Friday, November 02, 2007

What are you afraid of?

A few weeks ago, I went on a road trip with my student and my friends (K from Montreal and British Lion from the UK). We sang hits from the 80's and 90's, talked and talked some more. We were on an eight hour ride in the car, so we had lots of time to discuss a wide range of topics from dating, marriage, culture differences, British vs. Canadian English, etc.

One of the questions British Lion asked me was if I had any phobias. I used to think I was a rather well-adjusted person, but after our conversation, I realized that I've got a lot of fears! I'm not talking about things like the fear of losing my wonderful husband or a loved one, or the fear of letting people down. I'm talking phobias here... Serious, irrational, persistent fears of a situation, person, place or thing.

I'm really afraid of:
1) Clowns. I absolutely, positively hate clowns! They just creep me out. The way they look so sinister underneath all that make up...They just scare me. Perhaps it was because I watched too many scary movies with clowns in them when I was younger. Perhaps it's because my younger brother had this stupid clown that somehow kept ending up in my bedroom. Every time I'd turn it facing the wall, when I'd come back to my room it would be facing me again! I hated that thing! Did you ever notice how clowns just look so mischievous and sometimes evil? Look at the clown in the movie Poltergeist. How about the clown in the Stephen King novel, It? Or better yet, does anyone remember that creepy clown in one of the episodes of Little House on the Prairie?

A friend of mine used to moonlight as a clown sometimes and one day he asked me to accompany him to one of the TV studios in Toronto because there was a clown convention and he was going to be on a TV show. I reluctantly agreed, since he promised that no one would be dressed as their clown self. As soon as I got to the TV studio, I felt a panic attack. There I was in my worst nightmare! Me, in a room, surrounded by about a hundred or so clowns! I'm getting chills as I type this!

2) Elevators and being in crowded spaces (claustrophobia)- My girlfriend, K reminded me of my fear of elevators. She was telling British Lion and my student that when we were in university, I'd always wait for an empty elevator. I can take an elevator as long as there are no more than four people riding with me. I just get really claustrophobic and feel sweaty and nervous. What if the elevator gets stuck because there are too many people in the elevator? I am the type of person who needs space. I can't stand confined areas. I feel like I'm going to suffocate. I know. Crazy. When I taught at a school in Toronto, I'd often go in super early to work (like an hour ahead) and leave late on purpose...just to beat the rush of students. If by chance I'd end up waiting with a huge throng of students, I'd just take the stairs.

3) Heights (acrophobia)- but only if I'm up high with nothing between me and the ground! I don't mind being in an airplane because I'm in the plane and there's something separating me from the ground. I'm afraid of being on my roof or climbing really high ladders. I know, it's all really a bit absurd.

4) Swimming in bodies of water where I can't see the bottom. I love swimming. It's one of my absolute favourite activities. The only thing is that I cannot swim in bodies of water where I cannot see where I'm swimming or what is swimming with me. I'm so thankful that I live on an island where the water is crystal clear and so clean!!! I guess this stems from the watching too many scary movies as a child thing. I used to envision swimming in a lake and then seeing corpses pop up beside me as I swam. Yes, I've got a very active imagination.

Anyway, enough about me! What are you afraid of? Do you have any phobias? Here's a list of phobias, in case you were interested!


Dina said...

c- i too have a fear of swimming where i can't see the bottom. I get panic attacks if i'm in the ocean and it's all black beneath me.
Clowns-not a fan- i am not scared per se but i DO NOT like them and think they are totally creepy.
Crowded places- i generally don't like being in those places either. I feel like i'm going to get knocked over or trampled when it's really crowded.
Heights...all i'll say is i'm NEVER EVER going to the Capilano bridge in Vancouver is awfully high and really really scary...don't like the CN tower much either
You pretty much covered all MY fears in your post!!

Karen MEG said...

I cannot stand clowns either. And I'm not great with heights, like Dina I went on the Capilano bridge, when I was about 19 and pretty much cried the whole way across.
Great post... great post idea! I might have to use it too at some point. Copy cat me!

louann said...

I am scared of deep water. And birds freak me out- totally.

Uncivil said...

I'm deathly afraid of "Politicians"!
Especially the "HilloryBeast"!

C said...

Yes! The Capilano Suspension Bridge is something I definitely will not be going on ever again! I went in '92 and I freaked! It's so high and the fact that there's almost nothing keeping you from falling over is something that I'm not a fan of! SCARY!

