Author Topic: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58  (Read 10095 times)

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LadyL

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 11:16:34 AM »
I have a mother who is overly anxious and worried constantly (about everything, not a specific trigger).  Yes, we've talked to her (and my dad) about talking to her doctor, but I don't think she has.

From this, I can tell you that, the *more* you do the thing that she's anxious about, the better.

POD. It's basically exposure therapy. My mother doesn't like to travel by herself at all, whether by car, train, or bus. She is so neurotic that she drives my aunt and uncle home from her house when they live literally around the block (like, she lives on 12th st and they live on 11th) and are able bodied enough to walk. I do NOT feed into this insanity and she mostly leaves me alone. Part of why is that I travelled solo all the time when I was in college, and then working in a state 3 hours away from her for several years.  I did not call her every time I went somewhere to let her know I arrived safely (like she does with my aunt). The times I drove in the snow and nearly got stuck or spun out or whatever, I didn't call her. The 2 times I was in  minor car accidents, I didn't call her (car only had scrapes and no one was hurt). For the first few years, she got upset with me fairly often for making her worry. But eventually she got over it. Now she will *occasionally* tell me to be careful if I am driving at night in the rain or something, but she doesn't expect me to hold to the same standards she does.

MrTango

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 11:26:08 AM »
How about "Mother, I appreciate that you have anxiety issues about driving, but your constant nagging at me about it is making it hard for me to want to communicate with you at all.  Please stop commenting to me about the fact that I drive my car."

HorseFreak

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2014, 11:28:06 AM »
This might freak her out, but you could remind her that buses have neither seat belts nor invisible force fields surrounding them.

TootsNYC

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2014, 11:34:45 AM »
regarding anxiety: I learned from my kid's treatment for OCD (which is an anxiety-triggered condition):
   Giving in to anxiety only makes it stronger. Denying it, "speaking back to it," makes it weaker.
   And, "exposure therapy" works for anxiety--the human psyche can be at a fever-pitch of anxiety only so long, and it wears out. That's good for the anxiety.

Drive. And tell your mother, "I do not want you to talk to me about this anymore. Its your hangup, and I really do not want you to make this mine."

I grew up with a mother who refused to worry; I married into a MIL who worries. I get angry when she says, "Call me when you get there, so I know you're safe." I believe in the "no news is good news" idea very strongly. I've flat-out refused to call, even if I'm driving home on a snowy night, saying, "If I do have trouble I can't handle, I -will- call; I won't be stupid and try to tough it out."
   I've given in a few times, when weather was really bad, but I stuck to my guns often enough that she gave up, and now I don't think it even occurs to her to worry unless the weather is really, really lousy.

And this is really important, I believe:
Quote
t also helps to subtly show her how much a certain thing is done and how common it is, and how it usually is fine.  The more something is seen as "the norm," the more it seems to settle my mom's fears, at least.

In many situations in which people act irrationally or unreasonably, I think the most effective thing to do is to insist upon acting in a rational or reasonable manner. Don't try to argue with their irrationality--that only sends the subtle message that she must be right after all, or at least that she has the power to determine what you do, since you seem to need to persuade her away from her stance.
   I don't even think you should acknowledge her fear, not anymore. You're not her therapist.

Just say, "Mom, please don't dump your hangup on me," and leave the conversation. And drive.

DavidH

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2014, 11:41:50 AM »
I think you need to omit the discussion of how you will get to her house in the future, but honestly, if it were me, I'd say there are only two options, one is I drive to your house and meet you, the other is we don't meet.  I wouldn't give into it because it's ridiculous, particularly if one option is her driving you.  Wouldn't that be worse, she has to make the trip to your house and back, and you have to take the bus, so it's more total time on the road. 

As an aside, if the accident were 25+ years ago and she is still that anxious, it may be time to seek additional help that would enable her to better deal with it. 

metallicafan

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2014, 11:49:29 AM »
My father is the type who is extremely anxious and worries about everything all the time.  It took me a long time to learn that his fears do not need to be MY fears.  I think that the longer you indulge your mother's anxieties,  the worse it will be for her and you.  In my own family, I have seen the dehabilitating effects of allowing your fears and anxieties to rule your life and it is not good.  Tell her that you are a perfectly capable adult.  And drive. 

