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AIBU to feel really not over this?

(32 Posts)
Cathycomehome Tue 11-Oct-11 23:37:17

On Monday night, I think I was in danger of death or serious injury.

I am quite (--quite a lot--) car phobic. Monday evening we took the Brownies to a trip at the local recycling centre in town (about 25 minutes away - we are rural). So, various parents brought the Brownies and my son (eleven year old reluctant honorary Brownie due to no childcare) and I travelled with the Brownie Leader.

On the way home, she shot a red light at a four way intersection (by accident - she said she didn't see it), and drove me and my son into the middle of three lanes of oncoming traffic. How we a: escaped serious injury, b:all other vehicles involved escaped serious injury, and c: you are not hearing on the news about the multiple car pile up in the middle of Northampton, I don't know.

I couldn't sleep last night, and felt sick all day. The driver came into school to see me and apologized today, and I know she feels awful, and it was a mistake, but I can't stop thinking about it.

My acceptance of apology was as gracious as I could make it, but I STILL feel shaken up - AIBU?

HardCheese Tue 11-Oct-11 23:44:37

I don't think you're being in the least unreasonable. I mean, you don't need to be car-phobic to have found this a traumatic experience - just reading about it is unnerving. You've done all you could be graciously accepting the driver's apology, but go easy on yourself - this only happened a couple of days ago. It will take a while to get over it. Talking it through with someone might help it fade a bit.

TheLadyEvenstar Tue 11-Oct-11 23:46:26

Cathy, YANBU to still be shaken up, it is frightening when something like this happens.

You just have to remember and keep reminding yourself that nothing did happen. You are bound to go over it in your mind and if you are anything like me you will be running it through with all likely outcomes.

Try your best to put it out of your mind and relax

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 23:48:36

I still feel shaken up when I think of a mistake I made when driving in the USA, and that was 3 years ago.. so you are definately not being unreasonable... the important thing is, it could have so nearly happened, BUT it didnt. The other woman sounds like she is mortified as well... and it goes to show how easily mistakes do get made, even by the people who are normally very careful.

starrywillow Tue 11-Oct-11 23:50:42

It will take time to come to terms with what happened and that's natural but I would avoid showing that to the driver as she feels awful and already apologized, ie, there's nothing else she can do about it, it's done.

People do make mistakes. My dad pulled out to overtake on a dual carriageway only to realise he wasn't on a dual carriageway and something was coming the other way, a momentary lapse of concentration which thankfully, as with yours, caused no accidents.

As for yourself, be gentle on yourself, let yourself cry, let yourself really feel all those emotions and then pick yourself up and dust yourself down and get on with living. smile

So you're not being unreasonable to feel shaky and not over it, but if you were to pass that feeling onto the driver, it wouldn't help anyone.

Cathycomehome Tue 11-Oct-11 23:51:00

Thanks, Hard Cheese - we really were in danger - if you can imagine, there were 3 lanes of traffic each coming at us from two directions - good driving on about 45 people's parts who managed to swerve round us saved us! Honestly it was the longest couple of minutes 'til the lights changed of my life!

My son has woken up several times with bad dreams. I am just laughing it off and saying things like: "Well, we're all fine. Let's not dwell on it" and changing the subject.

Cathycomehome Tue 11-Oct-11 23:52:28

Oh - I missed other replies - thank you all! I have allowed myself a little cry reading responses!

TheLadyEvenstar Tue 11-Oct-11 23:53:48

TBH with regard to your DS I would let him talk about it. It will help you both deal with it.

squeakytoy Tue 11-Oct-11 23:55:14

I would try and turn it into a positive if you can. As a car phobic, you have worried about accidents... well you have been as close as you possibly could be to being in one, and you survived without incident. Which goes to show that you can be ok. Hopefully that will make sense.....

It's understanding that you are all shaken up. No doubt she feels terrible and ashamed and embarrassed as well as shaken.

I can remember feeling ill for several hours once, after hearing about a serious train crash on the news, because the day before the accident I had been on that same train in that same place at that same time. It was down to damage to the rails and they said it that it had been an accident waiting to happen for quite some time.

I felt terrible for the people involved and oddly frightened and guilty about the fact that it could have been me. I'd changed my travel plans and would have been in the crash if I had stuck to my original ones.

And your near miss was a lot closer than mine. You must have all been terrified seeing all those cars coming towards you.

It will pass, but let your son talk if he wants to. He will feel better for it.

Glad you are all okay.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 00:08:49

Thank you - I know she feels awful - that's kind of why I am talking on here because I know she wouldn't want other people we know to be discussing it. It was horrible - maybe I should talk to my son about it, he does seem a bit scared. God, we were lucky!! I think I'm still a bit shell shocked myself!

