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October 19th, 2009
Fear!

FearFear–it’s the gut-wrenching anxiety that strikes us all in moments of extreme stress, when our limbs tremble, our face goes pale, and we scream until we’re hoarse.

Some people dislike flying, Indiana Jones hates snakes, and I fear fairground rides. I’m sure you know the ones I mean—rides where you hurtle down steep hills, turn upside down and spin around against gravity. An adrenaline junkie I’m not!

When I was a child, one of our middle-age aunts visited Disneyland. She loved it and her description of the hair-raising rides and the way she’d said naughty words while screaming her head off made us bug-eyed with astonishment. It was difficult not to laugh at the vision my aunt painted.

Fast forward several years to my visit to Disneyland with my husband and sister.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” my husband asked.

“I’m at Disneyland,” I said firmly. “This is what people do when they come to Disneyland.”

I should have known better. While I was projecting confidence, I should have been crying “Fool! Fool! Stay far, far away. Run!”

So we queued up with everyone else for Splash Mountain. The entire time I laughed and chatted with my husband and sister, told myself I would be fine. No problem. If Aunt X could do this then so could I. We came to our turn and climbed into the hollowed out log. Off we went…

From the moment the ride started, I wanted to get off. My hands didn’t rise jubilantly into the air like everyone else’s—they held the safety bar in a white-knuckle grip. Even now, countless years later, I remember the paralyzing fear that squeezed me when our log went down the final steep incline. While everyone else shrieked with enjoyment, my throat constricted so tight that not a sound emerged. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best. At the bottom, wet but still in one piece, my legs trembled as I scrambled to stand on solid ground again. The contents of my stomach sloshed around uneasily, and I swallowed a lot…you probably get the picture without more graphic descriptions.

I don’t remember any of the rides after Splash Mountain. Actually, I think my mind blocked the horror of it all, but I was determined to try the different rides and get my money’s worth. Yep, it’s the curse of the thrifty farm girl. I had to finish what I started even if it scared me half to death.

Of course, no one is getting me on one of those rides again. I’m older, wiser, and not afraid to state my terror. No, I won’t stop my husband going. I might even go with him, but I’ll be hanging out in the kid’s zone and chatting to Mickey Mouse. Really, no one is talking me into going through that again!

What do you fear?

When Scribbit: a blog about motherhood in Alaska posted details of a contest about Fear, I decided this was the perfect time to confess my greatest fear. If you would like to do a post about Fear it’s not too late to enter the contest, which closes on 21 October. Here’s the link to the details.

15 comments to “Fear!”

  1. I’m with you. I abhor extreme rides, barely manage the sharp drop water rides.


  2. Oh, I’m a coaster junkie. I’d join the Coaster Enthusiasts if I had someone to travel and ride with, even.


  3. Oh, man, did this bring back memories. Hubby and I went on Space Mountain at Disneyworld, the first and only rollercoaster ride I’ve ever done. There were warnings about how people with heart conditions shouldn’t go on the ride. I should have listened, I didn’t have a heart condition at the start of the ride but by the end I felt like I did.

    First off, I’m afraid of heights, I’ve had panic attacks sitting in the higher seats at the Blue Jays’ Skydome so what was I thinking going on it in the first place? But I had that “we’re at Disneyworld, this is what you’re supposed to do” just like you, Shelley.

    In addition to all the jumping and drops and whirls, I was trying to hold onto my purse AND the huge-a$$ camera my husband shoved into my hands at the last minute. So I couldn’t hold onto the bar!

    And like you, Shelley, at the end, I basically crawled out of the car onto the platform and toddled away, my legs feeling like spaghetti and my stomach a vat of acid. Never ever again!


  4. Rides don’t scare me, but spiders do! I can look at spiders, kill them when they walk across the floor, but walk into a spider web…eek! Have a spider drop on me…double eek!

    Oh, and funerals. I can’t do funerals.


  5. I’ve done the rides at Disneyland way back when, but it was not easy. I have a fear of heights, how I got through them I’ll never know.


  6. Swimming in the ocean is up there–I hate things bumping against my legs that I can’t see. I’ll swim in a pool where I can see bottom thank you.


  7. I fear rides too… along with spiders, heights and all kinds of things. I seem to develop new fears along the way!


  8. Sandra – there’s something about standing on flat ground that really appeals to me.

    Susan – you can take my turn, okay?


  9. Leah – I don’t have a problem with heights. I’m fine with them but it’s the out-of-control sensation that I hate. I’m much, much happier standing on the ground. They gave me big feet for a reason, I think!

    Debra – it’s funny but I’ve never been bothered by spiders or insects unless they startle me. Hubby is in pest control so no self-respecting spider comes near our house – if they know what’s good for them.


  10. Linda – as I said, after that first ride I don’t remember much at all. I think I was traumatized. Heck – I know I was!


  11. Michelle – thanks for offering such a fun contest. I remember after Jaws came out I didn’t like things touching me under water either. I used to check my legs were still there whenever we went to the beach!


  12. Nikki-ann – sometimes I think the older we get the more we fear because we become sensible and mature. That’s my theory anyway.


  13. Hi Shelley,

    I’m with you, we’d both would be chatting with the dude with the big ears.

    I have an award for you, come check out my main blog.
    http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/

    Janice~


  14. I don’t have enough room here to list all the things I’m afraid of, LOL But I love reading everyone else’s answers. :)


  15. I’ve always been afriad of bugs, any and all bugs until one day I told myself I wasn’t going to let their little bug eyes and little bug feet scare me anymore. I went outside to pick up the first bug I saw and bring it in the house to look at under a microscope.

    Wouldn’t you know the first thing I see on my wall right near the door was a Black Widow Spider. Yeah, I’m nuts but when I set my mind to something…lol

    I took my jar and coached the spider into the jar. Brought it in the house and put it in the freezer for 2 minutes…long enough to make it stop moving but not long enough to kill it.

    I picked it up with a pair of tweezers and looked at it under the microscope. My hubby came in jsut then and damn near bit my head off for playing with a black widow..lol I didn’t know their bite could be so bad..So I took Charlotte..heh heh back outside and let her go.

    I’m no longer scared of bugs.
    Just bee’s. But bee’s aren’t bugs they are pests…horrible, nasty little ugly beasts!
    Yeah, I still am scared to death of bee’s. lol But I can play with spiders..:) lol