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I just totaled my car, and I'm mad at myself

This might be rather trivial compared to many other posts on here. But a few hours ago, I was just in my first (and hopefully last) car crash. It was my fault. It is worth mentioning that no one was hurt physically. I just need to get out of my own head and address my feelings.

My car is totaled, which means my transportation options are extremely limited once again. I have no idea how long it will be until I can get another vehicle. That means that right now, I have no car, and public transportation options in my area are basically nill. So I have to rely on family members to get me from point A to point B. I’m stuck. I’m trapped in a box again. Car insurance is most likely about to skyrocket, as well. That’s just lovely.

Ironically, it has been 2 weeks (exactly 14 days) since I got my driver’s license. I had an unusually long, hard, frustrating journey toward finally getting my license. That was not my fault. I have always hated driving ever since I started, but the freedom and independence it provided was a blessing I could not take for granted. Now, I don’t ever want to get behind the wheel again. I know I have to drive again. It is unavoidable. But the sweet taste of freedom has turned into the putrid smell of nitrogen gas from the airbag that smacked me in the face. I was just getting excited about the future. I even had a full tank of gas, too. Now, I just feel like garbage.

At the time of this post, I’m sitting alone in my room in the middle of the night, listening to As I Lay Dying’s “Shaped By Fire” album, feeling insanely angry at myself for the whole situation.

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Hey there,

Just wanted to start off by saying I’m so sorry that this has happened. Getting in accidents are nerve-wracking, they stick with you, and yeah, pretty painful, even if there’s not a lot of damage to anyone or the vehicles. I’m also just so so glad that you are safe and alive and that everyone else involved is too.
I feel like I can relate some to this, the freedom of independence and also some drawbacks that came with it. To share a little bit, it took me a really long time to get my driver’s license. I had my learning permit for about 5 years, which meant I could drive, but someone 21+ years old had to be in the front seat. This limited a lot of my transportation on my own. Since then, I only have had my license for a couple years, got in a really small accident, and have had this anxiety about people getting too close behind me ever since. The toughest part is, even though I have that freedom to drive, my parents pay for my car and insurance because I have such a low salary currently. I’m grateful, but still feel this guilt/tie-up in debt to them.
I just want you to know that even though you’re really angry with yourself about this, feel like there isn’t as much freedom as before, the biggest thing is that, you’re still alive… That’s just such an incredible part of this story. You don’t need to feel like garbage. Accidents happen every day, on different scales of life. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver or that you shouldn’t have the freedom to go places. If there’s any way that we can help you further cope through this, I can assure you that I’ll be here. You’re not alone. I hope the future brings you peace as you start driving again, and that there will be some sort of blessing to happen in your life that allows you to get another vehicle soon. Hold fast, we’re right here for you.

All the love I can give,

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Thank you so much for replying.
I definitely have a fear of freedom. For almost as long as I can remember, I have been afraid of independence. When people reach the level of freedom that a driver’s license gives them, there are suddenly so many new ways for them to get into trouble. For example, car wrecks. I knew for a long time that I would screw something up. And now, I’ve proven myself right in a very short time.
It took a long time for me to get my license too. I never really wanted to drive because of my fear of freedom and the knowledge that I would manage to mess up royally. So I waited to get my permit until my life circumstances forced me to get it. I could no longer afford to rely on carpooling with my mom. I got my permit about six years after I reached the minimum age requirement. I had my permit for a little under a year.
I have a really low salary, too. I’m working a part-time minimum-wage job, and the boss keeps cutting hours because minimum wage was recently raised. But my parents are not going to pay for car insurance. I have to pay for it. I don’t know how that is going to work out. Then, once I get a new car, I’m required to have adaptive equipment (hand controls) installed in it because I was born with spina bifida, which caused paralysis in my feet and ankles. (Side-note: I am physically able to drive a car without adaptive controls, but the powers that be rather arbitrarily decided on my behalf that I am not legally allowed to do so because of my disability.) Who knows how long all this is going to take, or how much it will cost? In addition, my mom has to drive me to work every day again, because I am not legally allowed to drive my family members’ unadapted cars. I feel guilty too, because I know it wears my parents out. I feel like a burden. I can tell it puts unnecessary stress on them. Part of me wants to get a new car as soon as possible so my mom doesn’t have to drive me everywhere. But I never wanted to drive in the first place, and I hate the idea of it even more now than ever before. I despise driving.
Thank you again for commenting and sharing your experience. It seems that we have some commonalities, and it’s nice to hear from someone who might understand something of my situation. It’s so easy for me to believe that I’m the only person in the world who gets it. So thank you.

Jesus loves you, and I’m grateful for you.

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