How does one 'move on' or 'recover mentally' after a car accident?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by hbcaligirl1985, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jul 6, 2013

    On June 28th I was in a car accident that totally trashed the front part of my car. The person I hit had a huge car with a metal bumper so they only got scratched. Nobody was hurt. I was sick--got into a huge sneezing fit--and didn't see the other person slow down and...ya...slammed on the breaks but it didn't do any good.

    However, I've been stressed out and crying nonstop due to this car accident. My car, since it's 10 years old, was called a 'total loss'. Since I decided to retain my car and have my grandpas mechanic friend fix it it will receive a 'salvage title' which means I ave to go do a bunch of **** at the DMV that I am not looking forward too.

    I'm upset because

    1. My insurance will go up since it was an at-fault accident
    2. That car insurance will be on my record for THREE YEARS so if I ever wanted to leave Farmers for something else, I couldn't do so without it being extremely difficult.

    I'm also paranoid going 'omg in those three years, what happens if I get into another accident? I'm completely and totally done.'

    So not only am I worrying about the things I CAN'T change now...I'm worried about things that haven't even happened yet (and might not happen).

    So how does one move on? I don't want to be crying everyday or feel a tightness of anxiety in my chest. More importantly...I don't want to be scared of driving.

    :help:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 6, 2013

    I'm sorry that this happened and I'm glad you're okay.

    I was in a very terrible car accident many years ago. I had to be extricated using the jaws of life and I had a head injury. I was unconscious for most of the event, so I didn't suffer any major anxiety afterwards. My best friend, however, was the one driving and was fully conscious the whole time. She had some issues for a while after. The accident was caused by weather/road conditions and no one was at fault.

    Might you consider asking your doctor for a temporary, as-needed prescription for anxiety meds just to get you through the next couple of weeks?

    As for your insurance and whatnot, there's not a lot you can do about that now. Try not to stress about that part of it. Easier said than done, I know.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 6, 2013

    It takes time.

    Three of my friends have been in serious accidents in the past two years. One couldn't even drive the road where she had the accident for months. Another has become a nervous driver, and she ended up in a second accident not long after she started driving again.

    All are getting better. You're still early on. Give it time.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jul 6, 2013

    I got into my very first car accident the very first time I drove in the snow. It was my grade 12 year, the last day before Christmas break and I was on my way to church for our school service. Unfortunately (or fortunately) instead of hitting another vehicle I hit a CONCRETE bus bench. I didn't hit it once...I hit it about 4 times as I did about 4-5 360s. I was about 2 minutes from home but I was too scared to go back home so I drove to a gas station... I didn't get in trouble (my mom was actually mad at my dad for giving me the car since I had never driven in snow before) but I didn't drive for over 2 months after the accident.

    It is my worst memory and I'm now terrified of dying in a car accident. I hate driving and I hate driving with fast drivers...
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 6, 2013

    A woman ran a red light and I hit her on the side. She got a ticket. My car was totaled. I didn't have horrible injuries but my hand went through the window and I had whiplash. The wreck happened on my commute to work and I would get really anxious at that point in the road. I came upon a fatality wreck one morning at the same spot and I decided to take another route even though it added five miles to the commute.

    I can understand your anxiety as I was very anxious driving for a while, but changing routes and time made it better.
     
  7. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Jul 6, 2013

    It will get better, but it may take a long while. I felt very uncomfortable driving for several years after an accident that totaled my car. (I was making a left turn and a car jumped out of line, into the bicycle lane, from those that were coming towards me turning left and slammed into me in the intersection - I was hit so hard I spun around and my car landed up on the sidewalk through a store window.)

    You need to continue to drive. Don't stop. If you stop, it is very hard to get up the courage to start again.
     
  8. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Right after I got my very first car in 2004, I was a sophomore in college, I was involved in my first car accident. It was pouring out. I had gone to Wal-Mart was returning back to the school when the car ahead of me stopped to turn into some business. A freshman girl ran the light behind me (which was one of those picture lights--not quite sure what she hoped to accomplish there), didn't realized we were all stopped, and ran right into me at about 45 mph. She literally drove under my car. I put my car into park because I was totally terrified and didn't want to roll off. Eventually, I, seriously had to shift my car into drive, mash the accelerator, and drive off of her car--her entire front end was demolished--I had a lot of damage underneath my car.

