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Learning to drive - feel like an idiot!

(25 Posts)
Marzipanface Sat 27-Oct-12 12:28:43

I need some encouragement. I'm finding learning to drive so difficult. I have difficulty with my left and rights and panic so I forget the order to do things.

I have had well over 40 hours and NEED to be able to drive as having a baby in the spring.

Everyone I know can drive, even astonishingly dense people so it makes me feel like such an idiot when people gape with disbelief that I can't drive. My DH doesn't have a huge amount of confidence in my abilities to do this as he sees me sobbing and nervous before and after lessons. My bro has gifted me some money on the 'condition' I try really hard and pass my test before spring.

I feel a huge amount of pressure and I have a 2 hr lesson in half and hour. I am utterly dreading it.

Anyone in the same boat?

MoreBeta Sat 27-Oct-12 12:34:58

Err..... well you sound a lot like me. Hated driving from the start. Hated it so much I gave back my licence and dont do it anymore. One less thing to worry about and a lot less expense.

Move house if necessary. My wife does not drive either for medical reasons. We just live near public transport and take taxis sometimes and walk a lot. Our children seme to have reached age 12 and 10 without any harm.

GossipWitch Sat 27-Oct-12 12:38:30

I'm learning to drive and I have a test in a few weeks, I do stupid things that could be dangerous, particularly if someones cut me up or i've flapped at doing too many things. But I'm still going through with it smile

bureni Sat 27-Oct-12 12:42:37

Your confidence will build the more hours you put on the road, try to get the use of a friends car to practice between what you have already learnt even if it is on private ground, having a friend who already has experience in the car with you will help.

Marzipanface Sat 27-Oct-12 12:46:43

Thanks all.

I don't have anyone who is prepared for me to use their car for private practice. MoreBeta - if I don't manage it within the next 20 lessons I will stop. Mainly lack of money but also no way am I attempting it when suffering from newborn sleep deprivation!

Marzipanface Sat 27-Oct-12 12:48:33

Lesson is at 1.30 and to be honest, my entire day is ruined due to nerves and panic. I am snappy and unpleasant even though DH is trying to be supportive.

Marzipanface Sat 27-Oct-12 13:02:13

Rambling now...

I find it really hard when I see people on here sneering at those who can't drive. It saps my confidence so much. I feel such a child when in fact I am in my mid thirties.

Perhaps I am too old!

FrighteningPuffin Sat 27-Oct-12 13:11:21

I hated hated learning to drive, it seemed so natural to everyone else while I couldn't crack it. I used to panic and flap about fear changes.

Upshot is I stopped for a little while then restarted but in an automatic, it's like driving a big bumper car! And it meant I could consentrate solely on the road, I didn't pass till my 4th attempt blush but have been driving 8 years now and it is second nature and I've never felt like I missed out only driving an automatic

FrighteningPuffin Sat 27-Oct-12 13:11:58

*gear changes

trinn Sat 27-Oct-12 13:13:19

Hi marzipanface
First off your not to old, I'm knocking on 40's door and I to am learning to drive, like you I have a terrible tendency to forget my left and right which I asked my DI about and he said it's very common so much so he's had plenty of students write 'L' and 'R' on their hands, one woman got her nails done the day before her test and had 'L' and 'R' put on her thumbs.

I also get nervous before a lesson so much so my legs are like jelly, over time this is subsiding could you not take some kalms or something before a lesson? or you could go see your doctor they might be able to subscribe something to help, I think nerves are a good thing as it makes you more aware of things happening around you.

Could you not swap to an automatic car? I started in an automatic but then swapped to manual which I prefer.

Before a lesson I remind myself why I need to learn to drive, things like no more getting wet, the freedom of not having to rely on other people etc.

Don't give up you've put in so much effort to not pass and gain that freedom

GossipWitch Sat 27-Oct-12 13:15:31

your not too old, my mother passed her test finally in her early forties, she had been taking lessons on and off for years previous to that and she has the co-ordination of a crane-fly and she still managed to do it, maybe its your anxiety thats letting you down, have you tried taking rescue remedy or non drowsy calm's before a lesson that might help smile

FizzyMakeFeelNice Sat 27-Oct-12 13:16:10

I was a bit like you, very nervous, and would work myself up into a right state. My driving instructor recommended I take Bach's Rescue Remedy to help with my nerves, and it worked! Passed first time in June with only 4 minors! Give it a go, learning to drive is one of the best things I ever did, makes life so much easier!

