Drives Me Crazy

I’m a bad driver, probably a horrible one. I don’t enjoy it and it mostly just serves as a way to get me to the places I need to go. I avoid deviating from the route I planned in my head, unassisted left turns and driving on the freeway. I’m also a magnet for aggressive asshole drives. I once had a girl flip me off because I pulled over to let her pass. Classy.

I’m also a nervous driver, not aggressive (or even assertive) in the least. I’ve been told I drive like a grandma and absolutely hate driving with other adults in the car. I avoid it at all costs. My big issue with driving on the freeway is that I feel like all the cars are going to hit me. That and I hate passing. And merging. I’m a mess.

In an unfortunate turn of events, this is all exacerbated when I am pregnant. I noticed it last time with Spencer and except for one local highway, pretty much quit driving on the freeway for nearly a year. I’m not sure if it because of the increased hormone levels because I am carrying twins, but it is much worse this time. I can barely even ride on the freeway. My gasps and flinches and (literally) hiding behind my hands drove my husband insane during the drive to Knott’s Berry Farm. I had to stay focused on my phone to get through it at all.

Even my neighborhood doesn’t feel safe. There are three main roads that run through our neighborhood: two of them only have oncoming traffic from one side and the one down the middle is two sided. I can barely make it down the road that middle road with out having a heart attack. The stop signs are all on the side streets, but people have a tendency to roll them and not by a little but front wheels completely over the limit line is a normal stop. I know this. I know they are going to stop. Yet. Every time some one approaches, I flinch, my breathing stops and I can see, hear and feel the car crashing in to the side of my car. The sensation ends as soon as I get away from the other car.

It seems like a car almost hits me every time I drive. I’m not sure anymore how often it is real and how much it is in my head. I’m not entirely sure I can tell the difference. My accuracy rate when my husband is driving is about 75% for the car actually being too close for comfort. It doesn’t help that I have had a series of wacky things happen when driving recently that I know weren’t just my imagination. Cars not yeilding, turning in to my lane when going through a double-laned left arrow intersection, just the usual Southern California suburban driving adventure.

But, the panic attacks and the OMG THAT CAR IS GOING TO HIT ME AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE every time a car passes a smidgen too close is much, much worse. I tried googgling, but mostly got results about pregnant women dying in car crashes, which wasn’t really what I needed. So, for now, I guess I’ll just spend the next 20 weeks only driving on city streets, on familiar routes during the daytime. Should be a piece of cake.

If only all the roads looked like this one.

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7 Responses to “Drives Me Crazy”

  1. Audrey says:

    I am the same way when pregnant. I like to think it’s protective instincts kicking in. Hang in there, mama!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    That’s kind of what I was thinking, and maybe it is just in overdrive this time because there are two babies and extra hormones.

    [Reply]

    Audrey Reply:

    This is where I confess that I am sekretly (or not so sekretly if you’ve been around my blog long) jealous that you are having twins. And I am sekretly keeping my fingers crossed for a zygote miracle when we start trying for the final pregnancy. My friends who have twins say I’m nuts. But there you go.

    [Reply]

  2. Suzanne says:

    My husband swears my gasping and handle-grabbing when he drives is completely unnecessary but he is an aggressive driver (with a tendency to get road-ragey) and it makes me really anxious. I also hate driving around OTHER PEOPLE because everyone besides me is a terrible driver. True story.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I think to most people everyone else is a horrible driver. Me? I’m just so happy to not be driving that I don’t care. Especially if I have my phone or a book.

    [Reply]

  3. Brigid Keely says:

    This is some pretty serious anxiety, and it’s affecting your life very negatively. Have you considered talking to your doctor about your panic attacks and anxiety? If you’re cool with prescription medication, it may be possible that drugs will help you keep an even emotional keel and not freak out every time you get in the car. I say this with the utmost love, as someone who freaks the fuck out over literally nothing because of brain chemistry.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    My thought about medication is that if this is pregnancy related it should go away (mostly) after delivery. I would hate to medicate during pregnancy and get my brain used to something and then need it afterwords. What is strange about it, that I had trouble expressing in the post, is that I am aware it is all in my head while it is happening. So, it is more really, really annoying, than say crippling. If that makes sense.

    [Reply]

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