Her handle on Twitter is FASD Warrior Mum. I interviewed Angelene Bruce for her feedback on her experience taking my Caregiver Kickstart Coaching program. As she told her story, as a birth mum, it became clear her insight and experiences needed to be shared with a larger audience. She is a warrior who is working to throw stigma against birth mums and FASD out the window.
I felt immense guilt. I cut down … and did as much as I could do – so diet, sleep, exercise, prenatal vitamins. I made sure my prenatal care was as good as it could be. I want birth mums to know there are mitigating things we can do. My passion is for women that are dependent. But it can happen even at low levels of drinking.
Angelene is honest and forthright about her past. We talk about her dependency on alcohol and her pregnancy but also her path to recovery and acceptance. Stops on that journey include:
There is so much more I can learn and do for my son, myself, and community. I got bit by the advocating bug. I’d like to pay it forward. For me, it was very tricky navigating diagnosis, therapy, and school. It was hard, but I want to help other birth mums.
Listening to her now, you would not know Angelene was filled with guilt, fearful and lacked confidence. Her journey from a birth mum stigmatized by the professionals that were supposed to help her is heartbreaking. The stigma was the fuel and CKS was the spark to light a fire within her to become a fierce and compassionate advocate. She not only stands up for her son, but for all birth mums, caregivers, and individuals with FASD. Her story has many lessons to teach us about grief and loss, acceptance and moving forward with grace, passion, and confidence.
Angelene’s voice and advocacy are going to keep shining a light on FASD moving it out of the shadows and into the light.
Follow Angelene on Twitter: FASD Warrior Mum
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