“Mom, I got in an accident.”
Not the call you want to get 5 minutes after your son has driven off to school.
When the phone rang just minutes after my eldest son had left for school, I knew the news was not going to be good. “Mom, I got in an accident and my car is totaled but I’m ok.” God love him- everything I needed to know in one succinct statement.
I’m sorry to say my response was not quite as coherent. “Ok- stay right there. I’m coming.” Pretty stupid comment- really- how was he going to leave anyway?
So, I ran upstairs changed my p.j. top, ran back downstairs, realized I was still wearing my p.j. bottoms, questioned in my head if I was a bad mom for taking valuable time changing out of my Christmas tree PJ’s, decided my son would appreciate it if I changed, put on jeans, ran downstairs, realized I didn’t have shoes on, ran back upstairs, put on my shoes, (all the while trying to do this silently so I didn’t wake my other 3 kids), ran back downstairs, got in my car, frantically backed out and drove to the SPOT.
As I pulled up, I saw a black car nearly in the middle of the 2 lane road and my son’s car directly behind it. It was still dark but there were brake lights everywhere. The road was covered with debris and my dear son was standing by the road. I pulled up, got out of my van, looked UP into his little face and saw his panic. Glancing at his car (in horror), I kindly looked at the other driver and explained I was “mom”. She looked at me and didn’t say a word.
(I’m interjecting a side bar that has nothing to do with my main topic but if you get hit by a kid, and he is kind and apologetic, could you be nice to the mom and child? If I had been a cussing kind of gal, I might have had a few colorful words for her. And I’m sorry if she had her own issues to justify her annoyance and rude response but my kid is more important, just sayin...)
The police showed up, agreed the car was totaled and had my son write down his “confession”. 3 months after he received his license, 2 months after receiving a wonderful gift from his grandparents, he had lost both. In an instant. Being a trauma coach, I immediately recognized his trauma symptoms- shaking, cold and overwhelmed by the adrenaline surge in his body.
As we waited for the paperwork to be completed, I questioned where my “mama trauma brain” was and it became the definition of compartmentalized chaos:
I had to help him emotionally.
I had to make sure we reported all that needed to be reported.
I was torqued at the mean lady he hit.
I was worried my other kids would wake up and not know where I was.
I wondered what this would mean to my son’s driving future.
I was horrified when I considered how much my insurance rate would go up.
Why didn’t the airbag go off?
How was I going to get him to all his activities…
I wished he was smaller so I could cuddle him up on my lap and protect him again from the world. My heart ached for him.
His life changed directions in a split second.
Not any different than a partner who discovers a spouse’s or partner’s infidelity. Or pornography use. Or deceit. And like my “mama trauma brain”, your brain can instantly split into different compartments as you try to hold your family together, your public life together, and your relationship together.
This is a complex, devastating turn in life. And sometimes healing from the trauma just seems like a jumble of websites and books and podcasts and advice and the list goes on and on.
So, because there are so many available resources, I put together my top 10 quick picks. Hopefully these will help you as you travel your own path towards healing.
CLICK HERE for your FREE Downloadable Document.
If you need personal coaching to address the following questions, please reach out for a free consultation or a personal coaching session.
How do you regulate yourself?
What do you do with your nightmares?
Loss of appetite?
And so many other questions affiliated with betrayal trauma