By Olga Gouni (


-Anything to drink, Madam?

The voice of the air stewardess brought me back from my thought world as I was gazing out of the window at the tender image of flowing above clouds.

I asked for a juice and as it was handed, I looked around.  The three in the front row had asked for alcohol: The young man on the right was already sipping his whisky, while the young couple beside him were giggling over the wine they had asked for. The two ladies on my left, both friends and good looking, indeed, were being served their white wine.

It was a morning flight to London Heathrow and I caught myself thinking “How is it possible to have alcohol? I was surrounded by alcohol choosers.

Heading to Belfast for a conference on Alcohol Fetal Specter Disorders  organized by Ulster University, was I being prepared?

The same scene on my connection to Belfast. The lady on my left, beautifully manicured, bright Dior red nail enamel and matching lipstick kept her wine glass as if holding a treasure. She was a friendly face, working for a big firm that sent her out to exotic places to teaching missions, which she seemed to enjoy.

It’s my only comfort!” she said pointing to the wine. "It doesn’t show but I have always felt under stress before embarking on a new seminary. You know, we always take our shoes off and we meditate… Bali is the place I love. Life is so different there. When I tell them that we live one upon the other or that we do lots of workouts in the gym… they just goggle their eyes! For them, that lifestyle is incredible. How could one possibly live on top of the other?", she said.

Beanie was not at all difficult to get into a conversation with me… and to tell you the truth, I was not at all difficult to get into listening to her story.

What was still ringing in my ears was the phrase “It’s my only comfort!” Why should she need comfort if her life was so amazing? Meditative? Exotic?...

But was it? Some wine sips down and the sad story of her being  adopted after going through lots of foster families came to surface. “I just want to get settled and enjoy the warmth of the family”, she confesses, “but I am turning 43 and this does not seem to happen!”

The pain surged into her voice as her eyes went dreamlike looking into a potentiality so much longed for and so little believed in.  I patted her and smiled whispering words of trust “You are definitely going to experience the warmth that you are looking for” were some of my last words as the plane came to a halt and got ready to take the hand luggage and leave: Her chauffeur was waiting for her at the exit, she said putting up some more of her glowing lipstick. I would get a taxi to my hotel as advised by great Julie, the wonderful lady behind the administration in her last email.

Next day, first day of the conference and all was about Fetal Alcohol Spectre Disorders and the lifelong consequences this may have on newborns. And Ireland is not the only country to have reasons to worry about alcohol drinking during pregnancy. The same holds true for a number or countries all over the world. Ireland shows 14,7% of alcohol consumption for both sexes (19,8 males and 14,7 females) while Greece shows 15,6% (with 20.4 males and 10.1 females) according to 2010 WHO statistics. The Russian Federation marks considerably higher, almost double the figures. 

And although the sad consequences on health and mortality are very well known, what is it that  drives people to find a comfort on the bottle?

If we add to the statistics above the numbers of sedatives and tranquillizers as well as drug consumption and/or cigarette smoke what is the unbearable pain that needs to be numbed so that the  system can find a little bit of peace?

Kieran says it nicely in his poem “Ireland Nurturing” :

“…The Island’s little womb

still constricts these emotions,

But it is profound

Unspoken sadness,

that each generation

needs to recognize

and  then slowly release.”

Looking back at the history of Mankind there is a lot of pain and fear and fear of pain. Conflicts and wars over territorial rights, conflicts and massacre in the name of God, familial competitions and civil wars as projection to the inner atrocities that haunt us cover millions of pages of Global History.  How can you heal the memories of this pain both collectively and individually so that it does not pass to the next generation?

If the trauma is there, it will inevitably be passed on to our children and the weakening of the psyche will be even bigger.

“No alcohol, at all!” was the message of all speakers to pregnant couples or those who consider getting into parenthood. But what is the soul medicine to heal?

FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectre Disorders)... Toxic Stories

The world- wide statistics for the fetal alcohol syndrome is 1.9 per 1000 live births. Most of the parents that do alcohol abuse also do  other substance abuse (caffeine, nicotine, diazepam etc) it goes without saying that the above mentioned disastrous consequences associated with smoke are also to be observed when mother is on the drink or even worse when she is alcoholic. Although the ancient classics such as Plato and Aristotelis advise against alcohol at conception or pregnancy, and despite the Holy Bible saying “Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine or strong drink....(Judges 13:7)” unfortunately the numbers are high. For centuries, there was a suspicion that alcohol was linked to teratogenesis and such but it was in the late 60s when Lemoine started publishing the first research data on the understanding of the fetal alcohol syndrome and the ways ethanol affects human development..  When pregnant mother drinks alcohol even small quantities –that is more than 1 glasss of wine/week- this is experienced as “poison” by the unborn child. The sequence of this stressful primal experience leads to Primary and Secondary disabilities for the baby born. 

