Learning To Drive | Attempt Number Two and a Creepy Instructor


I'm 21 years old and I still don't know how to drive. I don't think it's unacceptable - there are so many people my age and older that still don't know how to drive and it doesn't make them any less of a person, but for me, everybody around me can drive, so I am forever being the person who either a) needs to get a taxi or b) accepts lifts even though i hate having to rely on others.

When I was 18 I started to learn how to drive, I passed my theory test and had about 10 hours worth of lessons with a lady instructor, but soon after I moved to a different area that she didn't cover and I just stopped learning. With the fact that I had to pay for rent, bills and food shocking my financial system, I definitely didn't think paying £30 an hour to learn to drive was at the top of my priority list.

Recently, though, I realised how much I needed my independence and I needed to get it done and over with, even if I don't get a car right away. I finally found an instructor in my area in Mid-July, so I was incredibly excited to learn to drive again. The only problem, though, was that my theory had expired (you need to pass your practical test within two years of passing your theory, otherwise your theory becomes void and you have to re-take). Due to the fact that I wanted to pass my practical by mid-October, I quickly rushed to revise for my theory and booked it in. Luckily, I just about passed!

My first lesson with my new instructor was great. I discussed with him that I was prepared to put in the money and the time (3 or 4 lessons per week, priced at £30 an hour which equates to £60 per lesson as they deliver the lessons in two hour slots!), to pass my test by October. He told me to book in my practical right away, to give me something to work towards. So, that night I booked in my practical test for 10th October 2017. Hooray. My instructor was incredibly supportive and really friendly too. He adopted a nickname for me, which was 'beautiful', but I thought that was just part of his personality and he said it to everybody, so I decided to brush it under the carpet and not think anything of it (red flag!).

My next couple of lessons were good and I picked up driving again really quickly. My instructor, again, was incredibly friendly and made jokes (sometimes inappropriate to be honest), but there was a particular time in those couple of lessons that he literally went crazy at somebody who got close to the car, to the point that he was shouting at him, swearing with his hands through the window and called him the 'c' word which I have never said in my life. Again, I decided to brush it under the carpet once again (red flag!).

Over the course of August and September I had another 16 hours worth of lessons. I wanted it to be a lot more than that, but my instructors communication got so bad. He would tell me to text him times and dates that I could learn, rather than sort it in the car (bit weird). I would text him, and he wouldn't reply to me, so when I chased, he would say that he'd get back to me that evening, then.. you guessed it.. three/four days would go by and I still wouldn't hear anything. He became so incredibly difficult that I started to become really demotivated, knowing that my test was at the start of October. Throughout the lessons in August and September, my instructor started to get a lot more creepy, commenting on the 'behind' areas of women who were walking down the road, saying the way I said something once sounded 'sexy', commenting on my WhatsApp profile picture (even though I have never messaged him on WhatsApp in my life) and the following conversation took place in almost every lesson: Him: 'Do you know where you are?' .. Me: 'Nope, I'm not familiar with this area' .. Him: 'Oh that's good, I can kidnap you now! Hahaha (laughing)'. (MAJOR RED FLAG!). Bare in mind that during this time he was still calling me beautiful and even referred to me as 'my girl' at one point.

Everything kind of came to a head in my last lesson, which is over a week ago now. In preparation for my test, we are just starting to learn the manouvres (bit late, I know). We drove to a derelict car park for me to learn how to reverse bay park. During the lesson I was feeling anxious because of the fact I was in the car with him. I have never told him about my panic attacks because I never ever had one in the car. On this particular lesson, I was speaking to him about driving, but I wasn't responding to his sleazy comments about women or his jokes, because I really wasn't in the mood to laugh at things that aren't funny. When he asked if I was ok when we were driving to the car park, I said 'Yeah, I just have a headache.'. When we arrived in the car park and we had stopped, he undid his seat belt, turned to me and said 'What's wrong? You need to tell me what's up!' again, I simply said 'I have a headache'. He then proceeded to say that I must tell him what's up and then asked the following questions 'Are you pregnant? Is it something at home? Is it your boyfriend? Has he hurt you?'. Woah, I don't need the lecture and quite frankly I didn't need somebody who is supposed to a professional person, simply teaching me how to drive, to question me like that. I had to literally say 'Look, I'm fine, I just have a headache'. He then was calling me beautiful and saying that I must tell him if something's up (as if we are friends, which we really are not).

This week I was supposed to have two lessons with him. I got myself in such an anxious state that on the day of the first one I wanted to cancel. The problem is, as I would have been cancelling both within 48 hours I would have lost out on £120. I called the company he works for and I explained the situation. I didn't go in to every single detail, just a couple of things and they were shocked enough. I don't want the guy to get in to trouble but also, I don't want to lose £120 and I need to pass my test with a new instructor. I can't let his personality and his, quite honestly, creepiness, send me in to spirals of anxiety. I'm awaiting to hear the outcome of the situation. I've had to postpone my test until next month because I simply wouldn't be test ready on the 10th October. He has tried to reach out to me questioning me on why I called the company to cancel my lessons, but I've ignored him. 

I'm scared that I'm over reacting, but I don't think I am. He was being creepy af, right?!

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