Coping

Managing the emotional maelstrom

Accidentally harming another human being is one of the most
distressing experiences most of us can even imagine, and coping poses many challenges. Those of us who have caused accidental death or injury (CADIs) experience a wide range of emotional and cognitive difficulties. The first stage in  healing is to learn to cope with these feelings, so that you can feel better, think more clearly, and function more effectively.

I would hallucinate while doing the dishes. All of a sudden it wasn’t
bubbly dishwater but bubbly blood coming out toward me. I was
afraid of being left alone. I was afraid of the children leaving the
house. I was hyper-alert, hyper-vigilant.
[S., accidentally killed a bicyclist in a car crash]

I had recurrent thoughts of the accident and a sense of reliving the
experience. Although I felt very emotional, I was unable to cry.
Sleeping was almost impossible. Death felt like the only way out of
my situation.
[N., accidentally killed a motorcyclist in a car crash]

I stayed in my room for a whole month. I cried. I said, “Why did this
have to happen?” Images would come to my head. I would see the
blood on her.”
[T., accidentally shot and seriously injured his girlfriend]

If your accident occurred recently, you may experience some or all of the symptoms of acute stress. Difficulty coping with unresolved distress can become “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD), a common response to trauma. PTSD can appear soon after your
accident, or it may appear years later. Although exact statistics are
not available, I estimate that at least 25% of CADI’s develop PTSD.
Many more have some troubling symptoms.

Reactions to trauma

In the first few days or weeks after your accident, you may experience some of the following symptoms. These signal that you have been through a major trauma and need to exercise all your coping skills. Over time, the symptoms often go away. If they persist, or if they interfere with your daily life more than you want, you can obtain treatment.

1) Feeling numb, disconnected, detached, or dissociated from the
world around you or from yourself.

2) Sleep problems — having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep,
or staying awake. You may have nightmares.

3) Flashbacks, thoughts, images, and memories of the accident may
dominate your inner life or interrupt and intrude on other thoughts
and activities.

4) A high stress level, which can interfere with daily life and create
physical problems such as an upset stomach.

5) Sadness, grief, or depression. This may be pervasive or it may
come in waves. Guilt and shame may be closely related.

6) Fear, including fears you know to be irrational. You may want to
avoid certain places, settings, activities, or situations. You may feel
jumpy and startle easily. You may be “hyper-vigilant;” for instance,
you might need to check and re-check to make sure something or
somebody is safe.

7) Memory problems, including an inability to remember certain
aspects of the accident.

8) Irritation — you may feel more impatient, have a “shorter fuse,” be
quicker to anger.

9) Difficulty being loving, tender, or sexual.

10) A sense that you can never know happiness again, that you are a
“bad” person, and that the world is a “bad” and unsafe place.

What you can do

1) Be kind to yourself. The pain you feel is evidence of your humanity.

2) Keep in mind that you will not always feel this way,  that you can
find a path to peace.

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help — from doctors, counselors, clergy,
friends and family. Some hold back because they feel that they
deserve to suffer, but what is the point of turning yourself into
another victim of the accident?  Definitely seek help if: (a) you feel suicidal, (b) you worry you cannot control your anger, (c) distress related to your accident interferes with your life (work, home life, relationships, mood, thinking, health, etc.) for more than one month. Here are a few ways to find a qualified therapist in the United States.

American Psychological Association

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

National Association of Social Workers

4) Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. You can ask a doctor to prescribe
medication to help you cope.

5) Do not neglect your overall health — try to eat sensibly, drink lots
of water, and exercise.

6) Be wary of advice that does not feel right to you. There are many
paths up this mountain to peace, and you can select the route that
feels right for you.

7) Review the Links and Good Books sections of this
website for additional information about acute and post-traumatic
stress.

148 thoughts on “Coping”

  1. I’m 18 years old and I got in my second accident today. My first was in May, coming home from school. I was making a left turn and it was a green light with no arrow. The oncoming car was in the left turn lane and I knew they had a yield sign so I went. When I was crossing the intersection I collided with the left side of their hood. It was a mother coming back from a PTA meeting. I felt horrible and I cried for hours. Today, I was turning left onto a one lane street out of a parking deck. I was watching the cars coming from the right side and when I saw the last one I started moving forward only to hear a thump and hear two girls screaming at me to stop. I was in shock and I don’t know how many other times I went over them in my confusion and search for the break pedal. Both of the girl sustained minor injuries. I understand that I should be glad that the outcome wasn’t worse but I don’t feel any better. I fall into a hole of “what ifs?” and “why does this type of stuff always happen to me?” So many people tell me its okay and that it wasn’t my fault but it was. It was my moment of inattentiveness that caused both my accidents. I still haven’t called my parents. I’ve spent the whole day crying in my room and contemplating suicide to release the burdens I continuously impose upon my parents. It really does feel like all the bad stuff happens to me. A handful of my other friends have gotten in accidents but as the victims, and personally, that would be better. I’m always the one at fault. Neither me nor my parents have the financial stability to be able to pay all these bills. I just feel like the most idiotic person, always.

    1. Please reach out its ok to feel sad its been over a year since my accident and i still struggle with sadness and its ok it does get easier i promise. Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Imagine what it would do to your family. Be thankful no one was hurt that it was just an accident that could have been much worse. For example on August 9th 2016 i was headed to work as i always do. I was on top of the world my wife was pregnant with our 2nd son and we had just bought a new house. At 2:40 in the morning as i was looking for merging traffic a lady stepped out in front of my truck and unfortunately died on impact. Thats something i will live with for the rest of my life and im at a point in my life where i have accepted that. Im a better father and husband now because of the accident. If it wasnt me it could be a young girl like you and i would much rather be the one to carry the burden then a kid. Keep your head up things do get better and if you need someone to talk with message me or someone here who understands what you are going through

      Best wishes

  2. I lost my dad several weeks ago. He was under hospice care, but because of several factors hospice would not consider, and which my gut told me were true, I believe my dad suffered and died an untimely death. I cannot detail the circumstances, because the images they carry are overwhelmingly unbearable, and I’m already consumed with guilt, despite everyone, including my family, telling me it was not my fault. I have nothing but compassion for all who have and will post here, as I understand your pain exactly. I am looking into EMDR for help. I also found this video on YouTube that did some washing over my soul: PTSD Visualization: for Trauma Relief and Healing by Jason Stephenson. My arms are around all of you ….

  3. I’m glad some people are able to feel guilt.

    Many others are not; they are sociopaths and are more common than we think, I feel.

  4. 5 days ago I was in a horrible car accident where a man pulled out right in front of me (about 20-30 feet) when I was going down the highway full speed. I slammed on brakes and swerved to try to avoid him, but he was just too close and I t-boned him at almost full speed. He was in a tiny 2-door sports car and was trapped inside the vehicle. (I was in a small suv, both vehicles were totaled) I thought he was just wedged in there and would be okay but it took them 30-40 minutes to get him out using the jaws of life. After they took him away he ended up dying at the hospital. He was my own father’s age, 67. I still can’t believe any of it happened. The accident was not my fault at all and all of the officers and paramedics I spoke with said there was nothing I could’ve done. But obviously i still feel horrible knowing just died and I am in such shock and trauma about it. It was just a normal day of me coming home from school, me just driving down the road as usual when suddenly a car puts himself right into my path. My neck is slightly messed up now, but I walked away from the scene of the crash unharmed, while he severed his legs apparently and must have bled out. I can’t quit replaying it in my mind and feeling like this must be a dream/nightmare that I’m going to wake up from, bc this can’t be real! Idk how I will cope with this for the rest of my life.

    1. First, let me say how sorry I am. I believe I’m from the town this happened in, on 16. I passed on the way to pick up my children and all I could do was pray for those involved. My heart hurts for you. I hope you are working through your grief that I can only imagine is overwhelming. I was just looking for a way to help my husband cope with the guilt and shame he’s feeling over the death of our cat. I know there’s a significant difference between an animal and human but I believe my husband loves animals more than people sometimes. After our son’s birthday party last night, he went home before me. He drove onto our property and pulled up to the house, our cat, Georgia, who always lays in the driveway, waiting for us to come home, she always gets up and runs towards the car but knows to move out of the way. Somehow she ended up under the wheel. He called me in a panic and yelling that he hit Georgia and she was screaming. I rushed home, she had no visible injuries but I knew it was bad. I called the first vet that came up and rushed her over and she passed in my arms just as we pulled in. We were devestated, I actually can’t believe how I reacted. I was just sobbing so bad and started hyperventilating. The whole thing was just awful. My husband brought her home and we laid her to rest where we found her after somebody dumped her on our property, deathly ill. Today has been harder, he didn’t sleep and worked a 12 hour shift. My husband is a big, burly, tough as nails, veteran who never cries but he has been so angry at himself and he’s been crying frequently even though he hides it. He wishes it was him instead of Georgia. He’s pushing all of us away and keeps telling me how inexcusable it was and that he’s a terrible person for killing our cat and that’s just not true. It was an accident and I don’t know how to help him not carry this burden. So here I am looking for help and I couldn’t believe your post was the first to come up, incredibly ironic. Thank you for letting me share my story and thank you for sharing yours. I will continue praying that you receive peace in your heart and mind because it was purely an accident, I pray for his family as well. Please hang in there. Lots of love.

  5. Hi All: I am posting this comment at the request of someone who does not have reliable access to the web. Please read and respond if you feel moved to do so.
    Thank you,
    Maryann
    ***
    I am a close friend of a veteran who accidently killed a person while in the Viet Nam War.
    This killing, plus the negative way vets of Viet Nam were treated by many Americans, caused him to abuse alcohol, become distanced from his family and suffer from PTSD and depression.
    He describes his condition thusly: “Never do I wake up in the morning, nor go to sleep at night without intense pain. I often consider suicide.”
    He has been alcohol-free for more than two years.
    The VA helped for awhile. However, now he is in an assisted living facility and can get to VA only about once every 2 month. There is no one in the assisted living facility that can talk to him and understand his feelings. He feels he has no family and no close friends at the institution.
    He does not own a car or any real property; only owns a small amount of personal property and clothes
    He request someone who can write him via snail mail. He has no computer and no typewriter, so would have to respond by longhand. I am willing to pass the initial letters back and forth. If you file posts here, I will take them to him.

    Stanley Peele
    North Carolina

    1. Hi, I just read the article in the New Yorker about coping with accidental deaths. As a psychotherapist, I am shocked there are not more resources for this. I am also surprised that no one has mentioned the type of therapy that was specifically developed for PTSD — EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). This is a profound tool that creates lasting relief for survivors of any type of trauma. Therapists have to go through a rigorous training, and you can find the ones who have reached certification on http://www.EMDR.com It is true that traditional talk therapy may not create relief for issues like this. EMDR can be the solution.

      1. EMDR is one of a number of treatments that can be effective in treating PTSD. I try to avoid recommending specific techniques or modalities for three reasons: first, because psychologists argue about the empirical evidence; second, because no one treatment is right for everyone; and, third, because I hear from people around the world, many of whom must make do with whatever resources are available locally. However, I am posting this because many people write me about EMDR. Although EMDR is used frequently for PTSD, I believe that this is only one of the challenges facing CADIs. There are other aspects to addressing the trauma of causing accidental death and, to my knowledge, this is neglected in the psychological literature.

        1. AMEN MGray, I could not have said this better myself. THERE IS NO ONE cure all for CADI and EMDR is one modality for PTSD but certainly there is much more to be addressed in therapy. It is a vastly complex issue, humans are complex, CADI is complex, and there is no ONE therapy or answer.

          Dr. Fallynn C. Cox
          Clinical Psychologist
          EMDR Practitioner

  6. I made a stupid mistake whilst driving yesterday and caused an accident. I have been a careful driver for 12 years and aside from a couple of minor bumps in the past this was the first serious accident I have been in. It’s still so fresh and I’m not really coping. I’ve had a rough week already as my grandma has been given a few days left to live. I’d been trying to stay strong for my family, but it had been playing on my mind. Needless to say, I really didn’t need this to happen.

    I was sat waiting to turn right (we drive on the left here) across two lanes. The traffic was heavy and I was waiting some time for a gap so I could pull out. I saw that it was clear to my left and a car coming from my right was slowing down and turning into the side road I was in. I waited until they began to turn, to be sure, and then pulled out across the two lanes as I had been sure that there were no cars behind them. I found out within seconds that I had been wrong. A car had been overtaking them and immediately smashed into my drivers side at 50mph.
    I got pushed into the central reservation and the side airbag deployed leaving me in shock and unable to see what had happened to the other car. When I got out I saw that the front of their car was completely destroyed. As it happened in a residential area, some of the kind locals invited me into their home. I didn’t see the other driver as she was taken into an ambulance.
    I was then told that she was heavily pregnant and I felt my knees buckle beneath me. What if she lost the baby? How do I live with that? I’m too scared to call the hospital to check because any more bad news would destroy me.

    My car has been totalled which ordinarily would be an inconvenience but something I could deal with – this week it means that I can’t get back to my home town to be with my family at a very difficult time. My family, especially my mum is already under so much stress that I can’t tell her what has happened. I called her this morning and she told me that she believes my grandma will pass away today.
    I’m really trying to hold it together but I feel so low. The only comfort in all of this is that the bystanders and emergency services were so kind and helpful to me yesterday. There was no blame thrown around and their compassion is just about all that is keeping me from losing it.
    So, to all of you who are hurting right now, please don’t blame yourselves. We are only human and we make mistakes. Our capacity for compassion and forgiveness is one of the most wonderful things in this world, and just as others extend it to us, we must remember to extend it to ourselves.

  7. My accident was almost 6 years ago, and it still haunts me. The police on the scene seemed very kind, and I felt they truly wanted to protect me as they went to work roping off the area to gather as much evidence of the accident as they could. I tried to comfort him as he lay choking on his own blood while others called 911.

