My Fear of Driving

For those of you that know me would have read my previous post from last year about my fear of driving and how i dread the time when i have to sit in the drivers seat and drive the car.

If i know that i am going to have to drive somewhere i will not sleep and i have to work out my route in my head which obviously winds me up to a point that when it comes to the time that i have to drive the car I am in such a state, I can’t breathe, I shake and end up having a panic attack.

Things that run through my head prior to driving:

  • The route that i need to take to get to my destination, making sure that i don’t have to drive up hills, near big round a bouts, down slim roads and that there isn’t many buses on the route.
  • What to bring in the car to keep the children entertained so they don’t end up disturbing me whilst driving
  • What would happen if i have an accident
  • Where all of the buttons and gadgets are in the car
  • How i’m meant to park the car
  • What if i don’t drive at the correct speed that other drivers want me to drive at
  • What if i don’y pull away from the traffic lights quick enough
  • What if i stall the car

This year so far i have driven the car twice, once at 8am on a Sunday morning when it was really quiet to drop the eldest off to drama band call  and the other time was back from the local leisure centre, both times was only about 1.5 miles away.

Yesterday i received a phone call from the other half, he had cycled the long way home from work and had got a puncture and when he got out his spare he realised that it had a puncture too so he asked me to go and pick him up. The moment i heard those words, i felt sick! He was 11 miles away in a place called Theydon Bois, which i had no idea how to get to, It was 7.30pm in the evening, so i decided to wait a while until the traffic had died down. I packed the children into the car, got the Sat Nav ready for the route, took some of my Rescue Remedy and i was ready to go. As i sat in the drivers seat my legs began to shake, my throat was dry and my heart was pumping away so fast it felt like it was in my mouth. Whilst driving my hands were sweating so much that they kept slipping on the driving wheel and everytime i stopped and had to use my clutch to pull away my legs was shaking so much i couldn’t control it, I controlled my breathing by taking long deep breathes and tried not to panic. I managed to get to the pub where he was waiting in half hour, which wasn’t bad, as i pulled up in the car park and stopped the car, i took a deep breathe, i was shaking all over and my legs had gone numb, but i had made it in one piece!

I was really proud of myself and yes i did come to a lot of traffic lights, a lot hills, a lot of little round a bouts, not much traffic and a couple of country roads but i went at my own speed and i had the eldest in the car helping me with the directions as he was looking at the Sat Nav and shouting out what roads i had turn on to. The boys congratulated when we got there and told me that i drove well, bless them!

Apparently i didn’t have the air conditioning on properly and I didn’t park the car up straight enough in the car park but apart from that i encountered no other problems. The car has so many buttons all over it I have no idea what half of them do and what does it matter if the car is slightly wonky, we wasn’t staying there long anyway 🙂

As my trip didn’t go too bad you never know i may be taking a few more trips during the summer holidays, i would love to just get into the car without thinking about anything and take the children out for the day, visit my mum or even just to go shopping.

Watch this space!

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Facing my fear! 76/365

It’s been months since I last sat in the drivers seat and driven the car, I blogged in the new year that my New Years resolution was to face my fear driving and to try and get out in the car.

Whilst out with the family today and on our way back from Costco Paul pulled into Sporthouse (our local sport centre) and he asked me to turn the car round whilst he went into the centre to enquire about something, I didn’t do too bad with the reversing but I couldn’t get it into the parking space. After a few attempts I gave up and just sat there like a numpty with my back end sticking out, luckily we wasn’t on a main road!

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I drove the car back to our house which is about a mile away, I started panicking when I came to a space in the road where two cars wouldn’t fit through and I noticed another car coming towards me, Paul told me calm down and just wait until a gap within the cars became available for me to fit through, I managed to get us back home all in one piece although I hyperventilated all the way back!

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New Years Resolution! Face My Fear Of Driving

There could be only one main New Years resolution for me and that would be to face my fear of driving! Although i have had my driving licence now for 3 years now i have probably only driven the car about 20 times, im not kidding i really do not go out in the car unless I’m a passenger! I blogged about my fear back in May 2012 and received some fabulous feedback, some words of encouragement and some from people who also suffer from the same as me. I thought it was just me that feared me hands on the steering wheel but it seems that there are many people out there that feel the same as me and go through hell as well when it comes to sitting in a driver’s seat. I look at other drivers whilst out walking or as a passenger in a car and watch them zipping in and out of traffic like they are on a racing track oozing with confidence. I don’t feel at ease with my car and definitely don’t feel like she is my best friend or that i would be lost without he, yes i call her ‘she’ but that’s not because i am close to her but probably because she emptied by bank account and cost a small fortune. People tell me that i shall become more comfortable in time once driving around a bit more and my confidence will grow but it seems to have gone the other way! I haven’t driven the car for about 3 months now and since buying the new car back in May I think i have only been in the driver’s seat a handful of times. I feel that the car is way too big for me and fear driving such a huge strong vehicle, you see we used to have a Peugeot estate but now we have a Ford Galaxy 7 seater and my fear is not only other drivers and having an accident but it is now that i may scratch it! My legs shake uncontrollably when i know i have to drive into a car park, the thought of finding a space big enough for me to manoeuvre the car in to haunts me. My throat becomes dry and my heart beats in a rapid tempo when i see traffic lights up ahead, i think about stalling the car so much that my leg shakes and it results in me stalling the car more than once and as i have been threatened before by some horrible men in a car for not pulling away quick enough i fear that my lack of acceleration may cause trouble.

