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I Hate Myself For Being Unable To Drive

I'm 33 years old, and I can't learn to drive...When I was 16 and trying to learn it was horrible, and I really couldn't do it no matter how much I practiced...finally it was figured out that I had a learnng disability that had always affected my coordination, attention span, sense of direction, visual perception. (I already had ****** self esteem, because I was so embarrassed, I had trouble with simplest things, and I constantly felt stupid)...I tried two different driving teachers, one of whom specialized in the disabled...he couldn't get anywhere with me. I tried vision therapy which didnt work, I tried learning at the Kessler Institute, and it didn't work. I try to watch other people drive, but nothing helps, this is something I don't think I will ever be able to learn. I am so embarrassed...I don't tell people if I can help it, I'm afraid no one will want to be friends with me when if I find out, so I am reluctant to make friends. My husband and my parents drive me around, I'm lucky to havfe people who are willing to do that, but I feel like a little kid, I don't feel like an adult with my 'mommy' and 'daddy' having to drive me around. I have a degree but it doesn't matter because I always have to worry if I can 'get to' a job. My parents are only willing to go certain distances, and I understand that. I have a baby and a four year old , and one day I know they will be embarrassed by me, because everyone else's mother can drive. I'll never be able to take them somewhere by myself. They'll be disgusted with me because they'll know if their dad is out, they will be stuck in the house because their mom is too stupid to drive. I can't say I blame them. I am unemployed now, and it's a tough job market for everyone, but it's harder to find a job when you don't drive and you can't get a lot of places. At one point, my husband suggested going back to school , but I don't want to waste money on getting a degree when I may not be able to get to any jobs that may be available. I feel bad for him, I don't know why he bothered with me. He's always stuck doing all the driving. If we go to a party, he can never just relax and get trashed, because I can't drive us back home, it's not fair to him. I'm just a huge **** up in so many ways ... I feel bad for my mother too, she deserved much better in a child...she didn't deserve to have a dummy who's still dependent on her. I try not to tell her too much about how I feel about this, because I know it breaks her heart to see me upset. I just hate myself, I hate having to ask people if they can take me places...even getting a haircut is a big production, because I have to make sure someone can take me. I just really hate myself, and I'm so ashamed. I have a pretty high IQ and excel a lot at some things, but I just don't have the coordination/ability to drive...I'm ******* worthless. I try not to think about it, because it just bothers me so much, but sometimes I can't help it. Everyday, whether it's riding with someone, or making an appointment to go somewhere, everyday I get a little reminder of what a ******* failure I am. And to top it off, I feel guilty about feeling so sorry for myself,, I'm healthy, and God knows there are people whose lives are much worse than mine, but I can't help it, this just crushes me. It just makes me hate myself so much.
lightswillguideuhome lightswillguideuhome 31-35 51 Responses Dec 20, 2010

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I felt the same way too. My driving was terrible. I would at times regret moving to USA especially California where people hardly use public transport. My husband tried teaching me but for me it took too long to do those maneuvers. Left turn, and parellel parking was getting on my nerves.i couldn't understand right of way. We hired a instructor finally but only wasted a lot of money on him but still the same. Finally i came across a very nice Korean Instrutor who did magic. So it also depends on what kinda instructor you use. Finally after spending 1500$ on instructors i passed my driving test on the first attempt. Luckily i found a very kind man as my examiner on DMV as some of them are too rude. Now i feel driving is easy. just need to get out of that FEAR and do it. GOOD LUCK

I am 22. When I was a kid I was able to drive a bike. Slowly down the road, I started realizing that I am not cut out for driving. I do have skills in which I am good at, driving ain't one of them. I have spent nights worrying about the things I couldn't do in my life. But then I realized , life is all about hope. Sometimes I have to accept the fact that I can't drive and move on. There are lot of other things which makes me happy. Life is all about doing things we love , not about doing things we can't and worrying about it.

I am kind of going through the same. I got my permit but my instructor seems to go crazy with my driving and on the other Hand they are so expensive. They charge not less than 50 $ an hour. I feel sorry for my husband who has to pay. I regret moving to this country as driving is making me more and more frustrated along with other problems of life. God please help.

