Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why Flashbacks?

I had a flashback yesterday.  And it was quite a vivid one.   It's really strange how flashbacks work.  You can be doing something totally mundane when something happens that takes your mind instantly back to a previous incident...and in graphic detail. 

Someone pulled out in front of me and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid hitting him.  This is something that happens occasionally and my response is usually to say a few choice words (in the privacy of my car...tee hee) and continue on.  But for some reason, yesterday was different. 

I was immediately taken back to over 15 years ago when I almost killed a boy.  I was driving past our local high school and doing the required 20mph when I saw a young girl and boy horsing around on the side of the road.  It was lunch time and we have open lunches so they were on their way back to school.  Just as I was coming up beside them, she shoved him into the street...right in front of my car.  I hit my brakes and literally stopped on a dime.  Everything on my front seat flew to the floor and the car behind me rear-ended me.  My car was almost touching him and the look on his face was something I'll never forget.

As much as I hate to admit it, adrenelin took over and I was out of the car in seconds and came unglued with the young teenager girl.  I must have ranted for 10 minutes about what a stupid thing that was to do and how I could have killed him and what was she thinking.  She never said a word.  She took it all.  And then I cried...and told her why this was so extremely upsetting to me....

A few years before this incident, one of my foster sons (grown at the time) was driving a city dump truck and hauling 10 ton of stone to a road construction site.  He was in a 25mph zone and doing the speed limit.  An 8 year old girl had been taunting traffic for a couple hours, riding her bike into the street and forcing drivers to stop.  She thought she was being funny (she was unsupervised...her parents in a local bar) and the neighbors kept trying to tell her how dangerous it was.  She rode out in front of my son and with 10 ton of stone, he couldn't stop on a dime.  He ran over her and she was killed.  He has had to live with that pain ever since.

The young teenage girl in my case was disiplined by the school with detention and her father's insurance had to pay for the damage to the two cars because the police determined the accident was her fault.  But I'll bet my ranting and crying and recounting of my son's story affected her a lot more than detention or anything her father may have had to say. 

So why do flashbacks happen?  I have no answer to that but I did find an explanation as to what they are.  "Flashbacks are normal.  Vietnam vets have normalized this experience and have coined the term post traumatic stress syndrome. Even the diagnostic category book for psychiatry defines post traumatic stress syndrome as the normal experience of all people experiencing an event that is outside the range of normal human experience." by Laurieann Chutis, A.C.S.W.

And all because someone pulled out in front of me.  
And now to something less depressing.....

Shock Wave:
I've just finished reading John Sanford's newest novel "Shock Wave". I really enjoyed reading this, but then I enjoy the Virgil Flowers series. There's action, suspense, twists and turns and just when you think you've figured out who did it and how, the author adds another twist that takes you completely off the path you were on. I love this type of story! But then I'm a really big fan of authors that write in this genre.

Authors like Sandord, James Patterson, Harlan Coben...aww, just give me a good story with a lot of suspense and I'm happy for hours. But every now and then, I like to throw in a Danielle Steel for a more relaxing read.

But there are certain books that aren't in either of these genre's, that when I read them, I remember them for years. Two that come to mind are The Notebook and The Help. Excellent reads.

The only question I have of John Sanford...where in the world did you come up with a name like Virgil Flowers?

Next Post:
I promise next time there will be some space for my foster kids and grandkids.

Random Quotes of the Day:
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ~  Mark Twain

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A friend is someone who will bail you out of jail.  A best friend is the one sitting next to you saying "boy was that fun." ~ The Maugles


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