I found myself telling the story of my car-totaling accident more than I thought I would, definitely more than I wanted to. Everyone wanted or needed every detail of the event, which wasn't very exciting from my POV.
Red light. Demi Lovato. Boom. Fuck.
I came away with only a scar that can be covered by my hair, which was assumed to be nearly invisible long before my wedding day.
But the laceration happened. It was there. The driver of that truck changed the face of Ricky's fiancé, Varena's daughter, Charlie and Ronnie's sister. It was there. There for me to examine as I religiously massaged the not-cheap oil on the scar, as instructed by my doctor for seamless healing.
"Wow, you're so lucky." "It could have been so much worse," were the broken record sentiments I'd hear. I know my friends and family meant well, but no one was more aware of my good fortune than me.
Every time I was told how lucky I was, I got stripped of my permission to feel the things I was feeling. Instead of allowing myself to sink into the sadness of the event and residual effects, I'd get punched in the chest when I saw my scar or my car or the missed call from my lawyer and reactively turn away from it with an optimistic cleansing breath. "At least..." "It could have been..."
It's taken months for me to absorb the fact that just because it could have been worse doesn't mean it wasn't fucking terrible.
It was one of the worst moments of my life, most definitely the most terrifying. And I have a scar on my goddamn face to remind me of the most terrifying moment of my life every. day. If that doesn't merit some fear & self pity, I don't know what does.
That said, it could have been worse. And worse happens to a lot of people. And they deserve permission to sulk deep into what ever emotions they're feeling.