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Amoeba
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Hello Everyone, I am in desperate need of some help and advice on a certain event that has recently taken place in my life. I am a school bus driver and have been for the past 4 years. I was a witness to an accident that occurred when an suv tried to pass me on a double yellow line. When he did, he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole and is lucky he is alive let alone no injuries. I stopped my bus, called my supervisor and followed protocol and my supervisor called the police. I was then called into the police station the next day to fill out a witness statement. This happened on March 31st and I just received a CRIMINAL SUMMONS being charged will all types of stuff, including 2 misdemeanors for endangering a person and reckless driving. I have basically went from being a witness to a suspect. The charges implement that I caused the accident and ran him off the road while he was passing me. The suv driver was cited. I was not involved in the accident and there was no contact between the bus and the suv. I got this information last Wednesday and have not been doing well at all. I have been crying on and off, staying up all hours of the night and not eating well (if at all). I am on administrative leave from my job and my job is on the line (also my future if I end up with these charges on my record). I am a professional at what I do and have no police record and have never been in an accident where it was my fault in the 23 years I have been driving. I am going through the "motions" now where I was first in shock, then I was crying, then I was panicing and now I am starting to get depressed. In only 5 days, my sleep pattern has changed drastically. It went from getting up at 4:30am (because I was still working) to staying in bed until around 10am. I am also going to bed way later. I have attained a lawyer (and I don't have to tell you the financial hardship that will be put upon me and my husband) and the lawyer has told me to just plainly calm down and I should not lose sleep over this. Well, I thought what he said would sink in but after thinking about it, these guys are getting paid one way or the other so it is easy for them to say. I have been "charged", not "convicted" and I am already afraid to go out in my own vehicle even to the store! I have also gone to the point of even trying to find other work preparing for the worse. One other thing that is not helping the situation is that I have no one, and I mean NO ONE to talk to. I have no support system whatsoever outside of my husband. My parents passed away at the age of 59 (both of them) within 3 years of each other from cancer about 10-11 years ago and my husband does not have a relationship with his family. I only have 2 friends and they are busy with their own issues and family. Please Help!

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So glad you already have an attorney. Traffic laws vary by county and state, however what I don't understand is why you are not charged with traffic violations until 2 months later. My first question is WHO is this guy that crashed? Find out, as he seems to have some major connections. You should be able to get a copy of the traffic incident report for a small fee. The names of the responding officers should be listed and those should coincide with name(s) on the criminal summons you received. If they don't match, there is something really "fishy" going on.

If there were children on the bus, are any of them old enough to recall the incident and testitfy on your behalf?

It sounds like you really enjoy your job and do it well. Instead of allowing yourself to be depressed, get prepared to fight for your job and reputation. Call the attorney's assistant and ask what you can do. It will give you a project to focus on and may save you some on attorney fees.

Does this driver have other traffic violations on his record? They are generally in the public record. A little time at the court house could be revealing. Make sure your attorney has no connection to this person or any of the officers involved, other than professionally.

Read up on the traffic laws concerning school buses for your area. Gear up and DEFEND yourself. And if your attorney thinks none of this is important, maybe you should reconsider your choice, before any fees are charged to your account.


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Ok. First, we need to get you calmed and centered. You do yourself and your family a disservice being this revved up. So let's start there.

Ways to center the self:
Deep breathing exercises in an open space
Soothing music without words
Chamomile tea
Hot bath with candles
Ask your husband for a body rubdown
Read an engaging fiction
Meditation

Herbs:
To get your sleep biorhythm back I suggest looking at Melatonin (of course if you are on prescriptions check with your doctor first) Melatonin is what our body produces to engage sleep. When we go through high periods of stress those levels drop and sleeplessness sets in.

St John's Wort: This is an effective gentle herb that will help curb the extreme highs and lows of your body. This allows your body to actually recharge and store energy rather than "running on empty" through a crisis.

The Event:
There are large chunks of missing data here. Here is what you should look at doing.
1. Write out your version of what happened.
2. Get a copy of the accident report and have attorney show you the the charges.
3. Contact your office and ask why they are not supplying an attorney for you - if you get convicted that means the company is getting sued and they don't want to see that happen.
4. If you have regular drug screenings for work get the latest copy. If there aren't any - go and get one done asap.
5. Get a copy of your driving record.
6. Get character references from your friends, neighbors, colleagues. Get them notarized.
7. Take your attorney's advise - you must calm yourself - If the judge sees you in a state it will go against you. People (particularly judges) will assess whether they like you or not inside 10 seconds.

