The Wicked Wednesday prompt this week is driving lessons. This is something I have less than good memories of. For a start it took me 5 times to pass my test, over several years. But it also brings back memories of my first driving instructor who was something of a pervert.
My first experience
Some of my friends got their dads to teach them to drive, but mine was quite an impatient person. While on the surface a calm man he would snap a bit when under pressure. His car was a necessity for his livelihood, so he valued it over most things. His previous experience of trying to teach my mum to drive had not ended well, so he was clear he would prefer me and my brothers to have professional driving lessons.
I was just turned 17 and still at school, now in my final year. We now had ‘free periods’ where we could do course and home work, help with the lower classes and generally act like the adults we were meant to almost be. I remember spending a lot of time chatting and sitting about. Generally having fun and enjoying the freedom. It also allowed me to have driving lessons during the school day. A friend recommended a driving instructor so I called him up.
At first he seemed pretty efficient and professional. I seemed to get the hang of things quickly and before the end of the school year he declared me ready for my test. Everything was booked and with just a couple of weeks to go, I booked some extra lessons. Trouble was it was at this point he decided to get me to pull over in a quiet street and put his hand into my blouse.
Looking back the whole thing was relatively benign. Especially since I smacked his hand away and made it clear that I was not allowing him to go further. He was a middle aged man (I think) and he made me very uncomfortable. While I wanted to tell him I would cancel future lessons and find someone else, I couldn’t. The driving test was only a couple of weeks away. So, without telling anyone about my experience I carried on. Endured the next couple of lessons and took my test. Which of course I failed.
Then I sacked him
And found myself another instructor before taking the test again quickly, I think over the summer holidays. But for some reason, probably related to my first instructor I didn’t pass. I became a nervous driver, more so on the day of the test.
I took a break while I started nursing school then restarted and finally I passed. It is strange but the anxiety I felt on the day of a driving test has only ever been replicated by job interviews. The nerves definitely increased over time.
But, I am glad I persevered and got through the lessons and test. Looking back, I wonder why I let my early experience affect me. But of course I am in my 50s now and then I was just 17.
Ah the wisdom of hindsight!
Very interesting Julie. Sorry to read about what happened to you. Learning to drive and taking the dreaded test are hard enough without your experience.
It’s terrible that he thought he could take advantage of you and that it influenced you so much that you failed two tests. Like you say, back then you were young and his actions definitely left an impression on you…
O Julie, that is a horrible experience at a time when you were vulnerable and impressionable, I can see why it affected you so badly. (I see a parallel between your driving lesson experiences and mine, although I got off more lightly). A few years more life experience would have helped you shrug it off perhaps, and now it’s much easier to speak out about such things.
I agree, at the time I did warn my friends off of him but in general we didn’t speak about such stuff. I know the experience stayed with me for a long time. Less about what happened as what might have!
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