Update: Thanks for the comments on my post, you are all awesome. I’m fine today (except that I do seem to have the stomach flu…darn you GI tract!) Venting seemed to do the trick, phew. It hasn’t bothered me today but I am looking forward to a nap! Although, I thought perhaps this was a good excuse to look into moving to Britain because from my experiences I find that the British and Germans seem to be overall safe drivers and polite populations. Hehe, is that enough justification to go overseas again?
FYI: This post is going to be completely unrelated to running. I had a great running post planned but now cannot even remember what it was because I need to get this vent out of the way.
Please refer to the diagram I drew for better reference. Also, keep in mind that I am in no way an artist and this was scribbled out pretty quickly so you’d understand what I was talking about.
Now for the meat of the post:
I was on my way home during rush hour, traffic was at it’s normal volume, and I was traveling on a regular route. Coming up to a fairly busy intersection I needed to take a left. At this intersection there is a straight/right lane and a left lane.
This intersection doesn’t have the left signal timed so a car needs to trip the light to turn. It tends to be a long wait unless you time it correctly. As I was approaching this intersection at a crawl (the lights often get backed up) I put on my blinker (blue asterisk on drawing) while I was still in the straight/right lane (DIAGRAM #1.) You see, people tend to be impatient at this place and I didn’t want someone thinking I would eventually go straight and clip me so I put it on earlier than technically needed (and there are just trees and a ditch lining the road until the intersection, no driveways, so I figured this was fine and perfectly sensible.)
The left lane had a red light and the straight/right had a green. The car ahead of the person in front of me crosses over the double yellow sharply without signaling. The car behind him scoots over to the shoulder to pass on his right. I move up and still have my blinker on and am waiting to get into the left lane. (DIAGRAM #2 – the purple is the path the other cars took to go straight.)
Now – perhaps this is where I went “wrong.” I had two options: A. wait for this guy to figure out what he was doing or B. scoot around him as well and then cross into the left lane. I thought option A. would be better because I couldn’t immediately figure out what he was up to being that he was almost perpendicular. It occurred to me that maybe he was trying to do a u-turn (there was a tiny bit of space between a few cars going the opposite direction.) Keep in mind that we weren’t AT the intersection yet, so it would have been an illegal u-turn if that’s what he was originally intending.
Well, apparently I did something wrong because this crazy guy turns around in his seat (he was in a small SUV) and SCREAMS and SHAKES HIS FISTS, “THERE IS A YELLOW LINE!!! YELLOW LINE!!!” and points at the road crazily. I’m sitting there like “Uhhhh…” because first of all, this man had all his windows up. I had all mine up. I could HEAR him CLEARLY. I was also about a car length away from his…so this man was insanely loud. INSANELY.
A split second later I was thinking, “oh crap, maybe I went over the yellow line” and quickly checked my side mirror….nope, I was fine. HE had gone over it and still was during his screaming fit. (So this is during DIAGRAM #2 and the little downward arrow showing the faces)
So then I thought he was pissed off because I was waiting and perhaps he couldn’t have made the U-Turn with the SUV (since they typically have a wider turning radius) and somehow needed to backup? Or do a weird three-point turn? I don’t know – I was puzzled. He ends up jerking his SUV back towards the right and lands himself into the left hand turn lane (still sans blinker.)
Now he is the first in line at the left turn light (still red) and the straight/right lane has also become red. I pull into the left lane and am now behind him but leave LOTS of room because he seems crazy. Ooohhhh…little did I know. (DIAGRAM #3 – the purple is the path the crazy guy took.)
He FLINGS open his door. STOMPS OUT. (He must have not been wearing his seat belt because this was crazy fast…) and STORMS over to my car. I IMMEDIATELY instinctively hit the locks even though they automatically lock once the keys are in. From the time he’s opened his door to walking over to mine I hear him SCREAMING his head off. “THERE WAS A F***** YELLOW *#$(&%* LINE!!! ^@#$*)% B**** WHAT THE HELL!!! F*** ($(%&(&^)##%&” etc.
I am in disbelief. I was shaking so hard. I didn’t do anything, just started at him in disbelief and tried to not move a muscle. The whole time he’s screaming at me to get out of my car. Uh, no thanks. Seriously, I’ll pass. I hit the e-brake and was ready to duck in case he decided to try to punch my window out or something.
I cannot convey how much anger was oozing from this man. I have seen plenty of violently angry people in my life. This guy wasn’t just having a bad day or anger management problems. He was seething with animosity like no tomorrow. First of all, I cannot believe he could scream so loud. His whole body was tense, he jumped up and down, shook fists, and pointed his fingers and just yelled awful degrading things. Literally, I have never ever seen someone in this level of screaming hostility before. It was diabolical and gave me the creeps how menacing this guy was. (See sideways arrow faces next to DIAGRAM #3.)
He was probably yelling at me for a good 30 seconds…but it felt like forever. I am SO glad that it was rush hour and there were other cars stopped at the lights. He finally decided to get back into his car and wait for the light. (He still never signaled turning.) I look to my right and a lady points to his license and then to her cell and mouths, “POLICE.” So I don’t know if she wanted me to call them or if she was on the phone with them but I was waaaay too distressed to even think of digging my cell out of my purse.
I was still visibly shaking. When the light changed I’m surprised I could actually make the turn. My foot was litterally pumping on the gas pedal from the shaking despite taking deep breaths and trying to calm down. I obviously kept a huge distance between myself and the crazy man’s SUV. Fortunately, I don’t think the guy behind me minded because he wasn’t tailing me and probably thought the guy was crazy, too.
At the next raod I turned and went into a parking lot because I was still shaking violently. I litterally stayed in the parking lot 15 minutes before I felt like I was ok enough to make my way the rest of the way home. Even still I was upset and hyperaware of everything. I changed the route I took because I was afraid crazy guy would backtrack to try and find my car again.
As soon as I got home I just started crying. Ugh. I hate crying. The jitters reappeared….so unsettling. I seriously felt like I had been berrated for nothing. I’d rather take a punch. After crying I did some yoga in hopes of calming myself down while simultaneously keeping myself busy. It worked a little bit. I was considering calling a friend but figured it would get me upset up again. Instead I opted to do resistance training but quickly felt emotionally drained so I quit halfway and made dinner. I had planned on a meal but decided frozen was all I could muster up at that point. (That’s ok though.)
I turned my attention elsewhere and was alright for a while but I could not get to sleep. Hence why I’m posting this whole ordeal – maybe it’ll help to get it off my chest. I don’t know what exactly was so unnerving about this. I try to drive carefully and I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything wrong but I’m not perfect so perhaps I did. His level of rage was so vile and disturbing I can’t help but feel like I was at fault.
I try to be nice to people even if they’re rude to me, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I like to help people but I know that I have my bad days as well and am sometimes not as kind as I could be but instances like this make me feel like not even trying if someone is mean/rude/unresonable/etc. This has gotten under my skin so much and usually I don’t let these things so it’s really frustrating.
Unfortunately, besides the no sleep my stomach has been in knots since dinner (I don’t know if I’m actually infected with a bug or if it is too much worry over this whole ordeal) so I have had some premium plus crackers and pepto periodically since. Meh.
Sorry this is such a long rant, I thought it would be max. three paragraphs, haha.