Last night, as my husband was taking out the recyling, he bumped into a broom which then knocked over all of the glass bottles and containers. In an instant, I was taken from a relaxing Sunday evening to a jarring feeling of being in the accident again. it was awful. He apologized. He didn’t need to. I apologized for overreacting. And our Sunday wasn’t the same after that.
I’ve begun to hate loud noises. I have always been easily startled, but now that moment of fear has turned into terror and tears. It seems loud noises, particularly that are unexpected and include glass, are now a reminder of the accident. It’s almost as if I was right there again. I can feel my face light up with sensation as if the airbag just hit. I can feel the adrenaline pumping as if I am careening into the ditch again. I can feel my cheeks grow warm and my ears hurt from the sound. I half expect to feel blood pouring out from the now healed cut on my left ear. Sometimes I rub my hand along my earlobe just to see if it is.
The first time I noticed my issue with sound was when my husband unexpectedly and accidentally dropped a basket full of all sorts of items including spare change, a couple of CDs, and a lot of papers. (I promise, he’s not doing it on purpose and I am way more clumsy then he!) At first I was startled, and then I burst into tears and covered my ears. I couldn’t explain what or why I was going through it, just that it was unbearable. There was even a silent moment just after the sound when I looked at him and felt like a child whose lip was quivering right before losing it.
The second time was when I was checking out of a store. The cashier dropped my 8 pack of D batteries into the bag. I was sent back for a moment, but being in public, I flinched, gritted my teeth, and probably made a rather unpleasant face. I tried to get out of the store as quickly as possible to let the tears flow in the car.
Believe me when I say this, I am truly moving along in the healing process. I’ve made my peace with the car glass, I’ve been decently okay with semi trucks (for the most part), and I am certainly back to driving with ease and happiness, but I find the noises still difficult to deal with.
I do have to say that I am grateful for one thing. I no longer remember what it felt like to be that afraid. Even though the noise sends me back and I grasp at my ears, shake or rock back and forth while the tears flow and my muffled scream fills the room, I can’t remember exactly what it was like. I can only remember it was terrible and that I never want to experience it again. Thank God for the human mind’s ability to forget. I don’t think I’d be able to go on otherwise.