Help Maria Back on Her Feet

$49,596 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 589 people in 20 months
I am no longer looking for Financial Aid. I am keeping this open to share my recovery and updates.

My name is Maria Tornberg. For you who know me, know me as a person full of energy. How hard I work and how much I've accomplished. I am a self taught photographer, and have acted in several movies and TV-shows like Super Troopers, 2 1/2 Men and Days Of Our Lives. I never sit still. I left Sweden and family behind at the age of fifteen to follow my dreams to be an artist and never stopped moving.

This September, I endured a horrific incident when someone was breaking down my door and I had to escape out of a high second story window onto concrete to save my life.

I suffered life threatening injuries, completely shattered both of my heels which had to be put together with three different emergency surgeries. I also fractured the T12 vertebrae of my spine, and I broke both hands, leaving me with casts on every limb.


After a long hospital stay, I am faced with being wheelchair-bound and heal for 4-6 months before I get back on my feet again, and that's just where the physical rehabilitation and real work begins for me.

For an uncertain amount of time, I won't be able to work. 

I am humbly asking for your donation. To get me back on my feet. I need help to survive.

The funds will pay for rent, food and bills and recovery needs until I'm able to start working again. The medical bills are mounting beyond comprehension, my bank account is tapped and I'm desperate. 

Since I couldn't afford to hire a nurse and have no family to take care of me, Cameron McHarg decided to care for the first few months. I'm now taking my first steps and am able to care for myself in my home but have a long way to go before I'm fully recovered and able to get back to work 100%.


Your donation will allow me to focus on healing without the fear of loosing my home and the fear of not being able to survive during this ordeal. 

Any amount will be deeply appreciated. No donation is too small.

I will keep you updated, share the progress of my recovery and be in personal contact with anyone who wishes me to. As I heal, I will share my story with you on my facebok page:
Facebook

Not only will I walk again but I will run again. I will dance, I will act and shoot again. I will be stronger than ever. I will get back on my feet. 


But I can't do it without you, and I look forward to being able to stand up and thank you in person one day soon.
I'm also asking you to please share this with your friends.

Please take care of yourselves, and be extra safe. 

God bless you.
Maria

Here's a video of my stay in the hospital. Some of it can be hard to watch.








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"I am a victim" , that is what I accepted. It doesn't mean it's all I am or who I identify myself as. I am a child of God. But I am a victim of one or many person't actions. A victim is not who we are born to be. A victim is not something who we willingly make ourselves into. Victimhood is not who we chose to remain in. We are born to thrive and blossom into the person who we were born to become. Sometimes victimhood will help us catapult into our higher selves. Sometimes victimhood will shed all the ideas we have of ourselves and ideas other people’ have of us. Sometimes becoming a victim will force us to shed the layers of false self and expose our true spirit. But sometimes we are not able to be that strong on our own. That's when empathy comes in. There are people who end up with physical disabilities who every day have to deal with the fact that they were limited by another persons actions. That is something people will accept; “He/she was a victim and ended up paralyzed. What seems to still be a problem for many is the unseen; the fact that you can be paralyzed mentally, i.e. PTSD.

For some reason, some people believe they have the right to judge those people, as if they are in control. Just like you can’t tell a paralyzed person to “get up and walk” you can’t tell a person with PTSD to “get up and walk”. The brain is an organ and is effected by trauma.

If we are talking about people who are killers and oppressors committing crimes claiming they are “victims”, we are talking about sociopaths. Sociopaths and psychopaths are missing mirror neurons. There are many factor's who make up a sociopath; upbringing, trauma, genes so on. A person who was victimized in childhood may "split" from him/herself and may be completely disconnected from his/her own feelings and have started a self loathing of the child within and hates everything and everyone who is week, reminding them of how they felt. That is not an excuse, it is just science. Science have also contributed to the idea that a lack of emotionality can be correlated to a lack of responsiveness from mirror neurons, the neurons which among other things are recognizing pain and suffering in others. Sociopaths don’t feel empathy because they lack the neurons who will make that possible.

