the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2
The day I started my driving life, my mom took me to Bridgeman’s for an ice cream. We had scoops of pineapple coconut in sugar cones. As we munched, Mom drove us out to the countryside. On a gravel road, we and switched places. I put the car into drive and immediately I was out of my element. I knew what the road looked like from the passenger’s side and I knew the rules for driving. Behind the wheel, I was in foreign territory. My steering was wobbly as I drove on my first quarter mile. I then abruptly stopped putting into park and began laughing at how bad a driver I was. My Mom, who was holding back a smile until then, laughed with me. The rest of that day is not clear anymore as decades have passed. Yet, to this day, I can see us, on that dirt road, Mom eating her ice cream cone as I sucked at driving.
A few days ago, it was time for Lucy to start the process of learning to drive. She passed her permit test and we’d planned on taking her to a near-by school parking lot to practice. I’d planned on taking everyone for some ice cream after in hopes of creating a similar experience for Lucy as I had.
Stan ensured our oldest car was in working order. As the time approached, Lucy realized both Stan and I were both coming on the adventure.
This did not please her.
Under her protests, we drove to the parking lot and switched seats so she was behind the wheel. Still complaining loudly that 2 people in her were too much, she began. Every time we would say nicely such things as “Next time turn, use your signal as practice,” or something to that affect she’d slam on the brakes and again loudly protest she couldn’t do this with 2 people. She was belligerent and shouty.
This went on for about 5 minutes. Because I was in the front seat, I got the brunt of it.
Finally I’d had enough. I said, fine, I’d leave.
This was not the right thing to do. We should have made Lucy stop driving for the day. But I was irritated at the whole situation. I had been speaking calmly, but Lucy was having none of it. I didn’t want to lose my shit on this important mile marker in her life, so I vacated the seat and began to walk home.
I really thought they’d come get me or Stan would stop the lesson. Apparently they were not done driving. I walked. They continued the lesson. Smarting the whole situation, I wept most of the way home. I cried for the memory I could not create for Lucy like I had. I cried for my mishandling of the situation. I cried for the utter hurt I felt that Lucy and Stan went about their day and left me to fucking walk home.
Of course there were ‘discussions’ with protests of it being ‘too much stress’ (from Lucy) but as far as I was concerned, the damage has been done. I felt unwanted and betrayed by the 2 people I love the most. I was the kid being shoved out of the treehouse. I was the kid clutching the chain link fence tightly as people are chosen over me.
Forgiveness comes, but the “I’m so sorry”…”I didn’t mean to” later leaves a stale, greasy film in my belly. It reeks of excuses and the reality being unwanted. Of a cover up after the fact to placate my hurt. I am a walker of defeat. I am the old, dried up third wheel.
At least walking itself is healthy, right?