Till the age of 27 and a half, I lived in a country where you could get anywhere you wanted on public transportation. Besides, everything was close by, and you could just walk down the road and buy everything from groceries to clothes. A lot of people didn't drive it wasn't considered unusual. <br />
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Then I married and moved to a US suburb with no public transit. I tried to learn driving but it makes me so nervous and scared, and frankly I don't like it. My hubby has the time, so when I want to buy clothes he just drops me off at a store which is 10 minutes away and picks me up when I am done. We do grocery shopping together. It is sometimes inconvenient for him, but we manage fine because we don't have kids. <br />
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However, I get a lot of criticism and judgment from a lot of people. People make me feel useless, even when I am better off than them in other ways. I get a lot of flak from people, it's like they love it when they find somebody who cannot do something they can do, and lose no time berating and belittling. I do feel stupid and worthless sometimes though I do have decent IQ.<br />
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I really want to get over my fear and learn, but I don't know if I can do it. It's like a phobia. It's really hard because I used to be so independent. Now I cannot do a lot of things I want to. My plan is to move to a big city with public transit so that I can be more independent.

I have never been in the drivers seat of a car. I live in central/coastal NJ. It does not bother me anymore that I don't drive. I used to when people would hound me about it and talk about how beneficial it would be for me. Those people are gone now. I am 31. I walk a lot, ride my bike when it's not too freezing and windy and I enjoy long bike rides. People always thought it was because I wanted to help the environment, which I am passionate about, but that's not why I don't drive. I just never wanted to be that person behind the wheel. As a pedestrian and cyclist, I know that I can only ever get hit. I'll never have to deal with police because of an accident, deal with the guilt of hitting another car, pedestrian or cyclist, or having my car break down. I plan on buying a good touring bike now. I'm lucky to live in a semi-urban/suburban area, though. I can take the bus or train to NYC on a whim. I can literally walk across the street and just leave to NYC on a bus. I don't do that, though, as I never went to NYC much. I walk around a lot. I find money all of the time while walking or on my bike. In the past few months I've found probably over $100. I don't regret not driving at all. It's just a different way of experiencing life. You develop more patience. Try taking Amtrak or Greyhound across the country. Painful but enjoyable.

Great post, thank you so much for sharing. You sound so grounded and self-assured in your perspective; it's a great way to view not driving. Question: how do you get to work or to the grocery store, especially when it's too cold or wet to bike?

I am a man, almost 40 and can't drive.

Who cares. Everyone has different skills. Some people cannot write, some people are not good in sports, some people are not good communicators...

Look at it the positive way: public transport is more effective, public transport is cheaper than maintaining a car, you don't have to worry about drink and drive... Only when I go to places like Toronto or Miami I wish I could drive, except NY where indeed it's easier, faster and cheaper to walk or take taxis.

I understand EXACTLY how you feel-I am the same way, but I am 44 and have had 2 learners permits in my life, but still don't drive. It makes you feel as if your a burden to everyone around you, and feel helpless. My family keeps hounding me to get my license, but they just don't understand the TRAMA in actually going about it! I feel for you, but I NEVER have felt worthless-because you have to stop and think about what part you contribute to society, and believe me, I am POSITIVE that several people would be negatively affected without you in their lives!! :) Don't ever feel "worthless", because its not your fault this is happening

My hubby also cannot drive. I personally like to drive but I wish I didn't have to all the time. Like going to urgent care cuz I'm hurt. That sucks

I am 27 years old and can't drive because I have epilepsy. My husband who is the same age also can't drive and refuses to get his licence. I'm not sure why, but I think he is just scared. We are lucky enough to live within walking distance from the local shopping centre in a town with great public transport, but I am worries about our future.

We struggle to go on holidays and visit family and friends and have to buy our groceries on a day to day basis because we can't shop in bulk.

