I remember I was wearing my blue polyester-blend maternity outfit; a shirt that tented over my son, who was growing inside at the time, and pants that hid a band of elastic the size of Texas. I remember the kitchen florescents, whilst getting breakfast ready for my daughters. We had slept over at my parent’s home because my my mom was out of town.
Dad had been, “going through it,” during those years. He was suffering the progressive sequela of Guillain-Barre syndrome, feeling like his extremities were aflame, burning all the time, plus a long list of other stacking medical conditions. He was trying to survive the losses. These, along with their respective medication therapies, clouded his consciousness and he was not a good driver. That morning when in the kitchen getting ready for our day, Dad showed up, somehow dressed and ready to go to work as well. The business he worked for at the time provided a driver, but that day, he either wanted to drive himself or the driver wasn’t available. I remember the keys in his hand.
About ten minutes later, our neighbors called us. “Sana, I just passed some emergency response vehicles parked by a car that looked like your dad’s. I think he got in an accident.”
And I knew. I knew. Dad had crashed.
There was one road that came from my parents, leading to three more roads, that fed into the west, north, and east. Thinking I had a one in three chance of finding him, I went driving. Somehow I came upon firetrucks. They were driving loudly, and again, “I knew,” they were going to Dad. I followed them Eastward.
Dad had hit a tree and his car split in the center. He was being removed at the time from the front half. The second piece was a distance behind. I remember his face, knowing, “This is Dad,” even though I couldn’t recognize him. There was so much blood.
People had gathered, watching my dad being pulled out of his wreck. One of the officers asked me to go back to my car. It made me upset, and now that I look back, I don’t know why I wanted to get to my dad. Did I think I could save him? For some reason, even fully aware that I was trained in psychiatry, (not emergency medicine mind you,) and as a thirty-eight week pregnant beast, I think I did.
This was the second life threatening event I went through at the end of my third trimester in two of my pregnancies. The first was when my niece died. That’s another story. But in both of them, although utterly helpless, I thought I could save my family.
You know the answer to that though. You know. You know what my viscera did not. I couldn’t save anyone. My niece died, and my dad suffered more and more, chronically ill with a step-wise decline, until he also finally died two years ago.
You have survived your own life threatening events, or other sufferings, that has made you think of being a savior. We all have. And although we can’t be her or him for ourselves or others, it’s always been true. We do need a savior.
Today for, “Sabbath School”, I’m speaking on the topic, “The End of Evil.” While studying this morning, I remembered driving up to Dad. His car split in half. I was running, two hundred and three pounds of me. Holding my huge front side, I remember calling him, “Dad! Dad!” Thinking, “He’ll answer me. Call him one more time.”
And that, Folks, is what trauma looks like. Trauma from an emotional standpoint and from a physical, i.e., he just got his face bashed in, standpoint.
I’m not going to write more about trauma today, nor about needing a savior. I’m really just starting a thread.
I have to go study more. But what is your story and what do you think?
Sincerely, and Waiting to Hear From You,
Your own, Dr. Q.