    People tried to reassure me. Police I interacted with later told me that this man whose motorcycle struck my car at 65 miles an hour late at night on a residential street had a criminal record, was on drugs and carrying drugs, and that he was “not a good man.” They said there was no way I could have seen him for going at that speed. Friends and therapists later suggested that I “think about it like he killed himself on your car.” But knowing he was at fault didn’t help then and still doesn’t help now. I had the stop sign, and I still felt responsible. It took the DA 2 months to declare me innocent, so I lived in the uncertainty a long time, but I’m not sure either my innocence or his guilt has much to do with the ongoing struggle I find myself in.

    I participated in another person’s death. I am not anywhere near suicidal, and live a relatively happy, “normal” life (with only very minor recurrences of PTSD-like symptoms), but I feel like some door into the other world opened, and has not ever really closed again.

    I’ve heard some Native peoples have rituals for those returning from military action–ceremonies that help them step out of their soldier self, including the horrors they may have participated in or been witness to, and back into their civilian self. Seems like a very good idea that could be applicable here. Also, time in nature helps a lot.

  8. I wish the focus here was not so intense on car accidents. There are so many other possibilities that can cause someone to accidentally kill someone and not reading other examples, well it makes them feel all the more alone. I know examples but want to keep my privacy.

    1. His I know what you mean, I was involved in a hunting accident 13 years ago in which a 14 year old boy was killed. I am partly responsible for his death as I led the group. I am still struggling with self blame and guilt and chronic anxiety.
      You do feel alone though when there is nothing similar on the net. I feel sometimes that my accident was unusual and it was someone i knew and that means I’m going to be suicidal, it creates obsessive thoughts about suicide. I do feel hopeless and low and I’ve been on mess for 4 years which leave me flat and emotionless.

      1. You might want to check out Gregory Orr. He is a wonderful writer/poet who killed his brother in a hunting accident when he was a young boy. He has written lots of poetry about this as well as a beautiful memoir. I found it hopeful and honest. I am sorry you are suffering. Please keep in mind that the suicide prevention telephone line is available 24/7, by phone, text or online (web) chat: or 1 800 273-8255.

  9. I was 17, i got into a car crash and caused me and my girl friends bestfriend to die. The night of the funeral my girlfriend slept with our dead best friends boyfriend, i only found out later. The day of the funeral she got called up to the podium gave a sad fake speech about our lost friend. a day later i had to go to the dead girls family gathering and explain how bad i felt for what i had done to the whole family with my cheating girlfriend/dead girls bestfriend by my side. She told me a few days later shed slept with the girls boyfriend the night of the funeral . We broke up. At school she made fun of me and showed a bunch of people my texts about the situation. I had random people come up to me telling me about how she laughed about how i broke up with her for cheating. I managed to lose most of my good friends as my girlfirend was may more popular than me. I took a week off from highscool to cope with what i had caused, in that time is when i broke up with her, she manged to turn almost all my friends against me and paint me as a bad guy. While alone for that week a girl i always liked came to my house and stayed the night with me while i was in a leg brace and hand cast. We made love, and i fell in love with her that night. I think i just wanted anyone who would give me a bit of love and attention. We dated for a month until she also cheated on me with her old friend from katy tx, that night i took off from work to be with her and she was having sex with some guy. The next day i dumped her and she said she wanted to have fun on summer vacation and didnt have time for a “sad kid like me”. My origanal ex and her then became friends and turned even more people against me. then a week later i went to a birthday party of one of the friends involved in the accident, at the party his mom got drunk called me a killer and yelled at me cussing and made me leave. My original girlfriend, the dead girls bf had sex with two of my bestfriends and even hit my brother up. I was so sad and devistated. Atleast the dead girls family accepted me, they told me they held no grudge and that accidents happened. For a year the original ex would call me and tell me how bad she felt for having sex with our dead friends bf. But never appologizing to me. Of course bieng the nice guy i was i forgave her and comforted her. She then continued to have sex with more of my close friends. She called me one night and i snaped and told her how i felt about what she had done. She laughed and called me a loser. A week later i showed up at my friends house and ironically caught her having sex with him. My heart was once again destroyed. Two weeks later a cousin of mine commited suicide. 3 weeks after my gma died. And after that a week later another of my cousins killed himself over a girl. My brother who was addicted to coke was close to the cousins. He threatend suicide every week for a month which made me even more sad. From my brothers sadness my own father did the same always joking about killing himself. After about a year of trying to get over that part of my life. The girl who i dated and after the first ex hit me up asking how i was doing. I replied saying im ok and she never txted me again. I was heart broken yet again. I became addicted to alcohol and drugs for 3 years on and off. My dad kicked me out bc i smoked weed, so I moved away and left to houston tx. Later both of my roommates got into a fight and left. I have been living on my own since i was 18 trying to get over this phase. Im 20 now and still drink every night. Drugs are not a big l
    Problem other than weed occasionally. I have lost my reslect for humans. Including myself. You might not get help from this. But learn from this story. Dont be a weak person like me. Stand up for yourself or you will get stabbed in the back and run over like me.

    1. Matt- How are you doing today? I read your story and felt such compassion for you. You deserve to be loved. We all do. There is probably something in your childhood or this accident that has left you feeling like you are unworthy of love. Which is probably why you tend to pick the girls that you do. The only one that can turn this around is you. It is not your fault, but you are the only solution. Start with yourself. Find a way to love yourself. It’s difficult…and I would say most people have struggled with it. But it is possible.

  10. Thanks for the coping methods . I made a awful mistake today while driving . Before I was making a right turn at a corner, I stopped and looked both ways making sure there was no people and cars, but I did not look to my right again when I turned and I bumped this girl and she fell forward. She was ok, no blood just minor flakes of skin coming off from her knees. But I felt awful, I was crying and panicking and paramedic said I looked worse then her. She did not have to go to the hospital or anything and she seem really forgiving about it, but u feel awful . I cried in my room for then entire day.

    1. Hey Sarah, I can’t say a ton for your situation as the driver, but I can try to imagine how much it probably sucks to feel that guilt. The reason I’m reading all these posts is because I was hit today by a driver while riding my bicycle into a crosswalk (I had the walk-signal) but he was making a right turn on a red and was understandably watching incoming traffic from his left. I don’t know what part of me thought it was an okay choice to make, but I suppose I got cocky and figured I deserved the right-of-way, so I went for it. As I passed from sidewalk to crosswalk, he accelerated further into the crosswalk, effectively T-Boning me, sending me onto his hood and my bicycle off the the front of his vehicle. I crashed down onto the street and right about then he knew he’d messed up. He got out very quickly as I was standing back up, I can’t explain why, but I had a sort of smirk on my face, and I looked at him in his frenzy of sincerity and panic. I told him I was alright, I meant it too, and I held out my hand to shake as a sign that I really wasn’t upset. He shook it and asked a few more times if I was really ok. I smiled and picked up my bike and kept riding, but not before noticing a sizable dent my shoulder must’ve put in his hood. I cannot get over that dent. I just can’t make up my mind about how I feel about it all, it’s by far the least serious circumstance in comparison to all the others on this page, but it’s still on my mind. This all happened earlier today around 4:45pm and looking back I wish I hadn’t entered the crosswalk. What I did was selfish and negligent. As a bicyclist I had a duty to maintain the safety of myself and others around me, and even though I technically had the right-of-way, it would have been safer to have simply waited it out. I don’t know how relevant this is, but this past Monday I collided with a jogger on her morning run, catching her broadside and sending her to the ground with a good scrape or two. I took that as a lesson and spent the entire day feeling like a terrible human. I know it was an accident, and I know she walked away from it. This time I was the one who got hit and the one who had to brush it off. It seems fitting that I found myself taking the hit today in a strange messed up type of way, and I suppose it makes it easier to forgive the driver who hit me. I wish I hadn’t damaged his car, because in my mind that’s what made the whole thing not-victimless. I consider my cuts and bruises negligible, I knew darn well I might get hit entering that crosswalk and I was stupid enough to test that theory. I damaged this poor kid’s car over a cocky split second decision and now he has to figure that one out. I feel really dumb for complaining about all this after reading the other posts, and I’m not entirely sure this is going to make either one of us feel any better, but I guess I’m trying to say from the point of view of the ‘victim’, don’t take be so hard on yourselves. Yes I walked away from this today and I realize that many of the victims you speak of did not, but honestly that’s just life. I lost a friend to a motorcycle crash early this year and I think about that a lot. What it was like going to his funeral, wondering what he must’ve thought in the last few moments etc, and in all honesty and truth, he probably would’ve said the same. Live and let love. You know what you are, deep down inside, you know you’re a good person. For some of us that comprehension grows farther away than for others, and it takes everyone time to learn themselves again, but don’t ever let yourself turn into something sad and removed because you think that’s all you are. Be a better person for the people who can’t be. Someone earlier said it perfectly, “don’t let one victim turn into two”. If you really can’t do it for yourself, do it for them.

  11. I actually came to this site because I’m laying here in bed unable to sleep from the pain from my car accident that happened 2.5 years ago. I was rear ended by a young lady who got distracted and didn’t see the cars stopped in front of her. I have wondered often if the car accident has affected her also so I googled it and ended up here.

    It hasn’t been easy being in pain all the time and missing out on time and fun with my kids, but I’ve never once felt angry at the young lady who hit me. It could have easily been me in her situation. I make mistakes driving all the time.

    I think it’s important to let those of you who are suffering from guilt and low self worth know that you are clearly good people. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s part of being human. Some mistakes have worse consequences than others, but it doesn’t mean you are worse than anyone else. I hope you’re all able to find peace.

    Believe it or not, good can come from any situation. After my accident, my friends brought meals to my family. We had just moved so my friends came and helped us unpack. Many people said they were praying for me. I realized just how loved I am and how lucky I am to have my life.

    I think it’s true that those who’ve been in darkness for awhile kneel in gratitude much longer when the light has come. You can heal from the pain. You can find forgiveness. There is hope. If you feel that you’ve caused pain to someone, then try bringing joy to someone every day.

    You are not a lost cause! You can still do much good and your family and friends need you. You may need some counseling to get to a better place mentally and emotionally, but there will be joy in your life again and it’s what God wants for you. You are all in my prayers.

    1. Thank you . Reading this made me feel better about what happened today . I felt so awful after I bumped the girl on the corner while she was crossing the street. She was ok will no blood kust minor scrapes to the knees but I still feel awful. But after reading this I feel better and I know things will get better .

  12. I needed to read this today. I got into my first accident last year and I’m still feeling the guilt of it. No one was hurt and it wasn’t even my fault, but because I was the one who rear ended him, I was the one legally at fault. The old man in front of me slammed on his brakes on the freeway. We were all going the speed limit and I was more than a car length behind him. I couldn’t swerve into a different lane because there were cars all around us so I had no choice but to slam on my brakes too and brace for the worst. All he got was a loose bumper. My car had a cracked radiator. To this day I have nightmares and my mom now has to face the repercussions financially on the insurance, while I try to contribute as much as I can. I feel awful. She brings it up a lot too, even though it’s been almost a year. I wasn’t even my fault, I didn’t even hurt anyone, and still I can’t seem to escape it. The accident follows me everywhere. Someone please tell me it gets better?

  13. I’m Happy I found this site. Knowing that I am not going through, what I’m going through alone. I was recently in accident, a day before easter that totally broke my heart, the person didn’t make it. , it’s still all so fresh but my emotions have been all over the place. I’m really affecting everyone who im surrounded by, but the main two people who are being affecting by me is my two sons who are only 6, and 8 and they worry about me so much. My heart is broken. I feel depressed, numb, I can’t eat, I can barely sleep, I cant for the life of me find a complete comfort. I can barely find the words to finish this post , but I know I need help.

    1. My best friend didn’t make it in the car i was driving to fast along time ago, i wish i could tell you it gets better but time doesn’t heal, well it hasn’t for me and he died in 1982

  14. Hit by girl while I was on the off ramp at a dead stop in my car. Girl was texting on freeway, lost control going approx 80-90 and came off the freeway, hopped the freeway median to the off ramp and struck my car. Wrong place wrong time I guess. Ended up losing girlfriend (first and only relationship), 11 disc bulges, fractured vertebrate in neck, traumatic brain injury, still here though. I feel guilty about not being able to return to work, as I did construction labor – pipe layer. I prided myself in working grunt work and being a laborer and now that I can’t do that it’s fucking with my pride / ambition / validity. Is this normal? Anyways sorry to spit all my problems out there. Take care,
    Morgan K

    1. How have you been healing?? Will you be able to get back to work when you are all better?

      I think it’s perfectly normal to feel this way, but consider counseling or going to a group or something along those lines. It may help you a lot to gain your confidence back.

      Hope you feel better soon, sending love your way

  15. I hit a guy on a bike today. I was doing a right on red, but obviously didn’t look how I should have. I clipped his back wheel, and he got a few minor scrapes, and his bike wasn’t damaged. I wasn’t going fast at all, but the fact that hit a person on a bike is terrible to me. I immediately stopped and helped him, offering to do anything to make up for it. I asked him over and over again if he was ok, if he needed to go to a hospital, wanted me to file a police report, replace his bike, whatever he wanted. He declined everything, saying he was shaking, but ok, and left. I can’t get over that I hit someone though due to my own inattentiveness. I admitted to the guy it was 100% my fault, but even though he left on his own, I still feel like I should do something to make amends. He didn’t give me his name or anything, and I drove around afterwards for a good 20 minutes trying to find him, but wasn’t able to. I can’t believe I didn’t look. I can’t believe did that.

