Tag Archives: Hand Controls

My UNlimiters Challenge: Learning to Drive

Transportation is one area of my life where I do not have the independence I wish I had. My husband and I live in a rural area, where buses and other public transportation are not available. Therefore, when I want to go anywhere, I have to ask my husband, my parents or my friends to drive me. This really inhibits my ability to do what I want, when I want.

Physically, I am capable of driving, but learning to drive has been a huge challenge for me, a challenge that I have struggled to overcome for the last 15 years. I have worked with almost every agency available to reach this goal, but it has never worked out. Every agency has wanted me to accomplish my goal in a certain amount of time, and when I couldn’t do that; I was told that I couldn’t do it at all.

For a while, I accepted that. Then one day, I decided it was crap, and so were all the agencies I had been working with. Legally, I didn’t need them to learn to drive, so I decided I was going to do it one my own.

I took and passed driver’s education in high school, so in June, for my birthday, I went to the secretary of state and applied for my driver’s permit, for the fifth and what I hoped would be the last time. Then I purchased some temporary hand controls, my husband put them in the car and I was one my way.

Learning to drive on my own has been a lot harder than I expected. I need to practice, a lot. In order to do that, I need people to take me driving. My husband, kind of sucked at it at first, he would freak out at the slightest mistake, and his yelling would make me so nervous and stress me out so bad that I would end up crying when I finally parked the car. He didn’t mean to yell, or upset me; I knew that, but I still took it personally. I started to hate driving.

For while, I tried to drive with other people; but schedules limited my ability to practice. So my husband and I tried again. He has gotten much better and I am starting to improve as well. I still lack the confidence it take to drive well. I wish I could buy that online. Unfortunately, I am told that it will only come with time and practice.

I am probably going to have to apply for that permit at least one more time; it expires in December. I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at this point, and I can’t help but feel a little discouraged. I do not want to fail at this, so I can’t give up. I have to keep trying. No matter how long it takes me, I want to have the independence that driving can bring me. I want to go where I want, when I want and to live my life unlimited.

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