Oppressors and perpetrators feel they are victims of life. Then they victimize people, Helpless people who are suffering in the hands of perpetrators. Yes, it is our responsibility to heal, to grow, to become better people. We must understand the difference between someone who is seeking vengeance and someone who was a victim. At one point, perhaps, the perpetrator was a victim but no, it doesn't give him an excuse. It is our responsibility to heal. But not everyone is that strong. Perhaps mentally ill. Therefore I am urging all of us to work together to help victims. I was a victim of a crime. I was in a wheelchair for four months, I have chronic pain, I lost my job, my career, everything I held dear. I chose to turn it around and become a better person, to help other's, to become an inspiration. I could easily hate and sometimes I do. But, I was blessed to not blame and seek vengeance. It doesn't make me a better person. I was just blessed. And i don't judge people who are not this strong. But I do believe sociopaths need to be recognized and stopped.

I think we must separate victims from people who are deranged and sociopathic.

I think we all agree that if you have become a victim of a sociopath, a criminal, it is your right to suffer, to scream, to hate, to be stuck, to heal on your terms. And it is our friend's obligation to listen, to give space, to have empathy. Empathy means: 'I am willing to crawl into your cave and hold your hand, to listen, to hold, not to tell you when you are ready to come out but to be there for you when you are"

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After a week of dealing with a lot of flashbacks, nightmares, feeling very angry about the injustices and beating myself up for not being further along in my emotional recovery I prayed and surrendered and this morning I woke up seeing this writing on Instagram:
"You are ending a cycle and do not be surprised if you feel heaviness in your being, unexpected emotions rising to the surface, old situations revisiting you in person or just through dreams and memories.
These symptoms mark the final death throws of a chapter in your life. Kali Ma the fierce goddess of death and rebirth makes her presence know to those brave enough to embrace the inevitable soul cycles of life on earth.
Do you still feel corded to something or someone? You know because those ribbons of energy tug at your life force, occupy your mind, and trigger anger, hurt or powerlessness within your emotions. Ask archangel Michael to clear your cords.
Are there still fragments of long past painful entanglements in your home or energy? Time to throw, burn or donate those possessions that anchor you to the person or traumatic or draining event that you do not want to re live. Unless you do.
Never underestimate the power of the energy with in objects to draw the past back and to allow a person energetic access to you.
It is time to look the fear of change in the eye and accept that life will be fresher and bursting with new vitality, clarity, creativity, love and yes ...abundance when you finally and truly let go.
Let go of the blame and guilt too-2 of lifes biggest energy thieves. Sever, chop, burn, throw out, banish, and reclaim your life.
Give the ghosts their marching orders and ask Kali Ma and Archangel Michael to help.
If you feel resistance, ask: Why are you hanging on? Light a candle and ask for spiritual help in releasing your small self's grip on the remnants of past patterns and pain. Cut the cords and have the angels replace them with divine love.
Massive spiritual changes are coming as a result of this detox.
Stay grounded and hydrated.

