Traumatized because of my boyfriend - Mental Health Sup...

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Traumatized because of my boyfriend

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He and I are young, only 19. He only recently got his license in April. He is very anxiety filled even more so than me and he has always been terrified of driving. He didn't want to practice and was always making excuses putting everything off because he was too afraid. I put my foot down and gave him the tough love he needed about not wasting his life being afraid of things because he'll always look back and wonder "What if". So long story short I gave him the encouragement and strength he needed to practice driving, getting better and finally take his driving test. He passed on his first try, not with flying colors but he did pretty well. Ever since he started driving we've been practically attached at the hip. He's been my ride to work and we've been spending a lot of time together to make up for the 6 months that he wasn't taking me on actual date unless I really pushed for it (He didn't want to use his parents and make them drive us places). He's been a good driver for the most part and I've felt at ease with him driving me places but today was catastrophic. We were on our way to his house after spending the day swimming (It was 100 degrees today) and after getting ice cream and we stopped at the pharmacy right near his house so I could get something I really needed and as we pulled into a parking spot he slammed on the gas and we smashed into the side of the building. We were fine, we were wearing our seatbelts and no windows were broken, no airbags were triggered, but the front of the car was messed up pretty bad. The reason for all this is because he just really messed up, he thought that his foot was on the brake not the gas and he just wasn't able to think quickly enough to take his doot off and slam on the brakes. His mind just wasn't working, it wasn't processing that he was stepping on the gas and we were going forward about to crash. He just..... I don't know. It was a horrible stupid mistake but it honestly was an accident. Of course he was freaking out and crying his eyes out. A person working came out to see if we were okay and they were all very nice to him. They saw what happened and knew it was just an accident. And there was no damage to the building at all so they did not take any legal action towards him. They just let us come in for cold air and told him to call his parents and insurance. They were very nice and tried to help him calm down telling him it was okay. His mom came and she gave them her information in case they needed it. His dad came and drove his car to get it looked at to see what the best next step was. His mom took us back to his house and I just held him and let him cry on me. His parents were very easy on him just glad to know he wasn't hurt and I wasn't either. They assured him it's okay, accidents happen and that no one is mad at him. I told him I love him and that I wasn't mad. He just kept apologizing, he felt so terrible. After he calmed down we just went about spending the day together like nothing was wrong even though I didn't feel the same and I still don't. I'm not mad at him for what happened and I know it was an accident but. I just can't help feeling upset because hello, it was a car accident. It wasn't too severe and we got lucky but we both could have been killed. And I've been in 2 car accidents before in my life where again it was a very close call. I'm surprised that I'm not scared of getting into any car with anyone after being in 2 accidents. So needless to say this was very traumatizing for me. The fact that this is the 3rd time I've been in an accident and the fact that it was my own boyfriend who caused it is just a lot of my brain to handle. And it's hard for me to not look at him differently. It's hard for me to separate him and my love for him from the accident and the emotional damage it'a already costing me. I've spent most of my life being scared of death. Dying before I have the chance to do all the things I want to do. So having near death experiences is definitely not my cup of tea. I know I'm being selfish. The only thing I should be feeling right now is and relief at my boyfriend being alive and unharmed. I should only be worried about him especially because of the horrible crippling guilt he feels for the accident. The guilt he is going to have to live with for the rest of his life. And now even if his parents don't punish him (which they won't) he's going to punish himself. As I said before he has always been terrified of driving and this accident just proves what he thought, that's he's irresponsible and not mentally capable of driving. He'll probably never want to drive again. And I don't want that. Not because I want to use him but because like I told him I don't want him to live his life in fear. I don't want to take space from him and take alone time to heal and process because he needs me now more than ever. He needs me to stand by him and make him feel loved and valued. If he's going to get through this he needs my support and positivity. He hasn't said this but I know him. But what about me? It happened to me too and now I feel like I need to talk to someone and process this trauma. Even though I surprisingly didn't cry and still haven't (though maybe I will eventually) and even though I'm trying to stay by him and keep it together, putting my own feelings to the side, I need support and positivity. Not just apologies but someone to listen to me and help me through this. And I don't think he can do that in this state. As long as he's traumatized he can't really help me. He isn't really good at mental health stuff at all because he's just...sheltered. Doesn't understand how any of that works. I'm at a loss here. What should I do? How should I go about moving forward from this? What do I say to him?

