My life during this time period was like living in a reoccurring nightmare. Every day that I woke up, if I woke up at all, was physically painful. Breathing hurt. Every minute, I re-played the scenerio and hoped that minute of retrospect didn’t turn into an hour of retrospect before I could snap back to reality. The nights were the worst. All the mixed feelings flew back and forth, across and over the spectrum of emotions. I could find myself eaten up by anger, only seconds later to feel like I was drowning in grief.

As the court case unfolded, little by little, day by day, more details and questions arose each time we re-hatched the contents of the trial. If Jared was convicted (along with his other priors), he would face serious jail time and multiple charges. There would be times I wished him the worst possible sentence. I hoped he would feel just an ounce of the magnitude of pain I felt, even if only for instant. Other times, I didn’t want to hurt him or make him hate me–sick as that was, in light of all that had happened. He threatened, manipulated, lied…all of this and more to save his own ass by playing tricks with my head and appealing to my heart. What a whirlwind–like a tornado and a volcano happening simultaneously. Most of the time, it felt like I was in the middle of a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs…and no one looked up ever once.

 Everyone would tell me to be strong and bring him to justice. To not let him walk away guilt-free,  knowing that what he did changed my life forever. But somewhere inside of me, I was still in disbelief…utter shock and crippling dismay. I had loved him. He had loved me. Right? Right?!?

Most times however, I just wanted it to be over. I wanted to stop feeling like a shadow to this monstrosity. Of course, the talk of a cash settlement was one of the details of the case. After all, the life-light alone was 10 thousand.  Combine all the surgeries, clocked hospital hours and post-operative care, I was looking at over 25 thousand dollar bill statements–flooding my mailbox and filling up my voicemail. And this was only me! There were four other people hurt and two demolished vehicles to consider; there was an ongoing, drawn-out trial that included court costs and fees along with insurance claims from every side. Yes, a total nightmare.

I have researched many cases like this one, in which the driver of another vehicle hits someone and flees the scene, hoping to escape being caught and later arrested. I found that most often, these individuals have been drinking and are thinking only of themselves as they hit-and-run and attempt escape. Most of the time however, they are cases of two vehicles and two drivers. One driver is hurt, the other in obvious better condition to exit their vehicle and make a run for it. Maybe this is why my story is different. How could someone who loves you and is supposed to be your protector just leave you? Leave you for dead? Forget about you? Not even call for help after making the cowardly decision to retreat? Not only this…but take that un-emotion and instead of helping you, sabotage you?

The path I chose to take near the tail-end of the trial was one I think about every day. Let me re-phrase that statement: The path I chose to take near the tail-end of the trial was one I had to make a conscious effort to push out of my mind every day. I believe it was Walt Disney’s “The Lion King” character Scar who sang the words “…thinking. It’s a dangerous pasttime I know.” I don’t think that a settlement or large lump sum of cash could erase the memory and the realization of what had happened. Sure, Jared deserved to be responsible for the domino effect of tragedy he created. Either way, he was responsible. I definitely know it wouldn’t be Jared paying for the majority of the total costs of damages anyway. He’d been babied his entire life thus far by his clueless parents…and if Jared hadn’t stepped up to the plate and owned up to his mistakes by now, he never would. This denial of what he had done hurt almost as bad as the actual incident.

WHAT A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP. And this was in the middle on our timeline of being together… the beginning being seemingly amazing and the after-effect of this accident becoming a living, breathing HELL.


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