A fear is something everyone becomes familiar with and while the most common ones are probably in relation to spiders, flying, heights or crowds there are some unusual phobias out there. Yet discovering what specifically makes us tick can be a long and difficult journey. Throughout life we will often witness the reactions to many fears and phobias of family, friends and strangers without encountering our own until one day and BAM you’re left terrified and shaken.
I came across my hatred for Ferris wheels and wasps when I was a young teenager. Yes you read correctly, I said Ferris Wheels and wasps, an odd combination I know! However, the incidents happened separately and are unrelated to each other in every way.
So I suppose I’ll explain how these bothersome worries began to grow inside my mind…
One day I was running around my front garden minding my own business when I suddenly decided to go and search for my mother who was around the house somewhere. As we all know, everything seems bigger and takes longer to do so I definitely felt like I had been on my quest to find my mum for absolutely ages. What happened next was a huge shock to the system. I remember coming around the corner of our bricked bungalow as I got a quick glimpse of her talking to a neighbour behind a tree (which was why it took so long to find her) before I felt this enormous stinging sensation in my neck. I’m a bit of a drama queen so naturally I started screaming and running around the place trying to get my mother’s attention but she couldn’t hear me amongst her chats at the top of the garden. Eventually I struggled up the grassy hill towards her as I roared out in pain trying to figure out what had happened to me. Prior to this day I never took much notice of the flying bastards but now everywhere I go I’m very conscious of whether or not they’ll plant another attack on me. Nowadays, no matter where I go, if a wasp or bee hovers nearby I let out a little shriek and cower to the floor in an attempt to avoid its nasty stinger. Even though I never wish to experience that pain again I’m hopeful that it’ll be far less painful than before should it reoccur any time in the future.
Now for my most embarrassing phobia…ferris wheels. I have never met anybody with the same fear. Every year I dread the likelihood of my friends or sister asking me to make a trip down to the local fun fair because I know exactly what will be there waiting for me. Even the mere sight of the giant hamster-like wheel sends shivers down my spine which then spreads to every other part of my trembling body.
The terror behind the ferris wheel began one summer during a family holiday with my mother and sister who are the only people aware of my deteste towards it. Now what surprised me a little while after the whole ordeal was the fact that I had enjoyed being on it numerous times beforehand and I had no reaction whatsoever. I know you might be thinking that this is a case of a fear of heights but it honestly isn’t because I love to fly and the adrenalin attached to being on rollercoasters is one of my favourite feelings. I’ve been on one of the top 10 highest rollercoasters in the world so acrophobia is eliminated. I honestly believe it’s because of how slow it moves. Being on it for a whole two minutes felt like forever as it moved slowly around in a circle, pausing at the top for about a minute so we could ‘admire the sights’, then continuing forward before stopping again and lastly finding myself going the same way I just came except backwards all the while holding on for dear life.
I just wanted it to be over with but little did I know that the worst was yet to come. When I finally got off of the dreaded ride I became short of breathe and had to sit down. My family couldn’t, and still don’t, understand what was happening because of how much I normally love fun fair rides.
The girl who was normally up for trying anything once and had very little fear was now shaking and crying near the ground left feeling rather confused and worried. I soon shook it off but from that day forward I never returned no matter how strong or brave I felt about it.
So you see, fears and phobias creep up on you when you least expect it. I once felt 100% comfortable with heights and bugs but it’s now clear that I have little strength left to face either of them. Since I was once unafraid (or maybe unaware is a more accurate word), fingers crossed that day will come around once again.