Well-behaved women

rarely make history.

Okay, so perhaps I am being a little overdramatic. But when my panic attack hit, it sure did feel like the world was crashing down around me.

We (my mom, Randy, Joss, and I) went to my grandma's house today. She lives roughly an hour away from here. Of ALL the days this week, today Mother Nature decided to be pissy and generally angry and horrible. It rained the whole way there. Not bad rain, just enough to turn on the wipers.

Joss was a Holy Terror the entire time at grandma's. My nerves barely handled it. By the end of the ordeal I felt like I was ready to jump off a bridge. Joss was in tears, I was on the verge of tears, nobody was helping to make it better...ugh.

I don't like driving at night. In fact I don't know anyone that genuinely enjoys driving in the dark. Seems like a crazy pasttime. Anyway, it was thundering and lightning when we left. My grandparents were like "Oh, looks like it's going to come up a storm!" (Southern Speak for: it's gonna rain, haul ass!)

My mom screamed out the window "Oh, it's okay! Caitlin is already nervous enough but I'm sure she'll go slow! Her nerves are shot because of Joss's tantrums!"

Then my grandparents said "Oh yeah, well watch out for deer!"

Thing is...my anxiety was so bad that I refused to let anyone else drive. I would have gone over the edge if Randy would have drove, or even my mom. Randy was really tired anyway, and I just couldn't put that trust in him.

So there I was, driving down a windy, leaf-ridden dark ass backroad forest to Narnia with someone on my tail and rain pelting my windshield.

My mom kept saying things that made me nervous. She's such a backseat driver. "You know they said your tires look a little flat! You should stop and fill them up!" (But we don't have a pressure gauge Mom, and that would make me even more nervous.) "Well that's not a good enough reason! What's the reason for not stopping? Hello, WHAT'S THE REASON FOR NOT STOPPING???????" (Mom, please just let me drive, this is scary.) "Well you're going to blow a tire on some backroad or have a wreck all because your tires aren't pumped up right!"

It just kept going. And going. "Oh, look at all the leaves on the road! Wow, the lightning is bright! Slow down Caitlin, you better not go over the speed limit! It's raining so hard! You know, you shouldn't be so nervous."

At this point I was ready to say "SHUT THE FUCK UPPPPPPPPPPP" but somehow, I restrained myself. I was rigid in the seat, barely seeing the road for the leaves and cars with the brights on and the truck bearing down on my tailend. I was doing 30 in a 55, it was that bad. The road was curvy, there were no streetlights, there were low shoulders...it was hell. Pure hell. It was one of the worst driving experiences I've ever endured.

I was so freaked out, I was ready to stop the car at the nearest gas station, get out, and run for it. The panic attack was so bad.

It's so embarrassing. I feel like it's almost not me when that happens. It would have been worse if anyone else had been driving. I'm glad we made it through. I was so scared we would hydroplane or some shit.


My mom just made it infinitely worse. I regret going to my grandma's. The whole day was a disaster.

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Nov. 16, 2010 at 11:25 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your bad day.  Hopefully, next time is better.  I would have been going nuts too if I had somone in my ear rambling like that! Props to you for being rational and mature about it. 

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Nov. 16, 2010 at 11:44 PM

I thought I was the only one in the world that has anxiety like that! I hope you feel better! hugs

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Nov. 17, 2010 at 1:34 PM

In situations like this, it's OK to treat your mother as if she were your child. Seriously. This is a technique that has helped a lot of people I know learn how to take control of situations with their parents. Your mom had no right to be treating you like that. It's OK to shut her down. I'm sorry that nobody was helping you with Joss. I know what that is like all too well! And then your daughter starts feeding off of your anxiety and it all snowballs. Ugh. I'm sorry. You get a do-over.

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Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Sorry hun!  I have had very few panic attacks (and I think they were triggered by weed...) but they were AWFUL!  I HATE driving in the dark and I totally understand the whole raining, headlights, no street lights...ugh, it's SUPER scary!!  {{{BIG HUGSS!!!}}}

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Nov. 18, 2010 at 11:06 AM

my least favorite part of my job is that it requires me to drive home in the mountains at night alone- and when it is storming it is very frightening.. I cannot seem to get my hubby to understand how scary it is to me, especially now that I have a family. hugs Cait.

(I drove through a similar storm once solo and although I *knew* it was all a creation of my mind I swear I saw gremlins coming out of the leafy trees to get me!!! keep breathing -and it is okay to tell your mom that she isn't being helpful and that you need quiet to concentrate on your driving.. she sounds like a nervous talker and they don't shut up without being told.)

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