Healing is Hard…

I know I have not done a lot of updating in the past year via The B.R.O.A.D. blog or FB page. I feel that The B.R.O.A.D. journey has lost its luster to the public, yet it is a journey that continues to envelop my life. Since my lawsuit was dismissed in early 2017, I have in a lot of ways lost hope. I’m nearly 47 years old and have great trouble in seeing a bright future. Folks see my travels and they think I live a charmed life. Blessed yes, charmed no! Folks don’t realize that I camp cheaper than I can rent. With nearly $1M in medical debt, I will soon file bankruptcy and have to begin another rebuilding process. My disability provides me enough to manage my standard expenses and to have somewhat of a life, but no chance at saving. My business is growing but that’s a double-edged sword. I used to be the only one doing the real work and I actually made money at it. Now there’s too much work to do alone and I pay others, meaning I make nearly nothing. I have not paid myself in so long I can’t recall. My work, my contractors, and my clients give me a source of pride and accomplishment, despite the reduced income. It makes me feel a sense of worth beyond dollars, but dollars are required to meet our needs – not to be confused with our wants.

I have made choices that have brought me great peace and great joy. I have made choices that have brought me great pain and great anxiety. With every new challenge, I try hard to find the positive even if it’s only the fact that I’m alive to try again. My mind beats me up so often and I don’t always know which of my options is the best fit. Currently, I am weighing a new set of options. For my own sanity and structure, I must find a ‘home base’. I come back to Illinois time and again because #1 – my son is here. He is grown, has a life, a girl, a job, his own challenges, and I don’t see him much when I’m here. The climate in Illinois is not beneficial to my body or my soul. Despite the people here that love me; this state has never felt like home. It’s most likely that sooner than later, I will take up residence in a southern state. My goal is to find a place I can call my own, a place where I can find and commit to counseling, a place with friends so I am not alone, and a place where I can commit to improving my walk of faith. So far, the only thing that makes any sense is Florida. I have analyzed over and over; it’s the only place I can think of that has a little of everything I need. Dare I say, I’m praying hard on one option in particular; living close to my retirees and my extended Rider’s Claw family near Leesburg, FL. I have several good friends within arm’s length of there and even friends within a couple hours of there.

I have been helped in so many ways by so many people, known and unknown. I can never repay the financial help from folks nor the medical bills destroying the hard work I’ve accomplished over past years. It used to be funny to tell people I was homeless by choice, but now that it’s for real, it’s not funny anymore. Friends say I’m never homeless because so many offer me a place to stay. The fact is, I cannot soak off friends forever – I nor they would last long at that. And no matter what kind of help people provide, another fact remains that I must find and execute a way to once again be fully self-sufficient and improve the life I still get to live.

I so often think, “What did I do to deserve this tragedy? What did I do to deserve these blessings?” There are no concrete answers to these questions and I know I have to work harder to heal my mind, to improve my faith, and to simply be thankful. Everybody that follows me on social media knows that I try hard to be upbeat, funny, and strong. The truth is, I simply don’t put all the battles on social media and so, I am not telling you all the WHOLE truth. I don’t owe anybody any explanation but yet, I feel an obligation to share for those that love me and help me. Heck – maybe that’s just my own self-centered ploy because I continue to want and need encouragement to keep moving forward.

“It’s very common for those with PTSD to suffer nightmares or flashbacks — a symptom known as re-experiencing — in which the person suddenly and vividly relives the traumatic event in a repetitive manner. Re-experiencing can enter dreams or come on suddenly in waking images or sensations of physical and emotional pain and fear.” No matter what you think about PTSD, I assure you it’s real, it’s scary, and it’s painful. I relive that crash and see myself fading, often wishing I had stayed dead. During times like this it’s almost unbearable; hence the feeling of hopelessness. The only reason I haven’t made the wrong decision to end my suffering is because of PEOPLE! In my worst times of weakness, the one strength that stands above all else is my ability to swallow my pride and call somebody to ask for their ear and their shoulder, just for that moment so I can divert my mind from the worst-case scenario. My greatest blessing in this life is PEOPLE!

The point in today’s post – Honesty, Humility, and Appreciation! No matter your role in my life, whether I’ve met you or not, every person that chose to know or follow me has given me a piece of themselves. For love or for learning, for good or for bad; I appreciate you all and will continue to try and fight for myself to show you that your time has not been wasted on me.

Thank you All ~ Wishing us all Peace and Blessings!

