Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Addie's Car Phobia

Addie is seriously petrified of motor vehicles. She hates to ride in a car, grumbles incessantly about taking a bus to school, and freaks out if a car goes by too fast (or too close) when she is walking.

I have to admit, I am not always the most patient person when dealing with this. It's kind of annoying when you're driving along and the car a mile up the road puts its brake lights on and your passenger literally hits the deck. We were at the toll booth a couple of weeks ago, and the car in front of us went through the toll then started reversing back toward us. There was a line of cars behind me, so it's not like I could back up or do much of anything. Addie was screaming, "Back up! Back up!" to me and was trying to get to the horn. The teenage girl--admittedly not looking to be the sharpest saw in the toolbox based on reversing into a tollbooth--was looking out her window as she backed up, to be fair, and she told the tollbooth attendant that she'd blown through because she was used to having an EZ-Pass. Stupid, yes.

But Addie's meltdown? Kind of ridiculous. If Addie was prone to meltdowns, I think I'd be more patient. However, since she's in general very level-headed, this issue of hers drives me crazy (wow, pun was completely unintentional there).

I bring this up because Addie went out with one of her friends today, originally to a local water park. It was closed due to rain, possible thunderstorms, and highs in the low sixties, though, so they ended up going to see Transformers 2 (by the way, the movie was pretty decent according to Addie). What I wonder, though, is if Addie acts like as much of a horse's ass when one of her friends is driving as she does when I'm driving. I mean, does she go, "Oh my God, Jenny, a Mack truck's coming. Pull over! Pull over right now!" or something like that?

As I've been writing this, though, I've been thinking about some of my own irrational fears. The big one, of course, is thunderstorms. I literally sit on the stairs and cry when there's a rumble of thunder. That's pretty stupid, really. I'm also too scared to get on an airplane, I almost pass out at the mere sight of a snake, and speaking in front of people in a formal setting (such as a school board meeting) is torture for me.

I guess in the great scheme of things, Addie's motor vehicle neurosis is no more strange than some of mine.

Any thoughts on what causes strange and intense fears? Any suggestions for getting over them? Any of your own you'd like to share?