My civil lawsuit settled on Tuesday. I’m not going to go into too many details about that now except to mention that I wasn’t happy with behavior of one of the insurance companies’ adjusters. He had asked in an email that Kennett not show up at mediation; that Kennett wasn’t involved. Another one of his low blows was trying to insinuate that my blog, and Kennett’s blog, showed that we were recovering just perfectly and that a jury wouldn’t be as sympathetic to our trauma should the case go to trial on October 16, 2016.
I bring this up because I hope you find inspiration in my blog, but I don’t mean to gloss over the fact that the crash was tough. I’ll speak more to that in a moment. I’d also like to tell you what made me relax on my drive home from settlement talks – I realized that I’m enjoying the book I’m reading: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. And it clicked for me: if I really feel evil one day I can always find a way to publically shame this particular adjuster that I’m not so fond of. But not today. Today I’m excited it’s all over.
It is over right? I’m fully recovered from surgery and I no longer have too much to talk about with my lawyer, Brad Tucker. I’ve even been in a few conversations today where I’ve been told, “Well, hey, it’s over!” and if I were an outsider to my current situation I’d agree with that statement.
But here’s the full, undisclosed insider story. Maybe I’m glossing over it, but that’s because I don’t feel to emotionally charged by any of this. Most of what’s currently happening I’m dealing with on an intellectual level. Plus, this isn’t a novel – it’s a blog so I don’t want to dig as far into the emotional side. I’m writing a narrative non-fiction book on the crash and it will include some more detailed emotions.
I can say “Whew it’s over”. Hell, you can say it too, but I think the meaning is different. Yes, there are settlement papers that have been signed, but for me it’s a longer process. I don’t think about the crash as often now, but I’ve actually had to spend a lot more time processing the event in the days since Tuesday then I had the entire week prior. In the settlement papers it was agreed upon that I get to speak with one of the passengers of the car who hit me.
This person is someone I’ve wanted to speak to since October but wasn’t allowed to because of the legal issues at hand. Now I have the green light and I have to actually decide when to call and what I want to ask. Thinking about what questions I want answered requires I go back emotionally to the day of the crash and all that’s happened since. I’m excited to learn the other perspective that he holds. Even before making the call, I’ve got to pick up the pieces in other ways.
My Specialized Shiv bike that I crashed on has been in evidence since day one. I wasn’t allowed to touch it until the civil case was over, so the bike had found a home at the sheriff’s offices. Today I scheduled an appointment to pick it up. I was supposed to show up at a door near the loading docks where I had to be buzzed in. In a moment that I had alone, I saw the bike propped against a small table through a glass window. I leaned against the window frame, put my hands underneath my chin, and had a silent conversation with the bike, “Hey, you’re not like I remember you. You’re not banged up too bad, oh yea, I forgot your pedals were silver. The helmet still looks good eh? I can’t figure out what’s going on with the straps though.”
The woman at evidence came up to another door with a glass ticketing window, “Do you have your ID?”
“No I’ll have to grab it from the car.”
As I walked out for my wallet I smiled at the fact that she needed an ID. It seems like such a mute point when I have the scar across my face and I could tell her details of the bike that she’d never know. Nonetheless, I came back with proper identification and now I have the Shiv back in my custody. Next step will be recharging my Garmin to see how fast I was going when I impacted the car.
Lastly, I came home to an email with the traffic sentencing courtroom transcripts I had requested in late 2015. I never wanted to be in courtroom for the traffic sentencing case because I have no desire to ever see the person who caused this crash. Nor does he have the right to see me now. He missed his opportunity to apologize a long time ago. I am curious what was said and I also want it as research for my book. Overlooking the crash itself, having to wait for the traffic case sentencing was probably the most difficult time for me. While it intrigues me to sit and read the document, it also requires me to revisit those emotions, but in a calmer, more removed state of mind.
This just brings home the more universal question – when is a trauma truly over? I’m going to delve into the topic deeper through my book, but I thought this would be an interesting enough update.
P.S. I’m racing three half-marathons and one marathon this Spring, so stay tuned for race reports!