We want to start having children and I'm scared. I don't want to have to take a new born on the bus to have to go to the doctors or visit relatives, and I don't want our children to miss out on doing things because we can't drive them around. I really wish my husband would man up and learn to drive, but he insists he doesn't need to. I am scared and embarrassed. I feel as though I'm not independent and not a real adult because I have to rely on other people to get me around.

I am 38 years old and I cannot drive! My grandmother didn't drive, my mother, and now me. I have to depend on my husband to drive me everywhere and I feel like such a failure. I an a teacher and I have a masters degree but with all of my accomplishments people always look down on the fact that I don't drive. Is this some kind of curse passed down to the women in my family? I am so depressed about it and I am often embarrassed to tell people I don't drive they often look at me like I have two heads... I am so depressed about it... I really want to learn but I am so scared...

I am making an account on here to respond. I have never heard of this site. I found this post by accident.

I am a 26 year old single white American male. I cannot drive.

Nor could my mother.

None of her children are embarrassed by her. Least of all, me.

My mother and I have circumstances different from yours, being that our inability to drive is not from a learning disability like you describe, but rather from a rare eye condition called optic neuropathy. My mother and I have terrible vision. We can still function for the most part. I have a job. But getting there is as much a concern for me as any other non-driving person.

I knew since I was 15 or so that I would never be capable of driving. It was difficult and terrifying to realize. I had no idea what I would do with my life.

I have had a few jobs, and fortunately for me, I was able to land a position with an electronics recycling company four years ago, and have proven myself valuable enough to the owners and my coworkers that my talents are worth any inconvenience they might have to endure to get me to our shop. Fortunately, again, I have many options available for rides to work.

It wasn't all luck, though. After working there for 3 years, I made a strategic decision to move into an area where most of my coworkers lived so that I would always have many options to get there.

I have learned how to think very unconventionally over the years (or inventionally, as I prefer). Lack of a car forces you to think outside of the box in ways most people never have to. It can make you stronger, more creative, and more empathetic to the plights of others.

I have learned not to hate myself or be depressed because of my limitations. It is difficult, but it is possible.

I am single by choice. I have no desire for children, so for me, those worries will never be a part of my life. But there are things I will miss out on.

I have surrounded myself with good people. I have cultivated deep relationships with trustworthy friends who are willing to go out of their way to help me whenever they can. It is not easy, but I have grown from being the scared and morose young man I used to be. I am more capable and driven, and perhaps powerful than I have ever been.

But I still can't drive. It is still a constant nuisance.

I do not understand you fully, for I do not know you. We are completely separate people with different upbringings, values, and experiences.

But I know what it is like to know you will never drive. In the United States, it is difficult. It is frightening. It is painful. But it does not have to be crippling.

You are not alone. There is no reason for shame.

www.arthurpope.com

Your comments here somehow ring more true than almost anything else I've read about this. I was born blind in one eye with fairly poor eyesight in the other which put me JUST below the legal minimum eyesight requirement for driving here in the UK. As a child the only thing was ever really interested in was cars so it's really devastating for me to not be able to drive. For most of my adult life (I’m 48) I just got on with doing what I could without driving. I've had to carefully choose where I live and work (Despite what a lot of Americans might think about public transport in Europe compared to the USA, in the UK outside main metropolitan centres public transport can be near non-existent). I live only 3mins walk from a train station which is great if I want to go into London or somewhere else on the direct line. but there are many places only a few miles from here which for most people are only a 5 minute journey but are in effect totally inaccessible to me. As I said for most of my life I just made the most I could of what's available to me but since getting married 5 years ago, my wife drives and is quite a car enthusiast herself. It's very unexpectedly made it all worse for me. When we first got together I thought it great that I could have access to a car and do the things you cannot do without one and live out my car interest though her. But as time has gone on it's actually made me more frustrated with my situation and resentful that she has the power over the one thing in life that I've always wanted. I see her being able to go and do things independently that I can only do if she is around to give me access to the car and when she's not available that's taken my car access away. Also if she takes me places and drops me off it makes me feel like a child being ferried around by a parent. I know that's a bit contradictory but that's the sort of feelings that go round my head. Generally our marriage is good we have a good relationship. But this issue really casts a cloud. I know I behave badly to her over it, being grumpy and sulky but my sense of injustice is just so overpowering sometimes. Nothing short of me having access to everything that having your own car gives you will do to make me feel equal. Sorry didn't mean to post such a log rambling reply....

