I’m 21 years old, and I live with Agyrophobia or the fear that crossing a road will result in bodily harm, as well as PTSD. It started when I was about 16 years old and was hit by a driver who was blind in one eye while crossing the street. I was crossing legally at a crosswalk after the car had already stopped at the stop sign. But they were blind in one eye and turning in that direction. They didn’t see me. It made me feel like no street is ever safe, even if someone stops or slows down. This fear has affected my life daily ever since. It’s hard to go anywhere or do anything without having to cross a street or parking lot at some point. I’ve managed to work through this fear enough that I can cross streets as long as I’m with somebody else. If I’m on my own, the fear is so intense that I can’t get past it, even after deep breathing, positive affirmations, and pretty much every other coping mechanism I know. It has even affected my ability to get help because I need somebody to take me to therapy, even when my therapist’s office is just down the street. I just can’t do it. I really want to go to this therapist because they are a good fit, and it is so close that I thought I’d be able to go alone since it is just one street I have to cross. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t bring myself to do it, just the idea of stepping onto the road alone, with nobody there to help me or call for help if I am hit. I can’t. Even when there are no cars on the road, I feel like one will come speeding out of nowhere and hit me. I’m terrified every single day. Even with therapy, coping skills, and medication, my fear is intense, and I still have nightmares. I wonder if I will ever be free from this crippling fear or if Agyrophobia will always be a part of me.
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