“Hey Vi, remember when we made that interview for that Mom who was about to send her son to Wilderness?”
The one thing I really wished while we were in the throes of the Wilderness decision was that I could have spoken to a kid who had been through it. I wanted the reassurance the kid had survived, felt OK about it, still loved the parents. No one could give that to me.
I was referred to a parent who helped me through our decision making process. She checked in on me, emailed me, called and texted me. She didn’t know me. She would anticipate moments and send me a little note. Even just, “How ya doin?” completely slayed me with its thoughtfulness. This was the most incredible reinforcement for what a ‘kind’ person really is. I SO wanted to be that for someone else.
I got a call from a great friend who asked if I could speak to a mom who had mentioned Wilderness. I was actually excited. I could not WAIT to be helpful.
The mom and I spoke, we cried. I knew JUST what she was feeling. I could actually hear her saying the EXACT same things I had said before. “Well, we were thinking we would send him after school is over…” I mean, verbatim! It was so bizarre.
The wound was so shockingly open. I could not believe how deeply I felt what she was going through.
Violet was home for the holidays and I tentatively asked her if she would talk to this mom. She agreed. Then, I decided I should just talk to her and record it. SHE WAS AMAZING.
“It has helped me through tough times…I say to myself - you know what - this is the old me and I don’t have to do this…even though my brother and sister and my mom and dad don’t really have the same problems or the same things they needed to work on that I have? They still have changed a lot from the program…” (Violet)
Well, now? I have been feeling rather stuck here. I wussed out on asking my daughter about posting this interview for the past couple of weeks. I was too worried she would say no. She literally asks me IN THE INTERVIEW if I would “close my ears,” so I really wasn’t sure she would be comfy with it being published. I have paranoia about exposing her too much. FINALLY, I asked.
“...I keep listening to the interview, Vi. I’ve sent it to some other moms who have reached out to me. You did such an incredible job talking about hard things. I really feel like it would be helpful for some people to hear. I thought maybe I could edit some and pull things out and I just wanted to ask you if you would be ok with a few things being posted on the blog.”
Silence. Dreading her answer…
“Well, Mom, if you think it could be helpful you can put it all on there, I don’t care.”
OMG what. Have you really evolved this much my little darling? Have you matured so much that your vulnerable words and feelings and expressions are safe to share? I am floored once again by your growth. And grateful, so so grateful.
She was 11 when we made this. Violet has always been verbal, but never would have been able to talk about her emotions like this before. I am blown away every time I hear it. Most adults are not this vulnerable.
So here we are. THE INTERVIEW. Ignore the windshield wipers, the nervous sound in my voice. Nothing is rehearsed. I didn’t even think of questions before we started. We were just talking.
Full disclosure, this was a 20 minute conversation. My friend helped edit some of the superfluous things out so you can make it to the end, which is when I had to “close my ears.” ENJOY, and share if you wanna.