Author Topic: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58  (Read 10945 times)

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Allyson

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2014, 03:08:56 AM »
If she uses the "it's not you I don't trust, it's the other drivers" ask why then she's fine with your fiancee driving you somewhere? The same 'other drivers' will still be on the road. Also true with the bus!

Lindee

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2014, 03:23:51 AM »
I'd be a lot more worried about my daughter taking the bus home alone at night and then walking to her home rather than driving herself to her door. The emotional blackmail your mother is pulling for whatever reason  really pushes a lot of buttons with me. You don't have to move to the other side of the world to escape it, (though that worked for me), but you do need to stop it somehow. Don't let your mother live your life for you. Pulling the you must do this or that my way or I'll be upset/worried/stressed is plain bullying.  (Gets off soapbox now.)

Margo

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2014, 06:00:46 AM »
I agree - drive, and don't discuss it with her.
I think the situation is slightly different if she doesn't want to be a passenger in your car - (My parents do drive with me, and with my siblings, but my mum has admitted that it took a long time to get used to the idea that this child is actually a grown up who is capable of driving! The difference is that my mum knew it wasn't a rational reaction, and kept quiet about it until after she got over it!) So if your mum doesn't want to be your passenger than I think that's up to her, but she doesn't get to decide whether that means that you each drive separately or whether you go with her.

I do personally call or text when I get back after a long journey, and I do it both for my parents, if I've been visiting them, and for my siblings and best friend, and they do it for me. It is usually a quick "It was lovely to see you, thank you for having me, I'm home safely" However, I can see that if you Mom is someone who is controlling or over anxious it may be less helpful.

Give n that you mention being something of a nervous driver, I would endorse the suggestion to lok into follow-on lessons. Do you have the equivalent of the Institute of  Advanced Drivers http://www.iam.org.uk/ in your area? Or a driving school which offers additional post-qualification lessons?

Seraphine1

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2014, 07:20:03 AM »
Last_Dance, you'll have to get tough on this one, otherwise it will be an issue for the rest of your years.  Drive, and refuse to discuss it with her. 

My MIL is nervous about my driving.  She doesn't have a driver's licence, and expects us all to check in after we leave her house, just to make sure we're okay on the road home. 

I don't usually do it, to be honest - it's her hangup.  My SIL constantly checks in, and also refuses to drive on the motorway out of sheer terror - her mom's issues have rubbed off.  Neither of them can undersand that I can - and will - drive all over the country by myself at any hour of the day (during Scottish winters, it's dark by 4pm... I'm hardly going to use "it's too dark" to keep from driving anywhere at night for 6 months!)  The more angsty they get about it, the less often I call.  They are gradually learning not to bug me about it. 

bopper

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2014, 09:13:21 AM »
Can't you drive close to home, and then pretend you took the bus?

LadyL

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2014, 09:37:11 AM »
Can't you drive close to home, and then pretend you took the bus?

I don't think the OP should have to lie about her behavior.

OP, one option besides driving to see your mom vs. taking the bus to appease her, is to tell her that you will postpone the plans until she's comfortable with you driving there. You can't control her behavior and it is NOT your job to manage her anxiety by protecting her from these kinds of "triggers." That is not helping, it's enabling.

AnnaJ

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2014, 09:38:05 AM »
Coming from another angle, could you address the issue with your mother as not wanting to adopt her phobia?  Say something like "Mom, you know how you really hate it that you are afraid of driving/cars?  Well, I know you don't mean to but when you ask me not to drive you're passing that fear on to me and I don't want that fear...and I know that you don't want me to have it either." 

OK, the wording could be better, but maybe if you presented it in a way that appeals to her desire to protect you - and she obviously has that desire, given her constant comments about your safety - you can shift her thought patterns so that when she expresses her fears you can remind her that she doesn't want to pass along her phobia to you.

GratefulMaria

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2014, 10:06:23 AM »
Coming from another angle, could you address the issue with your mother as not wanting to adopt her phobia?  Say something like "Mom, you know how you really hate it that you are afraid of driving/cars?  Well, I know you don't mean to but when you ask me not to drive you're passing that fear on to me and I don't want that fear...and I know that you don't want me to have it either." 

OK, the wording could be better, but maybe if you presented it in a way that appeals to her desire to protect you - and she obviously has that desire, given her constant comments about your safety - you can shift her thought patterns so that when she expresses her fears you can remind her that she doesn't want to pass along her phobia to you.

I didn't re-read the OP's posts so don't know if she addressed this outright, but I would avoid any mention of what mom wants.  My 83 y.o. mother did and does want me afraid, because then I'd live my life to her acceptable level of risk. 