Alone:
You are not alone. There are people here who can help you with direction and ways to get centered. You have a husband who supports you and even though your friends are busy their positive energy is with you.

Proactive Protection:
While court is going on research other job options and unemployment benefits that might be available. There is an unemployment area in BellaOnline which might prove a good resource of information. Now is a good time to get your resume updated.

Keep your mind busy and focused. The worst possible time to crumble is in the throws of a crisis. I understand that might sound weird.

Here is a technique to bring about a point of clarity for you. Take this situation and look at it as though it were happening to your best friend and you are the person she has turned to for guidance. How would you best guide her? That should provide you with a guideline for direction.

I hope these steps prove useful to you. If you need me to better clarify any point please let me know as I am happy to do so.

Keep positive energy close and believe in yourself. Feel free to seek out suggestions here and listen to the legal advise given you. If you do not believe he has your best interest at heart then do not delay and find another pronto.

Blessings that you find quick resolution in your time of turbulence.

Last edited by Deb - Animal Life; 06/10/11 12:02 AM.

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I can't give you a whole lot more advice than Jane and Deb.

However, yes-melatonin does work! It really helped me out and when there are exceptions, a big ol' stinky Valerian will get you to sleep.

Also--you just reached out to BellaOnline so you are instantly no longer alone!

Jane has it right with taking the time to look at and into details-legal and otherwise. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes a day to just sit outside and soak in the day. Sometimes a mini relax break can make a big difference!

Deb gave you a great suggestion for not just getting, but giving a nice massage to your husband. If you really like grooming maybe some soothing hair brushing will help. It's simple but it's a great way to feel loved and calmed.

Good luck and best wishes


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From one professional driver to another, if there was no contact of the vehicles and no witnesses on his side...just do what the lawyer told you to do...calm down and let him do his job. You have a good driving record to back you up, along with the fact that there is no evidence to his claim. This is all in your favor, not his. It is unfortunate this guy is trying to wring this on you and it will happen, but don't play into this and start acting like you are guilty or that you will suffer something terrible from it (other than needing to pay a lawyer).

I know it is quite scary, especially when you take safety seriously and go above and beyond everyday to make sure you are the best driver out there on the road. It sounds like this is what you have been doing and will continue to do. You were only doing your job by the rules to report an accident. You need to really hunker down and get rid of the unnecessary junk thoughts that will make you behave like you are guilty. In fact, I would be more angry than anything at some guy trying to pin his irresponsibility on me. Don't use fear and depression to repress that. Just get angry and stand your ground, with grace and poise knowing, the truth will come out as it is.

If you won't do that for yourself who will (besides your lawyer)? Besides, you deserve to clear yourself and let this guy be seen for who he is. Yes, you absolutely deserve that. When you win the case, write back on this forum and let us know.

Last edited by GoodMorningSunshine; 06/13/11 02:29 AM.
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Hello Stormchaser,

Not just any old body is given a job as a SCHOOLBUS DRIVER! I am sure you have considered this but have you actually thought about the precious cargo you carry daily to and from your various stopping points?

Not just any old school will put into your hands the same children that they care for and educate on behalf of the Moms and Dads who trust them with their children AND

Not just any old body will take on that responsibility DAILY unless they were strong smart responsible and good at what they do.

Your report above notes that you went by the book and did everything you were supposed to do. When your supervisor came or the police or anyone in authority that you have spoken to since, has anyone (besides the suv driver etc) indicated any wrong doing on your part either at the time of the incident or since then? It doesn't seem so or you would have told us.

Don't give way your power to anyone, least of all someone of this low moral character.

Keep your present employer completely up to date with what is happening in a positive professional and objective way. Offer to be in on any meetings or discussions with parents who may have heard something and may be concerned. Take proactive and positive action in all you do.

If you are looking for another job I hope it will be driving for another school! I bet your kids are missing you!

Bellaonline is a very powerful ally - come back and visit us often, you will need more than a lifetime to understand the love and support everyone connected here has to offer.

P.S. IF and I say again IF this case gets to court and you need to go before the judge ... make sure you have eaten something light but foodful and wear your uniform if you have one and are allowed to wear it or black and white. Those colours always make a person look smart.

Best wishes for a speedy and positive outcome Stormchaser (cool handle!)

Last edited by Lestie - ContainerGardens; 06/13/11 04:00 AM.

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Lestie,

Well said!