Hi, I am also 26 years old and do not have a driver's license. I took driver's Ed in high school and did well but have always been scared whenever I get behind the wheel. I really want to drive but I need to overcome my underlying issues of fear and lack of motivation in life. It is embarrassing that I don't drive. My bf who is older than me has teenage daughters that have gotten their license w/o letting fear control them. Like some of you said I know driving doesn't define an individual but I feel like a kid at times. I am going to get my permit again and I pray that I will face this fear. Everyone's comments have helped and everyone of us are special in God's eyes.

sucks to be you

you wouldn't understand her circumstances anyway. that comment was unnecessary.

I'm 26 and disabled and blind in one eye with horrible site in the other. I know exactly how you feel. I can't drive no matter how much I want too. My vision is just ****** and I hate it so much sometimes I just want to scream. My mom takes me everywhere and she is not dependable. I hate it with a passion I feel like a nobody and the older I get the worse I hate myself and hate my life. I wish things were different for me but I just see it getting worse and worse. I am on my own no matter what my mother or anyone thinks. I don't have friends or a boyfriend but really who would want to be stuck with a crippled woman for the rest of their lives? I hope that one day things get better but really I just don't see it. You are lucky you do have a family that cares.

I am 48 male. Didnt grow up in the best of situations. My dad drank, my parents got divorced when I was 11. in Frist grand my teatcher sent home a paper to my mother that they felt I had Adhd and wanted them to have me checked out, my parents threw it away and said I was fine. But I knew I could focus as other kids did. then a few years later had trying with my visions, had testing adn they said I needed glasses. My mom said I dont pay attention to the Drs and thats why I didnt do well on that test, But I could see so much better. but in high school with more people complaining to her that I squinted all the time to see TV and at school so finally shot got them for me I could see really clear I always had a fear of driving althought I wated to, and took drivers Ed in 11th grade, did pretty well but was short drives. But I had a time with where we were going and paying attention to everying going on. I could focus on some things but all else was blocked out.

My family always pushed me just go get your license, but none would take me. I had my permit Several times over several years id pas the written test. Then could not get anyhone to take me o the test then finally my brother in law stuck with me and helped me get , took to do practices parking an dthings seveal times and I was able to pass it with out any problems So then I started driving first with a friend, and was feelign good about it. Stil very tensed through it all. but then Had several times where some one flew out in front of my try passing me when its not realy safe and I just lost it. My mind would go blank kind of like a comuter when you turn it off then back on.. And slowly the memorys would come, but id be at a stop light when something happend and when it start comning to I didn't where I was going, I couldnt tell you my name even if I had to, or where I was going, where I lived I had to really think hard and it finally come back to me then I had to remember the rules of driving who goes first etc , I got lost and didnt know how the heck I was getting back home but started thinking really heard about north and south and where I was then I realized I was ablout where a started out where the first people lived

Anyway I think mart of mine is Adhd, and part of it things of my childhood. Mo money to see a specialist. Anothing thing that I feared about driving is if the car breaks down and I have to walk to some ones house and they have big dogs. I am deathly afraide of of big bakey Dogs. I worked with a lady that got bit in the face bad scar From his bite..

I too was pressured by family and Freinds to drive. But its true they think if you cant drive its funny or something. Like look at me I dove since I was 14 like its something built into our system but teh only reason I didnt I was Lazy or something.

