Tuesday 5 October 2010

"Take her down!"

I never even had a detention at school. I attended all my classes every day ; I didn’t hang out in the Bunny Run between lessons and smoke; I didn’t snog boys behind the bike sheds; I wasn’t in any gangs and I never got into trouble (although I did get sent out of Biology once for chatting in class but I don’t think that really counts). I kept myself to myself and studied.

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.....?


  1. I am on the other end of what u went thru... 9 years ago, my husband was killed on the freeway... nothing is more surreal than getting that knock at the door, dealing w/coroner's office, life insurance co., etc. as well as a lawsuit and learning the ins and outs of how lawyers work...

  2. What I forgot to add was that we settled..which as u know means that the other party doesn't have to rectify the cause of their vehicle causing the accident.. That is what I find unfair and not the exception or the exception depending on how u look at it...Had we gone to trial, then yes, they would of been accountable.
    In the end, no one really wins, its a loss all the way around..

  3. I'm so sorry to hear that - I cannot imagine (or don't want to)how it would feel to lose somebody that way. How many 'if only's' must you have gone through... yes, you must go through all the paperwork and procedures in a daze.

    The other driver (who died) had her partner and child with her, and another child. How must they be feeling... it is strange that I feel no emotion about them, although all my 'norms' tell me that I should. I suppose I will meet them at the hearing, I won't know what to say.


  4. Juniper: This is impossible to answer, unless you look in from a distance. I make three comments, none of which will help, but blogging makes us all feel better.

    1. The horrific ordeal you describe would unnerve Superman.

    2. Those who break societal rules regularly are the exceptions. We just get so inundated with negativity from the press we begin to think there is a monster around every corner.

    3. When you're feeling a little better and your woes are behind you, tear the manufacturing tag off a mattress. It's okay.

  5. Remember that movie 'Angel Eyes"? J.Lo and James Caviezal...Caviezal's character loses his wife in an accident where he is the driver... I am sure the partner in the car may feel the same way as Caviezal's character....I feel for you.. A lot of emotions will be dredged up again...The courts had a restraining order out on the man who caused the accident.. He couldn't come within a 100' of us... unfortunately he worked for the company whose vehicle he was using...

  6. JJ: sometimes I examine my thoughts from the outside because I find them so interesting at the moment, and yes blogging is a great release of stuff that is screwing with your mind.

    2. I read a blog by a teenager the other day (in the US) who said that someone rang the doorbell at her house and she was convinced it was a murderer. I just cannot grasp that thought process.

    3. Thank you, I will let rip one day and do something really naughty!!

  7. KBF: I've not seen that film. I suppose in a way those of us who survived are lucky that none of us caused the crash (unless her passenger was doing something to her I don't know about), so don't have her death on our consciences.

    It will be strange to see them, because I didn't see any of them at the scene; I guess that is why no emotion, I have no faces to imagine.

    How come the other driver had a restraining order, was he pissed at being 'caught'? or am I missing something... (quite likely as its 0023 - I can't sleep).

  8. Oh my gosh your life from childhood until now sounds like we could be twins. I can only respond from my heart, and no one can truly know what you are feeling except you, but I already concluded that you are a good person, through your photos, words, exceptional deepness of life and stuff life does to us while we're living, and you love dogs! your life has been spared because quite frankly somebody somewhere believes you have life to continue living yet! I'm happy to chat back and imagine what your family and friends think! So chin up, chest out, (maybe a cool sip of wine?!) and get some sleep! You can't function well without rest and a great breakfast! :)

  9. Oh yeah, this judge he doesn't even look tough! Love this picture very funny and silly too!

  10. I can assure you that those 'other people' don't think they're exempt from the consequences--most simply believe they won't get caught. It's that grandiose thinking that convinces them that they're 'entitled' and that they're they're above the rules.
    This from a woman who lived with that thinking once upon a time.
    Oh--and the favorite 'if you had MY life--' rationalization. I had that as well.

    I can understand the anxiety. If you don't function with criminalistic thinking, courts can be a frightening thing--even if you're 100% in the 'right'. Coming face to face with the survivors--no matter who's 'at fault legally', would be difficult. It was a horrific tragedy, all the way around. It's just going to be difficult.
    You're doing well to focus on healing and progressing physically.
    *sending more healing thoughts*

  11. Your post may have saved a potential accident this morning. That and possibly my hubby's many reminders to be careful which really I am a very cautious driver. But thankfully I drove extra careful this morning during my 75 mile (121 km) commute one way knowing how a split second could change a lifetime! On a three lane highway unexpectedly in the center lane sat a cardboard box attached to a wooden crate and was the size of a dishwasher and with the grace of the highway angels or whomever, I saw it in time and swerved to miss it! I hope others were as lucky, and yes the truck driver was on the side of the road surely deciding how he'd handle it. It reminded me just how important people taking the time to speak or write, that we must listen and remember those all important words.
    Hope the evening commute home will be uneventful! Take care!

  12. Karen, yikes that could have been very nasty :-( I'm so glad you're ok, and I hope other people on that road were anticipating as well as you were... wishing you a safe trip home! (that's a long commute).

    A great many of my friends have told me that they have changed their driving habits after what happened to us, sometimes something good can come out of even the worst things.

    I hope that truck driver called the police!


  13. @JJ: I guess the court just automatically did that... The company he works for is huge.. Maybe it was for their protection? In his depo., he was very forthright... He himself could of been injured as well...there was another person in the next lane, my lawyers found it strange that she did not sue as well.


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