If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you. T.S Eliot
I found that quote years ago while sitting in yet another doctor’s waiting room. It stuck with me. It had been eighteen months since the shooting and I was waiting to find out if I could stop wearing the hard brace. This was my third and hopefully last time with this piece of ugly that wrapped itself around my neck digging into my collarbone and leaving permanent bruises on my shoulders. There were days I felt like one of the Giraffe Women of Burma.
Still Mad at the World
Up to this point, I had seen more doctors than I could remember. I had already had eight surgeries including the removal of the bullet in my
forearm which was a very public event attended by two police officers who took the intact bullet as evidence, that was a treat. I had seen the useless psychologist who specialized in victims of violent crime, his contribution to my recovery was an hours’ worth of, repeat after me, “you have a right to feel that way.” Well hell, I knew that when I got here fool, which unfortunately slipped out of my mouth before I could stop it, my bad. He suggested he might not be the best person to help me, really you think.
Now here I was, sitting in my Neurosurgeons office thumbing through a magazine and there it was my epiphany.
Wow, just Wow
What was I going to do with my new circumstances? I couldn’t change them; there wasn’t a single thing I could do that was going to undo what happened. The real questions I had to ask were these –
Are you going to be a Victim?
Are you going to be a Survivor?
Or are you going to be something more, are you going to be Victorious?
The answer was clear, getting there not so clear. The path wasn’t at all obvious or straight,
not then and truthfully not ever. In fact, even now, nearly twenty years later, I find myself on roads filled with potholes, switchbacks and what feel like insurmountable steep climbs.There are days I want to pull over to the side of the road of my life, curl up and give up. It isn’t fair I think in the back of my mind, that small voice whispers to me, ‘just lay down, someone will come along shortly’. The truth is, though I have many wonderful people in my life, always have had, the only one that will come along is me. The only person that can force that next step is me, even when it hurts like hell it is still me.
From Victim to Survivor to Victorious
There is no life without bumps in the road, I accept that my life is no different from others. My bumps might be different they are still just bumps. I have been fortunate in my journey of discovery and recovery to meet some amazing people with similar bumps as mine, they taught me about getting up in the morning, breathing through pain, letting go of survivor guilt and most importantly getting too happy.