    For months and months I was scared to drive my car. Every time I stopped---red light, stop sign, someone turning ahead of me, I'd start to shake and just stare into my review mirror--ready to dodge someone coming up behind me.

    It took a while to get passed it. I didn't have your concerns about rising insurance premiums or anything, but if I did, I know I would've limited my driving to as little as humanly possible.
     
  9. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jul 6, 2013

    I feel like i shouldn't be melodramatic at 28, but since I live with my grandparents and we all help each other out--we tackle/take on problems like a team. If it's one person's problem, it's ALL our problems. I feel like i let my grandpa down--he has enough on his plate with his dialysis, cancer and heart problems. WE have enough on our plate in taking care of my grandma who is in-between the 6th and 7th stage of Alzheimer's. I've always been grandpas little girl and I feel like I let him down--even though he's been super supportive and not mad or upset at all. I think that--more than anything else--is what's driving this overwhelming anxiety.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Most importantly, I'm glad you weren't hurt & didn't hurt someone else! I'm sure it takes time emotionally to get over it. Don't blame yourself too much. I mean even though technically, you hit the other person, the sneezing fit that you say caused you to hit the other person could have happened to anyone.

    If you feel strongly about avoiding freeways for a little while until you feel better about driving, then go ahead & do so.

    A longtime friend of my mom's doesn't even drive freeways PERIOD. As far as I know, it's not due to her being in an accident, she was just always fearful of them & therefore, doesn't drive them ever. So everyone is different. Just take your time when you drive from now on & if this experience causes you to drive slower/more cautiously from now on, then so be it.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jul 6, 2013

    It does just take time. I've been violently rear-ended twice- once the car was going 45 in heavy traffic- I was the end(front?) of a four car pile up, and the other time I was waiting to make a left and was hit by a car going 55!
    I still cringe when I am in heavy traffic and people slam on their brakes, but eventually I did stop cringing every time I have to stop (that happened for a good 6 months after the second accident).
    Hang in there- it will get better!
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Funny this comes up. I was in an accident Thursday night (I was the passenger and we were rear-ended at a red light). However, I can relate to being nervous about driving after my first accident. I was badly broadsided and spent a long time physically flinching at any car that could possibly enter my space. I'm still cautious, but I'm a lot more mentally reflexive than physically.
     
  13. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jul 6, 2013

    How would you feel if this was the other way around and your grandfather had the accident? Would you be happy he wasn't seriously hurt or killed? Would you feel that the repairs, etc are really just things that can be dealt with one step at a time, and ultimately what matters is that he is safe? If yes is your answer then perhaps he feels the same way about you? Cars can be fixed and repaired.

    Life happens and what happened, happened. Accept it and face forward and tackle these issues. Beating yourself up and thinking you disappointed someone is not beneficial to you or anyone involved.

    I rear ended someone once, and I thought the world was going to end. I thought my parents would not survive because I screwed up. Mind you, I was 25 and married! Twenty years later everything is fine. It is nothing but a dim memory.

    Certainly, insurance wise, you are not the first person to have an accident. What's the worst they can do other than increase your premium?
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 6, 2013

    I'm very glad you are ok :hugs:

    It takes time. Car accidents are very, very scary. I've been in a few accidents... I was in a bad one about seven years ago and refused to drive on that road until last year, when my home bound job required it. I still got the heebie-jeebies sitting at the red light where it happened.
     
  15. Sweet_P

    Sweet_P Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2013

    Like everyone else says, it does take time. I was in a car accident about three years ago and both cars were totaled. I was making a left turn and was hit on the passenger side and ended up doing a 180, and the woman who hit me was going at least 40 mph. Luckily there were no serious injuries (the woman ended up with a small fracture in her thumb). Right after the accident I never wanted to drive and was petrified about getting back on the road. Whether by myself or as a passenger in another car, I would have images of myself getting into horrible accidents flash in my head almost constantly (that's a non-issue now).

