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Thread: To Look or Not to Look...

  1. #1
    Senior Member taj2002's Avatar
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    To Look or Not to Look...

    Today, I was over at my parent’s house helping my mom wall paper an office room they have in their basement. After we got done, we were putting everything away. I came across a stack of pictures that my dad took of our mini-van after the accident that paralyzed my husband. The accident occurred when we were taking our kids on vacation. We were hit by a teenager that fell asleep on the highway. She was in the southbound lanes, and she came across into the northbound lanes of traffic and hit us with her cruise control set at 75 mph. Although it has been almost 5 years since the accident, I have never seen the accident pictures. Today I looked. I thought that after so much time it would be “no big deal”, but now I just can’t get the images out of my head. I don’t see how any of us survived the accident. There were also pictures of the teenage girl’s car. Seeing the pictures brought back all the anger I feel toward this young woman. Her careless mistake left my husband a C3-C4 complete quad, and me his caregiver. Nothing about our lives is the same because of her mistake.

    After I came home, I told my husband about seeing the pictures. Now he wants to see them. He doesn’t remember anything about the accident or even anything several months after the accident. I can’t believe how seeing those pictures has affected me. I wonder how if would affect him? I thought that I had made peace with this whole ugly situation, but then I see these pictures and now I wonder if I will ever really come to terms. To look or not to look, that is the question.

    Trish

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Trish-
    If he wants to see the pics, then he should get to see them...There were no pics of my accident site as I fell from a stage ladder...HOWEVER once I was permitted to(there was a worker's comp lawsuit involved so it was quite a while before I was even allowed to talk to my old co-workers and friends) it was important to me to go there...I didn't know how I would handle seeing the ladder itself...I knew I'd be fine in the facility, around the people, etc, etc...BUT I had to see the ladder, I HAD TO, look at it...For me, it still left me with a ton of questions b/c no one knows what caused my fall, but it was something that I felt I had to do...It was a bittersweet moment, but I def needed it...
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  3. #3
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    I don't know . . .

    We don't have photographs . . . he broke his neck skiing, with our 10-yr-old watching. The only images of his crash are in her head, and I would take them away from her if I could.

    If I did have pictures I'd want to, like, somehow turn those images into art--make them public, make people pay attention, something--otherwise I'd probably just put them away and look at them after the cure, when it was all just a bad memory.

  4. #4
    Trish,
    I was in a car accident in October of 2000, I don't remember it at all. I was not paralyzed, but I had a TBI (Tramatic Brain Injury). I have seen the pictures and still don't remember it, I don't even remember owning the car I was in at the time. I had a hard time walking without and hesitation in my step so I was even hipnotized to try and remember how I walked before my accident, that didn't even jog my memory of the car or accident. I think if he wants to see the picture you should honor his wishes, seeing the pictures may bring a sence of closure to a portion in his life he doesn't feel closure to. Good luck, I'm sure you know best, go with your gut feeling on weather he can handel it or not.

  5. #5
    Trish, I'm not sure wether it will bring him closure or not. My motorcycle has been in my Dad's barn for about 4 1/2 years now. It took me over a year before I would look at it. It makes me wonder how I lived to see the shape it ended up being in. I was an the other end by having a 83 yr old lady making a left-hand turn in front of me, on the Hi-way. Yes I have alot of anger towards her as she was telling people I hit her, well hell yes I did when she turned in front of me. I don't know but you know a "I'm sorry" might have helped but I never heard a peep from her, Probably at the advice from her insurance company, "that she only carried the minimum you have to have" that was proably eaten up in the first couple days anyway. I remember the accident, just not the things in the hospitals afterward's But yeah I would like for her to see what she did to me. I'm not sure that's a healthy way to look at it or not. I never had any accident pic's just the bike it's elf was enough. I'ds say if he wants to see them go ahead and let him. I'm down here in Mitchell, must be something in this Indiana water!!
    Doug

  6. #6
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Show him, for you and me, we are the hands of our husbands. If he could pick them up himself, he would. So its kinda our obligation to do so, you know? I think you do understand what I mean. Maybe it will make it harder for him, you or both of you .... or maybe it will spur a conversation that will help in some small way to make peace of it together instead of struggling on your own.... each on your own ....

    Chad has never been back to the dock he dove off of 18 years ago. He's never asked to go, I told him I'd take him if he wanted. He doesn't want to. He says it just doens't matter. Thank goodness because even though I've only known him 3 years, came along 15 years post, I don't think I could handle seeing the place .... weird eh?
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by zillazangel
    Show him, for you and me, we are the hands of our husbands.
    Those are beautiful words, Ami, the evidence of your promise and commitment.
    - Richard

  8. #8
    I have to drive by where my accident happened every time we go to town

    Chad has never been back to the dock he dove off of 18 years ago. He's never asked to go, I told him I'd take him if he wanted. He doesn't want to. He says it just doens't matter. Thank goodness because even though I've only known him 3 years, came along 15 years post, I don't think I could handle seeing the place .... weird eh?[/quote]

  9. #9
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    I have the accident pictures and my mom brought them (at my request) to the rehab hospital. I can only imagine your anger at the young woman and have to no right to claim that I know or even half know what you and your husband feel. I just know it must be horrible. I was my own enemy in my accident and I dont think I would have forgiven myself if I had injured anyone else as the accident was totally my fault. I also went back to the accident site a couple of months after my accident and post hospital stay. It was important for me to know. I had to see where I spent five hours trapped in the car laying on its top. I wont say that it brought closure but I had to go there.

    If your husband wants to see the pictures then you should show him. It will be emotional and he and you both will grieve what was lost. I can pass an accident scene (for the past 18 years) and most times I have to pull over up the road to re-grieve for people I dont even know. Some times are worse than others but I always say a prayer for whoever was in the vehicle.

    (((hugs))) and I hope things go well whatever you decide.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  10. #10
    Senior Member taj2002's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments. I didn’t bring the pictures with me, so they are still at my parents’ house. I wasn’t sure how my husband would feel about them, so I just left them where they have been for the last 4.5 years for the time being. I am going to talk to him about it again today and then get them back and let him look if that is what he wants. He is a grown man capable of making his own decisions. I guess I don’t really have the right to keep him from seeing them if that is what he chooses. In some ways, I hope that he will realize that even in the face of this tragedy, it could be so much worse. Of course he suffered the most devastating of all injuries and I had some permanent injuries to my right hand and wrist. But the miracle to the whole event is that our 2 boys, ages 6 and 8 at the time, only sustained minor scratches. Some days when we are living this SCI nightmare it is hard to find things to be thankful for. Seeing the pictures made me realize that I do have a couple of very important things to be thankful for. Instead of dealing with some difficult pictures, I could be standing on the graves of my children and husband. I’ll let you know what happens.

    Trish

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