I'm not talking about the 'I really hate getting up to speak in front of people' or the 'I hate snakes' or even the 'I can't even THINK about if my husband/wife died'...
I'm talking about the thing that even the thought of makes you hysterical and shaking and physically ill.
For me it's driving. I'm not being dramatic. When faced with going one block to the library or one straight line to the post office I go through hours of obsessively picturing everything that can and could go wrong, all the routes that I may have to take, and lane changes, turns, thoughts about where cars would be, everything. Even planned, driving is a terrifying experience for me.
So, for my MIL to call me causually and request in a way that I can't say 'no' to that I follow her in her van across town to a place I don't know how to get to so I can pick her up is more than I can take right now. I am literally on my knees begging to not have to do this. I called my husband and he just doesn't understand he told me 'you'll get over it' and 'you'll be fine.' But I'm NOT.
Why is this so hard for people to understand? This isn't 'I don't like driving'. This is mortal terror. You might as well ask me to shoot myself, because it feels like the same thing. And the fact that I have to take my kids with me!!!!
This isn't something I can just "shake off" like everyone has ALWAYS told me. I'm sorry, but to me a car is a death trap, and asking me to drive one is asking me to take my life in my hands and trust strangers to care enough to keep me alive-- it's not going to happen. I live in severe isolation because of this, don't you think if it was just 'not liking to drive' that I would somehow work through it to get past the loneliness and boredom?
It's so easy for people to quip 'just do it, you'll be fine'.
But it's not true. It's not a guarantee they can make and I'm NOT OK.