I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I Fear Most

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At the risk of being labeled a bad friend, a non-supportive Ponderer, I have a confession to make:

I refused to read Roxanne's blog post on Tuesday.

You see, I have a phobia of snakes.

We're not talking a little fear, but a mind-altering phobia that stemmed from childhood trauma.

Growing up, we lived in the country, down the road from my grandparents' dairy farm. In fact, part of my grandparents' land extended behind our back yard. Seeing cows from my bedroom window was common. A stream ran alongside our property.

I have an older brother whom I love dearly...now. Growing up, um, not so much.

My brother had a hobby--he liked to collect snakes and frogs. And being the terrorizing brother he was, he loved to chase me around the yard with them. And since chasing me and listening to me scream wasn't enough, he threw them on me.

Yes, I'm shuddering right now because I remember how they felt in my hair. In fact, if I dwell on it too much longer, I'll start to freak out.

When I was seven, I had a dream there was a snake in my bed. I refused to go back to bed until my dad checked it with a flashlight.

When I was pregnant with our oldest son, we lived in a townhouse outside of Charleston, S.C. Hubby had come home from duty and went upstairs to take a shower. I had put garbage bags by the front door so he could take them to the Dumpster when he was done. I heard a rustling near the bags and when I moved one of the bags, a small snake about a foot long wriggled the rest of the way under the torn weather stripping. I screamed so loud and hard that Hubby raced down the steps soaking wet from the shower. Within minutes, he had returned the snake to its natural habitat (not my living room), marched to the maintenance office and had someone fixing our weather stripping. Then he spent the rest of the day, reassuring me over and over that snakes couldn't get into our apartment.

One afternoon, while shopping at the local dollar store, I pushed my cart down the toy aisle and felt something brush my ankle. I looked down and saw a rubber snake caught under my cart wheel, causing it to be in an attack position with its plastic mouth open. Yeah, I freaked.


Someone once suggested exposure therapy. I decided that was not a viable option.


Needless to say, my fear of snakes has morphed into phobia so bad that I can't even see them in books, magazines or in movies/TV shows. During a first-aid training, I flipped through the book, landed on the section of poisonous snakes, screamed and dropped the book. So this fear runs deep.

Usually I like to end a post with words of Truth or some nugget of wisdom, but this post is about what I fear most, and right now, I don't see a solution in my future any time soon.

Your Turn: What are you afraid of? What's the source of your fear? How have you conquered it (if you have)?

14 comments:

  1. I'm right there with you, Lisa. My parents had a garden and at least once a year as we were picking whatever was ripe, we'd pull back a leaf/stalk/vine and some poisonous snake would be there -- copperhead or water moccasin. Now that I live in rattlesnake country, my fears are even worse.

    I have a confession: I even avoided the "S" encyclopedia.

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    1. Angie, I'm so thankful you weren't hurt while gardening. If I saw a snake in our garden, I think it would be my last trip to the patch. :)

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    2. I avoid the "S" section in the encyclopedia too --but because of the spiders. HATES 'EM. HATES 'EM.

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  2. Lisa,

    I remember my boys had a rubber snake and left it on their bed tangled in their sheets. Yeah, the cleaning lady found it. She freaked out so bad she tore the bed skirt off the bed. I couldn't blame her and I didn't even get mad at the boys. They weren't trying to scare her, they honestly forgot. I would have reacted the same!

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    1. Alena, I think I would've freaked out like the cleaning lady!!

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  3. Your fear is biblical: God put enmity between the woman and the snake. (Genesis 3:15) Who can argue with God?

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    1. You know, the one question I'm going to have for Noah when I get to Heaven is why he allowed snakes on the ark.

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  4. Regular snakes are not my biggest fear, but poisonous ones? Well, that's a different story. I think my biggest fear centers more on drowning, or choking and not being able to breathe. I had surgery a number of years ago, and the doc put the oxygen on me, only it was too strong. Since I was still awake, I freaked. He must've seen my eyes pop and me trying to move it away, because he removed it until I'd slipped into la-la land.

    I'm sorry you've been traumatized by snakes. And I completely understand why exposure therapy is NOT an option for you. :)

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    1. Jeanne, I can imagine that being a scary experience. I had surgery on my throat a few years ago, and I felt like I couldn't swallow. That created some panic.

      With a fear of drowning, do you swim?

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    2. I do swim, and I'm very comfortable in the water. I just have those nightmares of drowning, falling into water and being unable to find my way up. Go figure, huh?

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  5. Oh, Lisa, I identify...Had a snake in a commode one time. And did not know it was there until after... Picture me pouring gas in a commode then waiting with a broken sword and broom to do battle when it comes thrashing out...I won that one. lol

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    1. Pat, I. Can't. Even. Imagine.

      You poured gas in your toilet??? I'm so thankful your house didn't explode.

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  6. Snakes, I've made peace with as long as they slither away when I try to work in the garden. Spiders, though, are another matter all together. Growing up there was something about our front yard that attracted daddy-long-legs. I still to this day hate them...really, really HATE them! The only thing that helped me was having children. I didn't want the little ones to get bit by one. (...but I still HATE them!)

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