The most important healing mechanism I have had is working out. When I push through the pain and feel fear of being injured but keep on pushing I release fear which expands my mind and this my soul has more room to breathe. I just watched "Seven seconds" on Netflix and I relate to the mother's fight for justice, for answers and closure. In the end she didn't get that but along the way she became connected to people who supported her, who had her back and fought for her. My goal is not vengeance but support and courage to keep on living in order to be of service for others. When I am at the gym and se my muscles grow I feel so powerful but I have days when I ask myself: "Why? Why do I have to be this person who is so damned strong even though...even though I am recovering, even though I'm a victim of a crime?" Those days I allow myself to feel sorry for myself, to cry and stay in bed with the blinds down while the merciless sun of hope is trying to reach me. It's OK. Because I know that tomorrow will be better and I know that I want to be better and to live. I feel trust that this was my destiny, that my whole life prepared me for this, that God knew I could handle it and turn it around to make me a better person, someone who can help others. I am inclined to take down that horrifying photo of myself in the hospital, in Purgatory with the thousand yard stare. It is humiliating. But it was not my fault.Perhaps I keep it up as reminder of what a violent crime victim looks like. In these times when children are being killed at school it may be important to make people understand what it looks like and the effect that violent crimes has on people. How it destroys lives, not only the lives of the victims but the lives of their loved ones and generations to come. And what i really want to express is that the crime itself is only the beginning of the crimes that will follow. The secondary injuries are sometimes harder than the crime itself, the abandonment and loss you experience. In my case, my animals, my finances, my career, my job, my sense of independence, and people who took advantage of my situation and neglected me, the dependence abuse. The trauma that set it off lasted 5 minutes. 5 minutes of my life that set off a journey of chronic pain, trauma, nightmares, fight for survival and fight for my rights. I the end I am blessed and grateful. I understand so much more. I respect every fight for justice, whether it is about race, sex, kids who need to feel safe in school...and more. I can relate to each individuals right because no one will ever know what it's like to be in the shoes of the one who is victimized. I don't yet know exactly what I must do but I am for sure listening. You all helped me become a better person. thank you. God bless
+ Read More
You have all been so incredibly supportive and caring and it has helped me in my recovery. This Christmas I have been sleeping so much and sometimes just find myself sitting on my coach staring into space for hours, sometimes crying, but crying of relief , just being, letting myself be , feeling everything I never allowed myself to feel. I have been working out, pushing myself, finding out how strong I am. My home is my sanctuary, the home I would have lost without your help. My home is where the crime happened and many people told me to move and I said no. 'My memories will follow me wherever I go and I love my home. I don't have the finances and strength to move, let me stay in my home." All of you helped me stay in my home and recover. If I has lost my home on top of everything, I don't know if I had been here or on the street today. Every day when I go to my physical therapy I see a man on the corner of santa Monica and Highland, he's dancing, unaware of his surrounding. He's not well, he needs help. I'm sitting in my car watching him and I know he didn't get the help I got from you. I am so fortunate. I am committed to help other people as you helped me. Many people think I was fortunate, and I was, but I wasn't wealthy enough to handle the incident that I was a victim of. None of you questioned me, none of you blamed me, none of you even asked me what happened, you just gave without an explanation. You just gave. I want you to to know that all your contribution has been helping me recover and I am forever grateful. I am working out now, I am dancing, I am thriving. I am still in pain and still have a surgery to go but I am safe in my home and I get to rest and take time to myself and heal because of all of you. I still have PTSD and am dealing with the aftermath of the trauma but I know it's all healing. Remember god will not forget what you did for me. Thank you all and God bless.
+ Read More
It's been 12 months since my life changed forever. My ligaments, nerves and tendons are still healing but I have a sense of the physical long term complications. I have had to change the way I live my life. I have more muscle mass than I ever had yet every morning I have to start over and if I push myself too hard, I need two days to rest in bed. Pain is always present yet pain is not what scares me, what scares me is the physical limitations. There are just certain things I won't be bale to do again. Looking at me you wouldn't know what I struggle with every day and it's been very hard when people say: "I'm so glad you are fully recovered". No one knows what I've felt, seen and what i live with every day. The crime I was a victim of has made me feel very lonely, especially around people who knew me before. They are waiting for Maria to come back. But Maria is no longer. I grief her just as much as they do. I thought the one year anniversary of my healing would be a celebration, full of joy, and parts of it were. I spent a day on the beach remembering where I was one year ago, in the hospital connected to tubes in a shattered body. And here I was, free, feeling the cool water on my feet, arms stretched out, free from toxic relationships I was trapped in. Thank you God, "Praise the Lord!", yet the darkness hit me when I looked around at people. Like a soldier coming home from from war, I no longer know who I am. I witnessed my own slow death during five months and the death of my animals, my career that I had built since the age of fifteen, my savings, my identity and the relationships to friends and family members. There were many nights I was on the floor begging for mercy and there was none. I found myself alone, immobile in my apt. My existence had turned into a living hell and I thought it would never end. But in February I started to feel empowered again and within a couple of months I felt as if I could take on the world and I was able to visit my family in Europe. I revisited my past and started to see patterns, why I had made the choices I did and how the darkness had found it's way in to my life. It was painful yet liberating. I was able to start to separate myself from the trauma. Layers of false self fell off me and started to mourn Maria who had became a victim of violent men. There has been no earthly justice. And then I started to get angry. Angry with anyone who ever utters the words: "At least...You should be grateful...it could have been worse, it's behind you". What the hell do they know? I had been so focused on getting my body back, to bargain with God, to be grateful, to show myself I will be able to run and dance and work again. My job up until then had been a physical recovery. But then when I came back to LA, I started to get flashbacks, I started to remember details, voices, and many questions got answered. I am pissed off. I am pissed off at the people who hurt me who walk free and move on. And then I woke up last night after a dream of feeling free. I was injured and hurt but I am the one who is free. They are forever trapped in lies and denial and repeating patterns. I have had the opportunity to die and come back, to start over to break old patterns and the secrets of life whispered in my ears. God know I am ready for the next step. The road to self discovery and truth is lonely and often people who thought they knew you will become strangers. Maria they knew died that morning, the one fighting for my life is my spirit, the one connected to the source, to God. All the layers, the one who chose the abusive relationship, the one who fights the wind, the scared little girl...all are fighting to stay and my task now is to stay connected, even when it feels lonely and even if I loose people I am attached to, to the source, to God, the one and only. The one that saved my body and carried me through. Without you all, I wouldn't have been able to take this journey. Last night I took an uber and an old song came on "I wish I could turn back the clock" by Johnny Hates Jazz and I started to sing along. The driver asked me: "Do you wish you could turn back the clock?"
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Read a Previous Update
Terry Mushat
20 months ago
3
3