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I am greatful for your comments and support. But, at this point, there is evidence for me and against me. First, there is video footage. Schoolbuses in 90% of the districts now have video surveillace (sp). The cop is saying that I moved into his lane and caused the accident, whereas, both my boss AND the director of the school district has seen this footage and stand behind me that they see nothing of the sort. There is also the mention of a witness for the prosecution. I was told it was a truck driver who was coming the other way but he was not in sight until "AFTER" the accident so any information would be what he saw "AFTER" the accident (unless he lies). Also, this ******* who tried to pass me could have seen the truck coming last minute and decided to bail or face the consequence of getting hit head-on. The suv driver is not injured. And what is funny is that it is not the suv driver that is pressing the charges, it is the police department. On the summon is says "The State of *****" -vs- StormChaser. When I was going through free legal consultations to find a lawyer, one of the lawyers said that it seems like this guy (suv driver) has connections with the police or legal system. Guess what, my boss said the same thing when we discussed it a couple days later. Who knows that maybe this guy has money and went as far as threatening the police if they didn't take it further. I am not educated in the court system and understandably so. I agree that I do have a high level of ignorance on this subject, but, that is due to NOT being part of the criminal system and have never been through this before. When I hired my lawyer, I gave him the police report, my court papers with charges, my witness statement and told him that there could of been a witness for the prosecution and there is video footage. Even with my lawyer not having the other witness statements and the video, he told me not to worry and he is going to try to get this thrown out.


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Stand firm Stormchaser.

Make sure you keep copies of all documentation you hand over to any person of authority from the Police department to the School to the Lawyer and if you haven't then get get copies now. Do it calmly and tread softly by saying you just want them for your records and interest. By tread softly I mean do not demand them. People have a way of becoming otherwise and contrary in the strangest places and ways. Of course there may be some papers that are not available to you. Those are not what I refer to here. The papers I am talking about are yours and anything you have given to the school or filled in or signed etc. Get everything confirmed in writing for yourelf and or never have a conversation with anyone without a reliable witness. Do not use your husband as a witness.

And while you are waiting for these copies which you will actively go and fetch, remember to keep copies of everything from now on.

I hazard a guess that 90% of people are ignorant of the legal system so you are not alone and are not expected to be that knowledgable, so do not let that cloud your mind, stay focused. Just keep your head do not be dismissed by your Lawyer who says 'we'll try to get this thrown out' With all due respect, keep close and follow up. Trying is not doing.

And do tell him that you are considering nothing less than all legal costs of this case to be reimbursed and absorbed by whomever is bringing this action to court AND that he should see to it. Nothing less. All expenses. If this were me, and they are lucky it is not me, I would be gearing up for a 'return' case of harrassment, defamation of character, and trauma with potential loss of earnings due to career interuptions.

This incident is not of your making. Had you not stopped and reported it as you should have done and did, who knows what may or may not have happened. Further, do not be overwhelmed by video footage. It is what it is and will show what it does. As the Driver of the bus, why have you not seen the footage?

Do not be be bullied. Stand firm.

Best regards Stormchaser,

Last edited by Lestie - ContainerGardens; 06/13/11 10:48 AM.

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This is not making sense. Did you move over into the lane? Wasn't the driver cited at the time of the accident? Were you?

As far as your worry that this guy is connected to the legal system, that just may not be the case. With all the recent accidents with coach and school buses, there is an increase of investigations, preventative measures and laws. And if he is, he cannot thwart the video evidence anyhow.

All in all stand your ground and let the lawyer do what he does best. I understand now why you are so upset, but hang in there.

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Amoeba
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The driver was cited at the scene and all we know as of now is that he got careless driving (he might have gotten more). He also admitted to passing me on a double-yellow no passing zone. So, who is recklessly endangering who here? I was not cited and was considered a witness. After 2 months of investigation, I went from a witness to a suspect. The suv driver is saying I moved into the lane (of course he would..lol) and the investigating officer said he can see me drift into the lane on the video (but the question is, did this occur during or after the accident?). Yes, I HAVE SEEN the video along with 3 others (my supervisor, the director of transportation for the school district and the bus company's supervisor) who all stand behind me and see nothing! Yes, now you can understand my concerns and how totally screwed this is!


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I'll tell you what...him being cited and admitting to passing you on a double line will be a God Send! That is very wonderful news smile

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First off, StormChaser, you are a saint in my eyes laugh

A school bus driver?? Never in a bazillion years could I do that job. Our children (and their parents) desperately need people like you and I, personally, am so grateful that people like you are willing and able to do this job. I'm not fond of driving and I get real cranky in a closed environment with a lot of other people's children. Thank you for being there. You are a hero, indeed. Never forget it!

