This summer has been long and tiring for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons, of course, has been because we recently made a move to a different state. We downsized for a house that needs a little TLC but has a huge yard to begin a new adventure to financial freedom and living with less. However, our packing and plan to move hit a huge hurdle when I ended up in the hospital late June.
In June, I ended up being life-flighted to the hospital with symptoms of a stroke. As it turned out, I did not have a stroke, thank goodness. However, I had a major setback in dealing with issues from a traumatic brain injury from years ago that involved being struck by a vehicle while I was crossing the street. All the progress I have made over the years and all the things from my TBI that I have tried to hide and pretend that it was nothing has all come back to haunt me in a bad way.
When the accident first happened, I had a lot of memory issues, concentration issues, troubles with reading and speech, and other issues that were not visible to most people. When I would stutter, people would treat me like I was stupid. I started avoiding large groups. I had trouble typing and took classes the summer after the accident in hopes that it would help me get over it all quickly. I read anything I could get my hands on because I had trouble reading and concentrating. I wanted to stay on track. I had big dreams. I was getting married that summer. I was going to graduate college the next year, and then my husband and I planned on going to the same university for our Master’s in Poland. I was planning on getting my PhD after that. I wanted to teach English to international students either in the US or abroad. I thought I had my life all mapped out that day. What I learned since then is that we can make plans and think we have it all figured out, but we really don’t. I was reminded of that again this summer when I found myself going backwards instead of moving forward.
It’s funny really when I think about it. I had been planning on writing this big post in June about how I was finally moving forward in how I viewed my life because of the accident, that I have made peace with things. Then all this happened, and I found myself stuttering and some days not being able to really get anything to come out of my mouth. It’s all in my mind, but it just won’t come out. I don’t have a lot of energy. It takes a lot to concentrate, and I ended up having to close my website down and stop blogging for a while because I just couldn’t write. I have been taking it easy on social media all together, which in some ways has been good. I think sometimes we are all too plugged in and too connected to Facebook and social media. All the anger and frustration has come back, and some days I just cry because I feel that I have worked so hard the last several years, and it was all for nothing.
After my accident, I had so much trouble with concentration and other issues that I eventually took a break from college. I concentrated on being a mom shortly after that. I took part-time jobs for a while to help financially since my husband and I were just starting out. However, after being bullied and made fun of for my stutter, among other things, I eventually just decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I sold cosmetics and candles through home parties, and after the birth of my oldest daughter, I started my own business. I spent the last several years learning how to build websites, do SEO, blog, and manage my own social media. While it didn’t make a lot of money, I have gotten a lot of satisfaction from the people I have helped, the children I have made smile, and the businesses that I have assisted along the way. I taught myself new skills. I lost my stutter for the most part. I was able to hide all the little things from my TBI. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t make a big deal about it. Yes, I was still angry. Sometimes, I would think about what I would be doing if I hadn’t been hit by that car, how my husband might not be working in the Oilfield if I was doing something in my field, how wonderful things could have been. I know that my dream of how life could have been would probably have been very different if I would not have been hit, but sometimes I couldn’t help myself in thinking, “What if?”
I have not been doing a lot with my website the past few years. I have focused on my blog, telling my story of trying to conceive and having Sweetpea. I started making new plans, ones that included me moving forward with doing social media at a more professional level and also just enjoy being a mom. I wanted to have fun with the kids and explore. We were preparing to move to a more urban area and also an area that had lots for us to do in regards to hiking, biking, and being active. I felt by taking the “What if” away and just learning to enjoy life as it is I would be happy, the kids would be happy, and I would finally be moving forward with my life. After all, I am still young. As much as it has sucked that the accident happened, I am alive, and it it is time I start acting like it. And then I ended up in the hospital, and all those plans I started making for a new leaf felt like they had just been ripped away.
All that anger that I have tried to push down has bubbled to the surface, and I am angry. I am angry that I don’t have energy. I am angry that I had to shut my website down, even though I do plan to resurrect it this fall. I am angry that my stutter is back, and I hate when people treat me like I am stupid when I am out and about and can’t get my words out. I hate that my kids have to guess what I am trying to say sometimes. I hate that I just don’t have the energy right now to be the fun mom. I hate that I am so tired. I hate that I haven’t been able to help as much in packing. I hate that some things got left behind. I hate that my husband has had to carry us, and I hate that I can see how tired he is. I hate when my mind turns to mush, and I can’t do anything about it. I hate that my neurologist didn’t seem to care and just wanted to medicate me. I hate that I have to get a second opinion. I hate that I might get over this, only to have another episode of this again. I hate that I may never be able to plan another party, never be able to entertain kids again. I hate that I have to make new plans.
This move was supposed to be a new beginning. I was nervous but excited for it. Now I see everything as so overwhelming. We have a house to fix up, and I see it as a task I don’t know if I can finish. I feel like my body and mind have let me down. I feel angry at the woman who was careless and hit me. I feel angry at God. I feel angry at the people in my life who don’t know what I am going through, and I feel angry at myself for never fully letting them in so that they would know that I even had these issues in the first place.
I am not saying all this because I want anyone’s pity. I am saying this because I need to get it out. I need to deal with all of this, with all of this hurt, with all of this anger. I also want to say all this for any of you who may have suffered from a TBI and are suffering alone. It sucks. It sucks because it is not something that people can always see, and I have found that if people can’t see it, they are more likely to think it doesn’t exist.
So yeah…new beginnings. I think they suck. I want some sunshine and rainbows. I just want to dream a dream that comes true or make plans that work. That’s not too much to ask, right?