The Things He Shattered

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 26 (v.1)

Submitted: April 12, 2013

Reads: 389

Comments: 13

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Submitted: April 12, 2013

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32

Over a short period of time, I begin to dread attending rehabilitation. Physically I have been doing the opposite of improving. Mentally... not much has been done in this department, as I do not find a single assignment to be challenging. Lisa, the speech therapist begins to annoy me greatly. She is concerned about how I will get through life, since I no longer have any ‘problem solving’ skills. Yes, we are still on that.

One day she does an exercise with me, where she walks around the room, and puts things she finds in different places. For example, there is a small bookshelf, and she takes a book from it and puts it on the table. She does this with about 5 different objects. Now, my job is to go around the room andreturn everything to the way it was before she began messing it up. In all honesty I haven’t been paying close attention to what the hell preggers was doing. My mind is all on the pain I feel in my ankle, and I wonder how I will be able to walk around the room in my state. I limp and place the misplaced objects back. I tell her I am in pain. After all, I have already done my physical exercises for today. She tells me that I am doing an okay job, but looks like I forgot where some of the objects belong. I say "fine." I do not tell her that I didn’t forget, I just stopped paying attention to her. Or more like I didn’t really start paying attention.

Every time I see her, she strongly suggests that I stay longer than the 4 hours I am schedule for. I tell her that I physically will not be able to. It will take a lot out of me, so she tells me I can just go into a room where they have a bed, and take a nap. I need to be spoon fed these ‘solutions.’ After all, I apparently have no problem solving skills so it’s obvious I cannot make decisions for myself. I have to relearn to make good decisions. I want to tell her to just give birth already and leave me alone.

She then brings her concerns to my mother, when she realizes she will not get anywhere with me. She tells her that I should stay longer. My mother replies,

"4 hour is more than she should be here. If she stay longer than 4 hour, you kill her. It take 2 hour to come here."

This shuts Lisa up. She will not bring this up again for the remainder of my stay. Then again I have absolutely no intention to stay here the full 6 months they would like me to.

I have been in outpatient rehabilitation for almost 2 months now, and my mother and I decide that there is absolutely no point for me to remain. Not only am I not benefitting, but I have been experiencing a lot more pain. Plus I have to pay money (as little as it is) just to get to rehab and back home. I have not received a penny from Ontario Disability as of yet. I am collecting credit card dept. But for what? More physical pain? I have had enough.

 

It is a Monday, and I decide that today will be my last day in rehab. My first appointment is with Julie, and my mother rolls me to her office. Julie tells us that today she needs to speak to me in private and asks that my mother wait out in the hall.

Julie begins by telling me that she has spoken to Lisa, who to my disappointment has no intention on taking a maternity leave just yet. Lisa feels very strongly that I should stay in rehabilitation for more than 4 hours a day. Lisa is still on this, and is worried that in the end my mother has a say in everything, so she has sent Julie to speak to me alone in person. Julie may as well hear it from me.

"Julie. In all honesty, I was prepared for rehabilitation to be a two steps forward, one step back sort of deal. So far in the weeks I have attended, it has been two steps back. End of sentence. I feel physically worse after rehabilitation, which I had anticipated, but I had also anticipated to make some progress. I haven’t. I can put all of this aside, but the thing is, it costs me money that I do not have to make the trip here and back home. The only income we have in our household is my father’s, and everyone at his work has just received a pay cut because the company is not doing well. After he pays rent, and his travel expenses to get to work, we as a family have $300 left. That’s roughly $100 per person for things like food for an entire month."

"Wow... that’s really a small amount."

"And out of the $100 allotted to me every month, $12 a week goes to travel expenses so I can come here."

Julie looks at me, with what appears to be disbelief and sympathy.

"Do you know when you will hear about your disability payments? Do you know when you will receive a paycheck?

"No. I have called on Friday and was told they are still performing a background check, in case I actually do have an income or assets that I am not reporting."

"Do you have their number Karina? I would really like to speak to them."

"Yes. I actually brought it with me... but if I no longer wish to attend rehab, will I still be receiving disability payments?"

"Of course! You’re disabled."

