General chatter - My biggest fear..

View Full Version : My biggest fear..

02-02-2006, 05:24 PM
I am not sure why I am sharing this... because it's something that I NEVER talk about. This is totally Off Topic, by the way.

Maybe I am okay with sharing this here because I don't really know any of you.

I can't drive. I don't drive. The whole idea of driving gives me a major anxiety attack. I grew up in NYC and we never really had anything, let alone any money for driving lessons or even a car. I don't even remember spending any time in a car as a child.. we just never went anywhere, and if we did, it was with someone else. My 'mother' (I use that term lightly.. I don't speak to them) never drove because she had some nerve problems with her legs. All I ever wanted to do was drive... it was like this unattainable freedom to me. In high school (I am 23 now), I actually did take Driver's Ed through my school.. I did fairly well, but I didn't pass my road test.. everyone else did. Mainly because I never had someone at home helping me, taking me driving, studying with me, etc. I was always all on my own. I had to work full time all through HS and college (40+ hours) and I was just used to finding work that was close or taking the bus/train/subway/taxi.. like a lot of people in NYC do. I hated that there was something I couldn't do, but it didn't really matter in my situation. Then, I met my hubby and moved here to Louisiana. Well, there ARE no buses, trains, subways, etc. here. EVERYONE drives.. not only that, but they all start from the womb (so it seems, lol). Then, I got pregnant right away and had my daughter.. then I was really sick and had surgery, etc, etc. and somehow life just got in the way. Now, my hubby works an hour away and leaves before 7am and is home around 9-10pm and ALL DAY I am here with my crazy toddler. Even stranger is that I am NOT a 'sit at home, do nothing' kind of person.. I HATE sitting at home, doing nothing. I WANT to go places and do things, I just almost *can't*. This place isn't normal.. there aren't even sidewalks.. no parks.. nowhere to go. I hate it here, but that's besides the point. Everytime I think about driving now, it's just so overwhelming.. it gives me like an anxiety attack. Now, I am a fairly articulate person... I know that I could drive.. I just never had anyone to 'teach' me and I have this mental block about it. I've never understood it.. but I definitely don't want to stay this way! Even the thought of calling the DMV to find out HOW to get my license here makes me SO anxious.. literally sick to my stomach. I have no idea why I am this way.. but I have been procrastinating about it since I moved here two years ago. My hubby and I have a somewhat strange relationship dynamic, and I know he *knows*.. but it's not something I have ever actually told him or we've actually spoken about. No one else here knows though.. it's almost sooo embarassing for me, and I am not sure why. It's something that seemingly everyone does, so I feel like the *only* one who doesn't. Maybe it's naivity. I just have this awful fear now that something horrible will happen to Briley.. and it will be all MY fault.. I only trust her in the car with my hubby driving, which is just plain odd.. I get it. It's almost like I trust him more than I trust myself. Ugh.. sorry for the vent. I have been trying to work up the nerve ALL week to call the DMV, but it's literally made me sick. I wish I could just get on with it!! WOW.. you gals are the first ones I have really shared that with!

(btw.. does anyone want to make a phone call? :^: lol )

02-02-2006, 05:55 PM
Don't feel bad, I'm almost as scared of driving as you are. But my one major phobia is calling people. :o I can answer the phone (though my stomach flutters right before I pick it up), but I absolutely don't like calling people! Even family members. It's so irrational and strange! :?:

I don't actually drive yet (I'm almost 18), but I'm afraid of starting. *shudders* Calling people and driving are my biggest fears.

02-02-2006, 06:07 PM
I totally relate. I'm almost 19, and I have only gone out driving twice. This first time when I went out with my dad, it was good... I wasn't too nervous or anything. The second time, my mom scared the everloving crap out of me and I haven't wanted to go out since.

josie, it's interesting that you're afraid of calling people...... so am I. It's sort of a part of my social anxiety. I have more trouble using telephones than communicating in person.

02-02-2006, 06:11 PM
I have a driving phobia as well. It is my New Year's resolution...every drive and to buy a car. I am better at losing weight than I am at getting behind the wheel of a car. When people discover that I don't drive, they can't believe it. It has become something shameful...I go to great lengths to hide the fact that I don't drive...change the subject, etc., when the topic comes up.

I am fortunate, as I live in Chicago which has great public transportation. However, my boyfriend lives in the boonies and a car is needed there. If I move out that way, I will have to drive. ~hyperventilate~

But I'm much older than you, Mama. And it is one of main regrets that I didn't drive all these years of my youth. So I would encourage you to do the best that you can to get that license and drive. One thing you might do is look up the DMV information on the internet. I'm sure the rules of the road are posted there. It might be less threatening for you to do it that way than to actually call.

