Collision.

“In life, we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream and  an unforgettable love.”

It’s safe to say that I found all of these things in one person. In one relationship, I carved out a huge part of my life and was changed completely. I became someone different. Wading through the foggy memories of my relationship with Jared  is always difficult…looking back at old photos I still have a hard time recognizing the girl staring back. Forgive me if I have to tell this story in parts; I fear that is a story with so many layers and sadly, one without end.

I truly am at somewhat of a loss as to where to begin my story about Jared. It’s imperative that you know this “story within a story” so that you may better understand me as an individual and what kind of state I was in leading up to my surreal discovery. Keep in mind, some of these memories are being re-lived and re-thought for the first time in a while…even writing some of these sentences is overwhelming and difficult for me. There are just so many details. I have begun this paragraph over five times already and I’m still not satisfied. No words can truly put this relationship into perspective. It was the biggest turning-point in my life thus far; the aftermath and the residue of my choices are still very alive today.

In my next few posts, I will delve deeper into the relationship with Jared and the effect our relationship had on my life then and today. For now, I will speak only of the core details of the accident. As simply as it can be stated, Jared and I were together for three incredible and turbulent years, all of which came to a screeching halt and major crossroads in October 2008 of the second year. It was a Thursday. Around 11 p.m., after a heavy night of partying, he plowed my truck into another vehicle after weaving in and out of six lanes, causing my truck to roll four times and land on its side. Now I know this alone should be reason enough to bid him farewell, but as you all know, I woke up in the hospital to a life-altering secret. Because of this, my other questions concerning the accident itself took a backseat. On another note, Jared had disappeared. He was nowhere to be found. People around me thought I was experiencing temporary amnesia as I kept insisting that he, too, had been in the car with me. And not only that, but was the driver. “Impossible,” the nurses told me. The police report showed no evidence of another person in the vehicle and with all the witnesses to the accident in surgery, there was no proof to my belief. It was horrible. I knew that something must have happened, and while there was a lot to sort through at that time, I could not shake fear and disbelief at the truth I knew would soon surface. It shook me to my core and I felt a part of me die in that moment. It would be almost six months before I would see Jared again.

When the accident report came through a week later, all my fears came to life. While the police report showed that I was the driver of the vehicle, the accident report listed me as a passenger. Keep in mind that I was cut from my vehicle, it being unrecognizable and in pieces. Paramedics had cut my seatbelt off coming from the right (which is the passenger side, of course) and I had suffered major injuries and blood loss from my shoulder, neck and clavicle. I was quickly lifelighted to Memorial Hermann and the police were left to write their report with the evidence that was left. They simply saw two vehicles and as far as they knew, the occupants of both were on their way to the hospital via helicopter. Listing the only known person in the vehicle, I was listed as the driver. With the two reports conflicting, I finally was able to give my account of what I knew would soon come to light. The memories came over me in waves…each time I re-told my account of what I remember happening, a new detail would flood my mind. I knew Jared had been the driver of the vehicle. I knew he had been drinking and was angry at losing his job the previous week. I knew we had argued over who was in better shape to drive us home. I knew he had been all over the road, me begging him to slow down and quit calling me names. After that, it all goes black. I wake up without him in the hospital, his phone off and his car missing from our apartment.

So let me tell you what really happened that night. At 30, Jared had hit a low point in his life. After a knee injury had taken him away from his successful job in Colorado, he progressively started to spiral downward after his move to Houston. His alcoholism had reached an all-time high; he was at an all-time low.  After the initial shock wore off from the crash, Jared made a decision that would affect both our lives for years to come. As he maneuvered his 6’5 body out of the driver’s side, he realized that the cops would be there soon to take a report of the scene. Highly intoxicated and fearful of a definite arrest, his impulse to run kicked in. Before he took off barefoot however, he took one last look at me and did the unthinkable. He pulled me, unconscious, over the center console and strategically placed my hands on the steering wheel. In his inebriated panic, he forgot a few very important details that proved to be detrimental to the later court case and trial. When the vehicle was viewed a few days later, all the pieces came together. 1) Jared had forgotten to move the seat up. He was a foot taller than me, making it impossible for me to have reached the pedals where the seat had been all the way back. 2) Two air-bags were deployed. Make-up residue was all over the passenger side air-bag; the contents of my purse strewn all over the passenger floorboard and backseat. 3) His shoes lay underneath the steering column. The most compelling evidence however, was the seatbelt that I had been wearing. Forgetting to unbuckle me had not only proven me the passenger, but also was the reason I was so badly injured. Cutting deep into my right side already, the seatbelt dug in further as he violently pulled me as close to the driver’s side as possible. These sustained injuries were what ultimately led to my need for a blood transfusion, which in turn led me to my discovery about my biological father.  

*      *      *     *     *

It must be noted that although I just recently met my biological father, I have a “dad,” the man on my birth certificate, who continues to love me as his own to this day. I also lived with my mother for the better part of my early teenage years, so I experienced all her divorces/boyfriends/re-marriages/children right along with her. It’s no joke that a few “father figures”–some good, others not so great–came in and out of my life pretty frequently. None constant, however.

Even before meeting Rob (When telling this story and in future blog posts, I find that the word “dad” becomes confusing because I refer to both of my fathers many times throughout. For understanding’s sake, I will refer to my biological father as “Rob.”), I had formed some opinions/displayed some characteristics about the opposite sex and definitely agree with the scientific research that has been conducted concerning father-daughter relations and the effects they have on the character of young women as they grow up and experience relationships of their own. Statistical information shows patterns among women who have absentee fathers and/or issues revolving around the presence/non-presence of a father figure in early years that later relate to the type of men young women are attracted to, the way young women conduct themselves in relationships, the aftermath of relationships with males that these women experience, etc.

I do believe that the absence of a good father figure in my life growing up has a lot to do with the way I find and create my romantic relationships. I also think that even though I now have a wonderful man as my father, it is too late to re-wire my heart and cognitive thought-process in hopes of making better choices. This being said, I continued to let myself be brainwashed by Jared after this horrific experience because I felt like he was the only concrete thing I knew. Sick, right? But I felt betrayed by my family and my identity was shaken. Instead of realizing what kind of man Jared really was, I lost myself in the tragedy of it all. And it was, to me, a tragedy. I held on to the pain and the confusion and the utter disbelief like I needed these things to keep breathing. People ask me everyday how I could want him in my life after all that…I still don’t have the answers. I would be lying if I told you I don’t feel a certain sting when I’m going throughout my day sometimes. I believe when you are met with such a devastating blow, it blinds you. Literally…blinds you. After that, I had nothing to hold on to in all my disbelief. All I had was the grief, the broken heart, the questions, the loss of appetite, the anger…the lies. So I held onto lies. I held onto our past because I couldn’t fathom the reality of what he had done. I held onto the memories.

……………TO BE CONTINUED.

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