I am a little bit rattled at the moment

Kathryn Merteuil

Barden Bella
Joined
May 11, 2012
Do you keep a level head and not let things get to you in a panic situation or do you just kind of shut down? I have noticed that i just seem to shut down and become useless. Today on my way home from work I was driving home in a fairly residential area (city street). I was proceeding through an intersection in which the east/west had the right of way, north/south had stop signs. For whatever reason, I just noticed a pickup truck traveling very fast just went right through the stop sign like it wasn't even there. I honestly don't know how we did not hit each other. I guess I kind of drifted one direction and the truck swerved and hit the car that was heading towards me very hard. It hit the car so hard I saw the back end of the truck lift off the ground. Both the vehicles went off the street up into a yard, and the sound of the impact was so loud.

I do not know how I came out of it untouched. I really was freaked out looking around like how in the world did I not get caught up in the crash. Anyway, I drove up out of the way and stopped to call 911. I could not figure out how to use my phone. I seemed to have forgotten how to pull up the dial pad. I kept hitting the "text" icon and was getting so frustrated. I finally remembered how to dial 911, when they answered I couldn't even tell them what street we were on. (this is a route I take on a regular basis). I finally looked around and saw a street sign and told them it was near that. The operator asked me if it was at the intersection of two streets and I was able to answer "yes" because upon hearing the name, I did recognize it. The operator said they were getting calls coming in about this.

I really don't know why in a panic situation, I seemed to shut down completely. I really had a hard time getting home after that because I was so shaky. I really do not want to drive anywhere tomorrow, but I have go go to work.
 

Summer2018

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
I’m sorry that happened to you, but thank God you were spared. Just two months ago a major multi car accident happened in front of our vehicle on the highway in California. Somehow we avoided being hit. I, like you, was very shaken up. It’s natural to feel that way.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I think for me it would depend on the situation.

When I was working at a Halloween store and the store manager went into diabetic shock (which he warned me he was not feeling well and to come in the back if he called me over the walkie talkies; he trusted me and only me I guess on that shift to understand the gravity of his situation) and I was on the phone with 911 dealing with it all sitting there with him on the ground while it was business as usual in the front of the store I stayed calm and collected and just processed what I was being told, letting the dispatcher know what entrance to use, etc. No one knew what was going on, not even the other employees until I told them to make room for the EMTs.

But I can't say I would be like that for a car accident, or a drowing or something else honestly.

OP I'm really sorry you experienced that. I can understand how you would be hesistent to drive after that.
 
  • kimblebee

    now my thoughts will be worth 5 cents
    Joined
    May 28, 2009
    I like to think I’d be able to stay calm and help where needed. Having that close a call though, it’s natural to be shaken up.
     

    ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    :flower3: Your response was not abnormal under the circumstances and I can imagine precisely how you felt, thought and acted.

    A few years ago a neuro-psychologist showed me some material (MRI studies) and explained that people fall into 3 categories when it comes to events like this: fight, flight or freeze. She pointed out images of brains that actually went "dark" when influenced by extremely stressful stimuli. It's not that they wouldn't want to react decisively, they literally can't.

    It was extremely informative. I myself am a "freezer" and understanding it has helped me do a little better in these situations. I guess if I'm ever in peril I hope there's a "fighter" on the scene; they're the ones whose senses and reactions are heightened and are most effective in a crisis. Don't bother looking around for a "flighter"; they've already left. :teeth:
     

    Skippy918

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2012
    You were in shock. I would be too if I was in that situation. I had a couple of close calls and those left me catching my breath.
    Nearly got t-boned by some idiot running a red when I had a green coming thru the intersection.
     
  • fla4fun

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 12, 2006
    I had a similar thing happen to me. I was in a minor accident (not at fault) in the days when cell phones were just starting. A person stopped with a phone and asked if they could call someone for me, and I could remember every phone number I ever had but my current one.

