This afternoon I stupidly reversed into another car as I was leaving kinder after I collected Abigail. I was about to pull away from the curb, I wasn’t going very fast, but there was a bump. The other person’s number plate got a decent dent in it from our towbar thing. Their bumper has a small dent. My car is fine, since it was only the towbar that touched the other car.
My head, not so much. Driving and cars have the potential to make me very anxious. When I do something stupid like reversing into someone, that potential is realised. Even if I am trying to park somewhere and misjudge or something and then have to back up and come at it again, and there are people waiting to go past me, I just get really flustered and that just makes it even harder to do what I am trying to do. The parking in front of Stephanie’s school is parallel parking which you have to reverse into. Yes, this is generally one of the more difficult types of parking to do. But that knowledge doesn’t make me feel better when I have misaligned myself the first time around and backed into the space only to have half the car sticking out into the road still. Trying to go back forwards and fix it doesn’t work because there are usually other cars waiting to drive past you, there are other parents standing around outside the school staring at you while they hold their idle chit-chats. If I miss it the first time I have more than once just driven straight back out and gone around the block to let the people forget about me and come back able to start fresh.
This kind of paranoia isn’t restricted to driving type issues and situations, I just have it particularly intensely in those kind of situations.
Before I learned to drive I wouldn’t have thought that I had any psychological problems with cars and driving. Maybe not.. before I learned to drive. Maybe it would be better to say before I was old enough to learn to drive. If you aren’t old enough to drive then no one expects you to. Once you are old enough to drive, everyone assumes that you have a license. Once I started trying to learn to drive I think it woke up some kind of suppressed fear in me, about making mistakes, or having an accident. Or hurting someone. One would assume that these worries stem from having been injured myself in a fatal car accident. I don’t know if there is any way to fix this problem in myself. Other than not driving, of course, which is really not a practical option.
Driving is something that normal people do and I have become aware or been made aware of how I am sub-normal in so many ways that any mistake in a driving related situation makes me feel stupid and useless and so very very not right. Not right in the way that a serial killer is not right, not not right in the way that someone who wears tea-cozies on their head is not right. I try to escape that conditioning and sometimes I’m quite good at it. Sometimes I have a bad day though and I hear the voice and see the face that shows disgust and disdain at my flaws and I can’t help but to feel those same things for myself.