|The Night That Ended Many LivesPage 1 of 1 |
|One night, one choice, one moment can change your life irreplaceably. For better or worse the choices we all make affect our lives and others. I made a choice to go out, I felt trapped in my house, my life, the choices I'd made that created the life I had. I had wonderful children, a job I loved, fantastic friends, a good home, and family. I was, and still am confused about my love life, that's a constant. As humans we are forever in turmoil about love, always longing for that fairy tale ending, or at least something that doesn't make our insides crumble and our self-worth shrivel in agony. Who hasn't faced that a time or twelve. |
So I went out to escape my terrible life, which was really quite wonderful in retrospect. I had a drink with a lovely fun young woman who seemed to need a friend as much as I felt I did. Then we had another, a few shot if tequila. It was going to be an early night. Two more drinks, ok I'm going to the washroom, calling driving hands and heading home.
Its 10pm, or shortly thereafter, and that's where my conscience night ends. My whole evening is black, until I wake up in a daze. Where am I, my face hurts, my chest hurts, I think someone hit me. I hear a voice telling me in fact, I had hit someone. I don't recall asking if everyone was ok, I think I must have, that would be my first question. I don't recall the ambulance ride to the hospital. There were a lot of lights, questions, and people. What the heck happened? I start to feel semi conscience there is a blonde police officer telling me where I am, a sting of something hot being forced though my veins and my right hand burning and throbbing. My knees ache, my chest and face hurt, the police officer tells me that I hit a car and killed someone. This is a bad dream, oh god someone wake me up! The women I hit were nurses she tells me, one is dead, the other is in critical care. The doctors finish checking me over, someone asks me if I'd like the jeans they'd cut off me. What kind of question is that, this is a nightmare and I am stuck, please let me wake up!!! The sting of cuffs, the vehicle is too high to get in, the cop is short, why such a big truck? My mind wanders and I can't keep anything straight. Why is my head so fuzzy, where the heck am I, what time is it, how did I get here?
Now I'm at the police station, the lady cop is asking me questions, really I want to ask her questions, maybe what the *** is happening? But I know what’s happening, I just don't know how, when, where? I'm confused and I can't answer anything she's asking me. Finally I get the lawyer I asked for, I don't remember asking really but it’s the only name in my head so I'm not surprised I asked for her. She tells me to remain silent. I want to do what she says but I'm so confused. I answer what I can, I blow into the tube as best I can, my chest aches. I want a cigarette, I want a moment in the fresh air to try to wake up. I'm trapped in this nightmare, I have had some bad dreams but this one takes the cake.
They take my shirt and give me a different one. I'm put in a cold room with what looks like gym mats and a steel toilet. Its ok, I'll go to sleep in the dream and maybe I'll have my usual nightmare of falling off a cliff and just before I hit the ground I'll awake. I wake up, still in this dream, but I didn't dream of falling. I dreamt of crashing. The lady cop gave me some detail, maybe I can piece it together? I fall asleep again, a variation on the same dream. Over and over, same outcome different circumstances, directions; once I stop, all is well, I head home and wake up with my son in my arms. My foot slips off the brake pedal, I accelerate? I'm heading downtown towards the road, towards home, I'm heading up the highway towards the home, always towards home. Always towards home, that’s the only thing that makes sense. There’s a man is helping me into my vehicle, I'm heading home. Each dream is a little different and I can’t tell if any of it is real or if it’s all dreams.
I wake up, I'm still not home. A police officer is telling me my sister wants to know what I want done with my children. Where are my children? I say I don't know, please keep them all together! Please don't separate them. I'm dead and this is hell? I fall asleep again. I awake to someone telling me I have to eat, lunch is here I have to eat, I fall asleep again. I awake to a kind faced man placing a blanket in a small window in the door. Finally I'm motivated to move, I am so cold. I fall asleep again, same dream, variations, hundreds of variations.
The door rattles, it’s my lawyer again. She's not sure when court will be, hang tight.
Back to my room. Back to my new nightmares within this awful nightmare. Sleep, variations, hundreds of variations, over and over and over.
I'm told I can go home. Call someone, answer some questions. I don't have any answers. I ask for my lawyer, they tell me I don’t need one, answer some questions and then I can go, I tell them all I know, fragments of my dreams dancing in my head, I can't tell what's real. But I know what I remember. I hope it helps, I don't know what's going on? I want to help more, the same lady cop tells me I am free to go, I hear my mom’s voice and I want to go now. I've told them all I know. Why didn't someone call driving hands for me? Didn't I ask? I did in so many dreams, didn't I ask?
My mom is at the front door. I've never been so happy to see her. My big baby girl and her friend are in the car, I am so ashamed of myself, I'm lost, my life is a blur. I go home, have a cigarette and fall asleep in my bed.
