Fear of Driving

As a child of alcoholic, I have an ability to get extremely fearful during conflicts and other situations like normal conflicts with spouse or appraisal meetings at work and get very anxious that I can't function normally. I also have a fear of driving that I will crash and die if I drive. I have been procrastinating on getting my driving license for years. I have learned driving with my husband amd some classes and I drive fine, just need some practice to pass my test but this fear of crashing keeps me from even practicing. Can it be because of the extreme fear I have lived with all my childhood living with an alcoholic unpredictable parent or is it something any normal adult can feel? Has anyone else experienced something like this?
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  • Hi @Shimmer sorry for missing this post. I used to be very fearful to drive... I actually had my Learner’s til I was 18 (partly because my mother lost her license from a DUI so I wasn’t able to practice & because I was scared to drive & terrified to Fail). I later got in a couple of really bad car accidents and had PTSD from both, so it took a while to get back behind the wheel... the more I practiced (sometimes down dirt roads in the middle of nowhere), I felt more comfortable and learned to trust myself. You will do fine.... just wait til you feel confident and trust in yourself to pass the test
  • @Shimmer... Have you ever thought about talking to a therapist about your fear of driving? It might really help you. Just a thought.
  • @Shimmer Fear of crashing is not irrational, because it's a distinct possibility, but when the rest of us calculate the odds of being involved in a crash -- our fault or not -- they don't compare to the overall benefits of driving: the freedom to move around, access to help in an emergency, owning a vehicle that's yours, etc. You haven't been able to make that usually logical leap and trade-off. There's something behind it that probably needs to be explored by a professional like @deand said.
    What I have found after years of therapy is that my alcoholism and porn addiction became coping mechanisms and survival skills for trauma I endured as a child. Those weren't the only warped skills that developed. I became a bit of a narcissist, but I also had massive aversion to loud noises and was a control freak.
    It's amazing what can come out of traumatic situations that you don't recognize until you're guided by a professional. If driving really freaks you out, don't force yourself until you get some therapy.
  • @Shimmer hey there. thanks for reaching out. i can relate to the fear of driving, or crashing too. when i was a young adult, i was terrified of getting into an accident and wouldn't drive outside of my tiny town.... but over the years i worked on that irrational fear...and yes, i agree that therapy can be quite helpful. to work on where the roots of that fear stem from.... and work with the thoughts underlying such fears.

    control.... that's something to think about. as an ACOA, i've spent a great deal of energy trying to keep my environment "controlled"... b/c i don't care for conflict...or contrast...and if i feel in control, i feel safer. but the reality is i'm pretty darn powerless. i mean, in the grand scheme of things, i don't have much control. but it's taken me a while to learn this...and still learning.

    are you able to seek therapy for this?

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