NCFASD Informed - Our WHY

NCFASD Informed - Our WHY
Educate. Support. Empower.

The following piece was written in the Fall of 2019 by a mother of a son with FASD. Upon sharing it with us in the Fall of 2023, she expressed her immense gratitude for all she'd learned since finding NCFASD Informed. She reports that their days as a family are easier now that they are fully FASD-informed; that their child, now a teen, is finding his joy; and that life feels much more hopeful.

‍This is our WHY.

In her words...

 

Lately I’ve been fantasizing about the day my successful adult son speaks in front of an audience, perhaps giving a TEDx Talk during which he recounts with a chuckle what a hellion he was as a kid. I

imagine how easy it is for him to share his coming-of-age story now that the meltdowns, rebellions, and close calls are behind him. I imagine him apologizing to his parents and thanking us for loving him so completely—even crediting us with helping him unlock his brain and find his footing through our steadfastness and unrelenting search for answers, support, and treatment.

 

Of course this is a dream, a pipe dream really, foolhardy at best, potentially destructive at worst. For this child of mine, while not even yet a teen, has already uttered the most desperate cries...

 

“I’m going to live on the street. I’m going to jail.”

 

“I hate this world. Why does it even exist?”

 

“I hate my life. I’m cursed. I wish I was never in this world!”

 

“God hates me. I hate God! I hate myself!”

 

The older he gets the more he struggles in every facet of life. This, despite many years of parent training and therapy for me and his dad, and of course numerous therapies, medications, educational

interventions, and alternative treatments for him.

 

Our hope is fading, and we grieve.

 

We grieve over how abnormal daily life is, though we often can’t see it and sometimes manage to forget.

 

We grieve over the all-consuming nature of parenting this child, who appears typical at first glance.

 

We grieve for friends lost due to complications between our child and theirs, and we grieve over the isolation, loneliness, and despair this causes us and our children.

 

We grieve over the enormous strain on our marriage and the close calls that have landed us in our therapist’s office time and again, wondering whether this time we would need to form an exit strategy.

 

We grieve all that our other child has to bear.

 

We grieve over our extended family not understanding or supporting us the way we need to be supported.

 

Most of all, we grieve for our son, who wants nothing more than to be a regular kid with friends and hobbies and school—free from obsessions, free from worries about whether we still love him after his

latest verbal lashing, free from the weariness of mental illness that never lets up.

 

We grieve for his loss of innocence at such a tender age. He was only 6 years old the first time he expressed wanting to die.

 

We grieve over the immense pain he endures and that we endure together as a family.

 

There have been many times in his short life that I’ve managed to muster hope from the depths of my being, but the well is running dry. So these days I fantasize that everything is gonna be all right. That my

son is gonna make it, and so am I.

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