Friday, July 2, 2010
Why I Hate Drunk Driving...
Have a great 4TH of July weekend. If you have plans to have a party or just get together with people and hang out, that's fine and dandy. Have fun and enjoy yourself. If you're drinking or doing anything else that may inebriate you, keep your ass out from behind the wheel.
I don't care how "good" of a drunk driver you think you are. You know how many idiots have said that to me? I've lost count. Ironically, almost everyone who has ever drove drunk happens to be a "good" driver when they're intoxicated. What a coincidence! Not. You just think you're driving fine, for the same reason you may think you're a rock star or an amazing dancer if you're not either of the two while sober. Alcohol impairs you. Even if you're just buzzed.
If you want to try and convince me you can drive fine when you're buzzing or drunk, fuck off and don't waste your time talking to me about it. It's stupid, selfish, irresponsible, reckless and plenty of other negative things but it's also something very personal to me.
I was 5 when it happened. My mom, myself and my little sister who was just a baby at the time. We were driving back to the apartment we lived in, on our way home from the grocery store. We got rear ended by a drunk who thought he could drive a car just fine. My mom and my sister got out. A family on their way home stopped when they saw the accident. A man that was just home from the army ran to help me get out of the car while my mom got my baby sister. The drunk was leaving. He ran that man over and ran me over as well. Seriously. I was run over by a fucking car. I don't remember much after that. My mom told me years later, that one of the paramedics told her not to tell me that my leg was crushed and split open because it would freak me out. I was in and out of being conscious. I took a short ambulance ride down to a field so they could Care Flight me out. The man in the helicopter kept asking me questions that I couldn't make sense of to try and keep me awake. I remember landing on the hospital roof and being rushed in. Then I remember people all around me, bright lights and it being too cold and being scared. Then I don't remember anything else until I woke up in a hospital with tubes stuck down my throat, stuff stuck into my arms and all the rest. Doctor's told my parents I wouldn't make it through that. That I wouldn't live through what I'd just gone through. They were wrong. Thankfully. I was a tough ass, even at that young of an age. ;) Or you know, maybe it just wasn't my time to go yet. Something like that, perhaps.
I was in the hospital a while. I don't remember how long. I remember I could only "eat" ice chips which was more like letting ice melt into my mouth. One of my nurses uses to sneak me cherry Popsicles in, though.
I couldn't walk after that. I got to be in a wheelchair and have people point and stare at me because outwardly, I didn't seem to have anything wrong with me. Everything looked fine but there I was, getting pushed around in a wheelchair. Eventually, I got to get some crutches and try walking. I got to be a pro at hobbling around on crutches. Eventually, I didn't need them anymore.
I have scars on my body I'll always have because someone thought he could drive fine while he was drunk. I don't mean faint, tiny ones either. I mean thick, ugly scars that I get to look at every day for the rest of my life. Not that I need any reminder of that day because it's nothing I'll ever forget.
I have trouble breathing sometimes because my left lung collapsed in the accident. After it happened, I remember I couldn't play around like I could before. Before, I ran and played and was very active. After, I had to be careful. My lungs would hurt if I played too much. And then, too much wasn't very long. I had to be careful how I laid and how I did other things. I'd get short on breath and be in pain. It upset me because I hated not being able to play some things and it upset me having to limit my play. I felt weak and I didn't like it. Today? The main reason I quit smoking was because I was starting to have pain in my left lung. I wasn't supposed to be smoking in the first place, so good thing I quit. I still have issues breathing sometimes if I lay on my left side for too long. I freak out when I'm working out (or doing anything) and get sharp pains in my left side.
After the accident, I had problems with my bladder. My bladder had been crushed in the accident. I often couldn't tell when I had to pee and when I realized I had to, it was often too late to make it to the bathroom in time. Sometimes when I slept, I didn't know until I had to pee it was too late. Other times, it would hit me and I would feel like I had time to get to the bathroom, but I wouldn't. Today? It's not as bad, it's no where near as bad as it was when I was a kid. But I still have trouble knowing when I have to pee or not. I still have trouble knowing if I have time to get to a restroom or not. Sometimes, I feel like I need to only to find out that I don't. If I feel like I need to, I haul ass to the restroom and hope it's in time. If I'm in a car, I stop as soon as I can. If I'm asleep and the urge wakes me up, I stumble around and try to get into the restroom as quickly as I can. And no, I don't always make it. (And no, doing kegel exercises don't do anything to help it.)
There are a few other physical things but we'll leave it at that because I don't want to get into more of it.
Now, imagine being a little kid at 5, 6, 7 and onward years. Imagine being in this accident. Imagine working out in your little head that the accident was your fault. That if you hadn't stayed on the toy aisle in the grocery store, if you had picked a cereal faster, if you hadn't taken so long to pick out cookies or if you had not stopped to look at so many other things, that you would have gotten out of the grocery store faster. And if you had gotten out of there faster then you and your mom and little sister wouldn't have been sitting there waiting to turn into your apartment complex at the time that the asshole drunk was driving your way. Yeah, I laid in bed at night hating myself as a little kid because I blamed myself for that accident happening. I worked out so many scenarios in my head that could have gotten us home faster and if we got home faster, it wouldn't have happened. Every time my side hurt from playing too hard, every time I peed on myself and the floor because I didn't know I had to pee and didn't get there in time, every time I looked down and saw my scars; I hated myself because I blamed myself for the accident happening. I blamed myself but never told anyone I blamed myself. I blamed myself until I was 13 years old. Then it took me a while after that to realize that it wasn't my fault, not one bit and that nothing I could have done differently would have changed what happened. Then, I was angry at myself for being so stupid as to think it could have possibly been something I could control.
It took me years to get into a place where I was okay with me. Where I didn't blame myself for anything. Where I didn't hate myself for anything. Where I wasn't angry with myself for anything. Looking back now, I wish I would have told someone how I was feeling. I wish I would have told someone why I was lashing out the way I had. I wish I had told someone why I was so angry so often. I didn't, though. Wishing it doesn't change it. I think I'm probably a stronger person for it, perhaps.
I recently had a huge blow up with a friend of mine who didn't know my story and decided to make a joke about the last time she drove home drunk. Up until that point, I didn't know that was something she did. She informed me she's done it a ton of times and sees no problem in it because she makes it home without wrecking. I informed her how I feel about drunk driving. She told me I was taking it too personally. So, I unloaded on her and let her know that it IS PERSONAL to me. The version she got was much shorter than the one I displayed here. I even offered to show her the scars. She declined that offer, of course. Most do.
I can't change the accident. I can't change the way I reacted to it. I can't change all the years of emotional damage. I can't change anything because it's all done with. I'm passed it and I'm in a better place for the most part. All I can do, is tell my story and speak out against driving while under the influence be it because of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. And I do. Every fucking chance I get.
Have a good weekend, y'all. Have fun and please, be safe and be smart.