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Old 04-07-2021, 09:21 PM  
BirdieChaser
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Member Since: Feb 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Default Should I try facing these anxieties?

I have been thinking more about the anxieties I feel about riding in the middle; waiting in a vehicle; and buckling my seatbelt before the engine is started, and how they are related to my memories of the time when I was 15 and had to ride in the middle between my sister and mom and the truck wouldn't start.

I know I felt a lot of anxiety about riding between my mom and younger sister before even getting in the truck when mom told me it was my sisters day to choose and she wanted to sit by the window and I would be in the middle. I remember in my 15 year old mind, I was convinced everyone we passed would think it was odd that a male was sitting between two females and that a younger/shorter female was by the window with and older/taller male by the window. I was afraid that everyone who saw us would start at me because of the seating arrangement and perceived this as an attack on my masculinity. Since mom never got the truck started, these anxieties are still stuck in my mind since I never saw how people would react once we were on the road.

I know I felt a lot of anxiety about the level of control mom had over me that day. That she could tell me where I was to sit in the truck; when I was to get in the truck; and when I was to put on my seatbelt and that there was nothing I could do but accept it since she was the parent. This was a time in my life when I was in a constant struggle with my mom for more control and I think that her having this control over me caused a lot of anxiety.

I felt a lot of anxiety waiting in the truck, because I was stuck buckled to the middle seat of the truck and could do nothing but sit and wait first for my sister and then my mom to come and get it. Once my sister got in, we had to wait for around 20 minutes for mom to get in. I remember it was really uncomfortable that she kept invading my space and putting her head on my shoulder and trying to put her arm around me and that I kept having to smell her breath whenever she talked. I remember I kept looking over my left shoulder towards our house and wondering what my was doing and why she wasn't anywhere near the back door.

Once mom finally got into the truck, I remember I felt a lot of anxiety having she and my sister on either side of me and being sandwiched between them. I remember feeling really uncomfortable when mom was leaning into my space to adjust the passenger side and rear view mirrors and now having to smell her breath as well as my sisters. While mom was trying to get the truck started, I remember feeling really uncomfortable being stuck between she and my sister and having to deal with her getting increasingly frustrated about the truck not starting up on my left while my sister was leaning into my space on my right to get a better look.

These memories compared to my earlier anxieties about riding between my mom and sister are the reason I get really anxious about riding in the middle. I think spending a long time buckled to the middle seat waiting for mom and then the truck not starting when she finally got in are why I feel the anxiety I do about waiting in a vehicle or buckling my seatbelt before the vehicle is started. I think before this, I trusted that if I went ahead and got in a vehicle and buckled that the vehicle would start and that mom making us wait forever in the truck and then the truck not starting was like a broken trust or promise.

Since that time, my way of dealing with these anxieties has been to try to avoid them at all costs. A few months after this happened, I turned 16 and got my drivers license and my parents got rid of the truck and gave me my dad's old car. I never rode in the truck again with my mom and sister after that time when it wouldn't start, and after getting my license and dad's old car I could offer to drive most of the time and avoid being a passenger and having to face any of these anxieties. Since then, I have only been a passenger in a truck a few times and only when I was with a friend and their girlfriend or wife and there was no risk of me having to ride in the middle. I am now wondering if avoiding these anxieties is the best decision as these only seem to get worse with time the longer I try to avoid them.

I have been thinking the past few weeks since starting this post and reading others on here, and am really starting to wonder if is is best for me to keep avoiding these anxieties or if it would be better for me to face them head on and see if doing so would help me deal with them better and be less anxious when I think about them.

I wonder if I just need to find a situation where I can face these things that case anxiety and ride in the middle seat of a truck and get in and buckle before the driver is ready to get in. I know it would be very uncomfortable for me waiting in the truck and riding between two people and having them in my space and that this could cause me a lot of anxiety. However, I wonder if I could handle these better after facing them again and if these would then not cause the anxiety they cause me now.

I would welcome and appreciate any thoughts form others as to whether facing these anxieties could help me to deal with and handle them in the future or if facing them would likely have no impact or make the anxieties worse. I would especially be interested in hearing from others who have tired to face anxieties and how that worked out.

I know I have plenty of time to think over this as I need to get to the other side of the Coronavirus Pandemic before I seriously consider being in a vehicle in close quarters with two people I do not live with. Just wondering if I should consider trying to face this.
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