I dreamed last night that I was driving two cars at once, using some kind of technomagical system whereby I pressed a button and was instantly transported to the other vehicle. This is not an ideal driving experience.
Before I learned to drive, I had anxious dreams about it. They stuck around a long time, because I learned to drive quite late, but eventually I graduated to dreaming about driving while inexplicably stuck in the passenger seat or the back. As I grew more confident, I started dreaming about driving via some strange remote-control system, with greatly reduced control and visibility and feedback but all of the responsibility and consequence of normal driving. This stopped being scary about two dreams ago, when I realised that I could simply park the empty car up and refuse to engage any further. I’m not sure why I was driving empty cars around by remote control anyway (though I of course recognise any attempt to restrict my right to do so as a sickening incursion on our precious British freedoms.)
So last night my brain came up with the two-cars-at-once gambit. And when I realised that I could simply park one of them up and take the two journeys one after the other, it got desperate and had me savagely rear-ended by a red Mini.
My anxiety has badly overplayed its hand here. Not only has it conditioned me into instictive contempt for the bizarre driving scenarios it cooks up, it has made it obvious that there is no level of comfort it will not attempt to throw an anxiety dream at. I of course already knew that most of my anxieties bear little or no relation to the real world, but these ridiculous dreams are really helping me to feel it. Next time that little voice chips in to tell me why everything is about to go wrong, I’ll just think: you know I can deal with this. You’re just trying to put me in the passenger seat.