So much for new beginnings

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.

Photographer: PublicDomainPictures (pixabay )
Photographer: PublicDomainPictures (pixabay )

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?



  1. Rose
    September 29, 2015 at 7:12 am

    New beginnings can leave you reeling… I also had one and while there are some good things.. Rebuilding friends, community, redefining… Is a challenge that isn’t fun.
    Thank you for sharing, I did not know this about you… You have overcome, my friend!

  2. Sarah
    September 29, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Just wow. That is a lot for a person to deal with. As always thanks for being real.
    Three steps forward, four steps back. I cannot answer the whys: why this happened, why your dreams have not come true. However only God can. You may go through your whole life not understanding. Please know he was with you when the accident happened and He is with you now. You have learned a lot from your experiences. I will pray that God gives you the strength to get through these current struggles. Praying for his helpers to appear during your time of need. Praying that others will show compassion towards you and not make you feel uncomfortable. May you focus one day at a time and one second at a time. Kiss the what ifs goodbye. What ifs are trouble and the Devil’s way in. May God bless you today and always!

  3. PQ
    September 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I hate to give you something else to be angry about, but maybe a society that basically requires everyone to drive because we can’t invest in workable public transportation deserves some blame. Most people are not equipped to be good drivers, but we consider it standard– something that everyone can and should do. I avoided learning to drive for a long time because I know I am terrible at dividing my attention (which driving requires) and I am TERRIFIED of hurting someone else because of my own shortcomings. I’ve been facing changes in my life, too, though, and I realized it was unsustainable for me to be a non-driver, so I finally learned in middle age to drive. Now I’m going on short trips and shaking in the parking lot when I get there, feeling like I can’t breathe because I’m so overwhelmed by how much attention I had to pay to everything (my speed, my lane, other cars, pedestrians, lights and signs,etc.). My biggest fear is that I could end up hurting someone like you, and I’m angry at society for putting me in a position where I have to ignore my own better judgment because we’ve decided nearly everyone has to drive. I’m not saying whoever hit you was blameless– a lot of people take driving for granted and don’t pay attention when they’re doing one of the most dangerous things any of us are likely to do in our daily lives– but I am saying a more rational society would not create so many drivers like that individual in the first place.
    Sorry– this might not necessarily help, but maybe it will put things in another perspective. And I know changes are sooo hard. I’m going through them too, and I’m thinking of you and wishing you the best.

  4. Bex
    September 29, 2015 at 10:38 am

    New Beginnings SUCK! but they can be a blessing in so hidden in the dark. Play hide and seek Lesa, and have fun with it. I know we don’t talk much, and you know me I am not much of a talker. But maybe we should. =) there more I read about you and what you are going through. We are more alike than I ever thought. As you well know I moved from Ohio to WI 11 years ago for a new beginning, It seemed great and I was so blinded. Once it hit me it was to late. Now I am back home and guess what…. That ” New Beginning” was worse than the other. Some times you feel like you are Damned if you do Damned if you don’t.
    Pull your self up, Get back on the horse and keep on going.We are both fighters, We are both seekers. Lets go play hide and seek and find our way to the happy ending! Don’t give into the anger, but you do have to deal with it. It will only consume you like it consumed me.
    Love you Girl!

  5. Nadine
    September 29, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I had no idea you have been through all this. I know several people who have had TBI – and no, your life will never be the same. But I believe you are an overcomer…however many times it takes. You have built an amazing life with your husband and children! I’m sorry you live so far away from your family (and church family) who would be able to help you through the rough spots. I will keep you in my prayers.

  6. Almir
    September 30, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Hey there kiddo, just a short one, keep your head up high, you know how life is. It never goes according a script. Regardless of how you see life – whether there are the eyes of a believer or eyes of an atheist – in the end the conclusion is the same and that is that there is only small portion of our life that we actually can influence. So, I always tell this to everyone and I have probably mentioned this many times to you – “worry about the things you can change, don’t worry about the rest”. So, from time to time, we have to repaint our dreams, see out the way to make the best of the situation, or, if you want to put this another way, to find the way to do our best to play with the hand which was dealt to us. I know you for almost 20 years now, so, I know one thing about you and that you are stubborn ass which just want quit, just like me. So, head up, on your feet, step up and don’t look back. There are plenty of reasons to live for, and I can immediately name four of them for you and you know who/what I am referring to. So take care, enjoy every day and trust me, things are gonna be just fine in the end.

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