How many of us hear the word stupid? I hate this word with a passion. I never use it and certainly not toward my children. They seem to pick it up somewhere though. I am so saddened when I hear one of my children referring to themselves this way. Yet somehow this word keeps showing up.
I think the hardest thing we have to deal with is that while FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, is so destructive to brains, the people affected know they are different. This differentness causes them to feel less than others. The sad thing is they begin to feel they are “stupid”.
When I first told my son “D” that he had FAS the first thing out of his mouth was “do you mean I am not just stupid?” I couldn’t believe this was what he had thought of himself. In all the messages we had tried to give him that is what he had come up with. In so many ways this broke my heart. I never wanted him to feel as though he wasn’t good enough. Or in any way less. He is an amazing kid who has fought through so much and should only see those things but in the end all he comes up with is “stupid”.
Even doodlebug who for so long had been untouched by the knowing he was different. He used to seem oblivious to this fact and yet one day as he got off the bus sobbing I asked what was wrong and he stated “I hate being called stupid.” My heart broke and I was ready to go to war. “Who called you stupid?” He tried to calm enough to respond but was sobbing so hard that it took quite a while. Finally he looked at me and said “I did and it hurts me so bad.” While this is in some ways funny, it is mainly sad as he is feeling that he is not enough. All I ever want is for my children to feel as though they are not wonderful people.
My dream is to wipe the “s” word from the face of the earth. I hope to instill only the positives in their ears. I know at times I fail miserably but I will keep on going and try to find a way to get through so that what they will remember at the end of the day is that they are wonderful and they are loved.