ExperIences wIth RetInal DegeneratIon
MY LONG STORY, by Victoria


I am a Mexican with a long story. Sorry folks, I will try to be brief. I went to college to major in math in my teens. I didn't get enough support from my family (by the way, I was a battered child) and had to leave after two years. At 19, I entered IBM to work, where I was trained as a "systems engineer" and where I met the man who would become my hus. I married at 22. I continued to work as an IBM s.e. until I was 25 and had my first child. I was a stay home mom for two years.

Then hus started womanizing and I left him for some time and went to Paris, entered the Sorbonne University and had a great time. He asked me to come back and I did so because my son was in Mexico. I was 28. The next year he had a new affair and I decided I had to build on solid ground for my son and me. I started training to enter college again, did my exams and restarted college, this time for a major in economics, at the age of 30.

Hus became cynical about his behavior and I lived a few difficult years. When I was about to graduate he announced he was leaving, but that it wasnít definite. He only wanted to clear his mind and decide what he really wanted. I was stupid enough to agree. I was 33.

I finished great in college, I won honors and a scholarship to do graduate studies in a prestigious Mexican University. I went there and guess what? I met someone that was nice to me and that I liked a lot. I spent 2.5 years to get a Master degree while hus didnít decide on a divorce. He confessed he was living with someone else, still I didnít suit him for divorce. By that time, I started seeing my new friend. The mess was worsening.

Then hus decided to come back and restore our family. Let me tell you that Hus is the type of man that seems to be very nice to everyone, the type that tells jokes, that offers help (but forgets about it), that hugs you when youíre in bad mood etc. My family and friends loved him. By contrast I had always been shy and a nerd, so I donít get much approval. In fact, most of my family was on his side.

Besides, at that time I thought it was normal if others were mean to me, starting with my mom. Also, that I shouldn't defend from their abuse, I even thought that I should keep it as secret, to be the portrait of a perfect family.

So, I accepted and he came home. A month later he left again. This time I lost my temper. For the first time, I was mad as hell. Things went from bad to worse when I discovered that I was pregnant. I saw my new friend and told him. He nearly collapsed. He couldnít understand me. I told him the child was his. He had doubts. Then the war started. I finally discovered I had been humiliated for a long time and wanted revenge. I started to call him, at his home with his partner, and he started checking on my friend and me. Once he showed up at 3 AM and my friend took a gun. The one that suffered was my 9-y o son who was with me.

After that scene my friend said that if the baby was his he wanted to be with me and settle as a couple, divorce or no divorce. I agreed. We first made a long trip along the Mexican coast that was the happiest time in my life. Then we rented a house and hoped for the best. Hus then crucified me. He divorced me, took our son and made every effort to make it difficult for me to see my son.

I had my 2nd child, and lived with my partner for a while, but ex-hus and my own rage didn't let me have peace of mind. I made bad decisions and finally I split with this guy.

After that I started counseling.
My friend and I continued to see each other but never shared a home again. After some time, he became sick with leukemia; had a long struggle to get a marrow transplant. A few months after the operation, he died. The good part is that before the transplant he was seeking a donor and our son went through the exams, he was unfit but that cleared the issue, he was his son already.

The miracle of my professional life is that it went on track all the time. After the Master degree in international economics I started working for the Mexican Ministry of Finance. After three years I won another scholarship, this time to Harvard for a Master in Public Administration, by then I was 38. Before going I had my eyes checked I had 20/20 vision on both eyes (with contact lens).

One thing that affected my plans, was the Mexican devaluation and debt crisis of 1982. The authorities of the very Bank of Mexico played a dirty trick on me, they didnīt disburse my grant on time, after 4 months of my being in Cambridge, the devaluation came and they said they still had my money "but in Peso terms", so that the original amount became less than 1/2 of its value, that led me to undergo serious financial hardship, until I managed to get an additional grant from the Ford Foundation. I got my Harvard degree one-month before becoming 40, came back to Mexico and had a good position in the government. But I started to have low vision. I couldn't drive by night and often failed to see hands when people offered to shake them with me.

The next year I was offered a job in Rome, took my 5-y.o. child and his nanny and went there to work for three years. While in Rome I learned about my RP and had deeper problems with my sight. My doctor said it was unwise to be on my own in Italy and that I should be close to relatives because I would be a dependent person in no time, that was back in 1986, I was 43.

To this day I continue to be independent. My mom no longer abuses me but neither she nor my siblings don't help me in any way. My 2nd son is now almost 22, a college student, and we lead a close to normal life in a Mexico City condo, with our two dogs. My eldest son is now 32. He used to carry on the bad legend of my divorce so we were apart for many years. But we recently started a closer relationship that has become very tender and fulfilling to me. I used to be very proud and tried to hide my sight problem. Then the stress was worsening my vision. I gave up on acting like a criminal. Now I sincerely accept the help that others offer me, though I donít yet have the nerve to ask for help when I need it.

How is my RP now? Blinking lights on the sides that have left a central window of 6 degrees, through which I can see this screen and the words I write.

I have never lost faith in a cure. On Feb 2001 I attended the Grace Halloran & Damon Miller workshop for integral visual healing (search www.visualhealing.com), their plan is great and I am confident I will get results from that, even now I have started to feel some improvement. I thank you for your patience, I will keep you posted about the treatment results. Best wishes.
Victoria


If you would like to have your story listed, please email me at rpmail@jwen.com

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