Driving gives me ‘The Fear’…


For many years I’ve had recurring dreams about having to drive somewhere and having to teach myself how to drive as I go along. I wondered if this would continue now that I am actually learning to drive. Last night I had one of them, and while in the past it was always mildly exciting, now it’s crossed over into scary.

I was glad in my last lesson that I didn’t have to do much driving; I spent most of it reversing round corners very slowly. (Without hitting any kerbs, I might add ;)) I feel sick to my stomach at the thought of driving and I wasn’t sure why until last night’s dream brought it into sharp relief. The problem is that I am afraid of crashing, pure and simple. I don’t feel confident about my awareness of where the edges of the car are in relation to other things, nor about the reliability of my steering. I mean it must be possible to get this awareness, most people are perfectly capable of becoming safe competent drivers; I just don’t see how right now. Most of the time we make mistakes while learning anything, but you can’t really make mistakes while learning not to collide with things! How then do you develop a reliable sense of the boundaries?!

On the plus side, my instructor is great. I always hate being observed learning anything, and to be effective, an instructor does have to really scrutinise you, so it’s important that I’ve been able to feel comfortable and supported. He also likes philosophical topics, and amused me a few weeks ago by saying “I don’t know whether there’s a God or not, but either way I’m fine with it.” πŸ˜€ He may decide to hedge his bets and pray anyway if he makes me drive onto the Bypass… πŸ˜†


11 responses »

  1. LOL Aw I hate driving too. I have to get back into it after 3 years of not doing so. Its such a weird feeling. I am terrified of cars but I can drive pretty well so Im sure you can too. Im not afraid of my ability, Im afraid of everyone else’s! Totally think someone will hit me….

    • Well since I’m not in your city you don’t need to worry! πŸ˜† I’m actually not much aware of other people’s driving yet, have only just started going on proper roads – but I do notice when someone is close behind me and it makes me a little uneasy… why drive that close behind a learner?!

  2. Some people just drive WAY too close together, especially on the high way. I just try to get away from them.

    I still think it should be harder to keep your license and you should be retested more often. Makes for safer roads.

  3. Your blog looks so different – it looks great!

    Aww, I remember how hard it was to learn at age 27 too. I think the older you get the more nerve wrecking it becomes but you will get there.

    I made a decision to take as many driving lessons as I needed even if that was a LOT. That took off the pressure. I just decided who cares about the money because I had developed a bit of ‘unrealistic fear’ over time. In the end I didn’t need half as much tutoring as I thought I would.

    I’m sure you’ll do just fine.

    • I think I will do that too; I don’t want to just pass the test, I want to be confident about my driving. Good to know you didn’t need as much instruction as you thought. I guess at a certain point it just starts to come together!

  4. To be honest it was the driving instructor who turned to me and said “so are you ready for the test?” Meaning that in his eyes I was ready for it – and I thought “are you freaking crazy??” But he was the professional so I just went along with it and tried to stay calm. I did make a couple of mistakes but I passed and the first few times I drove I must admit to being really nervous. But after that I felt quite comfortable. It was such a relief – finally. I really look forward to you having that feeling too.

    • Hmm, I guess the real learning starts once you’re out on your own!! I will try to get some practice in with family or friends, I imagine that helps a lot.

  5. I also learned to drive in my mid-20s but in London. I finally found confidence with my third instructor. The third instructor won my trust when he didn’t laugh when I told him that I was afraid of, not just crashing, but hitting someone. If I ever have children they will learn to drive as soon as they hit the legal age to learn, whether or not they need to drive. They’ll thank me in later years!

    That said, driving in the GCC is not my favourite way to pass time.

    • Yes, you need an instructor that is sympathetic to your fears, I think!

      I can imagine about driving in the GCC… my ex just told me he drove on a motorway in Algeria and there seems to be no such thing as a 2-second rule or anything! Scary!

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