She also worries when she doesn't know exactly where I am or how a situation is evolving (routine medical tests, anyone?), and she keeps talking to me about how afraid she is.  I have stopped telling her things, and I share fewer details of my life all the time.  The part about the OP not being able to stop and chat with a friend on the way home without resulting stress stemming from her mother's worries really bothered me.

In my case, no matter what I am doing or experiencing?  If my mother is aware of it, then her worry about it is what gets the airtime.  I stopped making room for that in my life.

(A PP mentioned moving to the other side of the world -- I'm doing it with mine under the same roof!)

julianna

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2014, 10:12:04 AM »
Your mother has a phobia.  No amount of logic and reasoning is going to talk her out of it.  In fact, too much discussion actually reinforces the idea that she has a legitimate concern.  (If she was worried that flying monkeys would attack you when you went to the post office, would you waste your time explaining how unlikely that was?)

I think you should have one last conversation, at a time when you aren't going to be driving somewhere that day.  Tell her that you understand she has a phobia (and I would use the word "phobia," even though she probably doesn't acknowledge that's what it is), but that every time she brings it up to you she creates anxiety in you.  And an anxious driver is not a safe driver.  So you're not going to discuss your driving with her anymore.  If she's feeling anxious about your driving, she can either keep it to herself or talk to someone else.  But if she brings it up with you, you will end the conversation.  (At this point, she probably will say something to justify her anxiety.  Stop her and say, "Mom, I've told you, I'm not going to listen to this anymore.") 

And if she tries again to use emotional manipulation like she did this time, you need to shut it down immediately.  If you want, you can give her the choice of you driving or you not coming (obviously, this choice will only work for certain situations).  But you simply can't enable her irrational fears anymore.  It's not good for you or for her.

Good luck!

bloo

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2014, 10:25:04 AM »
Coming from another angle, could you address the issue with your mother as not wanting to adopt her phobia?  Say something like "Mom, you know how you really hate it that you are afraid of driving/cars?  Well, I know you don't mean to but when you ask me not to drive you're passing that fear on to me and I don't want that fear...and I know that you don't want me to have it either." 

OK, the wording could be better, but maybe if you presented it in a way that appeals to her desire to protect you - and she obviously has that desire, given her constant comments about your safety - you can shift her thought patterns so that when she expresses her fears you can remind her that she doesn't want to pass along her phobia to you.

Actually I think this could work.

I had a situation that was a little different because it was more of a likely one-off. My DH is very high-anxiety. I've turned down doing things because he gets anxious. My kids have had to hold back on things because he gets anxious.

In the last few years I started taking back control so that my kids don't develop the same irrational fears or at least not freak out as much over every possible bad thing that can happen.

I remember me taking my two kids on a hike with friends about 4 years ago. It involved some climbing. I was scared but pushed myself to do it and felt like the queen of the world when I was standing on top of a huge ledge that I climbed. But when I saw my 13/14 year old son scaling a rock wall with his experienced, 18 yo buddy, my heart jumped in my mouth. I forced myself to keep my mouth shut and watched him scale to safety. A couple we are friends with that have two teen daughters chastised me for letting my son do that. Asking what would happen if he fell and broke his arm. I calmly replied, "I guess I'd take him to the hospital." The husband said, "I don't think DH would agree with this." To which I said, "Someone needs to turn the boy into a man. It should be the dad, but if not, then I'll need to." My concern was not letting my kids pick up on our irrational fears.

It wasn't until my late thirties that I stopped saying 'no' to everything because of fear and started saying 'yes' to things. Life is a lot more enjoyable.  Kids came home excited, DH was aggravated when he heard about our climbing and told me that he would probably have put a stop to it if he was there. So he was surprised when I told him, "I guess I'm glad you weren't there. We had a blast." That was definitely a turning point for me.

So when I was invited to go overseas a year later with my mom and my brother to my mom's home country I leapt at the chance. When I told DH about it, he laughed and said, "...but you're not going."

To which I replied, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I'm not about to not go because you are scared. There will be no discussion about me not going. The only discussion we'll have is about what would help make you feel a little more comfortable about me going. I am going."

After that, DH has realized that just because something scares him doesn't mean it always has to stop us.

So a conversation to Mom along the lines with, "...I'm driving. There will be no 'not driving just to make you comfortable'. I'm willing to text you when I get home after visiting you (not everytime you get home from somewhere just when you get home from visiting Mom). You will have to learn to be comfortable with that."

MrTango

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2014, 11:14:15 AM »
OP, I think you need to use whatever mode of transportation you want to use, regardless of your mother's opinions or issues.  Her anxiety is her disorder to deal with.

