Of course, there were the experiences within my home that impacted me profoundly, but as a young child I was also incredibly affected by the harm of a stigma that I witnessed and internalized by many of the systems currently in place, including the healthcare and justice system.
Now as a registered nurse and parent, I recognize how stigma prevents the creation of policies, practices, and supports for children as well as for parents struggling with an addiction, supports which could mitigate the impact of toxic stress in childhood, and stop the cycle of trauma in families.
Thankfully, for myself, I have an incredible support system that has offered me hope even during some of my most hopeless moments. This support has had the most profound influence on my healing and is the foundation which Starlings is built on. My heart’s work is to ensure every single person who has been impacted by a parent’s substance use and society’s stigma of addictions is offered hope and an opportunity to heal.
I invite you all to join us.