Friday, July 27, 2007

Control

Fear is something we all have, something that stops us from doing stupid things (well, most of the time). It keeps us focused on where we should be going, what we should be doing, sometimes. For me, I am afraid of losing control.

I am a complete control freak when it comes to myself. I am forever terrified of illness - when you are ill, you don't have control. Oh, sure, you can go to the doctor, take medication, etc. But in the end, it isn't up to you. It's up to God. It's up to how your body handles the illness. People die from being ill and oftentimes, it's not because they didn't try to get better. It's just that whatever they did just didn't work.

This is partly why I am nervous about driving. What if I lose control of the car? Or, more importantly, what if someone else loses control of their car and swerves right into me?

Lately, I have been having daymares (well, like a nightmare only not while I'm sleeping) about head-on collisions, like what happened to my teacher. Yesterday, I was driving home from my newspaper internship and I was in the middle of making a left turn, passing cars right next to me coming the other way in a sort of arc. And for a moment, in the middle of the intersection, there were no lines for the lanes. You just had to go in what had been your lane and what was going to be your lane when you got past the intersection. And I thought, if I turned the wheel just slightly to the left, I'd hit the oncoming cars. That would be bad. There would be a loud crash and it would probably hurt a lot.

Thinking this way shook me up and when I made it past the intersection, I really felt like I had come out of a life or death experience. And in some ways, I had. I chose to stay in strict control of the car. But with the oncoming traffic so close, what if one of them had swerved? What if I sneezed and accidentally crashed?

I don't normally think this way when I'm driving. I used to, when I first started. I used to hear, in the back of my mind, sirens and screaming. That's why I hated driving for so long. Highways are always backed up from accidents. It's so commonplace.

This is what frightens me most about driving, about illnesses, about anything - losing control. If I have control over myself and over what happens to me, I can determine how I will come out of a situation. But if I lose control, it's out of my hands. It's up to someone else. My fate is no longer up to me. And that scares me.

1 comment:

Scraps said...

I've had a couple of near-misses with driving as well. Especially in the NY area, where most people drive like maniacs, driving can be a harrowing experience.

Control...so coveted, yet so elusive. I think that even when we think we're in control, it's all an illusion.