    1. I got hit by a driver today in that exact scenario friend, in all honesty I felt terrible about putting a dent in his hood with my shoulder. I didn’t just get clipped, I got a full left-body impact from the front of his car that sent me and my bicycle to the ground. I shouldn’t have entered the crosswalk like I did (I had the walk signal but common sense advised me otherwise). I still haven’t told my girlfriend I got hit because I’m pretty sure she won’t be happy with me. I suppose from my point of view it’s just one of those things that happens and we’ve got to deal with it. I got a little beat up, but then again so did his car. I didn’t exchange any info and I almost wish I had, now that I know he’ll probably be feeling like you felt. I would say “no harm no foul” but I think this one’s better suited for the job: “shit happens”

  16. My sister and I who also just got our license few months ago got into an accident a few days ago, we were turning into a U-turn because we missed the turn. Thinking it was safe since it was green light, she went in but she didn’t slow down properly (due to the car being the big, its the first time she drove it) was probably flustered, when she swerved in, she went past the first 2 lanes for the U-turn. A motorcyle, man and wife crashed right into the sides, we were unharmed and luckily no other vehicle crashed in on my side, but they had to be hospitalised with one having a cracked skull from the concussion and the other with broken limbs.
    I know that I wasn’t the one driving, but I feel so horrible. This could have been avoided in so many ways. If only I hadnt told her to make the turn and go the long way. That U-turn was known for accidents but I didnt enforce that enough to her. The couple didnt deserve this but I can only imagine the guilt my sister is experiencing. She stood near them until the ambulance arrived while I was standing farther away,heard their screams, she saw the gruesome scene more than me. She already just came out of her depression this year but this, It’s horrible, it could have been avoided. Their lives will never be the same. I can still see the moment the motorcycle collided, cant help thinking what could have been, if only..

  17. A couple days ago I accidentally shot my boyfriend. Luckily it hit his hand and the injuries aren’t as bad as they could be but I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I could have killed him. I still can’t believe I did that to him. I feel so awful about it. I’m having trouble sleeping and I just keep playing it over and over in my head.

  18. Im 29 years old and I was recently in a bad accident exactly 2 weeks ago that my husband witnessed and seen the whole thing because we leave everyday at the same time in the morning before work. He was driving behind me. It was about 6:30 in the morning. The roads were very icy due to a wintry mix we have gotten all night. I I was Driving The jeep that morning as he was following me in the car I was going 40 mph And The back end of my Jeep Just went complete sideways sliding down the road so I turned to the wheel a tad to the left and figured I would fishtail it out But when I did it took It complete sideways the other way so I turned it a little towards the right and when I did I flipped it and rolled it three times while I flipped and rolled it I hit a gas line took out a fence , AT&T Pole And along with that my gas tank also came off if I didn’t have a sunroof my husband wouldnt have been able to pull me out in time. I came out with no broken bones or blood but I hit my head and I do have a little Memory loss on just minor things that have happened the day before like what I ate the day before or What I dressed my patients in the day before because some people never change their clothes, and I always remember these things. I’m just so confused on how I made it out OK, minus my concossion and the bruises on my knee and thighs from the steering wheel. It’s very rare to walk away from something like this. I just feel so lost and confused. All my windows were blown out and I had not one cut. I went back to work 5 days after the accident cause I was afraid I would never be able to drive again. I wanted to face the fear. I think maybe I’m taking it to fast, I was panicking on my way to work yesterday because it snowed 3 inches.. I can’t concentrate on anything. All I think about is when I opened my eyes once when I was upside down while I was rolling and hearing my husband calling my name, I thought I was going to die, but I didn’t, nor did I break anything at least nothing serious. I cry all the time and I’m just so lost and get so upset I can’t concentrate. I know my husband is a little screwed up from seeing it too. We been together for 12 years and we just got married Oct 1,2016.. does anyone have advice on who I should I talk to?? Counseling? Therapy? And do you think my husband might need it too or should we go together?? Please help

  19. I just got into an accident yesterday. I was at a T intersection at a stop sign waiting to turn left. This is a very busy road that is notorious for causing accidents, but even knowing this, I saw two cars getting into the small curve in the road they have for people who want to turn right, and I looked both ways, thinking if they were stopped to turn and no one was coming the other way I was safe, I pulled out to make my turn and saw another car passing the people who were turning right. I did the stupidest thing possible because I panicked, and I hit my brakes. If I had kept going, I would have ended up in the ditch, but at least there wouldn’t have been an accident. But the other car T-boned my drivers side between the drivers door and my back door. I’m only 17 and I just started driving a month and a half ago, and now I feel as if I don’t even deserve my license because of this stupid mistake I made. Besides a large bruise on my arm from my arm rest slamming into me I was fine. The woman driver wasn’t visably hurt besides a cut on her arm, but she told me while we were waiting for a sheriff to arrive on scene that she just had surgery on her spleen and she wanted to call an ambulance to make sure her spleen was alright. She also informed me that her car was brand new, and I feel terrible for causing her so much trouble but I feel even worse because I still don’t know if she is okay. Last I saw her she was glaring at me while they hauled her off in the ambulance. And I dont have a job because of my busy college schedule, so I will not be able to pay for the now through the roof insurance, my parents will have to do it for me and I feel awful about that as well. Despite the sheriff and my parents trying to console me, telling me its a bad intersection, that I’m young and inexperienced, and that the lady shouldn’t have been passing them that close to an intersection, I am still so upset and angry with myself. The accident was still my fault because regardless of where she was on the road, I still pulled out in front of her, and I don’t know if I deserve to or ever want to drive again.

    1. Sweetie–

      As it says at the top of the post your guilt is a sign of humanity.

      I’m sure the woman is upset but it will feel better for her if she forgives you and moves on. She wasn’t hurt, you weren’t hurt, that’s all that matters (and I’m sure your parents feel the same). You have to do the same, and forgive yourself. This happens to so many people, more than you may think. Be strong and do your best to just drive as carefully and defensively as possible if you start again in the future. Remember that she will get through this and so will you.

      Sending love your way, hope things have gotten better.

  20. About 8 months ago the girl of my dreams who i had been in a relationship for 4 years died at the age of 23. She was an upcoming nurse and a friend of everyone in our community. Loved by all. I wanted to be the best husband that I could be but i failed her. I left the country 3 months before she passed away to pursue a degree. We were both planning our future and we didn’t want kids yet. I encouraged her to start oral contraceptives as to prevent her from getting pregnant as we were just not ready for kids. I remember her exact words and it haunts me everyday of my life: “if I take this thing it will kill me”. I thought to myself millions of people take it and nothing happens to them. What could possibly go wrong…. One month after starting the pill she dies of pulmonary embolism. To say I broke down is an understatement. The world become black. The only salvation I looked for was death because this pain I am experiencing will disappear in death. I have been too much of a coward to carry out the action and here I am writing. My memory is poor and my education is suffering tremendously. All I think about is her and how I cut her life short all for nothing. Her family still don’t know why exactly she got that embolism but I and only I know. Even now I’m too much of a coward to face them. The guilt eats me alive everyday. I don’t have money to see psychiatrist and just indulge in alcohol consumption when the emotions are too strong. I now understand the power of guilt and it’s effects on the human. I don’t have anything else to say but to other people out there going through something similar, the only thing that brings me any sort of solitude is prayers to the Lord. I am looking forward to death now more than ever so that hopefully I see her again and tell her I am dreadfully sorry.

    1. I don’t think words on a screen are going to stop you from committing suicide, but I don’t see any other replies to your post and I’ll be damned if I don’t have the guts to say something about it. Don’t do it. Please. I can’t advise you on the answers to your pain, I cannot bring back your girl, but if I have a chance of saving your life with this message then it’s worth it to write. Don’t do it. You have to be strong. I can’t even tell you why, I’m not going to lie to you about that. I don’t want to cause you any pain by saying this, but you have to consider what she would want you to do. Sorry isn’t any consolation to you from me, I realize this. I cannot imagine the suffering you’ve endured. Please stay strong. Please.

  21. A friend of mine was the driver of a vehicle. Her spouse was the passenger. Her spouse died in the accident. I’m not sure if she was drinking or if she was the one at fault. How does one get over that????

  22. My brother is going through this. Just a few weeks ago while he was putting a gun away it went off, hitting and killing his girlfriend, the woman he planned on marrying… a lot of people blame him saying he should rott in jail. He has serious ptsd now, reliving the moment. He can’t sleep, he hardly eats, loud noises make him cry. People are saying he needs to rott in jail instead of comforting him over this misfortunate accident. I’m constantly figniting them on Facebook when they call him a scumbag… I don’t like it but when I tell them theyre wrong they come after the rest of my family telling us we are mentally unstable and that he deserves to rott for his entire life. I see my brother daily.. a broken version, someone who’s hurting i cant do anything about it. He will never be the same…

    This morning they put him in cuffs.. its almost Christmas and they decided they were going to try him for criminal negligence. I havent seen or spoken to him all day.. I don’t know what to do. Everyone but the people who know him are blaming him…

    1. I am so sorry about your brother’s loss and everything that happened. I don’t think many people understands accidents are truly just accidents. Next to his girlfriend he is suffering the most. I can’t imagine how it must be. Please send him love everyday.

      And remember for yourself that you are a good sibling to be looking out for him. He is lucky to have you.

      Hope things have gotten better since… sending love

  23. I recently just went through an accident that could have been avoided so easily and in some many ways. It happened Dec. 14th at 3am. I was DD for my friends and I was driving them home. I thought I was being funny by swerving around these dividers in the road but I lost control of the car and crashed. The airbags went off even though we were going at most 30 mph. My friend had thrown is hand in front of his face and the airbag caused his wrist to break and he punched himself in the face because of it. His corneas were scratched and he has not been able to see since the accident. He was my best friend and I saw him at the hospital all broken and all I could think was I had caused that. My friends are saying they are there for me but it is obvious they are all blaming me in the situation because I was the driver who was being irresponsible and immature. I feel alone and so guilty for causing so much pain and confusion for everyone involved and I feel awful that I hurt someone I care so much about. I would do anything to trade places with him cause I just walked away with a few scratches. I don’t know what to expect moving forward and I’m extremely scared.

  24. I don’t feel so alone as I have, while reading all of the stories/accidents. I am constantly looking for an answer and I don’t know why God believes I can handle this unbearable weight . I have every symptom that is explained in the beginning of this article and I find it remarkable that it is so on point. I was involved in an automobile accident that wasn’t my fault and the other driver lost her life. I would give anything to go back to that day ( six months ago) and leave my house five minutes earlier or later or stop to get McDonald’s before work like I planned. I will never forget her face as she turned to look at me as I hit her Ford fusion driver side with my Ford expedition. I know I didn’t do anything wrong but I cant explain why I feel so saddened, afraid, lost, confused, and so so numb. My heart feels like it died that day . My whole life has been affected and I can’t seem to grasp it back. I feel as if I cant breathe at times. I fake it to make it day to day b/c I have 3 small children that I’m raising on my own and I can’t let them know that mommy feels broken. What purpose do I serve other than being the kids mother? I am searching for my broken heart, mind, and soul. I feel helpless even though I see a counselor once a week. I feel like I’m going to explode!!PLEASEHELP ME

    1. I wrote this 5 months ago. I cry when I read what I wrote because I feel every emotion in my own words as I read them. I really did feel lost and empty….. And Broken. The One that took away every saddened emotion and thought of taking my own life – was God. My road to recovery has began and it’s because of Him. My entire life – of everyday is by the grace and goodness of God. I am here because it wasn’t my time yet. I am here for a reason. My children, my siblings, my mother, my Abuelo, my wonderful job, my amazing church and all the people in it are all my reasons to face each day and to not give up. I am the reason to fight. I’ve come a long way and have a long way to go. I will never forget J**** – I pray for her family and their healing with every breath I take and even though I do not know them, they play a distinctive role in my life . It’s because of her, that my life has been forever changed. Her face is bestowed upon my heart and soul forever. I have a long way to go but I am free of the guilt I once thought I deserved. Thank you

  25. A year and a half ago, I got in a major car accident for failing to yield left while turning in a major intersection. My chances and luck couldn’t have been worse…it was exactly 3 days after I got my license and MY FIRST TIME EVER driving alone without a parent. I was driving home from a movie with my friend on a weeknight when I failed to time my turn correctly and caused a major T-bone collision. Thankfully the woman and her daughter were ok, and no one was hurt. But the accident caused night tremors for months and I couldn’t have felt more like a failure. How could I have managed to total one giant car and nearly total my fathers brand new giant car?! Most teens first accident is a little fender bender but here I am in this dangerous accident. I felt incompetent and like I couldn’t be trusted. My mother gets overly worried and anxious as it is but with that accident, I was not allowed to drive for MONTHS. By the summer going into my senior year, I had earned my parents trust gradually and worked my way up to eventually using my parents cars whenever they didn’t need them each weekend. Finally, as a senior I was able to get a car to drive myself to school and use full time. I finally was able to be independent and felt as though I had paid for my losses and was completely over my car accident. I wasn’t scared to drive at all and it no longer affected me even a little bit to drive over the same left turn that once haunted and terrified me at the scene of my accident. Then the worst happened again. Round two. My absolute worst nightmare. And guess what, all my fault yet again.

    A few weeks ago, I caused a 3 car accident on a major road. (Nope, no little fender. For me, it’s fuck up big or go home). I am only 17 and was taking the same route I take everyday after school. I was getting in the left turn lane and looked down for a max. 5 seconds to stop my phone alarm from ringing and it froze up and wouldn’t shut off. The next thing I know I had smashed into the car in front of me and at the moment I looked up my airbags had already gone off and it was too late to react. I realized that the left Lane that I was going to make a turn on had been backed up MUCH farther down, almost 3 streets farther than usual, and had I been looking up I would have known to halt on my breaks and avoid the entire thing. After hitting the car, my car drifted to the right lane and came to a stop and I thank God every day no car was there to hit my car and injure or possibly kill me. I sat in my car for a full minute and just breathed in the smoke. I realized I had hit the car in front of me which caused them to then hit the car in front of them. I felt dead inside. I had gone through this already. When was I going to learn? My dad trusted me. He constantly stressed not to be on my phone. I’m a straight A student, have a high ACT and am extremely responsible. Yet I was so reckless and stupid when I should have already learned the first time how bad it can be. I got too comfortable behind the wheel and that’s what scares me. Seeing my friends go on their phones or others in their car now frustrates me so much. No one thinks it’s going to happen to them. They think it was just me being me, careless and stupid, yet they don’t realize it can happen to them just as easily. How many times have I been told or seen commercials of texting and driving and what it can do. I need to learn before I kill others or myself while driving recklessly. The worst part about it is my parents insurance is going to suffer so much, and my younger brother was supposed to inherit that car next yr when I’m at school. I totaled the car and at least one other. I have struggled a lot being so used to complete independence to being 100% dependent on others for rides. I feel as though I’m back to square one. So many fights were caused due to rides and errands my parents felt overwhelmed with managing because I no longer could help.