"Okay. That’s good, because I would like to stop attending. Unfortunately it takes a lot out of me. A lot."

"I can really understand that." Julie looks at me very sympathetically. "Would you like today to be your last day?"

"Yes! Yes Julie. I would really like that."

"Okay. I will let all of your therapists know and do all of the paperwork to wrap things up."

"Thank you so much Julie. I know there is a long waiting list of people waiting to attend this rehab. It would be better for someone else to take my place. Someone who can actually benefit from this."

Julie nods, and reaches for the phone to call about my disability support. No one picks up. This was expected, so she leaves a voice mail message. I hope that this will speed up the process. I do not know if it actually did, but within a week I will receive my first paycheck in the mail, along with a drug card and a free basic dental card. There will also be a letter with a warning that I am not permitted to have more than $5, 000 in my bank account, and if by some kind of miracle this does happen for me, some suggestions are provided to me as to what I can spend my money on. Like medical equipment for example.

 

It is a giant relief that today is my last day in this rehabilitation facility, and I will never have to return. In my last hour there, I still have an appointment with my cognitive therapist. She already knows I will not be returning, (Julie’s news travels fast) and tells me there is no point in starting another assignment with me.

She decides to quickly go over the first assignment I completed on my first day here. Weeks ago. She has graded it.

"You scored average on everything. Now I know you have graduated from university, so before your brain injury you probably would have scored higher, but I was very surprised that you scored this high. With the damage you sustained I would have expected you to score a lot worse. A lot. Now I looked through the booklets, and you actually scored significantly lower on this one part compared to the rest. The part you scored the lowest mark on, was actually the easiest part in the assignment." She looks at me and gives me a bit of a smile.

"It just tells me one thing. You right away saw that this was not a challenge to you, so you skimmed through it without giving it much thought."

I smile at her. It is very nice to hear, but I know I still need more work. Just not here. I say my goodbyes, and there is still one hour left before my taxi will arrive toget me and bring me home. My mother and I make our way to the cafeteria, and I pour myself some water. I still do not have the ability to smell much of anything. I am also very rarely hungry.

We go down the hall and wait for the taxi, and as we do, the pregnant Lisa waddles her way to me. She stops to speak to me,

"So... this is your last day with us?"

"Yes."

She says nothing else and walks away. I am very happy that I will never have to see her again.

Gwen finds me. She gives me some photocopies she feels I should read and is very surprised I will not be coming back. She strongly advises me to keep in contact with Dr. Hill since this man did most of the work on me. Or more like he did most of the unnecessary work on me. This is the way I see it now, but I do not say it to the nurse. I lie and reassure her that I will call him at some point.

I look over the photocopies she has presented to me. It is a long extensive list of consequences resulting from brain injury. Things like, irritability, forgetfulness, insomnia etc...

The taxi arrives, and I say goodbye to the rehabilitation center, for what I hope will be the rest of my life.

?

 

?

33

I do not receive a lot of money, and everything I receive I give to my parents. My mom has a friend who is a travel agent, and she has been able to find a very cheap trip to Italy. She is familiar with what happened to me, andgenerously helps coversome of the cost. My parents ask me if I would like to go. I tell them that in my physical condition I would absolutely not like to go. It hurts me to walk anywhere. I tell them I can take care of myself for a week, and they have faith in me that I will. The trip is booked at the very last minute. If anyone deserves a vacation, I know they do. It would also be nice for me to not be under their surveillance for a few days.

I have received a drug card now, and a basic dental card and I would like to take advantage of them. Even though the antibiotics were discontinued a while ago, the rash I had developed because of them has not fully gone away. Parts of my legs still itch. Not as severely, but the itching is always present now. I also do not sleep well, and months ago Dr. Hill had prescribed some sort of knee brace for my right leg, so it does not rock back and forth when I walk.

I make an appointment with my family doctor, and in a short period of time I am able to see her and present my concerns. She writes a prescription to calm my irritated skin, and one for sleeping pills. I thank her.

My mother and I roll over to the pharmacy and I present my drug card along with my prescriptions. The pharmacist goes to his computer to input my information then comes back, and sympathetically tells me,

"The disability card will cover the cream. It does not cover the brace or the sleeping pills."

