New Beginning Better than this… by Liz Kulp
Liz Kulp, Mom Choice Gold Award Winner shares information we’ve needed for a long time—a private look into the mind and heart of an adult living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). If you have read Liz’s previous books, Best I Can Be, Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Our FAScinaitng Journey or Braided Cord, Tough Times In and Out this next book will provide understanding of the adult world Living with FASDs. Chapter 1 - FREE TO EVERYONE! Dear World, My name is Liz Kulp, any woman who can have a baby is very blessed. My birth mother was blessed to have me. She was a single mom, who drank wine and vodka - not by the gallon. We don’t know how much. But her life choices became my life. And my life is not the life you want for any of our future beautiful children. There are a lot of things that can create the secret most people don’t see when they meet me. They don’t know that I understand every third or fourth word of a conversation. People think I know what they are saying. Some of it I do and some I don’t, and then later I have to figure it all out on my own—that is overwhelming. Perhaps you say I should just say I don’t understand. I have tried that, and what happens when I do, people began to use more words, and they add to my confusion. Or they slow down their speech as if I have no brain and treat me like a child. If I trust you, I will tell you I need more information, but I have found over the years that people with high intelligence get frustrated when they try to help me, so I remain quiet. Note, I am a differently intelligent person, and I hope you will find value in the way my brain works. In fact, some of how I see the world may be a gift to you. My life did not begin as a child who people thought would struggle with brain and metabolic injury and that is a problem that will haunt me for the rest of my life because the therapies that could have been in place when I was in preschool and an infant did not happen. As I said, my differences are a secret, and unless you know what to look for you will not see what I deal with every day. In fact, my grandmother, Dr. Carrie Kulp, a professor at West Chester believed I was gifted, and so did my great-grandmother who graduated from college as a child developmental professional. That was because the parts of my brain that work very well are in concrete thinking. And for most people, they transition to abstract reasoning. I didn’t. I am a woman, and like you I love and grow and learn new things each day. But, unlike you, my life experiences because of my mother’s choice have been hindered. I won’t go into the details here – the circumstances exist in all the pages of my books. And why would I want to write such books? Because I know how hard life is for people like me, and their families. I understand how hidden our secret is. I know that unless you love a person like me and honestly get to know our families and us, we remain invisible from your reality. I have chosen not to follow my mother’s path. I have been sober eight years and if I am blessed with a pregnancy when I am ready to parent a child well - I will give that child the best I have to give from it’s beginning. I know the cost. I am the cost.