12 Replies

I live in the UK and i took my Driving Test at sixteen, after several tests. My Deiving Instructer a very understanding gentalman explained the moment I past that was the time I would start learning how to drive how very true He was and over the next three years I went through many bumps and bangs all caused by inexperience. I was lucky I was not involved with other road users I was damaging myself, the most important concern was not learning from my errors.

I am now swventy two this year and I still would never call myself a good driver we always learn from my errors drive accordingly. Yes I have had accidents in the UK and abroad and learnd my errors. As long as your boyfriend learns from these errors He will move on accordingly

He will move on but how am I supposed to move on. I don't want to blame him and I'm not mad but he could have killed us both. And I've had way too many close calls in my life to just take that with a grain of salt. How am I supposed to get over this? And I'm seriously asking. How do I get over this?

You're very nice. But I can't talk to my dad as he is not part of my life. And my momcan never find out about this. Because she told me when he first got his license that I should wait for a month before letting him drive me around. Just to make sure he is good at driving and won't get us into trouble. If she finds out about this she will explode. This will prove that she was right and considering this is a situation that almost got me killed? She might actually tell me to stop seeing him all together. And I don't want that. I love him. I need space from him right now to jeal but I want to be with him. And she for shre is going to say I'm mot allowed to go out with him anymore for a while. That could be months. And yes I still live with her so she does have a bit of the power. I don't want any of that but I really wouldn't blame her. I mean I could have been killed. I don't know what I would do or say if this was my daughter. So the point is I really have no one I can safely talk to about this or get support from.

This is the one thing I don't feel comfortable talking to my friends about. And trust me she will not be impressed with my honesty. And maybe she won't ban me from seeing him but it will damage her image of him. And I plan to marry him so I can't do anything to risk her not liking him. Even if I was honest right out the gate it wouldn't matter.

Thank you. And no I don't want to baby him. In fact last night I finally broke down about what happened and now that he's had time to calm down and process a little more he was able to comfort me. He's always there for me when I need him most.

Why are you not driving yourself?

I'm not fit to be behind the wheel. I'm too easily distracted and accident prone. I'd rather live my life not having blood on my hands because I was reckless with driving. Besides walking everywhere I go is good for me anyway.

I see. I was a late starter and am still somewhat nervous, also a nervous enough passenger when my learner driver daughter is driving.

I had a very minor crash in my early driving days. The other perzon was at fault. I was shaken but soon got back behind the wheel.

Keep encouraging your boyfriend. Your trauma should fade with time too. I do feel for you.

With or without trauma I'm just not fit to be behind any big vehicle. Especially not with anyone else in the vehicle. My boyfriend is scared of the world around him but whether he believes it or not he's very responsible and level headed. All he does is keep me grounded and keep me out of trouble. All I do is break things or get myself hurt or hurt someone else. I can never be truly aware of the world around me plus I have a lot of bad luck. He has his difficulties but I have a lot more. And he's just more normal and capable than me. So it's more than likely this was just a fluke for him and it probably won't happen again at least for a long time. But if I drive I'll be getting into accidents regularly, destroying car after car and enfuriating my mother. I'd rather spare everyone the headache and just keep myself and everyone around me safe.

That's your choice of course. I think you are probably lacking in confidence in general though. I am too but l have learned to get by. You probably need to build up your confidence in other areas of your life. I'm sure you are underselling yourself, but l do understand how you feel

Surprisingly I'm a lot better than I was years ago. I'm pretty confident in myself in a lot of things about me that I wasn't so confident in. My looks, my musical talents, my creativity, my toughness and survival skills. All of the things that matter most to me. That and always being good to those that I love very much. My boyfriend is the one who got me to this point because he boosts me up all the time. I'm genuinely happy for the first time in 10 years. And I'll always at least be content as long as none of those things change.

I am glad to hear that, good for you.

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