I do want to drive and make my family proud of me, i want to pull up at football and let the eldest out and sit in comfort whilst watching him run around the pitch instead of getting wet in the rain, standing in the wind and shivering in the cold for an hour and a half, i want to visit my Mummy who lives 34 miles away (longest 34 miles of my life when im driving!) when i have a day off work with the children, i want to be able to go shopping and buy anything i want no matter the size or weight as i don’t have to think about how I’m going to get it home, I don’t want to sit in an over packed, smelly, rickety bus no more! I want to visit friends and family without thinking about my journey and working it out in my head how i’m going to get there without going over a hill, round a roundabout or hitting too many traffic lights!

Above all and the most important one is i want to be proud of myself for facing my fear and beating it, so this year 2013 i promise i will take more trips in the car even if they are small ones or just a drive around the block they will be done and hopefully by the summer i will be zipping around in my huge MPV oozing confidence and taking my family out on day trips (maybe i shouldn’t push it that far! lol) So if you see me on the road piddling along at a comfortable speed please don’t beep me for being too slow or call me names for not pulling away quick enough or threaten me for sitting at a junction waiting for a big enough space for me to pull out in, please think about what it has taken for me to get into the car and take my children out for a drive! It may be a slow process but it’s one i feel that it’s one that needs to be addressed!

What’s your New Years Resolution?

Thank you for reading my post, i shall update you all on my progress throughout the year

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Driving in the wrong gear!

I did something today that most people do everyday without giving it a second thought. I got into the drivers seat of our car, placed the key in the keyhole and turned it, spurring up the engine, seatbelt on, hand brake up, gear stick moved into it’s place of 1st AND then took a massive breather and pulled out into the road and drove off!

If you have read my previous post on my fear of driving you would know about why I find it so hard to drive a car.
I can’t just get into a car on impulse like most, I have to plan my journey. I have to know which way I’m going, hopefully missing out as many hills and roundabouts as possible, I make sure that I only drive when I know the toads will not be too busy and I don’t like driving in the rain or dark. I sound like a right nightmare dont I? Don’t get me wrong if I need to drive then I will but I do prefer not to.
Since my last post on driving the Other Half has gone and invested in a up to date family car, he went and bought a Ford Galaxy! Now! our last car was a Peugeot Estate and I found that to be too big for me, so when he pulled up outside our house in a 7 seated car I felt like crying not because I was excited but because I was so scared of the shear size of it.
My first experience in the new car was with my Mummy by my side, just to give me a bit of confidence and I know if anyone shouted at me whilst I was driving mummy would shout back at them for me lol. I think it went well, I drove to my sisters house which is about 5 miles away and I got back to pick the boys up from school in one piece.

So seeing as my first attempt at driving the new car went AOK I thought that today I would take the boys to the swimming pool in the car.
The family session started at 2:00 and it was nearly 1:00 so I thought that I would drive up the road to visit a friend for 30 minutes before heading off to the pool. Everything was going well until I hit the traffic lights, I stopped, waited for Amber, got my gears ready and pulled away only I wasn’t in the correct gear and I stalled half way across the road (cross road traffic lights) I tried again and I stalled the second time, still stuck in the middle of the crossroad with cars ready to come forward I tried again, the car started and off I drove. There was a turning a couple of metres ahead so I turned in and pulled up on the pavement. Silly me! I was trying to drive the car in third gear as the new car has 6 gears and obviously not in the same place as the other cars was. My leg that was on the clutch was shaking uncontrollably, it was bobbing up and down and I couldn’t stop it, I turned off the engine took a few deep breaths. Once I had calmed myself down, I set off again, this time taking it slowly and sticking to the small side roads just so I could get used to gearstick. I eventually came to the A road that the pool was just off of, I was driving along quite smoothly at 55 just about to take my turning off when a bloody car cut right infront of me, “You F***ing A***hole” I shout only to be told off by my little four year old for swearing. I swerve to the left just as I am about to take the exit and I only go and hit the bloody kerb, now I’m crying, what the hell is wrong with me? am I that much of a bad driver?
Why can’t I be like other drivers who are full of confidence and enjoy driving around!
Eventually we arrive at the pool, I’m still shaking, my palms are sweaty, my hands are red from the grip I have had on the steering wheel and my heart is beating ten to the dozen. I get out of the car feeling a bit woozy and light headed, atleast we are all in one piece and just about to have some fun in the swimming pool.
I didn’t even want to think about the journey home, I just wanted to get out of the car, luckily enough the OH came to the rescue and cycled back from work to pick us all up so he could drive us home.
Thank you daddy!

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