We were running late. Really late. So late we would have to transcend space and time to get to the school pick up on time.
I knew I could do it. My will was willing to will it so. After all, I could fit more into a day than most people fit into three. I felt a fire of confidence and urgency burning from the soles of my feet, radiating up my legs, and infecting all of my muscles with heat and speed.
Bent over in a cramped bathroom, toweling off my youngest, I had a brilliant idea: “If I quickly run to grab [that thing], this could all happen faster.”
I turned to take off like the red blur of Flash. Every cell in my body believed I could beat the clock. They glowed with eager promise. I pushed off my feet, flying; power surging in my calves and quads as I swung around. Then, SLAM!
All of that force made full contact with the inertia of a tile corner I had forgotten was there. I thought, “Now we’re really going to be—“
Eyes roll. Sway. Melt to the floor. Pause.
Screams. Dreadful. Terrified. Guttural. Coming from my mouth. Crawling. Crawling. Crawling. Phone. “Help.” Stillness. Sobs. Frozen peas.
I sat sobbing on the kitchen floor, holding a bag of peas to my head. I cried keening tears because I knew I had truly hurt myself, and there would be consequences. My plans and expectations evaporating before my eyes. All I was, all I would be for months to come was a struggling soul trying to quiet the screaming pain in her head.
The hardest tear to swallow: the fact that I did it to myself. I ran my body head first into a tile wall. (I’m such an Aries.) Striving to receive a gold star for being a punctual parent, I cost my children their mother for many cold days and nights.
“She’s asleep.” “She’s resting.” “She’s in bed.” “She’s lying down on the couch.” “She went to someone else’s house to sleep because it’s quieter over there.” Later, handing them little pieces of her at odd angles as random bits would light up, and then go out again.
During those first moments on the kitchen floor, I grieved. All my immediate hopes and thoughts disappeared from my brain. Only a blank stillness descended. No thought. No mind. No words. Just feeling; heart wrenching feeling.
Read about the first week of recovery, mostly spent on the couch here : “The Inspiration of Drool: Week One of Traumatic Brain Injury”
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“I write to open up space for my heart and head to tumble, stumble, bounce, and roll. I write to explore the magic of our world and the power of words. I write to expose the tragic truth of life as well as the authentic abundance and joy. The stories are meant to inspire all of us facing the challenge of knowing and honoring our authentic self in a world of commands and demands.” – Jessica Sabatini