I know this isn’t entirely Lyme related, but hey, it’s my blog, I do what I want! This is me. My life and experiences. And I want to share that with you. But I do think you all will get a little appreciation from my story. Today marks the 10th anniversary from my car accident, when I was 16 years old. This day changed my life forever. One day can change EVERYTHING. I wonder to this day what things would have been like for me if I just had a normal day 10 years ago today. Would my life be different?
A little background: I was in a head on collision, at 10 a.m., Monday, August 4th, 2003, not even a mile from my parent’s house. I was headed into town to run some errands for my Mom and meet up with a friend. I still do not remember what happened, either from the concussion I had, or it is my mind’s way of protecting me from what happened that day. Apparently, from what I have been told, before I got put into the ambulance by the paramedics, I was screaming and swearing, trying to climb out of the passenger side of the car and the paramedics had to fight with me to try to get me to cooperate until I completely blacked out. All I remember is waking up in the ambulance, with a neck brace on and thinking to myself “oh fuck”, while trying to look down and seeing bone poking through my arm.
It took awhile to get into surgery, and I really just wanted to fall asleep. I could taste the blood running down my forehead as it was completely split open (my head broke the windshield…no seatbelt), my jaw was broken, my tooth partially went through my lip, a concussion, a good cut on my leg, a compound fracture in my arm, a regular break on the inside of my arm, bruised ribs, and pretty banged up all over my body. The longer I sat there, I remember, although my body was in a ton of pain, I kept complaining about the neck brace as it was really uncomfortable but I didn’t get any meds. I never got upset or cried but started to sob when I saw the look on my ex’s face and that he was tearing up just looking at me.
It took so long because the hospital was trying to decide if I should be med flighted to another hospital. Fortunately, they decided I could stay local. By the time everything was decided, I was pretty much out like a light and don’t remember having a full body CT or any other tests at all. My surgery required 2 metal plates to be inserted in my arm, and they put 20 stitches in my forehead, and 11 in my leg. I was glad they let my jaw heal on it’s own. A few days later, I was finally allowed to go home.
I couldn’t really give a police report, as I didn’t have any recollection as to what had happened. The police man that came to my home after the accident to ask me questions said we collided at roughly 45 mph each, so a 90 mph impact. The report that was written from the man involved, said that I supposedly was swerving all over the road. I would think, personally, that if you saw someone swerving like crazy in your lane, you would pull the hell over or something, but maybe that’s just me. The police report also stated that I “could” have been lighting a cigarette, but ironically they never found a single cigarette or lighter in my car. The police did not take a single picture of the accident, nor do any leg work to see who was at fault, but said it was likely mine because I was younger.
It came out later that a man who was the first to see the accident site, who was not too far behind me, saw that there was a blue car that drove past just seconds before where the accident took place. Unfortunately, he did not see what happened. Just the aftermath. He believes that the guy who was involved in the head on collision had tried to pass that car, and realized I was right there as it was just seconds past a passing zone. This man who found me and talked about the car he saw that was right ahead of the accident, happened to work for the local fire department and made the call to 911. I think someone was looking out for me that day.
About 6 months later, there was a knock on my parent’s door, from the P.D., with an envelope, saying that my Father and I were being sued for $250,000. My Father? What? According to the man’s attorney, I should not have been allowed to drive because I wasn’t ready… even though I passed the state tests to obtain my license. Yeah… that one got thrown out pretty quickly. Their next reasoning to sue my Father because the car was registered to him, even though I was insured to drive it. The man and his family even tried to sue for my parent’s house! Luckily, the house was in my Mom’s name. That all was dismissed as well.
From what I understand, ( notice how I never use names in any of my posts, especially trying to be careful on this one… don’t need the money hungry prick suing me again LOL) the guy that was on the other end of the car accident, got into an accident with his own car and borrowed his nephew’s and that is the car he got into the accident with me with. Also, as far as I know and from what several people have told me, the man only broke his toe, and later fell off his Harley shitfaced, broke his leg or foot or something, needed rehabilitation for it, and tried blaming that injury on me as well saying it was from the car accident.
After all this crapola went down, my Mom really wasn’t feeling good at all, as she had more bad days than good back then, and we decided to settle with what was left, even though we could have easily fought it with a good lawyer and had everything dropped, or even in return sued him. There was zero evidence, just he-said, she-said. But it was causing too much stress for my family and there was already enough going on. He ended up walking away with 100 grand. Luckily, it was 100% covered by insurance. Annnd done with the “little background”.
