Shaken Baby Syndrome

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Wrong day, wrong lane, wrong driver.

Part 1 of 2 March 12, 2001, 3:15pm

In one of the largest cities in the USA, there is a post that is shorter than most. Fixing the area of the wreck, someone couldn’t read a ruler! That was the marker for me when the barricade was put back that had been run over, it was a reminder every time we drove by.

I never saw anything coming, but a 16 year old having fun during spring break, was driving 100 or so MPH. Witnesses tried their best to keep up, but they couldn’t, so the next took up the chase. They dreaded when and how it would end. I was first hit from behind, which is quite shocking since you are on a freeway moving about 60mph! I almost lost control, but easily gained it back. He oversteered, and BAM, another huge blow to the back passenger door. Time began to crawl, I wondered what I should do? I was out of control, but then, I got back in control again…. and then, there was his face at my passenger door as he hit me again – HARD – out of control. My passenger door…and thankfully, no one was sitting or with me. Sliding up, (screeeeeech) he popped my tire, and that was then end of being in any control. Actually, it was the end of being in control of anything…my life, decisions, doing what I wanted, cooking…well, we could be here all night. To my benefit, I never looked up. (no nightmares) I was going sideways across the heaviest traveled freeway.

Calmly I thought… “so this is how I will die”. I was fortunate, whoever would hit me would hit me at my door going a high speed, and I would never know it. No suffering. Just lights out. But then it changed and my constant steering to one side turned my car around and no I was going BACK across the freeway. But this time I knew I had the passenger door, seat AND them me. The odds weren’t as good, I could live, and yet not be alive. I kept imagining an 18 wheeler…. as I knew it would end any kind of suffering. Eternity from all these thoughts. No, my life didn’t flash before my eyes. Only a calmness of total acceptance came over me. SHOCK…I was in the grassy area of the freeway, between the freeway and the frontage road. I couldn’t believe I’d lived! How did THAT happen? I was stunned, and a burning sensation began from my skull down all sides of my neck to low back. My head had sharply went forward, then to the left, then upper left, the brain banging against the protective skull. EVERY area was jostled. Like the shaken baby syndrome. I knew I was hurt….but just a few chiropractors treatments, and all would be well. Silence on the Chiro’s part, because he knew somehow he would have to help me understand this was a VERY long haul. Queen of denial! He made the neuro’s appointment, and MRI. Laying flat in the MRI for 1.45 hours was excruciating painful.

I forgot things, who was I? Was I Cathy a daughter, or Cathy a wife? My mother and daddy, and sister had died during these years of recuperating, which sent me backwards a lot. My last sister doesn’t know me. So I call myself an Orphan, yet I have a few close cousins. We left our home where we raised our kids, a 4/2 on land, We opened our doors for furniture to be taken away by those who could use it. Now, we were in a 2/2 condo, just minutes from Charles work. And as I woke from deep sleep in the afternoon, I had to get oriented. So out came my notes by my bedside. “I’M CATHY CARLILE TURNER. MOTHER AND DADDY HAVE DIED, I AM CHARLES’ WIFE, HE IS AT WORK.” Quickly, I could get oriented.

Charles fixed early coffee, and I would get up to pour the coffee. Finally, I had to tell him to please turn the cup right-side up, as I had no clue what to do with the cup to make it right. I saved time by not spilling so much coffee. The kitchen I cooked in for 18 years was foreign. And it was exhausting to cover up that fact. I was pretty clueless, but a friend would cover for me and make it appear I was okay. My husband helped also. Was that bad? Yes. Because everyone thought I was fine, they had no idea of the struggles I fought just to get ready to go somewhere or to fix a simple instructions. I wore my mask, and it fit well. But inside that mask, was someone who was afraid, but couldn’t say those words. “Disabled” In fact, my neuro made me sit until I could say that word with confidence as he needed acceptance so we could move on to improving. He new my personality, and what works for one, might not for another. There was much to do, and little time for fear.

Slowly, the large Sunday dinners were handled by two young men, Vic and Paul, who were cheerful and kept our families spirits up, along with our friend. The erosion of who I was and my duties in the family became none, and it was hard for the family to cope and under


Shaken baby syndrome

Have any of you suffered from this disorder? I am 58 years old and have just found out that my hearing loss, partial facial paraysis, the inability to hold my head up as a baby and there was something wrong with my legs too, the fact that I often forget what I am saying in the middle of a sentence are all symptoms of shaken baby syndrome.  Almost everyone in my family is dead and the one that is still alive has dementia so I have no way of possibly finding out who did this to me.  I was a darling baby with a full head a natural auburn curls who smiled all the time.  I do not know how they could have done this to me.  My mother took me to the Dr. many times to find out what was wrong with my head and legs but they did not know what shaken baby syndrome was in 1961-62.  Any thoughts on this?


