This is the First in a Continuing Series of anonymous paragraphs written by parents. Each writer received a copy of Heather Korbmacher's book
What Happened to My Child.
This is one of many many efforts each of us make to broaden awareness and empathy......thank you. All forms of encephalitis are greatly underserved - let's press on for all forms of encephalitis and bravely state our truth.
3 weeks after my son
(age and year of onset not given
) took an overdose (aiming to end his life) and he "tipped' overnight, moving to live under a table in his room, constantly haunted by intrusive suicidal thoughts, not talking, not eating, severely anxious when separated from us and withdrawn from function, I came across the statement POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH.
I knew as a mother, as parents and as a family we were swept up into a distressing and traumatic episode that would define our lives. So my husband and I gathered our family and explained the choice we had in how we responded to this. That we could choose post traumatic stress or post traumatic growth.
That we could, when our emotions were tamed, see this as an opportunity to practice patience and acceptance and kindness and humility and compassion in a way you never would, without such a stimulus.
So I have cried and been traumatized and I continuously fear for my sons safety and ability to recover.
HOWEVER, this is only sometimes
. Because I committed to choosing my pathway through this nightmare, very early on. As the mother, I decided to lead the way and show the responses possible through such distress.
My son remains mostly non- functional 10 months on and so I have had a sustained and continuous reminder to work on my responses, to be the kindest and most compassionate mother and wife I can be and to connect with a safe and strong space inside of me that cannot be touched by this. Over the months, my strength has remained steady - small and distant but constant. I can feel it growing weekly. I have noticed I can distance myself, observe behaviour, filter this with context and respond more lovingly.
The warrior in me is unyielding. And now there is a hint of movement - maybe its a rhythm. I will become a dancing warrior and I will progress the personal transformation at hand.
I will NEVER be given a greater stimulus, with such sustained vengeance and fire, to drive me to be the best version of myself possible
For my magnificent son and the rest of the family, I CHOOSE TO BE THEIR DANCING WARRIOR.