"So it will not cover the two things that I need the most? I’m disabled and the brace will help me to not injure myself further. And disability will not cover that?"

"No. I see this happen with patients on a daily basis. I’m very sorry." I can tell he is genuinely sympathetic, and I ask him to just give me the cream.

 

Days go by, and I notice that my sleeping is slowly becoming worse. I now try to fall asleep at 11pm, but end up just lying in bed until 5am. Sometimes I try to busy myself by reading a book or playing a video game. I do not watch TV, because I am afraid it will wake up my parents. Not that anything good tends to be on at that hour of the night.

I decide to talk to my mom about it, and ask her if she is okay with me getting the sleeping pills. She says okay. I need rest, and 4 hours of sleep is very little. I give her $30, and she goes to the pharmacy. They cost $22 that I cannot afford, but at least now I sleep well. Thank God for credit cards.

In a week my parents will be leaving, and I will feel more independent, so I am excited about this.

 

 

34

I decide to go online, and Travis sends me a message over the computer. He has been doing this about 3 times a week now. I always wait for him to message me first. He messages me, and I want to invite him over, simply because it is a huge deal when anyone comes to visit me, but it won’t be anymore because my parents will be gone. I’m actually too scared to ask him, so I sit by the computer looking at the screen and sending him telepathic messages. It works. He says,

"Maybe if you are feeling better you can come over one day." He hasn’t invited me over since this happened to me. This is what I was hoping for, so I'm very happy.

I tell him that my parents are going away on vacation in a week, and if he wants to, he can come by to see me. He tells me he will, and I’m excited, but I absolutely do not expect it to happen. I try hard not to get my hopes up anymore because I am afraid I will only be disappointed. I still have no recollection of what he did last summer to make me so angry, but my intuition tells me that this young man is not reliable. I will not tell Loupe or James about this, because they have made it clear that I should avoid all contact with him. Apparently he would stand me up all the time, threatening to commit suicide and worrying me sick. But I do not remember.

On the one hand I want to have Travis over. I know I love this person. I also feel that if I have him over it will jog my memory and I will remember why I broke off all contact with him. I need this, because all I have been doing is pining over him and being pathetically love sick. This needs to stop. Maybe it will be best to start from scratch. On the other hand, the thought of seeing him makes me very nervous.

I invite him and decide to leave it to chance. I will not bring this up to him again.

For the entire week I sleep better and I’m actually hopeful that things will look up for me. There are moments when I feel normal, like I once used to.

 

When I am online, Eduardo messages me. I tell him that I have had no luck finding a lawyer to take on my case. From his lack of reaction it becomes clear that he does not believe me when I tell him that a police officer threw me off of his balcony. I ask him if he actually thinks that I did this to myself.

"Well you were worried about finding work."

"So you think because I was stressed about finding a job, I decided to use your balcony to commit suicide?"

"Well I don’t know. I wasn’t there."

"What kind of a person do you think I am?"

"I don’t think bad of you. It’s just what the cops told me."

"What about what I tell you? Of course the cop who tried to kill me is going to tell everyone I did this to myself. He really isn’t going to come in from the balcony and announce to everyone he has just committed a murder. I’m sure he’s not that much of an idiot. Being stupid and being a murderer cannot coincide for long. You have to have some intelligence to not get caught and keep getting away with it."

"It’s just that I do not know what happened. I wasn’t there."

"I know that. But I was actually physically there when this happened to me. You are basically calling me a liar when I tell you what happened and you are refusing to believe me."

I shut down my computer and limp away. I am steamed. I do not want to talk to him anymore.

 

"They said someday you'll find
All who love are blind
Oh, when your heart's on fire
You must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes"

-The Platters-

 

 

35

My parents leave on a much deserved vacation. I invite James over. He is actually going away on vacation to the Dominican Republic tomorrow, so I’m glad he can squeeze in a short visit.

James comes by after 10pm and we watch television and I start to feel sleepy. He readies to leave and I wish him a good trip.

