It was inevitable really.
Something was bound to happen that would shake me out of my doldrums. Life has a funny way of showing you that no matter how bad things are, they could almost certainly be worse.
That something was a car crash.
Sunday was quite a low point for me, I was lamenting on about how this and that wasn’t going my way and just generally feeling sorry for myself. I made reference to feeling better because I hadn’t had to talk to anyone for a day and a half and the thought of trying to talk to anyone, about anything, was unappealing to say the least. I was grumpy, fed up and bloody irritable.
Then I wrapped my car around some steel barriers on the way to football that afternoon and realised that while I may not be feeling right as rain at the moment, I am very much alive and would really like to stay that way.
The hideously wet Saturday and even wetter Sunday morning had left the roads slippery to say the least. Already on a diversion from the A21 as someone else had decided to write their car off too, we trundled across the villages in an effort to re-join further up. Lots of traffic and nasty weather meant that we were not moving particularly quickly, but we had left in plenty of time so I was not at all concerned.
Caught off guard by some surface water as I exited the roundabout towards Sevenoaks, the car slid out from under me. The whole thing happened in only a matter of seconds and as we aquaplaned towards the trees I was wrestling with myself, knowing that you shouldn’t brake or react too sharply but at the same time my instinct was screaming at me to ‘avoid the fucking trees’! So, in the miniscule amount of seconds that you have to react, I pulled the steering wheel back towards the road, only to come face to face with the steel barrier instead. The lesser of two evils I suspect.
After that it all becomes a bit of a blur to be fair.
My primary concern was Tom who at this point was in shock, crying and shaking and wondering what the hell just happened. As was I to be fair.
All of a sudden there seemed to be an awful lot of commotion going on. Someone was trying to prise my door open and there were people peering in from all directions it seemed. There was lots of talking and shouting and it was all very dramatic and for a second I was wondering what all the fuss was about… and then I remembered. I had just ploughed my car in to the barriers.
We were horizontal across the road, directly in the path of oncoming traffic and I had a young child in the car. People were panicking. Then I suddenly thought, shit! Maybe I should be panicking?
Then it really did all become a bit too much, I had completely forgotten how to function. What I should do or when I should do it? I became a complete girl. I had to be cajoled and encouraged to move, to talk, to do anything really. I just wanted to hold my son and wait for someone to rescue us. I haven’t felt quite so helpless in a long time. I mean, I am a woman who cleans her own poo drains for Gods sake.
It was a long afternoon, waiting for the insurance to sort the recovery/salvage out and waiting for someone to come and get Tom and I (parents to the rescue, again) I was also becoming concerned about Elsie who was at home baking Brownies, completely oblivious to it all.
When I called Elsie to let her know what had happened, my heart caught in my throat. The grim realisation that this could have been so much worse, that someone else could have been phoning her and not me, was awful.
The thought of my Elsie being left without us was almost too much to comprehend.
It is such a scary thought that from this day on you feel like you should only ever travel together. It makes you want to never leave one child at home while you go off with another. Impractical as that may be, the thought of one of us being left without the others is just horrifying beyond belief. Of course the reality is that you always move about separately, you go merrily through life, especially as your children get older, doing more and more things separately.
We were all a little bit tearful and a tad reflective that afternoon. It is hard to not think about the what ifs but thinking about the what ifs is harder still.
My days haven’t really got any better since the accident, they are exactly the same as they were before the accident, if not slightly worse now, as I am completely dependant on people at the moment. To get to work. To get the kids to school and even to get food. Pretty much everything really. Something that I do not like one bit. This is when countryside living becomes a lot less likeable.
The insurance company offered me a measly £200 for my vehicle on Monday. Monday was tough I was at work and although I thought I felt fine at first, I really didn’t. I hardly slept the night before my whole body ached, particularly my neck, I just wanted to go home. I was worried about Tom, although I needn’t have, he was fine and after regaling the story to all his friends he was hailed a hero all day at school and that is fine with me. However, a busy Monday at work when I am not quite with it is not the best day to deal with Insurers.
Crazily, I accepted the offer. I wasn’t really sure what to do, if I’m honest. So, at the same time as asking myself how the hell I would replace my car with £200? I said, “Ok, thank you very much”, gave the fellow my bank details and said cheerio. *rollseyes
It was only later that evening chatting with Ivy (that’s a whole other blog), I realise that actually he was right. It isn’t enough. How was I going to replace my car with £200? The answer is, I wasn’t. As Ivy quite rightly pointed out (I hope), if I were to go out and purchase the self-same car, same make/model and year or similar even, how much would it cost? He sent a few links to some similar cars and they were all selling for a lot more than the sorry £200 the Insurance Company had offered me.
After some to-ing and fro-ing and me saying it was too late because I had already accepted and him telling me not to be so ridiculous. I was to phone them in the morning and refuse the offer, then put a letter formal letter of refusal in the post stating the reasons why and what I expected. So, I did as I was told.
I have had a standard reply from them since but on the advice of my solicitor (aka Ivy), if I haven’t heard by Monday I should send another letter and another one 7 days after that, until I get what I think is a reasonable offer. This could be time consuming!
On the plus side I now have the one thing I have needed for a few weeks now, a war.
I may not be having the best time of it right now but I am not rolling over yet. I have got my fight back.