Monday, September 22, 2008

Raise Your Hand If You Have A Weird Fear

I was reading this article today, and it gave me the courage to confess a deep dark secret.

My name is Kristi, and I suffer from gephyrophobia. That's right y'all. I have a weird sweaty palm inducing fear of bridges (and the occasional highway overpass). It's not so bad if I'm the passenger, but put me in the driver's seat, and you're just asking for a mini-freak out. It's 10 times worse if there is water under the bridge. It's so weird because I'm not afraid of heights or water. Just bridges.

Unlike for other gephyrophobics, mine is not a debilitating fear. I don't have to be locked in a trunk before crossing a bridge or anything. Mostly, I just get super sweaty, unbelievably nervous, and I have to really focus on the road in front of me while taking deep breaths. Absolutely no talking or using the radio while Kristi is trying to cross a bridge. Any distractions and I could lose control of the car and go plummeting into the water/road below.

There was this time when Rob and I first started dating, and we were meeting up at a place I hadn't been too. He was giving me directions over the phone and neglected to mention that I had to go over an overpass (probably because he didn't realize that I was insane). I literally had to tell him to shut up and not talk to me until I was over it. My palms got sweaty, and I was still a little shaky when I finally met up with him. He didn't know about my crazy fear until that moment. I guess being a total freak isn't a deal breaker in his book because, shockingly, he kept dating me.

There is this bridge in Lake Charles, LA that I had to drive over once. I still get chills when I think about it. The one pictured in the article I mentioned scares the hell out of me. I truly don't know if I could drive myself over it.

Since I'm so self-aware and everything, I've decided that it stems from when I was 8 years old. I was living in California, in 1989, when a really big earthquake hit San Francisco. One minute I was watching Kids Incorporated (with Fergie when she was still Stacy Ferguson), and the next minute our entire house was moving. My dad grabbed me and my sister and held us under a doorway. It felt like we were rocking forever. It was my first and only earthquake experience, and I never want to go through that again. It was so scary. When we finally got power, the news channels kept showing all the destruction. The one thing that still sticks out in my mind is the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge. It was a double decker type bridge and part of the top deck collapsed in on the bottom deck. Seeing that is all it took to freak me out for life.

The problem was only made worse last year when, sadly, the bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because, now, I have recent actual proof that bridges are scary and dangerous and that falling off of one is totally possible.

So now that y'all have even more evidence that I'm a super major freak, how about y'all? Anyone else out there have any unusual (or even totally usual) fears?


MaryB said...

First of all - we had a girl with this bridge phobia on our cheerleading team in high school. we would have to shove her down onto the floor and not tell her we were crossing a bridge. This really didnt help much. she was stll a nervous wreck.

It is well documented on ye old blog that I am a pilot's wife who is petrified of airplanes. Ironic, eh?

Also, pathologically afraid of roaches. I cannot possible overstate the level of fear and panic and basic, "dear lord let me pass out or die" feeling that I get if I see one. It is normal to be grossed out by them. My fear is over-the-top totally abnormal.

Astarte said...

I'm not scared of overpasses, but I'm terrified of driving on long span bridges. I used to have to drive over the Bay Bridge to and from the Annapolis area for various day trips, which is about 3mi long, and switches driving direction depending on the time of day, etc. Oh, it was enough to make me almost pass out every time. They have terrible, terrible accidents on there, too, sometimes. In fact, just recently an 18 wheeler went over it because it was trying to avoid a head-on with someone who had fallen asleep. Petrified.

Katie said...

I have a completely irrational fear of vomit. It is a crippling fear. I HATE it!

Whimsy said...

I have milk fear. I can't drink milk if it's not from my own house, and even, if I'm not the one to buy it. I have to personally purchase the milk and then stock it in my own fridge for it to be consumable. I won't drink milk if I'm over at someone's house, or if we're at a restaurant or a hotel. I just don't trust the milk. I'm afraid it's going to be spoiled or taste weird or it'll be the wrong type (I drink 1%). How's that for weird?