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Old 03-04-2007, 06:24 PM   #16
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i'm deeeeeeeeeeathly afraid of spiders. i mean srsly. i always feel crazy when i talk about how irrational my fear of them is. but i will say one time when i was 12 or 13, while home alone, i locked myself in my room all day because there was a daddy long legs (who yes, even then i knew wasn't technically a spider) was on the wall in the hallway.

i don't know how i'm going to get through playing zelda:twilight princess


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Old 03-04-2007, 06:38 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
he says that the issue is not the thing you are afraid of but the fear itself. one of us is not understanding, as it is actual spiders that paralyse me with fear.
I've never done a phobia course and couldn't tell you how they work, nor am I certain I've ever had any fears which truly qualified as 'phobias,' but I can, from personal experience, find a lot of truth in what he says. Ever since I was a kid, I've been considerably more frightened than most by stinging insects--bees, wasps, hornets etc. I think this was probably provoked by an incident I witnessed as a toddler where my mother was gardening, accidentally disturbed a ground-wasps' nest, screamed as several of them suddenly shot up at her, and as a result wound up with them flying into her mouth and delivering some nasty internal stings. The noise and chaos terrified me, and that association with stinging insects stuck. I've never been plagued by fears of 'imaginary' bees, and on the one occasion 10 years or so later where I did get stung by a wasp (never even saw it), I had to admit it didn't hurt all that much. Still, up until pretty recently, I found myself unable to persist with whatever I was doing if there was a bee around, yet loath to get close enough to kill it at the same time.

What finally happened was that a few years ago, I was hiking with my family along Lake Superior when I apparently stepped on a wasps' nest, and suddenly found myself dive-bombed by a dozen or so of them. Memories of what I'd seen happen to my mother came flooding back and I promptly broke Rule #1 of safe outdoorsmanship: Don't Panic. I panicked, went blindly plunging down the (steep, scree-covered) slope, and predictably wound up slipping, falling and tearing some ligaments in my foot. Really, I was lucky to have not injured myself worse, but as it was it pretty much ruined the rest of our vacation, and my ankle is now permanently weaker and more injury-prone as a result.

What that brought home to me, and I think this may be what the psychologist is saying, is that there's nothing a bee or wasp could do to me that's worse than what I could do to myself (or worse, someone else--my kids could've been hurt trying to help me, for example) by panicking like that. So now, every time I see one, I immediately remind myself of that, take a few deep breaths, then force myself to continue with business as usual. It wasn't those wasps that 'paralyzed' me, it was my own fear and that much, I can control.

I have to admit I haven't tried 'touching' one since then (well, other than to kill them when I find them in the house, which I do now find it much easier to do). I have no plans to make a pilgrimage to an apiary anytime soon. Still, given the chance...I'd have to say I'd recommend anyone else with this problem give that route a try, rather than risk learning the necessity of mastering their fear the hard way (or worse) like I did. It truly wasn't worth it. I can't tell you how many times my brain has sheepishly apologized to my ankle for permanently f***ing it up over something that, at worst, might've given me a few annoying skin welts for a couple days.

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Old 03-05-2007, 04:31 PM   #18
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Ouch, yolland, that sounds nasty. I wonder if that is some kind of primary stage phobia or something, though. Fear is fear. The only difference between yours and mine, for instance, is mine is absolutely irrational, has developed out of nowhere (ie, no specific incident), but at the root of it is still that same plain and simple 'flight' instinct that we're all capable of (though fym might disagree on it beibng an instinct!).

I've cancelled the first appointment which was to be this morning but it's rescheduled for next week. I'll give an update on how it goes if anyone is interested. I have to admit I am very curious as to how exactly someone can coach you into gaining control of something which has always been a lot stronger than you and has essentially beaten you at every chance.

Thanks everyone for the input. It's very appreciated. It's also nice to know the ridiculous level of fear we face is not actually abnormal and a few people have it!
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:45 PM   #19
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I'm afraid of Ferris Wheels. There evil!!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:29 PM   #20
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I'm afraid of poor grammar.

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