I finally chose a new car.

Woohoo. I don’t know how to even express how much that absolutely sucked or how completely sarcastic I’m being when I say “woohoo.” I am not excited at all. I’m actually absolutely fucking terrified.

Even though I put down an amount equal to the amount I’ll get back from insurance, I still had to take out a loan for the rest. I’ll either have car payments again for the next 5 years or I’ll have to drain my life insurance money down to literally almost nothing to be able to avoid them. Because my good credit that I worked so hard for fell by almost 100 points after 2 late payments that weren’t my fault, I got hosed on the interest rate. So the timing was just perfect. /sarcasm

Since I’m on disability and I SO stupidly loaned that money to my so-called “friend” (which incidentally would have enabled me to avoid taking out a loan at all for my car if I still had that money) I really can’t afford to have car payments again.

It does occur to me like all the time that if I hadn’t lent her that money, I literally could have gone to any Toyota dealership and picked out a brand fucking new Camry for the amount I loaned her plus my insurance settlement. (I mean, I probably still wouldn’t have because that’s not the kind of person I am but I could have. And it would have been a much less stressful experience if I had more money to play with and I wouldn’t have felt like the stakes were so high for me to get it right and not mess up. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I would have bought this 2021 Camry I test drove today. It only had 15K miles on it but the best price they could offer me was $29K out the door, which was way too much.) Meanwhile, I haven’t had a literally brand new car since 2000. And she’s being so casual about the money, like she has no idea how much is at stake for me. I see that she’s making a small effort but I need a lot more than a small effort. I need a life-changing amount of effort because the amount of money I loaned her was also life-changing for her but she just doesn’t get that.

Why am I such a sucker for sob stories and why do I think it’s my job to help, anyway? I mean, I no longer do nearly as much, both specifically because of that experience and also because at 4-5 months after J’s death, I barely knew which way was up. I wasn’t even sure if I would still be alive myself in a few months because my own mental state was so fragile. I was so incredibly vulnerable at that time and I really wish she would have had enough integrity not to accept the money. It’s irrelevant whether or not you know anyone who’s ever been widowed, it’s just common sense that such a recent widow is so vulnerable. You just don’t do that to a friend, let alone one you have so much history with.

I just feel like my life is getting scarier and scarier. This weekend will be a year since J died. And mostly I am discovering just how much this new life absolutely sucks.

I had someone whom I deeply loved and who loved me to the best of his ability, which was actually quite a bit near the end. But I also still have so much trauma about the years in which he “emotionally abandoned” me, to use my therapist’s term to describe the first 22 years of my marriage. I’m just now beginning to unpack that, which is an extremely horrible and painful process.

I’m still fighting off a lot of denial but the reality of how much trauma I’ve experienced—with J for over 20 years because of his trauma, the poverty we lived in for so long during our years in Michigan, then him battling cancer and finally dying from it, plus my nearly fatal accident and now dealing with the aftermath of that—it’s all just really way too much for one person to carry. Most of the time, I choose not to think about it because it’s just way too much.

But even then, we still worked together as a team. Things like new (used) cars were joint decisions and joint responsibilities. Now it’s all just me and it sucks so so much.

I am finally starting to realize just how bad my accident really was. Even my insurance adjuster said that based on the photos, he would not have expected me to have survived that crash—even with a seatbelt. I can honestly say that I still mostly wish that I hadn’t.

And meanwhile Cat is normally a pretty good friend but she has been totally shitty this week because I changed my mind so many times about cars. She honestly thought I should have kept either of the first two but they both cost a lot more money. In the end, I had to choose the cheapest but (seemingly, hopefully) still reliable Camry I could get.

I have no idea if the car is going to be good and reliable or if it will be a total money pit. This was the very first car I ever picked out by myself and I had so many factors to consider. I really hope I chose well but it all comes down to luck now.

Cat explained that my car shopping and indecision was really triggering to her, though she didn’t explain why and I’m not going to ask. But even though I know triggers don’t have a rational basis, it honestly completely sucked to have her react that way and I think it further proves that nobody who hasn’t been widowed can really understand what it’s like. It reached a point where she told me that it was triggering and she knew she was being bitchy as a result. I don’t think she ever apologized for being bitchy but at least I finally had some clue about why she was being bitchy to me, because it was such a personality change and it was so unexplainable otherwise.

I was supposed to go see her tomorrow night but I really doubt I will. I think it’s pretty likely that we would end up fighting. She’s usually very blunt and also kind of a smart ass but it’s not infrequent that she makes some casual remark that really rubs me the wrong way.

This past week, I was telling her that I couldn’t figure out how to open the trunk or the gas tank on my rental car and that it was annoying to me because I’m used to the fact that Toyotas have some types of levers or latches for both inside the car. She commented that “levers and latches are so last millennium” and that just royally pissed me off. I think that buying newer cars just to have newer ones is wasteful and I can’t afford it anyway but it’s also just totally inaccurate. But I felt kinda like she was implying that I wasn’t cool enough to keep up with what’s trendy and that’s one of my very biggest triggers.

I had so much riding on the purchase of this car. Even though I did indeed get a newer Camry with low miles in the color I wanted, I still had to go much older than I would have preferred and yet also a different enough body style that nothing is where my mind says it’s “supposed to” be. I get to figure out a whole new car but honestly I don’t want to at all. I actually looked for other 2015 Camrys like my old one but all of them that I found had like double the miles on them as my car did. I still don’t even know if I picked the right one but I was running out of time with my rental car coverage.

I want my old car back. I want my husband back. I want someone besides my kids and parents to love me again. And I want someone to love, too. But I also know that I have to heal first and that’s intimidating as hell.

But all of that is gone. As I come up on the end of the first year without J, it just seems to keep getting worse and worse.

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