A Trauma Shared Is Halved

A Trauma Shared Is Halved

In June of last year, Buds, Yessa, and I went for an epic bike ride up to Lake Ontario. The adventure is described here. What is not shared in that blog post was the horrifying near-death experience we almost had on the ride home.

Or did we?

I was sharing with Yessa on our car trip to Ohio that the one time I felt sure I could have killed someone was the car driver who almost hit her on that bike ride. The terror and rage I felt as a young man ran a red light, almost striking Yessa on her bike, was seared into my brain. If he had hit her, I would have pulled him from his car and beaten him. Or so I thought at the time.

"Wait!" said Yessa. "He didn't nearly hit me, he nearly hit you!! I've never wanted to talk about it because it was so terrifying that you almost got killed."

As we reconstructed the day, we realized that the angle we were both at made it look as if the other person was much closer to the speeding car than they actually had been. I was the last one of the three of us crossing the road, and I was safely buffered by the two cars the driver squealed around. From Yessa's perspective, safely on the median, it looked like he almost struck me.

From my view, she had not made it across the road and was only inches from being run down. She assured me multiple times that was not true.

We sat in silence as the miles passed by, every once in awhile one of us asking for more reassurance, "Are you sure you didn't almost get hit?" "Are you sure you were on the median?"

It's been interesting to watch my brain let go and repave the neurons that dredged up the most terrifying moment I've had as a parent. That moment wasn't real. The feelings were real. The helplessness and rage were very real, but the reason for them wasn't what I thought it was. I am so grateful we talked about it so that she could also let go of the terror around it.

Though his driving was dangerous and reckless, it was not nearly a tragedy for us. Now it really can truly be the great memory of a beautiful Father's Day I said it was in the original blog post.

May the love of biking continue unhindered.

Biking around the world.