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Thread: Advice

  1. #11
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa

    random thoughts--

    first, it sounds like he might believe that serving that (tiny!) jail sentence somehow completes his restitution. otherwise, how he could he ever stand to live in the same house where his sister was happy and planning her own wedding?

    second, what i find troubling about you being in the wedding is that it seems like he wants you sitting up there as some kind of public statement that he's been forgiven--which would be ok, if he really had.

    third, he's put you in a position where whatever choice you make is going to be interpreted by people not close to the situation. you show up, and it means you're not holding a grudge, he's still a good guy, he deserves to be this happy, etc. you don't show up, it means he's still on the hook, you still have a problem, etc. seems like what makes it hard is that he's asked you to do publicly what you haven't yet done privately--deal with each other.

    fourth, just out of curiousity, what does his bride make of all this? does she want her wedding used as a symbolic event about stuff she had nothing to do with? i wouldn't!

  2. #12

    Random answers...

    Thanks again for all of the insight.

    I have no idea what the bride-to-be thinks of this, she has never talked to me. I know who she is, but that's only because I'm from a small town. They met when he was in jail-she works for the State's Attorney and his office is upstairs from the clink.

    One thing that first upset me about the whole thing was how I found out. Two days after the engagement, I got an email from a friend of a friend. Tana's whole family completely avoided the subject, almost like they were trying to hide it from me. He came to see me about 3 weeks after and asked me. I haven't seen or talked to him for almost two months now.

    I maintain a healthy relationship with Tana's friends. I almost see more of them than I do of my own friends. The advice I get from everybody that knows the situation is to not do it. I'm trying to be a big person about this - that's why I value all the input. I helped keep him out of jail and I'm not going after any money from him, but do I have to celebrate his happiness?

    Thanks again,

  3. #13
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa


    man, that's the problem--he's put you in a position where if you aren't in the wedding, you've "exposed" yourself as NOT a big person. no fair!!

    the mean and petty and vindictive little person in me says, "hey, i know! tell him you'll do it and then just don't show up. when anybody asks, say you had a uti and couldn't make it."

    the easily manipulated person in me says, "okay, make the effort. it won't cost you anything, and you'll be out of there in a few hours."

    the honest woman in me says, "he needs to know this was an inappropriate and insensitive request to make of you under these circumstances. after he knows that, he can decide whether to withdraw the request or try to alter the relationship in such a way that it's something you'd actually WANT to do for him. and it's obvious you aren't there yet.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Bryant, Ar.,USA
    Wow, that's some really heavy stuff Chris . Intuition is a very strong tool for me when I am stuck in situations like these. I know this really might sound like a cop out, but I say go with your initial gut feeling. I sincerely think that there are no right or wrong answers to your questions. I do however, think that communication between you and him is important; but only when you feel it is time. Are you expected to be happy for him? Of course not! Only concern yourself with how you feel, at least for right now. You have a long, agonizing period of healing to deal with. You can forgive all you want, but you will never forget this as hard as you might try. You might think that you will never come to a period of acceptance, but with time I am sure you will. Don't do anything just because others say it's the right thing to do. Now is a really good time to be selfish! Good luck, know that you are in my prayers . ((((((((BIG HUG))))))))))

  5. #15

    Hey cjo33!

    Your [Quote] ; "he is still ultimately responsible for her death and my paralysis" [QUOTE]

    It has been brought up by a couple people already, this too stuck out like a sore thumb for me. I truely believe that until you change that sentiment, and take full responsibility for your SCI, you will not be free. Blame can hold people back in many ways, I've seen it. Bottom line you got in the car, you new he had to much to drink, because you guys tryed driving, yet you still went. Accept it, and tell him too, just the fact that you dropped charges, means nothing, if you layed them in the first place, and haven't accepted responsibilty for your own actions. I can't possibly imagine what it's like to live in his mind, I'm sure he feels 100% responsible, and he's not. If I were you, I would go to the wedding and tell him how I was responsible for my own actions try not to feel so much guilt, you deserve to have a happy life, and congratulations. That would be the best wedding gift he could recieve. You will not only be setting him free, but yourself as well.

    Geez I sound like a bible thumper or something, I never even owned one. I don't know where all that came from, but sounds right to me!

  6. #16

    First, there ar no "right" answers. You need to seek your heart and come up with the best answer you can. I'll pray for your peace to come to the right decision for you.