Anyway I eventually stopped only drove for less then a year but was enough. Yes its scary cause you get older and you keep thinkng what if they are right and I am wrong but then deep in side you know your doing all you can but nothing is working out. And I felt like if I didnt stop, either I or some one esle will end up dying from a accident. so I just stopped. Used to walk, or ride my bicyle to work ever day, Id drove off the side of the road or alleys and walk the bike in some aread till I got to places easier less to worry about. Think some sort of therapy might do me some good but first have to have the money, But maybe I should what they cost or to get them. When I drove if some one tried to ride with meI could not focus id start going really fast . Til they told me hey you better slow down, then i was like half freaked out I was going too fast lol Finally I just parked the car and said this is it. Im writing very late/early need to get to bed. so best to all of you, and know your not alone. Thanks

You told my whole story. I am 33 now and I never cared to learn to drive and the few times I have done it made me so nervous. I wonder why I just don't do it like everyone else. I see the fast cars and when it gets dark I'm on the passenger side I can't see so I'm afraid that if I drive I won't be able to stay on the road. I have a disabled child whose a teen now and everyday I look at her I am disgusted with myself . I failed her because I couldn't keep getting ppl to drive us to therapy so she missed out on a lot. We don't go anywhere because it's hard when you have no car. All of my extra money goes to gas in someone else's car. Thank god for my mother whose always here for us but I know she be tired and I hate myself. I lay in bed everynight thinking should I just give my child to someone who can give her a better life. I don't want a bf because I feel stupid and undeserving so I continue to be made a fool out of by my ex bf because he knows me and I don't wanna meet anyone knew and can't even meet them at the park alone. Why do I have this phobia it's ruining my life. I can't work cuz of my child and even if I cld I cldnt get there. I'm tired of looking at these Walls and my daughter looking at me like what a life. I feel like dying!!

I'm 22 two and going through the same thing we should talk.:)

I'm almost 26 and I can't drive (I don't have my license). I have an irrational fear of driving, and I have to depend on my fiance and my mom (who lives very very close to us) to get to and from work everyday. Thankfully it's not a problem for either one of them. I want to get my license, but everytime I do something towards getting it I get scared and lose confidence.

At work I am harassed by my coworkers and managers because I can't drive. I am constantly reminded by my manager that "You can't drive, wow." I know this should motivate me to get it, but I am too scared now. People really are confused to learn I can't drive and never could. I really think it changes how they perceive me as a person and maybe think there is something wrong with me. Ugh, I actually get depressed about it a lot, but I can't bring myself to go take the test! It's become a huge fear.

I'm 58 and I tried learning when I was young. I also had problems with concentration, visual perception (especially distances) and awareness of others around me. I still have difficulty crossing the road! I hated every minute of it and in the end, decided it was not for me.

As I grew older, I countered people's shock at my not driving by saying it was a lifestyle choice I had made and that public transport was better for the environment. Eventually, I found that a lot of people began to envy me. I have no worries about the rising price of fuel, whether my car will pass its MOT or whether I can afford my insurance. I can also read, knit, write or do almost anything I like on journeys, particularly long ones.

I have always managed to get where I want to go (complete with youngest child who is a wheelchair user) and walk a lot more than car users so I'm pretty fit. I am also not stupid, I too have a degree, am working at my MA and planning to go on to do a doctorate. I have many talents and accomplishments, it's just that one of them isn't driving.

As far as I'm concerned, driving and car ownership are overrated and a stress I can do without!

I'm mildly dyspraxic, and I had a hell of a time learning, with a very patient teacher. Got there in the end, and now I'm not even driving because the taxes and insurance are too much to afford. Sigh.

Have you considered moving to a city? If you were living somewhere with better public transport links you could get around much easier without having to rely on lifts.

I have epilepsy and also feeling completely useless. I 'm not able to drive, no-one wants to employ me and I battle keeping conversations with people. If anyone knows how someone in my situation can get a job which is suitable for epileptics (any ideas) then please let me know. I need to financially support my parents and myself desperatley and soon. Would highly appreciate any ideas

Hi Mylo. I know this is a little late (I just discovered this post, because I've been feeling the same way). I have epilepsy too. Have you tried the Epilepsy Foundation? Most cities have a chapter, and they can help with a job search, moving, counseling, and other services. I developed epilepsy at age 15 (I'm in my thirties now) and I've never been able to drive. It is also against the law for an employer to discriminate against you because of your condition. (see ADA-Americans with Disabilities Act). You might already have a lot of this information by now, but I wanted to help, because I've dealt with a lot of this for over twenty years now. Something that keeps me going: keep laughing. My sense of humor is one of the few things that has helped me get through the tough times. :)

how do i get intouch with the author? is this about a true person? sounds like its me wriing this!!!! please let me know more about this person if real and their recent update.

