How Drinking Changes Lives Forever
This article was written in Canada, but applies to the US as well. Many women do not understand the dangers of drinking while pregnant and many children are labeled as “bad” when in reality they are dealing with organic brain damage.
Chris Troutt, LMFT Email
From the Globe and Mail, Canada
Crystal Piquette is 31 and ripped, her biceps and flat tummy a testament to the rigours of her factory job. Her life seems ordinary – she has a boyfriend and five cats, does handicrafts and dreams of buying a home – but it’s a quantum leap for someone who ran away from home at 17 to live on the street. Back then, whatever she earned as a panhandler, or as one of Toronto’s infamous “squeegee kids” washing windshields, went toward drugs, “wino drinks” and a man far older than she was.
“I was definitely the outcast,” Ms. Piquette recalls. “I didn’t get along with anybody. I still don’t. I don’t have any true friends.”
And yet her troubled background fascinates the woman with her, who has wanted to hear about it for years. “She’s kind of my hero,” Kathy Moreland Layte admits, dabbing her eyes.
And while Ms. Piquette has no friends, she thinks highly of Ms. Layte: “I wish she was my mother.”
The two were brought together by parenthood. They are both mothers of two young children – the same young children. Ms. Layte, 52, has adopted the son and daughter born to Ms. Piquette during her previous life. Alexis was conceived under the viaduct near the Air Canada Centre, and her mother says that during the pregnancy, she and the father “didn’t have a roof over our heads. We had to beg for food.”
She also had no medical care until just before the baby arrived, small and as fragile as a “porcelain doll.” Twelve years later, Alexis has difficulty with her hearing and speech and, unlike most kids her age, still plays with stuffed animals. Utterly without the guile seen so often in prepubescent girls, she seems warm and calm – a description rarely applied to her little brother.