You might want to check driving schools that specialize in nervous drivers. Good luck to you and I wish you only happy days on the road.

02-02-2006, 06:11 PM
Sorry, Kim, I'm one of those "from the womb" drivers (actually, I think I started at 9), BUT, don't feel bad about your anxiety.

It's reasonable that you'd have a fear of driving because you've never been exposed. Does your hubby work seven days/week? Maybe you could coax him into taking you for a ride. Also, (if he does work 7 d/w) maybe he would consider taking you out at night to learn to drive. That might even be better for you, as there would be NO TRAFFIC to contend with!

Good luck conquering your fears!

P.S. I feel you on the lack-of-sidewalk issue. Ich!

02-02-2006, 06:13 PM
I have more trouble using telephones than communicating in person.

So do I, definitely. :(

02-02-2006, 06:15 PM
My only advice is to start practicing. Most states only require driver's ed if you are under 18. Take it slow and startin an empty parking lot. My sister was the same way, but we took it very slowly and now she drives everywhere. Good luck!!!

02-02-2006, 06:18 PM
If not your husband, how about a friend to take you out to learn? So here's the weird dynamic that many of us lived with going into driver's ed in high school: driver's ed is supposed to teach you to drive. But you were a total GEEK if you got into driver's ed and didn't already know the basics of driving! Almost everybody in the country had someone who took them out to some road in the middle of nowhere and let them get behind the wheel and go 10-20 mph and slowly learn. there a driving school there? You could skip the DMV and call a driving school. I would guess that they would file the paperwork for your learner's permit with you (or tell you what to do) so you could drive with someone else until you get your license. My GUT feeling is that your husband may not be the person that you want to have teaching you. Either a friend or a driving school could give you that emotional distance that would help your comfort level. stepdad taught my sisters and I; we all know (including her) that my Mom would just get a little too....uh...."tense" :)

And don't freak out about telling/admitting to people that you don't drive. I think if you just said "I know it sounds silly, but I don't know how to drive. I grew up in New York City." And just leave it there. People know.

02-02-2006, 06:31 PM
To be honest I thought lots of people didnt drive in New York City, I thought that was the norm, so since Im in texas your neighbor, I dont think we think that different than the people around you, so all Im saying is Im sure no one would think anything of you saying Im from New York I dont drive yet. Trying the internet is a great idea, and I drove around parking lots forever to learn, but once you learn you will wonder why you waited so long!! :-) Good Luck, and congrats on opening up about your fear, thats a huge step!!

02-02-2006, 07:05 PM
Thanks for all of the support girls. My husband works 5 days a week... but he works about 55 hours a week, plus a good 12+ hours of commuting time. He hasn't exactly offered to teach me and I think I'd feel really stupid having him teach him. Does that make sense? I feel like an idiot, basically.. and sometimes he makes insensitive comments which make me feel even worse. I am the kind of person that wants to not only know how to do everything, but also strive to be the best at it, so this is REALLY hard for me. I don't have any close friends here, and I despise my IL's.. I really hate it here.. did I mention that? lol But, dh is losing the last 15 lbs he needs to go into the Air Force as an officer.. so with the prospect of him being gone A LOT, I really need to learn. I actually have a letter all written out to him (which involves a lot of other issues) and I have a whole chunk in there asking him to help me.. but I just can't get up the kahunas to give it to him. We don't have the best communication. I have looked, but the closest driving school is like 45 minutes away. We can't really even afford another car right now, but I still want to be able to LEAVE and get away from my daughter, LOL... that sounded awful! She is amazing, but having her with me 24/7 is making me quite insane.

02-02-2006, 07:10 PM
I also meant to add that I have anxiety about doing a lot of things lately.. and I have never been this way. Like, for example, my daughter has a ped. appt. next week I need to cancel, and I haven't yet because I have all of this built up anxiety about it.. for NO reason!