I'm sorry to hear about your situation I'm 10 weeks post op 3 surgerys shattered heel it is a thing to go through it looks like your a fighter so try to stay positive I kno it's hard but Remember each day gets better

+ Read More
Rachel McMurray
20 months ago
2
2

It's gonna be okay Sister. You made it out alive. That's the important thing. This is only something that happened to you. It doesn't define you. You can do this.

+ Read More
Becky Sue Lensbouer
20 months ago
1
1

Praying for a quick recovery and a get well soon from myself and two daughters. I'm sry I don't have any money to donate but if I did u would def give to help u out. I've seen what u have been through when I had worked in nursing homes and all I can say is damn girl ur one hell of a fighter. Keep up the positive attitude and u will be back to the work u love. P.S We enjoyed watching u in Super Troopers. Take Care Meow!!!

+ Read More
Megan Unsworth
20 months ago
1
1

I am so sorry that this situation happened to you! Sending you love and prayers and a donation to help out!! #Lipsticksister

+ Read More
Nikki O'Neill
20 months ago
1
1

Det här är ju förfärligt, jag saknar ord, Maria! Jag kommer absolut att göra en donation. Vet ju hur hemskt det är med amerikanska sjukhusräkningar. Hoppas allt löser sig och att du blir helt återställd snart!

+ Read More
Becky Sue Lensbouer
20 months ago

I meant I would definitely give not u sry dumb cell phone lol

+ Read More
Jessica McClain
20 months ago

My gosh? How terrible. My heart and prayers go out to you. What happened to leave you in this horrific condition?? Was your building on fire?

+ Read More
Ron Babich
1 month ago

Very sorry to hear. Best of luck. Get well soon.

+ Read More
Todd Jackson
4 months ago

Get well soon, God Bless you and hope to see you up and about soon!

+ Read More
Katherine Jimenez Winston
5 months ago

Happy new year Maria! I'm so glad to hear that you continue to grow stronger by the day. Thank you for the update - big hugs from the Winstons.

