All the passengers are fine, my car is not.

My car will be fine again in about two weeks.

I am grateful for auto insurance and the relatively low deductible we have on collisions.

I’m really glad that the other car was barely scratched, so the young woman driving it doesn’t have to deal with repairs the way I do.

I’m also glad that the smash was the result of a ten second miscalculation rather than a stupid driving decision. It falls firmly into the category “these things happen” rather than being a regret.

I’m pleased that when I called to tell Howard I would be late I remembered to lead with “I’m fine, Patch is fine. I had a car accident.” That was putting the most critical information first.

I wish I’d done a better job of collecting and handing out information in the moment. We got the critical pieces, contact info, insurance, etc. But when my insurance company asked for make and model of the other car, the best I could say was “Something jeep-ish? It was blue.” Not a moment that made me feel intelligent. I was aware that I wasn’t thinking entirely clearly, and I tried to counteract it by going slow and talking through the steps. I’ve had a lot of hindsight thoughts since. Though interestingly they’re all about the aftermath and not about the accident itself.

Smash occurred Thursday night. I spent a significant portion of today arranging for repairs and settling my own emotions. I really didn’t want my car smashed. I’m sad every time I look at it. At first I was afraid that I’d totaled the car. I pictured myself having to shop for a new one, but having to buy one used because the insurance only covers replacement of current state, not new value. And my mind raced on to think about the fact that we’re still paying off the car and I didn’t know what sort of financial impact that would have on our year. And I spent quite a lot of emotion on not wanting a different car. I like this one.

But Howard looked at the car and pointed out that it looks awful, but really it is only the hood that is terrible. The engine is fine. The car still drives. The impact wasn’t even hard enough to deploy airbags, which feels strange considering the mess it made of my car’s hood. And looking at the picture I feel a bit sheepish about my anxiety. While the damage definitely has to be fixed, it is no where near as bad as my emotions claim it is.

I’m very tired today. Some of that is because I didn’t sleep well last night. Most of the not sleeping well was because my brain was rehearsing how things need to go from here and how I could do better next time. Emotional processing takes time.

I used Howard’s car for errands today. I was cautious in driving, but more aware of how normal driving feels than I was nervous. Though my brain keeps making up stories about me wrecking his car too. Which would be far worse, because his car has been with us for over a decade and has a name.
Maybe mine should get a name out of this. It certainly took good care of me, absorbing the damage so Patch and I were fine.

As you can probably tell, my thoughts are still a bit scattered. I’m hoping that a better night’s sleep tonight will help me reset.