For those of you who didn’t know, I had the privilege to be interviewed on a radio show called Kids Health Revolution Radio (https://www.voiceamerica.com/promo/episode/95671 ) about my journey with Victoria. It was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed being able to talk about what we have been through and are still going through for that matter, as there are still things to be addressed in Victoria’s health. This interview was very therapeutic for me, and I have to say it felt really good to be listened to and to be able to talk without a filter, so thank you for the opportunity, Deborah Morgan.
Before and after the radio interview, I had a few chats with Victoria to make sure she was ok with what I was going to say, and to debrief about what had been said. It made me realise that she hardly remembers those 3 years of struggle with her illness. She only remembers certain specific things, like the incident 2 years ago where her body was hot and cold at the same time, and I felt like life was leaving her body. That day was a huge trauma for me, and it was for her as well, to the point where this is mostly what she can remember. The other thing she recalls is going to the lab to get her blood drawn and being scared of nurses hurting her, because of her thick crocodile skin that prevented them to see the veins. The rest, everyday life as it was, has been locked away somewhere in her brain.
When I realised she had forgotten most of what she has been through, I wanted to talk about it and trigger some kind of lightbulb moment, and get her to access that information, but I realise now that it is a defence mechanism to protect herself from pain. It is very common for people who have had trauma in their life to forget what happened, in order to protect them, and help them live their life without having to deal with it for a while, until they are safer and stronger to do so.
I feel like, although my daughter is healed physically, she does not yet feel strong enough, nor safe enough to want to go to that part of her brain and deal with those memories. I wondered whether I should help her recover them and whether it was healthy to keep things hidden in the brain that way. I have decided to let nature take its course and let Victoria decide for herself if/when she wants to remember…or not. I guess this is also part of my learning curve, allowing her to take responsibility for herself. So hard to do.
I guess I still want to share my experience about this journey, because like a lot of mums out there, I learn as I go along. I make mistakes. Sometimes I can correct them, sometimes I just have to let go, and find a way to not feel guilty about it, and move on. Even after all the success and the accomplishment, I still question myself a great deal as a mum in general, and especially as the mum of a child who once was sick, but not anymore. As I said before, illness is a journey of self discovery, and this experience is a 2 for 1: 1 sick person, but 2 benefit, which means that both my daughter and I have grown from just her being sick.