TBI One Love Survivor Adrian Torbenson
Hello, my name is Adrian Torbenson, and this is my life story as a survivor. On December 7, 2001 when I was 11 years old and in sixth grade I was crossing Highway 61 in Winona Minnesota when a drunken drugged driver hit me. I suffered a shattered lower right leg bone came 3/4 the way out of the skin, and was almost amputated but now is deformed and heavily scarred. I broke my upper left leg, dislocated my right shoulder, cracked my head open in five different places, and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury which erased all of my memory besides an out of body experience.
When doctors found me they, pronounced me dead on the scene for three hours, but later was put into a coma for two weeks with no hope for me ever be waking up. When I did I knew nothing not even my name, not even family it was like being reborn again. I screamed at the top of my lungs as doctors came running in and explained everything but I was in disbelief until I looked down at my legs and saw metal pins in my legs. I tried to move but I cloud not as doctors told me I would never walk again. For about three months I had to relearn everything from ABC's to 123's being reminded every single day that I would never walk again. About a month and a half into the three months in therapy I stood up and took my first small step in later was put on a walker until eighth-grade. When I returned home to Winona Minnesota all my old friends left me because I was not the same Adrian they once knew.
I develop depression, suicidal thoughts, and actions for roughly about 10 years of my life. I was in special education throughout middle school and high school because of my learning disability. When I got into high school that was my lowest moments, but the beginning of who I am today. I was hospitalized three times during high school for suicide attempts it was on over 26 medications I tried to make friends but never could once the found out about my accident. In 12th grade though I decided "you know what I may not have any friends, I may not fit in, and it may be weird to others, but why not be myself why not be the Adrian I know Adrian can be" as my teacher Mrs. Hill played music every Friday, or on special days of the week, but no one would dance when Mrs. Hill put on some danceable music.
I decided though "you know what I may be different from all others, and some may not like it if I dance, but you know what I'm going to dance because these are some groovy beats" as I decided to dance when music was playing. Many people made fun of me because I was the only one dancing, but I did not care because I was having fun. Since this only happened once or twice a week I decided what else can I personally do to make a difference, and be myself. Thanks to the movie "Jackass" I decided to make a poster that said, "Free Hugs" as I gave free hugs every morning when music was not playing.
Many Teachers did not like this, but I did not care because I saved a few lives when in high school giving free hugs. On December 7, 2007, my teacher Mrs. Hill asked me to come up in front of her class speak about my accident for the first time. I never did this because I was afraid to speak about my accident, but I did in fear of failing her class because of getting the 4.0 at that time. As I spoke about my accident at that time it was hard for me as I broke down in class and Mrs. Hill gave me a hug. The next day though I felt relieved, and felt like I could talk about my accident which started my speaking career.
I told Mrs. Hill about my dream of going to College for massage therapy, but every doctor, and teacher told me I never could because my brain injury and learning disability. One day though a scholarship came over the intercom that needed to be in that day, and was the largest scholarship of the school as Mrs. Hill pointed at me and said, "Go get that scholarship Adrian" as with the help of the student-teacher I was able to win the above and beyond scholarship, and graduate high school with a 4.0. next year, and years after the whole school was dancing, and made a "Free Hugs" month just because I wasn't afraid to be myself my last year of High School. As I went to Southeast Technical College in Winona Minnesota I grew to dislike massage therapy as I went for Network Administration still battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and actions.
As I was in a group home, and later put on over 36 medications that did absolutely nothing for me besides hurt me more. One night I decided I can't kill myself, and I need to find someone to do it for me as I saw a news article on TV about online killer. I admit that I went onto plentyoffish.com emailed everybody without profile pictures in hopes to find someone who would kill me, but instead found a person who changed my life completely. On December 6, 2011 a girl, and I decided to date.
That night when I was home in my group home I began to cry making fun of myself, and saying really bad stuff to myself in my poetry, and how this relationship would never work out. In the middle of the poem though I broke my pencil, and rip the poem out, and screamed at myself mentally saying "you know what Adrian you are going to love this girl truly, you are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that she is happy, I really don't care about my past and what happened to me because you know what Adrian you need to move on, and make sure she is happy" as I said back to myself "it's not that easy to move on" as their broke down even harder. In my pillow of tears, I decided to find out what I was holding onto, what was hurting me so bad, and will was not letting me move on. In another poem, I saw I was holding onto the past of everyone who hurt me. In tears, I decided I needed to forgive and not just say "I forgive all" and that was it I needed to find a different more deeper way to forgive. In what I like to call "three steps of forgiveness" I listed the person's name, or the specific way I remember them, what they did to me. And how it made me feel. Even if the person did not deserve my forgiveness I knew I needed to let go.
On four pages front to back I began to forgive, as tears rained from my eyes I got to the end, but felt no different as it looks deeper inside myself, and saw I was the one who hurt myself the most. Once I forgive myself that his life completely changed for the better. As I kept dating my now wife I told her of my dreams of being a published poet, and having the resources at my college as a teacher was an award-winning published poet, but I knew you'd never have time for me. As she looked at me and said, "what's stopping you" as a realized I was the only one stopping myself from knocking on his door and asking to sit down for little bit of time to ask for publishers. The next school day I walked to his office very nervously, and in a shaky voice I asked, "may talk to you about publishing a book?" As he said, "of course I would love to come on in" as he gave me a list of publishers along with some tips.
Now I have three books published "Love Pain Life"(http://www.lulu.com/shop/adrian-torbenson/love-pain-life/paperback/product-18937902.html) "Falling Ashes"(https://www.createspace.com/3872292) and "Behind the Glass"(https://www.createspace.com/5595512). Once I published my first book "Love Pain Life" I decided "you know what if I can publish a book why can't I find a local studio to record music in?" As I was able to find a recording studio as a recorded two albums one of my solo acoustic album "Just Can't Move On" along with a comedy rap that I did with my Brother White Boyzzz in Suits "Jesus On Wheels". My now wife and I were married on June 29, 2013, as I was still struggling with college especially math.
One day my advisor came up to me and told me "This is your last chance Adrian, or else you will have to repeat everything over again" as a thought to myself "what is holding me back" as I realized I needed a special tutor who could help me better than any of the normal tutors. On May 14, 2014 I was able to graduate with a diploma in networking administration. As time went on one of my old medical doctors did not believe anything about my life and what I've actually achieved as she kept putting me on more and more and more pills as I was put on Zoloft even though I told her I did not want to be because I usually suffer the rarest unknown side effects she didn't care. As of January 14, 2016, I woke up unable to open my left hand, as I went to the ER, and had a muscle x-ray, as they told me that the Zoloft had me have a silent stroke, and that my left hand needed to be amputated because I would never be able to use it again.
A white flash came before me as my life played before me, and how I've accomplished with everybody says was impossible, as I gave me the strength to tell the doctor "no I do not wish to get a pretender because I will use my hand again it may take a few years but I am willing to put the time, and effort into getting my hand back" as for seven months I was in physical therapy relearning how to use my left hand, as I stood up for myself and told the doctor who gave the Zoloft that I no longer wish to work with her new matter what she says because she will never know what it's like to be a Survivor, and achieve the impossible every single day. I still have some difficulties with it, but no longer on meds besides acid reflux, and even though I have these difficulties it will not stop me from bettering myself.
As I speak to Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, Individuals, and anybody, or any place that just wants to hear my story because it's my goal as survivor to make a difference no matter how big or how small!
Thank you for your time, and allowing be to join this supportive Family! If there are ANY questions please ask!