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Major Job Problems, and I Haven't Even Started Yet?!

monarch64

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I'm with Freke, it sounds like there is more to this driving issue. My mother didn't get her license until she was 35 and she is a cautious driver but not fearful at all. I, on the other hand, have been driving since 13 years old (not legally, but learned on my parents' property) and never had a problem until 2006 driving home from a vacation when someone almost ran us off the highway and I had a full on panic attack and have had issues ever since. If I were you I would be delving deeper into the reason driving makes you so nervous. Not only do you deserve to be helped, but a nervous driver can be a danger to everyone else sharing the road with you i.e. drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists. I really hope you get things worked out, I feel for you Shitzulover.
 

Porridge

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I agree with Freke and Monnie - this sounds like a very severe level of fear about something you have to do every day. I would certainly talk to a therapist about this if you can - as Monnie said, for your own happiness and for the health and safety of yourself and everyone else on the road!
 

diamondseeker2006

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FrekeChild|1314242920|2998877 said:
Have you seen a therapist about this driving issue? It sounds like an abnormal amount of fear...were you in some kind of traumatic auto accident in your past? Did you witness one?

My 16 year old nephew was just in a pretty traumatic car accident (his friend was driving, and my nephew was the only one that was hurt out of a 4 car pile-up that resulted in 3 totaled cars) and he's still wanting to drive, even though he's scared of what could happen.

I love to drive. I love to drive fast. I'm a very good (albeit fast) driver, who would be a great get-away driver and when I'm in my car, I feel like it's an extension of myself. So I'm not one who would understand this particular phobia, but I can't help but think that there is something going on here...

Freke, my husband is just like this and I have to hold on to my seat and dig my feet in whenvever we go somewhere! So I think SL is more like me, cautious, not a fast driver, and not used to driving in large city traffic. I don't think she needs a therapist, she needs experience driving in that kind of situation. Hopefully her fiance can help her practice some of that on the weekends when traffic may be less. But there is no way to really conquer the fear other than to do it over and over until it becomes easier.
 

blacksand

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Mar 31, 2010
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I don't think she needs a therapist, she needs experience driving in that kind of situation. Hopefully her fiance can help her practice some of that on the weekends when traffic may be less. But there is no way to really conquer the fear other than to do it over and over until it becomes easier.

Agreed. I learned to drive about three years ago when I moved to the suburbs for work, after having lived in cities with great public transportation for many years. I was 27, and it was TERRIFYING. I think I would have been fine if I had learned as a 16-year-old kid (no fear!), but as an adult, I had zero confidence in my driving ability, and zero actual desire to drive, which was a big problem. It just takes lots and lots and lots and lots of practice. You just have to drive. A lot. In all sorts of conditions, on all sorts of roads. I was in one small fender-bender early on, and a few months into driving I hydroplaned and spun out on the highway. Yeah, I forgot that you're NOT supposed to slam on the brakes when you hydroplane. Oops. What's really scary, I think, is that stuff like that, that's second nature to most people my age, is just not for me. I have to consciously think about everything I'm doing when I'm driving. At first, I couldn't even listen to the radio while driving, because it was too distracting. Now, three years later, I'm much better, much more relaxed, and more in control. I still like to have both hands on the wheel most of the time, but I can change the radio station or adjust the mirror while driving if need be! I still don't like major highways or unfamiliar routes, but I can deal with them, with the help of my trusty GPS. No more accidents, no more major scares. I've learned how fast I can safely go in my car on different surfaces and in different conditions, how my brakes react to my touch, where my car will and will not fit, and developed a good sense of what other drivers around me are doing so I can drive defensively. None of these things came from the manual the DMV gave me, they all came from just driving a whole heck of a lot. I really don't think there's anything unusual about the fear of driving, but there's only one way to get over it.
 

FrekeChild

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diamondseeker2006|1314273772|2999079 said:
FrekeChild|1314242920|2998877 said:
Have you seen a therapist about this driving issue? It sounds like an abnormal amount of fear...were you in some kind of traumatic auto accident in your past? Did you witness one?

My 16 year old nephew was just in a pretty traumatic car accident (his friend was driving, and my nephew was the only one that was hurt out of a 4 car pile-up that resulted in 3 totaled cars) and he's still wanting to drive, even though he's scared of what could happen.

I love to drive. I love to drive fast. I'm a very good (albeit fast) driver, who would be a great get-away driver and when I'm in my car, I feel like it's an extension of myself. So I'm not one who would understand this particular phobia, but I can't help but think that there is something going on here...

Freke, my husband is just like this and I have to hold on to my seat and dig my feet in whenvever we go somewhere! So I think SL is more like me, cautious, not a fast driver, and not used to driving in large city traffic. I don't think she needs a therapist, she needs experience driving in that kind of situation. Hopefully her fiance can help her practice some of that on the weekends when traffic may be less. But there is no way to really conquer the fear other than to do it over and over until it becomes easier.
You realize that facing the fear over and over again is one thing a therapist would tell her to do, right?

And actually, no one has ever felt that they have to hold onto their seats and dig in their feet when I'm driving and I've been told several times that I'm a safer and better driver even when I'm going extremely fast, than other people they've driven with. My life, and other people's lives depend on me being a damn good driver. I've never been in a major accident. I've barely been in a minor accident. Yeah, I've had 7 speeding tickets (1st at 16, 7th about 5 years ago), and I've been to driver's improvement 2 or 3 times, but I am an incredibly safe driver.

For the record, my city is not large, I believe we're still under the half million population mark. One thing about my city is that under minimal traffic (lets say 3am) and going the speed limit, it will take about 45 minutes to get from one side of town to another side of town. We have the crappiest public transportation in any minor/medium/major city I've experienced and/or heard about. I live in a commuter city where everyone drives, and just about everyone has their own car. It's unheard of for people to not have a driver's license.