Rejection hurts #PTSDSupportAndRecovery

. Yesterday I found out that I have shaken baby syndrome.  This caused me to lose a lot of my hearing , I have partial muscle paralysis on the left side of my face, I could not hold my head up as a baby until I was like 1 or 1 1/2 and there was something wrong with my legs as well.  All these things are signs of shaken baby syndrome.  The person I suspect did this to me just passed away so I cannot even confront them about it.     I had an abusive music teacher from 5th grade til I graduated.  He made me bend over, grab my ankles and he broke a yard stick over the back of my legs for fun!  He once slammed my head into a cinder block wall because I said I liked the owners of a particular music store In Reno. He spanked me every year on my birthday extremely hard.  If I cried he would go balistic! I always had private clarinet lessons.  If my hands touched the side of the clarinet he would bend his fiberglass baton and hit my fingers causing bruising. Once our marching band was invited to play at the East West Shrine Game at Standford.  I was in 8th grade and because I was a good clarinet player I was allowed to come.  For no reason he made the band stand at attention (after class was over) and he proceeded to get into my face and verbally abuse me for 1/2 hour!  I was crying so hard and nobody else moved a muscle because everyone was afraid of him.  Finally he said to me "Do you have something to say to me....go ahead and say it!"  I told him to go to hell!  He hugged me and said I am so proud of you for doing that!  He then let us go and went into the office, called my mother and told her how proud he was of me.  My mother said "we have raised our daughter to respectful of adults and you just ruined that!"  This man offered to pay my way to Julliard because I was a very good singer but I turned him down because I did not want to be beholden to him.  I was a very good clarinet player and could have gone somewhere with that as well but to this day if I play my clarinet I get nervous (and it has been over 40 years).   The emotional abuse was even worse and NO ONE ever did a thing about it.  There were kids in my band who had nervous breakdowns over it.  I have had to deal with my own sexual abuse, my children's sexual abuse and PTSD and some suicide attempts because of it.  The list goes on and on.  I feel like a tsunami is pouring down on me and I cannot get out of the rain.  All I am ever told is "get some help!"  I am doing everything I can to do this.  I would never chose PTSD or depression!  Who would?  Being told to just get over it and being rejected by loved ones because you have it is terrible!  The inner hurt that has accompanied me in my life is like a constant stabbing pain.  It is really hard to describe the pain in words but I am sure everbody on this site knows what I am talking about.  


In loving memory of Makayla Lynn

My story does not define me.

My first born was born March 8, 2011 to little 21 year old me. She came in weighing 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 1/2 in. Everything was perfect, she was perfect. I was going to have the family unit I didn’t have growing up. May 31 2011 just 2 months 3 weeks and 4 days after her birth, her father was watching her while I was at work . Late that evening Bryan rushed into my work place with Makayla. She was unresponsive. I dialed 911, she was cold as ice and even though the dispatcher told me to do CPR, I couldn’t even touch her, her body was so disturbing, I’ve never been so scared in my life. When the ambulance arrived they took Makayla to Wolfsons Childrens Hospital where she was on life support for 3 days. 3 days of torture. Drug tests by DCF, tests coming back with almost no brain activity and my entire families hearts being crushed by this little girl leaving us too early. I had to make a decision no mother should ever have to make. It was time to give her back to God and take her off life support. She fell asleep on the evening of June 3 in my arms. Not only did I have to mourn my daughter, I was now being put into interrogation because Bryan was denying everything and she clearly died due to child abuse. Being completely innocent and being interrogated in the homicide department of your local jail at 21 can be traumatic itself. I remember getting on my knees and begging for them to believe me. Bryan still denied. 7 years later and I still feel like it was all a nightmare. This happens in movies. Not to “normal” people like me. Autopsy time, days after she left. A homicide detective showed up at my door the day Bryan went back to work. They told me I had to be read the autopsy report at the homicide department downtown. At this point they believed me and knew I just wanted justice for my baby. Bryan had admitted he was alone with her for so many hours that night, autopsy showed her skull was fractured in those hours. It’s hard for me to even type fractured skull. Yes my 3 month old died from a fractured skull and was also blind due to excessive shaking which caused #ShakenBabySyndrome. It’s on her death certificate and I’ll always have to live with that. So now what to do to put this man I loved in jail? I work with them to set him up at work. Get his exact location etc. They arrest him and on to interrogation again. Two hours it took for him to finally man up what he did to me and my baby. Why are people so inhumane? He goes into detail about what he hit her head on and the shaking etc. He gets locked up and awaits trail. I’m in our 3 bedroom home on a acre, completely alone. I have justice and yet I’m the one suffering the most. I remember as soon as this happened I became suicidal and it hasn’t stopped since. Baker acts, many therapy sessions, church, meds, I’ve tried it all. Nothing fills the hole. A year went by awaiting trail and he gets 45 years no parole. I thought It would help but what I didn’t realize was I faced trauma that can’t be healed. Trauma that most people never feel their entire lives. At 21 years old, I buried my baby and I could never erase that. I’m 29 going on 30. I’m the mother of a beautiful 6 year old that I’d do anything for. I have a partner that would steal the world for me and yet this trauma still takes over my life.

