Accidental Casualty Survivor, Struggles are Real

Hello my name is Jennifer, a wife, mom to 4, teacher, and an accidental killer…

Woah ya that’s a loaded title. I don’t type it easily, or with pride, but slowly I am also sharing it with a little less shame/guilt, or self -hate. I share to find others, I share to show as my friend and fellow CADI terms, the flip side of a very painful road!

I always loved a great tragedian play, never guessed I would live one. My 2016/2017 in lyric would have been the saddest country song ever sung.

I was involved and responsible for a life-altering, world shattering accident that claimed a man’s life. I joined a club of accidental killers. I actually feel like throwing up each time I type that. I/we prefer the term CADI (Causing Accidental Death or Injury) or ACS (Accidental Casualty Survivor).

Most people do not think of us unless slinging hatred and judgment. Unfortunately, I am guilty of that. I once and I quote said, “If this ever happens to me I would pursue that person to the full extent of the law!” This statement was me talking a bunch of hot judgmental air that really breaks my heart now. I was talking with my mom after we had learned of someone who tragically and unexpectedly lost their husband in a car accident and she was now widowed and raising 4 children alone. The other driver survived and is a CADI. Little did I know that one day I would be on the other end, bringing the worst pain to another family.

How could I ask for or expect grace?

rangergame

I share because maybe someone is struggling to forgive a CADI for an accident that claimed a loved one, I hope my openness helps in some way.

I share because my story may help other CADI/ACS feel less alone.

I share because I now am on a healing journey from anxiety,  panic, and depression.

I share because I was broken, still broken, and plan to make my broken beautiful by not giving up!

This story is in lots of pieces that I will share little by little.

In May of 2017 I stumbled upon a post looking for CADIs to share their stories with a nationally published journalist, I thought here is my chance to share my heart. Maybe just maybe people can see we are not monsters. Alice Gregory other than my therapist heard more details of my accident than my own husband. I was very lerie of sharing at first, I wanted to know her intentions. She just had a thought, she wanted to know the flip side…what happens to people who cause the death of another. She was incredibly easy to talk to, I can not imagine taking in all of our stories in raw form. Beyond words of gratitude!

Her bravery to explore a taboo and sensitive subject opened discussion. Most people feel that by defending or lending compassion to me (CADIs) that they suddenly become insensitive to the real people that lost in the situation, the families of the deceased.

It is true! They lose in ways I cannot fathom. Asking for their forgiveness, seems very selfish. How to ask for such a thing, yet this request is behind many of my thoughts and prayers.

What the public does not know is the grief, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, shame, suicidal ideation, and nightmare cocktail that a CADI/ACS will suddenly and abruptly swim/ drown in.

You can read the article here.

Thank you Alice, for giving us a voice! I feel especially grateful because through that interview I have now joined a community. I have formed some friendships that are bonded in tragedy.

No, I will never “get over it” even time will not heal this,it is unlike situations you can relate to.

Yes, I accept that I am not the one who lost a life, I still grieve something. I hope the mental health community will eventually research and study us.

Most importantly God is faithful and I owe everything to my Savior! I may have not survived without my faith!

Miracles happen! I hope to share them with you!

FullSizeRenderkids and I

 

 

Faith

Managing my broken heart…

What a way to start a blog?!! But it’s honest, it might not be fun or inspiring but I do believe good things come out of brokeness! Here I am for reasons I may get to share, but honestly I am praying the Lord  resolves some before I even write about them. My journey has many mountains, mudslides and mishaps. ( I almost named this blog that 🙂 I am a mom to 4 children, 3 of which have a genetic disorders, I was a young mom who felt the strain of worrying about surgeries and finances. It took years of an unhealthy marriage to learn what unconditional love truly meant, we made it out of some of those valleys bruised and broken but oh how our faith grew! Miracles we were gifted through heartbreak. Beauty from the ashes.

Loss, we have felt loss with a miscarriage, where in my brokenness I sat by the toilet and cried for the baby lost. We have lost kids we ministered to to drugs and accidents and even though they were not “mine,” they had a place in my heart. I have a heart for adoption that I was born into more on that another time.

We have lost jobs, and things, and credit scores, and even friendships… There was even a trial in life where I almost lost hope. This is the deepest of loss, to lose hope!

Sometimes in life you will begin a journey only to later find you were not going to see it to fruition. For some it is a marriage that succumbs to the battles of vows. Others it’s a picture perfect image in your mind of a lifelong career.  A calling that doesn’t work out? Here is where I am today sitting at the table managing my brokenness and confusion once again. My solution is not to build up walls or pretend it’s not broken or even blame anyone…I put my big girl panties on and I decided today is the day I learn to blog!!!!

Where are your broken pieces? What will you chose to do with them? Thanks for joining me here where I reflect, be transparent, and live beautifully broken!

XOXO,

Jennifer

Isaiah 43:18-19 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”