That Will Never Happen to Me...
I will be honest with you, this post will be short and sweet and it was definitely not pre-planned.
Two weeks ago I was involved in a collision. Someone ran a red light, drove through a major intersection and continued to drive through the car that I was driving. It may not seem like a big deal; after all… people get into car accidents every day, right? The thing is though, despite being extremely lucky and suffering only minor injuries, people don’t warn you about the non-physical pain that accompanies an experience such as this one.
I had three passengers in the car with me: my boyfriend and our two close friends. We were on our way home from a fun night of boardgames, laughter and catching-up after the holidays. No one was hurt, but all I can think about (and have been thinking about every day since the collision) is that I was responsible for getting them home safely, and I failed them. I let them down. They were in danger and could have lost their lives. The accident replays over and over again in my mind and each time I try and imagine what I could have done differently. Should I have sped up to try and dodge the other vehicle? Should I have spun the wheel to try and turn us the other way?
The truth is : none of that would have made a difference, and most importantly, none of it was my fault. And I know that it wasn’t “my fault,” believe me, I do. BUT there is still that little voice in the back of my mind that torments me with “what ifs” and “should haves.” Everyday for the past two weeks I have been filled with dread every time I have to get into a car, debilitating anxiety about getting behind the wheel again, and the overwhelming fear that I let my friends and loved ones down. If we had not stopped for food on the way home would we have made it through the intersection unscathed? If we left the board game café 10 minutes earlier would I have gotten my friends home safe? But the worst of my thoughts since that night, are thoughts of hatred and anger towards the person who hit us. The hoping that she was brought to justice and that she cannot hurt anyone else. I am not a hate-filled person, yet I find myself hoping that she was charged, or had her license taken away. But that is not who I am. I have never been a vengeful person seeking bad things to happen to people, and that is the worst symptom of this unfortunate event: the hatred. She could have been sick and had an episode and that is why she ran the light. She could have been rushing to a loved one in need or simply exhausted from a trying day and made a mistake. She could be the sweetest of people, yet I find myself wishing for her punishment. That is not the person I want to be and it is not the person I am.
The reality is that I could spend the rest of my life playing over different scenarios in the hopes of finding one that did not result in that accident, but I also cannot go back in time and change the sequence of events that happened that night. I could spend the rest of my life focusing on the hatred and anger I feel towards the girl who simply made a mistake. We go through life hearing about all of the treacherous things that happen to people and think to our selves “that will never happen to me,” but the unfortunate truth is that bad things happen everyday and can happen to anyone. I am not saying all of this to scare you or to make you angry at others, but rather to hopefully bring some peace of mind to anyone who may have gone through a similar situation. Peace of mind that they are not alone in their suffering, be it mental, emotional or physical. Peace of mind that it is okay to feel angry, so long as it does not consume you and make you stray from your true self. Peace of mind that it is not admitting defeat to admit that there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome of that event… it was out of your control. Peace of mind that it is okay to forgive and move forward.
Well that is enough of the grim for one post. If you or someone you love have ever been in a trying situation, comment below and share your story. To share this post with your friends and family, simply click one of the social icons below.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
- J.R.R. TolkiEn, The Fellowship of the Ring