Do you know you almost killed me? Almost robbed me of my mother and my husband? That split second choice you made could have ended your own life. You could have made me a killer. I still see you in your white car, careening across my field of vision. It took less than 10 seconds from the moment I saw your car, to the moment I found myself dazed, facing the median thinking “Mom, are you ok?”
You almost died that day. I can see you in your driver’s seat, intersecting my vision. I cut as hard to the left as I could, forcing my mom to take the impact so that you wouldn’t die. How could I keep going if you had died? If I had killed you, because one line, one word was more important in that moment than the one and a half ton steel box you were maneuvering at 65 miles per hour?
I almost died that day. I almost lost my mother, who carried me in her womb for 9 months, who has carried me in her heart everyday since. Who has lifted me up and made me strong, who has taught me to find my own definitions of right and wrong. You almost cost me the woman who sacrificed every breath for 32 years just to know that I would be able. You did that.
You almost lost me my husband. The man who has stood by my side, who stood before the universe and vowed to abide. You almost stopped our growth. You in your youth and your ignorance and invincibility. You almost took everything from me, from the people who keep me strong to the very breath that I take into my body.
I learned long ago that I am not invincible, and I believe this experience will offer you that same lesson.
We’ve discussed what you almost did. What almost happened. How I almost killed you, because that happened.
What we haven’t talked about is what you did. What you actually took from me. The worst of it so far. I am afraid. Every day I am walking around in a daze, scared of driving, scared of leaving my house, scared that nothing will ever feel real again. Because nothing feels real to me right now. I cannot find my own center in this moment. You took that from me. Feeling safe, feeling secure, feeling stable; these all seem like far away realities in which I can no longer share.
Every time a car approaches me from the right, my heart speeds up and my breath quickens. I am isolated from the people who love me most because I can’t break out of this hazy feeling of fear. You did that. That text that was so important that you send in that moment robbed me of all security.
My husband and I will be in debt for the next 5 years replacing the car that you totaled. That I totaled? That was totaled in an attempt to not become a taker of life. Of your life.
We haven’t even touched on the medical expenses. And we won’t.
This is about how you changed my reality. How you made the world a more frightening place to live, and rest assured, I wasn’t previously operating under any fairy tale illusions.
I’ve been crying myself to sleep every night. No reason. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, and my hair is falling out. Apparently, this is what post trauma looks like. When I walk into my friends’ homes who own dogs, their dogs seek me out, sit at my feet, offer me comfort I am so shaken.
I want so desperately to be angry with you. I want to hate you. To meet you and scream at you and fill your mind with the terror that claws at my insides. But I can’t. You were afraid, you were alone. I saw that. I was there that day when you were lying on the side of the road, screaming and crying in pain and fear. Those images paint my dreams as much as the site of your car coming out of nowhere.
Everyone tells me this healing will take time. I don’t want to have to do that. I am angry at this situation. Angry that I feel afraid. Angry that I still feel broken. And you did do this. Your choices took mine. And for that I am angry with you.