Depression: I've been visited by that demon from time to time. He ain't no fun. But, please, do not turn to antidepressant medications. That stuff is HORRIBLE! It will make you feel worse, just in a different way. Please make that the option of last resort.

One of the most effective things I've learned to do is sit quietly (or not, sometimes), outside if possible but definitely looking into the sunshine if indoors, at the same time of day as often as possible. I drink my first or second cup of coffee outside almost every day. At the end of the day, after work but before getting on with household needs, I have a cocktail outside in the sun, too.

Our circadian rhythms (wake/sleep cycle) are regulated by the pineal gland, a tiny pine-cone-shaped gland right between the eyes and a couple of inches back. It reads light throughout the day so it can direct your other body functions to stay on schedule. Modern technologies have blurred the boundary between dark and day so the depression this blurring generates does trigger depressive episodes. Keep to the same sunshine break schedule and you'll sleep better and feel great during the day. I started doing this during a depression in 2003 and I haven't seen a depressed day since and I sleep like a baby.

Sunlight is more powerful and speaks more deeply into the psyche than artificial light so go completely outside every chance possible for best results. And don't wear sunglasses but don't look directly at the sun, either; just enjoy whatever's in your outside world. Sunglasses would block the sun, diminishing the full effect of this heavenly remedy.

I live in Texas so it's probably more comfortable for me to go outside at the same time every day than you might want to in Pennsylvania but you don't need to worry about Texas sun. Your body will lock its clock into your environment and that's the only environment that really matters to you.

I also believe in wallowing. I don't want to be a little bit happy every day for a long time so when I have occasion to laugh, I laugh L-O-U-D and I'm not apologetic about it. I'd rather feel completely GREAT right now than just a little happy today so I can maybe be a little happy tomorrow, too. I wallow in happy.

I wallow in depressed, too. And anger and frustration and ill and . . . I think it's helped keep the depression away. When I get the blues and want to cry a bit, I do not try to stop the flow. I go with it instead and let those tears fall with as much passion as need be put forth. That gets it out of my system very effectively so I'll have the blues a day or two, lots of tears, and then I'll wake up all refreshed and ready to move on in a day or two. Try it. Wallow.

My best friend of almost 20 years died last month after a very long lingering illness. I wallowed. I cried. I threw things. I slammed doors. I put fear into the lives of two grown men; they haven't recovered yet. I wallowed. She watched. I miss her terribly but I'm at peace now. Or I would be if I could get those men to come out of hiding.

The Ugliness: Since I live in Texas, our laws are likely to be as different as our sunshine but I've had a rough year and have been forced to learn a lot more about criminal defense in my state than I ever thought I'd need. Mine isn't a traffic issue; it's horrifically hostile neighbors and a very long and slow lawsuit. Have you seen the 1990s movie "Pacific Heights" with Melanie Griffin, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton? That'll give you some idea of what my world's been like. I've spent LOTS of time in the sun lately, trust me!

The short version - my neighbor called the police one day, saying I'd stolen her water hose (I didn't). They came and issued a citation for theft to me because the neighbor told them she wanted to press charges. Had she not said that, none of the rest would be happening now.

A few weeks later, I got a letter from county court saying I needed to meet with the assistant DA to plead guilty or no (no); if I just didn't show up, there would be a warrant issued for my arrest. I had transportation issues that day so I walked to the JP's office. It's only 7.5 miles away - what WAS I thinking?? Anyway, I was feeling quite self-righteous by the time I got there 2.5 hours after marching away from home.

I tried to convince the assistant DA to drop the charges but she would not. That was February. She told me then to expect trial no earlier than May (didn't happen) but I'm pretty sure the charge will be dropped later this week.

Here's what I suggest you do: When you meet with your DA's representative, take with you letters of recommendation from people of authority - your boss, school principal, fellow drivers, school teachers, parents, your Sunday school teacher, anybody who will speak highly and knowingly of you and is held in high regard by the community (friends, schoolmates, family, in-laws won't do). If you've ever won any work-related awards or certifications, take them. Since this is a workplace situation, keep the personal side of your life out of it as much as possible. Keep it professional. If any of these authority figures will go with you, please do take them. If you can present a strong and united front that will vouch for your ability and your professional work ethics, that ol' over-the-horizon truck driver won't stand a chance.

Statute of Limitations: Why was he allowed to file on you two months after the fact? Every crime comes with a statute of limitations - the length of time that can elapse between the committing of the crime and the calling it a crime (filing charges).

