Discovering Donna


Posted in bridges,fears by Donna on July 31, 2008

“Fear of bridges: An abnormal and persistent fear of bridges, especially crossing bridges. Sufferers of this phobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may result partly from the fear of enclosure (claustrophobia) or the fear of heights (acrophobia). Phobic drivers may worry about being in an accident in busy traffic or losing control of their vehicles. High bridges over waterways and gorges can be especially intimidating, as can be very long or very narrow bridges.
Fear of bridges is a relatively common phobia although most people with it do not know they have something called “gephyrophobia.” However, the derivation of the word “gephyrophobia” is perfectly straightforward (if you know Greek); it is derived from the Greek words “gephyra” (bridge) and “phobos” (fear).”
I got this definition online from
This is me. Why? It’s a silly and insane fear that I have. It’s not over all bridges. Just the big ones. Like the one going to Nawlins. Like the one pictured above. Incase you don’t know it, it’s called the James River Bridge in Virginia. I think looking back, I’ve always had a “slight” fear of bridges but then there was an “event” that is going to trigger a bigger fear-naturally right? Right.
My dad had his first heart attack when he was working at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, repairing one of the air craft carriers that were in for service. They rushed him to the Naval Hospital and that’s where he stayed till he came home a couple of weeks later. Now in the mean time, my uncle Hollis, cousins Deloris and Gilmer took me to see him one Sunday after church. I was young. Maybe 9 or 10 at the time. When we were traveling across this monster of a bridge (it’s like 4 miles long if I remember right and insanely high up because of the ships) my cousin Gilmer threatens to stop the car on the way back and throw me off the bridge. I knew he was kidding and so I never thought anything about it. Well on the way back, we get to the highest part and my Uncle slows down and Gilmer starts to act like he’s going to get out. At the time, it scared me to death!!! And from that moment on I could never go across that bridge without being scared of it. Why it triggered something, I don’t know. But I know to this day, I still have a nagging, insane fear of long bridges.
While I know it’s not rational, my heart still speeds up and I feel like I’m short of breath. So I try to distract myself from thinking about it, talking, listening to the radio, something. And then when I think about it at times like this, I get mad. There is no way an adult should do that to a child. It’s one thing to joke, but it’s another to do what he did on the way back.
Honestly would you have done that to a child? So however much, I know that it’s silly and irrational, it’s still there. Crazy huh?