Scary October #29

Only three more days left of the month, so you won’t have to read much more scary stuff, although if I were to be completely honest, my ‘scary’ stuff hasn’t been too terrifying, has it?

Today I thought I’d talk about phobias and things we fear. I took several Psychology courses back in university. First, I took Psych 101, the intro to the subject. As an educator, I then took Child Psychology and when I studied to work with Special Needs students, I took Abnormal Psychology. It was fascinating to read about how different people think, how their minds grow from infancy to adulthood and how a fearless child attributes danger to certain things which can eventually grow into phobias.

My mother-in-law and Hubby both have claustrophobia, the fear of tight spaces. This is not a hereditary thing, but a learned behaviour. I’m not sure how my mother-in-law’s phobia began, but Hubby has mentioned an incident as a child where he fell through deep snow and was trapped there for some time until he was dug out. More than likely, his claustrophobia stems from that point in his life. That’s probably why he originally chose the high steel as a career choice – lots of wide open spaces in THAT job! 🙂

We’ve already touched on arachnophobia, the fear of spiders in this post. My daughter used to have this fear to a greater extent than she does now. Her hubby told her he did not want her to kill any spiders because his Cree heritage believes that spiders contain the souls of those who have passed on. His sister died in her teens and he believes that whenever a spider is in the house, she is coming for a visit. Shortly after the birth of their child, Daughter would sit nursing the baby and said she often found small spiders gathering around her. She lives in the house her grandparents’ built (and her grandmother died there), so she is now inclined to believe that both her grandparents and Hubby’s sister came to say hello to the baby frequently during those first few days.

I, personally, have a fear of heights or acrophobia. This is most evident when I have to climb down a ladder and must focus on how far away the ground seems. It doesn’t help that my hips lock up, which makes it difficult to step down without the ladder wobbling.

Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach, Christmas Day, 1979

When we were in Hawaii, just after we got married, we went to see Diamond Head and its military base, Fort RugerBoth Hubby and I had to face our fears that day. The entrance at the time was a long, dark, L-shaped tunnel that ended in a bunker deep inside the dormant volcano. The floor was uneven and because we couldn’t see very well, Hubby’s claustrophobia kicked into high gear. My eyes have little problem with semi-darkness, so Hubby placed his hand on my shoulder and followed my lead until we got to the gun slit.

Through the gun slit, looking out over the ocean

Further in was a room with a metal ladder clamped into the rock wall where we could climb to the flat top of Diamond Head and drink in the beauty of Waikiki and the gorgeous aquamarine ocean. Although I found the ladder tall and a little rickety (Hubby insists it was solid enough), I swallowed hard, focussed on the opening above me and made it up all the way. The view really was breathtaking, I must admit, but when it came time to face the ladder to go back down, I panicked! We let all the other visitors go down first, then Hubby began the descent. I turned around and he placed my foot on the first rung. I clung to the ladder’s sides as Hubby took each foot and brought it down to the next rung. I eventually got to the bottom without having to see the distance to the floor below me. It was a very embarrassing experience, especially when everyone applauded when I finally touched the ground!

The view from the top of Diamond Head

Me, behind the ‘handler’, on my way up into the wild blue yonder!

A year later, we went to Acapulco, Mexico and Hubby convinced me to go parasailing. Oddly enough, I was fine with it. Maybe I felt secure in the knowledge that the parachute I was attached to would not let me hurtle to my death. Maybe it was the fact that I knew which ropes to pull to control my descent – and I didn’t have to climb down a ladder! I enjoyed it immensely and wished the experience lasted longer. It almost made me want to try sky diving – almost! 🙂

The Diving Cliff, Acapulco, April 1981

 

 

One thing I’d never try is this:

See that diver standing on the edge? It’s really hard to determine from the photo just how high the cliffs actually are, but this is certainly not a sport I would be inclined to try – ever! My stomach clenches just thinking about it!

 

 

There are literally thousands of fears and phobias that one might get. Some can be quite debilitating, forcing the phobic individual into a living nightmare when facing them. I’ve only touched on a few here. Do YOU have any fears or phobias you’d like to admit to share? 🙂