Tea Drinker

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2014, 01:32:06 PM »
Use your car when you want. And if she keeps criticizing, point out that it sure sounds as though she doesn't trust you: a bus might or might not be safer than a private car, but when she says she wants your fiance to drive instead of you, or she wants to be the driver when the two of you are traveling together, that is a criticism of your driving. Someone who really doesn't like cars/driving won't be offering to "solve" the problem by driving herself instead. It doesn't stop being a criticism because she starts with "it's not that I don't trust you."

"I don't trust the other drivers on the road" is an argument for "wear your seatbelt even if you're sure you won't do anything risky." Not for "don't drive, get X to drive and sit in the passenger seat."
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2014, 01:55:39 PM »
So basically the message is, here's a car whatever you do don't drive it? That's like giving you a computer then never wanting you to use to because scammers and predators use computers.

I got my license the day I turned 16, I love to drive. My mother wanted me to drive, but was terrified for the first few years. Because I was her kid, and it was odd for her to see me drive (I mean, she was used to me not even knowing how to walk). Now she cheerfully lets me drive anywhere because she loves to text and I won't let her text and drive. My grandma didn't learn to drive until a few years ago because of a terrible accident she witnessed as a kid. She was always worried we'd be involved in a horrific accident, but always wanted to go places to. So she somehow managed the car rides knowing she was about to die (my grandmother is rather dramatic). Now that she drives, she won't even acknowledge her prior hang ups.

I say don't feed the fear. Yes, something terrible could happen if you drive. Or take the bus. Or leave the house. Or never leave the house. The thing about life is, no one gets out alive. So you accept that at any moment something could happen, and then you just keep on living. Drive to your mom, drive whenever you want to drive, your mom will get over her worry or learn to live with it.

Now, as for the "call me when you get there", I'm very guilty of this. I lost my college girlfriend in a terrible car accident and didn't find out for a few days. I assumed she arrived safely when I didn't hear from her (she was supposed to be camping so cells wouldn't work well anyways). So I was shocked when her brother reached out to me via Myspace a few days later (her family lived in another state and I hadn't met them yet). It was horrible. Right after I was at my worst, terrified anytime someone left, but even now (several years and many hours of therapy later) if someone is leaving and it's night (she died at night), I ask them to text me when they get home. I don't freak out as much anymore, but my best friends (and mom) know to shoot me a "home safe, night" text, so that I'm not worried.

cheyne

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2014, 02:43:14 PM »
Put your foot down and use your car when you want to.  I wouldn't explain or even tell her the hows and whys of it.  You are a married 26 year old woman, why would your mother even care if you were using your car?  She doesn't seem to mind if your DH drives or if she drives, just if you drive.  Is she usually this controlling of your actions otherwise?

redcat

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2014, 05:23:14 PM »
Just a thought, but your local driving school may have lessons for "improvers" if you feel like you want more practise after you've got your license.  And no, don't indulge your mother.

perpetua

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2014, 05:41:10 PM »
Put your foot down and use your car when you want to.  I wouldn't explain or even tell her the hows and whys of it.  You are a married 26 year old woman, why would your mother even care if you were using your car?  She doesn't seem to mind if your DH drives or if she drives, just if you drive.  Is she usually this controlling of your actions otherwise?

OK, I'm going to throw this into the ring: Is it possible your mother doesn't consider you a good or safe driver and this is her way of saying so? You say yourself in your OP that you're anxious behind the wheel and need more practice. In a cruel paradox, very overly anxious drivers can actually be extremely unsafe as a result.

I do sympthaise though, because my father is the anxious type and if I don't call in adequate time after I get home from seeing him, he'll start calling and calling until I pick up. It drives me mad, so I do understand where you're coming from. So I say go ahead and use your car whenever you want to and don't indulge her too much, but if you *do* genuinely need more practice, perhaps look at taking some instruction.

wolfie

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2014, 06:06:48 PM »
So basically the message is, here's a car whatever you do don't drive it? That's like giving you a computer then never wanting you to use to because scammers and predators use computers.

