It’s like walking through a maze in the dark. Banging your head against the walls for not knowing any better or where you are going.
Kate Connors had tried to write her feelings down in her journal. It’s what her doctor had told her to do, after she refused to talk to him about what was bothering her. Her coach had agreed with the plan and wanted to meet once a week to check her progress since she insisted on trying to do it on her own.
They met at the same place at Bellview Park to chat every week. It was a common meeting place for them while Kate was training for her races. They used to ride together on the paths around the lake and stop at this table to have water and talk. She leaned her bike against the picnic table and sat down on her normal side of the table. The sound of splashing water and children’s voices filled the normal quiet of the park. She watched them play by the lake. As her coach approached, she saw one of the girls get pushed into the water. The other kids laughed as she pulled herself up from the water. Her dress was soaked and her braids just hung limp on each side of her head, wet with lake water. She shook herself off and started to laugh along with the other kids. As Kate watched the girl, she saw a little of herself, who she used to be before the accident.
“Kids will be kids, won’t they?” her coach Betty Mainfard observed.
“Yes, they will. Somethings just don’t change between generations. It wasn’t that long ago that would happen to the kids I grew up with.”
“How are things coming with the project?” Betty asked, pointing to the green notebook that Kate had sitting on the picnic table.
“Not as good as I’d like. Wish I could push through the barriers faster.”
“Takes time to undo what years of a habit have done. Any really rough patches?”
“Tears and weird feelings come with it?”
“On one of the main threads, but not on the others. I think the others may be tangents from dealing with the main one.”
“Very well could be, but that is also part of the process. Can’t just stay on the painful thread. Won’t make a lot of progress that way. It’ll just turn into obsession and beating yourself over what’s a shortcoming in you. It’s not good to dwell, it’s probably time to accept what happened and learn how to deal with it.”
Kate knew she was right. She had been stuck at that point in her journal for a while. It was pushing her backwards in her progress towards bringing herself to a happier place.
“Maybe, it’s just a hard thing to swallow. I may never be able to get past this.”
“Without help it’s going to be harder. Kate, there are people out there who understand what you have been through.”
“They don’t understand me, Betty.”
“I think they do. You just want to hold on to the pain and try to power through it. It’s OK to accept it.”
“See, you don’t even understand me. If you did, you would know why I can’t accept this.”
“You are way too hard on yourself Kate, that’s why.”
“Had I been able to stop it before it happened, then I wouldn’t have to deal with it now.”
“That is a pretty big what if. It would have taken a pretty physically strong person to stop that car from hitting you.”
“If I would have stopped for the stop sign instead of sailing right through it.”
“Then what? You would still be able to race. At least you can still ride.”
“That’s not enough for me, Betty.”
“It’s going to have to be. Doctors say that parts of your knee cannot be repaired enough to ride competitively any more. At least you are still walking.”
“That’s just great,” Kate replied.
“Some people just wish that they were able to do that. How things turned out for you is something you need to be grateful for and not angry about.”
Kate got up from the table abruptly, picked up her bike, and rode away back towards the condo. Betty knew that she needed to be alone for a bit. She was starting to touch on what she was so upset about.