M.V.A. January 15, 2000 is how every letter from my lawyers is referenced. M.V.A.: Motor Vehicle Accident. It was no accident. Any effing idiot who tailgates on Highway 7, a road with near-highway speeds, steep hills, and stoplights at the nadir — and what dumbass road engineer thought traffic lights at the bottom of a steep valley was a good idea? — is guaranteed to hit some poor unsuspecting person or persons in a car. And any selfish SOB who drives as if speeding is her right is inevitably going to collide with a stopped car at high speed. Such was my fate. To be the unsuspecting person receiving multiple impacts. And every January, even if, as has happened in previous years, I don’t remember, my body does. In past Januaries, I’ve fortified myself with acupuncture, rest, treats, extra vitamins, but makes no diff. I’ve been very sick with cold or flu, rundown, had metabolic challenges, whatever my body feels like for that year. This year is special though. It’s my 10-year anniversary. I was hoping the week would be OK; it would just be the anniversary day that would be a total wipe.
I’m finding it more and more difficult to actually give a damn about much, and memories of my old life are surfacing, bringing with them the emotions of loss I didn’t feel when I first said good-bye to that life (I had flat affect for first 5 to 6 years, and even now emotional responses not really normal). I’m also feeling very, very tired of the situation that innocuous-sounding “M.V.A.” put me into, the financial burden, no longer being able to rely on oneself, no longer counting on a future, having to relearn so much, and you’d be amazed at the stupid things that really throw you for a loop that you never even recognized as having to learn when you first did.
A social worker recently pointed out that most who suffer a brain injury have a chance to talk about it, as a way to process it all, but my family and most of my friends didn’t want to hear or put time limits on it. One gave me a year to recover, then it was as if I was malingering for taking so long to heal. Newsflash: brain injury is friggin’ lifelong whether I, you, or anyone else likes it or not. Anywhoo, I also could not write about it as my lawyer put a ban on that. So no speakey, no writey. The only people I could talk to about it were the health care professionals I saw, knowing that the insurance companies were listening in through their absolute right to see all my medical records, read all health providers’ notes, peruse mental health records (thought those were inviolably confidential, didjya? Nope, not a chance) in order to twist my words and experiences to their advantage. Makes one feel real free to share, eh? And so this social worker said time to blog, time to talk about this thing that has happened.
Maybe this week will get me going properly. I have done it in bits and pieces. But it still feels weird talking about it openly. Between some in my life who wanted me to shut up already and stop blathering to anyone who would listen about this thing that happened to my brain — brain being the operative word cause, you know, I can’t be stupid, which is what injury implies — and the lawyer’s instructions, I feel not quite right about opening up. I also feel like I’m imposing on the world and am breaking some sort of taboo. Yet if I don’t write, I’m going to liquify.