A Collision
October 29, 2016, 12:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


The doe darted in front of the SUV so fast that no one had any sort of time to react. Not even the sound of tires screeching. She was hit at full impact, broad sided. I watched –from the other side of the road– as every single delicate bone in her body broke. I saw her neck snap and then her head whip around like it was caught in an undercurrent as she rolled up onto the hood and into the windshield.

Glass flew everywhere. Tires screeched finally. Everything seemed to come to a stop as we all watched this creature dismantle herself from the inside. They say that labor produces the same kind of pain as 20 bones being broken at the same time. I wonder how many times this doe had given birth, how many it felt like right now. How bizarre to feel the pain of bringing a child into this world, as you leave it. How strange agony can be shifted from one event to another.

But then.

Out of the corner of my eye, something darted into sight.

Her fawn.

Horns blared; their high pitches masking my scream of horror. People leapt from their cars; trying to catch her, to coax her, to save her. Please please please if nothing else turn around and go back. Not here. Not you, too. My hands covered my mouth, fingers gripping the skin of my cheeks so hard, they left a mark. I wanted to keep myself from screaming, from sobbing, from being sick, from breathing.

The fawn disappeared.

I sat there, in my car, on the side of the road for an amount of time I cannot remember. I watched the emergency vehicles arrive. I watched them drag the doe’s body off of the expensive car and sling her over the rumble strip into the grass. I watched the driver walk slowly to the ambulance. I wondered what she was feeling. I wondered if she had felt the impact of each individual bone against her car as they all snapped. I wondered if she had watched the deer take scared shallow breaths on her windshield until she finally surrendered to her fate. I wondered how she had remained in that car, in that catacomb, until the police car had arrived. How had she not fled in horror? How had she not jumped from her car to try and capture the baby? I wondered if she would think about this moment for years, as I clearly have.


When you grow up as a victim of trauma, emotionally processing it can be impossible. We build walls, put it in boxes, cut it out of our pulsing brains with a paring knife. We cannot remember or accept that things happen to us. It is too much. Our minds literally cannot do it.

So, sometimes, when we witness a great trauma outside of our physical beings, the emotion that we have had inside of our bodies but have failed to have the tools to access  suddenly become unhinged.

That doe on the windshield is your childhood, your broken heart, your black eye, your shell-shock, your abandonment.

You sit there and dry heave into your steering wheel because you pretend your biggest problem is that a deer has died and not that a part of your brain has suddenly become alive.

And that fawn, that vulnerable little creature with its unpredictable movements is your shot of a functioning and healthy life. “Get out of here!”, you shout at it. “Don’t look. It’s too terrible.”, you beg.

I sat there in my car until I was sure the fawn was gone. Perhaps not safe, but at least gone from the scene.

I cannot for the life of me describe to anyone the real causes of my disturbances. I cannot remember or articulate my trauma.

But I can sit in front of this computer and tell you how it felt to see every single bone in that doe’s body snap.

And that, I think, is as close to the same thing that I can hope for.



1 Comment so far
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❤ Sympathetic and empathetic trauma is such a real thing. Access through shared emotion. 😦

Comment by Blaze2242

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