Yesterday I was in a car accident. I was driving down the street in the van with the 2 kids and was hit. I was going straight driving the speed limit of 30 miles per hour and this guy decided to back out of a paralell parking space at the last minute without looking and very quickly. There wasn't even time for me to register what was about to happen, or to swerve, or to get scared, or to react. Literally there was just a huge crack, crash, smash and the van leaped up in the air and landed still cruising at 20 miles per hour a bit up the road. The kids were fine, not even scared, they are amazing well adjusted little people. In fact Alex, the little 4 year old boy thought it was the coolest thing he had experienced in a long time. I on the other had sat overdosing on fear and adrenaline. So many thoughts were going through my head. Among my aweful thoughts were the following:
What the hell just happened? Where did that car come from?
Oh, my god I am going to get fired.
Did I do something wrong?
The kids are gonna be traumatized from this.
My dad is gonna be mad.
The car is going to die, and so might I.
I am going to get arrested.
I am going to get a ticket.
I am going to have to pay so much. What if everyone makes me pay for everything.
I dont know why half of these stupid aweful thoughts popped up in my brain. I felt so scared, sad, ashamed, and confused. I stumbled out of the car, knumb and high from those chemicals your body loads you up on to help ease the trauma. I ran up to the man and asked what happened. What is going on. He just looked at me and in a creepy voice said, "I was backing up and YOU hit my car." He definately put the accent on the YOU part of that statement making me feel worse. I scanned the scene. It was obvious that he had backed into me and then I knocked him right back into the space and into another car. My first thought was once again another shameful thought, I hit him, it must be my fault. The cops showed up and began to write out an accident report. The guy came over to swap info and again in a creepy voice made a wierd comment. He said, "I hate to have to call the insurance companies." I just ignored him thinking to myself, "My bosses car is smashed up, of course I am gonna tell them and the freakin insurance agency. Why is this toad making such a retarded statement?" Then he mentioned something else wierd, "I will probably have to get a new truck, this one was old and is probably totalled." I was so upset at that moment, I couldn't figure out if he was implying that I would have to buy him a new truck.
I swear, the strange reasoning that goes on when you are in shock and loaded on adrenaline. I started to worry about having to buy this guy a car when I just raised the dough to buy myself a car.
Once he walked away I started to calm down a bit and think about things and go over it all in my head. I was alert, I had just drank a nice cup of coffee. I was driving slow and at the speed limit. I was paying attention to the road, and purposefully driving cautiously when the accident happened. I replayed the whole scene in my head. I was cruising along, all of a sudden a car shoots back and cracks into me. I started to cool down a bit, feeling a like my paranoia was a bit overboard. I was safe. He shot out of nowhere and hit me. I just felt so bad that all this had happened on week 2 of my new job.
The car was towed away, which Alex thought was so cool to watch, and we set off to walking home. The mom and dad were so amazing with me. They came home early, and were supportive and caring. My dad came and picked me up early and took me out to have wine and appitizers. I was so exhausted from the shock and trauma that I fell asleep so early.
Not nearly an hour after the accident the other drivers insurance company called me. They asked me tons of questions and were kissing my ass and offering to pay all my bills, all the bills of the car and much more. My boss is a lawyer and from what she says they are going well out of their way to ensure that I dont sue them as I have due cause. They have called many times since to try and set up meetings with me to go over me getting anything and everything taken care of.
Apparantly by law and according to all involved, the other driver was at complete fault for the accident. I feel much better about the whole thing. Once my mind cleared and I was through the initial moment, I was able to realize how irrational 3/4 of my initail fear based thinking was during such a traumatic experience. I am a safe driver and would never jeopardize these children in any way. I was just glad to walk away from it with everyone safe and all right.
Besides the shock and emotional intensity of the accident day, my shoulders and neck are a bit tight and sensitive. I feel really bad telling anyone about it. I think I am ok, I hate to be a complainer. I dont feel like I have any whip lash or any thing major wrong. But I am a bit sore. It feels like I have been really stressed out, in my shoulders and neck. I am really embarassed about it. I dont feel like being a squeeky wheel, its really not so bad, but achey and uncomfortable. Otherwise I am just happy that its over, we are safe, and it was not my fault.
My boss has since gone out of her way to make me feel comfortable and trusted. The kids are happy and healthy. I have lived to tackle new battles.