    I also had a similar close call. I was on my way to work on a kind of winding road that has concrete walled housing developments on both sides. The speed limit is 35. Coming the other way is a speeding car being pursued by police. I remember thinking there was no way they were going to be able to negotiate the curves at that high rate of speed, and I just stopped my car in the street. The first car lost control, came across in front of me, then went back to the original lane, then crossed back into my lane behind me and slammed into the wall at full speed. I was just amazed that I was untouched. I had to call my mom and talk a few minutes just to come down from the adrenaline. I didn’t have to call 911 since the cops were already there.
     

    Kathryn Merteuil

    Barden Bella
    Joined
    May 11, 2012
    :flower3: Your response was not abnormal under the circumstances and I can imagine precisely how you felt, thought and acted.

    A few years ago a neuro-psychologist showed me some material (MRI studies) and explained that people fall into 3 categories when it comes to events like this: fight, flight or freeze. She pointed out images of brains that actually went "dark" when influenced by extremely stressful stimuli. It's not that they wouldn't want to react decisively, they literally can't.

    It was extremely informative. I myself am a "freezer" and understanding it has helped me do a little better in these situations. I guess if I'm ever in peril I hope there's a "fighter" on the scene; they're the ones whose senses and reactions are heightened and are most effective in a crisis. Don't bother looking around for a "flighter"; they've already left. :teeth:
    That explains a lot, I definitely know I am one who freezes. I remember a few years ago, my ex had an episode related to medical issues and I pretty much froze up then too. He was too big for me to help, I called 911 (from a cell phone). I ended up telling them the wrong address. It was my own residence too. I could have sworn I got it right, but they told me I was saying somewhere else. In an emergency situation, I am pretty much useless, actually worse, I am counterproductive.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    So glad you were not hurt.

    I am solid during a crisis... once the adrenaline kicks in... for me the doing, and not thinking about what happened, just focusing on what is right in front of me and how I can help out works for me... compartmentalizing is a great tool..... Now afterward once the adrenaline stops.... the shaking all over starts, nausea begins, panic feelings start up... I learned to do breathing exercise or techniques to calm myself down, I also use it for when I am stress out...
     
  • mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    Unfortunately I’m a freezer, thank goodness DH is not. When our 5 year old swallowed a quarter he took her to the ER with our next door neighbor (nurse), she had to be put out and scoped, when our 12 year old had a bad bone break on the soccer field (ambulance brought him and DH to a trauma center, 2 surgeries), my mom drove us to the hospital, when my 21 year old called and said she got into a terrible car accident and wrapped her car around a pole and was in an ambulance, DH drove 45 minute to the hospital (while I drove kids to CCD in town, I probably shouldn’t have been driving), there were similar stories where I thank God for DH.
     

    Luv Bunnies

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2006
    I think I'm a fighter. I tend to take over and tell people what to do in difficult situations. I took a first aid last year for my job, and the trainer told us it's not only OK, but necessary to bark orders at people in a crisis. If you say, "Someone call 911 and someone get the first aid kit," everyone will think someone else is doing it. You're supposed to point directly at people and say, "YOU, call 911 and YOU get the first aid kit." We even had to practice ordering each other around during the class.

    A few months ago, my 93-year old dad fell while transferring from his wheelchair to his recliner. My mom, sister, his caregiver and I were all standing nearby. I saw him trying to get out of his chair and I started running toward him saying wait wait wait! Too late. Mr. Independence had already fallen over onto his side. The caregiver actually froze. My mom got very loud. She was ready to call the fire department. My sister just stood there. I said hold on. Here's what we're going to do. I assigned everyone a position and counted down to sit him up, then stand him up. No injuries. Just damaged pride. Then he got a good lecture from me about waiting for help and making better choices. He said he deserved having to listen to my "teacher voice." He knows I love him and I just want him to be safe!
     

    anniemae

    Either she is eating a delicious
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2007
    We have lot's of freezers here. Where are all my flighters????

    OP You were shocked and understandably flustered. I'm glad you are okay and hope the other people are as well.
     

    DISNEYSQUIRRELS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    So glad you were not hurt.

