Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I've never posted anything about this before, because, well, I'm supposed to be fearless. This is a story about a fear I have, and how I overcame it. Kind of.

I'm the spider catcher in our house because Hubby is incredibly arachnophobic and can't even stomach squishing a money spider with his shoe, (mind you, with two little one's learning to talk spiders range from anything to ants, to actual spiders, to flies and so on in our house, too).

Back on point.

I have a few phobias, the usual things, well usual for me, moths/butterflies (a.k.a glorified moths) and live flapping chickens (or any chicken that is alive and near me, doesn't necessarily have to be flapping). There's no way in hell, I am making any effort to overcome these phobias. I've lived long enough being afraid of them, and will continue to do so.

Locusts, crickets, worms and beetles while unpleasant, I can handle being near, just don't want them touching me, so not really a 'phobia' as such.

The other phobia I have, which can leave me feeling physically ill and sweating like a mule is... driving/traveling on a freeway.

I never realised I had a 'fear' of it as such until I moved to a town where in order to get to the next suburb, you had to get on the freeway. Or go over a bridge, which isn't nearly as convenient or quick.

My phobia became apparent to me, when, for no reason, I'd find myself clutching at my seat until my knuckles went white, while being a passenger on the freeway. I never had a car when Master S was first born, so I never drove over it, until after he was born.

No logical reason as to why.
I've been on freeways before, never drove on a freeway except on my L's where everything involving driving was exciting because I was 16 and didn't fully comprehend just how dangerous driving can be and I suppose it wasn't until I had my children that this phobia sort of emerged.

Driving, while a normal everyday task is scarier to me now that I have precious cargo in the backseat (and currently, in my tummy) and even if I don't have my children in the car, I still worry about potential high speed accidents in which I won't come home to them.

This kind of fear, while understandable, no-one really wants to die on the road, is a bit irrational in my eyes. If I have to be in the next town for anything, I will normally take the bridge, stay in the left lane traveling comfortably at 75kms an hour and NOT freak out about dying. It just means I have to leave home fifteen to twenty minutes earlier. Not always possible with small children.

I have driven on the freeway, and I'm clutching the wheel, trying not to blink, and constantly checking my mirrors for fear that the learner barreling up my rear end at 110kms an hour is going to actually smash into me.

It really is quite nuts.

I don't 'do' overtaking on a freeway.

That is just asking too much, and the one time I feel stressed enough to the point only a cigarette can calm me, I don't smoke in the car, and if I did, I'd be too afraid to take a hand off the wheel for even a drag.

The silence while driving on a freeway with only the sound of rapid wind hitting the windows and whistling, along with cars zooming past, only intensifies the sick feeling I get in my stomach.

With a phobia like this, it's best for me to avoid the freeway. Because while I'm a freaking out mess, I am the most dangerous driver on it, even if I don't mean to be.


Today, for a reason I don't know why, I left home early enough to go to the next suburb.

I didn't take the bridge.

I took the freeway.

I don't know why, but I felt like I had to. I had to move past the fear.

I did the speed limit, instead of 10kms under. I overtook when necessary.

But when I stepped out of the car, I swear my legs were like jelly.

I was proud of me.

But I was so bloody afraid.


And so I ask you:

Do you have a 'freeway'? Something that scares you so badly that it leaves you a mess? What is your 'freeway' and have you attempted to overcome it?


  1. Well done, that was really brave! I'm not a freeway fan either, I have no problems doing 100 on a windy country lane but put me on a 3 lane freeway and I freak out!
    Oh and butterflies freak out my 3rd old daughter too... I don't get it!?

  2. Good for you, I know quite a few people in town that take a longer route to work to avoid a massive bridge that goes over water. I don't really enjoy it myself and always take the middle lanes. Large spiders, magpies, pelicans, emus and wasps are probably my "freeways".