How many times in your life have you reflected on the circumstances you are in and asked the question, “Why me?” Why did this collision of pain, trauma, abuse and/or assault have to happen to me, as if by chance the cards dealt you were not by design and should have instead been for someone else. Why me God, why me? I thought that so many times as I floundered to find my car in the parking lot of the university I worked at, only to have to sit on the curb and sob, as I couldn’t find a file in my head to pull out and remind me where I had parked that morning for work. “What was wrong with me?,” I would say over and over again, as I searched for someone to help me find my car in the massive parking lot, where 23,000 students attended every day. More than 4,000 employees came to work to assist these students in their academic life, social infrastructure, and thematic housing programs in order to help them assimilate into an education without borders. And, yet, here I was, an Assistant Director to a rigorous academic federally funded grant, who was losing her mind due to no fault of her own.
That was how I felt when this young girl had hit me from behind going 40-45 mph while I was at a dead stop on my way to work this beautiful summer morning in 2004 after returning from Telluride with a girlfriend. The whole tragic event was considered a severe car accident. I was unconscious for several minutes it seemed. I don’t remember how long I was out, yet I do know my car was a disaster inside when I woke up. All I could think of was, what happened? Why did she hit me? This echoed in my mind as I tried desperately to answer my soulful searching and quest for who I was in the few moments I sat on that parking curb. My judgment was clouded and fogged as I reflected with regard to who would rescue me from this morbid emptiness I had in my head. I was living in a nightmare and yet, I wasn’t cognizant of the fact that whatever was sucking the memory from me would become my greatest fear for the next two long years as I groped through the darkest hours of my life, which were pivotal to whether I lived or died. I had no clue what was wrong with me, and I didn’t know what to do… I was so scared and it seemed my life was out of control. I didn’t know how to hold on or who to go to for help. I was slowly losing my sanity as a consequence of this accident and wasn’t sure if drowning was such a bad idea at this point.
I wanted to hate this young girl whom had hit me in the car accident. She hurt me badly. She took from me the very brain I had been born with. It was my independence, my sanity, my control center of my body for everything.
She was texting. Why, Why Why Meeeeeeeeeee? I hated her, I hated God, I hated everybody!!! I hated my life. How do you live again when you can’t function like you used to? I couldn’t remember a damn thing…not my purse, not a meeting, not a date with my friend, not even words would come to my mind. I was so tired, I would fall asleep at my table at home while writing something and wake up at 2am wondering why I was there. I slept all weekend. My body was in severe pain, I had migraines that kept me in fog at all times and sometimes my body would shake severely for no reason. What the hell was wrong with me?!! What happened to me and why couldn’t anyone figure it out? I was going crazy! I wanted to scream all the time. And the girl’s insurance company wouldn’t pay a dime for my medical expenses since they said no one could prove I was really injured. Really!! Great! An invisible injury on top of it!! That meant I would have to pay for everything out of pocket, and I did. I used up my savings, my equity in my house, and used whatever financial means I had, which left me broke and my house up for foreclosure. So, not only had I lost my mind, I had lost my home as well. My heart felt void of love, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Who would ever want to be with someone like me…broke, brainless, and broken? I didn’t even want to be with me. Her insurance company was evil to me, yet somewhere inside of me, I knew they would NOT WIN. I WOULD. God was protecting me, carrying me, and I didn’t even know it then… Yet, somehow, His light would come filtering into my bedroom upstairs at night into the mirror of my armouir, like the light of an angel so beautiful and bright. This happened four times when I would awaken in the middle of the night. I felt at peace knowing God had me right where He wanted me. Why, I wasn’t sure. Yet, I knew I had to fight for me. This was my chosen path and I had to finish it.
