#38 Meet Gina – 90 Real People Real Lives. #FASD

Day 38 International Red Shoes Rock Virtual Relay Race – Congratulations to Gina!

MEET GINA – I had a chaotic childhood and I left home at 16 and never looked back. I am a survivor and lived through sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect for basic needs growing up. After years of counseling with some times just to check in and make sure I’m rational. I always included my bio mothers excessive drinking while pregnant on all intake forms and never was FASD mentioned. I graduated from high school without knowing multiplication tables. Have had to take classes over because I struggled to get info and apply it. So often Christian counselors wanted to pray while secular counselors were astounded I’m not living on streets. They had no idea how strong I really am. I had salon for lashes and nails for 21 years. Now I have new venture-I have staged over 300 homes for real estate agents, FSBO and for aging clients over the past four years.

So …I’m 50 years old and although I knew my mom was a drinker … I never got the connection . I was actually standing at the pick-up-line , in my sons school that I had an Aha moment … A friend was talking about her sons FAS. It was the 1st time I realized that you don’t have to ”look” a certain way ?! The twins were really ”good looking boys” Fast Forward a few years and here I am … Initially self diagnosed, a friend invited me to a lunch with a speaker, to prove I didn’t have ”it”. Within 5 min of listening she mouthed, ”I’m sorry ”. I stayed for the presentation ( I think she thought I’d leave ) I insisted we take the speakers to dinner . It was so… comforting to know that there were others that think like me. Some better off and some not so… much. I no longer feel ”stupid ”!!

I grew up knowing I wasn’t wanted and 6 mo in the womb my mom went to Denver to have the cancer removed …. They told her” it” would come out on its own in 3 months. She didn’t have any idea who the father was told she couldn’t have any more kids after my sister was born, 8 years prior . She went back to Tucson and it was business as usual, bartending and partying. My sister was being raised by our Gramma .

I grew up knowing that God wanted me here?! I can’t get enough awareness out there . I’m not holier- than- thou by any means. I do give God all the credit. I don’t push my beliefs on anyone . I just know that without HIM I would not be here, nor would I have the ability to be vulnerable and share my story !

STRENGTHS – High energy. People person. Youthful. Hard worker. Empathetic, Extrovert , good speaker. I have the ability to raise awareness. I am a survivor.

STRUGGLES – Perfectionist, fear of failure so do nothing so procrastinate, ADD, PTSD, depression, suicidal, suppressed anger, confabulate about menial things. Concept of money -managing, saving, spending is hard. I am a people pleaser to a fault so struggle with time management; Interpersonal relationships issues and they are mixed with early childhood trauma of abandonment, detachment and forgiveness. Too trusting –gullible. I am often misinterpreted and misinterpret. I may lack filter and put too much emphasis on material things. I quit my anti depressant after years of taking to appease a doctor and then over indulged in alcohol to ease pressures I also used food to self medicate for several years due to neglect growing up, Weight issues

WISH –
To raise awareness and help get services in place for all that suffer:

  • Early diagnosis
  • Tools to cope.
  • Preventative … Without guilt or shaming so mothers will be able to be open and honest with consumption!

I’ll be on a panel in Anchorage for Sept 9th . FASD Day! Excited to raise awareness!

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