Friday, April 22, 2011


IT'S been a fucking awful week in so many ways, but let's start with the thing I did after my DUI class on Tuesday (which was tough enough): the Victim Impact Panel. This is a court mandated experience, and one that I was least looking forward to.

What happens, is that 250+ people that recently got a DUI gather in a stuffy room in a courthouse and listen to several speakers. Thankfully, I recognized a guy from the classes/therapy I'm taking, which made it a bit easier to deal with. But barely.

I'm sitting down and wondering why this women is blowing up and affixing balloons to the podium in front of us. Also trying to help the old man with a brain injury next to me from falling over (poor guy) and scoping out the room, wondering if I belong with such a motley crew (I do and did).

Here's the short story from the first speaker, and the one that matters, because I had an awful nightmare as a result.

On the day I attended this event, it would have been the 18th birthday of Mikela, she died 3 years prior as the result of a drunk driver hitting her as she crossed the street; 19 and drunk, driving an SUV, with buddies also full of booze, as was the truck.

Awful shit.

But if that wasn't enough my stupid brain decided to reiterate that lesson in the form of a nightmare, which cast me in the role of a not so innocent bystander, in the backseat of that truck that hit the aforementioned girl. In this scenario, I even helped the asshole drunk driver hide his booze.

More detail, we drove out onto a frozen lake, hole in the windshield dripping with blood and hair. Breaking holes in the ice to cover our tracks, as if that would make a difference. Around this time the fine people at Discover Card showed up and I was tasked with hiding the credit cards from minors seeking our illicit booze.

Weird shit.

I thought all this other bullshit I've had to do would teach me NEVER to drink and drive again, but all in all, this one particular 24 period of unconscious self-loathing/scaring myself straight did the trick. Or so I hope.


Kelly said...

Man... I know what you are going through... I had to do one of those things too...arghhh... when I was going through my classes though... mine was on Friday each week... it was funny to see a couple of the folks out at the bar afterwards (we were not supposed to drink the whole time we were in class...36 weeks)...I am a bad person..but hell... happy easter!

The Honourable Husband said...

Justin, you'll hate me for saying this.

If these classes are scaring you, making you miserable or guilty, or otherwise upsetting you, then good has come of them. Call it building character.

How will you take this experience and put it to use? How will it help you? How will it make you stronger, a better driver, a better citizen, or a better human being?

How can you view this Victim IMpact Panel experience as a gift? I'm serious.

Mind Of Mine said...

How awful did this make you feel, did it make you think twice about what happened.

JUSTIN said...

Overall the experience was positive, very much so in fact, especially since I saw first hand how worse it could have been. As shitty as this process has been, it is worthwhile. I don't feel I'm in a place to lecture anyone, just try to do good and lead by example.

Dean Grey said...

I agree with The Honourable Husband on this.

Although a frightening, uncomfortable experience, it sounds like the Victim Impact Panel was also a necessary one.

(((HUGS))) Justin!