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Phobias July 8, 2009

Posted by Hydy in life.
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So, I was thinking about phobias today, things I’m afraid of. Needles, bees, wasps, snakes, sparks.

It’s not that I’m afraid of bees and wasps, I’m afraid of them stinging me. They can exist near me, I can walk past them, but I don’t want them landing on me cuz they might hurt me. This came out of when I was a kid and got stung on my head by a bee in my grandmother’s yard. It hurt and I got really upset, so naturally, I don’t want to repeat that experience. But really, a bees sting? I’m sure I’ve voluntarily endured worse pain. I mean, the auto-injector probably hurt just as much, and I’m certain(in the cloud of pain memory) that the preservative-filled drugs burned a lot worse. So what’s the big deal? Sure, no one Wants to get stung, but there’s really no reason to be afraid of such a small thing.

Needles? I don’t like them, I don’t like that they hurt, I don’t like the way it feels when they go into me. I don’t like that they make me bleed. This fear came out of two childhood experiences. One, getting one of the many childhood shots caused my leg to hurt for the rest of the day, and no one believed me, they said I was making it up, and just complaining over nothing. The second was the first time I had blood drawn. My vein collapsed and it hurt Really Bad, and again, they didn’t believe me, thought I was making a fuss, it couldn’t possibly be that bad. This is how I remember these two events. Top it off with horror stories from my father with His experiences with needles, and it took me four years to stop hyperventilating during blood draws once I was diagnosed with RA and had to have them every three months. Now, when I get my shot, I hug a pillow, squeeze my eyes shut and sometimes hold my breath if it hurts. When I get blood drawn I try Very hard to control my breathing and relax, with eyes squeezed shut, concentrating on the voice of the person doing the draw. I wouldn’t call it a phobia, I can willingly go near them and have them used on me, but I avoid them whenever possible and cannot look at them going into flesh.

Snakes? I liked snakes as a very young child, but then my brother decided he liked snakes and would catch them in ice cream pails. And shake them at me or toss me the pail and they would hiss angrily. I don’t think he ever actually caught a snake that could have done me actual harm, but it was enough to scare me. For life. I cannot watch snakes on screen. If they are behind glass I have to be as far away as the walls of the reptile house will allow. If I see them in the wild, I really freak out and want to run away.

Sparks. I think this one came from getting burned my first year at week-long church camp. Someone stuck the innards of a marshmallow in the coals, it got ashes on it so they jerked it back up. One landed on my arm and I brushed it away. But it had already burned me and my counselors smelled the burned flesh, freaked out and dumped an entire five gallon water container on my arm. Since then, I can’t be near sparks. Sparklers, welders… can’t light little matches or regular lighters. I still love campfires, but if the wood starts popping, I will back away.

No conclusions at this time, but maybe I’ll revisit this later.