Road Rage, Impatience and
Ascending Birth Feelings

by John A. Speyrer

"How many hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines and traffic tickets have been paid each year because of an inability to wait for the green light to appear or to stop at a stop sign
- a behavior the result of unresolved birth trauma."

"Accidents don't happen by accident" has been almost a slogan of practitioners in the psychoanalytic field. To some who are especially prone, accidents happen in a serial fashion. Much effort has been placed into finding out what are the personality characteristics of those who are in this category. Insurance companies spend big bucks tracking down and subsequently refusing insurance to these types. "Bone breakers" appear consistently on the list as do "fallers." What causes these individuals to frequently indulge the "accident habit?"

Such folks often have a lot of resentment, anxiety, impatience and impulsiveness which all seem to be but barely defended against. A number of theorists have concluded that there is a unconscious drive by the susceptible ones to injure and re-injure themselves. It almost seems that they have a drive towards death. Because of very permeable defenses against the barely unconscious urges to self-annihilate, they must contend with triggers always lying in wait to be sprung.

Psychoanalytic theory holds that many of these accident prone ones suffer from unconscious guilt and unconsciously injure themselves to expiate their feelings. Perhaps, it would be more fruitful to explore the unrecognized cause which can make a person susceptible to automobile accidents.

Generally, there are two types of such accidents traceable to birth traumas:
a.) Those in which birth trauma molds one's personality so that the person becomes impatient and anxious and detests being held back by a stop sign or slower traffic, and
b.) Those above who are presently in a regressive type therapy and have reached the point where traumatic ascending birth feelings are pressing for release. They are unconsciously feeling those feelings having to do with their being delayed in their birth process or feel unable to proceed and complete their birthing process. These may be even more impelled to take risks.

Those in each category are being reminded of their birth traumas. Newly arising birth feelings in those who do not yet realize how dangerous such ascending feelings can be are in a danger as they blindside their victims and themselves into making rash driving decisions.

Both types of occasions can result in vehicular accidents. In the first case, the person is more or less continuously acts out his repressed feelings and he would be the type who has serial accidents due to anxious impatience. These feeling heaken back to their need to get born - to get out - to escape from the death-like confinement of the birth canal.

In the second case, one can develop symptoms of impatience, to drive faster to get to their destination sooner. These urges may not have been present before or were there but not to such a troubling extent as they were well defended against. Their feelings are pressing for release so intensely that their victims become even more impatient than those in the first instance.

Both types came close to death during their birthing process. This trauma is not conscious, but it still drives (pun intended) their rush to arrive at their destination sooner rather than later. Because of their repressed traumas, for some, it is never.

Arising birth feelings which are beginning to assault one's defenses may easily blindside us into taking unnecessary driving risks. Waiting for our chance to make the left turn safety becomes intolerable and for that reason we take an unreasonable risk instead of waiting for a more opportune time. Our first experience with the intolerability of waiting was in the birth canal and that imprint encourges dangerous risk taking. A driving license in the hands of some of us may, in reality, be a "license to kill" or get killed.

A person attempts to reenact his birth by escaping from a situation where he feels stuck. The feeling is that he can't wait any longer. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines and traffic tickets have been paid each year because of an inability to wait for the green light to appear or to stop at a stop sign - both the result of unconscious birth trauma? During this period while patience is at a low ebb, the driver is psychologically transported back into the period before birth when release from his birthing torment was the only thing of which he was mindful. The traffic law violater is returned to yesteryear when it seemed like a matter of life and death to avoid being killed.

Indeed, one's patience is low because being unable to proceed straightaway because "getting there" or "going through" was how it felt to some fetuses. In the present it feels like a life and death need like it did, then. The original feeling is felt once again by the person making a decision in how to proceed in traffic and action to alleviate the earlier birth stress is acted out.