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20 Responses to Healing is Hard…

  1. Rick Brocato says:

    Oh Ursula, I feel your pain, literally. My heart aches for you. I know that sounds like a cliche, but, I mean it. I relate. My amputation (lost right eye) wasn’t as debilitating as yours. But, the accident came very close to killing me and changed my life forever. Like you, I have suffered from PTSD. Oh, yeah, it’s very real! I know what you’re going through. For years, I’d re-experience my accident and wake up in terror, it felt so real. Alice would comfort me and tell me it was just a nightmare. I also asked, “why me, God”? What got me through was love from others and the belief that I was still alive for some purpose beyond my understanding. It took me years to find that purpose.
    During this “dark night of the soul”, you have suffered so much – physically, mentally, spiritually, and materially. But, I believe that you are alive for some special purpose. I believe your outreach to other amputees is part of it. I also believe your story (the good, the bad, and the ugly), your struggle, to overcome immense adversity in very trying circumstances needs to be told far and wide. In this day and age, there is so much uncertainty and strife in the world that people are dispirited, people are despairing, people are depressed. People need to hear your message! it speaks of the resilience of the human spirit. It is real! It is inspirational! It gives hope! With your indomitable spirit, yes, even your “fuck you, Devil” attitude, along with your compassionate heart and loving soul, people WILL listen to your story. There is an old saying, “help others get what they want, and you’ll get want you want”.
    You know I love you, little sister.
    “Peace, Hugs, and Pipes That Rumble.”TM
    (By the way, from one writer to another, if I can help you organize your memoir when you’re ready, let me know.)

    • The BROAD says:

      I totally know you and Ms. Alice understand. I do so appreciate all your support these years. I’ll be in Port Royal,VA soon; how far is that from y’all? I would love help with the book. I’d even do it in baby steps with the right person to help. Hugs, U

  2. jimcowan1950 says:

    Hi Ursula… I know you don’t want to give up! You’re tough… “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” There was a post that mentioned you should lecture… that would be good for you as well as the listeners. Everyone can learn something from someone who’s been through it. You would need to find a sponsor that could connect you to the right media. (Here I am preaching to the choir… I know you know this already.) I, as well as all these folks here who have read your story, don’t want you to quit or give up. I will pray that what would work best for you will be what transpires. Also, wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day on the 14th. You have a better day tomorrow, and better yet every day thereafter. God will carry you when you can no longer walk.
    Jim C

    • The BROAD says:

      You’ve always been such an excellent supporter gym. I do appreciate you being in my corner of the world. I am trying to speak more. You’re right, it helps me and sharing and it helps those that are willing to listen. I know this I just need to find the right venues. That is unfolding slowly but Shirley, but I still have to work my real job. I am learning how to do that better as well. I am a little toogenerous when it comes to my business. I tend to want to help too much for others and not myself. But I am getting better as I said. Thank you Jim. Much love and respect.

  3. You should never worry about or have to prove that ” your time has not been wasted on me.” My God, we have all benefited from knowing, following, reading, caring, and watching your journey! The knowledge, intrigue, strength, and friendship(s) that we have gained from you is priceless! If we opened our heart, our home, or our wallet, that was our choice, not because we expected anything, but because we care! I believe the only thing that any of us want for you is peace, happiness, and stability. A journey is not over until we leave this earth and there are many chapters to a novel. We signed on to watch your journey, to help if we could, and to give support if possible. You have to do what is best for you and while some may leave your audience, there are many who will stick around just to see what happens on the next page, to see the blossom that this rain has created, and to give support when it is needed. The only one you have to prove anything to is yourself. We do not expect superhuman strength, we only expect you to be human and do the best that you can. We love you, we care about you, we want what is best for you, and you are the only one who can make that call. Best wishes to you in what ever you do. God be with you.

    • The BROAD says:

      The blossom the rain creates… What a wonderful sentiment. To this day I still sleep on the cot that you gave me. You will forever be a part of my soul. Thank you for all the support over the years. I love you woman!