FreddieMercurysEnormusPumpkin Sat 27-Oct-12 13:19:15

I'm learning too. It's horrible and I hate it but I need to get a full licence if I want to get a decent job. I like that you've said that astonishingly dumb people can do it - I know it's terrible but I like to reassure myself that if x can do it and she is an IDIOT, then surely I can learn...

I have found it slightly easier since DH and I bought a car, I went to an empty car park by myself and messed around starting and stopping, imagining I was at traffic lights and such on Thursday and Friday and it boosted my confidence a little. I keep cutting out at junctions and panicking and flapping, that is my main problem, but I just need to persevere and keep doing it. And you will too. 20 lessons? Of course you can!

It's just that we are that bit older and it makes it more difficult. I wish that I had done it when I was 17. I really do. But I didn't, so I have to do it too. Hope your lesson went well today, try to focus on the positive aspects of it. What did you do right? Anything you did wrong is just something you need to practice more on.

Let me know how you got onsmile

Novia Sat 27-Oct-12 13:19:20

Hiya - I'm in exactly the same position, 34 and baby due in April. Have to drive as we are moving to the sticks. Hate driving, find it utterly dull and uncomfortable. Really wish I'd done it at 17! Chin-up, it'll be okay! grin

gamerwidow Sat 27-Oct-12 13:20:21

You're not an idiot driving isn't something that everyone takes to straight away. It took me 100+ lessons and 3 attempts to pass my test. You really need to stop putting so much pressure on yourself and relax. If you try and fail its not the end of the world you can always try again. If you really hate it then stop and try again when you haven't got the time pressure of a new baby on the way.

FreddieMercurysEnormusPumpkin Sat 27-Oct-12 13:21:25

Oh and I'm shit at telling my left from right, always have been, but you can make an 'L' shape using your left thumb and index finger, you can't do it with your right, it faces the wrong way around.

suburbandream Sat 27-Oct-12 13:27:25

Hi Marzipan, hope your lesson goes ok today. I passed first time ...but if it's any consolation I had about 60 lessons blush. I lived abroad and then in central London for years so didn't drive for ages, then had to start again 2 years ago when we moved to the 'burbs. I hate every minute of it TBH, and walk or get the bus as much as I can. Do you really NEED to drive if you hate it so much?
Just remember, it'll be much easier when it's YOU in charge of where you are going, not some instructor telling you to go left or right. If I'm going anywhere I've not been to before, I make sure I know the route well by looking at maps and even following the route on Streetview!! Keep reminding yourself of all the stupid people you know who can drive, and tell yourself that if they can do it, so can you smile

trinn Sat 27-Oct-12 18:06:18

Hi marzipan how did the lesson go?

tanfastic Sat 27-Oct-12 18:19:48

I was like you when learning to drive. I had 50 lessons and unbelievably passed first time but was still so scared I never got in a car for another three years! blush

What I did was booked a refresher course in an automatic and bought an automatic car. I never looked back. My biggest anxiety when driving with gears was stalling and you cannot stall in an automatic so that gave me a big confidence boost. Everything else comes with confidence and practice. Build it up slowly.

I was useless learning to drive. Reversing was a nightmare, I couldn't grasp which way to turn the wheel but believe me when I tell you it does all fall into place after lots and lots of practice. Now driving is like second nature. I used to feel physically sick before my lessons so I sympathise but hang in there!

Marzipanface Sat 27-Oct-12 19:11:38

Thank you for all your responses. Lesson wasn't too bad. I managed a perfect turn in the road in front of a bus.

Still terribly nervous about it all, but hearing all your experiences really do help!

trinn Sat 27-Oct-12 19:19:38

Good news about your lesson not being to bad smile.

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Thu 01-Nov-12 07:39:12

Well donesmile When is your next lesson?

Marzipanface Thu 01-Nov-12 12:50:48

Not for a while as instructor is poorly so am taking a breather!

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Fri 02-Nov-12 11:16:35

do you have anyone else to take you out in the meantime? Keep at it, it's regular practice I find helpssmile

Fairylea Fri 02-Nov-12 11:22:41

Just to give you some reassurance... I had 60 hours of lessons and then failed twice
.. then I took an intensive course and passed. I think some of it was lack of road sense and the intensive course helped with that. I also didn't understand junctions and roundabouts for a long-time !!

I love driving now.... love it smile

I used to come home crying after my lessons feeling I couldn't do it !

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