Tuesday, January 26, 2010
London Bridges Please Don't Fall Down!
My family knows I'm afraid of bridges--especially drawbridges. They dealt with the issue by taunting me whenever we were going over a drawbridge. Nice family.
I don't think I'm afraid of bridges themselves, actually. I think I'm more afraid of the heights that they have to go to in order to span whatever it is you want to cross. The fear of heights thing would also be called acrophobia. I'm also afraid of falling from those tremendous heights. That fear of falling would be called bathophobia. (I guess that term stems from fear of falling into the water that most bridges span, and then being doused with soap.) And then too, I'm afraid of being trapped on bridges. You know, when they start crashing from their tremendous heights and sending its occupants plunging into a reluctant bath. That fear of being trapped would be claustrophobia.
I'm not sure where all this fear of bridges came into being, but I think I can basically blame it on two things: dreams and television. For years I've had a recurring dream that I'm driving across a very tall bridge. As I get closer, the bridge keeps getting higher until it assumes rollercoaster proportions. It also sways in a very unsteady way as I struggle to the top. It's only when I reach the top of the bridge that I realize there's no road down on the other side. Trust me, if you dreamed that you would be afraid of bridges too.
I'm afraid of drawbridges because of watching television. Seriously. Think of any show or movie that has a drawbridge in it. If there's a drawbridge in the picture, it's going to open at the wrong time and either a car or a person is going to be dangling from it. There's no reason for the drawbridge to be in the picture unless something's going to go wrong. I don't like drawbridges.
So there you have it. I have gephyrophobia, which feeds my acrophobia, bathophobia and claustrophobia.
What about you? Got any fears you want to share? 100 meaningless points if you know the "phobia" name that goes with your fear. I'll read your comments when I finish putting a psychiatrist on speed dial.
NOTE: While I reserve the right to use your fear as a trait for a character in one of my novels, I promise to give you full credit and spell your name correctly in the acknowledgements.