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  • #16
    cjo33,

    First, there ar no "right" answers. You need to seek your heart and come up with the best answer you can. I'll pray for your peace to come to the right decision for you.

    Here's my take on the situation...for whatever its worth.

    My guess is that he is haunted everyday of his life that his irresponsibility on that ill-fated night resulted in his sister's death and your injury. He more than likely hasn't called because quite frankly he probably doesn't know what to say. There are no words to console your pain. So he has asked you to be in his wedding...because he has no other way of showing you his remorse. He isn't doing this to put more pain in your life....he is saying...you are important to me...this is the most important day of my life...and I need you there to make it complete. He is seeking reconciliation.

    Monkey girl hit the nail on the head. In order for you to heal emotionally you are going to need to find forgiveness in your heart for him. And in order for him to heal he needs that forgiveness, and then he will need to search his heart to forgive himself. Does this mean you forget the pain he has caused you or the loss that you have suffered? No, that is not humanly possible, at least not right now. It only means that you have taken that anger towards him, and turned it into something positive. If you believe in God, give the pain to Him. If you don't believe in God, then do your best to turn that pain into something else and give the gift of forgiveness for this guy to the rest of Tana's family and yourself.

    My sister was driving when we got in our accident. She came out physically unscathed but emotionally battered. She struggles everyday with my injury, and the only thing I can do is live my life to the fullest and let her know that I love her and hold no anger towards her. And yet she remains tormented from those few seconds on that ill-fated day twenty years ago. My guess is that Tana's brother is no different.

    Monkey Girl gave great advice. I wish you all the best in seeking the right answer for yourself.

    [This message was edited by larwatson on Oct 21, 2002 at 04:50 PM.]
    What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

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    • #17
      Cjo...

      I also agree with Monkeygirl! Setting yourself free, and Tana's brother also just might be the nail on the head!

      Wow, friend...the whole thing is kinda complicated to say the least! I also kinda think that her brother is kinda ignoring you because he don't know what to say...he feels guilty...and so he thinks outta sight, out of mind...and doesn't call or keep in touch...

      But...I am on the outside looking in...and I can't say...

      Best wishes with whatever you decide...at least there will be free food at the wedding! >>smile<<

      Blessings,

      Teena

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      • #18
        good luck

        Here are some rules and guidelines:
        Ben Franklin said, "Imitate Jesus."
        Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as
        I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
        Dr. Phil says, "You can only control yourself."
        Roy Rogers said, "Happy Trails to you."
        And someone said," Shit happens."

        Do what is best for your own soul, heart, and mental health. Don't fixate on appearances, past mistakes, the perceptions of others, or your own grief, which you are still allowed to have. And show some leadership.

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        • #19
          I have seen some references on here about what his friends will think, what the people at the wedding will interpret (by your presence), what his wife (to be) thinks. Who cares what they think, you shouldn't. The only people you need be concerned about (regarding what they think of you) is your family and close friends. As far as this man having the right to try and be happy. He made probably the biggest mistake he will make in his lifetime. He is trying to find some happiness. Life is (like) a long road we travel. Everyone is going to make mistakes, some greater than others. All we can do is learn from our mistakes. But you keep going down the road, because it(life) is a journey, not a destination. It is easy to "throw in the towel", and give up. That is the hell of it.

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          • #20
            Twisted around

            Ask and you shall receive...I asked for advice, but I disagree with some statements.

            I admit that I put myself in a dangerous situation, but am I really to blame more than he is? Should I also take full resposibility for Tana's death because I didn't stop her from riding with him? I'm not looking for pity, but some of you seem like you feel worse for him than you do for Tana and I. This guy isn't showing remorse - I'm pretty sure his parents made him ask me. I haven't mentioned yet that he was conscious shortly after the accident, but had to warm up in the car for awhile before he went for help while I laid on the side of the road struggling for my life. I didn't get to a hospital where I could get methyl prednisolone for 5 hours, and we all know how important that is.

            "If I were you, I would go to the wedding and tell him how I was responsible for my own actions try not to feel so much guilt, you deserve to have a happy life, and congratulations."

            He has done nothing to try to make me happy, but he deserves it and I don't?

            The statement I made when I said he was "ultimately responsible" I meant that he was the one in control of the car which was going 60mph on a soggy gravel road. He didn't pour alcohol down my throat and force me to ride with him, but he was in control of the vehicle that crashed. Am I responsible for Tana's death because I let her sit in the front seat? To say that I am more responsible than him is absolutely absurd, in my opinion. I'll reread my earlier posts, but I don't ever remember saying that he feels "so much guilt." There was a time he felt bad, but I think that time has passed.

            Chris

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            • #21
              one small, missing element

              cjo33 - With all this advice I have yet to find one mention of what Tana would like you to do. You know she is there beside you as you strive to decide whether to participate in her brother's wedding or not. What has passed is past and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. Perhaps your attending the wedding will help heal the rift between you and her family. Perhaps being involved with her brother's wedding will provide the impetus for you to get past all the anger and resentment and open the way for a meaningful dialog which in turn will begin the healing which you both seem to need.

              Say a few prayers, visit Tana, and open your heart and mind to the answer Tana will surely provide.

              "And so it begins."
              "And so it begins."

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              • #22
                Chris,

                You've been through hell. Of that journey, no one can no your pain better than you. And no...you and Tana deserve no blame thrown your way.

