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)?