“I can only do it for $15 an hour and .25 cents a mile. At my age, what you are offering to pay me is really low and I could make more money doing something else.”
The text came across my phone as I was on a date with my husband and immediately tears flooded my eyes. My husband looked at the text and put his head down on the bar. I discreetly headed to the restroom and locked myself into a stall clutching my chest hoping that in some way it would ease the deep ache in my soul. This was not the first harsh text I had received from a “friend” that day but it was the one that pushed my already fragile heart over the edge.
Five weeks ago, my kids and I were in a car wreck that altered everything. A man ran a stop sign because he was in a hurry and his impatience paved our new normal. Left with an unusable right arm and shoulder as well as a traumatic brain injury- suddenly this competent, stay at home mom was able to do next to nothing.
Confusion has become my new companion as I try to navigate what used to feel so simple to me.
My husband has to cut my meat at meal times because I can’t use a knife with enough pressure. Tears often stream down my face as I try to talk and the words get mixed up. I can’t even read a book to my son without stumbling and stuttering over the words. My extroverted self is now so nervous around people that I prefer to stay home where it feels safe and calm.
Today was the day we knew we had to ask for help. My husband needs to be able to work consistently and his request this morning was that I would try and find help to drive me to my therapy appointments. I looked at him as if he had asked me to move a mountain.
Ask for help!!? Are you kidding me!
I just wanted him to stay home with me. I felt like a child begging their dad not to go to work but stay home and play for the day…or forever. I don’t feel I can ask for more help from my friends. My experience has been they roll their eyes, run for the mountain and send insensitive texts. It is a doorway for rejection and my heart has already dealt with enough rejection in life. I can’t stand the idea of more. I don’t want to be that person, calling and texting everyone, begging for help. And unless I grow wings and learn to fly, there is no way around this issue. I have to ask for help.
Texts and emails were sent, explaining our needs and what we could barely afford to pay someone. I braced myself for what I knew would come.
“My life is really full and busy right now but I hope you can find what you need.”
“I wish you lived closer- that would be easier for me but I am praying like crazy for you.”
Already feeling shame for even having to ask for help, I found myself focusing on the few people who responded in painful ways, and not the ones who were kindly willing to help me. The rejection trumped all other responses.
Why is this true? Why am I more focused on the rejection and not the loving responses offering help? Where in my story is this coming from? Tears sprang to my eyes as phrases from my childhood flashed across my memory.
“You’re not worth it”
“You are nothing but trouble”
“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”
The accident is bubbling up the messages that I thought I had kicked to the curb in counseling. I now realize they are still there- lurking in the shadows- waiting for the opportunity to remind me where I came from. I find myself wondering if I will ever be free from this? Will it ever be a happily ever after for me? Is restoration here on earth even possible? Can my battered heart and now injured brain re-open this part of the story?
I don’t know the end of this chapter yet but a good friend recently told me- the end of the book is amazing and your story ends not just well but victorious. Hang onto HOPE.
Today’s author has asked for anonymyity as the legal process surrounding the accident is still unfolding. We invite your prayers for her continued healing and your words of blessing as she continues to walk this difficult road.