I’ve always considered myself to be a reliable person. The fact that people come to me with their problems or ask for my help when they need it proves I must do something right.
Yesterday was different. I completely fell apart in the face of a crisis as I began to lose control of the situation and knew I couldn’t get out of it without help.
My brother is on crutches with a bad foot so we have been driving him to and from work. Due to traffic issues I took a more scenic route home last night across the villages.
On getting to the main road I had two choices, the single track road with one main passing place that is a muddy banked area or the double track road that requires a bit of going back on yourself. I always choose the double track road.
Yesterday I allowed myself to be talked into the single track road by my brother with his reassurances that it would be ‘ok if you beep your horn’ and ‘it’s much quicker I just want to get home.’ It would only be a couple of minutes quicker that my route. But to stop him moaning I went against my judgement.
All was fine until an approaching car meant I had no choice but to pull over into the muddy bogged passing place. I tried to pull over as little as I could so as not to get caught on the bog but the car decided to keep coming along and got us blocked. I had no choice but to pull further into the bog to clear the road, narrowly avoiding the other cars wing as I lost traction.
What happened next is largely a frightening blur. As I tried to drive the car out of the bog I was being dragged further and further up the steep bank. As soon as I released the hand brake and floored the gas the car just rolled back further up the bank.
I got to the point where I knew if I tried to move again the car would roll onto the driver’s side, trapping me in the car. There was nothing I could do, everything I had tried made matters worse. It was then I completely fell apart.
To my brothers surprised I started screaming hysterically and shaking, completely frozen in the car with my foot on the brake and the hand brake up afraid to move encase the car rolled. He called for help and as soon as I saw my Dad’s car appear I fell apart.
I could smell burning and I got out the car and walked away mumbling about how the car was going to roll over. I couldn’t even bear to watch as I knew they would be trapped in the car and it would all be my fault because I should never have taken that route home. I was going to lose my car and as where we live is not served by any transport routes I was going to be stuck.
A car approached and it was all I could do to flag it down and repeatedly mumble something about the road being blocked by my car. Purely by a stroke of luck it was my brothers friend who eventually helped free my car from the bank.
He couldn’t have arrived at a better time as my parents attempt to free the car had only caused it to roll further up the bank. I could do nothing to help instead I walked back to the car and said I couldn’t stay and began to walk the probably mile and half home.
Constantly shaking and mumbling I barely knew where I was going and had no idea how I would get in when I got home. I just knew I couldn’t watch what was about to happen.
My neighbour approached me and tried to get me into the car but I couldn’t go back. He went to save my car and I just carried on hysterically getting as far away as I could.
About 10 minutes later my neighbour pulled up beside me again and said it was all over. I looked behind and everyone was there, my dad’s car and my car. I got into the car still shaking as my neighbour held my hand and drove us home.
I was just relieved it was all over. I was also incredibly embarrassed that I had fallen apart so spectacularly. I think in part it was all the stress I had been under in the last few weeks culminating with the panic of feeling like I’d lost control that just broke me.
Everyone was understanding and admitted they were all a bit shaken up. I sat for probably half an hour with my Dad trying to stop myself from shaking. It was funny, he said he didn’t realise it was me and my car until I got out screaming and walked away. He said he’d never seen me react that way to anything and it shocked him for a minute.
He said the reason he was so surprised is I’m always the one giving out the advice and keeping everyone calm when there is panic. I’m the one they call on in an emergency, it never occurred to him that I would be the one needing help.
He said it made a change for him to help me after all the times I’d spent helping everyone else. He said I only just now realised how much we rely on you being there for everyone, we forget you sometimes need help to.
So after a hot cup of sweet tea and the adrenaline wore off I just crashed. My whole body ached and all I wanted to do was sleep. I still feel sore and tired now even though I slept quite well. I feel more relaxed today though, like something has changed inside me and the past has been released.
I had my car checked over for my own peace of mind today. I was a bit shaky at first getting back in it but I knew I couldn’t let a stupid set of circumstances take control.
I need a couple of new tyres after burning them out trying to get traction but apart from that the car is fine. Everyone is fine and apart from a bit of embarrassment nothing bad happened. It could have been a lot worse.
I owe a couple of people a beer but the nightmare is over. The whole thing reminded me I’m human and sometimes I’m going to fall apart. At least I know I’m not always like that.