For those of you who don’t know, I have always wanted to learn how to drive from a very young age because I was obsessed with the idea of freedom and being further away from home than ‘in town’ where I was in control. My seventeenth birthday hit back in March and I was ready to get straight on the road. I booked 30 hours of lessons with a company which let me down drastically. They were unable to pair me with an instructor so I found a different company who let me down worse.
“I was shaking and feeling sick for most of the day.”
I was finally given my first lesson on the 1st April. I met my instructor and I already had a bad feeling about it. She barely spoke and got angry at me very easily. I was with her for 2 hours on this day and I hated every minute of it. I enjoyed learning but I disliked the environment. My instructor was very basic with her instructions and was quick to complain when I got it wrong. She made me feel very anxious and uncomfortable. This was just in the first 2 hours.
After this lesson, I was already anxious for the next one. Luckily, I was on easter break so I could distract myself easily but I was shaking and feeling sick for most of the day. I met my instructor (who never once took her sunglasses off in the 6 hours of lessons I had with her)and the lesson was horrible again. I stalled a couple of times and this made her quite angry. She would tell me that I would ‘never understand at this rate’ and even went as far to discuss my lessons with other students. I discovered this through a mutual friend who told her that I ‘wasn’t the best student she ever had’. I thought this was extremely unprofessional of her.
The third lesson was by far the worst. I woke up at 6am feeling extremely anxious despite not having a lesson until 2pm. She shouted at me for stalling the car and I held back the tears the rest of the way home. I think she noticed that she had upset with me as she told me that she needed to be ‘tough’ otherwise I wouldn’t learn. While I understand that this is true, I believe the way that she did so was very unfair.
I was very anxious for my next lesson so I decided to stop learning with her. I sent her a long message apologising and thanking her for her time to which she simply replied “ok”.
I have never met someone that has made me feel so incapable and dreadful about myself in such a short amount of time. It was the worst thing I ever did in terms of my anxiety and the thought of starting to learn again is very scary for me.
I have only just been able to re-build the courage to talk about this today. However, I’ve been wanting to write about it for a significantly long time. I believe it would be unfair of me to name the company or instructor and I have the entire truth to the best of my knowledge
I’m glad to say that I have now re-gained the confidence I need and I will be back on the road early September. I have informed my new instructor of my history with my anxiety and she is willing to work with me. I’m nervous but excited.
If you’re learning to drive and you feel uncomfertable with your instructor, it’s okay to stop or switch. You need to do what’s right for you otherwise you won’t learn anything. Driving is stressful enough without worrying about who’s teaching you.
Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.