In my case, for example, there's an 18-month statute of limitations for petty theft. If she hadn't told the cops on the scene to file charges on the spot, she had 18 months to think about it. She could file at any time until 18 months to the day the "crime" was committed. If she waited 18 months and one day, the statute of limitations would make her devious little wishes null and void. No charges could legally be filed at that time. No charges can ever be filed after the statute runs out.

I did not hire a lawyer and I will not hire a lawyer even if the charge against me is not dropped. It's a petty thing, although one that leaves a permanent scar. If it involved something as valuable as my job, especially a job I like, I'd hire a lawyer but don't let them talk down to you or patronize you in any way. This is your life, your job, your money. You direct the show. The lawyer is your hired spokesman, on your payroll now.

Arm yourself with knowledge. You seem like a smart cookie to me so let's make you a strong one, too. I've been studying up at a website called "Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer." It's an easy-to-understand interpretation of the laws, their penalties if broken, and how the legal system works. I bet there's a similar site for PA law.

Another one I use often is "oncle" and the website lists a link to PA so I know it'll be helpful. It's the actual law as it's worded on the official record books. I'm a proud geek and I love this stuff. It gives me more confidence to see the actual wording of the law myself than rely on someone else's interpretation. Just type in the "crime" as it's worded on your legal documents and you'll go straight to it.

Good luck! Get some SUN!! And WALLOW!






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Wow! I don't know how I missed this! I wish I had something of use to add to all the excellent suggestions that have been posted, but I can't think of much.

Stormchaser, it sounds as if you have things going in your favor, even though you have been charged. I don't understand their waiting so long to charge you, unless as you said, the other driver has put pressure on them. He might have ideas that if he can get you convicted of this charge, he can get you to pay for his car, and that it might put him in a position to sue you for some nonsense like mental anguish. (How ironic would that be?!)

But because the SUV driver was cited at the scene and admits to passing you in an illegal way, it seems as if the court would see that the entire acccident was caused because of his illegal actions. As you said, maybe he saw the truck coming, and decided (rightly) that it was better to hit a stationary object than an on-coming truck.

I totally understand your concern, but from the outside looking in, it's a pretty bogus charge. It reminds me of a time when I once had a woman hit me as I was backing out of a parking space. MY insurance company said it was MY fault! She said that if I were more than half-way out of the space, it would be HER fault. I SAID, "I WAS MORE THAN HALF-WAY OUT!" Then, she admitted why she made the call--SHE SAID, "WELL, THAT GIRL'S FATHER CALLED ME AND THREATENED ME LAST NIGHT!" CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! The accident became my fault because the girl who hit me when I was almost all the way out of the space, because she was speeding, had her father call and threaten the insurance adjuster!

That kind of thing shouldn't happen, but sometimes it does. Our court system is not perfect, but it's pretty good at sifting through the c**p, if you know what I mean. I think your attorney is sure this will be thrown out because he's probably seen situations like this before. And the bottom line is that worrying about it won't change a thing. Just say a prayer, give it to God, and trust Him and your lawyer. You know you didn't do anything worng, and that will be proven in court.

I believe that all the other posters have given you some great advice, but the main thing is that you need to take care of you. Deb gave some great advice in ways to pamper yourself and make yourself feel good. That's really good advice all the time, but especially when you're feeling down.

We're pulling for you, Stormchaser, so keep us informed!

Wishing you the best!
Kitten

Last edited by Kitten - Depression; 06/14/11 03:50 PM.

Kitten Kristine Jackson
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I simply love your quote !!

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Ok everyone, here is an update on what is going on. First of all, I was a little nervous but not that bad. My lawyer talked to the DA and the officer before the hearing and here is what happend. My preliminary hearing was waived and I applied for a program called ARD (Accelerated Rehab Disposition) which is only available to first timers. In a nutshell, it is an alternative to punishment and having a criminal record, huge fines, loss of license, etc. It also stops the proceeding from going to trial (which I could not afford anyways). The DA dropped one of the charges and I am now going to have to do 6 months of community service, some fees to pay to be on the program and no loss of license. Also, after the 6 months the charges are dropped like nothing happened. My number one concern was my license because I make my living with it. Most of you might disagree with me and my lawyers' decision to go along with this. Yes, I still believe I am not guilty of any of the charges and I will never be guilty of them by being on this program. I could not afford the thousands of dollars to continue this on to trial. I also want to tell you this...some people have given me their opinion as to the suv driver (who caused all this cr**) knew someone in the justice system/police department or could have threatened them if they didn't go ahead and press charges. Well, to my surprise, the suv driver who caused this mess is a RETIRED NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER. That should not matter but apparently, it does. Money talks and bull**** walks! Unfortunately, this is NOT over. The DA accepted my application but that does not mean I will be approved. I have another hearing (but in the larger Court of Common Pleas) in September. Also, the 6 months and no loss of license is standard and CAN be changed at the descretion of the DA. :(

Last edited by StormChaser; 07/06/11 01:48 PM.

