I don’t know how to write this or even if I should. I’ve tried to keep this close to my chest & I’ve done my best to work through it but I still feel as though I’m being haunted by a ghost. When I woke up from my coma I, kaylen, was not awake. I woke from my coma into a walking coma. I don’t think I, Kaylen, started to wake up until years later. Once I got home from my stay at Jim Thorpe I was told about a “friend” who had visited me & how I knew him from college. I couldn’t remember him but I was told he came to the hospital & he stayed for a while. Once I was allowed to get back on Facebook & use a phone I started getting messages from him. He wanted to come see me. My parents agreed so after being home for a few weeks from Jim Thorpe he came over. I didn’t remember him or know who he was but he seemed nice. My wreck occurred in June so my parents were out of school & my mother was taking me to therapy but when it came time for school to start she needed help with taking me to therapy. My new “friend” offered to help. He took me & sat with me through my therapies. He helped me with my wheelchair & walker. He came to some of my neurologist & neuropsychologist appointments as well. I still couldn’t remember him though but he told me stories of our “friendship” & with him taking me to therapy & helping my parents out I figured he had to be telling the truth & that this was just more memories my traumatic brain injury had stolen from me. This “friendship” ended up turning into a romantic relationship. I was completely blinded by my love for him & it didn’t help me that I was also trying to recover from a severe traumatic brain injury & my physical injuries. Broken hip & pelvis, broken sternum, ribs, sacrum, well basically my physical body needed just as much recovery as my brain. I missed a lot. I missed the lies. I missed the cheating. I missed the manipulation. I missed the gas lighting. I missed the emotional abuse. I missed the controlling. I was only hearing what he was telling me. All his hurtful words, harsh criticisms & anger towards me I took as truth. I thought he loved me & cared for me. I thought he was my friend. How could the friend who was taken you to therapy & going to doctors appointments with you being lying to you? If he is getting angry with me & saying hurtful things they must be true, right? He knew you before the wreck & you were best friends he wouldn’t be mean for no reason, right? It has to be you kaylen. You have got to change & fix what he is telling you. He is only trying to help because he loves you. He has promised you a future. He’s shown you rings & wedding dresses. He has shown you videos of men who stuck with their girlfriends after their traumatic brain injuries. He promised he will be with you till the end. He said he would never leave your side. You must change Kaylen. Become “right.” Become “good.”
So that’s exactly what I did. I tried my best to become “good.” Everything he said I took as truth & then went about trying to make the changes to fit whatever mold I was told I needed to fit that day to be a “good girlfriend.” As you can probably imagine this affected my recovery. But it wasn’t until years later that I started to see what was going on. I didn’t start seeing by myself. I had therapists & friends who helped me see this wasn’t good. I was not in the loving relationship I thought I was in. I mean from my side the love was unconditional & true but it wasn’t on his. It was a game. I was something to be used & played with. My story was a great storyline for him to tell. But it was just that a great storyline. Unfortunately when I started to see I found out we were never friends in college. Every story he had told me about college was a lie. We were never the best friends he had described to me. Once when I got brave enough to ask why I still couldn’t remember him he blamed my brain & said it was “just like how my grandpa couldn’t remember me.” My grandpa was currently struggling with dementia at this time & I was the only grandchild he had forgotten.
These years were quite challenging for me. They were filled with extreme highs & extreme lows. I would be lying if I didn’t say they affected my recovery from my traumatic brain injury & if I didn’t say they brought on a different kind of trauma & PTSD than from my wreck. It’s weird though because it’s been years now & I still am haunted by the ghost of what I thought was. It’s hard when you relearned the world with someone only to learn it was a lie. It’s hard when you created new memories with someone only to learn they weren’t real. Nothing was real for me in the first five years of my recovery. Everything I thought was real turned out to be a lie or manipulation. It’s funny though because if I wouldn’t have gone through that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. If I wouldn’t have gone through those years I wouldn’t have found my untapped strength & my joy. If I were to tell you about my wreck you would say that was probably the worst thing that happened to me in my life & well you would be half right because if it wasn’t for my wreck the “friend” that entered my life would’ve never happened. I never would’ve gone through those years of pain, heartache & confusion after my wreck. But now that you know a brief summary of those years I can honestly say, like I have before, I still would drive through that intersection even knowing what was to follow. It was literally at rock bottom were I found myself. It was on a bathroom floor were I was debating ending my life that I finally met kaylen. Were I learned how strong my faith really was & were I found my untapped strength.
God doesn’t give the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles. No matter what you are currently struggling with or working through just know that these hard times aren’t meant to destroy you or weaken you. They are meant to strengthen you & to allow you to find your true self. Never doubt your strength to carry on. It’s only through the darkness that you will find the brilliant light inside yourself 💙 #NeverGiveUp #Hope #Strength