02-02-2006, 11:21 PM
sorry to hear about your driving phobia, I wished you lived out in the southwest and might actually find out that driving can be fun.I would gladly teach you I had a friend that was scared to death of cars. It took awhile and she is a regular speed demon. She just got her first car and she is in her 40's Never feel like an idiot because you don't know something, it simply means you were not taught yet. It is never ever to late to learn gosh I'd even teach
you to ride a harley now thats fun. Life is short conquer your fear I wish you the best

02-02-2006, 11:49 PM
sorry to hear about your driving phobia, I wished you lived out in the southwest and might actually find out that driving can be fun.I would gladly teach you I had a friend that was scared to death of cars. It took awhile and she is a regular speed demon. She just got her first car and she is in her 40's Never feel like an idiot because you don't know something, it simply means you were not taught yet. It is never ever to late to learn gosh I'd even teach
you to ride a harley now thats fun. Life is short conquer your fear I wish you the best

you are VERY sweet!! thank you! :hug:

02-03-2006, 12:41 AM
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO DO NOT DRIVE (might surprise you):

Barbara Walters

Julie Nixon Eisenhower

John Lloyd (first husband of tennis great Chris Evert)

Michael Caine, British actor

(To name a few, so don't feel like an oddball! You were just born into circumstances where you didn't need to drive. I'm sure you will do fine when the time is right.)

02-03-2006, 08:11 AM
Don't let your husband try to teach you to drive. It's the surest way to hard feelings. Talk you neighbors, people at church, anyone that has a car and is willing to let you drive in an empty parking lot. Tell them you are from New York and haven't learned to drive yet. I grew up in Missouri and we all thought that people from the big cities don't have cars, nobody will think anything strange about it.

The phobias/anxiety , did they come up after you moved? Do you need to see a doctor for medication yet?

Good luck

02-03-2006, 09:35 AM
I know how it is, though my fear is that I will kill a person. I didn't want to drive... but we moved to the boonies, no sidewalks, no transportation... I have to drive 5 minutes to get to a gas station and another 5 to get to an actual grocery. I was 25 before I got my license. My husband was very little help. He is a nervous person, and i don't ask questions the way he understands them. I finally just started ignoring him all together and just drove. LOL I did fail my driving test because the officer was a prick. I don't say that often, but he was. He was in a pissy mood and I failed because I didn't back up properly. He said back up and I backed up... he didn't like the way I did it. When I retook the test (same guy) he was all laughing and happy, he stuck his head out my sunroof and yelled to everyone in the parking lot that I was kidnapping him. I pulled out into the street turned around, backed up and he said you pass. I was so mad.

I haven't killed anyone yet either. LOL If I can do it YOU can do it. :)

02-03-2006, 02:22 PM
You have nothing to feel bad about. I know several people who do not drive, my DD being one of them! She has renewed her drivers permit 3 times! Not for lack of not passing a driving test, but her lack of driving period. She has no desire to drive, never has. She is 22 and now I wonder if she is a little scared. She's never mentioned being scared, just no interest in it. I started driving when I was 16 and couldn't wait! It's like being free. I tell her she needs to drive and she just says "Why?" LOL She does fine when she does drive, even though she says I make her a little nervous. I really don't aim to, I am just trying to teach her the proper way-the book way. So and I am confident that she would pass her driving test if she would just do it and drive a little more. I also have a niece that is 25 who doesn't drive and she is scared to death to even think about it. A SIL who didn't get her drivers license until she was 30 and a friend who is just now learning. He husband always had an excuse for teaching and I think he just didn't want her to learn. That way she couldn't go anywhere. But she finally go it and loves driving. Anyway...

I agree with whoever it was that said don't let your hubby teach you. Would probably make you more nervous and you would never want to get in the car again! Also, I think you took a big step in talking about it here. Have you thought about talking to a professional about it? Maybe that would help. And sometimes just doing it will conquer the fear. I was and still am deathly afraid of flying. But, my DS had a ceremony in GA and then his graduation from basic training in the Army and there's no way I would have missed that. I had planned on driving and DH talked me into flying because it was a lot cheaper. I was scared and I did and do get anxious about flying but I did it and the plane didn't crash! LOL

Keep us posted and good luck!

02-03-2006, 03:38 PM
One of the things that made me really nervous when I started was learning which pedal was which. I have to admit that early on in my driving capers there was a little incident with a large bush when I hit the gas instead of the brake. Luckilly the bush was only slightly hurt and didn't require any major surgery. :D

The only way to do it is practice. I started practicing all the time - wherever I was - until it became second nature which pedal was which. When you start doing it, it just becomes a habit and you don't have to think about everything.

02-05-2006, 09:53 PM
I was afraid to drive for just years! Part of it was that I don't have great coordination (always at the bottom of my gym class), and I worried that this might affect my ability in traffic. I took driver's ed in high school, but I ended up not getting my license until I was almost 40.