29 years old no job; never driven. Terrified. Overweight have itchy, blemished scalp. Had a perianal abscess turned into fistula. Can't afford surgery - cant exercise because of open wound from lancing of abscess. Have to wear a pad to catch drainage everyday. I am so depressed!

I know the feeling. I'm 23 years old now and I had my temps when I was 18 and did some driving in the church parking lot next door to where I was living at the time but everytime my dad asked if I wanted to take it out on the road I'd just freeze up and say no or I'd get to the end of the driveway and and panic and then say no. I have a learning disability and was nowhere near ready for Drivers Ed when I was 15 and 16 years old. Like so many others have stated about themselves, I'm afraid of getting out on the road and having an accedent. Besides that, even tho I really want to get my license so I can drive we don't have a car and I don't know anyone who could teach me even if I still had my temps! If you or anyone ever needs to talk just send me an email!

I can drive but I have a major problem with directions. Most people could drive somewhere once or twice and know how to get to that location. It could take me months! I have to drive to a location on a consecutive basis to learn how to get there. Driving at least two to three days in a row on a weekly basis works best. If I drive to a location that I know I would have to drive from the same starting point at all times. It is annoying, I get lost everywhere. Thank God for GPS.

I thought I was the only one. I'm 44 and I've had my license for 6 years. I recently contacted a driving school to take lessons and the teacher arrived and asked me for my permit. When I showed him my license he was like " I don't understand". I know how to drive, the instructor even said. He said I just need practice, but I'm so scared of hitting someone or getting hit. My daughter is 15 and she's learning to drive and has no fear. I don't know what else to do. It's not easy.

I am 48 and have never driven. It has caused me to suffer in many ways. I could never take my kids anywhere and I think it has caused mental issues, Like social anxiety for them. It has always been a struggle to go to and from work. I feel it was another job. Harder than the physical labor jobs that I always worked.

I feel your Pain. I'am 22 and can't drive either. I have ADHD and I'am not sure if that is why I get so scared when I do try. I have a learner's pemit and when I do try I just freeze up. I was trying to learn at 15 but a lot of family issuess happend and just delayed alot of things for me. I wish you luck in learning to drive and hope you do get though this. Know your not alone dear.

I'm 51, and have had years of having a few lessons and then giving up- I am abosultely TERRIFIED of an accident. I went through 12 IVFs to have my 2 children and am terrified I'd kill them if I drive them.I may also feel insecure because my dad used to make me sit in the car, when he was drunk, he'd drive to the shop to get more drink, and make me go into the shop. He'd pretend to swerve into walls and houses, and I felt out of control and vulnerable. I've also dealt with some lecherous instructors, and always get a bit stressed about that too.<br />
The shame I feel, living in a vibrant new city, designed specifically for cars, is imense. All my friends are 15 years younger and have been driving at least 20 years.<br />
I'm totally broke now (redundancy and now poorly paid part time job) so can't afford hypnotherapy, or more driving lessons. The stress of knowing I had a £37 lesson the next day,which I couldn't afford, gave me IBS so bad I was up all night being sick!

i wrote about my experience above, i finally went to neurologic psychiatrist who ran a battery of tests...I have a disability of the right hemisphere of the brain....I will never be able to drive but at least I have some sort of information about my problems. I hope everyone gets checked, apparently in the UK and other parts of Europe there is much more awareness about issues like this. In the US a lot of doctors don't even know about it! I had even gone to Kessler Inst. to learn to drive, and no one ever suggested that this might be my problem. You're all in my prayers, people who drive will never understand how it feels to do something that seems to come so easily to everyone else.