How did what happened change your life, at home and at work?
I have been driving since I was 10, started out on the farm. I think I have been in just abut every driving situation and weather situation one can think being put in in a personal vehicle of or a commercial vehicle. I have seen a lot of accidents, many as they happened right before me, many shortly after they happened and being the first on seen and many the aftermath of what was left. From the minor to the very serious, I have seen a lot of blood, The cuts so deep to the bone, broken bones through the skin…Checking on someone and realizing that they will never wake up…. You try to “deal with it” on your own because there is really no source to go to, you know, what you see, feel, hear, go through from the accident yourself. In fact once emergency crews arrive we are told that “they” will handle it from there and we shrink back to our trucks and fade off into the distance as we drive away, If were not directly involved.
You witness the Trauma caused to the accident victims, not realizing the Psychological Trauma and its effects that it is having on you because you have been pushed aside as a second thought, so you push Those feelings aside as a second thought. It can vary based on the events of the accident you witnessed, what if you watched as the light faded out of someones eyes as you desperately waited for an extraction team to pull them out of their crushed vehicle. Maybe it was just a fender bender and you just sat there and held their hand until EMS showed up to check them out?
If you’re lucky you can call a loved one a talk to them about what happened, tell them that you love them, how scared you were, cry with them for an hour or more as you describe the events that unfolded before your eyes. You calm yourself, wipe your eyes, pray for their family, thank god that your still alive and tell your loved one how much you love them and off you go down the road. It helps relieve some of the Trauma induced stress, but life goes, loads have to get delivered and you have a family to feed. Some times you could be lucky and only come across that one accident, or have that one accident, you may be that unlucky one and come across several or many. But even with that one, that Trauma induced stress can build if it’s not treated properly, it can exhibit as depression, you just don’t enjoy things like you used to, you become reclusive. Maybe you go the other way and you become agitated easily with sudden outbursts of anger that are triggered by the slightest things that you just can’t explain. Could it be Stress of the job, being gone from your family for weeks at a time? Could it be recurring stress induced trauma from the accident you witnessed or were involved in?
The answer to that last question is a simple YES. For me witnessing several and being involved in fatality accident led to major changes in home life. I am lucky to have a very supportive family who helped see me through my dark times as I did not seek professional help in the beginning not knowing what was “wrong”. I suffered from severe depression, couldn’t sleep so with that came agitation and anger. I could only work for about 3 months at a time then spend 3 months curled up in a ball hiding in a corner (it seemed like).