I am terrified of driving. Partly this is because I am uncoordinated and so in my thus far brief attempts, I have really struggled. I also struggle somewhat with ball sports and dancing. My mum thinks that this is not all about my lack of coordination but rather about my unrealistic expectations for how good I should be at something the first time I try it, a characteristic she claims I have had since I was a baby. There is also the OCD interpretation of my fear of driving, which says that I am afraid to have such a responsibility in my hands in case I accidentally cause harm. Lastly, there is the more psychoanalytic approach, which would say that my fear must have something to do with the fact that my dad is involved in motor sports and I have always been scared that he will have a terrible accident.
Whatever the case may be, driving would be useful so I decided I’d have another bash at it, pun intended, when I noticed an ad for a school that specializes in automatics and anxious drivers. They sent a female instructor who, they assured me, was experienced in helping overcome difficulties. She came and was extremely nice and seemed to know what she was talking about. She asked me a little about what problems I had had in the past. I listed what I could remember, which includes problems with left and right, turning the wheel in the direction that will make the car go in the direction I was aiming for (!), remembering which pedal is which and which foot to use for which pedal, and doing multiple things at a time. She asked about my sporting talents and whether I was “more academic?” I said, yes, academic described me well. She reassured me that she had worked with lots of people with dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s, then hastened to add that she wasn’t saying I had any of the above. I laughed and thought for a second about telling her a long story about OCD. I thought better of it. The important thing was that I could see she had recognized my “type” quickly.
The lesson went well. I mean, I did manage to hit a curb and press the gas instead of the brake, but there was no damage since we were only going for 10 metres on a deserted road. At the end there were no tears of sadness or frustration. She said that within about five lessons I should know whether driving is “for me”….