Driving home for Christmas

driving a hello kitty bus

Today I was at that point where I was sick of not being able to drive a car anymore, because of fear. I packed our bags, grabbed J and squeezed her into her winter coat. Armed with the car keys and a Belgian speaking satnav we were ready to hit the car and leave. Just like that. But then rain and hail came crashing down from the sky.

But but but, always a but. But this time was different. I swear.

I got my licence when I was 19. It took me three exams and the most ridiculous teacher, but that didn’t stop me from driving and I liked it. I used to race everywhere, even the smallest maze like streets of Amsterdam didn’t make me sweat. And I do sweat.

But since 8, maybe 10 years, I’m overwhelmed by this stupid anxiety triggered by an even more stupid accident that was totally my fault (hitting another car’s door while searching the road for someone with a Santa costume). Afraid to lose control, to not have a good overview of the road ahead, to harm someone and in the end afraid of the anxiety itself. I hate myself, but I never really show.

B knows. Because I yell at him when he asks when I’m planning to drive again. We fight and then I make a promise. One I never keep. Again, B knows. But he won’t let go, asks again once in while and defies my rage. We both know I come with a tiny user manual. I need to do things on my own terms and when I think I’m ready.

jeffrey drawing by marc johns

And I’m ready now. I know I can drive. I want to take J to her grandparents when I need a day off, to the beach where she can run and collect all the shells she can put in her hands and many other places she’s never been. But most of all, I don’t want to transfer my anxiety (or let’s make that plural) to her because I know that’s the way it works. I have to break the circle somewhere. I have to try something else.

For the moment I’m still a stay at home mom, there’s an already wrecked car in front of our house, J repeats “mama drive car” and B trusts me completely, in an overrated kind of way. So whom am I kidding (or killing). I trust myself: I can think, I have eyes (minus 9 but that’s been taken care of) and I have gut feeling. Thereby it helps to realise I’m not the only one, on the contrary. Sally Koslow is only one of the many examples.

Thursday I’ll read this post again and just go. For real. At least, when there’s no rain, hail, storm or sharp sun. I want B to be proud of me (and maybe give me that ring I’m gagging for).

XV

9 Comments

  1. Lonneke December 10, 2014

    Yeah!!! You can do this girl!

    Reply
  2. Karlijn December 10, 2014

    Go Vie! Al rij je maar één straat, dan is dat nog altijd meer dan helemaal niet toch?!

    Reply
  3. Sarah December 10, 2014

    Fear is a liar, vy!
    You can do this!
    I know you can.. When you did this and it turned out fine, you’ll get more secure. And maybe one day you will love it. Love the freedome you get while riding your car!

    Reply
  4. Lilian December 10, 2014

    Heel gek misschien, maar zou EMDR wat kunnen zijn? Ik heb dit toevallig voor wat anders gehad en een ‘trauma’ was na 2 sessies helemaal weg. Bizar gewoon. Ook helemaal niet zweverig. Daar werd een paar keer het voorbeeld van een auto ongeluk gegeven, vandaar dat ik er nu aan denk. Misschien denk je wel, waar bemoeit ze zich mee? Maar het komt uit een goed hart; het gevoel van vrijheid dat autorijden mij geeft, vind ik zo fijn! Enne, ook ik had een waardeloze leraar en moest 3 x examen doen, hahaha

    Reply
    • Vie December 10, 2014

      Helemaal niet gek! Als het morgen niet gaat, ga ik het doen. Ik zou het zo fijn vinden om dat vrije gevoel (weer) te kunnen ervaren.

      Reply
  5. Siamees December 11, 2014

    Siameesje!

    Ik was laatst bij de yoga, soms hoor je dingen voor de 10e keer maar lijkt het ineens de eerste; het is geen wedstrijd, het gaat niet altijd maar om het resultaat maar om de weg er naar toe. Hell yeah het gaat je lukken op jouw moment! xx

    Reply
    • Vie December 13, 2014

      Letterlijk de weg er naar toe :) xxx

      Reply
  6. Tania December 17, 2014

    I also had this fear,until my husband brought me a car and I was forced to face it! I got a driving instructure out for a few refresher lessons even though I had my license,which defenatly helped,because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.After having a few lessons I was able to talk myself into driving for the first time to my work and then driving home.
    Once I had the confidence to do this I adventually branched out to other familiar places.
    I am now a confident driver,however I do still struggle with anxiety around places that are unfamiliar to me.
    Fear can be paralixing,I get it! Get a driver instructure out they don’t just teach people they also help people with these fears and anxieties and it will help you feel safe while taking these first steps back into driving.

    Reply
    • Vie December 29, 2014

      Thank you Tania (and sorry for this very very late response). I think i will get some lessons once we’re moved. It’s so good to hear I’m not the only one struggling. Even better to hear you’re a confident driver nowadays!

      Reply

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