This is hard to write about. But it’s all I have to say right now. I feel like if I try and write around it, I won’t be telling the truth. So here we go.
Last Sunday I was in a car accident. It happened on my street, a block from my home. I have bruises, burns and scrapes from the airbag. The people in the other car were fine and there were minor damages to their car. My car was totaled.
It happened so fast and although I keep replaying it in my mind, I don’t really know what happened. Not knowing is confusing and scary. I stopped at a stop sign. I looked both ways so I could cross over to the grocery store. The other car wasn’t there and then, it was. They t-boned the right side of my car. The impact made my car cross both lanes of traffic and head down the next side street. Their car stopped where it was. They got out of the car, took my information, and then left in an Uber.
I was in shock. And alone. And I didn’t know what to do. I called Greg – he was in Canada – just to hear his voice. I called my insurance company. I called my friend to come and get me. She took me the hospital to be checked out. I called my parents – who are also in Canada – just to hear their voices. The police were there when we came back, investigating the scene and towing the vehicles.
It is difficult to be both in shock and responsible for following “protocol.” I didn’t. I feel like I made every mistake. I accepted all the blame. I didn’t get the other driver’s contact information. I went to the hospital before calling the police. I was the kind of shaky that makes your body and mind and heart feel broken. My eyes couldn’t read. My hands struggled to find my license in my purse.
My friend took me home. She made me tea. She got me heat packs for my back and neck, and ice packs for my arms. She put F.R.I.E.N.D.S on. She made calls for me so I wouldn’t have to retell what happened. She ordered Indian food. She went home to make me a homemade essential oil blend for pain relief and calming. Then she packed her things and came back to stay the night. She watched Pitch Perfect with me. She got reassuring information from her parents, who couldn’t be more loving if they tried. Just thinking about her kindness makes me cry. My other best friend came over the next day with a care package and a schedule of all the times she could be with me outside of her job and school schedule. She let me know I am not alone – I have family here. She drove me to get the belongings from my car. She offered to sleepover anytime. I have two anchors in LA.
The first night I didn’t sleep. My mind didn’t feel like a safe place to be – it kept replaying the accident over and over. I was afraid to fall asleep because everything felt dangerous. Still – I can hear the sound, I can feel the impact, I can smell the gun powder from the airbag.
Each day since has been difficult in its own way and I think it will be a while before I feel like myself again. I am now waiting to find out whether my insurance will cover the damages to the other driver’s 2015 Maserati. This feels crushing – like a heavy weight I can’t lift off my chest. Our collision insurance would be plenty if we weren’t living in the land of luxury vehicles. I am trying to remain positive and hopeful that everything will be ok, but not knowing is really difficult.
I still keep expecting to wake up from this. It doesn’t feel real and I hate how permanent it is. My driving record. My story. It is changed. I feel a sense of loss and fear that I’ll never feel safe in a car again. I am also so grateful that no one was seriously hurt. That my car protected me. That it is just a thing. That maybe I learned something from this I needed to know. It is a confusing mess of feelings that I can’t move through yet but I hope that writing this will help me start to move on.
Last night was the first night I felt like myself since it happened. My closest friends in LA came over and I made brownies and we drank wine. A friend told me she is pregnant and I felt so happy and truly light – it was such a relief to feel that way.
I have been comforted by the people who have shared their car accident stories with me. They have let me know this scary feeling will lessen over time, and that this accident doesn’t mean I’m a bad driver. Logistically, we are trying to figure out our best option, as we plan to move back to Canada at the end of June. Buying and reselling a car seems too expensive given our time frame, and leasing isn’t an option for us in the U.S. – however this is a challenging city to be without a car.
I’m sharing this because I want it out instead of in. I want to start moving on and I think telling the truth about things that are hard to talk about helps. Thank you for reading this and for connecting with me during this time.