Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weekly Dose of...Phobias

An appropriate feature for the Hallow-week. Even if we can’t admit to it, we all have at least one uncontrollable, irrational fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. A phobia can haunt your subconscious mind, or be debilitating enough to take control of your life. Maybe you fear graveyards, tunnels, washing your hands, or snow. Or maybe you fear something more superficial that doesn’t interfere with your daily activities, perhaps hanging on from your childhood that just won’t let go.

To this day, my childhood phobia creeps in whenever I participate in fun loving aquatic activities. Yes, I grew up in the Jaws era and I tell you, it certainly had an impact on my water phobia. You see, I can’t even swim in a fresh water lake without wondering what lurks beneath even though I know sharks need salt water. I hear the theme song, I envision swimmers scrambling to shore and pulling themselves out of the water just in time. And, just in case this fear wasn’t cemented in my mind for all eternity from the movie, my parents took me to Universal Studios in 1986. I was perfectly happy to stop the tour at the Amityville house, but no, we took a trip to the Jaws set and rode a boat past the mechanical shark that in turn jumped out of the water and tried to snap our head off. It was creepy to say the least and not helpful. Thanks Mom and Dad.

I doubt I will ever overcome this phobia, although it does get better each year. In fact, in 1999 I was able to attempt surfing in Hawaii for all of 5 minutes. Keeping all body parts out of the water while grasping the board and allowing my teacher to remain full bodied in the water (prepared for the onslaught of sharks that awaited us at dawn), I caught my first (and last) wave into shore and I was out of there (taking pics of my husband as an excuse not to return - no hon, you go ahead, seriously, I had fun - let me take some photoes...crap, was that a fin? ). Last year I tried to wakeboard and told myself that the board would be the first bite, not me, and that I could then swim to safety.

So we all have phobias, and this week is a good time to get in touch with them, explore the links behind them and try your best to let go of them. I am trying but the scars are deep. Please readers, do share your phobias and let me know that I am not the only one!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I don't know the technical name for this but I am terrified of mice! The mere sight of them sends me into a panic and usually screaming. They can be anywhere!