March 12, 2001, 3:15pm. The life as I knew it then, died. A life that I am still learning the ropes, was born. The reason? A 16 year old driver, on Spring Break, was having fun going in and out, driving at least 90+ MPH, as my witnesses, couldn't keep up, so many stopped to tell their story before they gave up the chase. On that day, I was a healthy, early 40's, mother of a college son, and a homeschooling daughter in her senior year. Married approx. 25 years to my childhood sweetheart. In a heartbeat, some say a miracle occured that caused me to be alive. Somedays, I don't consider it a miracle....but they are less. How can a family, my friends, etc... grasp that here is a person, who looks perfectl normal, but isn't. The Concussion was very bad, and I was as if I had Alzheimers like my dad. The pain was torture, yet as the doctor said..."it will be hard to get support, as you LOOK FINE on the outside, but you are NOT FINE, on the INSIDE." How true. I have suffered much from the accident, but the most suffering has been the attitudes of my family, my friends, those who I thought would always stand by me. When asking for help, it was very secondary to those I asked. My great needs were never taken seriously, and what I had to finally lay to rest, was IF I HAD BEEN CARED FOR IN THE WAY MY BODY NEEDED, I probably wouldn't be on this site today. Had the muscles tearing been able to improve by resting, had the head injuries been helped by less stress and resting. Had I been able to lay aside all the responsiblities of life, and truly been allowed to let my body rest and do it's work of cell building, mind healing, and self esteme built back up.....would I not be in Chronic Pain? Would I be the same confident person? The one thing that has been such an internal heart ache, is the ignorance (a choice) of some family and friends, and the "abandonment" of my close family not understanding the complete concept of what it did to our family, and the family dianamics that had to change. Then dealing with rebellious teens, (that was already started), and no thought towards their mother and her needs, even when their dad talked to them. Now, they have grown up, and are wonderful adults. But, they don't understand some of the things I have trouble with, and need validation of their love, their understanding, and first, making sure they understand why I'm saying, and what I'm asking, before flying off the hook. I rarely ask them to do much, as it seems it isn't seen as a great help, but a grudging duty. I've asked for simple things, but if it isn't important to them in THEIR eyes, then the answeris 'no'. Yet, we still are expected to listen, be there, and completely give of ourselves as much as possible - in love. But, where is that attitude towards us? The same with many who we have helped through the ages. Now, when I could use some of the same that was given to them, it is ignored. But, I know that Jesus had the same, and endured with peace and forgiveness. My own MIL, isn't concerned about anything but the "stress" of her son, yet no action is taken to reduce that stress. Those that have stepped up to the plate to help, are those who are dear friends who have it in their heart to reach out and help. I believe in being upbeat and caring, even with those who care for me, as I want to be a joy, not a burden. I am glad for those who allow me to "unload" yet not judgement in any way. My husband and I spend our early years doing what we love to do....helping those who are in need. It brings a joy that lifts the heart. Now, how I would love to do the same, and have found ways that I can, and it's been very healing. Losing my parents a few years ago, was very hard, as only a mother can really understand, and support their child. My mother was a "real mother". I still cry for her, and so does my husband. It is very hard for me to ask for help, and it's hard to talk about my needs and "vent". Yet, there are some that will allow it. I don't want to burden my children, yet with the brain injury, I know I have made it hard. How I wish there was a caring, loving atmosphere that was there before the accident. There is an atmosphere that causes me to feel I must put on the "mask", and pretend all is well. Many have said that the mother keeps the family intact...and that I was good at that. So now, it feels that the ropes are frazzled and I'm not doing a good job in helping my children understand. There is so much pent up grief, yet only my son is approachable. I don't understand why my daughter is not approachable....to things I want to make sure she knows I'm trying, and I love her. I've tried hard not to make "me" the center of plans, etc.... but in all reality, my condition does play a huge role. It makes her angry, and not available to discuss these issues. Sometimes, I have felt I live in my own hell that I didn't create.....something I worked hard NOT to create, but has backfired. I never know what to say, what NOT to say....and it doesn't really matter, as many times it's wrong no matter what.