PS. The clown friend was none other than Josh! LOL! A few of our students went too, but I left within the first few minutes. I couldn't take being in a room filled with clowns. All you clowns out there, don't take it personally! I'm normally not a hater, but you all creep me out! ;) LOL!

C said...

Tee hee! It's okay! Copy away! ;) Think we can get Dina to do NaBloPoMo too?

Anyway, must dash! I'm on my lunch break and then have to teach an afternoon class. xoxo

I'm not really afraid of birds, but a Japanese student of mine is. I was surprised when I showed her a beautiful Sandhill Crane and a Blue Heron and she flipped out! Hmmm...Maybe she watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" when she was younger!

C said...

LOL! Nice! You have no other phobias? I used to be deathly afraid of spiders...Then I taught young students and had to overcome my fear because they were far more scared of spiders than I was.

The clowns...I will never be able to overcome that fear though! LOL!

Uncivil said...

Let's just say I'm not going to jump out of a pefectly good running airplane!

No, problems with spiders, snakes, clowns, birds or deep water!

I do hate large crowds,and don't really know if it's a fear?

japanmanpete said...

I suppose that would mean that you have Aeroacrophobia (Fear of open high places) and Coulrophobia (Fear of clowns).

I've got Cyprinophobia, Philophobia, and is there a phobia for the fear of liver disease?


AnnieM said...

Just germs. Like from dirty hands. If only everyone would just wash their hands already!

BeachMama said...

One of my biggest phobias is car accidents that and leaving my kids without parents. I try to get over my fear but it sits there lingering in the back of my mind all the time. My Mom tells me she used to be like that but got over it once we were older, I am hoping for the same thing.

hotmommy said...

Same as Beachmama. I'm afraid of leaving my kids without parents. It is a very real fear and I stress and worry about this often.

Curiosity.Killer said...

I guess my heart drops like the bottomless sea if I ever swim that far. But my biggest fear are germs - from people who just don't care... I hate guys who actually believes since on average we eat a pound of dirt a year, food that fell on the floor is very much edible... gross.

Cherry said...

Can I tell you how often I hear the music from Jaws in my head EVEN when I'm in a swimming pool? Usually only in a really big pool though, at night, in the deep end, especially if I'm in the pool alone.
And considering I swam competitively from age 5 and went on to competitively dive as well, you'd think I'd get over it.

This and my fear of renting a wetsuit because EWWWW, is why I have yet to learn to surf.

C said...

I hate being in large crowds too. It sounds weird, coming from someone who has lived in the city her whole life! Large crowds now make me really claustrophobic. I hate crowded buses, subways, shopping malls...

The fear of venereal diseases??? Yeah, that's certainly something to be afraid of!

C said...

LOL! I'm with you on this one! I actually carry a bottle of Purel antibacterial disinfectant in my purse...and I've got one in my car too! LOL!

Your comment has actually inspired me to write a post about this :)

I remember having conversations about that with you. I've heard from quite a few other parents that they've got the same fear. I think it's natural to feel that way. Like Beachmama's mama said, that fear will probably diminish when your kids get older :)

C said...

LOL! True, true! Actually, Hubby always jokes that a handful of dirt a day keeps the doctor away. He obviously doesn't think that people should eat a handful of dirt a day. He just thinks that people should build up their immune systems by not living in a sterile world. We have friends who are always sick because their immune systems are so weak from not being exposed to everyday germs. This said, you'd never catch Hubby eating meals off the floor. Some germs are okay, but eating off the floor is gross. LOL!

That is sooooooooo funny! Me too! I remember swimming at night, in my parents' pool with the lights in the pool on and all I could think about was the music from Jaws! I'd think of Jaws or some kind of creature from the sea being in the pool with me, ready to kill me. Yeah, I had such a vivid imagination. LOL!

PJ said...

Somehow I hate clowns too, and those dolls with big eyes and eye lashes give me the creeps too.. It's probably from watching too many horror movies in the Chucky mold..

caninecologne said...

i am afraid of:

water (i can't swim)
bridges (actually, driving on them)---sometimes i do anything i can to not drive on a bridge even if it means going the long way (such as our Coronado bridge in San Diego - i'll drive through the Strand instead which takes a lot longer).

and dying a slow and painful death

i just read the first comment by dina and she mentions the capilano bridge. i actually walked on that, amazingly enough! it was pretty cool except some bozos were jumping up and down on it and making it rock violently.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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