I started driving when I was 14. My dad was being lazy, we were in a rented car and had about 4 hours of highway driving to do, and he gave me the keys and told me I was driving us home. Scary? Yeah. I'd never even been behind the wheel of a car before. But I still managed to do it. I didn't shake, I didn't do any of the behaviors that SL is talking about experiencing now. I was in the middle of an unknown highway in the middle of the New Mexican desert...the only thing going for me was that it was daylight.

Now that I think about it, I've been driving more than half of my life. Holy cow.

We have a super high (highest?) rate of DWI/DUI. We have a LOT of people who think they know how to drive and DON'T. We have people who are uninsured, people who don't maintain their cars, etc. I have every reason to be terrified every single time I get in my car. But I don't.

SL does, and I really believe that there is something more to this than just the healthy fear of driving that someone who hasn't been driving that long.

SL, my one piece of advice for you is that you need to gain confidence in your car. The inexperience doesn't particularly bother me, but the fear does. To me, you are one of the scariest drivers out there. Yes, scarier than the guy drunk as a skunk driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. Your fear is going to make you freak out at the most inopportune times and you will react badly to even minor obstacles. Go out on the highway at 3am. Drive around aimlessly in unknown neighborhoods and get used to the idea that you cannot prepare for anything outside of your car, you cannot control any other drivers but you are still in control of your vehicle, and you have to OWN IT.

So, relax. As soon as you realize that you can't control anything outside of your four wheels (and as often as cars break down, your 4 wheels as well), but that you can control yourself, your anxiety will start to fade. Driving is a ride it, don't fight it, kind of activity. Just watch out for yourself.

For the record, I'm afraid of heights and airplanes...the airplane has a lot of turbulence behind it though, including the plane dropping a bit too far mid-flight with oxygen masks falling out and me hitting my head on the ceiling...which was traumatic for me, and why I asked if you had any trauma having to do with cars. :errrr:
 

phoenixgirl

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I do think it's normal for some people to be nervous when learning to drive. I was, and I got my license at the normal age in my state (17). It was overwhelming at first, and hard to figure out what to pay attention to. I definitely had some near misses where I did a roundabout the wrong way (not like I went the wrong way around it, but I didn't know that I couldn't exit from the center lane) or thought I had the right of way when I didn't. This was also New Jersey so people drove pretty fast and aggressively. When I was 18 my parents, sister, and I drove from Switzerland to Spain, and that was very nerve-wracking, both the highways and trying to navigate the car through old medieval streets or along cliffs. Eek.

But at 31 I am a very comfortable and confident driver. Unusual situations, like snow, heavy rain, or driving down a mountain, still make me very cautious and a bit tense, but I wouldn't say that I am scared to drive at all. I really do think everyone is right that you will condition yourself to be a better driver through practice, just like you need to condition yourself to be able to run a marathon.

ETA: And if you don't have a GPS, I would get one. That will make you feel less nervous when driving in a bad neighborhood because you won't be worried about getting lost and stuck there.
 

shihtzulover

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I completed my training, and I officially started working at the new branch this week. It seems like the job will be really good, the building where I am working is beautiful, and the people seem nice and pleasant to work with.

There have been a few other hiccups and stressful situations, but I'm just hoping that everything will work out for the best. I'm trying not to let myself worry too much anymore, since it's pretty pointless.

I have been driving myself to work, although I have been following my fiance there sometimes (I was worried about taking a wrong turn and getting lost or something). He has offered to take me, but I've been making myself drive every day. I don't have to take any major highways to get there, but I do have to take a very busy (especially during rush hours) road with three lanes of traffic each way, and I am also required to merge once. I have been adjusting my mirrors, and now that they seem to be in better positions, I feel a bit more comfortable.

I should also point out that I don't usually shake when I drive. Sure, it's nerve-wracking for me, but the shaking only started after my really close call. I have also been overly concerned because I found out that my company may fire me if I get too many 'points' against me (and accidents are worth a few). I was talking with another girl who works at the company though, and she said that she is over the limit due to speeding tickets - but that the company is actually letting her take driving courses to lower that number. I'm hoping that if I do end up in the same situation, they will let me do something similar.

I'm really crossing my fingers and hoping that this job opens a lot of doors for me. I really can't tell for sure yet, but it seems like the position that I'm in now is pretty great, even if I don't receive a promotion.
 

monarch64

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Sounds like you're calming down a bit and getting acclimated! Happy to hear that!

Please keep us updated. I'm glad you're doing better. :wavey:
 

missy

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Good luck Shitzhu! I totally understand how it feels to be unsure re driving in a new area and I am glad it is getting easier. Best of luck with starting your new job next week!!
 

Skippy123

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Yay, I am glad things are going well!!! I am glad you got over your fear of driving. I had fears of driving for the longest time, my heart would races. I also had fears of flying but just face them. I think most people can overcome their fears if they are determined. I didn't use therapy either (I can see how it can help though), so good for you!
 

junebug17

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I'm really glad to hear you're feeling a little better about things Shihtzulover!! Just hang in there with the driving, it will definitely get easier the more you do it. What can I say - I tend to be a bit of a worrier myself, so I understand how you feel. But I'm really glad you're making an effort not to get too stressed out. Starting a new job can definitely cause anxiety, but just keep reminding yourself everything is going to fall into place, and with a little time you'll feel much more settled and comfortable.
 

centralsquare

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:appl: Happy to hear things are getting better and you have hope for the new role panning out!
 

zoebartlett

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I'm glad to hear that things are going well, on both the driving and the work front.
 
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