As I initially started looking for what was wrong with me at age 22, it was so easy to blame all of my emotional disturbances on the car accident that had destroyed my life in 1986. In truth, however, that accident saved my life. Yep, it saved “me” from “myself” as it turned out. And it would be another 22 years before God would reveal the missing puzzle piece that made sense of my entire life.
Childhood imagination: Boy, did I have one! I can remember lying in my bed at night and escaping to a world in which I wore a maroon-colored, majestic-looking, “ball” gown. Complete with that hoop making the bottom fan out into a big circle at floor level. Of course, I always had a handsome, dark- haired beau whisking me around a rather large, ballroom dance floor. This room was completely barren and made of solid grey cement with pillars lining the entrance way. I escaped to this exact same place frequently. Always wearing the exact same gown. Dancing with the exact same dark- haired beau. That picture remains vivid in my mind after all these years. Childhood imagination? Do I simply “remember” the exact same gown I wore? On the exact same dance floor, in the exact same room? With the exact same dark-haired beau? Or could it be something else?
Teenage daydreaming: I’m sure I probably had those dreams about life turning out exactly the way I wanted, however, most of my daydreams were “different.” I am not sure why, but I would often daydream about causing emotional pain to specific individuals. That pain ALWAYS involved something bad happening to me that would, indirectly hurt others. Wow! I am amazed as I sit here recounting those memories. It’s almost haunting, when you consider the major car accident I survived. Coincidence? Or could it be something else?
Young adulthood nightmare: I “lost” a chunk of time during this phase of my life due to brain injury. I have NO memory of approximately 4-6 hours before my accident until about two months after. My earliest memories in the hospital include thinking that I was dead. I asked anyone and everyone if I had died. My biggest difficulty with this was in trying to determine if I had been sent to heaven or hell. Oh, I was certain it MUST BE HELL! I was in such horrible pain and my bed was like some-sort of human cage with netting all around it, similar to a tent. I would scream out, LOUDLY, in pain or fear. NOTHING made sense! The constant pain. Inability to do things for myself. I certainly didn’t understand why they kept me caged up. I had, SURELY, been sent to hell!!! It’s kind of funny now, but I guess that accident really did involve the death of my “old” self and the birth my “new” self. And this started my journey to becoming my current “self.” Wow, another significant discovery. I had actually mourned the death of my “old” self while emerging from a coma. That gives me goose-bumps, folks.
Middle age mind departure: We joke at work about how I, mentally, zone out. You may be talking right to me. I may be looking right back at you. But I am somewhere else in my mind. It appears that I am listening, but I don’t hear a word you say. My mind is totally concentrating and focusing on something else. I have completely tuned you out. My direct supervisor can now detect when I am doing this and she jokes about it, but I’m sure it’s irritating. Another example of how I “zone out” has me a bit concerned. Recent events have hijacked my thoughts to such a degree that I have driven away from our house, intending to go somewhere specific, but arrive somewhere else! Crazy, huh? I did this twice in one day! Welcome to my world, folks!!