                I understand that this man has shown little if any remorse. But I cannot believe that he isn't haunted each night by his actions on that fateful night. Then again...I have seen, and do personally know a socio-path. And if he may very well fit into that category...but those type of people are rare. And God can only help him if he is.

                At the end of the day you will never know his motives until you talk with him. How about setting up a meeting with him and his family and confronting him? Ask him why is he asking you to be in the wedding. Ask him why he hasn't bothered to contact you until now. Tell him that you're searching in your heart to find forgiveness.

                Chris, its real easy for us to tell you what to do...we don't have to walk in your shoes. This is going to be tough...but this may be your best chance of getting this out in the open and discussed. Otherwise you may be faced with years of suppressed anger and resentment...and that can't be good...particularly for you. And yes...you definitely count...more than anyone in this situation.

                Yes, you have a right to be pissed off. Yes, you deserve answers. And no, its not fair you're in this position. BUT you have a chance to do something great here. You have the chance to turn a cruddy suituation into something good. And you are the one person who can maybe...just maybe...can get through to this guy. And I have to believe that would be a great gift to yourself, Tana's family...and Tana.

                I'm urging you to be extraordinary Chris. But at the end of the day I only pray for your peace...and only you will know where that lies.

                God's speed my friend...God's speed.
                What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

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                • #23
                  After reading all of your updates. It doesnt sound to me that you want to go to the wedding. Therefore, I think you should follow your feelings and not attend.

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                  • #24
                    Chris~

                    I do not think that any one person is to blame for your paralysis and Tana's death. I don't think it rides soley on your shoulders, or her brother's. I think that this situation was bad judgement on MANY parts.. . on Your's, Tana's, her brother's, and employees of the bar that you left. I think that you are spending too much time pointing fingers, and thinking about what if's. This is what is ultimately going to break you in pieces. I think in order for you to find peace with this horrible accident, you must forgive. If not for your peace of mind, then for Tana's sake. I believe still, that you must go with your gut instinct regarding the wedding. Don't do it if it doesn't feel right. Like I said before, now is the perfect time to be selfish! But please try to communicate with Tana's family, and let them know how badly you are hurting, especially her brother! Unless he is a truly heartless JERK, then there is much more going on in his head than he is showing. This is going to take a long time to heal, but if you start dressing the wounds now, you won't get a bad infection. In other words, you need to address the situation before too much goes unsaid, and this blows up into a raging disaster. I just went through an ugly situation with my family where I had a LOT of misplaced anger hidden deep inside me. This anger surfaced at the wrong time, and with the wrong situation. Feelings were hurt over 3 dollars, when it really didn't have to do with the 3 dollars at all. I don't know if that will make sense to you, but hopefully it will. Good luck, I'm here for you :-).

                    @>->-, ((((((((((HERE'S ANOTHER BIG HUG))))))))))))))

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                    • #25
                      Me too many years ago I lost a very closed friend. She wasn't my girlfriend but she was so closed than never a friend could be. Despite many years has passed there's no week that only for a moment my think go to her. Considering that Tana was your girlfriend and considering circumstances you lost her I *well* understand what you feel.

                      And I well understand your feeling with her brother. He, maybe, is searching a way to get your forgive, he's giving you his hand 'cause you hold it but, in the end, no one here could give you better suggestion than what *you* definitely feel to do.

                      Well says Erin and -at opposit- well says Chasb so: do you see how difficult is to say in absolute what's really the best to do? Feel good with youself, follow what your soul suggest you. It will the best but remember: everything you will decide to do, never regret it.

                      ~Fab~

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                      • #26
                        "do you see how difficult is to say in absolute what's really the best to do? Feel good with youself, follow what your soul suggest you. It will the best but remember: everything you will decide to do, never regret it."

                        Nice summation Fab. Lots of thought provoking points brought up by all.

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                        • #27
                          A great big thank you

                          You've all been a tremendous help to me, I appreciate all of the input. Since he asked me, I've always leaned toward not doing it. I think subconsciuosly that maybe I was trying to get myself talked into it. I haven't made a decision as of yet, it will come in time. I have realized that I have a lot of issues to work through and it's a blessing that there is a place like this for us to share our SCI feelings.

                          With that said, I will do some soul searching and communicating in the near future. It's been 18 months already, but I am finally just starting to come to terms with what has happened. I think my concussion and all of the pain meds I was on may have helped to suppress my feelings. I'm sorry, that's another excuse and I am going to vow not to hide behind them anymore.

                          "Excuses are like assholes - everybody has one and they stink."

                          Once again, God bless you all. I am going to strike the word 'blame' from my vocabulary...

                          Chris

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                          • #28
                            Divine Intervention

                            Not ten minutes after I posted my last messsage, I had some visitors. It was Tana's dad, her brother, and Tana's dog and they visited for over two hours. It was nice - they were taking a break from harvest because it snowed here last night. We talked about Tana a lot, which I LOVE to do. Nothing was mentioned of the accident or wedding, but I feel this is progress.

                            Thanks again,
                            Chris

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                            • #29
                              Man that just sends chills up my spine. On a really stressed out day I needed that. Thanks for sharing Chris. May this be the first day of the rest of your life...moving forward, seeking understanding and finding peace.

                              Continue to be extraordinary. And keep us posted on your journey back.
                              What we do in life echoes in eternity. Maximus - Gladiator

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                              • #30
                                Funny isn't it. . .

                                how things like that just seem to happen when you need it the most. I think that you are in good hands, and everything will turn out the way it is supposed to. That's soooo awesome, and it looks like it's a roll (he he he) in the right direction.

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