+ Read More
Michael Miller
5 months ago

glad you are doing well. You might want to skip the street names, might be too much information for the internet in general. i was in that part of town many years ago for a project. i picked up a journal at what i think was a barnes and nobles not to far from the beach and just sort of walked around on a weekend. I wrote a lot in that journal. It might be very therapeutic for you too. -way out in georgia

+ Read More
Angela Woods
8 months ago

I have wondered how you were doing, and was happy to find an update! Never stop living. When you stop, they win. I love that you haven't forgotten about God, as He is always with you even when you think you are alone. He wants to see us fight, wants to see our character. I've had to put all of my faith and trust and hope in Him because I surely don't have control of all this mess. I live by the verse from Phillipians 4:13--"I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me." I have to repeat that several times a day when I feel weak. This life is short so I hope to live in a way that pleases Him so that I may enjoy the peace and freedom and love of heaven. God bless you, Maria!

+ Read More
Mills Chapman
9 months ago

Thanks for the update, Maria! I don't know how I heard your story, but I was inspired and contributed. I wish you well on your journey! - Mills in the City of Brotherly Love

+ Read More
Selina Nunn
10 months ago

Much love, Thankyou for sharing and updating your journey, I'm so happy to hear you are back with your family - I donated a long while ago - and have continued to follow your journey ❤️

+ Read More
Selina Nunn
13 months ago

I love what you have written and how you have explained Trauma - I understand - its wonderful to get your updates and see your photos xx thankyou - for sharing your journey - the highs and lows xx

+ Read More
Amy Jane
15 months ago

I sent you a private FB message. I just learned of your horrific accident and miraculous escape. I am adding you to the prayer list at my church and praying for you daily for a miraculous recovery. I will donate a bit each month to help out. I'm on disability myself, but I know every donation, big or small helps. Light and love to you. You are a bright light full of strength, a strong will to live, and hope. One day at a time. ♥

+ Read More
Nick Serikstad
15 months ago

Please feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to! I hope you are getting better. Staying positive and realizing there is a light at the end of the tunnel is key. The power of positivity.

+ Read More
Tina Few-Carey
17 months ago

Sorry about your accident. I too, am suffering, but from a head in collision on September 8th. Hot by someone on high on meth n drunk I have a broken neck, 2nd vertebrae and been homebound since then except for dr appts. I havent rec'd any money yet from his insurance and probably wont, because my medical bills will take it all. Now, unemployed and no income. I pray for your healing and ability to be fully healed.

+ Read More
Meryl S. Cohen
17 months ago

LAUGHING WITH JOY AND TEARS IN MY EYES!!!!! WHAT A TRIUMPH. AND YOUR SMILE IS THE BEST OF ALL. WAITING FOR YOU FIRST GRAND JETE...

+ Read More
Jodi Garrigan
17 months ago

I will try to donate over the weekend take care

+ Read More

$49,596 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 589 people in 20 months
Created October 10, 2016
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SD
$10
Steve Dupuy
2 months ago

Much love. God bless you. Love the depth and profoundness of your work. :)

$75
Anonymous
11 months ago
JM
$100
Jeremy @ Naoko Morley
11 months ago
1
1

Hello Maria, I really hope your doing well. Stay strong and you'll be dancing in no time. Just save me a dance:)

SB
$100
selma B
11 months ago

Warrior girl. You are not alone.

$5
Anonymous
12 months ago
CO
$50
Chris O'Keefe
13 months ago

Wishing you the best!

$70
Anonymous
15 months ago
Terry Mushat
20 months ago
3
3

I'm sorry to hear about your situation I'm 10 weeks post op 3 surgerys shattered heel it is a thing to go through it looks like your a fighter so try to stay positive I kno it's hard but Remember each day gets better

+ Read More
Rachel McMurray
20 months ago
2
2

It's gonna be okay Sister. You made it out alive. That's the important thing. This is only something that happened to you. It doesn't define you. You can do this.

+ Read More
Becky Sue Lensbouer
20 months ago
1
1

Praying for a quick recovery and a get well soon from myself and two daughters. I'm sry I don't have any money to donate but if I did u would def give to help u out. I've seen what u have been through when I had worked in nursing homes and all I can say is damn girl ur one hell of a fighter. Keep up the positive attitude and u will be back to the work u love. P.S We enjoyed watching u in Super Troopers. Take Care Meow!!!