 

A few days after my parents are gone, Travis finally asks me if it is okay for him to come by. I tell him yes, and he tells me he will be over in a little bit, he just needs to take a shower. I begin to feel extremely nervous and I wish I had something to calm my nerves. I don’t.

Travis comes back online and sends me a message saying that he is on his way. I know he will be here soon. He lives a 5 minute walk away from me. A few minutes pass, and I look out my window into the parking area. I do not remember what he looks like, but I have seen some of his pictures, and from what I can tell, the young man walking towards my apartment is him. He calls from downstairs so I can open the door. I tell him over the intercom that I am on the second floor, and he tells me that he knows, he’s done this before. I have no recollection of this, and I sit on the couch in nail bitting anticipation. My nerves feel shot, and I feel dizzy. I limp over to the front door, and there is a knock. I open it and step back to let him come in. I look at him, and I begin to recognize his face right away. All of a sudden my nerves calm down. I feel extremely at ease. This is very familiar to me. He looks over at me and says,

"Oh wow, your hair is shorter than mine." I am drawn back to reality,

"Yeah I know. They chopped it all off while I was in a coma."

"Really?"

"Well I wouldn’t do this to myself."

We walk into the living room and I turn on the TV. We sit together, and he pulls out a large can of beer from a plastic bag he was carrying. He looks over at me and asks if it is okay for him to drink as he opens the can. He has already made the decision for me, but I tell him that yes, it is fine.

"I would have brought one for you, but I didn’t think you were allowed to drink."

"That’s fine. And I’m allowed to drink. I haven’t managed to get pregnant while I was in the hospital."

He smiles at me and we watch TV. I feel calm and content. Not at all what I expected.

"Did you lose weight?" I look over at him looking at me.

"Yeah I did."

"Ah... I think your boobs got smaller."

"You know that actually sounded like it was about to be a compliment, but you managed to turn it into an insult. You’re special like that aren’t you?" I smile at him and he smiles back. I actually don’t care much about what he says. I am very happy that he is right here beside me. Beer or no beer.

"You look pretty skinny yourself." I say to him.

"Yeah, I don’t really eat."

I weigh 113 lbs after the incredibly unpleasant antibiotic treatment, and if he had told me he weighs less than me, I would believe it.

"I think you used to call me fat before." I actually do not remember, but James has told me this, adding it to a list of reasons why I should brake off all contact with Travis. In response Travis does not deny anything, just sits there and nods, and somehow this does not upset me.

"Why didn’t you ever come to visit me in the hospital?"

"I was really scared. I thought you were mad at me."

"Travis, you gotta grow a pair."

He chuckles.

"Do you know why I was mad at you?"

"You were just in a bad mood for some reason. I saw you walking home one day, so I pulled up beside you and asked you if I could give you a ride, and you told me to leave. You seemed really mad."

"Oh wow. What did you do to get me so mad?"

He shrugs. According to him I was just overreacting for no good reason.

"Well I don’t remember why I was so upset, so I guess you’re off the hook."

If I had actually responded so poorly to him tailgating me, he must have really done something awful.

After a short while we decide to head to my room and watch TV from there. Travis offers to carry me, and I am very surprised by this. I’m surprised because it is a gentleman thing to ask, and for some reason this is the last thing I would expect from him. Even though I do not remember how things were between us before I was hospitalized, I somehow know that for him to show this kind of consideration is very rare. I tell him not to worry about it. I have about as much faith in him carrying me as I would in me carrying him. In other words I have absolutely no faith. But I do not tell him this. We lie in bed and watch TV. He rests his head on my shoulder, and before long I realize he’s fallen asleep. And I keep things quite, and I watch whatever is on television, and I realize that this is the happiest I have felt in a very long time.

He wakes up and tells me that he has to go. He asks me if he can come back another time.

"Yeah. Of course." I know my life will now revolve around waiting for him to return, but I do not tell him this.

He asks me to give him my phone number. I give it to him and he leaves. It is some time later that I begin to wonder why he doesn’t have it, considering he used to text message my phone several times a day when I was in the hospital a few months ago.

"Fools rush in
Where angels fear to tread

And so I come to you my love
My heart above my head

Though I see
The danger there
If there's a chance for me
Then I don't care"

 

-Mercer/Bloom-

?

