The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

Sometimes You Have to Treat Them Like Children

I can still remember the fear I felt in the backseat of my parents’ car, trying to tune out their yelling and mocking of other drivers.

It sounds dramatic, but for a little kid who struggled with sensory overwhelm and couldn’t understand why they were so mad it was scary.

Imagine my surprise 12 years later, when I caught myself doing the exact same things.

I had picked up my parents’ road rage habits and was using them, not even because I was angry, but because I was scared. The anxiety that I had built up around driving was causing me to snap.

It became clear that I needed to re-evaluate how I thought about driving, and specifically how I thought about other drivers.

So, I started practicing being calm. Every time I caught myself panicking and on the verge of yelling at another car, I stopped myself and reminded myself of how I felt when I was in the backseat.

But it was difficult to not say anything at all in place of all these insults and shouts I was keeping in my head. So, I replaced them with what I felt my inner child needed most: words of comfort.

When another car wouldn’t see me right away and would almost pull out in front of me, the swears I would have shouted, were replaced with “It’s okay, buddy. I see you.”

It took me a while to figure out that in my head, I had taught myself to treat other drivers like they were children. Like they were now that child in the backseat.

While I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, this was the first step that I took toward healing my inner child, and although I didn’t realize I was doing it, the effects this had on my life were profound.

It was easy to notice how quickly I was able to regain control over my reactions on the road, but another consequence of this that I didn’t notice right away was that this process alleviated my anxiety about driving. It made my driving better. It even made me calmer in everyday situations.

It made me realize that healing starts with listening to yourself and your needs. We have a lot more control over our minds than we often give ourselves credit for.

About the Contributor
Colleen Moore, Staff Writer
Colleen is a senior and first year journalism student. She is a design editor for the EHS Tiger yearbook and a member of Creative Writing Club. Outside of school, Colleen enjoys listening to music of all genres, constructing elaborate and silly PowerPoints, and playing sand volleyball. She’s planning to further her education outside of high school in Ohio to be closer to her grandma.