Wednesday, January 19, 2011


For me, one of the most difficult parts of being the parent of a child with significant issues due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ( and I would suspect RAD and other traumatized kids) is not having a support network. Some of you are blessed to have families that are traveling different paths to bond with. That is not true in our case. We are very much alone.

It is difficult to do "normal" things with children who are unable to behave in a typical fashion. It is hard to explain that although he appears to be a typical teenager, he is still stuck at a five year old level. How do you correct your child for something that seems so tiny of an infraction to most people, yet you know that if it is left unchecked it is the inch that leads to the mile? You appear to be the overbearing and sheltering parent who is mean and controlling when you are just trying to give them the support they need to hold it together. It is hard. It is nearly impossible.

I have tried. We had contact with a family that was very close to us. I thought they understood. We spent many many hours together one summer. We ate meals together, we bathed our young kids together. We shared our lives together. I thought we had found true friends. They even began to spend some time with Dustin. The husband was kind of mentoring him. We found out very soon that they played right into Dustin's psychosis. Even though we had told them everything, they didn't understand. They saw us as overbearing and harsh. They believed his stories (that were documented by therapists as abuse flashbacks) and turned us into DFCS. It was a horrible blow. I was devastated.

It is easier to run to one another for support than open yourself up to that kind of scrutiny. It's easier to do it alone than attempt to build that kind of relationship with someone else. We are scarred. People just don't get it. It is not easy to understand unless you live it. I have met a couple families of children with FAS in our area, but they have typical IQs and less of a trauma background. Our case seems to be extreme and I think we frighten them. It's not easy.

There are two coworkers that I do get it on some level. One has a child with his own difficulties and a husband with similar problems. The other is the kind and gentle soul I mentioned in the last post. My goal is to let them in more. My goal is to foster some relationships over the next few months. I can get past this. I suppose if I can make my husband understand a bit more about my disorder, I can make others understand my son's issues.

Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck. I wish you lived near us, we have a great support network of families.

  2. I have no local support either. It sucks.