36

I notice that I have begun to experience even more trouble sleeping. I achieve only a few hours of sleep even when I take several prescription sleeping pills. I have been told in rehab that brain damage and insomnia go hand in hand. One night I realize I have gotten a total of 2 hours of sleep, so I decide to try this during the day. Not that I have a lot going on anyways. I don’t have work. Plus I am the only one home, so no one will keep me up. I take two sleeping pills, and they slowly begin to kick in. I begin to doze off and the phone rings. I instinctively grab it without giving it a single thought.

I quickly realize I should not have picked up. I am half asleep and make very little sense. I am unbelievably drowsy. It is my father, calling me from Italy to see how I am. I can hardly keep my eyes open and I do not sound too well. I know I should not have answered the phone. What I do not know is that I will pay for it later. I will pay very dearly for this.

My father begins to worry about what kind of condition I am in. They after all left me alone to go on vacation. That was a huge mistake. I cannot be left alone. My father will present his concerns to my mother, who will naturally come to her own conclusions. I must be getting shit-faced, and doing ‘the drugs.’ As a direct result, my mother will begin to search through my purse if I ever go out with my friends, just to make sure there are no drugs or alcohol. I can no longer be trusted. But I do not know this right now.

After the phone call, I quickly fall asleep not realizing the damage I have done. I will pay for this later. I'm not aware ofthis, and I am happy to finally get some rest. For now.

?

?

 

37

Some time later I wake up, and I feel rested, so I am in a great mood. I decide to limp to the computer. I go online, and Travis messages me right away. He asks me how I am doing and if he could come over tonight. I say yes with no hesitation. I ask him what time. He tells me 8:30pm because he has to bring his cat to the veterinarian after work. I tell him that I will look forward to it. When my parents come home, it will be harder for us to see each other, so we may as well take advantage of this opportunity.

I head to my room and watch TV, and I count down the hours until 8:30pm. In the afternoon, my friend Bella asks me if she can come over to see me. I tell her I will be busy, but we can do something tomorrow. We agree to see each other tomorrow in the early afternoon.

2 more hours until Travis is supposed to come over. I have done nothing productive all day because I have been waiting to see him in complete anticipation. I can’t seem to think of anything else. I shower and wash my hair. I slap on some make-up . I go through my closet picking out something nice to wear. Something that fits my now smaller frame, but looks good.

An hour left. I watch TV. I cannot concentrate on anything. I wonder if he might show up earlier. I am incredibly excited to see Travis. I do not think I have ever loved anyone as much as I love him, and I doubt I ever will. Nothing exciting happens in my life anymore, so for me this is big.

8:15pm rolls around and I can hardly wait. I cannot contain myself so I decide to text message Travis and ask him how everything went with the veterinarian and if he might be running late. Within a minute he replies back.

"I’m not coming. I thought you were mad at me."

I do not understand. I think he is kidding. We exchange a few text messages as follows;

"You’re kidding. Right?"

"No, I thought you were mad at me, so I went to visit my friend."

"Why would I be mad at you for? Just come over. You told me you would be here at 8:30, so stick to that or I will be mad."

"Can’t. I’m not home."

And at this very moment, I finally begin to remember why I had broken off all contact with him back in August of 2010, only a few days before I was thrown from the 7th floor. I remember.

The memories begin to go through my head like a recording of some sort, being fast forwarded. They had been there all along, but where locked away until this very moment. He had hurt me then, and now I experience that all over again. It hurts even more because I wasn’t the one who had thought to invite him. He was the one who asked if he could come over, and I was stupid enough to dedicate my entire day preparing for his arrival. I realize that he had done nothing to deserve my insane affection. I had wasted 13 years, half of my life loving him. For what? For this? I remember he used to stand me up. This is actually nothing new. He did this all the time. He would invite me over. I would get ready and quickly come by, and sometimes he would not even be home to answer the door, or my phone calls. And I would let him. I took whatever I could get from him. More often than not, he would let me down. And I would take it. It was better than nothing, and yes, I was settling for better than nothing.

