Everything Changed and I Feel Trapped


Six months ago my husband was in a terrible car accident and was seriously injured.

Dear Lisa,

Six months ago my husband was in a terrible car accident and was seriously injured.  He spent three months in the hospital and has been in a rehab facility ever since.  His Doctor says it could be another eight weeks before he comes home and even when that happens he will need nursing care.

Fortunately we had really good insurance so all of our financial needs are being met.  However, everything else is a mess. My husband isn’t dead, but the man I knew is gone.  Our marriage is nonexistent because all of our focus is on his rehabilitation.  His personality changed dramatically because of a head injury and although I’m seeing glimpses of the person I used to know, they are just that, glimpses. 

I feel depressed.  I feel stuck.  I’m exhausted and terrified.  The life we shared is gone and day after day I’m more and more alone.  I don’t know if I should ask how to make my relationship better or how to leave the man I once loved when he needs me the most.

I know this sounds selfish, but I feel trapped.  I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and I’m scared.



Dear Carrie,

First things first.  You probably are very depressed.  Anyone in your situation would be.  Depression is a serious issue.  It colors the way you see everything in your life.  It exhausts all of your internal resources at a time when you need them the most.  Before you make any decisions about anything in your life I strongly urge you to see a professional to help you manage depression.  You won’t see clearly until you do.

Secondly, stating the obvious, you’re struggling with a massive change in your life.  Everything you knew about your life, your marriage, and your husband changed in an instant.  Wanting things to be the way they used to be is suffering because it means you are resisting what is.  There is a concept called, “the new normal”.  It basically means, that things are different, but that in and of itself doesn’t mean they are bad and you can let them be what they are.

Sure it’s not hard to make a case that this is terrible.  However, lots of people experience profound traumas like this and when they get to the other side are changed for the better by it.  It’s hard to see that as possible from where you sit, but it is very possible, in fact it’s likely.  If you let go of wishing things were different and start to embrace this as the new normal, you might still feel the pain, but the suffering will subside.  The difference between pain you can live through and suffering that will kill you is resistance.

Allowing what is to be the new normal doesn’t mean it will always be this way.  It won’t.  This will pass.  It will.  He will get better.  Things will get better.  That doesn’t mean any of it will ever be the same as it was before.  It just means that you let go of resistance and move with more ease into a state of allowing.  As horrible as this feels right now, if you want it to feel better, you have to let this be ok.

I am sending all my love to both of you,


This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.