I finally talked to the adjuster today and learned the other driver's insurance had lapsed a few months ago.
I'm a little beside myself. I have uninsured motorists, so even my deductible is covered, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I am REALLY fucking angry. It's not as if my sense of injustice hasn't been challenged enough this year. Or my personal ethics. Or my trust of other people. Or a million other things that seem to be swirling around in my head. The adjuster told me she'd just talked to the driver who was cooperative and apologetic and gave her a sob story about losing her job and sleeping on couches and not being able to afford her premiums.
Now that was NOT the same woman who hit me on Friday night. THAT woman was hostile. She acted almost as if her hitting me was my fault. As if I somehow owed her an apology. It was so fucked up, you guys. Her response to hitting me and my kids was ANGER. At ME. When I asked her to prove her sobriety, she flat-out refused and left the scene to get out of having to do so. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but no part of her acted even a little bit sorry. She struck me (somewhat literally) as a person with a sense of entitlement.
But what if I'm wrong? What if that was just how her personal fight or flight mode manifests? What if this isn't a shitty person, but just a person in a really shitty place? What if she's me five years ago when I was at my absolute lowest? I once actually went over a year without insurance because I couldn't afford it. It was terrifying and I did it because I was desperate and had to make shitty choices about how to survive. I certainly can't fault her for making the same choice I did. I actually have a lot of compassion for her. The drunk driving is a lot more complicated for me because no matter how low I got, I was always an ethical drunk: I never drove impaired. Not ever. Why do you think I always hosted the party? It was one of many, many harm-reduction strategies that worked well for me until they didn't.
So welcome to a little of the swirl that my brain is in tonight. I do know one thing: I'm not going to do a single to make this woman's life harder than it already is. She is obviously broke. Her car is pretty much totaled and she doesn't have insurance to get it fixed. Whether the sob story is true or not, this is a person who is struggling. So I'm not going to press charges. I'm not going to sue her for damages. I'm not even going to call the cop and ask him questions to push the case any further. I'm literally going to let it go. This woman got lucky and hit the right person. I HATE our legal justice system enough that I don't even want to inflict it upon someone who so unabashedly wronged me. I actually believe it would do nothing to help me and it would only make it more difficult for her life to ever get any better.
But I've been in her shoes and I've worked my ass off getting out of them. I can afford insurance. I even have enough saved right now to pay my deductible if I need to. I can easily get my old car fixed up and drive that until they fix my Beetle or write me a check. I have SO MUCH privilege right now and in recognizing that, all I'm left with is grace. I have no ethical choice but to extend it to her. I just wish it felt better. I wish she deserved it, but that's not how grace actually works. Doing the right thing is supposed to make you feel good, but I mostly feel the same sucker-punch of injustice I've been sitting with most of this year. It's so fucking unfair and being on this stupid path of self-awareness means I know I'm going to be grateful for letting it go. I also know it's okay that I'm not quite there yet.