Dream car or nightmare?
by Heath Shiver
(Troy Alabama )
January 21, 2010. That is when my dream would become a nightmare.
It had been raining that day in Troy, Alabama. My wife met me at Wal-Mart to discuss dinner plans. We decided pizza. So I decided I would go pick it up seeing how much I loved my beautiful car and sporting it out. I made it to the pizza diner got two pizzas, and was on my way home. My friend had been with me but I dropped him off at his truck for him to follow me home to enjoy pizza and soda. I pulled on to the highway and we were side by side for the trip home. It was a very fast car and was a six speed so I would even my car to his truck and rev my engine because it was my baby that I worked very hard for. I was 20 had a great job and was in the national guard. So I saw a financial opportunity to get it and I got it. I was very proud of myself considering I was the guy who'd never make it out of high-school but had once again proved that I was capable of what I put my mind to. I was in college at night and work at day. I had the friends the beautiful wife the money and if I may say so myself the good looks lol. I had my dream laying in a safe and no one could take it from me. I was a hard worker had been my whole life and I had so much pride I actually believed no one or nothing could bring me down. I was living my dream and was very outgoing and confident not cocky but confident. So getting back to the story. We were side by side reving our engines and being guys that were crazy about cars and speed. We were about three miles from my home. I got over excited popped my clutch forgetting the wet asphalt and previous rain. I was going about 55mph and stomped the gas..... It didn't dawn on me first that just because the speedometer said 80 didn't mean my car was going that fast. As soon as I realized what was happening it was too late. Time stood still I could hear my heart beginning to pound as the car swayed. My first reaction would be most anyone's hit the breaks and turn the wheel...What a mistake. The harder I pushed the brake the faster I went spinning out of control. I was in a complete state of fear. I closed my eyes screamed for God to help me.....Bammmmmmm!! A utility light pole stopped me from 60-0 in a split second. Only thing I can remember is my buddy's head lights spinning 180degrees on the shoulder of the highway. I thought I was dead. I felt no pain or discomfort. Mainly because I was in shock and laying in the passenger floor. Then the adrenaline slowed enough for me to feel the glass in my hair and the tingling in the left side of my body. This terrified me. I was sure I was paralyzed. Everything went black. The smell of burning rubber made me slightly conscious but the overwhelming disbelief overcame my mind. It wasn't until I arrived at my house, when I realized what I had done. I drove a car that had broke a lightpole in half for 4 miles. This is no lie. The front tire was caved in the engine compartment and wouldn't rotate. I drove it that way for 4 miles! I got out of the car reality hit me I screamed for my wife then pitch black again. The sound of my friends voice screaming for my wife woke me. Pitch black... Adrenaline arose me from my faint I ran falling down crying and screaming my wife ran to my voice demanding an explanation. Then pitch black. Meanwhile my wife called my dad and the ambulance. The police had already heard about the wreck and was searching for me. Not me in particular but the person who caused the power outage for a stretch of 8 miles. Finally the paramedics arrived along with the city police and state patrol. The emts were laying me on the stretcher and the police were getting my statement and trying to give me a breathalyzer but they figured I had a concussion because of the fainting so they rushed me to the ER. No one was even worried why my air bags didn't deploy or the cause just worried if I was drunk. At this point in time it was still like a dream. Turns out I had no concussion at all no broken bones no cuts no bruises. Just whiplash and pulled muscles. It was nearly impossible to explain this to the police. I didn't know. To this day I still don't know why I left the scene or how I made it home for that matter. A couple of weeks went by and then came the fatigue and neck pain. Which kept me out of work at least 2 days a week. Bills started stacking up then came the depression and guilt. I finally heard from my insurance company and they had devastating news. A missed payment before the wreck that was a mistake voided my insurance so then everything fell apart. So did I. No car. No money. No friends. No dignity. And finally no hope. My days consisted of sleep and my nights consisted of alcohol, crushed dreams, and vague horrifying memories. People couldn't stand to be around me my relationship was going down the drain. My lights got cut off. And last but not least I lost my house. I moved in with my mom for a few months. Things got some better. I started working regular again but the physical pain was Hell. No one could understand. Everyone said it was in my head and I needed to quit bein lazy and suck it up. Intriguing idea but it was impossible. I didn't know how. The more I ignored it the more it haunted me. Then came the flashbacks and the feelings of losing my mind but if there was but one thing I knew was real it was the physical pain. Several doctors MRIs ct scans blood tests pain meds muscle relaxers migrane meds anxiety meds later, nothing had changed nor come close to it. Everyday is a battle within my mind feelings of hopelessness shame guilt anger constant pain nausea its very hard to live with. Especially the guilt. Feeling that everything is my fault and I should have not put myself in the situation that could cause this. Feeling as if everyone would be better if I were gone. Feelings of numbness where I couldn't cry or laugh or be intimate with my wife or even get out of bed. Feeling where if I take a risk I will fail or in a physical situation I would die. Extreme difficulty in being a passenger in a car, if I forced myself I would have an anxiety attack. After a while I learned how to hide the attacks and lock them away so I wouldn't be made fun of. I finally stopped drinking the only thing that allowed me to be social. Now its just constant anger in myself because I'm afraid of going in public much and afraid I am being watched or judged. These are the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. Everyday is constant physical and mental pain. Every time I leave my home I see a car that was just like mine. This makes my stomach churn and I can hear the tires screeching and loud blast of the windows shattering and hear the sirens blaring and it brings back the good memories before the wreck only to make it worse. All this over a stupid car I had to have. I currently still pay for it through garnishment which is 25% of my paycheck weekly. Bills are very hard to pay along with medicine and doctor bills. My wife and I have had several fights over money. I still to this day have flashbacks of the wreck. The one year anniversary of my wreck was very hard for me I cried a lot. A grown man crying over a car sounds pathetic huh? But really its the whole ordeal. I often pass by the crash site its challenging but I have to so it makes all those memories return even lifelike memories. Work is a big challenge also I'm exhausted and in pain by my second hour. People think I'm lazy and a hypochondriac and want attention. The same people that was there before the money and parties were gone. I've come to realize its a cruel world and when it comes down to it no one really cares how you feel or that your suffering from things that haunt you every single day of your life. It's always take a pill you'll feel better or you just gotta let it go and my favorite you stress too much I mean if they only knew...... It's embarrassing to ask for a ride home from work everyday somedays I jus consider walking but I would fall out from exhaustion. But all this is what I face everyday. I'm in a bad place in my life and no one seems to care but I will always do my best to be happy again. Most people look forward to being rich or having nice things which was me at once but now is trade it all for happiness and to be pain free. I hope you enjoyed my story. Thanx HEATH