Annne was 15.
Her birth mother had been on Meth when Anne was a fetus.
When the time came for her birth, she got pushed out into the Hell of drug withdrawal. She spent her first six weeks in the hospital, going through pain and illness; fighting for her life.
Once she was through that, she went home with her adoptive parents to begin the work of growing up.
Anne had some neurological problems, mostly hand-eye cordination and spacial perceptions. Otherwise, she was the average child in terms of intelligence and academic performance. Her parents poured every resource they had into seeing that she would succeed, especially time, attention and love.
Anne did have some other challenges that people would not normally recognize.
The one that had the biggest part in ending her life was poor impulse control: One day, Anne learned that her boyfriend was going with another girl. Without thought or warning, she went home and hanged herself.
I wish I could say that she was the exception. Sadly, there are many young people like her, who struggle because of the drugs their mothers were using while they were in gestation. Poor impulse control seems to be one of the most common.
I would be writing all day if I tried to make a list of every challenge these people face, so I’ll identify a few examples:
Learning disabilities of all sorts
under developed limbs or worse yet, organs
Poor impulse control
Absence of ambition or ability to be motivated
And on the list goes…
To potential mothers: If you think your choices won’t impact the baby you carry, think again! EVERYTHING you do will have an effect on that child. Choose well: Leave drugs, alcohol and cigs alone; eat properly; get exercise and sleep; deal with things that distress you.
To the rest of us: These children are now part of our community. Let’s do the research and learning needed to bring them up, support their families and see that they become the best citizens they could possibly be.
To families of young people like Anne: I’m so sorry. May you find solace, comfort and courage.