This is a real, real, real life post. If you’re not in for a REAL life post, then I’ll see you next week when I do a Modcloth Stylish Surprise reveal for fashion…but this week…it’s real.
So, on Saturday, I got into a car accident. It was terrible. And I’m having panic attacks and flashbacks about it. I’m hoping by writing it down, it may help me get past it.
And for any friends that are mad that I didn’t tell them personally – I’m sorry. How do you tell someone that you were in a car accident without sounding like you want attention?
So this is my story.
Saturday – August 27th.
Preston and I are at rehearsal. Our show opens Wednesday (which was yesterday now).
We start rehearsal around 2pm. We finish around 6. He had been working prior to this – so we met at the theatre in separate cars. We decide that since we are heading to a party later that night that we’re just going to order pizza when we get home.
So we leave. Same route we take every day. It’s 5.7 miles from there to here. (my house).
Preston and I arrive to an intersection of a fairly major road (4 lanes/2 each way/45mph speed limit). The light going my way is red. I’m jamming to Hamilton. (Jam-ilton, if you will.)
I sit at the red light. Preston is in the car immediately behind me. I wave at him in my rearview mirror.
My light turns green.
I hesitate a moment and I begin to cross the intersection.
*Possible trigger warning now. I know this because it’s triggering me.*
It played out like a movie scene. I’m crossing the intersection and for a split second, I turn my head and I see a silver car.
But MY light was green.
And then I mentally blacked out.
A woman head-on hit the passenger side of my car, doing 45/50mph. She hit me so hard that my car spun (about a 3/4 spin) through the intersection.
But my light was green.
I sat in my car. Preston pulls through the intersection after me. He shouts from across the street for me not to get out of the car.
I don’t feel anything. I can’t move or speak. I don’t feel pain…yet. I’ll later come to learn that my adrenaline shot through the roof and I was in shock.
A bystander – a nice older gentleman with his grandchildren in the car comes up to the car and asks if anyone has called 911 and if I need an ambulance. I don’t say anything. I vaguely shake my head no.
The woman that hit me comes up to my window.
MY light was green.
She starts throwing excuses. She doesn’t feel well. She has an ear infection. She wasn’t texting, she swears. She’s sick. She didn’t even see the red light.
She doesn’t have insurance.
She admits she ran a red light. Twice.
I don’t say anything. I can’t say anything. The only word that I want to say is the ‘c-word’ and that’s not appropriate or lady like. So I don’t.
My light was green.
I’m sobbing. I can’t feel anything.
I check my car. It’s in park. I don’t remember putting in park. My cell phone is now on the passenger seat. It had been resting on my leg. How did it get there? Had my window been open the same time? When had I even turned off the car? When did the air bags deploy? When did the emergency handle fly off? When did I turn off the radio? How did my purse stay completely upright?
I can’t remember…because my light was green.
Preston calls my parents. A few minutes later and they’re on the scene. I can barely talk.
Preston watched a car slam me into a tail spin, only a few feet behind me. Another 10 seconds – it would’ve been him. I can’t even imagine if I had seen it. It’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Do you want to get hurt or watch the love of your life get hurt in front of you? They each offer their own horrors.
Preston is at my side, holding me, checking me to make sure I’m okay. The woman asks if he even knows me. My brain tells me that’s a stupid question but I know that he was in another car so I say yes, he’s my boyfriend.
I’m not terribly hurt. Bruises on my left side. My shoulder aches from the seatbelt. My leg hurts from knee to hip from slamming into my door. A bump on my head. My elbow hurts. Stairs are tough. I’m sore everywhere. But I didn’t need an ambulance.
But the mental trauma is horrible.
MY light was green.
Preston and I drove an hour that night. To his house. I had seven panic attacks. The first pair of headlights, the first time he slowed his speed on the highway, each intersection. I can’t relax. I can’t even think about driving. I’ve had to only twice since then. Each time I drive my rental car to the store I gasp at each intersection and hyperventilate every time someone goes through a yellow light.
I was sitting in my room and started having a flashback. I remembered seeing the car, hearing the crash and the impact, seeing Preston’s horror, the police officer asking for my ID. I forgot where I was. I started crying and hyperventilating. I lose control. I grab my hair. I can’t feel safe.
I was at rehearsal on Tuesday. My first line (I’m playing God) is, “I want that Pontiac driving south past Hermosa Beach to crash into the light blue El Dorado going the other direction. Make it a head on collision. No survivors.” I sit in the house (audience) a few minutes before we start rehearsal. I’m crying. I hate the idea that THIS was as simple as someone saying it off-hand into a control panel.
I started looking for a video to link to this blog. To explain that flash second moment of seeing a car before it hits you. But looking for a video made me panic and cry. (If you’re super morbid – go on Netflix. Lie to Me – Season 3 – Episode 11, about halfway through the episode.)
The first two nights I woke up in a panic, reaching for Preston to make sure that he was still there and next to me. I have nightmares about watching the same thing happen to him.
What if his light had been green?
And it keeps going. The first day afterwards I see the bruises start to show and I have a panic attack. The next day the insurance guy calls to record my statement and we get a rental car. Later that day I take a big step on stage. It makes my hip throb. The next day we have to go start looking for a new car (that I absolutely can’t afford). The next day the claims adjuster comes to look at the damage to assess the worth and whether they’ll total it. They total it. They tell me how much my insurance will pay for.
All I wanted to do was order a pizza.
Instead, I’ll might be thousands of dollars in debt to get a new car (that I didn’t have at all before), I’m scared to drive, I have to go car shopping and test drive new cars tomorrow, I’m having serious separation anxiety from Preston that it actually pains me to be away from him, I cry at least once a day as I have flashbacks to that last second before the car hit.
All because MY light was green.
There’s not much of an ending. But the moral of the story is – I’m okay. No major injuries. And I’m grateful every day for that.
Next week I’ll be revealing my Stylish Surprise haul. I’m super pumped about that.
So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!
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Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!