If you are a CADI (someone who caused accidental death or injury), or if you are trying to help a CADI, you can find support and encouragement by sharing your experience. In so doing, you also help others in need. Please join the conversation. Tell us your story, ask a question, respond to someone who posted here, or offer your advice and guidance.
Some Recent Comments
From D: Back in November, I accidentally killed a homeless man who ran in front of my car. I posted about it on here right around that time. I am still devastated over it.
I spent six months staying quiet about how much shame and guilt I felt because EVERY SINGLE PERSON would say “it wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t feel guilty” any time I talked about it. Or they’d give the sad eyes whenever I would mention I was having a hard time. Sometimes, even now, they even interrupt me to tell me it wasn’t my fault. I think we all know how unhelpful and dismissive that can be, even when they have the best intentions. However, it made me feel more alone than I’d ever felt in my life. Nobody truly understands unless they’ve been through it themselves. I will stand by that statement until the end of time…
But I finally feel like I can breathe again. I’m not whole. I don’t know when or if that will happen, but I don’t feel like a burden to the world. It’s unfair that this happened, and it still infuriates me that this instance completely derailed my life. But I feel like I can breathe and actually have a little hope about the future…
We all deserve to feel less guilt. We all are entitled to our feelings of devastation, and we all deserve the help to work through that. We all deserve to feel like ourselves again.
I don’t know if this is any consolation. I just wanted to share that it’s okay to need a lot of help to get through this. It’s okay to accept that help. It will get easier one day.
From Chris: Hi D –
Thank you so much for commenting! There are so many of us who are experiencing similar feelings/situations and to hear you articulate these things is a comfort to more than you will know.
I think it’s important to note that a prime mover for people who tell you ‘Get over it, it’s not your fault’ is their own discomfort being around a person in pain. It happens all the time. We feel uncomfortable around pain and want to get rid of it – and their dismissive attitude has less to do with what you’re going through and more to do with our own unsettledness around grief.
That said, you give us a good example for self-care! Take time off. Enroll in a helpful program. Do what you need to do.
May your journey continue to reap a harvest of health. If not, that’s OK – you have a supportive community here that understands the mountain you face and are here for you.
Praying for you!
From E: Hello. I have been having a very hard time getting over the pain and guilt of accidentally hurting someone in a car accident. The accident happened a year ago. I was driving in the morning and I was feeling sleepy or drowsy. I didn’t notice a car in front of me stopped at a red light and I ended up rear ending them. The woman was pregnant and had a child with her in the back seat. At the time of the accident the kid was crying, but not hurt. The woman was not hurt and even drove off when we were done talking to the police.
However, I received a letter from the woman’s lawyer group saying that my insurance owed them money for six weeks of chiropractor treatment because of the accident. My insurance company took care of that, but I still feel guilty about hurting someone to the point where they needed chiropractic care. I have not heard anything about the pregnancy, but if something else happened because of the accident I would assume I would be contacted.
Can anyone give me some advice on how I can cope with this? Thank you.
From Chris: Hi E – Thank you so much for sharing your story. The pain of unintentional harm is real and serious, seeking this advice is smart of you.
Two things come to mind. First, seek a therapist. He/She can help you put things into perspective and give you coping skills that can make you feel better. Your feelings are your feelings, and while others may try to minimize what you’ve been through, you are the ultimate judge of the depth of your pain.
Second, we still know little about what harm you may or may not have caused. Life is hard enough when we take responsibility for what we have done, much less for what we may have done. A therapist can help you develop strategies to minimize these worries, as valid as they are.
Keep hopeful, even if the worst happens, you are not alone. People like me and many, many others have caused fatalities by our actions (someone unintentionally kills someone every 18 minutes in the U.S.).
Praying for you –
From G: Found this site last night , don’t know how I feel about it yet but definitely felt a little comfort hearing about people who have gone through similar situations. 5 year ago on Christmas Eve my whole family was over celebrating, 6 of my young cousins & younger brother wanted to go check out my old tree house I’ve built in the back. Trying to be the fun cousin I said let’s go I’ll take y’all! We all walked our way out there and just be safe I made them all stand back as I checked the tree house to make sure it was still strong. Felt sturdy so I yelled for them to all start coming up. All of them were climbing up the ladder when I noticed a wall starting to fall. I tried to grab it but couldn’t and as I watched it fall over from 8 ft up it landed straight on top of my 4 year old cousin. I instantly jumped down and ripped it off him but I knew in my heart it wasn’t good, I took off running to bring him to his mother and handed him off as she screamed in terror. He was pronounced brain dead and was taken off life support 2 days later. Was 17 at the time and really lost my self after, 3 months later I was kicked out for my own bad choices, been very hard learning how to take care of yourself while also hating yourself . Been 5 years since it’s happened and I feel like I messed up never getting help sooner.
From Chris: Hi G –
Thank you so much for sharing this heart-wrenching story – I can’t imagine all you’ve gone through.
However, as a fellow unintentional killer, I do know how important it is to be good to yourself. Trying to gain control of the guilty feelings, penitential self-flagellation, and heart-felt regret is so hard – and you are wise for seeking therapy.
While you express regret about not getting help sooner, at least you are getting/got help. You are still very young (I’m 60) and you have many years for the healing to take root – be patient with yourself – this is a marathon not a sprint. Keep at the therapy – most likely you can get to a better place – this is not the end of things. Many people find ways to use their hurt to help others – to become more compassionate and empathetic. You will probably get there. But again, be patient, you have a lot going on. Going to our monthly support group might be a good place for you to help move ahead as well – you are invited to join us.
Praying for you –
From S: Hi everyone. I just wanted to say how wonderful it was for me to meet some of you last Sunday at the fellowship meeting. I finally felt like I found exactly what I’ve been looking for these last 8 months since my accident. I was finally looking and speaking to people who truly know exactly how I am feeling and how events like this change you. I’m looking forward to the next meeting seeing you all again, and continuing this journey to hopefully heal. Thank you all again!