I promised to never drive in the dark again plus drive long hours (which means, 4+ is a no no). Today I broke that promise and as a result, we could have had a potentially traumatic night.
The drive today was 5.5 hours with our estimated time arrival being at 7pm. We were less than an hour away to our destination when a car flashed its hazard lights in front of me. Let me back up a bit. It was dark and I was chatting with a friend via vtexts (whose home we were on our way to) about what was up with the roads being so bumpy and I was hoping my car would still be attached to Mer. I had my driver's ceiling lights on, so it was obviously visible that I, a female, was alone.
So, as I mentioned hoping that my car was still attached, I noticed a car to my left passed me and then slowed down. I noticed because the car obviously slowed down so fast that the van behind him braked so hard. You could see the braking motion of the entire van and it swerved. Then that car moved in front of me and started flashing the hazard lights. I then changed lane to avoid that car. As I did that, a man's arm waved frantically to me and I immediately understood that something was wrong with my RV or the car. I also realized that I could smell smoke, like burnt tires.
So, I turned on my flashers and pulled onto the shoulder right away. That man also pulled in front of me and got out of his car. He came towards my driver's side and started talking. I had my window half down and could understand that he was telling me that there was smoke coming out from the back of my car. The first thing I thought was, the tires were flat and probably flat for so long due to the road conditions. He then said, "come and look at the back, you can see the smoke coming out from the back of your car." I was slow to respond, thank god for that, and I said, "oh ok, hold on." and I texted to my friend. At the same time, I was getting ready to get out the door and saw that Eitan was going out too. I told him to stay in the RV and he said, "NO! I am not going to let you go alone!!" And it just hit me, wait a minute. I shouldn't get out. I turned and told the man if he could go and look for me. I then texted my friend that I did not feel safe and dropped a pin to my location. I told Eitan to lock the door and we waited. A good 3 minutes passed and he came back to my side.
I told him, "thank you for looking, I don't feel comfortable, can you please leave? I'll call the cops, thank you." He responded, "there's nothing there, nevermind." And left so fast.
I waited few minutes before getting out of Mer and walked to check my car. NOTHING. There wasn't even smoke. The tires looked great, the car was secure on Finder and nothing seemed off. Shaken, I got up so quick because I realized he could have come back and I nearly ripped my ring off of my finger as it snagged on Finder. I ran back to my rv and got back inside. I was shaking so hard. I sent a vtext to my friend telling her that there was nothing wrong and that the smoke I smell was actually smoke everywhere outside. I didn't process, at the time, that the man actually was up to no good and was hoping I'd get out of the car to look. I have no idea what he planned to do to me and the boys.
As I was texting and my hands were shaking (I sat there for a good ten minutes)... a tow truck showed up out of nowhere. WTF. I felt very unsafe and texted my friend with photos and asking her what to do. I kept all doors locked and wouldn't get out. The tow man came to the passenger side and I went over and told him through the crack of my window that everything is fine and I was pulled over by a man who said he saw smoke. The tow man said let me look, he went and came back and said "there's nothing wrong with the car or rv." "I know, the man who pulled me over tried to get me out of the rv."
He backed up a bit and said, "let me call the cops." He called the cops and he respected me by staying in his tow truck until the cops arrived. They asked me questions about what the car looked like and what the man looked like.
Finally, an hour later, I was able to leave. The cops followed me for awhile to make sure everything was safe. During that last 45 minutes leg before arriving at my friends, I replayed everything in my head over and over and thought, omg, what if.... if.... if.
I realize, it was my lights being on that let him know that I was alone and a female. I am SO grateful that instincts kicked in and that I stayed put in Mer rather than going out to the back with him.
For the first time ever with this trip, I do not feel safe as a woman (it doesn't help that two hours before at a gas station, a strange man in his jeep pulled up next to me when I was herding the boys into Mer, to tell me that I got nice legs).
So, two things out of this experience 1) never and ever pull over at night- slow down with hazards and call the cops, but just don't stop unless necessary and 2) never ever drive in the dark again.