BranchingOut Wed 12-Oct-11 00:20:06

What a shocking experience.

I don't enjoy driving and have had a couple of moments when I have nearly made a dangerous error. I shudder to think about them.

I do also currently have an aquaintance serving time for a similar driving error, which had tragic consequences.

What she did is so far out of normal that a bit of me thinks you should report it.

squeakytoy Wed 12-Oct-11 00:21:47

Report it????? why? It was a bloody mistake! Everyone makes them you know.

BranchingOut Wed 12-Oct-11 00:28:31

I know, but...

Maybe there is something happening with her that should be flagged up? I don't know - poor vision? An illness causing concentration lapses? Sleep apnea?

There is also a chance that somebody else might have seen and reported it anyway.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 00:28:39

I wasn't even considering reporting it! It was a complete accident! The driver has been very upset indeed by it. (May pray more in future though).

BranchingOut Wed 12-Oct-11 00:30:12

I do understand that it was a complete accident.

But the very similar accident of someone I know resulted in the death of another person.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 00:31:28

The driver has not had an accident in I don't know how many years, but she is old enough to be my mum (60) andis totally compus mentis - she just made a mistake. I don't feel angry, just shaken, but we were very lucky.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 00:32:49

Sorry , Branching out - I might feel very different if ours HAD resulted in injury or death, I know (my son was in the car). Easy to be forgiving in my circumstances.

BranchingOut Wed 12-Oct-11 00:36:40

Relieved that you are OK. But it is important that she is aware of how the police/law would regard this situation. The person I know is in prison at this moment for a very similar mistake.

Maybe if she speaks to you about it again then you could suggest she attends refresher lessons or an advanced driving course?

I feel there is a strong argument for all of us re-taking a test every 10 years.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 00:46:48

Deep breath I know I have to chalk it up to experience, but I think it might take a while. Thank you all for listening (I feel a bit guilty when things have gone so much more badly for others - we have some kids at school at the moment who lost their mum in a car accident - very sad and scary).

Stupify64 Wed 12-Oct-11 00:55:20

Some drivers have no regard for others; some just let their concentration slip. Most are conscious that no matter how good they are, they have to watch out for what others are doing. Thank heavens that those other drivers were alert & on the ball & fell into the latter category.

It's particularly scary if you're a passenger because a) you have no control over what's happening & b) you have NO idea what the driver has seen/is doing.

As regards DS; depends. A car slammed into the side of sister's Yaris with DS1&2 in back, we spun 360% and drove into the front of the corner shop. For some time after DS1 said he hated cars. Four years on & what he really wants is to be the one doing the driving. We took them to Mercedes-Benz World: they can clamber round luxury cars (for free) & they have courses for early learners.

I don't doubt that Brownie Leader is remorseful, but I'd maybe make other transport arrangements in future.

Cathycomehome Wed 12-Oct-11 01:00:59

TBH Stupify, I'm finding it hard to agree to any plans which involve leaving our village - I know I do have to get into a car again at some point, but I'm finding it hard to sleep at night and can't bear the idea of my son going off to his school trip at the end of the week.I do know this is ridiculous, rationally.

yawningmonster Wed 12-Oct-11 03:41:59

I was in a serious crash 6 weeks ago when a truck ran a stop sign and came in front of me. I was extremely lucky and escaped with a broken sternum, unfortunately it has really shaken my confidence in the car both when I drive or when someone else does. It like your situation was a complete accident, he didn't see the stop sign apparently (though he has been charged), lapses in concentration do happen and although we all know this, it is a real wake up call when they do happen. I do believe you need to keep talking about it and processing it and just take things slowly in regards to driving and being driven.

Morloth Wed 12-Oct-11 05:36:33

10 years ago I accidentally overtook at a pedestrian crossing.

When I realised what I had done I stopped and looked in the rearview mirror and saw kids who had stopped just in time so that I didn't hit them. I got out of the car and threw up, the mum who had quite rightly come over to abuse me ended up comforting me instead.

I STILL lie awake some nights running through the 'what ifs'.

YANBU

carabos Wed 12-Oct-11 08:18:23

Although not at all car-phobic, I do hate being driven by other people, especially those who describe themselves as "good drivers" or say they "love driving". IME these are the ones who jump the lights, tailgate, speed away from tailgaters and don't observe speed limits.
You have had a near- miss and are understandably upset. Don't get in a car with this driver again, it's a small thing and somewhat irrational, but will make you feel you have taken back control.

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