Thank you to all who expressed empathy and concern about how I’m doing after the accident. It’s taken a bit of time but I’m feeling much better. I took my time to feel upset and betrayed and angry and now I’ve moved into a better space. I don’t feel like a victim anymore – I made a decision to pursue compensation to a certain point. If that works, great. If things get held up and it doesn’t go, I’ve drawn a line in my mind beyond which I’m not going to give this situation any more of my time and energy.
My husband approached the head of Hatzalah (a private emergency service), who was called to the scene after the accident, and explained the unwillingness of the driver to provide her insurance/car/license info. This man immediately said he’ll get the information from the driver and not to worry about it. He said the other party probably heard an American accent and thought “Friarim” (suckers), assuming they could take advantage of the situation because we’re not native Israelis. He wasn’t intimidated at all by the fact that the driver was a lawyer. He was mildly interested/amused and said there’s nowhere for her to hide. He’ll tell her she can choose to work with us or not work with us but either way this is going to the police and it will be worse for her if she doesn’t cooperate.
This is a person who knows how to get things done and getting him involved is my effort to see justice served. This is where I’ve drawn the line: I’m not going to find witnesses to the accident and pursue this further in court if for whatever reason she doesn’t cooperate. I’ve lost all I’m going to lose in this situation (except for a few hundred shekels when I have my osteopathic appointment) and I’m not going to lose anything else. Not peace of mind, not time, not energy. Nothing. I’ve decided on what my stop loss order is going to be (to use a Dale Carnegie term) and this is it.
Ds4 is doing great. I’ve been giving him opportunities to talk about the accident and he brings it up from time to time and talks about different things. It’s good not to shrink from discussing it. He seems to be dealing with it well. I’m a little (maybe a lot :)) edgy when I cross the street at crosswalks now but I think that’s pretty normal and it will get better with time. I have some residual soreness in my lower back but I’m basically back to myself. I’m sleeping a lot better now and have been able to release a lot of my antipathy towards the other driver although I’m not yet at the full forgiveness stage.
I think a big part of moving from victim to empowerment mentality is feeling like I have a say in what happens, that life isn’t just happening to me. Realizing that it’s the driver who has a problem, not me, was extremely helpful in reframing everything that was going on. I was mentally giving her the power in this situation and now I’m not doing that. I feel like a powerful person who is making a conscious decision about how to handle this, and it’s not a decision being based on fear or exhaustion. I’m actively deciding how much this is or isn’t worth to me and that feels very healthy.
Even if we get the insurance information tomorrow, it will take a few weeks to get through the process and so I’ll let you know what does or doesn’t happen when we’re further down the road and have some closure. Thank you all again for caring about us!