The Back Story – Part 2
I’m skipping ahead now and skipping a lot of details because I think that we need to have a reprieve and discuss a more absurd part of my weight gain. Did you see the post where I relived being run over? Yeah, let’s be honest, I left a few details out. All of the trauma and emotions expressed in that post were 100% true but here’s the story and the aftermath.
It was December 19, 2007 and within the last month too many of my family members had just died. The first one wasn’t a big blow, I didn’t really know him that well and he wasn’t technically family. The second one hurt, not so much because of closeness with this person but because of the lack of it when I had wanted to have more. It surprised me how much it hurt and how it really sent me into a funk. I started slacking off at school a little but with my teachers help and understanding was catching up. Then I got another call. “Kendra, Grandpa’s gone into the hospital,” which meant, “Kendra, Grandpa’s dying. Now.”
We all called him grandpa but he was really my great grandfather and the light of my family. He was the exception to the dysfunction. When I was still living at home he gave me hope.
I was on the next flight.
I got there just in time to see him die and that image was one that I later could not get out of my head.
The night before the funeral I was at work (at the time I worked for a company where I could work in a variety of locations across the country) and just started crying. I got up and ran upstairs to the parking lot and sat in my car, deciding that I needed to get dinner and go back to work when my facial puffiness subsided. It was one of those times where you are completely unaware of what’s going on around you and stupid things happen.
My tire got stuck in one of the muddy spots in the parking lot. In the process of trying to get in unstuck my foot hit the gas petal too hard while I was standing on one foot outside my driver’s side. The car suddenly moves fast, the door hits me, I fall, and the car drives over me.
I lay on the ground in complete shock. I can’t feel a thing except for a stinging in my right foot. Awareness slowly sets in accompanied by deep embarrassment, pain, fright, and an “I must fix this now” mentality. I went back to work, told them that I fell, called my mom, refused to go to the hospital, endured a few hours of my mother cleaning gravel from my back, legs, and arms. I didn’t even register the severity of the accident. For the next day I was given huge amounts of pain killers and still had no clue. It wasn’t until a few days later when I had a massive pool of blood in my leg that I decided to give in and go to the hospital.
That was the beginning of my most massive weight gain. Life with constant pain is completely different. It’s amazing what we just do without thinking about it. Broken bones, torn ligaments, a dislocation, a concussion, bruises, internal bleeding, and abrasions all over my body completely changed my perception of myself. I had never before understood what people meant when they talked about being trapped in their bodies.
It didn’t matter, I pushed on. I went back to school immediately, went back to work immediately. Told the story, laughed about running myself over, and laughed at my stupidity. At the risk of sounding emo, I also died a little inside every day. It wasn’t really funny to me. I started having nightmares about both the accident and the death. I shut down. I gained weight. I cut myself. I medicated.
I put on a happy face for my friends, coworkers, teachers, and family but I was not okay. It really amazes me how nobody could see what was happening, not even my best friends. My mom later explained that the only reason no one could see it was because of how badly they all wanted me to be okay.
The whole meltdown took about a year and a half before I started to come out of it. I had left school by that time and isolated myself. It gave me ample opportunity for introspection and analysis. I’m glazing over the details now because with the exception of my (really funny) adventures in the hospital, it’s a slog. I gained at least 50lbs during this time and lost all the color in my face. Good Lord, I’m pale enough… that’s the last thing I need!
I still can’t help but laugh when I think about the faces of my coworkers that night when I told them that I fell. They knew I was lying and that something much more serious had happened but I was NOT about to tell them that I had just run myself over with my own car. You probably get it.