    Much to my surprise and shock, my dad now wants to get me another car despite financial burdens due to me having so many things to do constantly that he is already sick and tired of driving me everywhere. He also needs a car to train my brother on this summer and have him use. He’s going to install a system blocking me out of my phone while driving which I do not mind because I will never be tempted even or get too comfortable like last time. I can’t mess up this time and I’m terrified. I feel so much pressure not to screw up. I’m terrified to drive. Even if I so much as get in a tiny accident where I’m not at fault, my insurance will rise more than it has already. I’m surprised they haven’t kicked us off already, and so are my parents. I feel an incredible amount of stress and pressure to not mess up again now more than ever before. Any advice?
    Sincerely,
    Im messing up my family’s lives and I CANT screw up again

  26. Hello almost 4 months ago I was in an auto-pedestrian accident where a woman stepped out in front of my work Truck. I was headed north bound on the feeder at 2:40am when I hit her. I never saw her until she was at the hood of the truck. Learning to cope will be a challenge for your son. Best advice I can give is be there for him it’s very hard to reach out. I still have trouble sleeping and I am a completely different person. Also church helped me out alot. Hope this helps

    1. Hey… I’m going through this now. A lady stepped in front of my car while I was driving on the green light. This happened few days ago. I’m scared. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I keep wanting to know what’s gonna happen to her. Keep hoping that she survives. The police are still doing investigation and I know I’m not at fault. But I am still scared that I might end up in jail. I’m scared. I never wanted to hurt anyone… how do I go through this?

  27. Hi there,
    Im the mother of a 21 yr old son who nearly 2 months ago was the driver of a vehicle in which his best friend was killed. He had 3x 5% alcoholic drinks with food and water, the night they were driving in the weather was atrocious and he lost control. My son is a great full of life kid, who wishes he could turn back the clock and have his friend back. He has been to about 3 counselling sessions, and has a understanding of grief. Im writing this i suppose as I would like to know if there are any other mums/mothers who have had to go through a similar situation, and wondered how they have coped and what sort of support they have had. I would appreciate some feed back. thank you.

  28. I was involved in a vehicle crash approximately 1 mile from my house on an old country road involving another vehicle. It has been nearly 3 months. I was only 19 at the time. I still to this day do not understand what happened that day. It was a clear day, wide open Prarie, I was not on my phone. I had just passed my father in the tractor because he pulled over for me and I remember thinking ” I don’t mind following you dad, I am in no hurry today” but he waved me past anyways. There is a stop sign at an intersection that no one ever stops at. I remember slowing down, I was looking towards the east at a grain bin that was falling apart. I looked both ways. And I didn’t see anyone. And then I looked behind me at my father. I slowed down but proceeded through the stop sign without stopping. The next thing I know my car is spinning into the ditch. Not much damage has been done. To my vehicle. I hit the brakes to stop my car from moving and suspected I hit a deer. I got out of the car and looked around to find another vehicle in the ditch and smashed from rolling. I found a man. I called 911. My dad came on the scene. So did many others. The man was flown away and is now paralyzed. I am fine. I do not know how to deal with the burden I have placed upon my family and the man and his family. I did not mean for this to happen. I do not know how it happened. I have not gotten any answers. The most important thing, I do not know how to apologize. I do not know how to keep leaving with these burdens. I have sought help and nothing helps. I just push everything out of my mind to deal with another time. I ruined a man’s life

  29. Yesterday I got a text from my mum and I couldn’t reply and decided to go down and pay my phone bill. Although when I was pulling out of my driveway even after looking both ways for traffic as soon as i pulling out of the drive way a car came from no where and i tried reversing back into my drive way but it was too late the other car ended up hitting me. Even though I got off lightly as my car is fine, the other car was not fine at all as well as the guy driving had slight injuries (just a couple of tiny cuts from the glass). Even though everything is fine due to insurance and everything can be replaced I still cant shake this overwhelming sense of guilt that this person was injured because of my actions. I cant sleep, I cant eat, I cant concentrate or focus on anything, all I can think about is the accident and what was happening in those moments. I haven’t left my room since the accident and even though it was only minor I don’t even know how it happened or whether it was my fault. Before the accident I was a very anxious driver (due to something similar that happened when I was a passenger in a car as a child), very concerned about the other cars on the road rather than my own and now I don’t know whether I want to continue driving anymore.

  30. Hello,
    I did an accident before 2 months. I was parking my car. My friend got of the car. I was trying to reverse the car but it went forward. I thought my friend was already gone but she was on the corner where I was trying to reverse . I didn’t realise she was there and the car push her and she fell down and broke her leg. We took her to hospital and she had surgery and fixation and stay at hospital for 2 weeks and rehab for 2 weeks. I went there every day to visit her and spend time with her. She was getting better and was behaving nice with me but once she came home after 1 month now she is behaving strange. I am doing double shift work because I need to pay for both if us. When I am at work there is always someone to look after her but now she blame me that she is in this condition because is me. She gossip about me infront of me. She demands me things in a bad way which makes me feel really low. At night I can’t sleep, at work I can’t concentrate but still I am trying do things for both of us but she doesn’t want to understand. I am pretending to be strong but I am not. I am suffocating inside and feel low every day.

  31. Your nephew needs professional help to get past what happened. Please talk to him / his parents / others close to him so that he will get the help he needs to deal with this tragic event.

  32. I hit a pedestrian two days ago and she died in the hospital the next day. I saw her flew and dropped on my windshield before she fell on the road. She bled so much. Now I just don’t know how to come out from this. Guilt, grief, sadness, depression….. All this feeling are coming to me like wave… Sometimes I feel like I can’t breath. I don’t know how to go back to my life again. Sometimes I think death is my only way out. Can anyone help me….

    1. I have been there it’s been 3 months since my accident and I still struggle with it but everyday I have improved. I know what it’s like to have the guilt but it was an accident it’s not like you went out and did it on purpose. It gets better with time. I finally sleep but I did talk with a counselor which did help. Be open with family don’t hide anything from them you will learn that they are your biggest support. Feel free to email me if you need to talk I was lucky enough to have friends to lean on who served our country so that helped. My email is buckhunter0311@gmail.com

    2. I was involved in a similar accident. It has been a little over a year, and while still very much on my mind (and still with upcoming legal proceedings), I have also found a lot of peace. And I’m still making progress each day. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. I do recall the first month in particular was very challenging emotionally. It will get better. Your life will be different now. But I believe if you work hard, you can get through this. I did a lot of private journaling. This might help you too.

  33. About a week ago I was driving home from lunch. I must have gazed out the window or something for a few seconds and before I knew it is was right on top of someone. I was going probably 40 to 45 mph (although I initially thought less but the extent of the accident leads me to believe otherwise) and tried to swerve at the last second unsuccessfully crashing into one car sending them across the lane into oncoming traffic resulting in a 3 car accident including myself.

    The man I hit around 60 broke a leg and some other moderate brusings etc… the women that he hit after I hit him was mid 80’s and she ended up with a fractured ankle and wrist amongst other various smaller injuries.

    Against all advice I visited both in the hospital. Good, bad or indifferent it was what I thought the right thing to do as a human being. At this point 3 days later I have hardly eaten or slept, have been extremely distant at work and especially to my wife and children. Without the shadow of a doubt the absolute worse feeling I have ever experienced and wouldn’t wish it on the devil himself.

    The man 60 has a wonderful wife and family and all of them couldn’t have been more compassionate. He was healthy and active and “should” recover for the most part I’m praying 100%.

    The woman however mid 80’s was in ICU as her initial injuries although may not seem so severe has had a tremendous amount of other complications due to her age like swelling, osteoporosis, medications etc… she lives alone and has only one relative that lives far away. Her life is more than likely going to be changed forever (and I have to live with that).

    Here’s the icing on the cake. Apparently I have never changed my insurance policy from the state minimum since I was in college. No excuses, I should know my policy limits etc.. but never once looked at it in 12 years or so and just let the auto draft keep rolling.

    Insurance and money aside all I can think about is how these two people will be changed forever on the account of me. I pray for them both all the time especially the older lady with no family to help and has life changing injuries.

    My insurance company says I need a lawyer and I’m like for what? They may come after personal assets she states. My response is if that’s what it takes to get there bills paid and to cover whatever they need financially then I will sell my home and everything I have to make it right and go into debt forever because I can start over where they can’t and it’s my fault they are in this situation.

    Regardless the outcome both families have been extremely compassionate and forgiving as most decent human beings would be. I just can’t seem to shake what I have done to move forward and be the husband, father, employee and overall person I use to be. And it seems to get harder and harder everyday.

    I desperately need some help in some way, shape or form, espesically for the sake of my wife and kids.

    Please anyone took the time to read these say a prayer for the people involved in this accident for a full and speedy recovery. That’s all anyone can do for me.

    1. Chris,
      You sound like a very compassionate and loving person. I will pray for you and those who who were harmed unintentionally.

  34. I was involved in a car collision yesterday, and have been feeling guilty over it, so much that my obsessing over it in online searches brought me to this site.

    From talking to people it seems like 99% of the population are flawless drivers…”I’ve driven for decades and never so much as got a scratch on my car!” which makes me feel even worse. I threw out a 21-year accident-free driving record by making a stupid decision. There was thick but slow traffic, and someone in the oncoming lane stopped to let me through–just a few months ago I saw a really bad accident caused by someone doing just that, and I should have waited until the lanes were completely clear…instead I went, and didn’t see the car coming in the vehicle next to the stopped car. I wear the dubious badge of “100% at fault” and whatever that will cost me in premiums in the future. Great time to be unemployed…

    I am, very lucky, that no one was seriously hurt, and the other driver was as pleasant as could be given the situation. I still feel guilt, that I caused damage to his car and all the hurdles he’ll have to go through to get his car fixed. I received more damage but still. Just kicking myself and replaying over what I should and should not have done.

    I am grateful for finding this site and I am not glad that any of you had to go through what you did, but, I guess I can see I am not alone, and we are all human, and one mistake doesn’t make a good person bad.

  35. I’ve got into an bizarre accident recently, and it happened at overseas. It was only me and my friend, we both on our motorcycles. Something weird happen (mostly is i don’t know what happen) but we crashed. I was in front and he was behind.
    The next thing i know i survived, i stand up and rush over to my fallen friend. However he did not managed to lived on..

    I can only explain what had happened before, but the impact and outlook of the accident doesn’t tally at all.
    Right now some people are questioning outside and resulted in right now I don’t know if what i remembered was what it happened. I don’t know if i could trust my memory, What if in the near future that’s wasn’t what had happened, what if i found out I’m the one who make the mistake and killed my friend?

    However, some stuff is still fishy in the case, for example we maybe even targeted and some car purposely hit on us. (could be)
    But i really have no idea..

    How am I supposed to face the family? his girlfriend?
    How am I supposed to live with it..
    please..

  36. I have knocked a drunk person dead last night and when I closed my eyes,flashbacks keep on coming back . I hardly slept last night. How can I cope with this situation?

  37. Last year I was involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident. No one else was involved. That being said, I feel like I ruined my life. It is a year later and I am still struggling to pick up the pieces of what is left of my life. I have permanent facial scarring including a contracture scar that has left me not wanting to get a normal full-time office job and will take years to improve (after many procedures and time) but will never be the same again. I am searching for alternatives for income and no luck yet. I was pursuing a global opportunity with a great firm and now I feel like my life is in shambles. I still can’t believe this happened to me. It is terrible. I am doing my best to cope and not feel guilty but it comes back every once in a while (it was worse before). I know I have to keep pushing forward and create a “new” life for myself. I can relate to what others are saying about the accident changing them. I think differently, my values have changed, I withdrew from practically everyone and am much, much colder. It’s been tough. Thank you for sharing everyone. It helps to hear other people’s stories and be able to relate to feeling guilty about accidents. I wish everyone the best.

    1. Hey. That sounds horrible my friend. I strongly urge you, if you haven’t already, to get seen by a counselor who is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (C.B.T) for a possible case of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (B.D.D) A.S.A.P, due to the scarring you have sustained. Not all therapists are familiar with BDD so make sure you find one that is, who may refer you to someone who is qualified in CBT.

      I nearly took my own life from BDD due to severe acne and scarring. I already had a problem with self esteem due to other traumatic events, and that just pushed me over the edge.
      I suffered severely to the point where I couldn’t sleep and spent ENTIRE days crying and shaking, developed pain in my chest as well as heart palpitations from stress. I began to treat my family like dirt, screaming and threatening them. I spent a night in the cells due to my behaviour. I somehow managed to avoid being put in a mental health ward, barely.
      I also became cold and distant from friends/relatives, and would think about suicide many times a day, every day.
      There were other factors involved in my suicidal ideation also but that was definitely a big one. Negative changes to our physical appearance can destroy self esteem, happiness and even threaten our lives.

      Might I ask, did you sustain any other lasting injuries from the accident. Please message me to let me know you have made an appointment to have some therapy for BDD, if you feel you need it. I may not know you, but I know how it feels to have the rug pulled from under me, so to speak.

