In 1984, I got rear-ended by a young man as I was waiting to make a left turn. I was so freaked out about the accident and newly sober - so I was sure I was going to be arrested, even though the accident was not my fault, I was completely sober, had a valid driver's license, etc... I did not get medical care for my injury. I said I was "fine." I knew I was hurt. In 1999, I finally had surgery on my neck, I now have three fused vertebrae, with bone grafts, and titanium rods. My range of motion is virtually non-existent. I am keenly aware that on the scale of injuries as a result of automobile accidents, this one is relatively minor, but it still affects me every single day of my life. In pain, which I try not to talk about. And in not taking kindly to the woman who is driving a 3 ton vehicle an inch from my bumper and talking on the phone.
Last summer, I was the passenger in a car in another accident. My back got jacked up again. It hurts. There have been lots of accidents in between. I think it is a miracle I can drive at all - let alone run, bike, and swim.
Oh, and did I ever tell you all about the time I nearly totaled a Buick by hitting a bear? Yes, I did that. It was terrifying.
And that cute little pit bull you have? Well, did I share with you that when I was 5 years old I was attacked by guard dogs because I was trespassing while too young to read the signs that told me not to go there? And I think I have shared here about the pit bull who came into my yard while I was painting my fence - my kitten at my side. The kitten made a little snack for fluffy the pit bull. One of my neighbors tore the dog off my cat before she was dead, and we rushed her to the vet. But my kitten Minerva was never right again and after a year - when she attacked the face of a sponsee sitting here reading the big book with me - I took her to the shelter... and I am pretty sure what her fate was after that.
Or about the time a stranger in a van pulled up along side me as I was walking and asked me if I wanted a ride and when I declined he picked me up and placed me in the van... I could tell you the rest of the story, but you can figure it out for yourself. It wasn't pretty.
I could go on and on with this, but I am sure you get the idea.
"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83
But we are shaped by it.
I know that my reactions to tailgaters, dogs, strange men, familiar men, etc. are not what most people's are. Most of the time this is not a big deal. Sometimes it is.
Every time I leave my door and get in a car, especially as a passenger, or to take a run or get on a bike, it is an act of faith for me. I think the fact that I am functional at all is nothing short of a miracle.
Thank you God.