Leslie had an intense fear of driving over bridges and over some elevated on-ramps to major highways. This was not a mild discomfort, rather, it was a panic attack. Not all bridges or on-ramps evoked this anxiety but enough of them did that her family and friends knew there are certain routes Leslie was not able to take when driving. She didn’t have this problem as a passenger, only when she was driving.
Leslie agreed to take me with her on Interstate 465 South to the US 74 exchange which has a significant on-ramp going east which she had to avoid when traveling to Ohio. As we approached the exchange she started to get nervous, palms sweaty, chest getting tight, and a feeling of weakness as she started up the ramp. She was glad there were cars in front of her which meant she had to slow down. She said she couldn’t look off to the side, but had to keep her eyes focused in front of her.
We got through the exchange and I told her to take the first exit so we could get off the road and stop to talk. She said she was surprised that the feeling was not as intense as she expected, but it was certainly very real. We pulled into a Wendy’s parking lot.
I asked her to focus on the feeling. Then I asked her to think about a time when she was a child when she had that same feeling, but that it didn’t involve going over a bridge or up an on-ramp. She hesitated. I encouraged her to tell me the first thing that come into her mind.
She said that when I said “child” a memory popped into her head about a time when she was very young and was at a drive-in movie. She had fallen asleep in the back seat. Her father was driving away, but had to stop abruptly which caused her to be thrown forward into the back side of the front seat, knocked her two front teeth loose, and bloodied her mouth. She said it was late at night and she was taken to a dentist at the military base as suggested by a neighbor. She remembered the dentist giving her a pain shot in her gum and that he removed the two teeth.
Leslie said it took two years before her permanent teeth began to come in replacing her baby teeth that were removed. As her new teeth were coming in, she had an accident which resulted in chipping one of the new teeth. She remembered her mother being upset because of the chip. In fact Leslie said she had often thought of the chipped tooth incident, but had long forgotten the incident in the car that resulted in her baby teeth being removed.
When questioned, Leslie recognized the anxious feeling she had on the on-ramp was the same fear that was generated in the accident in the car when she was a child. We talked for a while and she said she was feeling better. Then she wanted to know if we should go back and try the on-ramp again. I suggested that we do that, but assured her that the real verification would come later. She was going to see her son in St. Louis and would be crossing some very scary bridges later in the week.
We went back to the on-ramp and she did it without incident. In fact since there were no cars in front of us, she was able to speed up and drive the limit. She said the previous reaction and fear were not evoked and was excited about the possibilities of not having it in the future. Leslie said she was looking forward to visiting her son and his family. She has the reputation of not being able to drive over bridges and she wants to demonstrate that fear is no longer there.
A week later after vising her son, Leslie reported she was able to demonstrate her lack of fear crossing bridges. Her son was cautious for her, but she insisted driving across two different and formally scary bridges. She said she even changed lanes and passed a truck, something she would have never been able to do in the past. Her son wanted to know if she had taken something or had been hypnotized. Her reply was no, then she described the Stored Feelings Reintegration process. She also shared her new found freedom with her grandchildren.
This is a real game changer for Leslie. She no longer has to manage her fears of driving over bridges and looking for alternative routes. Leslie is free to go where ever she wants. As she describes it, “It’s truly a liberating feeling.”
For more information on Stored Feelings Reintegration visit http://www.StoredFeelings.com.
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