I am quick to forget and forgive. That’s probably a damning trait of mine, because in that alone, I react swiftly, with my emotions all over the map. Then as a result, even if I was valid with my feelings, I always apologize and always am the person who makes amends. When I find myself doing that often, I get to the point where I resent myself. Currently, my resentment towards who I am is at all time high and it’s festering.
I do not handle silent treatment nor do I give one. It’s hard to be silent. However, when I DO become quiet, that’s because I’m angry. Very, very angry and do not trust myself at the moment.
I expected this journey to be full of ups and downs, mostly ups because it’s an experience of a lifetime. However, I did not expect to be violated nor to be put into a position where I feel very lousy about myself.
So, right now, in silence I will seethe and grit my teeth because I am better than this. And I so want to master on silence, even with a beehive mind, because I think it will make me so much more powerful and give me back my ownership of my emotions and to love me for who I REALLY am.
From now and on, zero fucks.
It is a challenge to know what you are worth. Where is the line between valuing yourself for what you really are or if you’re being a self-centered narcissistic bitch?
At this point, in my life, 40 years old… it’s either this: what the hell am I doing or this, what the fuck is wrong with the world??
I don’t lie. I don’t know how to lie. I evoke my trueness through photos. However, there are plenty of photos that are simply misleading.
Take this photo for example:
Right after this shot was taken, I tossed my ice cream in the trash. Amy’s coffee flavored ice cream was gross. I couldn’t finish it. The vision of a perfectly scooped ice cream, that has been licked three times, sitting at the bottom of a trash can comes to me vividly.
I love you so very much, life, but my god, you’re mother fucking hard to attain.
And so, it's been two months. To be exact, 62 days.
The hardest part now is nonexistent and the best part is now just starting.
We have our moments, for instance, where I sent my iPhone flying in a rage (resulting in cracking the glass in the back) to moments like this, us sitting outside and laughing about whatever. The world seems to be asleep, but us (sans Oisin, who was snoring at the moment).
Today was probably the longest consecutive drive I've driven since we started. On our very first disastrous day two months ago, I clocked hours of driving, but I stopped a lot. Today? It was a different song. I pedaled my foot on the gas and stopped only once to fill up the tank. I hope not to ever do that again.
When we arrived into Austin, rather than being in awe with the city, I was tired, irritated, hungry and hot. Oh, so very hot. It's incredibly thick here, the air and the heat. Probably for the natives of Austin, it was a beautiful weather. For us? It was a big shock to our system. When we finally arrived at our RV resort, an hour later than we anticipated, all of us were snarling and at each other's throat (cue in me throwing my iPhone).
I swear, I woke up this morning fully prepared with the long day ahead. Yesterday was amazing, which is another tale (Marfa) that wrapped up with me spilling soup. Soup, in rv terms. I'll tell you about it another time. For now, my story is about how I woke up this morning and texted to my husband. I sent a screenshot of today's driving map and simply said, "weeps."
Well, anyway, after 6+hours of driving which resulted into a numb ass, we arrived. Despite being prepared on the long day, we still were assholes to each other. I think I ranked as the asshole # 1 today. Sighs. Like I said, we have our moments.
When we finally settled down, at 830pm, I told my boys that I really needed to be alone for some major down time. As soon as I parked my skinny butt in bed, Eitan came to me crying because Aidan punched his back, the bathroom door was kept slamming shut several times by each boys being dramatic, me screaming and hurling my iPhone and Oisin politely informing me that I brushed his leg with my hurled iPhone. All of that shit crammed into few minutes right after I requested for down time, I kid you not.
As soon as the Charlotte's Web movie started, all was quiet and I finally could breathe. Shit, I told myself, I could have handled this better (when I was maturely processing this the AC was finally working).
Oh well, moments. After the movie was done, we hugged and chatted and apologized to each other. Oisin went right to sleep, Eitan, Aidan and I stepped outside to enjoy the "fresh air."
We ended up spending an hour outside, laughing and swapping stories. I asked Aidan, "if we had to go home right now, would you want to go?"
"No, there's so much more to see."
Eitan and I looked at each other and smiled.
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.