Skip to content

the driving cringe part two

June 29, 2010

car accident

photo credit

part two of three. click here to read part one.

the flinching and cringing while riding in a car soon became a source of tension in my marriage. all we did was fight whenever we drove anywhere together. i usually started yelling at my husband about the way in which he was driving the car. he was going too fast. he was too close to another car. he didn’t see a car turning. every time we came close to another “accident” i would cry out in panic. my hands often reached for the dashboard in anticipation. i would incessantly attack his driving. and he would endlessly defend his driving. it got so bad he would tell me to just close my eyes.

i couldn’t turn off the images in my head. it was the same movie that would play over and over again. i could literally see cars hitting our car as we were driving along. it was like visualizing your worst nightmare coming true, and yet knowing that your fears might be completely irrational. the hardest part was other people not understanding what i was going through, my husband included. how could they?

i had no idea that what i was experiencing was normal. i didn’t know there was a name for it. that many car accident victims experience the same symptoms. and i wouldn’t find this out until much later, nearly one year after my car accident when i would finally seek professional help for my issues.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 1:37 pm

    I understand what you are going through. Brain injuries are very weird in the ways they manifest, and because we are intelligent people think we’re okay, and we’re not at all. Be really kind to your self for the next 5 years at least, and keep doing your art, and writing. Keep a diary of your “things missing in my head that I used to have”. You will eventually forge new pathways in your brain to access the information….or not. My son was 4 when I got my brain injury in a car accident. I couldn’t read for two & a half years, he finally asked me to stop reading to him because I would say the words wrong even though my brain would know it, couldn’t work, 2 friends checked on me daily for a year, and it was my mentor friend who put me to “work” printing textiles. It’s very much like having a stroke, and I can’t understand why more Importance isn’t given the subtlies of “concussions”. Nursing and doctor’s staffing will give you more information, and be of more help than any doctor will. Remember that. I used to joke and say, “god came out of the sky and hit me on the head really hard and said, “NO! NO! You’ll do it MY way!” because prior to my brain injury I did not believe in my artistic calling. Over the years I’ve learned it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be.

    • June 29, 2010 2:17 pm

      thanks katharine! it is nice to know some other people who have gone through what i did. it has already been 6 years since my car accident so i feel like i have gotten through the worst of it. i totally agree that there needs to be more education in this area because most of the time i just thought i was crazy. i think that if someone had told me what i was going through that first year, then maybe i would have had a little more grace on myself. and my family and friends just had no idea how to help me either. they had a hard time seeing anything was wrong with me. i think it is so important for us to share our stories with others so they can walk through this difficult thing.

  2. June 29, 2010 11:33 pm

    Wendy, my injury was in 1993. I often relate to much of what you say, although, I was a single parent. Please feel free to email me, and we can visit at length. Also, if you have a minute take a look at my etsy site. I’m trying to get it moving and that is more challenging than figuring out how to set it up! I simply love what you, scoutiegirl, and your other blog (interviews) friends are doing with the blogging/advertising system of homemade way of life. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’d walk into a place and say, “Okay, I need milk, eggs, bread and gas money. Shops open! I’m wheeling and dealing today!” And folks around me would come and buy my towels, or clothes, or bags. Whatever I’d been printing on. And I’d give them deals. Now I want to do that on line. I want to learn and get involved, too. Everyday you all teach me more, excite me more, so if I can get my towels selling then I can invest in the process of learning the ins and outs of blogging instead of fretting about how I’m gonna get my rent money. Thanks.


  1. the driving cringe part three « a girl and her brush

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s