  4. Ronni says:

    Ursula – I am so sorry for all that you have and continue to go through. I certainly can empathize with you. Even though I am a relatively new amputee, it took many months to even get to that point. Your article in Amplitude really inspired me and I immediately found a positive influence in you. If ever in Vermont, we would so look forward to meeting you. Hang in there. With hugs, love and prayers! – ronni

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you so much Ronni. It’s a hard road and I often wish I couldn’t remember all the details. That doesn’t change the outcome but I’ve learned the mental battle is harder for some than the physical battle. I sure hope your challenges are manageable and that you have wonderful support in your life. I try to impart a positive spirit in all I do but some days are harder than others. I do appreciate your support and encouragement. I would indeed love to see your area of the country as I’ve heard things and seen images that call to me. Walk with courage and never give up; that’s what I keep trying to do.

      Also, the TailorMade foot I got this year is amazing. I’m walking better than I have during this nearly 4 year battle. Always make sure your prosthetist listens to you, your prosthetic should never be painful and technology is out there for us. Good equipment makes all the difference in physical success. Blessings and thanks again.

  5. Skip Helseth says:

    Never give up. You are my hero….

  6. the Strange1 says:

    I read your post and I felt I had to respond.
    I know what that feeling of losing hope is. I too felt it, so much so I decided life had nothing more to me to offer. I took all the steps necessary to end it, and the pain. I had lost all I held dear, all those things that we all work so hard at obtaining.
    Through my daughter I was lifted back up, dusted off and I struggled to put my life back together.
    I’d manage on getting to Chicago and meeting a person who showed me what faith is. She stood beside me and through her and a fallen rider I found Christ.
    My life now is back on track, occasionally I re-remember my past. But with that I remember that beautiful lady who showed me what Christs love and faith can do.
    I hope your journey turns you to Christ, trust in him…

    (Thanks Annie..) 

    • The BROAD says:

      Thanks Annie. I know you’ve had a hard road as well. Though I don’t know all the details, I know enough to love, trust, and respect your journey. I have a lady like yours, in fact I have a few. You are one of them and I think you know that. I love you and I’m so thankful to have you in my life.

  7. Michael Erbrecht says:

    Ursula, you are always welcome to call me when you need to talk. We’ve rode together, talk on the radio show with each other & I am happy to know such a inspiring lady. Most people’s troubles are pale in comparison to what you endure daily. Honored to call you a sister of the road & fellow wanderer. Peace always & keep in touch.
    ps: I like the Leesburg area myself.

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you is not enough Michael. We have an odd little bond you and I – B.B. Girl’s last good ride was with you. For that alone, I will never be able to forget you. Being my friend is amazing icing on the cake. Thank you brother and I will stalk you again. Love Always, U

  8. Hang in there girl, you probably don’t realize all the people you have touched since you started this journey, or the amount of people who pray for you. God will never leave or forsake us, he is constant. Can’t believe your law suit was dismissed. I think I would be trying to find another way. This accident was not your fault and seems like you are the one who is paying for it. Just wondering….have you started that book yet?? Be looking for doors to open, it will happen! Motivational speakers are needed all the time, you could do that!
    Take care of yourself, knowing your readers care…. – Tricia in NC

    • The BROAD says:

      Hi Tricia – You’re one of the ones I think of when I know I have let my blog go too long. I smiled when you name popped up. No, I have not started the book. I can’t afford a writer to put it all together and I simply can’t write it in a non-subjective way. I do have two speaking engagements this year. While they don’t pay much, they are good experiences and I feel good sharing with others. Perhaps if I can settle and get my act together, I may find time to attempt the book. Thanks for staying out there in my corner. Hugs, U

  9. Miki says:

    Love you dear one. And you are always welcome here when your gypsy wants you to go someplace. It is in the city but feels secluded (: And I now have hot water …and they are finally clearing the materials out of my house!

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you my love. If the Lord sees fit to make this opportunity a reality, we may very well be nearly neighbors. Only about an hour or so from you if I am able to get this place. I do miss our talks, your insight, your struggles that help me know I am not alone, and I miss foraging with you – hehe! I do hope a path makes itself apparent soon. I LOVE YOU WOMAN!! Thanks for sticking with me.

  10. Carol Nelson says:

    Can’t wait to meet you at the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Motorcycle Rally in June! You will feel the love and empowerment, no doubt! Carol

    • The BROAD says:

      Thank you Carol. I am looking forward to meeting ALLLLL of you. Sharing my story and getting hugs is healing and I look forward to taking full advantage of all the possible hugs. I’m waiting to hear from the ZipLine company to see if I can participate. When they answer my question about whether I can or cannot participate, I’ll complete my registration. Also trying to get another lady rider to join me since Mary cannot come. We shall see on that one. I appreciate you and MAWMR for believing in me.

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