I’ve been involved in several major (to me) auto accidents, and a number of ones that aren’t so memorable. However, they all had one thing in common for me—they way in which I knew they were coming.
For most people, car accidents are just that—accidents. For me, they’ve always been events that I’ve known were going to happen.
So why not avoid them, then, you ask? Trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried enough times to realize that I couldn’t run from something that I had obviously helped to orchestrate.
For some reason, for some inexplicable reason, I set up a series of “lessons” involving vehicular collisions. I’ve finally come to terms with that aspect of this. What I don’t understand is why for months prior to the actual accident I have to “hear” it approaching.
It’s always the same, and it always leaves me unnerved—no matter how many times I go through it. Part of me will decide that an auto accident is needed, and the arrangements are made (evidently months in advance). I will then start having nightmares of car accidents. The screeching of brakes locking and tires skidding across pavement, followed by the rending and tearing of metal and the shattering of glass. Then comes the musical tinkling of glass and metal as the pieces bounce onto the tarmac.
Oh, it’s not every night—thank goodness—maybe only three or four nights a week. Then after about a month, the dreams stop. But now the “auditory hallucinations” start. I’ll begin “hearing” car crashes—while I’m sitting and reading, or brushing my teeth, or even watching TV. At first it’s so soft and so subtle that I rarely even notice. Then it starts to build, growing just slightly louder with each occurrence. By the end of the second month it’s grown to the point where the sound is all around me, and when it happens it blots out everything else.
By the end of the third month, there are ghostly images to go with the sounds. And by the start of the fourth month, everything has stopped. Completely and totally stopped. Then it’s such a relief to have the images and noises gone that I get lulled into feeling safe.
Thus, by the end of the fifth month, when you’re in your car and you are sliding across three lanes of traffic while wondering if this is the end of everything, you are completely surprised and unprepared for “The Accident”.
It sounds strange, yet so many times I would let the “warnings” slide. After all, whenever I tried to avoid the incident, it refused to be avoided, so why pay any attention to the “signals” coming through.
For example, several years ago, I needed a new car. My current car was making us crazy with its continuous balkiness. My job entailed a four-hour round trip drive and my car was constantly breaking down halfway there or halfway back. The towing fees alone, could have fed a small, third world country.
For months I had known I was coming up on another car accident—this one involving a small, blue car. Well, that was simple to avoid (I thought), I just wouldn’t buy a small blue car (my current one was a mid-size maroon car).
We finally decided on a make and model and the dealer said we could come get it the next day. However, when we showed up, the silver car we had thought we were getting had somehow become blue. With the maroon car currently not working and the cost estimate to fix it (yet once again) enough to buy a third world country, we found we had only two options—take the blue car or go without transportation for several months until another car could be brought over to the dealership for us.
Exasperated, yet desperate for transport, we took the blue car. However, in order to defeat the coming accident, my husband and I traded cars. He drove the little blue car and I drove his silver one. I was sure that this would circumvent the upcoming event.
Everything was going great. It had been two weeks since the last “manifestation” of the phantom accident, and, still driving my husband’s car, I thought that I had finally beaten the pattern. All day I was happy, feeling like the demons had finally been chased away. I got in my husband’s car and headed for home feeling better about driving than I had in a long time.
I was cruising down the interstate when seemingly out of nowhere, a small blue beemer cut me off. As it clipped my passenger side front fender, I found myself across the line and into the lane next to me. The huge pickup truck didn’t have time, or room, to swerve, and it charged into my car pushing me back into the path of another car who pushed me off the road, where the car flipped over before landing in the ditch.
Lying in the emergency room, I had to laugh at myself. I had done so much to beat the “premonition”, thinking that it was me in the small blue car. But that wasn’t it at all. Sure a small blue car was the key to the accident, but only because it was the one that started the domino effect.
So now when I start hearing the sounds of a car wreck sneaking up on me, growing louder and closer, I simply try to prepare for it, rather than trying to run from it. Now, I drive a bit slower (ahhh, but I like my speed), make sure my seatbelt is always on, and I say a lot of prayers.