As it was, it took nine months for the right doctor to diagnose me correctly with a traumatic brain injury. I knew when one of my neurologist’s told me she thought my overwhelming mental problems were allergies, my brain did a melt down right in her office, and I fell to the floor sobbing, telling her I couldn’t go back to work. My gasps of air in between the breaths I took and swallowed came out in deep sobs as I screamed at her that my brain wasn’t working right. I didn’t know who I was anymore. My word finding when I spoke was gone, as I had presented in front of my colleagues and had to leave because I couldn’t finish due to my language wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I had no memory of words in my head. And when I tried to communicate with friends, I stuttered, as if I didn’t know English anymore and I didn’t even know people were talking to me unless they were in front of me moving their lips. I was like Alice in Wonderland. I kept sobbing and continued out of desperation for her to not force me back to work.
Finally, my neurologist looked gently down at me with compassion and said, “It’s ok Kimberly. I think I know what is wrong with you. I’m going to have you reviewed by a neuropsychologist to see if you have a brain injury. This may be why you are struggling so badly with memory, speech, and nightmares.” I sat on the floor and looked up at her like a small child. I just let her words sink into my brain that was now so damaged and had no clarity of what the truth was at this point. What was a brain injury I wondered? I asked her quite blank, “What is a brain injury?” The doctor explained to me what she thought had happened to me during the car accident. “Your brain inside the skull was forced and shaken badly. You may have even hit the window since you had no air bags. This causes a closed head concussion and can disconnect passageways between the lobes of your brain so they are unable to “talk” to each other”. When this happens, you need rest, quiet space, and time to heal and recover. Your brain is now like that of an infants because it needs to restore the passageways by making new ones. This can only be done by sleeping, as you are probably aware of the deep fatigue you have been experiencing. This is normal. The neuropsychologist will test you to see if, in fact, you have a TBI. If so, you will have out patient care there at their facility.” I was elated! Not about the traumatic brain injury, of course, but because there was a tiny dim, yet slight flame of ashes that had just been blown into my darkness. I stood up and hugged her tightly. She set up the appointment for me in her office.
As I reflect on those moments on the curb, little did I know what was wrong with me me at that time, nor did I know what hell I would walk through nor the flames of coal that awaited me, for it was a lonely, dark, and empty journey I never wanted to repeat again. The pain in my body that I endured and suffered during those years of physical therapy to return my body back to its original athletic abilities for sport climbing, spinning, jogging, and strength training was a commitment I made to myself. I would not rest until I reached my goals in finding my way back to me. I hated who I had become. I didn’t know her, I didn’t like her, and was not going to let myself be controlled by someone who was not me. I would bring my light back into my life, because there was a spark of God in me when I was me, and He was still in me somewhere. I would find that spark and let it glow! I believed and trusted my spirit that was smoldering and waiting for me. Yet, I had to do the hard work. My family was not there for me and neither was my employer. That was ok. My Father in heaven was there for me, and when you lose everything, you realize you have everything you need. And I did. And I still do.? Because when you have God, you have just enough to start over…
So, the next time you ask the question “Why me?” the answer to this question is “WELL, WHY NOT YOU?” “What was it you were suppose to learn from the tragic events in your life?” What opportunities do you see for your life now that you have come full circle and chose to be in the light instead of the darkness? What doors have been opened for you because YOU have chosen to fight for not just survival, but to thrive as well? What gifts do you offer others in spite of your battles, tragedies, and/or traumas?”
You see, no one can do the work for you. No one could do the work for me either. It was grueling, humbling, painful, life altering, devastating, fearful, lonely, and out-of-control insanity. Yet, I didn’t let that stop me because I knew, in spite of everything, I wasn’t a quitter. I was a warrior, a survivor, and more importantly, I wanted to thrive! I CHOSE to glow into a life of love and light.? You Always Have Other Options to choose from (YAHOO). Make your choice count for YOU❣️ It doesn’t matter what other people think of you, because you are your own line of defense. You must stand for something even if it means standing alone. There are always going to be people out there who will judge you, mock you, and tell you you can’t and won’t be able to accomplish your dreams. I will tell you, YOU can do anything YOU DREAM! The only person in your way is YOU….? Choose to be the best you can be. There is no star out of reach! I am here to assist you with your dreams, keep your compass on your goals, and learn how to thrive. It’s a daily walk. Please contact me if you wish to choose to live in the glow….?
?In Love and Light, Kimberly