    Here's my take on the situation...for whatever its worth.

    My guess is that he is haunted everyday of his life that his irresponsibility on that ill-fated night resulted in his sister's death and your injury. He more than likely hasn't called because quite frankly he probably doesn't know what to say. There are no words to console your pain. So he has asked you to be in his wedding...because he has no other way of showing you his remorse. He isn't doing this to put more pain in your life....he is are important to me...this is the most important day of my life...and I need you there to make it complete. He is seeking reconciliation.

    Monkey girl hit the nail on the head. In order for you to heal emotionally you are going to need to find forgiveness in your heart for him. And in order for him to heal he needs that forgiveness, and then he will need to search his heart to forgive himself. Does this mean you forget the pain he has caused you or the loss that you have suffered? No, that is not humanly possible, at least not right now. It only means that you have taken that anger towards him, and turned it into something positive. If you believe in God, give the pain to Him. If you don't believe in God, then do your best to turn that pain into something else and give the gift of forgiveness for this guy to the rest of Tana's family and yourself.

    My sister was driving when we got in our accident. She came out physically unscathed but emotionally battered. She struggles everyday with my injury, and the only thing I can do is live my life to the fullest and let her know that I love her and hold no anger towards her. And yet she remains tormented from those few seconds on that ill-fated day twenty years ago. My guess is that Tana's brother is no different.

    Monkey Girl gave great advice. I wish you all the best in seeking the right answer for yourself.

    [This message was edited by larwatson on Oct 21, 2002 at 04:50 PM.]

  7. #17


    I also agree with Monkeygirl! Setting yourself free, and Tana's brother also just might be the nail on the head!

    Wow, friend...the whole thing is kinda complicated to say the least! I also kinda think that her brother is kinda ignoring you because he don't know what to say...he feels guilty...and so he thinks outta sight, out of mind...and doesn't call or keep in touch...

    But...I am on the outside looking in...and I can't say...

    Best wishes with whatever you least there will be free food at the wedding! >>smile<<



  8. #18

    good luck

    Here are some rules and guidelines:
    Ben Franklin said, "Imitate Jesus."
    Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as
    I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
    Dr. Phil says, "You can only control yourself."
    Roy Rogers said, "Happy Trails to you."
    And someone said," Shit happens."

    Do what is best for your own soul, heart, and mental health. Don't fixate on appearances, past mistakes, the perceptions of others, or your own grief, which you are still allowed to have. And show some leadership.

  9. #19
    I have seen some references on here about what his friends will think, what the people at the wedding will interpret (by your presence), what his wife (to be) thinks. Who cares what they think, you shouldn't. The only people you need be concerned about (regarding what they think of you) is your family and close friends. As far as this man having the right to try and be happy. He made probably the biggest mistake he will make in his lifetime. He is trying to find some happiness. Life is (like) a long road we travel. Everyone is going to make mistakes, some greater than others. All we can do is learn from our mistakes. But you keep going down the road, because it(life) is a journey, not a destination. It is easy to "throw in the towel", and give up. That is the hell of it.

  10. #20

    Twisted around

    Ask and you shall receive...I asked for advice, but I disagree with some statements.

    I admit that I put myself in a dangerous situation, but am I really to blame more than he is? Should I also take full resposibility for Tana's death because I didn't stop her from riding with him? I'm not looking for pity, but some of you seem like you feel worse for him than you do for Tana and I. This guy isn't showing remorse - I'm pretty sure his parents made him ask me. I haven't mentioned yet that he was conscious shortly after the accident, but had to warm up in the car for awhile before he went for help while I laid on the side of the road struggling for my life. I didn't get to a hospital where I could get methyl prednisolone for 5 hours, and we all know how important that is.

    "If I were you, I would go to the wedding and tell him how I was responsible for my own actions try not to feel so much guilt, you deserve to have a happy life, and congratulations."

    He has done nothing to try to make me happy, but he deserves it and I don't?

    The statement I made when I said he was "ultimately responsible" I meant that he was the one in control of the car which was going 60mph on a soggy gravel road. He didn't pour alcohol down my throat and force me to ride with him, but he was in control of the vehicle that crashed. Am I responsible for Tana's death because I let her sit in the front seat? To say that I am more responsible than him is absolutely absurd, in my opinion. I'll reread my earlier posts, but I don't ever remember saying that he feels "so much guilt." There was a time he felt bad, but I think that time has passed.


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