It is not only vehicles but moving elevators can even more powerfully remind us of the trauma of our births. The interior of a vehicle with its limited space, and movement has the added ability of furnishing additional triggers which are induced by movement. When our "going forward" is impaired by breakdown or traffic congestation, for some can be a time of violence as it reminds them of their birth which also might have had barriers to overcome.

On a few occasions, using the car as primal box was very effective and as soon as I arrived at home the regressive feeling stopped! The feelings, in my case, were not necessarily of birth, but their invocations were nonetheless powerful.

Because of improved manufacturing technology and road surfacing, tire flats are no longer a common cause of of interrupting our automotive trips towards our destination. I recall how during the thirties, forties and fifties "having a flat" meant that some child passengers would become teary-eyed and distraught. They did not have a regression at the scene, but crying and being distressed are common in some children who had severe birth traumas. The child remained emotionally upset until the flat tire was replaced and the trip resumed. Because of good roads and better tires, flat tires are an inconvenience relegated mostly to the past.

In, 2004, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that those who had been in traffic congestion for over an hour had 3 times the rate of heart attacks as others. Although the study was only of heart attack patients, it does show that being disrupted in a journey can have untoward effects on our physiology. Riding a bicycle or driving a vehicle, the results were similar. Sure it could be air pollution, but methinks it is rather the frustration of their not having been able to get out of the birth canal.

Sheila Linn in Healing Our Beginning writes that if they will soon be leaving on a trip, a good question to ask her husband Dennis, concerning an upcoming trip, is,

"'What do you mostly want ?' He will reply, 'I want to leave early so I don't have to rush.' Denny is telling me about his birth, when he was late and had to rush so that he wouldn't die.

Matt will give a similar answer, 'I want to leave early,' but for a different reason. Matt will add, 'in case we get stuck in road construction or traffic.' Matt's reason reflects his birth, in which he got stuck in his mother's narrow pelvis and nearly died.

If you watch me with John, now a very active seven year-old, I will often say to him, 'Honey, please don't move your toys so fast in my face.' I am telling him about the forceps and my need to be able to protect my head.

And John will often say to me, 'Mama, be with me.' He is telling me about being in the womb of his birth mother, who was not emotionally present to him."' [my emphases] (pps. 6-7).

Often car accidents are the result of a birth feeling waiting to happen. Driver aggression can be and is fatal to both the perpetrator and the victim. I believe that an unsuspectedly large percentage of car accidents have their real origin in the birth trauma of the driver or its victim.

Wanting to drive into a wall or overpass abutment to symbolically get through or get out of the uterus or final stage of birth is a known suicide technique. Probably a number of such suicides take place on the interstates of our nation. Plowing in into the sides of concrete ramps at intersections are used to that end as fatal attempts to unintentially resolve birth trauma to our heads! Regressive therapist Dr. Stan Grof calls the first stage of the birth process, when the fetus is being pressured into the opening of the uterus as one of the most painful circumstances which a person can endure:

In the fully developed first stage of biological birth, the uterine contractions periodically constrict the fetus, and the cervix is not yet open. Each contraction causes compression of the uterine arteries, and the fetus is threatened by lack of oxygen. Reliving this stage of birth is one of the worst experiences we can have during self-exploration that involves holotropic states. We feel caught in a monstrous claustrophobic nightmare, exposed to agonizing emotional and physical pain, and have a sense of utter helplessness and hopelessness. Feelings of loneliness, guilt, the absurdity of life, and existential despair reach metaphysical proportions. A person in this predicament often becomes convinced that this situation will never end and that there is absolutely no way out. An experiential triad characteristic for this state is a sense of dying, going crazy, and never coming back. -- Stanislav Grof, M.D., Psychology of the Future, pps. 41-42.

Auto racing and dangerous sports as "thrill" seeking activities, both as witnesses and participants, can attract us unconsciously because they can symbolically recreate our much earlier brush with death.

Whether our labor lasted mere minutes or many hours its imprints remain with us for a lifetime. Our births influence every choice we make -- from the friends we choose, the type of work we want to do, whom we marry, our hobbies and even how we decorate our homes.

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