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Wow! Stormchaser, don't worry about anyone here judging you or thinking you did the right or wrong thing. It's your decision, and I think I would've done the same thing in your situation. I just hope that you are approved for the program (which sounds like a good deal for you), and that everything works out in your favor!

I'm not at all surprised to find that the SUV driver was a bit of a celebrity. I knew something was fishy with this whole thing. That can't be a coincidence.

Be sure to keep us informed as to your program approval, etc. We're pulling for you! smile



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You are a self dependent person and having so many responsibilities of your family. I think you should not think of useless things and keep concentrating your responsibilities. You will feel good.

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I'm so sorry that you have to endure this stress. I, too, tend to dwell on things and worry about them when the outcome is uncertain. I am blessed to still have my dad, and although he was a lot like me when he was younger, he has learned with the wisdom of age (65) that worrying won't change anything. If there is a solution, you will find it (and you've done what you can for now), and if there is no solution, then there is nothing you can do. I still have trouble acting on that advice, but it is so true. You try to gain mastery over your mind (the meditation techniques suggested are great; if you're religious, prayer can serve the same function) and resolve not to worry as long as you are doing everything you can to address the situation.

Best of luck and {{{hugs}}}


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If you are on the stage of depression it is advisable to relax and calm yourself. Clear your minds with the worries that you. Try yoga and meditation. Aromatherapy can also help you. Once you are calmed an relax you can think better and find solution for your worries. talk to someone be brave you can move on to your situation right now..

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Thanks for all your comments. I hope that Stormchaser is able to take some of our advice and trust that God is working for her good. That's where peace comes from. Let's keep her in our thoughts and prayers.


Kitten Kristine Jackson
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Thank you so much KITTEN and the rest of you for your advice and support.

It has been a while since I have updated this post, but, that is because there is really no updating to do. The court systems are jammed with cases and I have to wait until my number is called. I am hoping to hear something in regards to being accepted into the ARD program by September.

I have calmed down tremendously and am taking things one day at a time. I am living life like this has never taken place. I do not think about it on a daily basis like I did when it first surfaced. There has been no decisions one way or the other and once I do hear something, that will be the time to assess the situation at hand.

The good news (so far) is that I still have my job and have been taken off of administrative leave after everything was explained to my supervisor. Prayers would be greatly appreciated at this time from you all that I get accepted into the program and I can move forward wink


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Stormchaser,

That is great news! So glad that you've been able to put it out of your mind and get on with life. I'm so glad that you also got your job back. I just know that things are going to work out well for you. This is just one of those crazy struggles that we sometimes have to deal with. I hate that it has happened, but you'll be stronger for it.

Please keep us posted as soon as you have news! Will keep you in my prayers! smile


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Well, I wish I had good news butI cannot believe that it just keeps getting worse and worse! I do not know how much more I can take!

The courts, to this day, have still not come to a decision about my ARD application wether or not I have been accepted into the program. My arraignment hearing was for Sept. 6th but my lawyer waived it. Now, we are still in the waiting game.

On top of that, I live in PA and 2 weeks ago, we were under the gun with Hurricane Irene. I have significant water damage to my home and I am besides myself. Adjusters are coming out next week along with 2 contractors.

Then a couple days after the hurricane, my husband calls me from work telling me that he noticed that someone hit his car last night while he was working the late shift. A hit and run in the parking lot. This is the second time this car has been hit since we bought it last spring!!!! Now we have to file a claim and see if the damage exceeds our deductible. If so, we will keep the claim. If not, we will cancel the claim and pay out of pocket.

I just cannot take this anymore!


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Go out into a large field, look up into the sky and scream on top of your lungs, "God, where the f.. are you, why the he.. is this happening -- and I want you to get off of your a.. and give me some answers as to why is all this [censored] happening and what is the point and what do I have to do to get some relief -- scream from the very fibre of your being in the name of Jesus Christ and DEMAND some answers" Man, oh man will you get them !!! Honest. They might not be what you expect.. i.e. Truth is stranger than fiction -- and you may not necessarily like the answer -- but believe you me -- it will start unravelling a bunch of [censored] in you and your loved ones lives.. then listen and watch.. you will get your answers in the most mundane places and people. -- Burt B.

