This week, I thought I’d start things off a little different, and by different I mean crashing my car.
I thought I was off to a good start Monday: I was well rested, relatively cheery in the morning and was even wearing a cute outfit. I was convinced I was going to have a great day. Until a deer jumped the guardrail and ran onto the highway.
I saw the deer instantly, and when everyone around/in front of me started braking, I did the same. Problem is, I was too focused on what the car out front was doing that I lost track of the car directly in front of me. So even though I saw the car out front stop dead on the highway to avoid hitting that stupid deer, I did not see the car in front of stop to avoid hitting the first car. Oops.
I think the whole thing happened in less than 30 seconds. I can’t say for sure because I was so in shock about what happened that I couldn’t even figure out the poofy balloon thing was that was coming out of my steering wheel. I remember touching it and thinking, what am I feeling? What is this? What happened? It was only after realizing it was the airbag that everything came into focus.
I’m already a high stress anxiety prone individual, so needless to say I dissolved into a fit of hysteria that prompted the sheriff’s deputies to call the squad. I think I really freaked te EMT out, it was something about the way she was looking at me and her tone of voice. I wasn’t hurt, just really, really freaked out about everything.
And when I looked at the front of my car and saw how mangled it was and all this crap that was spilling out of it, oh yeah, and the smoke coming off it, I just lost my shit completely.
I think I was half losing it because I was involved in a trauma that psychological distress is common with, and half because I was worried about my car. I knew it was totaled, and the thought of having to face my parents and explain all of this and go through the process of getting a new car was too much for me to handle.
I don’t know how many times I told my parents I was sorry about the car. Cars are expensive enough without having just put four new tires on mine. I also kept obsessing over the crash, asking over and over again if it was really my fault or if it was the people who stopped on the highway who were more to blame. I don’t know if I wanted my parents to tell me it wasn’t my fault or if I wanted them to yell at me and say it was.
I can’t handle the idea of letting them down or screwing up in any way, like ever.
It took my mom telling me that she “didn’t give a f**k about the car” before I finally believed the hours of my parents telling me all they cared about is the fact that I wasn’t hurt or in the hospital. I could have sworn they would be pissed about the car, but they really weren’t.
Accepting that fact and just letting go of what happened seemed impossible. But the more my parents told me they didn’t care about the car, the more my friends and coworkers told me the same thing and shared the stories about the times they totaled their cars, it got easier to accept.
I’ve always had a hard time letting go. I obsess over things and once I get started I can’t stop. I replay things in my mind from years ago wondering how I could have changed the outcome, or just replaying them to make myself feel bad for the stupid thing I did. It’s … unhealthy.
I could probably benefit from taking a note out of Queen Elsa’s book and just let it go. (Frozen anyone??)
I’m trying to learn to let things go. I’ve been doing a lot of deep breathing and thinking positive thoughts. Not sure if it’s working yet. I guess I’ll find out the next time something stressful pops up.
Until then, I’ll have searching for a new car to keep me busy.