When I awake I look around. Holy **** what a bad dream, and then I move, every inch of my body aches. Nooooo! It’s not a sleeping nightmare, it’s a waking one. One big black hole with no memories but a realization that within that darkness something horrible happened to end a life and alter others. And that life, that terribly wonderful and messy, complicated life I once had is over forever and how I will miss the days when feeling sad because my husband left me, sad because people I cared for died or left, my boyfriend just didn't care for me the way I care for him, feeling confused about having romantic feelings for a friend I've known forever and a day, mad because my best friend won't pay me back the money she owes me, stressed because of work, worried about clients, stressed because my children are like animals fighting in the wild; that life and all its trivial issues is forever gone.
All those issues remain topped with the fact that somehow I ended up behind the wheel of my vehicle. Somehow I ended up on the other side of town going in the opposite direction against my every primal instinct to go home, on a route heading away from my home, at a rate of speed I would never dare be going, running a red light. After always priding myself on my excellent driving skills. I hit a car killing a beautiful young woman with a Mona Lisa smile; injuring a beautiful woman, who looks like a young Shelly Long. There are missing hours and questions, so many questions. I will be charged, I will go to jail. But nothing I can say or do can change what I did. I'm confused how it happened, I know if I'd been out with friends, none of us would have ever let each other drive in that state. I blame myself, there is no one else to blame. I wish I'd been in a conscience state to make sure I had a proper ride home. I wish I had a time machine to go back and not go out that night. If I didn't have children, I'd wish to trade places with the woman whose life I took; even having children I wish I could, though I'd never wish to leave mine, they're my every breath. My heart breaks for the woman who’s life I took and her family. I can say at her age it was the best year of my life, I've taken her option to say that. I can say my children are my life, whether or not she wanted children, I've taken that option from her as well. And her mother, oh god, I ache for her, how she must hate me, I can imagine…I can’t imagine…I took her baby from her. I did that, me who would never hurt anyone.
I’ll pay for the rest of my life, I’m lucky to have a life at all. I don’t know how I’m going to live with this, how I’m going to look people in the face knowing what I’ve done. Nothing will ever be the same.
I'm never going to get drunk again, whether that was the whole reason for the blackness or for my decision to drive that night or not, it certainly was a contributor to a lack of conscience thought, and reasonable thinking. And that loss of myself lead to my new life. I'm not saying don't drink, but if you do, do it with friends, make sure someone stays sober to watch out for those who could otherwise end up in my situation. Take turns taking care of each other. If you're going to be an idiot, have a plan in place and surround yourself with people who know you and have your back or at least your car keys and address.
|The Night That Ended Many Lives|
Posted: 11/25/2016 10:31:27 AM
|I have been in recovering from alcoholism since 1989. You never have to get drunk again. You can do it. You can get support from 12 step groups or read so much literature about sobriety. Sober is better. You can have a new way of life now. Thank God you did not die. |
You blacked out. Alcohol does that. I was the kind of drinker that drank to black out. That was my goal. I ended up in horrible situations and debilitated because of alcohol. It ruined my life, ran the show and ruled me. I was a prisoner to booze.
But for the grace of God I could have killed someone driving my vehicle too. It could have been me.
I have heard from the podium many many times people tell the same story as you. People that committed vehicular homicide because they chose to drink and drive. It is especially a story we hear around the holidays. People drink at family functions and make the mistake that they think they can handle an auto and the truth is the drink has diminished their reflexes and the ability to drive.
You made a horrible mistake. Do not let that define who you are. You did it under the influence of alcohol and a night at the bar turned very ugly for you. I am so sorry.
Now you have a message. A very good message. Share it. Let people know what your "bottom" was and how it led you to become sober so that you will never make that mistake again. By sharing and telling our story we help others. You have to give it away to keep it.
Your advice here is very solid..Yes, drink with a designated driver. Drink with friends. Drink with people that will take your keys away because they love you and would never let you operate a vehicle under the influence.
Now from tragedy you can do some good. Your message may just save someone else. Their life, their choices, their decision to drink or not.
Alcoholism is a disease. It is a sickness. You can not blame yourself eternally for what happened. You can educate yourself about alcohol and how it affects your body, mind and spirit. It is a threefold disease. It is cunning, insidious and baffling.
Instead of blame take responsibility and do not relapse and become a prisoner again. The way you can make amends to family and to the people you hurt is to never drink again and to become a power of example to others. That you can beat this crippling disease and stay sober a day at a time.
God has blessed you with a second chance. Do not scoff at it. Realize that the door doesn't always swing open but it will slam shut on you if you use again.
I hope this helps and remember we just don't drink NO MATTER WHAT. Keep that plug in the jug.
|The Night That Ended Many Lives|
Posted: 12/22/2016 7:18:19 PM
|Great writing Verissa!|
You make me feel it.
Reading it gave me chicken skin.
Thank God I never liked cars; because this could've been me.