Fear Factor

What are you afraid of?  Heights?  Spiders?  Th Dark?  I’m afraid of all of those things and a few more.  We all have reasons we are afraid of something, and no matter how strange they may seem, they’re usually valid reasons.  I knew a girl in high school who was afraid of balloons.  BALLOONS.  Why?  When she was young, she was at a birthday party and someone popped a balloon in her ear.  A small piece of latex from the balloon actually entered her ear canal due to the force of the balloon popping and became lodged there.  She actually ended up needing surgery to have the latex piece removed before it caused any sort of infection.  Even the strangest fears are founded on something.  I’m going to share mine with you.

 

The dark.  Mirrors.  Open doors.  The edge of the bed.

These fears are all related.  As a kid I had night terrors and one of the things suggested to help me get over them was to open up about my dreams.  I would talk to me mom about what happened and why I was afraid.  My mother, being the great mom she is, decided scaring me in the same way I had been scared in my dream would help.  Once I dreamt about man eating plants growing in my bathroom (I had the master bedroom in our old house because it was at the back and my mom wanted the front room for safety reasons) and in the dream I had opened my shower curtain to find a bunch of plants there, waiting to consume me (I had read this in a book the night before).  My mom decided to fill my shower with potted plants while I was at school, knowing I’d shower later that night after dance class.  As stupid as it sounds, pulling back the shower curtain to a shower full of plants was so terrifying, I didn’t sleep in my room for two weeks.  My mom also liked to force me to watch scary movies, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep afterward.  A lot of these movies involved seeing things run past open bedroom doors, reflections in mirrors, etc.  As a kid, my bed was always against a wall, and I slept as close to that wall as possible.  Doors were shut, closets sometimes had a chair in front of them.  Mirrors were covered in pictures and things cut from magazines.  To this day, I am 23 and sleep  with a light on.  I literally panic when the power goes out.  I can’t sleep in a room alone if the doors aren’t closed and it’s pitch black.  Even sleeping with someone, the doors will still bother me and there has to be some sort of ambient light.

 

Spiders.

I don’t mind arachnids.  I mean, fleas and ticks are gross, but I wanted a pet scorpion as a kid (and I still think having one would be kind of cool).  Spiders (I call them spideys, a childhood thing that just stuck), however, are a different story.  I don’t know if its because they bite or have so many legs or all the eyes or possibly the fangs, but spiders are just not okay in my book.  I really think its the combination of the fact that they make web (no other animal that I know of does) and how they eat their prey – mummifying it and then draining it of blood.  Fleas have eight legs and they bite.  Ticks fill themselves with your blood and also have eight legs.  Scorpions have stingers.  But spiders, they are hairy and just, awful.  Even pictures of spiders will freak me out.  I think walking into a rather large web as a kid and having to swat three or four spiders off my body is what did me in for this fear.  My mom is also afraid of them, but not even close to the extent my sister and I are.  We can’t even kill them with a shoe, for fear of the spider surviving (which they do sometimes) and coming after us since we’re so close to it.

 

Heights.

I love roller coasters, but am extremely afraid of heights.  As a child my dad left a present on the roof one Christmas and told me Santa must have left it up there.  He brought out a ladder and I told him it’s going to stay up there because I am not going up after it.  I have gotten better with this fear,  I used to be unable to walk out onto balconies, but now, as long as I don’t get too close to the railing, I can handle it.  My dad fell off a roof when I was very young and his back has bothered him ever since.  I used to have recurring nightmares about falling off of our roof, and I think that’s why I have this fear.  Although it’s common, neither of my parents share it with me.

 

Elbows.

Okay, so this one is a little strange.  I am afraid of elbows.  People pointing their elbows at me or showing them to me freaks me out.  I can’t stand having my elbows touched and I don’t like touching other people’s elbows.  A skinned elbow is probably the worst thing that could happen to me.  I would probably have some sort of anxiety attack.  My mom had severe eczema when I was growing up, and she used to tell me I’d catch it from her.  Her elbows were red, raw, cracked, and sometimes there was blood or pus.  It freaked me out.  She would shove her elbows in my face and that terrified me.  I didn’t want to catch what she had and have it all over my face.  She would try to rub her elbow on mine when we sat next to each other.  This plus the actual structure of the elbow is where my fear comes from.  Unlike a knee which has a “cap” and elbow is literally a joint covered by skin.   There isn’t any muscle there or anything to protect the elbow.  I had a dream once that I was doing something (I can’t remember exactly what now), and I somehow pulled the skin off my elbow while it was bent, revealing a cone (for lack of a better term) of white bone.  To this day I feel like that is totally possible, despite the reality of the situation.

 

I’m sure I have other little fears I have forgotten to mention, but these are definitely my biggest.  They’re all justified somehow (usually by a scarring childhood event), and I feel like everyone has something that caused them to be afraid of whatever they have a fear of, despite the rationality of the fear itself.

What are you afraid of?