“Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.”  – Brené Brown

If you are an adult with FASD, you are all too familiar with the shame and blame that tears people like us down.  We say and do the wrong thing and at the wrong time.  We make mistakes – lots of them.  The systems and the media – not to mention most people – see us negatively.  It is easy for others to judge what they do not know from personal experience or when they only have some – and often none –  of the information they need, especially when they are so removed from our situations – and that of our birth mothers.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the shaming of women who drank in pregnancy and gave birth to children who have FASD.  Much the same way as shaming and blaming affects those of us who have FASD ourselves.  It’s easy to do or think almost anything when you de-humanize a person.  One of the great tragedies is that the anger we feel is often not even our own – it is the anger we have been told or taught.

Sometimes, we are part of the problem that our birth mothers face because we are hurting; we are angry and so we blame them.

So, this blog is an open letter about my journey to healing and compassion for my birth mother; things, that as an adult,  I would have talked to my birth mother about if I had gotten to know her;  things other birth mothers I know taught me I could have the courage to discuss.

Click here to read CJ’s full blog post!

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