  38. I have come to realise I have made the worst decision in my life. I was 2 weeks overdue with my son. I’m a nurse my mum a midwife and both of us should have known better, I will never know why I made the decision to stay home and birth my son at home. While the labour appeared normal my bubba is now being admitted to Sydney because he is non-responsive to any stimuli. My husband and family are being nothing but nice but I will forever live with the guilt of breaking my son. And i have my beautiful 3 year old boy to still love but if it wasn’t for him n my hubby I would not want to be here. I cannot believe this is all happening to our family’s and me, how can I ever repair from this.

  39. One night we had some friends over for dinner. We’d all had a drink and we’re having a great time. We had a methylated spirits candle someone had given us going on the table. At some point I noticed it had gone out and was empty, I went to refill it to re-light it. Apparently the metal was still hot which caused an explosion which caught one of the girls tights on fire (I wasn’t close to her, more friends with her partner). We rushed to put her out and called an ambulance. She sustained 3rd degree burns to 13% of her body (all on her legs).
    I visited her in hospital the next day and appologised repeatedly. I felt completely to blame and couldn’t come to terms with it.
    I sustained burns to my feet and a broken ankle which took me 2 months to get checked out as I believed I deserved it and didn’t want any of the sympathy to be directed at me.
    I became quite withdrawn and honestly avoided her. Every time I see her I see her lying on the ground screaming in pain. I feel overwhelmed with guilt and feel cold and sick.
    There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t relive it. I just wish I had been burnt instead of her.
    Her burns are healing really well, and apparently she will have minimal scarring. Despite this I could not forgive myself, I started to contemplate suicide, or perhaps setting myself on fire. Her mum recently messaged me to say I have no empathy and that I wasn’t sorry for what I did. I immediately drove to her house where I broke down. I appologised for everything, I told her why I had not been around more, I had only seen her about once a fortnight. She said she thought I hated her, that she thought I must think she deserves it (she broke up my best friends marriage a year ago).
    I feel like such an awful and selfish person. I’m not coping with any of this, I had hoped as she healed perhaps I would be able to face her again too, but that was a cowardly and selfish way to be. I honestly don’t feel like I will ever forgive myself.
    I can’t sleep at night, there’s a constant cold feeling in my stomach.
    I hate myself. I am a terrible person.
    Not only did my actions cause another person such pain, but my cowardly response was awful and selfish. I should have been there with her, I was just so terrified.

  40. Recently, I almost caused a major car accident. It was just beginning to rain and a silver truck that I could not see, was going at least 70 down the road i was turning on and i cut him off and he had to veer off to the side of the road. He drove off and nobody got hurt, but I will never forget the sound of those screeching tires. If i had just waited, if his lights were on, if i had looked a second or third time, it would not have happened. I feel so guilty. I could’ve hit him. He probably has kids, a family, and i could have seriously injured him.

  41. It’s been five and a half years since I killed a woman on a dark winding road in my home town; I moved months later. I have healed much, but I still have nights when I feel guilty over living without a physical scratch when a pedestrian died. She will always be a part of my story, and I will never be the same.

    Thank you all for your willingness to share your stories. It is a blessing to see that I am not alone, even when I feel that way.

    1. I was in another accident over the weekend. This time I know it was my fault. No one was injured, but I’m reminded of everything that came before. I feel so much guilt and shame all over again, and all I want to do is drink until I don’t remember what this feels like anymore. I’m resisting, but it’s so incredibly hard. Life has been epically bad over the last 6 months; it keeps getting worse. I just want to forget.

  42. I’m so sorry, William. Thank you for your story. I hope you’re finding the healing and care that you deserve, even when you feel you don’t deserve it.

  43. My fiance and i hit a 7 year old girl last night, she darted in front of the car we were driving 20mph in a residential area. i screamed STOP! he immediately braked but it was too late, she was hit and thrown to the ground about 12 feet in front of us. i immediately took action, flight or fight rushed over me and i acted immediately. she had a big laceration on her head but was still conscious. i covered the wound stopped the bleeding and an ambulance came insanely fast. this little girl was amazing. she kept saying sorry for running into the street and it broke my heart that she was saying sorry this 7 year old girl laying in my lap bleeding all over me and she is saying sorry. i kept teling her “its not your fault honey, your gunna be okay” while i was on the phone with responders. I am devasted and i am having trouble sleeping, eating, focusing, i keep reliving it and seeing her face look up at me saying “i dont want to die.” i kept telling her “your okay, youll be okay.” trying to keep her calm. ive never experienced a trauma like this, and i dont know how to cope. i dont blame myslef or my fiance accidents happen and it was purely an accident, i juast cant get it out of my mind. i cant stop seeing her face looking at me scared beyin beleif and bleeding everywhere. horrible, the only thing that matters is she will be okay. if she wasnt, i dotn know what i would have done or do.

    1. go see her on a regular basis like once a month or once every two months. it will help you. bring her something like some candy or a book to read. everytime you see her being ok, it will help so much.

  44. On March 16th, 2016, I left work at noon with plans of picking up my two kids (they were on spring break) and spending the remainder of the week with them, plus the weekend. I almost made it to my house (prior to picking them up), but decided to turn around and go to the convenience store for a drink. I was travelling down the loop around town, which I traveled on a minimum of twice daily, as it was a part of my work commute, and hit another vehicle head on. My truck was thrown around 70 yards onto the roadside, and the other vehicle more or less stayed stationary at the site of impact. I managed to crawl out of the wreckage of my truck and was soon taken by ambulance to the ER, where police informed me that the driver of other car had died, and their passenger had been life flighted to another, larger hospital.

    I can’t even begin to describe what this has done to me emotionally. Sure, I was hurt physically but am 95% recovered. I was terminated from my job. I am uncertain of the consequences of the accident and my involvement, and have had to retain a defense attorney. I was not intoxicated, and had a clean driving record. It was sunny and the roads were clear. I have absolutely no memory of the minutes leading up to the accident, save one, and that’s of the exact moment of impact and realizing what was about to happen. That’s the hardest part to deal with, being unable to recollect what caused such tragedy.

    I have never had recollections of dreams in the past but now have the most vivid and disturbing dreams. I have zero motivation where I was once very driven and had achieved quite a bit in my career. I don’t even want to clean house. I feel lost. Angry. Like a victim (?), because I know in my heart that I did nothing to consciously be negligent or reckless. I grieve for the other driver. I grieve for myself. I feel like the “old me” is dead. I don’t know what to do. How to be. I’m just miserable. I even feel anger and resentment toward the other driver for being there at that time, which makes me feel awful. I wish I could be normal again and feel happy. It seems like I never will.

  45. I found this site after driving home from work today… and I hate myself. I was approaching this zebra crossing, watching this woman on the other side of the road to see if she wanted to cross, appeared not, so I passed the crossing thinking it was clear. A motorcyclist on the other side of the road who had stopped, waved his hands disgustedly at me and rightly so because as I checked my mirror a young boy was crossing the road. Even though by chance I didn’t hit him… I completely didn’t see him. I’m going over and over in my mind how I didn’t see him and then I’m thinking was I driving too fast? That little boy was on my side of the road, what if he didn’t see me coming and stepped out? I would have hit him, wouldn’t have even saw it coming. Its stupid because I’m normally so careful. I can’t even live with myself atm because all I’m thinking that I could have so easily killed him. Such a horrid thought… Bless that little boy for being more aware than I was. Feel sick to my stomach and needed to voice what happened 🙁

  46. I accidently killed my best friend. I was using heroin and he was drinking. Our addictions brought us together. We had been friends for a decade. He died when I gave him a bit of my drugs. I don’t care that it was only a little, or that he asked to try it. I found him dead and couldn’t bring him back. I tried car and called 911. He was blue. I found out he choked on his vomit and suffocated. I don’t care that it was an accident, I feel horrible. It’s been over 1 year and a half but I get days when I feel like utter shit. Only god can forgive me. A family is broken with the loss of a son, a child will never know his father, all because of me and my addiction. I shouldn’t of given him anything. I keep replaying it, walking back into the other room and seeing him blue. I couldn’t save him and I’m the person responsible. I fucking feel awful.
    I’ve done counseling but a priest said it best. She said she could not forgive me, that it was a grave sin, and no human power could make it alright.

    I fucking feel awful. I killed my best friend. I don’t care that it was an accident. When will I pay for my sins?

    1. It seems like you are already. Jesus can forgive you so maybe you should take a hint from him and try to forgive yourself. Guilt doesn’t change the past but grief can be shaped into purpose. Maybe let it push you into helping others in some way if you can. It seems like small changes but over time they add up to big change

    2. @Anonymous,
      I always believe some things happen for us to learn a lesson from. Connect to God, that is perhaps one of the better ways to redirect your life anew.
      I hope I could help in any way but my prayers include you and all other who posted their stories here.
      Get connected to God. Redirect to a new path. Start with a prayer and be positive with what life has to offer. You are never alone. We are never alone.
      The reason why we wake up everyday is to see the sky after a dark rainy day.

      1. My nephew was driving home from work. He was driving at a speed of 65mph on a hwy. A car didn’t stop at a stop sign and drove right in front of him. The accident caused the death of both people in the car he hit. He is very depressed, He keeps seeing the ladies face as she saw him coming just before she was hit and killed. He can’t sleep, he just stares out in space. You ask him if he would like to talk about it but he says no. I told him not to think about it like he killed two people but it was a accident. As his family what can we do to help him cope.

    3. I got into a Fatal Car accident
      when another car hit T-bone my SUV
      he was going over the speed
      he flip us over I broke my upper arm
      my sister broke 6 bones and was on life support thankfully she still alive
      my other passenger just complain head pain and arm
      My other passenger died they had to take him out with jaws of life. I’m so hurt by this
      I feel horrible I am traumatize
      I feel like he died cause the other car hit us but I still feel blame for being at wrong place and wrong time.

  47. I killed somebody today. She died at the hospital but its all the same. I tried to stop but failed to in time. She just darted out in front of me. Lord forgive me plz. I know i won’t. I dont think i can ever be behind the wheel again. Im am just…. Angry. Why here. There is nothing i will learn from this is there? I was sober and working. Then i ended a life. I am so disconnected from this it horrifies me. I just keep seeing her roll over my hood and the blood on the asphalt in my head. No break. No commercials. Just death. Over and over.

    1. I don’t know what to say except that maybe there is a plan for all of us and to accept these feelings as best as you can. Talk to friends clergy anyone that will listen and figure out how you feel
      It is weird but I think that each accident has many victims the driver the victim and the families of both
      It takes a long time to come through it but believe that you can

  48. Thanks for this post. Since my accident, I try and read it every day. It’s hard to remember that you’re still a good person or what happened was truly an accident. In December 2015, just before Christmas, I was in an accident. I turned down a wrong road while on my way to a friend’s house to help him with some electrical work. Once I realized I turned down the wrong road, I turned around to head back towards the highway. About half a mile or so my gas pedal got stuck to my after market floor mats. This had happened before but I usually was able to stomp on the mat and it would free it up. Not this time… It tightened my gas pedal further and sped my one ton truck up on the icy road. I looked down and tried to free it by hand. I thought I had the time to do it. I still couldn’t f’n get it. It all happened so fast. By the time I looked up, I was near the stop sign with a truck that I was clearly going to hit. I tried aiming my truck in front of him hoping for him to hit my rear quarter panel on the passenger side (figured that would be the best impact point) I ended up hitting his driver side front panel, basically his engine. I imagine I was doing about 55 at this point. I never looked down to see… He was doing the speed limit (50). Brakes were pointless with such a heavy truck on ice. I tried them but my truck was like a sled. I remember the collision. It was hard. It totaled my one ton truck. I was unconscious. I was bleeding everywhere fast and badly from the back of my head. I was ejected from my truck at some point and my truck rolled over me and I literally went back in my driver side window as it rolled over. The first thing I did was try to call my fiancè once I came to. Then I could hear my on star person talking. I got up and stumbled back in to my truck cause I was freezing from laying in the snow unconscious. At this point there were probably ten people around. Every one was trying to help me… I looked over and saw the other truck on its side. I kept trying to go over and help him. No one was helping HIM! I remember telling on star to shut up! I couldn’t understand what was going on. Why wasn’t anyone helping HIM!? I was fine! Apply pressure to the wound I get it!! There was a man at my window that grabbed one of my work shirts from the back seat and was holding it on my head telling me not to go over there. He was the only person there not judging me or asking questions. I didn’t understand still. No one was helping him and they wouldn’t let me go help him! I settled down once ambulances and fire trucks came. They put jack’s under his truck and I was hauled off in an ambulance. Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t go to his truck. Maybe it was THAT obvious.
    Then officers came to the hospital and started asking me questions. If I was on medication. If I had been drinking. Etc… No I was not drinking at 11 am.. Was not intoxicated at all. No medications that I can’t drive on. That’s when I asked them if he was okay. They said “no, that’s why we’re here.” As they sat in the corner talking about how it should be 5-10 years that I would be doing, I had 15 staples put in the back of my head and I was being treated like a complete criminal. I was pretty heavily sedated at this point. I couldn’t pull my shit together though. Couldn’t stop crying. I finally stopped for a bit and volunteered to take a breathalyzer since the on scene investigator said he smelled pot or alcohol. (Not sure how you confuse the two), blew zeros. Then I signed over paperwork for them to take my blood. (Which came back clean also.) Then the DA got involved and told them to let me go home.
    I would bet that I have been grieving this complete stranger’s loss more than anyone. I cried every single day for well over a month.. It was after I started therapy that I went a day here and there without crying. I couldn’t understand why I was okay, and he was killed. I had been in a similar wreck when I was younger but I was in his position… In a car. And I was fine. None of it made sense. It still doesn’t.. It’s been over three months now and I’m very much not okay (mentally/emotionally) I see a therapist, it helps. EMDR therapy is what it’s called I think. My therapist and I decided I would have a little more closure once I’m able to and actually do talk to his family. The media said they were investigating a DUI. I just want them to know that’s not what happened. That it was truly an accident… Everyone tells me how lucky I am.. My response is usually “I promise you, I’m not.” It’s the worse feeling in the world. I have never looked down on myself before this. And now that’s all I do. It’s effected my entire life. My fiancè wants the old me back and I can’t tell her when that will be. Because I don’t know…

  49. I was in a accident on the 26th of November, I was on my way to work incident/accident happen just before half 5, it was dark and the road is notorious for accidents and is poorly litten. I found myself braking harshly, I wasn’t intoxicated or speeding or on my phone, there just appeared a car out of know were infront of me, I braked and lossed control of my car
    I missed car or van infront of me but collided into a oncoming car and was unconscious from this point. I’ve beat myself up everyday three women died and I fractured my spine, everyone kept telling me it was an accident you didn’t purposely do what happend, the thing is. I recieved a phone call the other day to be told that an offence of dangerous driving is trying to be brought forward, i already died inside that day when I heard they passed cause all I did was ask about them, I didn’t care about myself and then to be told a van driver was involved and he was un injured and I was hearing stories that he pulled out on me but now to hear this from the phone call, i am beating myself trying to remember that night because I know I wasn’t speeding I wasn’t on my phone I’m a very caring person and something like this could happen to anybody I’ve been told. My partner keeps telling me everything will be ok but I feel like I’ve lossed myself, I lost the families love ones I just hate myself and I’m worried what will come of all this any feedback from this would be greatful.

