Fear

It’s been more than a month now.

Medically speaking, I am recovering and much better than that day.

That day when people gathered around me, lying in a blood pool weren’t even sure if I was alive.

If I was alive, would I survive?

If I survived, would I be fine and normal again?

Many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that suddenly clouded our life within a fraction of second. That second when our car met with a fateful accident on Chennai — Bangalore highway.

Was it an accident? What was it? I try to recall the details often but everything, oh so vague! Husband and my brother were seated on the front seats of our Ecosport while me and my 5 year old leisurely sprawled on the back seat. Something happened and even before we could realize, the car hit the left divider and then the right and then toppled once, twice….was it the third time when the locked back door broke and I got thrown out on the highway? Was it just then that I managed to push my son further inside and save him from being thrown out? What exactly happened at that time? It was all blank for me, sort of a weird white in front of my eyes. I hear from others that the car toppled perhaps multiple times before it skidded to a halt. No one remembers the count. The only thing I know after seeing the pictures of our car or talking to police and doctors is that I am thankful that my family is safe and I am alive. My son, husband and brother got some bruises and I even though critically injured, am still thankful that I am alive!

Ford Ecosport— The car is beyond repair now but thankful that it’s sturdy structure could save us to some extent

What all did I experience at that moment or that day? Perhaps I will take some more time to have the courage to jot it down. It’s all scattered and jumbled up in my mind but keeps coming back to me in multiple formats.

Dealing with bad accidents or trauma is not new to me. Like many others, I have had my own share of lows and brutal misfortunes in life. Though this time, something has been incredibly difficult to deal with and something that’s not fading with time.

No, it’s not the pain of multiple stitches, fractures and internal hemorrhages that I got.

It’s the fear, the fear of “what if”.

What if my son would have also got thrown out of the car?

What if I wouldn’t have survived?

What if another vehicle had come and ran over me while I was thrown at the highway?

The fear of leaving my mother childless.

The fear of leaving my child motherless.

The fear of not being there for him.

The fear of losing him.

The fear of death.

And never before had I been so afraid of dying. Definitely not as my own self or as a daughter, sister, wife or a friend. But as a mother? I suddenly found death to be too scary and life to be too precious.

I was always the one with a pragmatic approach towards such things, or you can say that life taught me this lesson of “whatever has to happen will happen” at a pretty early stage.

Then what has changed this time that made me so scared for life? Is it just me or is the fear of leaving the child behind, the biggest fear of every mother? And perhaps of every father too?

I am physically better and I am aware that I still have to cover a long road to recovery to be completely fine. Not even sure if everything will get back to the previous form but I am hopeful and hopeful for the best.

But oh, these vague flashbacks and hallucinations and nightmares!

Why do they keep coming back to me?

And why aren’t they fading with time?

I try to divert my mind but then certain memories are too strong to be distracted. Is it just me or does this happen with others too who have gone through any near-death experience in life?

Generally I have never been able to express grief in words, be it my brother’s death few years back or multiple other such losses and traumas in life. I somehow fall short of words when it comes to expressing the real pain. Not even sure if anyone who has gone through intense pain can express it completely. But then thought to follow the advice of few close folks & jot it down, maybe this will at least serve as a reminder during bad times that we survived this.