My Awful, No Good, Horrible Day

Sometimes you have a bad feeling about the day ahead from the get-go. That’s how I felt about today. I don’t know if it were because I had another day of meetings, meaning there would be little productivity or because it was Tuesday (because the theory at work is that Tuesdays Suck) or because I had to head to Main Campus for a meeting, which always results in logistical nightmares (I work for a university). I even said to a coworker before leaving for the meeting on Main Campus that I had a bad feeling about it.

I decided to drive to the meeting despite the construction snafus because I couldn’t figure out which bus to take and time was running out. The meeting itself went well, and I felt greatly reassured that we had managed to find the closest permitted parking area easily and found the building in which our meeting was to be held with ease. We were even early!

The drama didn’t happen until we were almost out of the parking garage. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was getting ready to turn right. Another car was getting ready to turn left. I tried to brake but my brain froze, and I ended up hitting the gas instead of the brake. Several times. I hit the other car (a Mini Cooper!), spun it around and drove into a pylon in the parking deck.

I was mortified. Shocked. Stunned. How did this happen? Fortunately, my speed was probably only a few MPH, so the damage could have been a lot worse.  My Honda Pilot had cosmetic damage and the Mini Cooper had a bit more but was considered drivable by the police. More importantly, no one was injured. We were all shaken up, but no one had any injuries. Heck, my air bag hadn’t even deployed.

We spent an hour in the parking deck while campus police documented everything. I freely admitted fault, and I felt horrible. I wished I had been alone in the car because at least then my humiliation could have been witnessed by only myself (and of course the poor car I hit).  Oh and the many, many cars whose inhabitants gaped at us as they drove by.

I held it together pretty well until the end. When I was talking to the police officer, I started to cry. Also, how do police academies manage to cultivate the skill in which you feel like a criminal regardless of what happened when you are talking to an officer? Once we were free to go, I dropped off my coworker, sat in the parking lot and cried, and called it a day.

I feel like I overreacted, but I’ve always been like this.  If I do anything “wrong” or “stupid,” I feel awful. Terrible. I practically get out the hair shirt and whip. Is that a normal response? Why can’t I just say, “I screwed up. It happens. It was an accident” and move on? I’ve always felt pressure to be a good girl and to do the right thing. Any deviation from that – any at all – and I am nauseous and self-loathing. And it’s fear. Fear of messing up. Fear of doing anything wrong. Fear of being seen as less competent and therefore, less worthy. Am I weird or is this a feeling many (if not all) women can identify with?

Meanwhile, Daniel, when he heard about the wreck said, “I will ROARRRRR at the other car.”

Inhale. Exhale. I know I’ll feel better tomorrow (especially once the scene stops replaying in my head), but I feel fairly shitty tonight. And I hate that. How can I feel able to take a risk or make a mistake if my reaction to any repercussions is so out of proportion?

So yeah, Tuesdays suck :-/ However, I can recommend the Honda Pilot if you are looking for a car that will do well in a wreck.

While the wreck isn’t funny, I have to share this picture.  It gave me a much-needed giggle. My front license plate is the flag of Scotland. The Mini Cooper displays the Union Jack. If you know anything about British history, you will understand why this picture is the tiniest bit amusing.

wrecked cars

Scene of the crime

 

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8 comments

  1. Oh sweetie. I’m sooo sorry this happened. Please know you did NOTHING wrong. That’s why they’re called accidents. Shit happens. I felt your embarrassment coming through my screen, especially knowing you had others in the car with you. I’m glad no one was physically hurt, and the cars don’t look bad at all. Sending you hugs & love.

  2. Oh KeAnne! I’m so sorry. This is exactly the kind of thing I would do and I would beat myself up incessantly about it so I totally understand how you’re feeling. I wish I could give you a big hug and pour you an even bigger glass of wine. I’m so glad everyone is alright. And remember, there will be a time when this doesn’t hurt so much to think about. It might not be tomorrow but it will be soon.

  3. You’re not alone in beating yourself up over accidents. I agonized over what I should have and could have done for days (sometimes longer). I cry whenever I’m in an accident, unfortunately, I’ve been in a few, but thankfully most have been minor, even if all are scary. I am just glad to hear no one was hurt, physically. *hugs*

  4. Accidents happen, theoretically everyone knows that, this is why we have insurance. It is different when it happens to you. I keep replaying the seconds before the actual accident over and over and over until I am sick to my stomach (and that is something, considering my stomach of steel). I hope you do feel better by now.

    That said, judging by the photo it was an accident historically predicted, right? Or Literally replaying. 🙂 The Saltire and Union Jack at it again!

    I hope you do feel good about repressing that urge we all have to blame someone else for the misfortune that happened. You didn’t hide behind any stupid excuse, confessed and took the blame. I have come to admire this greatly. It is not easy to assume responsibility of own actions.

  5. Of course you felt awful. You’re human. Does anyone have a car accident, no matter how minor and NOT be shaken up and tearful? Yes? Then we need to inspect them for the switches and motherboard because they are robots. Even in a minor incident its the whole “what if the kid was in the car? What if I was going faster? What if…” its so freaking scary.
    On the other hand, don’t beat yourself. It happens to all of us.

  6. Catching up on a HUGE backlog (stupid of me to pick NaBloPoMo to fall off the radar!) and so glad that you are OK! But the self-loathing? The nausea? Oh, yes. I spent my hour in therapy last night talking about how quickly I go there, and how it’s pretty self-destructive to do so. *hugs* to you.

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