My story of healing, its time to tell it.
|So many years this is something that I have been considering writing, my story of how my life changed because of TBI. My story has some very dark moments in it and that I have a difficult time deciding to share with others. I have often weighted this out, because I know many of the tbi books that I have read have been so helpful to me. I think they have been helpful to me because they were honest.
Me before TBI
I often look at the pictures of me before the TBI and I wonder who that person was, I have the memories but I am not the same. I had my first TBI at 18. I was driving to the community college and I had very little sleep. I fell asleep behind the wheel crossed the center line and was hit by a large pick up. I remember waking up in a lot of pain, I could see the blood on my old army jacket that I had picked up at a thirft store. The whole thing was such a haze, it was as if it was a bad dream. I remember being so cold my teeth were chattering, I was in shock. The paramedics cut all of my clothes of me, and I was under a sheet. My mother rode with me to the hospital. I screamed for my boyfriend James while I was in the ambulance. We had been together 3 yrs.
I got to the hospital, I had to have like 30 stiches in my face. My car did not have airbags. I had a large Y scar underneath my eyes and all the way down my nose. The scar is still there today, I try to hide, most people don't even notice it. I remember having a bunch of x-rays and being in pain. I chipped a small place in my front bottom tooth which is still there today. I was in intensive care for 3 days and regular room 1 day.
Many people came to visit me. My mother stayed by my side the whole time. My boyfriend came to visit me. It was funny we would kiss and the heart monitor would go up.
This what I thought should have happened but it didn't. I thought James would ask me to marry him and get me a ring. It didn't happen, I was disappointed. I went home and began my recovery. James had always been such a very dedicated boyfriend, but he didn't call for 3 or a week after I had gotten out the hospital. I became angry, I could see the look in his eyes at the hospital my face was so messed up. He was very into my looks is one of things I can remember. I just don't think he could handle seeing me that way.
I remember breaking up with him, he couldn't give me a good reason why he hadn't called. He then kept pursuing me for awhile but the part of me that once cared about and loved him was gone. It's like I woke up a different person. A part of me still grieves for the person I once was.
I was charming, very witty, very into my looks. I was always quick with jokes, good with conversations,and great with come backs.
I slowly recovered, went back to work the same day that the doctor released me. I had horrible headaches and felt foggy all the time. I made many simple mistakes all the time, which was unlike me.
I got into a new relationship very quickly with Tom a man 10yrs older than me. We worked together. So many things I had to learn the hard way. We got married in less than a year after we started dating. I bought my own house for us to live in. I had a big beautiful wedding. I thought everything was going to be wonderful, it wasn't.
We fought and argued a lot. My parents were overly involved in my life, we only lived a block away from them. We would get in an argument and he would go back to his mother's house and stay there for days. We divorced 8 months latter. I was so lost, everything had fallen apart.
I lived in a small town, worked at the only grocery store in town everybody knowns everyone's business in a small town. I was so embrassed about how my life had turned out. This was not suppose to be happening to me. I was very depressed to be divorced at 19 was so embrassing.
I then decieced that it would be best if I left and went off to school somewhere. I decied on Conway. Mostly that was a mistake, I was misrible. I decieded to live in the dorm, I rented the home that I owned out. I had to leave my beloved dog with my parents. I continued to be so embrassed about the mess I had made out of my life, then I had to live with all of these girls who did not understand the challenges of being a true adult.
As I was there, I grew more and more depressed. I felt like such an outsider, that I just didn't belong. I didn't relize at the time but I was suffering from PTSD, I would go over the wreck and all of my scared feelings 3 or 4 times a day. I continued to feel very foggy all the time, was not very successful with my school work. I had horrible headaches daily. I had a constant reminder of the accident any time when it was cold out and I would go outside my head would hurt so bad. I often felt that I was losing my mind, it was a very lonely time in my life. I did have one close friend down there Marget and she was getting married in the same church that I had previously been married in. I went to the wedding but cried through the wedding, everything I had at one time had been lost. I think I found out during that time that James my high school boyfriend had gotten married, which even bothered me more. I felt so broken, it was unbearable at times.
At one point, I came home to visit and I just couldn't go back I was so depressed. I gave up on school for awhile. Emotionally I was just drained and so embrassed that I had made such a mess of my life. All of my friends were graduating college getting married, moving on with there life and I was just stuck. This is not how I had invisioned my life.