Traumatic events give us perspective

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote. Avoidance is my coping mechanism. I easily move onto other projects and put on a brave face and “keep busy” but writing makes me happy. Writing is also acceptance. I write truth and sometimes I don’t want to deal with truth; like adulting, I just want to coast through tough times and start again. So this is me starting again. Not over because I will never start from the beginning, instead I pick back up where I left off and move forward. Even if I took some steps back I have the choice to go in the direction I want.

This post might be one of the hardest I have written to date.

I have this friend Mike. He is pretty amazing! He tells me how it is in a way only he can in a way that makes me listen. I respect this man and have come to call him one of my best friends, and if you know me you know I have many best friends. We talk many times a week and tell each other we love one another in a way that is strictly platonic. He doesn’t beat around the bush and has no problem telling me my weight worries him (he lost like 100 lbs and cares about my life). He is also my relationship therapist, during a time I was allowing a guy to play games with my head he would jokingly say “one minute Bonnie, I have another call. It’s Bonnie from last week” he is always there when I need him. He came camping with my family and I last week and he told me he loved all of my friends. He also said something that meant a lot to me, he said “Bonnie, your friends are cool and I actually respect you as a person more by the company you keep.”

You are the sum of those you surround yourself with!!

Now let’s move to Jenn. I don’t know Jenn like I know Mike but she is his friend and I can say now she is one of mine too. Mike invited her camping with us and although I had met her a handful of times before we got to bond over campfire and drinks. This woman is BADASS. She is gentle, adorable, determined and motivated. Like Mike she lost an incredible amount of weight. I look at her with complete respect and admiration for her journey. Like Mike I consider her another lifelong friend.

You might wonder why I am blogging about these two people you have never met and have no idea where I am going with this post, but you also can’t stop reading because you know I write good content and you are intrigued as to where this is going. Don’t worry we are getting there soon. I needed to explain who these two are before I get into the thick of it.

This past Sunday September 1st Mike called me and invited me to go quadding. “Come on Bonnie. Jenn is on her way too! Exit 183 hard left. Call me when your here.” This was Mike’s way of saying you’re coming and I will not take no for an answer. Ok ok ok. I am on my way. Who doesn’t enjoy a day of riding in the mountains without a care in the world, wind blowing in my hair and emptying the mind of all responsibilities.

Let’s fast forward to 10:30pm. The 4 of us are riding down the mountain and meet at the end of the trail. We both turn right onto the road. Mike is a bit of a free spirited daredevil and he rides off into the night like a bat out of hell. The guy I’m riding with yells that we have to drive slow because we are on road driving a off road vehicle. We near the last corner before our camp and Mike is nowhere to be seen. As the corner almost ends we stop and time stops when the tires stop. The quad is down an embankment still running, smoking away, but my friends are nowhere to be seen. This may seem utterly stupid to you but my first thought was where are they? Why wouldn’t they stand and wait on the road for us. Did they walk away? They were only 30 seconds ahead of us, if that!

I turn my cell phone flashlight on and start scanning for them. I’m not going to go into detail here but they were 20 feet from the quad. One shoe off each. Not moving. Still. Face first and upside down.

It was the day after that I replayed these moments over and over again in my head beating myself up for my lack of ability to properly deal with this situation.

Any normal person would have called 911 RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Not me though. I felt myself leave my body. I yelled at the guy as he went down to assess the situation “what do I do?” He panicked. He told me to get on the quad, he drove me to my car and told me to go back and call 911. I was sober. He was not. He cared about himself and his own well being and put it all on me. I am only thankful for him telling me what to do for what I was experiencing is called dissociation. I was back at the scene within 60 seconds and on the phone with 911 immediately. I then kept telling the dispatcher he needed to tell me what to do. Check for breathing. Don’t touch them. Ask them if they can move. Can they breathe. Are there visible injuries and so forth.

So lets fast forward again. My friends are alive. Banged up very badly, but alive. Mike almost died. That night and again in the hospital days later. Excuse my French but I told him “you are not allowed to fucking die on me!” These two are warriors! They are fighters. They are two of my favourite people in the world.

Now the reason for sharing this experience with you is because as I sat at home that night replaying the night and dissecting it I remembered a time about 14 years ago. I was at a creek and my oldest son was standing in the water. He went face first into the water and my Aunt jumped up and grabbed him. ME? I JUST STARED AT THE SITUATION. I look back and think wtf is wrong with me. I literally left my body and didn’t flinch. I must be a terrible Mother. I must not have the Mothering gene in me. How can one just leave their body during traumatic experiences. Then I started to beat myself up inside. Why didn’t I call 911 right then and there!? Would that 2 minutes have made a difference?

I’ve talked to some people about this and my therapist knows too. I dissociate from traumatic experiences. There is no other explanation for this. For someone who has not experienced trauma they would automatically know what to do and take the situation into their own hands. Me, not so much. It’s like the time I was driving big red (my old F350 turbo diesel) down a mountain road and I slid into the snow tracks and saw we were heading for a 20 foot embankment. Instead of trying to get out of it I just let it be. I let go and let it be.

I write this because dissociation is something many of us face. Now that I see that I experience this I can start the therapy to fix it. I can accept that my brain doesn’t function like it should and I can begin to heal it in hopes one day my traumatic past wont hold me back in life. I absolutely can’t stand that I’m different in this way. It is embarrassing and upsetting. I realize that every time I was molested as a child I most likely dissociated from the experience and left. Now it is something I still do in traumatic events.

Mike and Jenn, I wish I would’ve called 911 right then and there. I wish I could have been more present in the situation. I also am so grateful you are alive. We are closer in a way no one else can be for experiencing this situation together. I love you both.

Mike said to me the other day “Bonnie, I think we met for you to be there Sunday. You saved my life.”


XX Badass Bon