    I am solid during a crisis... once the adrenaline kicks in... for me the doing, and not thinking about what happened, just focusing on what is right in front of me and how I can help out works for me... compartmentalizing is a great tool..... Now afterward once the adrenaline stops.... the shaking all over starts, nausea begins, panic feelings start up... I learned to do breathing exercise or techniques to calm myself down, I also use it for when I am stress out...
    This is me too. All over it when the mess happens & jelly legs as soon as it settles down.
    I am so sorry OP. You will probably replay that accident in your mind for some time to come.
     

    china mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2010
    In a crisis, I tend to get super calm and extremely focused and logical. Good qualities for a police officer (retired) to have. There were a couple of times in my career this worked against me because I was so calm sounding on the radio that the dispatcher didn't catch that I was advising "10-13" - the code for Officer in Trouble. One of those times a fellow officer caught it and starting yelling for the dispatcher to send me back-up. Thank goodness he did because I couldn't get to my radio to call out again.

    Conversely, there was one call where am male officer began screaming like a girl and the dispatcher kept sending additional units to the scene that I was on, thinking it was me ( I was the only female officer working).
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    I think I'm a fighter. I tend to take over and tell people what to do in difficult situations. I took a first aid last year for my job, and the trainer told us it's not only OK, but necessary to bark orders at people in a crisis. If you say, "Someone call 911 and someone get the first aid kit," everyone will think someone else is doing it. You're supposed to point directly at people and say, "YOU, call 911 and YOU get the first aid kit." We even had to practice ordering each other around during the class.

    A few months ago, my 93-year old dad fell while transferring from his wheelchair to his recliner. My mom, sister, his caregiver and I were all standing nearby. I saw him trying to get out of his chair and I started running toward him saying wait wait wait! Too late. Mr. Independence had already fallen over onto his side. The caregiver actually froze. My mom got very loud. She was ready to call the fire department. My sister just stood there. I said hold on. Here's what we're going to do. I assigned everyone a position and counted down to sit him up, then stand him up. No injuries. Just damaged pride. Then he got a good lecture from me about waiting for help and making better choices. He said he deserved having to listen to my "teacher voice." He knows I love him and I just want him to be safe!

    My DH was a firefighter right out of school, and I worked in Health care for about 10 years... every moment counts in a emergency... you have to use clear and concise directions, using your finger to point at someone, and a voice of authority... and stay calm... which helps everyone else stay calm...
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    So glad you were not hurt.

    I am solid during a crisis... once the adrenaline kicks in... for me the doing, and not thinking about what happened, just focusing on what is right in front of me and how I can help out works for me... compartmentalizing is a great tool..... Now afterward once the adrenaline stops.... the shaking all over starts, nausea begins, panic feelings start up... I learned to do breathing exercise or techniques to calm myself down, I also use it for when I am stress out...
    This is me in an actual emergency. It's after that I fall apart. And I'm pretty sure it is an inborn trait. - I don't really remember it, but I've been told the story of a car accident we were in when I was about 5. I was the calm, "doing exactly what the officer says" kid at the scene. Then once the car had been towed and we went to regroup and get something eat, I freaked out about a bug that landed on the window by our table. :confused3

    But I'm a freezer when it's not an immediate emergency, or when it's little things building up instead. - It's like I can't figure out where to start, so I don't start.

    I really don't know why in a panic situation, I seemed to shut down completely. I really had a hard time getting home after that because I was so shaky. I really do not want to drive anywhere tomorrow, but I have go go to work.
    That's definitely an understandable feeling, but the sooner you do, the better off you'll be. It's like that old saying about falling off a horse and getting right back on.

    Glad you are OK!
     

    DisMike

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2010
    You were in shock. I would be too if I was in that situation. I had a couple of close calls and those left me catching my breath.
    Nearly got t-boned by some idiot running a red when I had a green coming thru the intersection.
    It's amazing the things you forget how to do when you're in shock. It happened to me when I saw my wife roll the car in front of me on a highway. As hard as I tried I couldn't think straight. That's why the military has (or used to) recruits crawl under netting with live ammo being shot over their heads. It's to get them to not go into shock when under live fire and deal with the situation.

    Glad you weren't hurt.
     

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