Among Primary disabilities we list:
brain damage, 
low academic capacities, 
learning disabilities, 
impaired mental functioning and low living skills, 
communication/ socialization skills and adaptive behavior levels

The Secondary disabilities include
Mental Health Problems,
Disrupted School experience
(high rates of drop out, suspension or expulsion),
trouble with the law/ criminality traits and violence,
conduct misbehavior (high percentage of imprisonment),
inappropriate sexual behavior, alcohol and drug problems themselves (perpetuation of the challenge),
dependence (living),
unemployment due to problems with employment and
problems with parenting leading to more vicious cycles. (Ann Streissguth, 1996),
facial dysmorphology, central nervous system abnormality (Abel, Sokol, 1986),
neurodevelopmental disorders (Sampson et al, 1997).

Psychologically, the baby born later on

·         Develops a negative self-image

·         A narcissistic personality emerges

·         There is over stimulation of the system which is associated with high degrees of anxiety or agitation

·         may present eating disorders

·         metabolic or cardiovascular disorders

·         or psychosis.

Apart from those the pattern that seems to emerge is that the person with FAS(D) learns from very young to live on the minimum. The high toxicity levels reaching him through the placenta make him lower his survival needs levels, the system gets contracted to protect the organism from the toxicity threat. This translates into a human being who sees threats in the environment, or sees the environment as an enemy from which he either needs to isolate to survive or attack or resort to  the prenatal survival mechanism of “the minimum is enough” and live a life of poverty or of minimum reward. This prenatal contact/contract is far from the stoic philosophers of minimizing the needs to develop virtues as it is not the result of spiritual evolution but the outcome of a traumatic experience retriggered and relived. From such a prenatal background, human relationships – both intimate and at work - are very challenging and a lot of healing support on many levels needs to be offered to bring the system back to balance before it makes way for a new generation to come and perpetuate the problem due to epigenetic changes.

I wonder if there is any among us on Earth who does not carry such spirit laden heritage in our blood and genes. And, then, I can help thinking who really benefits from generations of people living – and being content - a life of poverty, both literally and symbolically? Who benefits from generations of people who can get satisfaction on minimum reward as part of the traumatic experience contract with an abusive environment?

And at the same time, what are we to see in the distant future when all this minimum reward and poverty philosophy/ survival mechanism is to turn into the opposite polarity?

Short-term benefits will be balanced off by long-term losses even to those who can barely see their present responsibility as co-creators of this life on Earth.

Politicians, stakeholders and decision makers today are to stop for a moment and listen to the universal voice – even whisper - that asks for justice and truth and compassion for the benefit of all.

There is a thread that connects all people born in the human tree. And we can trace certain patterns as they evolve within the environment (family, society, Humanity). The egg is the carrier of such transgenerational information as it links the history of all people born in the line holding and delivering the information from one generation to the next. Any unresolved traumas or issues travel down the history –or better say- the egg lane and are handed down to the next generation to deal with and hopefully to resolve and evolve. As epigenetics today show stress information can alter the DNA methylation and the distorted information/ DNA/ human genome can be delivered to the next generation or the humanity.

While there is still time, let’s heal ourselves Now. Our past is our present. Let’s make our Present a Future that is worth living!

The above piece was done just after the conference titled "Alcohol & Medications in Pregnancy: Sharing Research Evidence on Recreational and Prescribed Substances" on 
Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th September 2015, at Penthouse Suite, Europa Hotel Belfast, Jointly hosted by the Maternal Fetal & Infant Research (MFIR) Centre, home of EUROCAT Central Registry within the Institute for Nursing & Health Research (INHR) at Ulster University (UU); the Doctoral Midwifery Research Society (DMRS) & South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust (SET) in Northern Ireland (NI), Funded by Health & Social Care Research & Development (HSC R&D) NI & INHR, UU.
Its aim is to sensitise young people thinking of parenthood on the importance of conception and pregnancy for the wellbeing of their child and initiate a productive dialogue towards future generations of better health because their parents made it their choice -among others- NOT to drink or smoke or do the pot but heal themselves. We welcome all comments ( Please join us as we do our best towards evolution through offering life-changing educational programs in Prenatal & Life Sciences. Thank you


Δημοσιευμένο σε: Evolutionaries