The accident completely changed the perception of myself I had. I was once fairly confident, but being in high school and having a cast on your arm for a few months and then an arm brace makes you self conscious as everyone wanted to ask what happened.
The worst blow to my confidence that didn’t go away was my disgusting looking forehead. That REALLY gets a teenage girl down in the dumps. I have gotten so many Harry Potter and Frankenstein comments it is unreal. People for YEARS have asked me, “what happened to your forehead?” or the one I love even better, “what happened to your face?” This is when I usually reply, “what the fuck happened to yours?” People are curious. But people are cruel.
When I got in the accident, I was a little on the pudgy side, but my weight got a lot worse. A LOT worse. Not gonna lie to you, I ate my feelings. Usually in the form of pasta. I am 5’4″, and I ballooned out to a size 17 at 180 pounds. I was beyond depressed. I hated everything about myself when I looked in the mirror. My scar was bad for several years, raised and red, and now I wasn’t just fat, I was borderline obese. I started partying a lot to take my mind off of how much I hated myself, and then ended up developing an eating disorder.
It started off with counting the calories on every single little thing, then running on the treadmill, then I progressed to binge eating and making myself throw up. I became very good at this. I had a system. I would eat almost a half a bag of cheetos to start, then conquer whatever I could get my hands on. I knew I was done when I saw the orange, the cheetos came first, they were the last to come out. I got to the point that I didn’t even have to stick my fingers down my throat anymore, my body just knew what I wanted it to do. I ended up stopping for a few reasons: my gums started to bleed, and my hair was beginning to thin. My throat was constantly irritated. My parents knew, even though they never really sat down to talk to me about it ( they had questioned me once or twice but my instinct was to deny) or do anything about it, but they knew. They had so much going on, and my Mom was really sick back then. I know they would have cared if they really knew at the time what I was going through and how bad it had become. And my friends caught me, and they were so mad at me. I was ashamed. So I moved on to my next poison. One I could more easily hide.
I just decided to stop eating. I would allow myself small portions around my friends and folks, so no one would notice what I was doing. Without anyone around, (my parents either had fend for yourself dinner nights or often went out of town, or my Dad worked a ton and wouldn’t have noticed either), I usually would allow myself water, a slice of American cheese, and a slice of bologna or a hot dog, no bread (not even healthy foods, huh?!) for my meal of the day. By then, it was the end of summer, and I went from my 180 pounds to right around 110. It was amazing though, even though I still had my scars on my forehead, which were slowly fading, how different people treated me. People treated me better. They noticed me. They wanted to listen to what I had to say. I felt like I was no longer hiding. And my confidence arose once again.
But I had to pay the toll, I had been periodically been passing out since I was 11 or so, without reason, but then it became an almost every day event. I finally thought to myself, “what the fuck am I doing?” and was strong enough to just be able to stop what I was doing on my own. I used all the energy I had spent on my negative world and worrying about my self appearance and turned it into something good.
I started doing a peer mediator program at the high school and helping other students. I met Dave and we started dating the beginning of my senior year. He was a little intimidating at first, as he was a few years older than me and already out of high school , but everything obviously worked out 😉 I went to College, worked my butt off, with 2 jobs and being a full-time student with my own apartment, but I made it work. And my hard work paid off. I became valedictorian of my College, class of 2007.
It’s funny. I truly believe that this one day, August 4th, 2003, changed my path in life. I had to struggle with finding myself, and I don’t recommend anyone to do what I did, but it changed me. And after the long struggle, my scars have faded, and I rose above it all and did something with it.
10 years later, I am in another struggle in my life, and many things although very different are all too familiar…the scars and my tics. I get the same reaction out of people. I am trying my darndest to be positive to get healthy and well. I am fighting to get well. I am having a struggle because deep down even trying to keep the rainbow, butterfly, and unicorn feeling, I am so unbelievably sad that I can’t do things that I once use to. It just doesn’t seem fair. I am so sick of being sick. And I got a long way to go. But once again I am rising above. Maybe I have just grown up, as you know with age there is wisdom, but I think that I have learned from my experience in the past and know you’ve got be strong. I will get through it, and whatever you are facing, look forward, never look back in the past, and you will too.
I really believe that everyone has a struggle in their life, whether others may find it ridiculous, it might be a huge deal to them. No person on this earth hasn’t had something that they have faced that has been difficult for them. But I have l have learned it is not the struggle, it is how you face it and how you look at the world. On August 4th, 2003, I could have died. Although I didn’t get the message right away, I have learned the message now. Appreciate everything, even the little things. Be grateful. Life is too short for bull. Live, Laugh, Love 🙂