As for contacting her whenever you get where you're going, I'd refuse to do that as well.  Ordinarily, I don't have a problem with letting someone know I've made it home safely after a long drive (several hours) or in very bad weather.  The thing is, if my mother behaved as your mother does, I'd refuse to give her the "I'm home safe" call/text/email even in circumstances where I'd normally be inclined to let a friend or another family member know.

camlan

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2014, 11:18:49 AM »
When I first moved out of my parents' home after college, I lived in a big city. But I shared my apartment with one of my brothers.

After a somewhat alarming incident in a very different part of my city, my mother, who had grown up in that city, became very concerned about my safety. It went from her starting to call me more often, to newspaper clippings of how to stay safe in the Big City, to telling me not to leave home without my brother to escort me.

We worked in different parts of the city, had different friends, different schedules, different things we liked to do. Apart from sharing the apartment, we did almost nothing together. And my brother sure as heck would not want his little sister tagging along on his bar hopping or his dates.

I just didn't tell my mother everything I did. When I mentioned activities, I'd also mention the friends I was with, if any, so that she'd realize I wasn't alone. Or I just didn't talk about things if I thought she'd start up with the worrying again. And eventually, Mom realized that I wasn't getting mugged every time I left my apartment and she didn't have to worry so much. (I'd also gone to college in the same city, but apparently living in a dorm was much safer than an apartment, to my mother.)

At some point, you just have to say, "No, Mom, that's silly. Of course I'll drive over to your house. Unless you don't want me to come over?"

You either stand up for yourself or give in to your mother's fears. It is not your job to keep her from worrying, or help her handle her fears. That's her job.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Lynn2000

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2014, 11:43:07 AM »
I agree with a lot of the comments. I know some anxious people in my life and it is a very hard thing to deal with. Some of them are very good about passing on their anxiety to others. Then I take a step back and I think, "Wait, why am I anxious about X? I wasn't before. Oh, it's because Sue tells me all the time how anxious she is about it."

My boss is very anxious. That's tough to deal with because she's my boss, and I feel obligated to go along with some of her fears because they're work-related. Like if the worldwide standard is for people to use a certain piece of equipment alone, but she has these irrational anxieties about things that could go wrong with it and so she decrees that in her office, people will use it in pairs--I don't feel like I can defy that, because she's the boss and she gets to make the rules for her office (within reason, of course, but I don't feel that particular rule is worth fighting). So not only do I always use that equipment in pairs, I teach other people to do it that way as well, and people from other offices laugh at us, and it's inconvenient to schedule, but frankly, I'd rather not have my boss mad at me.

On the other hand, for a work trip, my boss does not get to dictate how I get to the airport (I should make a reliable friend or family member pick me up at 4am instead of hiring a taxi, because my boss doesn't trust taxis? No). She doesn't get to dictate what flights I take (unless it's a matter of time/money, since work is paying for it). She doesn't get to dictate how I get between home and work, or where I go to lunch (sushi! the horror!), or what I do in my free time. It took me a long time to realize and draw these boundaries, and to deflect her appropriately. Now I do what I want and I give her very little information, and what I do say, I say firmly as a done deal. "How are you getting to the airport?" "I arranged for a taxi." "Couldn't your dad drive you instead? You know how taxis..." "No, I arranged for a taxi."

On another topic, I do like my parents to call me when they get home from visiting me, because they're old and live in the country and the weather hasn't been great lately. Sometimes they voluntarily call when they come home from being somewhere else, which always kind of surprises me, but pleasantly so. When I'm traveling I text them as I arrive in various places (airport 1, airport 2, hotel...) but I'm a contrary person; if they insisted I do it, I probably wouldn't. ::) My boss tried to insist I do it for her and I just don't, because I know for her it's a matter of anxiety and not a legitimate professional need, and I don't want to give in to that.
~Lynn2000

Dr. F.

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2014, 12:06:20 PM »
OP, your mom's level of anxiety doesn't sound normal. You might want to suggest she discuss it with her Dr. (I'm saying this as someone who takes anti-anxiety meds.)

Roe

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Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2014, 01:16:24 PM »
I have anxiety issues and I'm an overprotective mother to boot! So let me say that I get where your mother is coming from. Not that she's right,but I get it.

Let me tell you this...the more control you give her, the more control she'll want and expect.

Deep down, I love it when my boys set boundaries with me. It helps me keep this anxiety at bay. I'll never forget when my oldest was five and I'd just reminded him yet again about some random danger he should lookout for when all of a sudden he stopped, looked me in the eye and said, "I'm not going to allow you to make me afraid anymore." And he hasn't since that day. He's an adult now and he realizes that I'm overprotective but he sets his own boundaries of what level of "mama crazy" he's willing to accept. :)