I got my license the day I turned 16, I love to drive. My mother wanted me to drive, but was terrified for the first few years. Because I was her kid, and it was odd for her to see me drive (I mean, she was used to me not even knowing how to walk). Now she cheerfully lets me drive anywhere because she loves to text and I won't let her text and drive. My grandma didn't learn to drive until a few years ago because of a terrible accident she witnessed as a kid. She was always worried we'd be involved in a horrific accident, but always wanted to go places to. So she somehow managed the car rides knowing she was about to die (my grandmother is rather dramatic). Now that she drives, she won't even acknowledge her prior hang ups.

I say don't feed the fear. Yes, something terrible could happen if you drive. Or take the bus. Or leave the house. Or never leave the house. The thing about life is, no one gets out alive. So you accept that at any moment something could happen, and then you just keep on living. Drive to your mom, drive whenever you want to drive, your mom will get over her worry or learn to live with it.

Now, as for the "call me when you get there", I'm very guilty of this. I lost my college girlfriend in a terrible car accident and didn't find out for a few days. I assumed she arrived safely when I didn't hear from her (she was supposed to be camping so cells wouldn't work well anyways). So I was shocked when her brother reached out to me via Myspace a few days later (her family lived in another state and I hadn't met them yet). It was horrible. Right after I was at my worst, terrified anytime someone left, but even now (several years and many hours of therapy later) if someone is leaving and it's night (she died at night), I ask them to text me when they get home. I don't freak out as much anymore, but my best friends (and mom) know to shoot me a "home safe, night" text, so that I'm not worried.

I don't think the "call me when you get there" is a bad thing. I do it when I come home from my parent's house, and they do it when they get home from my house. I feel like a 2 minute conversation isn't such a big deal and well... things can happen on the road and if that happens of course they aren't going to hear from you. My ex was in a car accident once and I only found out about it when the hospital called me to say something so I like to hear people made it home safe and sound too.

Mergatroyd

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2014, 06:40:32 PM »
Drive to her place. If you truly are an anxious driver, and if you are worse with a nervous passenger, then take the bus with her from there on. Then when you get back to her place, drive yourself home. Drive everywhere, as often as possible, until you get comfortable enough to have her as a passenger.

Because if she comfortable having your DF drive you, or herself drive you, then it's not the driving that is the problem, it is the driver. Your anxiety makes hers worse. Hers then makes yours worse. Vicious circle.

 

SPuck

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2014, 07:31:18 PM »
I don't think the "call me when you get there" is a bad thing.

I think the "call me when you get there" aspect is a bad thing if it feeds a person's anxiety as it happened in LadyL's story and seems to be happening in Last_Dance's situation.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 11:09:03 PM by SPuck »

Last_Dance

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car"
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2014, 02:36:08 AM »
I let you down, E-Hell  :-[

Mom insisted she had had such a bad week she couldn't possibly take the stress of me driving, so I gave in. On the bright side, I warned her this will be the last time I do and I fully intend to follie through.
I'm so angry with myself for giving in....

A couple of answers to previous posts

Perpetua, the funny thing is, my mom has actually told me she thinks I'm a better driver than her. She just doesn't want me to do it.


Re: calling or texting when I get home

Mom wanted me to do that even when I used exclusively public transport. I don't think it would work for us because she has a fairly good idea of how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B and if she doesn't hear from me in her estimated time, she starts gettin anxious again. Then I'll get irritated because I was just stuck in traffic or missed the usual bus because I stopped to chat with a friend or went to grab a snack...

It really wouldn't help with her anxiety or her controlling tendencies. Are you familiar with Mother Gothel's song from Disney's Tangled? That's my mom.
The difference is, she'd actually sing about car crashes and muggers and people who run red lights and run over innocent pedestrians and seriously believe every word...
We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.