Hit and Run and CPTSD

So, one Monday morning in January, after the boys finally resumed school following the holidays, I headed to the gym, blue skies, sunny mid 50s outside almost no traffic.  Squeeeee.  A BMW SUV side swipes me at the roundabout and keeps going.  Disbelief.  Because I live in a state of sleep deprivation and near constant overstimulation and also was gaslit regularly in my family and marriage, my first thought is that I imagined it.  Did that just happen?

I follow the BMW closely at a good speed, into a parking lot of the medical center and block her in.  The woman exits her car and attempts to ignore me.  “Excuse me”, I say.  Inconvenienced, “Can I help you?”  “Yes, you hit me back there.  You hit my car at the roundabout.”  She replies.  “I did not hit you.  I have an appointment to get to.”  Keeps walking.  OMG.  So familiar. 

Unrecovered me wants to go ape shit.  Scream.  Tell her about herself.  She is cool dismissive, nice car.  So important, poised, and clearly believes in her rightness.    

I walk to the front of her car, pointing I say, “see that…that matches the marks on my car where you hit me.”  She flippantly hands me a tattered paper and says, write down your number and I will call you.”  Oh, Ok.  Lacking confidence that this woman who hit me and ran and then LIED about what she did is going handle this.  I call Favorite to ask IF I should call police.

I am now crying, because with my neurology, that is how I process stress and all big feelings, even good ones, especially good ones.  In true narcissist fashion BMW driver attempts to reduce me with “why are you crying” in a disdainful way, in a way intended to suggest that this emotional display is evidence of my instability, the real issue.  She is not asking because she cares and also is unworthy of explanation.  Still, I tell her that chasing her down after hitting my car is upsetting to me.  She proceeds to her appointment.  I call the police.  

Now my Monday energy (and hope) is spent.  I weep in my car for the half hour it takes for an officer to arrive, not because I am sad.  She returns after her appt.  The same woman who insisted she did not hit me,  now tells the police I hit her.  In detail.  C-PTSD insists that she might be right, what do I know, I am crazy, remember things wrong, cannot be counted on to truly know what happens.  The officer surveys our cars before driving the area in which SHE HIT ME and returns to write her a ticket for failure to yield…and not for hit and run.  

The crazy part is she was not concerned, not for a minute.  Not afraid of that ticket.  She remained composed, righteous, unconcerned, and unapologetic.  Hit and run is a criminal charge!!! But since I was crying–clearly problematic, maybe we would focus only on that.

I was flattened for days after, processing and discharging the energy and emotion of my experience.  In the time between her comfortably leaving the scene for her appt and the ticket, I all out panicked:   I would get the ticket, I would be financially responsible, I would be in trouble, I was crazy and made it up or caused it.  CPTSD is something I live with every single day.  I react to things today with all of the stress and intensity of similar things, which transpired in the past.  Things which happened, when I was unsafe and could not see choices or a safe way out.  I am now safe and have choices and tools.  But my nervous system does not always know this.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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