The pain of dealing with the affects of prenatal alcohol exposure is ongoing for all involved. Not always due to the reasons one might expect though. When you are parenting a child with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) there is just so much that you begin to see in your child. The gifts they have, their struggles and their wonderfully resilient spirits. The problem is that a lot of time the people around you don’t see those things. What they see is the behaviors and things that they do not like or that bother them. When people with FASD know someone is uncomfortable with them or angry at them (and believe me THEY feel other people’s judgement) they will react negatively. Their behaviors and attitude will be very negative and sometimes just downright upsetting. Then the judgement starts of both the person with FASD and often their caregivers. This is so painful to everyone involved. It limits so much who the caregivers can have relationships with. The things that are often said are so painful for all involved.
It makes life lonely at times. I remember the friendships that I had prior to parenting my children. I miss a lot of them. They were relationships that were very dear to me and I really needed them (or wanted them I guess). Now I have a whole new set of friends and a lot of them are people I may never meet. They are the people who I talk to daily online and on the phone. They are also people who would never say in front of my children “You are such an angel to adopt these kids!” or “Why would you take kids like this?” OR “If you would parent (this way) your kids would not act like that!”
I have always been a pretty passive person and am okay with a lot but I am truly a Mama Bear and do not mess with my cubs! This is the fastest way to make my red hair flame!!! I will not put up with someone seeing my child as a “bad” person. They are not bad at all. They may do things differently but different is not BAD. The other thing is that people need to be supportive not judgmental. Why can’t anyone see what I see?