Almost four years ago, I was in a car accident. A very, very scary one. The kind where you hear screaming and don’t realize that it’s you until a few moments have passed. It took a long time to get past it in the months that followed. My beloved car was totaled, but it kept me safe when I might have been very seriously injured. The entire driver’s side was crushed, glass broken, roof buckled. I never posted the photos online for a few reasons, most of which that my mom and sister were NOT interested in seeing them. I’ve hidden the photo in my flickr archives if you’re curious. (I will always be loyal to Subaru, because that car saved my life. Full stop.) It was traumatic; while I moved on with life and healed on the outside, I could still hear the crash in my head every time there was a loud noise. Commercials made me teary. I got very superstitious about driving through stop signs, and my driving became even more cautious than ever.
But life went on. You get over things, the shock fades in time.
Except almost two years after the car accident, just when things were fading in a way that they didn’t really bother me so much, I got notification that the person who hit me was suing me.
The details aren’t important, except that during the nearly two years since then, this has been a huge stress in the back of my mind, one I couldn’t really talk about and most certainly didn’t want to think about. I didn’t want to describe, in detail, the events of that afternoon. I didn’t want to try to remember conversations or the ticket I got in the mail afterwards, the one that I just paid online because I couldn’t imagine going to traffic court when I didn’t have a car or the money for a new one… but I also couldn’t have imagined how that one ticket would come back to bite me quite so thoroughly.
It was paperwork and bewilderment, and realizing that there are aspects of the legal system that just seem so UNFAIR.
Months went by. A deposition was scheduled. I fretted about it. I lived through it. (And was impressed with myself at how I got through it.) I went to the beach that day and found so much solace in the dark clouds.
A few months ago, I came home to a letter that the case was going to trial in early June. And I ruined another pillowcase with mascara tears. It got complicated. I worried. I was preoccupied. I sat in jury duty for three days trying to imagine testifying about this, being cross-examined again, in court, for real. And I crossed my fingers REALLY HARD.
Anyone who I’ve talked to at all in the last few months knows how much this has been hanging over my head. Well, I’m here to tell you, jubilantly, that the case finally settled. SETTLED. It’s over. Could I talk your ear off with my (bitter) opinions of the whole situation? Most certainly. Does it matter, because it’s over? Nope. It’s all done. And it’s about damn time.
I have a history of buying myself jewelry to commemorate getting through difficult situations. I’m sure some of you think I’m making a big deal out of something small, but let me tell you, that crash was not small, and the impact on the rest of my life has not been small either. Going through something like this changes how you look at life. And it has shown me that I am so much stronger than I knew. So I bought myself some jewelry because HOLY HELL it’s over. And I never have to think about that snowy afternoon in December again.