    1. I was involved in a car accident involving a motorcycle and one other vehicle. The two people on the motorcycle died. I can relate to your story. The me I knew died that day as well. My accident was March 26, 2016.

  50. I was in an accident this evening. Pulling out of a slip road and slowed right down and indicated to show I wanted to merge finally I saw a gap big enough to get across the two lanes. Or so I thought turns out I could not pick up enough speed quick enough and motor cyclist went straight in to the back of me. I stopped immediately to check he was OK he said he was but his arm hurt a little the police got involved and they say accidents happen all the time and that I wasn’t to be hard on myself and that the guy was fine but his bike was busted me and my car were fine. But I cannot shift the guilty feeling as I wanted to stay with the guy until he was able to get towed and make sure he got home OK but the police felt it wasn’t necessary and said I could leave. I can’t stop feeling so bad about it and wishing I had acted differently. I know it’s nowhere as bad as some of th posts here but I understand how everyone here feels no matter how small the accident is the feeling can be the same and I wish I could stop the guilt from spreading through me. I hope we can all find the strength to get through or individual situations.

    1. Accidents are a traumatizing thing. I’d just like to advise that you don’t give your power away by saying “I wish I could stop the guilt from spreading through me”. You CAN stop it, you just haven’t managed to yet.

      With some professional help you can certainly get through this, probably sooner than you realize. Reminding yourself of this regularly will likely help with recovery enormously. Don’t be your mind’s victim, friend.

      1. Max I know you mean to help, but your advice seems a little presumptuous and invasive. Maybe validate howpeople are feeling before moving on to the next bit of advice? Separating grief from guilt and determining what that means is Avery personal private process

  51. I too ended the life of someone. A few years back I had a neighbor who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 10-11. She had a tumor in her side but somehow the doctors were able to help her. She used to come over and hang out with me and my siblings. Her and her friend decided to pull a trick on me and I took it too personally. I got furious with them and told my mom to ban them from our house. I was 14 so you would think I’d be more mature than that. Every time she tried to come over I would tell her to get lost, call her all kinds of things, and stress her out. At the time I didn’t know that stress could make a tumor worse and make cancer worse. After a few weeks of me being pissed and basically making her life Hell, she became really ill. I went to my cousins house for a few days and when I came back I found out she was dead. She died on my birthday the day before I got back… Its been almost 4 yeaes and those thoughts have just started haunting me again. I’m getting flashbacks, I have PTSD, and I’ve been crying myself to sleep. A lot of people tell me it’s not my fault but I feel like it is. And I never got the chance to apologize for how I acted…

    1. It’s hard when you realize the things you e been saying and doing cause harm
      We can only move forward with the new information and change ourselves as best we can into someone that knows now
      I am praying for you

    2. It’s always sad when someone dies of cancer, particularly one so young. But It sounds like you really blamed yourself for her death.

      Cancer takes lives, even young ones. You are not responsible for her death. Anyone can tell you that, but you need to allow yourself to realize it’s the truth instead of resisting and holding on. Remind yourself that she had cancer before you reacted badly to her practical joke, therefore you were not the cause of the cancer or of her death.

      Remember you only FEEL like it’s your fault. Every time your traumatized mind tries to tell you it is, you have to rewire it by reminding yourself of the TRUTH, that it ISN’T YOUR FAULT. Eventually this will form a new neural pathway and help alleviate your undeserved guilt, but you need to be diligent in replacing the LIE with the TRUTH!

      She’s gone, and although I don’t mean to scare you, you might get cancer yourself if you don’t let go of this, as stress can be a major contributor to cancer. After seeing the grief her family went through from her death, you don’t want to put yourself and your your family through the same do you? There is no point in holding on my friend, haven’t you suffered enough? Promise yourself that you won’t let your mind push you around and lower your quality of life. It’s YOUR mind, your tool, and you CAN take control of it.

      You were only 14, I wouldn’t expect you to be “more mature than that”. You’re too hard on yourself. The truth is that even if you had been nicer, it more than likely wouldn’t have made a difference.

  52. I feel so distraught. Everything that happened was my fault and I miss my car. I had it for almost three years. I stopped paying attention for a split second and before I knew it, I was watching my car ram the back of someone else’s. I screamed at the top of my lungs like I never had before. I was able to walk away from the accident, but now I’m beginning to experience some pain the day after. My neck hurts and it seems as if everything else does too. I want my life back. My car was the best thing I had, now it’s gone. I’m in shock and it’s like being in a nightmare as if all of this never happened. I wish it wouldn’t have.

  53. I am a very safe driver, the last time an accident was my fault was 13 years ago but that accident did not result in injury. However this time was different. I was at a stop sign and stopped. The path seemed clear to me so I proceeded, but out of nowhere I hit a car very hard. I feel awful because I should have seen the car. I think it happened because I didn’t see him and he did not see me. The driver of the car is an elderly man and he was clearly hurt and shocked. An ambulance had to take him to the hospital. He was awake when they took him in the ambulance and I don’t know how he is doing. I pray that he is ok. I feel so guilty about not being hurt…I actually wish it was me that got hurt. Praying helps but I still feel terrible. I don’t know how to get through this.

  54. It’s coming up on 2 years since the accident. It was around midnight, and it was spring break in my beach town. I was on a 1st date with a guy, but he didn’t want to drive his work car, so I offered to drive. We had a few beers, ate dinner, another beer and decided to drive back to my house. Both of us felt fine to drive.
    I was driving the speed limit, in control of my car, and paying attention to the road. All of a sudden, something hit the passenger’s side of my windshield! We both yelled “what the hell was that?”, made a U-turn and pull into the parking lot of a local business. As I ran into the middle of the road, I noticed another car stopped in the middle of the road. I saw a young man laying in the road. This 17 year old had darted out in the dark street (not at a crosswalk) and he hit my windshield. As I was turning around, another car ran over his body in the road.
    The young man was pronounced dead.
    A female cop tried to console me, telling me these types of accidents happen a lot on this road.
    The other driver and myself both gave blood. I was over the legal limit. The 2nd driver was much higher than me and the victim’s BAC was the highest at .24
    I was still told by my civil attorney that the lead police officer said that he saw it as a horrible accident. Five months after the accident, both drivers were charged with DUI/Manslaughter. Bails were set at $100,000! We turned ourselves in and I was able to post bond hours later. The 2nd driver never got out of jail.
    I hired a lawyer that cost me $150,000. (I was told he was the BEST, and I was so scared)
    I had a high position in the government and my top secret clearance was suspended. To pay for the lawyer, I had to take an early withdrawal from my retirement, in which I was taxed another $20,000 for doing that.
    The State finally agreed to a Misdemeanor DUI for me. (the 2nd driver took a felony and was released 1 year after he was charged)
    After 2 years, I think about the accident all the time. I’m sad and depressed, and I also feel as if I have no life left, and I just exist on this earth, but that I’m not relevant anymore and I have no purpose to be here. I feel like I’m in a bubble and just watching everyone else live their full, happy lives while I die inside. I’m middle aged and never been married nor have kids. I have family in a different state. I really feel like I should just end it.

    I’m also angry that the young man darted in front of me! In the deposition, his friend said he’d been darting all night and had almost gotten hit earlier. I’m angry at the adult that reserved a hotel room on the beach for these underage kids. (high school seniors). I heard that a bar owner (of a very popular bar in town) stocked the buys hotel room with booze. (his boy was with them) The police investigators never charged anyone else with contributing to the delinquency of minors!! I’m angry with my lawyer who put in fear in me and talked me into not going to court. I needed it to be proved that I did not see that young man; my passenger did not see that young man and there was no way we could’ve avoided him!
    I haven’t gone to counseling but I probably should. I cry all the time, and can’t believe this happened to me.

    1. This sounds a bit like my situation, except I blew twice over the legal limit and knew it was bad for those two people I hit. I did just under four years in prison for felony DUI causing serious injury. The only way I’ve been able to get past it is by almost ignoring that it happened. The moment I start to think about it, I become an emotional mess and just want to hide from the world. It seemed easier to deal with while I was in prison because it felt like punishment.

      Being out is not the same as being free. I know it was an accident, and it could have easily happened had I been completely sober, but I also know that it was a preventable accident. A friend of mine I hadn’t talked to in years mentioned that he’d been concerned that I drank and drive a lot, which surprised me, because nobody really brought it up to me. I guess I thought I was fully under control, and that I was just doing what everyone else does on the weekends.

      Now I have to really face my past and realized that I was a disaster waiting to happen. I had a full time job, I was going to school part time to finish my Bachelor’s, so I guess I didn’t think much about the danger I was posing. I feel like I’ll never really get over it, and that I have no right to either. I owe hundreds of thousands in restitution, and my insurance only covers the civil suit they filed against me.

  55. Last sunday night, I fell asleep while I was driving. My wife and our 2 year old daughter were asleep in the passenger seat. It happened so quickly. We hit a lamp post. My baby girl suffered from multiple bruises and a laceration on top of her lip which had to be operated on. My wife also suffered from minor injuries while i escaped relatively unscathed. I am feeling so guilty about the hurt I’ve caused my wife and daughter. Im worried that I might have ruined their lives. I have so much regrets and I keep on wishing that it was me who got hurt and not them. I feel so terrible.

    1. I know this was a while back but. If you are still feeling this way. Don’t wish this harm on yourself… it is clear you love your girls so much, and I’m sure they really need(ed) you to get through it. I believe it all happens for a reason, and there is a reason you weren’t hurt. You have to or had to be there for them. I truly hope you are doing much better now and that they are as well. <3

  56. So glad to find this site. Leaving a dr. Parking lot I hit a 75 year old woman. It was raining. Just did not see her..I keep reliving. Just don’t know how it happened. Worse part is. I don’t know how she is. No way to find out. I am sure I will know eventually. But am so distraught that I did this to her life. I don’t see how I could ever be happy again. I am 59. I am just not sure what to do. Just a week ago.. I can’t imagine the hate she must feel for me. I am so worried for her..I just can’t imagine how she feels. So distraught. There are no words. .

  57. I was involved in a car accident that resulted in four young women getting injured. All are recovering well, but even so I find myself feeling terrible from time to time.

    I’ll never forget the sound of human bodies colliding with plastic and metal. My mother’s scream rewinds in my head and leaves me petrified. My sibling was so scared she could not move. And that’s what pains me the most. Knowing I caused trauma not only to those four women, but to my family.

    Thankfully, I found that time and being surrounded by my loved ones has helped me to move on. I still struggle with self-motivation, and depression can set in without notice, but I feel hopeful in knowing that this event will hold no power over me.

    I am now even more aware of how precious life is, and I don’t intend on hurting my own or others lives in any shape or form because of this truth.

  58. September 5th of this year I collided with a motorcycle carrying a husband and wife. It was dark out and I just did not see their headlight. I was in the left turn lane and I turned right into them. I don’t know if my head was somewhere else or they were speeding. Their motorcycle was no match for my Chevy Tahoe. They both past away that night “on scene” and I walked away with a scratch on my leg. I guess the worst part about coping right now is the intense almost unbearable pain at times and the other times feeling perfectly Normal. It makes me feel like I’m ok then all the sudden I’m totally not ok- the farthest thing from it. I’m starting to see it affect my personal relationships and I feel like I can’t control anything. Last night I think a distant relative of the woman who past Facebook messaged me and called me a murderer. I melted down and I felt so bad for everyone who’s living and grieving for the two deceased.

    1. I had a very similar crash with an oncoming motorcyclist. I turned left and simply did not see her. On the news website comment sections people were blaming me, and I didn’t know how to deal with that. I’m only 17 and I’ve never had to call 911 before this and I keep seeing the body of that woman in my head. You aren’t alone. Eventually, I went days without thinking about it. At first it was the only thing going through my mind. Time heals. I wish you good luck.

    2. I know your pain when it comes to family members trying to get to you a week ago a man dressed in black was standing the middle of the highway in my lane and I didn’t see him time he smashed into my windshield and front of van and then I tried to get to him but noone could see me trying to stop them and I had to move out of the way as several other vehicles ran over his limp body even though it was not my fault the pain I’m feeling is unbearable I don’t know how to live with this

    3. Hi Michelle. I know it’s been three years since your accident but I want you to know that you are not alone. I also collided with a motorcycle when making a left hand turn under dark conditions. I want to let you know that you are not a murderer. You did not choose to hurt anyone. It’s taken me a long time to understand this myself, but what happened to you could have happened to anyone. The accident does not say anything about you as a person. The fact that you grieve for the couple and empathize with their family members testifies to your humanity and compassion.

