Back to Normal

Three weeks really isn’t a very long time to be without a second vehicle, but when you feel like all you’re doing is driving around most of your day, it really does feel like an eternity.

I don’t know how people do it. How do they spend 24/7 in the car? How do they do the hour commutes in and out of cities for work? I don’t even like driving 5 min to my work! Still trying to figure out how to get each other to and from work has meant that we are spending a lot of time in a vehicle, and because our functioning vehicle is mine…I’ve been doing much of the driving.

On the up side, my husband and I have had to spend a lot more time together in our car rides. We really couldn’t go places without each other very much, and in general couldn’t really spend time outside of one another or with friends because of needing to pick up and drop off each other from work. Which has been nice. We haven’t had a ton of time to be together and relaxed usually, and often drives home from work and around town are great times to just goof off and talk like human beings instead of at home when tasks need doing or alone time is required.

It’s gotten us to talk more, mostly because it gave me a good opportunity to trap my husband in one place and make him think about stuff and talk to me about his feelings. Of course we talked about other things, like about what kind of things we like in vehicles and processing the accident and helping each other heal little by little. We had lots of hard conversations too, like talking about getting a loan to buy a new car, how unsupported I felt when we were getting the loan because of how upset my husband felt about being in debt, and good long cried together because of how much I hate feeling afraid of driving now, when I already didn’t like it much to begin with. Oh, and of course, we talked about movies, since it’s my husband’s thing.

Now that we purchased a new car (an hour ago) it’s going to be a little different. Finances will be a little tighter. No more need to spend so much time in a car. No more long drives and long conversations (bit of a let down). A little more freedom to move about daily life, without feeling the time constraint of picking someone up and dropping them off. I can hang out with friends again without feeling guilty I left my husband home without a vehicle. No more late nights of having to pick him up, and no more days where he has to bike to work or walk and I have to worry if he made it to work on time.

Hopefully things will go back to normal.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Milwaukee is not an area I’m very familiar with, and since the accident I was not very willing to drive on the interstate to get there. Still, we had made plans. Plans to visit our friends who had just bought a house and desperately wanted us to come see it since we had gone for so long without being able to see them all winter because of bad weather. I told my husband I didn’t want to drive. I always drove and after the accident I wasn’t ready. He said he would as long as we found a route that would get us there that didn’t involve the interstate he would do it.

We found a route but it was adding nearly an hour and a half to our trip. I pleaded with him since the weather was nice and there was ardor traffic that the interstate wasn’t a bad ride, that only if he tried it it wouldn’t be that bad. It really wasn’t. I told him I’d even drive it he felt like he couldn’t because I was so certain that the route the gps was taking us was just over the top too far.

“I’ll get on the interstate.”

So he did, and I was so proud of him.

The hard part for me was trying to figure out how to encourage him, without inflating his ego. Driving on the interstate is something very normal. It really doesn’t feel like something a person ought to be praised for. Yet, I knew it would be something he ought to be praised for to encourage him to do it again. I talked to him about it a bit.

“Baby, I’m really proud of you and want to encourage you to drive more on the interstate, but I also don’t want you to think that driving on the interstate is a big deal in general. It’s actually a pretty normal thing that people do and fairly frequently. I don’t want you to think you’re some kind of hero for doing it.”

I worded it poorly I know I did. It I didn’t know how else to say it. He didn’t seem completely deflated by the statement, but I could tell I had put him off a bit. I ended up driving us home after our overnight with friends, and what a drive home it had been.

Of course, once again we hit some freak rain, and it was just as hard as the day we had our accident. I breathed deeply and pushed through though. Dropping my speed and making everyone go around me. Then suddenly, the semi in front of us hydroplaned into the ditch, which of course got me shaking and nearly in tears, but I pushed through going ten under the speed limit until the rain subsided. My husband offered to drive after that, but I was white knuckling the wheel so hard that I just told him I’d take us the rest of the way home. Just to prove to myself that I could.

The situation made me swallow my words to my husband earlier. Maybe a person is a hero for driving on the interstate? Maybe people don’t do it all the time? It’s terrifying. The speeds are high. The weather can be treacherous. The drivers can be more so. The whole circumstance not only made me realize how hard it can be, but just how much I had been affected from the accident and how much I needed to have that moment in the rain to prove to myself that I could do it again. Just like my husband did when driving us to our friends house.

I had belittled his bravery as well as my own, and done a disservice to both our psyches. Needless to say, we are healing as much as we can considering how near to us the accident is, having only been a couple weeks ago.

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