The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

You Only Pretend

I was speaking with someone who recently had a very serious health complication. And, though I did not want to take away from their moment, in any way shape or form, I did mention that I had been through something very serious in my life. And, once it happened, I was never the same. I told them, after that moment, all you can do is to pretend that you are okay. I told them this with the hopes that they could understand that even though trauma hits your life, and yes, everything changes, your life does move on. It moves forward, just defined by a different set of standards.
I don’t want to get into all the HIPAA thAng, and all of that. But, what happened to them was very serious. But, as it is me, I can speak to the fact…
When I was twenty-one, just before I was to start my last semester at CSUN, for my undergraduate degree, I had a very serious motorcycle accident. It was a Sunday. And, as Sundays went, at least back then, I was to go and have dinner with my mother. Me, I hopped onto my scoot, and I was on my way. A few blocks from where I lived, BAM, a car turned left right in front of me, and I was toast. My scull was fractured in so many places, my bones were broken, and my were muscles torn.
As the driver had turned in front of me, my cycle hit the side of their car, and I was thrown, flying through the air, over the car, and my face and my skull hit the payment. All not good.
They took me in an ambulance to a local hospital, but they didn’t have a neurologist on duty, as it was a holiday weekend. From there, I was transported to USC Medical Center, over in Boyle Heights, where the only neurologist, in the whole of L.A., was on call. They saved my life. Barely… But, I would never be the same. They had to open up my skull, lift my forehead off of my brain, peel back my face to remove bone fragments from my sinus, and the list goes on and on. All like a horror move stuff; right?
I remember when I got home, and I was trying to do the things that I had done forever: the movements, the actions, the life, it was all gone. There was this intense moment of realization, when I became aware, I couldn’t move the way I used to move. I would never be the same.

From the physical perspective, as a martial artist who was operating a school, I had to relearn and retrain my body to do many of the movements that defined my life and livelihood. It wasn't easy, though I fought my way through. What else could I do?
Then, the subtleties… The subtleties that no one told me about, that no one explained. Doctors just didn’t talk to you back then. Due to the brain trauma, my emotions, my relations, my reactions would never be the same. But, nobody told me that! It took me years to realize THAT and to try and control THAT part of the new ME.

Never the same… That’s a hard pill to swallow.
Me, like everyone who has ever experienced anything like that, they try to pretend that it is not the case. They try to pretend that they are the person they were before the incident. But, they are not.
Today, in my speaking, I tied to pass on the sad realization, that the person would never be the same. Perhaps they can pretend, like all of us, who have gone through something like that, try to do. Perhaps they can lie to themselves, like most of us, who have been through something like this, do. But, the fact of the fact of the fact is, no, they will never be the same.
That motorcycle crash took place in my life over forty years ago. I never thought that I would live this long. I don’t believe anybody thought I would live this long. But, I did. So, the truth of the truth is, life does go on, no matter what happened to you before.
Hopefully, you will never go through an event like this in your life. But, just know that if you do, you are not the only one. You are not alone. There are a many of us, who once were one thing, and now, because of the cruel hands of fate, we are not that something anymore.
And, for those of you who encounter someone who has suffered such trauma, please try to be forgiving, because who they once were are not who they are now.