Car Crash that ruined my life
My mother's lack of compassion set us on a path where we could have died.
I have shared in several previous stories how I was a skinny, awkward teenager. I was a late bloomer and it seemed that I struggled with things that others did effortlessly. It literally felt as though everything I set my hands to was destined to fail. At 16 and heading in the 11th grade I was practically the only student who had not taken the driver's education course. I was going to sign up in the fall but something happened that summer that caused me to lose confidence. One afternoon I looked out the front window and saw my middle brother, age 14 driving my mother's vehicle down the road. She was seated beside him and obviously felt it was time he learned to drive.
By the time they came back to the house I was crying so hard I was shaking. I was humiliated that my mother would show my younger brother how to drive her car without ever teaching me anything related to driving. I felt like even my mom saw me as a simpleton who could do nothing right. I began shouting through my tears about how I was the oldest and I should have been taught how to drive before my brother. My grandma later said that my mother should have said something to calm me down that day because I was so heartbroken and upset. Through my tears, I saw my mother smirking at me as though she were happy to see that I was hurting.
Instead of reassuring me or telling me my day would come later, my mother decided to teach me to drive while I was in the midst of crying and shaking like a leaf. As the adult, she should have known that I was not in the right state of mind to get behind the wheel of a vehicle but out the door we went to her car. Please keep in mind that I had absolutely no knowledge about cars except that you turned the key. My mother did not tell me anything but only let me do what I thought was right. I turned the key and put the red 1970 Mercury Montego into gear.
I put my foot on the gas and began driving. I'm not sure why but after a few moments I yanked the wheel to the left and the car went completely off the road. We went through a field where there was la ot of brush, bushes and small trees. In my panic, I pressed down on the gas instead of the break and the car just kept going. I could hear the engine roaring louder and louder and the sound of tree limbs scraping the sides of the car.
I actually heard some of the branches snapping and I thought we were going to die. I felt as though I were in a nightmare that was not going to end. I think my mother may have reached over and put the car in park but I am not sure. I only know we finally came to a stop and had to climb out of the window because the tree branches were fencing us in on both sides. I began crying again and when we got back to the house my grandmother scolded me and told me I could have killed my mother. Once again I was the bad guy and I felt so all alone.
A tow truck was called to pull out my mother's car and thankfully there were only a few scratches on the sides of the door because back then cars were made out of metal and not fiberglass. The news traveled fast and everyone in town found out about how I had wrecked my mom's car. I was so embarrassed I wanted to disappear. I was teased during my summer job and also in the neighborhood. Jokes were made about me mowing down trees and I wondered what was wrong with me. This indeed was a cringeworthy moment.
I had proven everyone right yet again and shown myself to be the village idiot. Other teens got their learner's permits, driver's licenses, and even purchased cars. When I did finally take driver's ed I could not hold the wheel straight and kept weaving slightly although I stayed on the road. The instructor told me I needed more lessons and I did not get my learner's permit. Again I had failed and felt like a big dummy. I was so humiliated that I did not try to drive again until I was 20. I took lessons from a professional service and finally received my driver's license. I have never, however, quite gotten over the day I first tried to drive and humiliated myself.