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Stormchaser,

I'm so sorry that things seem to be getting worse. I wish there were something I could do to help other than pray, but please know that I'm praying for you.

As for Burt B.'s advice, I disagree. Just keep in mind that no matter how bad things get, THEY CAN ALWAYS BE WORSE!! We aren't promised an easy ride. God only promises that He'll pull us through it.

Hang in there, girl, and just trust that things will get better. I'm having a really hard time right now, too, but I'm trusting that things will get better. God has always pulled me through every bad time in my life, and there's no reason to think that he won't do the same for me (and you) now! smile



Kitten Kristine Jackson
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Didn't mean to sound so radical.. and yes, God will pull us through. I've been hospitalized for depression all of my life. That doesn't make me an expert, I just didn't want her to spiral down any further. Cheers, Burt B.

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I feel ya, Burt! So sorry that your depression has been so bad! Wishing all good things for you and yours! smile


Kitten Kristine Jackson
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Thank You Kitten, It's been a struggle for the last 35 years.. but getting better.

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Burt, I like your advice. I've used it myself. Effectively. If the shoe fits YOUR foot, wear it, baby. There are plenty of shoes for the rest of us.



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Yeah, my family used to be pretty pushy when it came to morals.. I guess a lot more rubbed off than I expected -- If you want freedom then give it first. I have just found that if a person is in a great deal of pain many times the direct approach works the best. Not Always. To each their own. Their Pain Becomes My Pain -- yet I cannot absorb the world's negativity.

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A phone call to the court house has put a "temporary" smile on my face

I have been notified that I have been accepted into the ARD program and a formal letter will be mailed out this week to both myself and my attorney. I say "temporary" smile due to the fact that I do not know what the so-called "conditions" are or fines that are associated with this program (it is different for everyone).

As this progresses, I will keep you posted.


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StormChaser, that is great news! Let us know how things are going! Still hoping the best for you! smile


Kitten Kristine Jackson
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God Bless You and Keep You as He/She/Her/Him/It Promised StormChaser.. You weren't that lady in the movie were you ?
Fight the Good Fight and WIN DAMMIT !!!!!
Sincerely,
Burt B.

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UPDATE:

I know it has been a while since I have written, but, the ups and downs in regards to my situation continue. Once I think everything is ok, it ends up not being the case.

As I stated in my most recent post, I was advised that I was accepted into the ARD program. I received my acceptance letter with the "conditions" and fines. I totally lost it and not in a good way. My first "UP" was being accepted into the program. Then all the "DOWNS" came at once. I have 2 yrs. probation (which I think is way to excessive), I have to complete 200 hrs community service within the first year "AND" here is the big one...they have attached to the conditions that an outstanding bill that my employer's insurance carrier failed to pay for property damage for the telephone pole that the "OTHER GUY HIT" be paid within 9 months..thats almost 10K!! I almost blacked-out after reading that!

It seems that I get one "UP" for every 4-5 "DOWNS". My lawyer told me that I am the insured and that the carrier has to pay. I had faith in him and after a couple phone calls that I "personally" made to the adjuster, they paid the bill!! And just in time right before my hearing before the judge.

My court date to go before the judge was on November 15th and I paid the court fines (around $1300.00) in full and met with my probation officer. I also dropped off a confirmation email from the adjuster with his electronic signature on it stating that the claim was paid in full. You would think that would be good enough..think again!! After talking to the collections dept. they said they have to look into it and see if that will suffice. WHAT THE F***???? Now they are just screwing with me! I have a phone call into the court collections dept. to get a more in-depth explanation.

In the meantime, I have decided to go further to cover my butt. I called the phone/electric company that the insurance company paid and asked for a letter stating that this claim has been satisfied. I was hoping that the adjusters' email stating that he "personally" paid the claim would be good enough..I'm just exhausted cry


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Wow StormChaser....I just read this entire thread and the situation seems to get more surreal by the moment. I think you are getting a raw deal here. I don't have much advice to give except to hang in there and fight for your survival. I hope there is justice on your behalf soon.


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My court date to go before the judge was on November 15th and it wasn't what I expected. I had to pay a fine of around $1300.00 to be accepted into the program and I was put on probation for 2 years with 200 hours community service (which I think is extensive). After I was finally starting to get a grip on everything that has happened, another "DOWNER" has occurred. Please note that this accident happened in March of this year and I continued to work and have my job.

