All my life I have been law abiding and scared of getting into trouble, I’m sure some psychoanalyst somewhere would attribute this to my relationship with my parents, which was – normal. I have no points on my driving licence (although have had 3 terrifying experiences of warnings, in the days when real policemen talked to you instead of a camera and a letter in the post), but to be fair that is more by luck than judgement. I pay for everything in shops; I don’t push little old ladies into the road; I pick up my dog’s mess from public paths. Even the thought of being seen by a member of the public doing something illegal makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Oh ok, that is all too good to be true. I admit I occasionally cycle on the pavement (but I stop and stand aside if I meet a pedestrian) and I cross the High Street at places other than the pedestrian crossing. And at the moment I (or rather my designated driver) park in the disabled parking at the supermarket, even though I don’t have a blue badge, because you can’t get temporary ones for broken legs.
But you get my drift.
Some odd things have happened in my psyche in the last 3 months, some more obvious than others. One of the less logical ones is that I have started imagining what it would be like to be tried in court and sent to prison.
The imagined feeling is so vivid that I actually start to feel anxious. I am reading about such a situation in the current novel, and I realised that there is that rising anxiety again.
I have tried to fathom out why this would be, and I can think of two possible reasons:
a) I was living happily when one day I was in a car crash and somebody died. What if it had been my fault? What if it had been me who lost concentration? What if I were due in court on a charge of dangerous driving? What if I had had a glass of wine at the picnic?
b) I know that at some point in the not too distant future Mr H. and I will have to attend the coroner’s hearing, and may well have to stand up and speak. Even though I know I am not responsible, just the fact that we have to be there is nerve-wracking.
The other thing that I find interesting is: what is different in the brains of those people who routinely break the law that mean they have no fear of punishment? And, is it they who are the exception, or is it me.....?