on the edge

Driving in the mountains can really scare me.  In the passenger seat I can look out my window and see the drop off.  Yep, straight down. There is no guard rail, no rock wall, nothing.  As the contents of my stomach struggle to stay down, I am trying so hard to not look like I think I might die at any moment.  I forced myself to relax to a point where I could nonchalantly say “you know, if our car went off the side, we would die…” 

“I am going very slow Ally” he says. 

 “It doesn’t matter how slow you’re going if your car falls of the side of a mountain.”

“Ally, look at all the trees, the trees would stop the car…”

“We would probably die from impact”

“Yeah… if you hit your head on a tree”

“The trees would smash in the roof of the car, we would die.”

You can’t argue with a crazy person, he should know this by now.  I used to get very nervous at times in the car when Brad was driving, usually on the highway.  When I am in the car, and I start to get nervous, there is a point of no return and very little chance of me not quietly freaking out from the inside out.  My breathing gets shallow, I feel sick and upset, my heart races, and all I want to do is get out.  I start imagining things that could happen with the car, things that are possible, but also things that I have never seen or heard of happening. 

It’s completely irrational. 

I know it is a control/trust issue, it only happens when other people are driving.  Knowing that doesn’t help much when it sneaks up on me.  I am a thousand times better now than I was five years ago.  I almost never experience that anymore, just every once in a while, and even then I can usually talk myself out of it.  I hope that is an indication of being more trusting and less controlling.   But still, driving up a mountain with a drop off is scary.

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6 thoughts on “on the edge

  1. Sarah says:

    I get the same way in that situation. When I was younger my mom would speed around corners on mountains with no guard rails. I don’t know how we all lived! I still get pretty nervous too, but I have a husband that drives very carefully and slowly so it is easier to just quietly freak out. It gets worse when a car comes toward us going the opposite direction! then my safety net of the other side of the road is momentarily cut off and I hold my breath. Anyway, I totally understand where you are coming from!

  2. Elysia says:

    I had a similar experience while my hubby was driving on a road where cars were coming 50mph in the opposite direction,only a double yellow line separating us. There are two lanes on each side, cars passing constantly,a lot of traffic, trucks, cars turning etc. I say to my hubby, I am always frightened here b/c this is where I was in a car accident, 1 year ago. There was a big truck on the other side and a car stop, it looked like the truck would swerve into us. I got really scared and nervous and kept telling him “watch out” etc. We had an intense conversation about trust, but all I kept saying is “I trust you, I just don’t trust the other drivers!” Self preservation is hard to trump with trust in MHO.

  3. Ally says:

    Sarah, It’s nice to know someone else feels the same way. Cars coming past you from the other direction, that definately makes it worse.

    Elysia – There are the other drivers to consider, you are right. Accidents do happen and I think it’s natural to be nervous when you feel threatened. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Sir J says:

    It is not a trust/control issue. It is an irrational fear the key word being irrational. Trust can only be given where there is choice and choices are only made well when there is rational thought behind them.

    While I agree the situation was scary but likely not as dire as your fear made it out to be. I also recognize that fear is a feeling and irrational or not you are entitled to your feelings and I can only hope you trust yourself enough to deal with them, sharing is a great start.

  5. KayLynn says:

    Dear Ally,

    I am so glad that you are seeing improvements with your control issues. I have a husband who is a very confident driver and has never caused or even been involved in anything of substance (only minor fender benders – the other people were at fault) and yet for probably the first 15 at least years of our marriage I finally – for sanity purposes – and marital status decided to (as he’d suggested on too many occasion – I closed my eyes).

    I fought with him for years about why he just couldn’t FOR MY SAKE drive like he had less testosterone. Well that was then this is now:

    I have convinced myself he is not going to kill me and I will live. It is mind over matter – not letting the anxiety manifest itself in the battle of trying to control him. B/c I know it will always be something I will want to change in him – for no other reasons than I am desperate to have someone do some thing my way! And in reality I have to relax and learn to trust – and I don’t like it so much… just sayin!

  6. Ally says:

    J – Brad knows how scared I get sometimes, he tries to adjust to make me feel better. Sometimes I live in a world of “what ifs?” I think I deal with it ok. Better than I used to anyway.

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