and then some calm
A break from the bird that’s trapped in their chest
Unable to verbalise their internal mess.
It’s like driving a car without any brakes
A liar, a thief, he steals, he takes
My brain doesn’t tell me to STOP, it’s not mine!
That part of my brain just isn’t online
I need you to help me to calm the bird
To listen, to hold me and tell me you’ve heard
To find ways to comfort my aching heart
Lessen the pain that tears me apart.
Please can you gently rewire my brain
And find ways to reduce my toxic shame
To reassure me and let me know
You’re not giving up and you’re not letting go.
Remove the temptation and come alongside
Name the need that chooses to hide
Show me ways to put things right
To link cause and effect without a fight
As I begin to grow my brain you will eventually see a change
A beautiful lovely boy underneath
No longer unworthy, no longer a THIEF!
Written by Sarah Dillon (former child in care) from the child's perspective.
(C) Sarah Dillon