Growing up as a child I had these amazing daydreams about being an adult and being happy with what I was doing. No one ever sits you down and tells you that life is going to throw you curve balls. No if ands or buts…life is waiting for just the right time to throw it so that your path takes a definite turn or at least a curve away from where you thought you were going. But is that happiness only in the one place that you were searching for?
I find myself very much where I never thought I would be. An independent business woman is who I thought I would be. Even as a child, I remember being younger than 10 years old, lying on the cold living room floor with a history book in front of me. History was exciting to me, it wasn’t a project for school, to me it was learning how someone else carved their path and made it work for them. Even though it was years and sometimes centuries ago, the same things can still apply today.
They all seemed to start with a dream or something of that sort but then worked towards it. A young mind as I read that, it all seemed so possible with just hard work and never taking your eye “off the ball”. Even though the history books detailed the hardships, for the most part, it’s the hardships that are not easy to transfer through time. When reading the hardships our minds seem to push them to the side because they’re older issues that we just don’t see today. We don’t have to take a four month boat ride to get to another country now, nor do we have to wagon train across the country just to start a new life. We have modern convenience that are supposed to make it easier. I think sometimes, modern conveniences only made it harder to adapt when getting that curveball in life.
I still to this day wash my dishes by hand and if I didn’t think they would be stolen from the line, I would hang my clothes out to dry. I use a rag mop to scrub my floors and if need be, I’m down on my knees to get out the hard spots. Calling a service to clean my house has and never will be an option as this is what I was raised to do as a responsibility. Responsibilities are what taught us how to get through life and how to deal with what life gave us, or at least prepare us. We were poor but as I grew up I felt that was an advantage because I wasn’t spoiled, only by love and not material things. I appreciated what I had when I was able to have it and I loved those around me and stood for them as they stood for me. So life was on its way in the right direction.
Then my curveball hit and it hit hard on the path of my life. On March 17, 1990, at 10:46pm, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver. I was later told that the combined impact speed was about 90mph. My mother, my pregnant sister and her young daughter were in the car at the time. We physically survived, my mother ended up being in the hospital the longest and that was due to broken ribs and discovering her diabetes had soared while there. It’s amazing how my sister and her daughter came out unscathed. I remember my chest being an array of purple as it tried to heal. The immediate emotions were nothing to those that were long lasting. The drunk driver, and no judgement here, just the facts. He was military, we were outside of a military base when this happened as we had just come off of it. The military took him by life flight because he went into his windshield. It took two weeks for one of my sisters to track anyone down and then they denied him being there. My amazing sister actually wouldn’t take no for an answer and get to his commanding officer. Although we found where he was, no one would help us. You see, back then the military was closing bases and this town we were in was scared, this was revenue. No lawyer would reach a hand out to help us in fear of going after someone that did something but was attached to future revenue or the loss of it.
I never received so much as an apology from anyone. But the course it took me on, not just emotional but financial, truly turned my heart black for a long time. I felt actual hate inside that I’d never felt before. Yes, I’d been through things before and had said the word hate but I felt it this time. I felt anger and had no place for it to go so it went inside of me and as it infiltrated my thoughts and dreams, it took over my perception. People no longer were welcome in my world in an honest capacity, they were wanting something from me but I didn’t know what yet. I knew that the real person would come out if I just waited long enough and whether it was due to my thinking or if that was who they truly were, the friendship wouldn’t last. I know I pushed people away and I watched myself do it. Like watching a tv show through a glass bottle, you see the shady figures pass the screen but you’re not sure if you actually see what is happening.
My world turned in a direction that I never saw coming and it changed me into a person that I never thought I would or could be. I was an angry, hateful person that put on a smile every day and only those that tried to get close to me ever got to see who I was. But I knew it and I felt it every single day as it grew like mold slowly taking over who I used to be.
I felt like an outsider when it came to my family and even though they never knew how I felt and I know now it wasn’t true, I just never felt like I fit it. It just amazed me to watch them be happy when my heart felt so heavy that it had to be supported by the inside of my back just to be where it was. I do love my family and know that they were there for me when I really needed it. But I was so lost that it felt inside like two people fighting to take control of my feelings and emotions. I remember staying away from family get-togethers just because I couldn’t handle the feelings.
No one professionally offered me help and I was too young to know I needed it. The family offered me love but they didn’t know what was happening inside of me. After so many years and so much more being added to it, I don’t know if I know who the real me is anymore. There are times when I feel real happiness and joy but it never lasts for too long. Is it normal for heaviness to come back like this or is something still wrong with me? How does one take all of those emotions and “let them go”, it just seems impossible to me?
My life took a turn that night and I sometimes wonder, where would I be if it hadn’t happened. Maybe I am again stuck in a dream.
So my “curveball” took over my life, did I allow it? Probably, but I don’t know that I had the right tools to not allow it. I look back and see how much was lost and how much a simple apology might have helped with healing. Healing….a strange word to me. Am I healed? I don’t know and that is an honest answer. I still hurt and I still don’t trust people in general. But I do feel warmth when with my family and do go to family gatherings when we have them. So I don’t know, I guess it depends on what healing truly means.