This audio file is a short excerpt taken from my first podcast recording session. I will be releasing a podcast, ‘Success by Design’ which will focus on resilience, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, and design. This is a preview which mainly focuses on the accident.
The first recording session lasted a couple of hours and was basically a timeline of the most impactful and painful experiences of my life, as to give people a basic understanding as to my expertise in discussing certain serious subject matters.
While developing my solo exhibition, ‘Just Breathe’, I was forced to emotionally go through many traumatic thoughts in my head as I prepped show explanations, descriptions of artworks inspired by the accident, and everything involved in planning a truly inspirational art exhibition.
I chose to make this the theme of my show because this is what I felt inside, and as an artist, my work and exhibitions are an expression of my emotions. I didn’t realize at the time how truly difficult it would be for me emotionally to prepare for this show, as I was forced to go through the experience of the accident in my head over and over and over again with the various branches of my team.
I recently launched a blog with a planned content calendar that synchronizes topics with whatever I’m working on in my art and design business. Considering my exhibition is related to the accident, I was writing an entrepreneurship post to coincide with the opening of my show. The post is entitled ‘Lessons Learned from the Accident.’ When I was discussing the topic with my SEO team, they said to me, ‘Liz, we just want you to know. You make reference to the accident and how it impacted your life all the time, but you’ve never actually spoken about what happened. ‘Elizabeth Sutton accident’ is the number 2 search phrase that is Googled after people search your name. We speak to you every day and we don’t even know what happened with the accident.’ In that moment, I realized that perhaps people are searching about the accident not necessarily for salacious gossip, rather because they are truly interested in understanding what happened and why the situation affected me so terribly.
As a public figure, if I am to keep referencing the accident in press and on my social, it is only fair to provide further clarification. The accident’s affects were 360. I’m only sharing the circumstances of the week the accident occurred, as well as the moment of the accident itself. I’m not releasing all the details and personal insights of the circumstances that followed that are even more private and not relevant for people to know. My intention with the information I’m releasing is for people to understand how I felt in that particular moment, and in the months to follow, so they can understand why this trauma impacted me so deeply (as opposed to other traumas I’ve experienced) and understand why it changed my life and perspective forever.
I’ve never spoken about the details of the accident until now for a few reasons. First, I was scared. This was a serious car accident that involved insurance companies, attorneys, etc, and I needed to understand all the legal ramifications of the situation as the accident involved my vehicle and team. Second, it was very, very traumatic and I did not want anyone’s pity. I’m all for being vulnerable to others but the story of what happened is so sad and call it my pride. The situation unraveled literally in front of the world and it was enough that I had 15,000 eyes watching me during the worst moments of my life. I don’t want to seem ungrateful. These 15,000 people helped me raise $38,000 to support my team and Juan’s daughter and family, but it was all a lot to share with the world while I was trying to cope. I didn’t want anyone looking at me with pity. I prefer people’s compassion and this story was just too sad. Lastly, I felt like I needed to protect people’s privacy. Though I only speak from my personal experience and perspective, of course the accident impacted many people’s lives, his families’ especially, in very grave and sad ways. I choose to live my life in the public, but they may not. So I am trying to maintain Juan’s privacy as much as possible, though I know he was always open to being on my social media. I have received full and complete permission – and in fact, encouragement – from Pedro and his wife, Glendis, to share, and I have just finally decided myself that it was time
Not for people’s pity. Not to satisfy people’s curiosity. Rather, to inspire.
The purpose of this is to show you that you can be in the shittiest levels of hell and be going through your worst nightmare but you can come out stronger and on top. It is a matter of maintaining the right attitude, having the right support system, getting the proper help, and not being embarrassed or ashamed by any of it. Shit happens. It’s a matter of how you get through it and what lessons you learn.
Please understand that this clip is me going through, step by step, the most traumatic experience of my life – the accident. I am going through this information as informatively as possible, without emotion, because if I allow myself to actually feel, I will break down and cry. Please don’t think I’m void of emotion.
Disclaimer: If you are sensitive to trauma or anything similar and this may trigger you, you should not listen to the audio file as it is very heavy.