  59. I just killed a man last Friday from a car accident. I feel guilty even it wasn’t my fault at all. The guy suffered a tragic death as we head on with his motorcycle and my car. Right now I am not showing to my family that I am weak specialy to my wife. I don’t want her to be angry to me in my next decision after this incident. I am trying keep calm when I speak to them but every time I remember what that happen that night i can’t explain what should I feel,I feel angry but frightened and guilty. I can’t remember why should I go that fast with my steering. There will be a lot of adjustment to my work and family. A loose trend to my financial which I may not be able to pursue my plans. I don’t know if my family can understand this. I really don’t know. Can you give some advise.

    1. Keep fighting for your family and friends… I’m sure they will understand what you are feeling..and I’m sure that they always love you….

  60. In 1999 I fell asleep driving my car. I hit a tree going 80 mph. When I woke up moments after the accident, I slowly realized what had happened. The right side of the car was gone and so were three of my friends. I could see them, on the highway. I knew they were dead. I moved out of the car and saw one of my friends in the back seat. Her head was in the door and it had slammed shut on her. I had to use my body to open the door a few inches and pull her out. I thought she was dead, so I left her in the car and sat down away from the accident. She lived but has brain damage from her injuries. I have not seen her since 2001 because I couldn’t deal with it at all. I have PTSD and panic attacks. I have contemplated suicide many times. I use alcohol and I have episodes where I can “melt down”. But it doesn’t stop me from drinking. It has ruined many relationships. I have lost all of my ambition. My career seems pointless, and I feel like giving up. I feel like I sabotage my own happiness because I don’t deserve it. I have had some success with therapy. But recently I have had another setback because I lost my job in research due to a lack of grant funding. I am not depressed though. It’s different. I’m angry. I’m scared. I hide. I panic. I fight, I feel sorry for myself, I’m guilty. It doesn’t make me feel better to know there are other people in this position, because I know none of us are bad people and we didn’t deserve this, but it’s our actions that caused so much hurt and there’s no taking that back. It’s hard, but we have to fight our way out of the darkness because it isn’t always like that, there are many good patches that make the road bearable. I just hope I can get through this joblessness without giving up. Peace to everyone who comes here because it probably means you are experiencing a rough patch. Focus on the good things. There are plenty to attach to….. Keep fighting the problems until they pass, because they do. ✌

    1. Things happen in the blink of an eye to good people. I am sorry for the torture u r going thru. I have grief/guilt from losing my son. I pray for you.

    2. It’s hard to let go of would have should have could have
      But you have to find a way to trust that there is great value in yourself and that you are a loved and loving human being

  61. A little over a year ago my boyfriend and I were driving to his home town for his brothers wedding rehearsal. I was driving while he was reading his speech to me. He dropped his papers and I looked down for literally a second and the next thing I was crashing into the back of a motorcycle. The motorcyclist went into the other lane where he was side swiped by a passing vehicle. My boyfriend and I quickly got out of our vehicle called 911 and he started doing CPR. I will never forget the look on his face when he realized it was his dad. My heart and world completely shattered that day. Having his mom come to the scene and then having to go tell his brother and his future wife at their dinner rehearsal was the most painful thing I have ever had to do. I still have so much guilt and shame and I know my boyfriend does too. He has so much guilt and anger that he couldn’t save his dad, that he should’ve done something differently or quicker. It hurts so much to be around them and to see the pain that I caused from one mistake. I know they don’t blame me but in the back of my mind I can’t help but feel like I don’t deserve their kindness. That they should hate me because I hate myself. I feel so heartbroken whenever I hear his name. My heart breaks for his family everyday. This whole year has been a blur and I seem to have a terrible memory. I still have flashbacks from time to time and I know my boyfriend does too. The pain never goes away but comes in waves. Sometimes they are tidal waves or feel like a tsunami and other days they are smaller. I’m not expecting it to ever go away but I am hopeful that someday it will be a little easier for everyone. It has been so hard to share my story with other people and this is the first time I’ve ever been able to even write it out. Thank you.

    1. Things happen in the blink of an eye…to good people. I pray for you. I am sorry for your torture. I am in constant grief and guilt as well from losing my son

  62. This didn’t happened to me, but my niece crashed into a bicyclist yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t her fault, the guy just went in front of her and she hit the breaks but it was to late. The guy was ejected from the bike, striking the windshield and roof of the car and he wasn’t wearing a helmet. He died at the hospital and now she feels awful and guilty. I wan’t to comfort her but I don’t know how, what can I do to help her? She’s only 20 years old and her mom is not even in town.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do for her?
    Thank you

    1. I am in the midst of the aftermath of a similar accident. My advice is to get your niece to talk about it, if she can. Talk can be very healing, although it will take time. Discuss what happened. Discuss its impact on her. Discuss her concerns. Discuss how she would want a loved one to feel if it had been that loved one behind the wheel – oftentimes it is easier to be kind and have perspective when it is someone ELSE in the situation. Remind her to be kind to herself. Everyone deserves it. Accidents like this are beyond horrible. Don’t let her try to recover from this by herself.

  63. Someone very dear to me had an accident last night It caused the death of an innocent person! This person is as close to a son to me as any person could be without being my son! I am so scared for him! How does somebody live with this?? What can I do ? What can I say ? I know it’s too fresh to know what the future holds us but this young man has a heart of gold and I can’t imagine him living with such guilt

    1. help him to get into councling as soon as possible i did not get any for about eight years after a drunk driving accent at nineteen years old i have no memory at all of even leaving the bar i was at i struggled for thirty eight years until a therapist said something to change my life but that lasted just four short years when something i heard brought all the pain hurt and sorrow baci say all that to let you know how important it is to recieve help i did not die in that accident but i did loss my life if i can be any help please say so

  64. I recognize that I will need help getting through this. Can anyone provide guidance on finding a support group? Or how to choose a counselor?

    1. Hi
      I needed extreme help and found it at a place called Family Service Agency. It’s a public type government group but it has helped tremendously to deal with grief. They have a psychiatrist and counselors. I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression and from last year of wanting to kill myself and believing I didn’t deserve to live, I have found a new relationship with God and ways to cope with an uncertain and terrifying future. Prison, loss of job, etc. I had no record and was a teacher. I lost everything and I can sit here today giving hope to others. We must choose life because we stayed for a reason. If God wants us to go, he takes us. It’s how we choose to live in his honor and grow and live with grace

  65. Yesterday I was involved in a freak accident that resulted in the death of an elderly woman. Intellectually I know it was an accident, there was nothing I could have done. Emotionally I feel like a murderer. I can’t eat or sleep. I can’t close my eyes without seeing her. Her family has been extremely gracious and said they don’t blame me but I blame myself. I will have to live with this the rest of my life. I would appreciate any guidance you have on just getting through today. Or even the next 5 minutes

    1. Linda, I too a used the death of an elder in a car accident just recently. Have you found any relief? It is devastating.

    2. Hi Linda my name is Mark I was involved in a fatal accident in 1984. I was driving my car and taking a right hand turn and a elderly gentleman stepped off the curb and I hit him and he did not survive. What makes this even sadder the gentleman was a priest. I was 18 years old and have been dealing with this accident. No drugs or alcohol were involved and I never lost my license or got arrested. This was a tragedy and never have talked with anyone in my place. I hope to talk with you. Mark

  66. I was a passenger on a motorcycle and my husband was the driver. A lady while sittn at a complet stop at a stop sign excellerated and run over us. He was killed instantly and i wasnt expected to live. I could remember i guess after being knockd out that i could only move my eyes and there was a lady kneeling beside me holding my head up frm what i thought was the highway(which i later found out she was holding my head up bcause i was it lying on my husband lap).i remember seeing the lady (and im being polite)that run over us get out of her truck and run behind the corner store in the woods. The only thing i wanted was to know where my husband was and i was told that someone was taking care of him and they had to take care of me. And thats the response i got frm the lady holding my head, the first responders, the paramedics, the state troopers, the ambulance driver,and the nurse and pilot of the life flight helicopter. I eventually was put in the ambulance then taken out again to be life flighted(after the discovery of sm internal injuries i believe) because i remember hearing one of the paramedics saying “we got a hot stomach here, we gotta get her in the air”. And still the only response i could get was that someone was taking care of him and they had to take care of me. My memory of flying to the hospital is sketchy bcause of i blieve me being sedated maybe or shock and the same with me arriving at the hospital i can only remember still hearing the loud sirens and the lights up above me in the ceiling when they were running me frm the helicopter landing to the hospital just like i had seen in movies. I was in alot of severe pain and i got more and more agitated bcause i still kept gettn the same answer to the only thing i had been asking since i was lying on the road “where is my husband?””i will do whatever u say if u will just tell me where my husband is” i starting gettn a funny taste n my mouth and i would go in and out. Being even more so sedated. I stayd in the hospital for 3 mo. My family was calld n and told i wouldnt live and i did. Then they were told i wouldnt walk. Then i did.but i will always have to have assistance with walking and even my daily living skills. When my question was finally answered and i was told he was killed instantly he had already been buried a over a monrh. My back was broken in six places i had 4 pelvic fractures,left hand broke, left foot brken,left side of my vertbrae n my neck crushd, internal bleeding, open wounds under my neck and on my head.i was kept in restraints bcause i kept tryn to get up. I was always angry and i stoppd talkn. I just went into my own lil world and im still there. Everybody lied to me. I never gotta to see my husband again. We didnt do anything wrong. That lady run over us! And ran and tried to hide. She knows she killed a man she knows i wasnt thought to live and i she never even said sorry. My children have a cripple for a moma now. Im in severe pain if i move at all. I cnt bath myself and my son helps me dress and change when i cnt make it to the bathroom. She took his life away and my life and my family. I trmble at the sound of a siren or the sight of the flashing lights.and when the pain gets really bad if feels just like the impact of her truck and there isnt a medicine made that can stop that pain.and i feel that by myself now thanks to her. To add more insult to literally the injury a yr after SHE run over me i was hit again while a passenger n a vehicle and was right bak in the hospital more surgeries and more of what life had left taken. I dnt drive and i wnt ride unless i just have to and thats usually dr apptmnts or smthn that my childrn have to have done. People make mistakes and i know accidents happen but she only tried to hide and run away frm what she did. And she know she was wrong.

    1. My heart truly goes out to you. I’m so sorry for your loss. My story is no way as bad in comparison, but I do understand how you must be feeling. My husband was badly injured while riding his motorcycle and the person just left him there for dead. I just happened to call his phone and some lady answer and said,”I don’t know who he is to you, but someone just hit him. He’s lying in the middle of the road.” My life hasn’t been the same since. I’ll spare you any details, but I definitely understand. ❤ I don’t know you, but I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    2. I’m so sorrry that you are going through this. I hope there is a world after this one where you can see your husband again. It does seem like this is not the only world sometimes. I am impressed that you stay here and be a mom anyhow. Just being there counts more than you know

  67. Hi William-
    There are no words for me to express how sad I feel reading your story.. I can so relate to your line of “my life just disappeared” My husband says I now have a ceiling of happiness since I caused an accident..4 years ago that left a friend with a traumatic brain injury and a life that also disappeared. I am so thankful for finding this site as I have searched for years and it seems there isn’t anything for those of us who did something wrong ..with grave consequences.. but truly by mistake. It is so easy for me to know that others like you still deserve happiness, but I know that feels impossible to ever achieve. You are not alone. You are not bad. You are a victim too…of being human. I will think of you in my sorrow and pray we and others like us find some peace. I only wish I could find a “live ” support group for this. Please remember you are not alone in making this kind of mistake.

  68. I know it’s not such a bad accident but my son had smashed a box turtles shell open with a rock that he had found outside he said that when he had picked it up that his hands were covered in blood am that the skin of the turtle was hanging out the side of it I don’t know what to do he will not go back outside I’m trying everything I take him camping i take him hiking but nothing works

  69. I recently was in an accident that involved hitting two very young girls. Words cannot express my emotions. The youngest was severely injured but thankfully not fatal. This has been very hard to cope with. I have not been able to sleep or eat and i feel sick to my stomach. I cannot not seem to focus on much. I keep seeing the face of the little girl as I held her and hearing her say “I’m otay” but knowing she was not. parts of the incident keeps playing in my head. I find myself flinching every time i think about what happened. I feel so many emotions. I dont even want to get behind the wheel. Every one keeps telling me accidents happen and it will be okay but it will not be. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life.

  70. I was driving in a country road in the later afternoon. I had been glancing at messages on my mobile phone and due to that and the driving conditions I didn’t see a cyclist ahead and I struck him. He was badly injured including a fractured spine. He will make a full recovery but it has clearly affected his life majorly. I was honest with the police about the use of my phone and have been severely traumatised to the point if thinking about suicide ever since the crash. I have written to the cyclist a few times to express my deep regret. I went to court and list my license for a year and got a big fine and a suspended jail sentence.
    I was in anti depressants for a while but was feeling better so came off them. I am due to get my license back in a few weeks and am worried about driving again.
    My guilt over causing this crash haunts me constantly and I don’t know how to move on. A big part of me thinks that I deserve to feel like this though because if what I did.
    I feel ashamed, guilty and close to tears all the time. But maybe I deserve to. I can’t believe how stupid and reckless I was, I could easily have killed someone. I really don’t know what to do…

    1. Tonight I’m in labor and delivery being monitored for getting in a car accident while 34 weeks pregnant. I glanced at my phone and caught ice and hit a tree. I feel so terrible that I may have hurt my baby. I know God was watching out for us. The guilt of checking my stupid damn phone is killing me. For the rest of this pregnancy I will need to be monitored and won’t know if I hurt my own baby until delivery. I know we’re human but it sucks. Reading your story helped and I would encourage you to know that we are human and make poor choices sometimes but we’re not bad people. Thankfully nobody was killed. There are lessons to be learned in all of it I guess.