Months ago I was happy about my weight. My size 7 jeans would be only slightly loose. I liked the way I looked, but Travis would tell me I was fat. Now that my body had been destroyed and pieced back together, I realize it would only be a matter of time before his comments would migrate from my body weight, to the amount of scars that now cover me, and the obvious fact that I am now a cripple. He would have a field day finding things that are wrong with me. At this point I realize I no longer have the strength to live though whatever crap he throws at me. I feel incredibly stupid for dedicating my entire day to preparing to see him. I feel like a complete moron. He stood me up. He stood up a cripple. This speaks volumes about the kind of a young man I managed to fall in love with. Basically he kicked me while I was already down.

I have no idea how this can even be possible, but this moment feels worse than falling from the balcony and everything that followed as a result. Somehow this is worse. I realize I could have seen my friend today. I cancelled on her, so I could dedicate my time to waiting for something that would never happen. And I know Travis is off somewhere gettingtrashed, and I know that I do not even cross his mind. My heart physically hurts.

I can safely say that falling in love with Travis had been the biggest disappointment of my life. This should tell you a lot considering a police officer of all people tried to kill me. This had been 13 years in the making and now it’s over. Basically his actions have hurt me so badly that if I had to relive one moment in my life, either meeting Travis, or having my butt thrown from the 7th floor, I would pick falling from the 7th floor with no hesitation. He could have just left me alone and my life would have went on just fine as I focused on my recovery.

The heartbreaking realization for me is that any hell with Travis would be better then any heaven without him. Who ever says, "It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," has never been unfortunate enough to fall in love with this young man. I have also come to the realization that expecting Travis to do what he says he will do is like expecting a monkey to set up my computer for me... there’s a likelihood it won’t happen.

I do not understand why he would just assume that I was angry at him, without even asking me. If I was in his place, I would ask. There is only one obvious explanation, but I cannot face it right now. In Travis’ life I am completely insignificant. For him, it was nice to have me around when he had absolutely nothing better to do. That’s all. I was just a good way to kill time, and I am not even important enough to receive a text massage telling me he will not be coming by. He didn’t even bother to tell me he wasn’t coming. In his eyes I didn’t even deserve this. And in my eyes, I would do anything for this person. If before my body fell from the 7th floor, now I feel that my soul has fallen from the 7th floor. I waited 13 years for this? I now remember that I had gone through this exact same thing back in August, and the fall had deleted these memories. Actually, they were stored away, for what could have been the rest of my life, but Travis managed to unlock them just now. The situation I am in now is harder on me then it was back in August. I cannot describe the pain I feel at this moment. How the hell has no one invented a pill for this yet?

I hope that in the near future I will be able to have the following conversation with my family doctor;

"Doctor. I haven’t been feeling well. I fell in love with a boy, and he doesn’t love me back. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep..."

"Ah yes. Sounds like a classic case of unrequited love. I’ll write you a prescription. Just take 1 pill in the morning with breakfast. In two weeks the symptoms will be gone, and you can return to your normal activities."

"Thank you doctor."

"It’s a very common problem. I see this everyday."

 

I am disappointed beyond words. I know I did not even feel this broken when I had caught my fiancé Trevor with a girl in his living room and knew that whatever we had was over. Somehow this is worse. The tears spill from my eyes, and I realize I only have myself to blame. After all, I had let Travis get away with anything and everything. I kept hoping that he would one day have an epiphany and change. I know that life doesn’t tend to work in this manner, but I had remained hopeful. That hope is now gone. It hurts me physically and emotionally. The hope that I had been clutching on to mercilessly, is now gone. Technically, it had passed away back in August, but I was intent on not letting it go. Figuratively speaking, I feel like I was holding on to a corpse and lying to myself. I am... an idiot.

I cry myself to sleep. He broke something in me. I only have myself to blame. I will not tell James or Loupe about this. They had been the ones who asked me to break off all contact with him. But I needed to know why for myself. I know they may not say "I told you so", but they will be thinking it if I tell them what happened. I’m thinking it. All that effort, to keep me alive. For this?

"I took his love like it was mine

I squeezed the truth until it lied."

-Feist-


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