I was just informed "BY PHONE" this past Monday that my employers insurance carrier has decided to drop me due to an unacceptable drivers record and that I am no longer employed. I told my boss that it was totally unprofessional to give me this information over the phone and that it should have been done in person. He said he just got the info. and had to contact me ASAP. I also received a letter from my company stating the same.

I think this is all I needed to go over the edge. The week before xmas I am told of this and I am now unemployed. My DH also just had foot surgery and is out of work for about a month. I do not know how to cope with all this, as my mind controls my body and it doesn't look promising.


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I am really surprised that your attorney could not do more for you. This is terrible. I wish I had something more to say, but I don't. I just can't believe it. I am so sorry.


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StormChaser, I'm so shocked and saddened by the way things have worked out in this case. It seems so unfair. If I were you, I would consult with another attorney. I agree with Cassie in that it seems your attorney could've done more for you. There is such a thing as malpractice in the law field, too. Most attorneys (I think) will still do phone consultations free of charge. Even if you have to pay a consultation fee, it would be worth it, if you could get your job back.

I wish I had more to offer you, but it's the only thing I can think of. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. I will be praying for you and your family.

In the way of depression, remember that it's important that you take care of yourself. The more depressed you are, the more difficult it will be for you to do anything about your situation. Try to get some exercise and get outside in the sunshine for a while each day. Read my article on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD I know that your depression isn't necessarily seasonal, but there are some good tips in that article.

I'm still hopeful that this can work out for the best for you, StormChaser. Sometimes we have to go through hard times in order to appreciate good ones. I believe that good things are ahead for you. Hang in there! Tomorrow begins a new year, and I'm trusting that it will be a good one for you! smile


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Isn't the ARD program in PA for first time DUI offenders? I'm pretty certain that's what it's for. I just looked it up, and that's what it's for.

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Originally Posted By: missyT
Isn't the ARD program in PA for first time DUI offenders? I'm pretty certain that's what it's for. I just looked it up, and that's what it's for.


There are 2 programs now that have to do with the ARD program. There is the "ARD" program which is exactly what you stated above. And there is the "NON-DUI ARD PROGRAM".


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Originally Posted By: Kitten - Depression
StormChaser, I'm so shocked and saddened by the way things have worked out in this case. It seems so unfair. If I were you, I would consult with another attorney. I agree with Cassie in that it seems your attorney could've done more for you. There is such a thing as malpractice in the law field, too. Most attorneys (I think) will still do phone consultations free of charge. Even if you have to pay a consultation fee, it would be worth it, if you could get your job back.


One thing that has to be understood is that in this case, I had no defense. The guy who passed me on the double yellow is an ex-professional football player and a celebrity. Money should not matter, nor should social status but in the real world we live in today, it does! If I would have taken this case to court and lost, I would have a record for 5 years, lost my license and much more to pay in fines. Then if the ex-football player wanted to, he could have sued me for everything I have which means I would be out on the streets.

With the program I am currently in, my record will be expunged in 2 yrs. with no loss of license. Unfortunately, in this state as well as many others, your employer can fire you without even giving a reason. I now have a record that will follow me wherever I go for 2 years. It seemed inevitable that my employer would have done a background check and I am now unemployed.

I will be collecting unemployment while looking for part-time work. My DH is also still recovering from his foot surgery and hopefully will be able to return to work soon. In the meantime, taking it day by day with finances dwindling
.


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You are in my prayers, StormChaser. I wish for better days ahead for you in 2012.


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Well, StormChaser, at least you have the unemployment. It's not much, but it's something. And 2 years is a long time, but it's better than forever, right? And you didn't lose your license, which is huge!

From what you say, it could have been a lot worse. And if you were wealthy, Mr. Football Celebrity would have sued. Would like to elaborate on how I feel about Mr. Football Celebrity, but I'd better not. Suffice it to say that he isn't someone I'd ever want to meet.

Stormchaser, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep us informed about how you're doing. I'm sure I can speak for everyone on this forum in saying we're wishing and hoping for good things for you and your family!!


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I just read all the posts here. This is a pretty frightening story. It sounds like it could happen to anyone at any time, whether culpable or not.

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I agree, Jilly. Sounds like a Mickey Mouse justice system there. A classic case of the "haves" and their power taking advantage of the "have nots." Really scary.


Kitten Kristine Jackson
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