    Nowadays, I'm okay with driving - I consider it a necessary evil. I'm an overly cautious driver - heavy traffic makes me nervous so I try my best to not drive during certain times and I still avoid the highway. Left turns still give me issues, especially if there's no turn signal and there's a lot of oncoming traffic. I try my best not to do anything that might get me into another accident (I don't go more than 10 mph over the speed limit, I never use my cell phone while driving, etc.). My nervousness does come back full force whenever I have a close call, but after a couple of days I'm okay again.

    It will get easier. As time goes by I get less nervous and you will too. Also, keep driving! :)
     
  16. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jul 6, 2013

    What scares me the most is getting into an accident before the 3 years are over and having two accidents on my record at once. that's what really scares the bejebus out of me. I realize I can't live my life in fear and that the main thing I need to do is leave more room between me and the other driver...but sometimes that is very hard to judge.
     
  17. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2013

    I agree about it taking time. I was on my way to work a few years ago and a mac truck merged into my lane without seeing me. He hit my car and sent me across four lanes. My car spun out of control and i was facing oncoming traffic. But by the grace of god no one hit me. I regained control, pulled over and the mac truck driver got out of his car and began to yell and scream that it was my fault.

    I was shaken up and afraid to drive, especially in the rain (thats when the accident happened) after that. My boyfriend at the tome was a godsend. He told me i had to keep driving. That if i started avoiding it because i was scared i would develop a complex. He said i would go from not driving when its raining to not driving on the highway to not driving during rush hour to not driving long distances to not being able to drive alone, etc and seriously handicap my freedom.

    So it was really hard but i forced myself to drive. In the beginning i would freak out when it rained but i for ed myself. I still get nervous in rainy weather, but its gotten a lot beter
     
  18. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2013


    Don't sweat the small stuff
    Every thing is small stuff

    This too shall pass

    Don't make it worse than it is,
    it is only "things"
     
  19. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jul 8, 2013

    No. We do the dialysis at home. I was going to pick up some supplies we needed from the dialysis lab.

    She pretty much insisted we call the insurance. My car is going to take over $3,000 to repair that I didn't have--I could have borrowed it, but I don't feel comfortable doing that at all. The person fixing my car is a friend of my grandpa's friend--so he's going to do what he can for us, but he can't exactly charge me $1000 for something that is $3000+. Ironically enough, if I had already gotten the $10,000 inheritance money from another relative I am going to get, I would have been able to pay all of them off, no problem what-so-ever. Sadly, life doesn't work that way, I guess.
     
  20. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jul 8, 2013

    Hey hbgirl,
    I'm not trying to be flippant here, but you need to adopt a "s- happens" attitude sometimes... this being one of those times.

    It's funny, because I had a similar accident (coincidentally in HB... somewhere around Beach & Warner ;)), where I was at fault pulling out into the street. No one got seriously hurt (I think the other guy hurt his knee though.) The insurance company ended up calling it a salvage sort of deal like yours. But like you, I felt like a colossal idiot for a bit. And mine happened to be my new car! The bottom line is that no one got hurt. There is no use to beating yourself up over it. When they eulogize you many years from now, this will barely be a blip on your life, unless you let it be (i.e. you let it affect you and your grandparents).

    S- happens. You're fine! :thumb:
     
  21. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Jul 8, 2013

    Beach Blvd in general is a very busy street--esp. down near Warner, so that's not surprising. I'm very sorry to hear about that though! I was actually in Irvine when mine happened on Culver and Alton. I needed to cross over one more street to Baranca to be at my destination. Talk about bad timing, huh?

    Upon doing research about attitudes and anxiety over car accidents, I definitely feel like I'm having some PTSD over this accident due to guilt. Like--how many times have I looked at my phone while driving? Or fiddled with my radio or day dreamed and a ****ing sneeze is hat caused it? Man I can tell you if a sneeze can do that much damage my phone is staying in the glove compartment, my radio is staying off and I'll never think about anything except the road ahead of me again. My bff last night called and let me vent to her and basically cry (again) and then she cried to me over all the difficulty she's experiencing due to pregnancy and then I cried again because I felt bad for her. I think i'll feel better when I have my car back though. My car is familiar. I'm not used to driving my grandpas car. His steering wheel is too thin and the car feels too big compared to my car.
     

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