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Learning to Forgive

Forgiveness? Will that ever happen? That’s a question I’m not sure I will ever be able to completely answer. I have often pondered and asked myself this question. I know that we are called to forgive our enemies and that forgiveness is really about setting ourselves free. But, how can you forgive or move forward when the person needing forgiveness has never acknowledged you, what happened, asked for forgiveness, or even muttered the words, “I’m sorry.”

I remember a few nights after being in the PICU with Quentin and I found myself praying for her. It wasn’t forced, I didn’t think about it, it just happened. I remember thinking, “who could pray for a woman that just did this to their son?” But I knew she too needed God in this time just as much as we did.

Sometimes I thought if I could just hear the words I’m sorry I would feel better. I thought I would feel better once we went to her sentencing and that would bring closure, but it didn’t. All it did was bring immense sadness, confusion, and left me with a lot more unanswered questions.

What is Forgiveness?

Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious and deliberate decision to release feelings of vengeance, hatred, or resentment you have towards a person who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

What Forgiveness is NOT?

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, or excusing the victimization. When you forgive you are not denying the seriousness of an offense to you, against you, or to someone you care about. When you forgive you are in no way obligated to reconcile with the person who harmed you, nor does it release them from any legal accountability. I’ve always struggled with thinking that if I forgive, I’m releasing HER; but I do not have to pretend that what she did to Quentin is okay. Forgiveness does not forget what she did and it does not free her.

Forgiveness doesn’t have to be a big production either, she doesn’t even have to know.

What Forgiveness Does.

Forgiveness brings peace of mind and frees us from becoming slaves of anger and hatred. I will never like nor think of Quentin’s abuser in a positive light; however, working towards forgiveness enables me to heal and move forward with my life. It empowers me to recognize the pain she caused without letting that pain define who I am.

It’s through forgiveness that the chains that hold us down break free and we can finally breathe again.

I remember when I saw her face again for the first time, since March 25, 2010. I was angry, I was bitter, and I was full of hate. But when it was over in some weird way I felt better. It was as if there was this energy shift and I was able to give her all of my hatred and anger I had been harboring for so many years. In that 2015 courtroom, in one exchanged look, as our eyes locked I handed her all of it, setting myself free. It was hers to have, hers to feel bad about, and hers to own. Did forgiveness happen that day…I don’t think so, but maybe I gained some freedom, enabling me to heal, and to begin to work on forgiveness.

Freedom in Forgiveness

“However you define forgiveness, its power is real – and never more so when it struggles with the unforgivable.” WOW, now that’s a powerful statement. For years I have struggled with forgiveness when it came to this day and this woman.

Forgiveness is the only way we truly break free from the harsh grip resentment has on our hearts. We will never forget the events of the day of March 25, 2010; however, nine years have gone by since that horrible day that forever changed our lives. As the years go by we chose on the anniversary date to Celebrate Quentin. Each year we celebrate vs. dwell on the negative of that day. We are thankful for all that Quentin has accomplished, that he is here with us, and that he continues to reminds us that circumstances do not define who we are as a family.

We are in control of our own forgiveness. It can’t be rushed, it can’t be forced, and it can’t all be done at the same time for each family member. I know Grant and I will never reach forgiveness together, unified. Forgiveness is personal, individualized. In fact, it’s so personal Grant and I don’t even discuss it together.

She doesn’t deserve it, she hasn’t asked for it, and she hasn’t even acknowledged her actions. She took something from us we can never get back. But our family deserves freedom, our happiness, and the person it is really freeing is us ~ Forgiveness! #ShakenBabySyndrome