My Roomate

My roommate Mark is a young kid I took in a number of years ago. He was homeless. He’s now 18 years old and got his license about 3 months ago. He recently was in a car accident about 4 days ago. He hit another car head on during a snow storm. He was at fault.

He now wants to return his plates to the motor vehicles registry. He asked me for a ride 2 days ago, and I declined for a number of irrelevant reasons. He asked me again yesterday and once again I declined. Both times I told him he could take my car, as I trust him.

He refused to take the car, and then had a temper tantrum and went to his room where he proceeded to slam things and scream and swear.

He asked me yesterday if I would take him to the registry today. My question to all of you is, what is going on with this kid? He asked me what to do, and I gave him instructions. I told him to contact our insurance agent Carole, she’s a young lady, very sweet and very good, she’s helped me for a number of years and I introduced Mark to her, so it’s not like he has no idea how to turn plates in, and he also asked me how to get to the registry. It’s less than 10 minutes from our house, and I told him to go to check online. I’m like his big brother, so I handle discipline and helping him grow up. He’s come from an abusive background and was abandoned, literally.

I’m not sure whether he’s afraid to drive, or what. Any suggestions?

My roommate Mark is a young kid I took in a number of years ago. He was homeless. He’s now 18 years old and got his license about 3 months ago. He recently was in a car accident about 4 days ago. He hit another car head on during a snow storm. He was at fault.

He now wants to return his plates to the motor vehicles registry. He asked me for a ride 2 days ago, and I declined for a number of irrelevant reasons. He asked me again yesterday and once again I declined. Both times I told him he could take my car, as I trust him.

He refused to take the car, and then had a temper tantrum and went to his room where he proceeded to slam things and scream and swear.

He asked me yesterday if I would take him to the registry today. My question to all of you is, what is going on with this kid? He asked me what to do, and I gave him instructions. I told him to contact our insurance agent Carole, she’s a young lady, very sweet and very good, she’s helped me for a number of years and I introduced Mark to her, so it’s not like he has no idea how to turn plates in, and he also asked me how to get to the registry. It’s less than 10 minutes from our house, and I told him to go to check online. I’m like his big brother, so I handle discipline and helping him grow up. He’s come from an abusive background and was abandoned, literally.

I’m not sure whether he’s afraid to drive, or what. Any suggestions?

Well, youre right, he may be afraid to drive, which would probably be very hard for him to admit being that he’s an 18yr old guy (I’m not bagging on guys, but that macho thing does come into play sometimes).

However, it could be something else. My first idea, just because of personal experience, is that he could be ‘scared’ of doing official things. That sounds strange, but let me explain. I get rediculously silly anxiety about things I consider "official" or "business-y". These things can be big, such as doing my own taxes, or as small as making a counter withdrawl from the bank or calling about cable service. I know, I know, those are regular, grown up things that adults just have to do and we should get over it, and for the most part, I have. For a while though, when I was younger, I was so totally afraid to do some of these things, and too embarassed to tell people I was afraid, that I just didnt do them. I just get kind of freaked out that I’m not going to do something right, use the wrong words, ask for the wrong thing and then a) end up looking like an idiot and/or b) leave without what I came for and with nothing to show for it and/or c)do something wrong and get penalized/in trouble.
For the counter withdrawl example, I finially had a friend of mine who was super sweet about walking me through everything (once) and showed me what to do/say, now I’m cool with it. (I even opened a new account on my own a few years ago)
All it took was that one time, now I’m ok….I can see how for an 18yr old guy that saying "Im scared of the DMV (or whatever)" could be harder….especially if he’s 18 and never had anyone (parent) to help with this kind of stuff before…

I guess the big question though is, have you asked him whats up and why he’s so mad? Maybe you couldnt get a completely straight answer, but at least it would be a starting point…
It did turn out to be that he was afraid. I talked to him about it. He tried to bullshit me at first, but basically I told him to be honest, that I just needed to know what was going on so I could help him out.

He admitted he was afraid of driving again, that he needed to be reassured. I talked it over with him, let him drive the car with me in the passenger seat to the RMV, and I told him I trusted him, that it was just an accident, it didn’t mean he was incompetent or that it would happen again.

I told him that a lot of people get in accidents when they first start driving, that he’s not a freak or stupid. He did make a stupid decision to drive in the snow, and I told him that. Had I known he was going to do that I would have stopped him, and I told him that too. I told him not to drive in dangerous weather again. I told him the same thing before the accident too, but this he needed to learn the hard way.

He’s ok now. He just needed that.

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