  71. Couple days ago I was driving to work in the morning and a man was crossing the street and ran right out in front of my car, and i hit him. He luckily was not severely injured but I am so traumatized by the whole thing. I can’t sleep, can’t focus on anything, I just keep seeing me hit this man with my car. Everyone keeps telling me to let it go everything is alright, but its not alright to me.

    1. This exact same thing happened to me this morning. I was making a turn onto a main road and a lady was trying to quickly cross the street. My dad was yelling stop and i mashed the gas instead of the breaks and hit her. Thankfully she was not badly injured but the incident keeps replaying in my mind. I will continue to pray that GOD takes me through this.

  72. A few years ago I went home after a night out, and went to sleep. I ended up waking a few hours later and getting in my car and got into a terrible car crash where a man’s arm was severed from the elbow down. about 1 year after this happened, he passed on. This has mad me nearly lose my own will to live. the guilt is debilitating to me, and then I feel terrible for even feeling bad, since I did not die. I know that I have changed from this, and the nightmares wont stop, the insomnia, emotional numbness, being withdrawn, it is no way to live. I have considered suicide more times than I care to admit. Just now I found these websites which explain the PTSD side of this, and some ways to deal with it, but I can’t really see it ever leaving my thoughts or energy. I just feel like he was my own family. Every day I think of his family and if they are having a bad day because they thought of what I did. It consumes my mind. They are trying to put me in jail for this, which I think will not help, but hopefully since i have no felonies or bad criminal record they will just give me probation. I truly can say I dont even care about it anymore though because I feel like life is jail anyway. you cant get a decent job with these type of charges, and people just judge the hell out of you, which I deserve, but it has to stop.
    what type of doctor helps with this? i need help. I really need to discussthis with a doctor who can help me. I am no use to myself or anyone else like this

    1. Oh sweetheart
      My story is so long and dreadfully sad, but there is help out there. These are the main things: get one on one counseling immediately. Be completely honest. I go to a weekly group which is for substance abuse but it has become the life of support, care, love, and so many ways to cope with the accidental death of another. Third, church and community there has saved my life. When you have nothing left consider giving it to God. He is there to care for us and redeem and give us hope for a future. Please consider…and positive self talk everyday…you are worth this life. God has you here for a reason so trust him!

  73. My son, being a beginning driver, drove right into a parked car hurting a man and his young son. Completely unintentional but leaving him devastated. He’s had a hard time coping ever since. Will not drive, barely sleeps due to nightmares. I told him to get back out there and forgive himself but he just will not. What should I do?

    1. I am a beginning driver as well and was forced to stop suddenly while getting into the left turn lane. The person behind me hit my bumper and while it was minor I feel guilt ridden because I feel like I caused it. Also not knowing how to handle an accident I fled. I feel like I should never be allowed to drive again. It’s been two days and I still feel so guilty and unfit to drive. Should I (carefully) try again?

  74. William, you are still a good person and life is still for you. My heart goes out to you reading this. I wish you peace.

  75. As a senior in college, my boyfriend and I had traveled home for a family wedding. At 2:03 pm, 5 minutes into our trio back to school, a woman ran the red light I was quickly approaching. Though I tried to stop our car, we struck her at 50 mph and she was unfortunately killed on impact. While physically my boyfriend only suffered a jaw injury, and I suffered a knee jnjury, mentally we were unstable. I was diagnosed with PTSD a month after the accident due to the night terrors, lack of sleep, loss of memory, motivation, and emotions. Both of us did receive counseling from the college and the Chaplin on campus. This experience, though incredibly tough and horrible to deal with, has made us into the strongest individuals and team. I just want to tell someone that has been in our shoes, or is going through it now, that things never are the same; however, they DO get better!!! I contiplated suicide many times, as did my boyfriend, but there are so many wonderful people in the world that can help you deal with these emotions. I’m so glad that this organization exists to help people deal with such an unthinkable and devastating situation!

  76. Thanks for the advice. Like the rest of you who are reading this, i have made a grave mistake last week at work. I was working in a small metal working shop on a plate that i had just plasma cut, raising the forklift that was holding the sheet i cut, just above my head level so i could scrape underneath, when break came. Being a small shop and break time, i left the plate where it was in the air since i knew no one would be needing the forklift. That was in fact, a terrible mistake, as a senior co worker on break walked right into the corner of the very sharp 1/4″ plate, and gashed the middle of his head wide open. He had to recieve 6 stitches, and will be requiring plastic surgery. Management states its definitely the worest accident we’ve had. I apologized profusely to both the company and employee. I had no reprocussions from it, just extra safety put in place now. I do feel dreadful, even if the employee claims he wasnt watching where he was going, i still created the serious hazard. I believe over time i will feel better, but not for a long time.

  77. Thank you guys. Today I pulled out in front of somebody going about 60mph because of a blind turn and he slammed into me. I got some severe cuts and bruises, but he ended up with a broken leg, arm, finger, and a severe concussion. I feel really awful about it. I feel like I’ve badly messed his life up, and ruined a perfect truck of his. He’ll be in my blessings, but it is haunting me that I ended up bringing his life to this kind of halt. It’s so odd to have a love for some 40-50 year old man you don’t even know the name of. I just want him to be ok. Time will tell.

    1. This spoke to me. Today I pulled out in front of another driver and did significant damage to his vehicle. Thankfully he want hurt at all, but initially he was bothered by the experience. After some conversation it was clear he could not be a nicer person. I feel terrible for having caused this person any distress or inconvenience and it’s been eating at me since.

    2. i can relate to this …
      i was on a motorcycle on my way home to my wife and 7yr old son .traffic was still and a car did a u turn in front of me .i hit his drivers door my head went through his window which then threw me across oncoming traffic into a ditch.i relive this daily and it only happened 4 months ago .i know now i have ptsd and struggle daily.

    3. Thank you for sharing your story, I was part of a similar incident today. After waiting on a stop sign I took off, on what I tought was a clear road for me to go ahead. A truck hit me and send me spinning onto another car fortunately no one got injured though I got the worst of it with a car severely damaged. I was at fault for completely missing the car coming. After this incident I’ve been feeling awful more do to the reason of what could’ve happen, I was driving with a friend. I’ve been pondering on the lives that were at stake and would’ve been gone for a stupid mistake.

      1. This story really spoke to me, because exactly the same accident happened to me today, except for spinning into another car, but I was spun. My best friend was riding passenger side and I swerved to avoid complete head on and feel bad because the front of her side got the brunt of the impact. I also carry guilt of causing financial problems for my parents as far as insurance rate rising and having to get a new car, even though I have offered to start working again and more hours and even offering my college money to help pay. I feel so guilty and feel like an idiot for making a mistake like this.

      2. I really can relate to your story.
        A similar thing happened to me today- I pulled out at a cross roads having looked to make sure it was clear but obviously didn’t look properly or was in a rush.
        I was going about 5mph but a car coming along the road I was crossing must have been going 50/60mph. It hit the front left of my car and spun me around 360 degrees writing off my car (and probably theirs). Their car went off the road knocking down a sign before stopping on the grass.
        Ambulance and police arrived and I declined being checked over as just felt so guilty that I caused this and In the other car were a young family with 2 kids aged 3 and 6.
        I just kind of shut down at the scene and couldn’t really say much except stand there and tremble. Trying to apologise to the mother I began to break down in tears and when my mum arrived on scene I properly broke down.
        They were all checked and said to be ok and I am fine but now home have a very painful neck and graze on my leg from the impact. I just keep having visions of the parents pulling their kids from the car and imagining if I had killed them.

        The dad seemed fairly cross at me at first and then just maybe dislike me and the mother was trying to be understanding and was lovely but I hate knowing that I upset her 🙁

        I know I should feel bad as this was my fault but I’m only a 21 year old guy and feel like I never want to drive again and also so bad that I nearly completely ruined a families life.

        I just want to know if it got any better for you and if so how and when?
        Thank you
        Ben

    4. It’s beautiful that you realize your connection to humanity from this incident. I am going through it for a weird reason my son and his father I viewed them as less than me and treated them like dirt all their lives thinking they were less than me and not paying child support. I don’t know why I did it but I was tortuted as an infant so maybe it’s connected to that. But they both died of drug addiction related stuff his year because of the misery I caused them the poverty (the father was disabled and my son had mental illness from his rough treatment by me). It wasn’t till they wee gone that I could see whe I had done how deeply I had failed them, even being a source of their pain. Now I feel more connected to the world around me whereas before I could not understand why everyone was so miserable and had little sympathy for people. But I hurt so much and am so full of self hate and blame that I feel ineffective at doing anything to help my own suffering and even a little of the suffering of the world. I do realize this is the pain that my son and husband felt every day and why they used and is my just reward for my cruelty. I miss them terribly now whereas I did not before as well. I see the world completely differently. I don’t know if my story helps burnt will say this.. My son was on the street and hit by a car. He died shortly after. His death was written in the way I perceived him at birth, and the way I treated him and his father all their lives. It was a culmination, not one incident.im not going to say things happen for a reason but I don’t think incidents are isolated. I didn’t deserve the chances I was getting from
      Their continuous love for me despite my treatment of them. They left me here. Nothing is cut and dried. It all connects. So maybe your experience is a wake up to the reality of this without the misery of permanent damage. If you feel changed maybe that comes with an awareness of misery you didn’t have before that feels like a burden but might add to the survival of a part of yourself you lost touch with. Maybe that misery is cultivating some things in you that will cause a transformation that ultimately protects you and your family because you are more aware than happy cows being herded to less than cheerful ends. I know you can’t embrace it because it’s too miserable, third feelings, but maybe try to remove or resent them less because they may be coming with gifts that are both a part of you and a necessity. That’s all I got

  78. Thank you, I recently made a terrible mistake, I left an elderly lady in her wheel chair next to her bed, I informed the staff who were with the volunteer who brought the pets for therapy about. I am doing a trainee-ship here and thought the staff went with the volunteer to see the lady. I feel I musty not have communicated properly and the lady tried to get up when the pet lady left and fell, hurting herself, but she could have been hurt much worse, I told the person who was my supervisor , but I feel like I could have caused the lady to die. I feel terrible and the feelings wont leave, because I am finished my time at the institution I am having trouble , I just feel terrible.

    1. I had a similar incident today. I feel beyond awful. I work in special education. Today, we met at the track to get times for our kids. They do something called “wheelchair races”. We have 3 wheelchair kids and a teacher pushes each one 25 yards and that’s their “race.” While pushing one of my kids, his front wheel got caught up and his wheelchair tipped forward causing him to plunge into the track nearly head first. My instinct was to try to pull his weight so that he would fall on me and not go face first onto the track. I had some success. The fall wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been but he busted his lip really bad and skinned the tip of his nose and his forehead and had a bump on his head. Him and his wheelchair fell on me and now my knee is really swollen and bruised but I’d take a million times worse than this if it meant he never got hurt. I feel so bad. I feel like my job is in jeopardy, too. Of course it was a total accident but I keep reliving it wondering if I went a little too fast or if I did something wrong. I just feel horrible; it makes me sick. I love my kids so much and would never do anything to hurt them. Now I’m the cause of his pain. Wish I could turn back time 🙁

      1. Hi Liz my name is Jo n I have read your story . I know you feel really bad but please please please just take a minute to consider two main points here 1. that the track could and most likely did have a slightly uneven surface because although it may appear flat nothing like surfaces are ever completely flat and its exposed to the weather all the time which can make the track uneven

        2 and most importantly the young person you were pushing although that have very minor injuries WHICH WILL HEAL IN TIME OK and also You see this young person on a daily or regular basis so you know them really well and they see you everyday too and you give them a quality of life YOU MAKE THEM SMILE, YOU MAKE THEM HAPPY YOU HUNNY OK (THERE IS A BIG TEAM OF PEOPLE WHO LOOK AFTER HIM ETC ) A and of course that is important bBUT YOU ARE ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT DO MAKE HIM HAPPY EVERYDAY n he knows you as someone who makes him smile and feel good he is never going to forget that. And he’s going to remember that when that accident happened You are the one that prevented his injury’s from being much worse OK that’s you that did that YOU GAVE HIM A CUDDLE YOU COMFORTED HIM AND SHOWED HIM LOVE THAT MAKES YOU VERY SPECIAL NOT JUST BECAUSE YOU DID THAT THEN BUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE A VERY SPECIAL SKILL AND PERSONAL QUALITIES N YOU MAKE THOSE YOUNGSTERS YOU WORK WITH VERY HAPPY EVERYDAY THAT IS YOUR GOAL

        YOU DID NOT CAUSE THE WHEELCHAIR TO GO over it was a bump or whole or something in the track Something that YOU ARE NOT RESPOSIBLE FOR AND CAN NOT AND COULD NOT OF CONTROLLED

        THE YOUNGSTER WILL NOT B BLAMING YOU COS HE LOVES THE WAY YOU MAKE HIM SMILE WHEN U SEE HIM HE WILL REMEBER HOW YOU LOOKED AFTER HIM AND CARED N LOVED N COMFORTAED HIM AFTER THE ACCIDENT AND THATS THE IMPORTANT PART THATS THE BIT U HAD COTROL OVER AND THATS THE BIT THAT MADE IT BETTER YOU COULD OF WALKED AWAY BUT YOU DIDNT THAT MAKES YOYU A FANTASTIC WONDERFUL AMAZING CARING LOVING PERSON NOT A MONSTER

        I KNO ITS HARD COS I HAVE BEEN IN A SIMILAR SITUATION MYSELF BUT YOU NEED TO B KIND TO URSELF ACCIDENTS HAPPEN AND IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT .

        OK HUN MUCH LOVE JO

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