Stress from Feeling Trapped

When I first realized my long commute created unbearable stress, I thought maybe it was because being inside a car made me feel trapped. This is often a trigger for people with PTSD who develop the disorder after traumatic events during which there are feelings of entrapment. Riding my motorcycle all the way to the office was too tiring. Then it became too difficult for me to gear up to ride my motorcycle to Caltrain. To deal with this idea of being trapped in a car, I picked up a little 50cc scooter. I can wear a skirt if I want, and since the scooter doesn’t go very fast, gearing up is easier. I wear a half-helmet, which is easier to put on and take off. I still risk crashing of course, but since the scooter tops at 35mph and its center of gravity so low, I don’t worry about much road rash. I do worry a bit about not being able to accelerate out of a potential collision with a cager (driver in a car). But the danger feels exciting. That’s another trait of PTSD, not getting excited easily and requiring extremes for excitement.

I tried riding the scooter to Caltrain from the apartment I’m moving out of. It took more than a half hour, because I forgot how to get there. I couldn’t take the scooter onto the freeway and took a wrong turn on a city street. A while back I rode a bicycle to Caltrain. That took 30 minutes in the morning and almost an hour on the way home, uphill. That was like killing two birds with one stone as I was getting exercise. But 30 minutes on a scooter? Maybe it would take 25 without the wrong turn. Then another half hour on the train, and another 10 minutes on the shuttle to the office not to mention wait time.

I realize that I wasn’t feeling trapped by being in a car. I felt trapped by time. If my time is unproductive, it’s a waste. On a train, I can write or read. In a car, I can listen to music, but that’s not very productive. I supposed I could write by dictation. Hmmm. At least riding a motorcycle, I enjoy it. Enjoyment is productive, I think.

I thought that riding a scooter would bring the best of enjoying two-wheeled vehicles to that commute time to Caltrain. Instead it got tedious. It would be fine if that ride took less than 15 minutes

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