It sounds like your fear has more to do with Briley than driving. You know what? I'd take that seriously. It could just be nervousness, but it could be a real premonition that something might happen with her in the car and you driving. Once the time period when the bad thing might happen passes, your feelings about taking her in the car will pass, and then you can drive with her.

But don't let that put off you getting started on driving. There is absolutely NO risk to reading the driving manual. I don't know if you can just call and have it sent out. You may have to go and get it. But you're someone who likes knowing things and being able to do things, so you might as well know the driving rules.

There's no need to take the next step until you're ready. So that first step really is risk free.

Once you're up to learning in the car, you might want to hire an experienced teacher. Maybe the high school driver's ed teacher will give you private lessons. The school cars have a second steering wheel and I think accelerator and brakes for the teacher in case you screw up, so it's safer. Or a driving school may have classes or private lessons.

Once you get the license, you can always say that you don't want to drive with your child until you're more experienced. Anyone can understand that. And once you are more experienced, your anxiety about driving with her in the car may clear right up.

02-06-2006, 04:37 AM
I lived in a small town and there was no where to go either but the only thing to do was drive around to get out. So I learned to drive but not until I was in my late teens. The town grew and I moved to Dallas, where everyone drives and the buses are okay. There's monorails there to and I used them cause I had no car so I never drove. I though it sucked cause of the lack of control and freedom, but at least I didn't have to drive in the freeways there, it was crazy when I first got there. Then I went to Austin, and I never ever drove there. The buses where the only way anywhere. While they came around more often during the day then in Dallas, it still sucked. Now, I am back home and this place has grown. Everyone drives here period. Buses are present, more so then they were before, but almost no existent. U either drive or stay at home. I unllike most am a defensive driver. I love it. It sucks too that eventhough I drive well other are terrible, esp. because I now live by a border town. Some people here make there own roads at times, and some don't know the freaking laws of getting on the freeways. It has in truth gotten better but there is much room for improvement. Eg. when at a light on a two lane the shoulder cannot be used as a third to continue forward it is a right turn lane at best. Yep it is that insane. At least now that the feeways were repaired, still are doing so on the other side, many learned that u gotta wait to get on the freeway not just keep going and make the ones on the freeway brake so u could get on - that really ticked me off. That I haven't seen anymore, also the fact that the on freeway has a lane now and goes until the exit, allowing one time to get to the next lane. What is sad is many that I've seen break the rules aren't even from across our border, it's the freaking one's who live here. Oh, well. The only other thing that sucks is that now we are getting too many lights added on some major streets which will only slow down traffic more, and some of those lights are useless.

02-06-2006, 03:35 PM
You are not are scary. I am 23 but when I first turned 18 I refused to drive. But I slowly did. (at least three times while learning I had to pull over to be sick!)
Now I drive EVERYWHERE! It is like learning to ride a bike, it takes a while but it gets easier!
Give it time, and give it a try!

02-06-2006, 03:59 PM
You aren't alone in this phobia. I have a couple of suggestions, although both will take some effort on your part, as well as your DH's cooperation.

The first is to see a doctor about some antidepressant or antianxiety medication. I learned to drive (reluctantly) without these, but I always had a fear of freeway driving, especially merging. When I went on Zoloft for reasons unrelated to driving, this fear left me, and has never returned even though I stopped the Zoloft years ago. I'm a much braver driver than I ever dreamed of being, and even made a cross-country trip without my DH recently. If you knew what I used to be like, you'd understand how amazing that is. So you see, your situation is far from hopeless.

The second is to find a good driving school. There are probably some near you, but if not, call AAA and take one of their classes. Explain your phobia to your instructor. I seriously doubt you'll be the first student they've had who was afraid to drive. Remember, your instructor has helped others succeed, and he or she can help you, too.

Getting you to and from the doctor and your driving classes will take some effort on your DH's part, but that's just the way it has to be. Maybe he can take some vacation hours to help you with the transportation. You both need to remember that whatever effort you put into it now will be repaid many times over in the years to come.

I wish you all the best with this! Keep us posted. :)

02-06-2006, 04:20 PM
I'm 33 and I don't drive. Scares the living twinkles out of me. I lived in a small town in Tasmania, Australia, where the busses stopped at 7pm, except on friday and Saturday nights when they went a bit later. It was really hard.

Now I live in England, I live in a rural village but work in the centre of town, we have great public transport links. Ok it takes me 90 minutes to get to work instead of 45 minutes, but I don't care. I love where I live, and I like not being a gas guzzling commuter.

It's a shame your neighbourhood doesn't cater for non drivers. I am quite proud of my non-driving status. Even the mayor of London doesn't drive!!!