“We hate to love, but we love to hate.”
Sarah Martin, along with her two older siblings, were in foster care from early childhood. From infancy to adolescence, Sarah experienced the frustration of not being listened to by the people in charge of her life.
The most important thing to Sarah, was being given a choice – even at the tender age
of five years old. The decision to see her family was hers, and no one else’s. Sarah reflected that as a child, she’d often lose the ‘sibling vote’ on whether to see her family (dad brother mum sister) in detention.
Sarah repeatedly was taken to see the family she didn’t want to connect with.
“I didn’t have a CSO who understood who I was,” Sarah explained, “They didn’t get that I didn’t want to see my family.”
Sarah’s experience as a kid in out-of-home care evolved when she turned thirteen. She moved from foster care into a residential home. Her increased independence and accessibility to direct help was wonderful.
Living in Residential care gave Sarah the opportunity to connect with multiple youth workers on a personal level. “We’d have a chat. They’d listen to what I did or did not want. Then, they’d totally advocate for it.”
Sarah finds that as an independent adult, having total power over her decisions and choices is extremely rewarding.
Despite a difficult time communicating her desires and decisions while in out-of-home, Sarah has no trouble whatsoever with self-expression. She is highly talented and gifted with creativity: from writing, to singing, to creating great artworks.
“We hate to love, but we love to hate,” reads a line of her poetry.
Sarah recognises that negative emotions are easier to feel, but will corrupt you from the inside out – despite the gratification people feel when they experience, or act upon, harmful or destructive emotions.
Sarah finds her self-expression in her art. When using a canvas, she uses the medium of markers instead of paint. The silky texture of them complements the bold lines of her designs. Sarah’s art is featured at Visible Ink in the Fortitude Valley.
Image: ‘Phoenix’ by Sarah Martin.