On August 5, 2010, I did a few things I do not normally do. These last minute decisions nearly cost me my life.
At 8:15a, my stray from the normal routine began when I picked up the call from my friend, Sabrina, and said, "Let me call you back" so that I instead could call another best friend and co-blogger, Annie, about relationship troubles and concerns. Sabrina was a little put off because, after all, we talked every morning at this time and what could be more important.
Annie asked, "Well, did you end up going to the gym?" because just the night before I had blogged that I didn't feel like it and that I need the drive to go. Ah, fellow bloggers! After a few laughs, I began to share my concerns with Annie that Brad is a workaholic and could very much end up an absent father if we have kids. As I was talking, I was still capable of noticing my surroundings, admiring the mansions I drove past. I even began imagining myself being a lonely mother and wife inside one of them. I even had the thought I better call Sabrina back. Despite all of these distractions, though, I stopped at every stop sign, slowed down for the kids crossing the street, used my turn signals. And then Annie started making some really good points and while I was listening, I somehow decided to take a completely new, and unfamiliar route to work.
Honestly, though, I would not necessarily say I was distracted by the conversation, because for one year I was commuting nearly 120 miles a day on several different freeways, and was always on the phone, and texting, and emailing. This accident was not caused by being on the phone, nor being distracted.
But there were some conditions that are questionable- questions regarding my surroundings, the fog, the massive construction, and where the cop car was going when he barreled into me.
I had slowed to a near stop before I decided that I needed to make a left turn to get up on Sunset from Sepulveda Blvd. I kept checking back in my rear view mirror because there actually was not a turn lane, and I was scared that as I was coming to a stop to turn, the red car tailing closely behind would rear-end me. Ironically, in trying to avoid one accident, I was faced, quite literally, with another.
I started my left, but when I say started, I mean I barely turned the wheel when in the opposite lane, out of nowhere, fast came a vehicle, straight in my direction. If I close my eyes I can still see it like it just happened a second ago. I can see the nose of the black vehicle. I can remember thinking, I'm dead. I did not see it coming. I did not see the cop coming. I just saw the very moment we were going to smack right into each other- HEAD ON. And then there it happened. CRUNCH. BANG. SMASH. We hit so hard that my car flew backwards and ended up hitting that red car behind me, before my car then spun around and ended up in the cop's lane at least 3/4 mile up from where we collided. Annie must have heard everything, so I kept mumbling to her, "I'm in an accident. I'm in an accident". Even just mumbling hurt. Everything hurt. My head, my face, my lip, my eye, my knee, my foot, my back, my arms, my legs. The air bags saved my life, but they also banged me up pretty good, too. Luckily, I did not have my sunglasses on because I ended up getting a bruised eye and lip from the air bag hitting me in the face. A good chunk of skin came off of my knee, too, and it looked like someone took a knife and tried to carve my knee cap out. I had leggings on and they were indeed torn at the knee. I even found a bit of the cloth tangled in the bloody skin that was dangling. That part really scared me, i think, more than the accident itself...ok, maybe not.
Not realizing I HIT a cop, I saw the officer and cried out, "Officer, officer, I'm in an accident. Help". Of course he didn't come towards me because he was suffering from the shock, too. But again, I didn't realize he was who I hit. I managed to hobble out of the car and crawl to the curb. It was then I understood what happened and I began to panic and weep. The officer came over and tried to calm me down. He was ok. Not a scratch. Nothing. But you see the pictures, look at his vehicle.
Then the future flashed before my eyes. I saw my totaled car. I understood that I had this new job and I couldn't afford a car payment and insurance since this car from the accident was a loaner from my dad and under his insurance. I saw financial crisis ahead. I realized I could no longer plan a wedding. I wondered how I was going to get to and from work every day. And then I panicked that my dad was going to be mad at me. I wondered why my life had been spared in yet another accident. I wondered why God didn't let me die in this one. I was a little in hysterics.
I somehow managed to call Annie to tell her I was alive. I managed to call my dad and apologize, (he still thinks I'm crazy for even being sorry when all I had was to be thankful for being alive). I called Brad's parents who live down the street from the scene of the accident. I called work to say I wasn't coming in. I called Sabrina back, except not in the condition I thought I would be in. She said she knew something was up when I didn't even call her back, not even for a second before we both had to be into work.
The hospital released me after diagnosing that I had only bruised ribs and a sprained foot. They barely even dressed my knee because they had bigger fish to fry. I thought how lucky I was, for sure, even though when I got home I saw the bruised eye, the swollen lip, the burns on the back of my thighs (like SEVERE rug burn), the heavily bruised and swollen pelvic area, and the deep cuts on my chest. Looking in the mirror made me cry again.
For three days Brad's parents nursed me back to physical and somewhat mental health. His mom bathed me, his dad (who is a doctor) tended to my knee every day and redressed my wounds...but...Brad...where was Brad in all this...working...Brad was working and let his parents take care of me. Had I not just been saying before the accident that he is never around, and saying that after just living with him a few days. But even in the midst of this crisis, he showed up to the scene of the accident, he didn't say a word, but he made sure I got to the hospital, and then he was back at work, and came home late from work the next three nights.
My family was even around, but not Brad. My dad drove down immediately from 6 hours up north. My sister came up with her husband and my mom. Even Brad's sister and her family came to check on me. But no Brad. The one person I wanted close, was not.
And those three nights after my accident, when he did come home, he still did not say a word. I don't think he knew how to cope with the trauma. I was having nightmares, I was pretty out of it, but around him, I was tough and that toughness, he interpreted that that meant I didn't want to talk about things and that I was ok. But inside, I was so tormented. I started to think about how I had gone off the path I had always taken. How I had done the same by moving in with Brad. I started to wonder if this was punishment, or a wake up call for moving in with him. All these thoughts, all the emotion, all the trauma...spiraled into a sever depression....and I'll end it here for tonight...