+ Read More
Megan Unsworth
20 months ago
1
1

I am so sorry that this situation happened to you! Sending you love and prayers and a donation to help out!! #Lipsticksister

+ Read More
Nikki O'Neill
20 months ago
1
1

Det här är ju förfärligt, jag saknar ord, Maria! Jag kommer absolut att göra en donation. Vet ju hur hemskt det är med amerikanska sjukhusräkningar. Hoppas allt löser sig och att du blir helt återställd snart!

+ Read More
Becky Sue Lensbouer
20 months ago

I meant I would definitely give not u sry dumb cell phone lol

+ Read More
Jessica McClain
20 months ago

My gosh? How terrible. My heart and prayers go out to you. What happened to leave you in this horrific condition?? Was your building on fire?

+ Read More
Ron Babich
1 month ago

Very sorry to hear. Best of luck. Get well soon.

+ Read More
Todd Jackson
4 months ago

Get well soon, God Bless you and hope to see you up and about soon!

+ Read More
Katherine Jimenez Winston
5 months ago

Happy new year Maria! I'm so glad to hear that you continue to grow stronger by the day. Thank you for the update - big hugs from the Winstons.

+ Read More
Michael Miller
5 months ago

glad you are doing well. You might want to skip the street names, might be too much information for the internet in general. i was in that part of town many years ago for a project. i picked up a journal at what i think was a barnes and nobles not to far from the beach and just sort of walked around on a weekend. I wrote a lot in that journal. It might be very therapeutic for you too. -way out in georgia

+ Read More
Angela Woods
8 months ago

I have wondered how you were doing, and was happy to find an update! Never stop living. When you stop, they win. I love that you haven't forgotten about God, as He is always with you even when you think you are alone. He wants to see us fight, wants to see our character. I've had to put all of my faith and trust and hope in Him because I surely don't have control of all this mess. I live by the verse from Phillipians 4:13--"I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me." I have to repeat that several times a day when I feel weak. This life is short so I hope to live in a way that pleases Him so that I may enjoy the peace and freedom and love of heaven. God bless you, Maria!

+ Read More
Mills Chapman
9 months ago

Thanks for the update, Maria! I don't know how I heard your story, but I was inspired and contributed. I wish you well on your journey! - Mills in the City of Brotherly Love

+ Read More
Selina Nunn
10 months ago

Much love, Thankyou for sharing and updating your journey, I'm so happy to hear you are back with your family - I donated a long while ago - and have continued to follow your journey ❤️

+ Read More
Selina Nunn
13 months ago

I love what you have written and how you have explained Trauma - I understand - its wonderful to get your updates and see your photos xx thankyou - for sharing your journey - the highs and lows xx

+ Read More
Amy Jane
15 months ago

I sent you a private FB message. I just learned of your horrific accident and miraculous escape. I am adding you to the prayer list at my church and praying for you daily for a miraculous recovery. I will donate a bit each month to help out. I'm on disability myself, but I know every donation, big or small helps. Light and love to you. You are a bright light full of strength, a strong will to live, and hope. One day at a time. ♥

+ Read More
Nick Serikstad
15 months ago

Please feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to! I hope you are getting better. Staying positive and realizing there is a light at the end of the tunnel is key. The power of positivity.

+ Read More
Tina Few-Carey
17 months ago

Sorry about your accident. I too, am suffering, but from a head in collision on September 8th. Hot by someone on high on meth n drunk I have a broken neck, 2nd vertebrae and been homebound since then except for dr appts. I havent rec'd any money yet from his insurance and probably wont, because my medical bills will take it all. Now, unemployed and no income. I pray for your healing and ability to be fully healed.

+ Read More
Meryl S. Cohen
17 months ago

LAUGHING WITH JOY AND TEARS IN MY EYES!!!!! WHAT A TRIUMPH. AND YOUR SMILE IS THE BEST OF ALL. WAITING FOR YOU FIRST GRAND JETE...

+ Read More
Jodi Garrigan
17 months ago

I will try to donate over the weekend take care

+ Read More
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