Monday, April 29, 2013

Unreasonable Fear

Gems - Week 17: What are you frightened of? Why?
Anyone who knows me is probably aware of the fact that there are two things I am REALLY afraid of: spiders and sharks. I don't know why I have these unreasonable fears, but they are real all the same. I think my fear of sharks stemmed from some Jaws movies I watched in middle school? Yeah...that was the definition of "not smart."

Funny story: on our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Hawaii, and a friend of his who lives there (on the Kona side of The Big Island) took us out into this bay to go kayaking. My husband and I shared a two-man kayak, and his friend took out a single-man one. We followed him out of the bay into the open water when suddenly, I started feeling a sense of panic. Looking down into the water, I realized that it was so deep, we could no longer see the ocean floor. I turned to my husband (who is aware of my fear of sharks) and said, "Man, I really hope this kayak doesn't tip over right now." Just then, as if a finger from heaven came down to tip us over, a wave hit the side of the kayak and dumped us in. We both had life preservers on, so drowning wasn't an issue, but when I came up from under the water, I suddenly felt paralyzed with fear and was completely unable to move. I sat floating in the water with my toes drawn up in front of me (as if Jaws was going to come right then and bite off my toes? Haha), tears streaming down my face.

Now, have you ever seen a movie where there is some kind of attack on a city or village? People are running around frantically trying to escape - yet there is the one, helpless child who stands there alone in the middle of the chaos, crying hysterically? Z jokes to this day that THAT is what I looked like. Haha. It wasn't funny at the time, but looking back, I feel kind of ridiculous. Especially since Z's friend was there witnessing it all. What a great first impression, right?

I soon realized that I would have to force myself to overcome my fear and let my feet hang down in the water long enough to climb back into the kayak (Z would have just tipped us over again trying to do it himself). Once I finally got back in, his friend tried comforting me by assuring me that I never really had anything to worry about. "They are MAN-eating sharks after all," he joked. Haha. Even so, I couldn't tell that story for the longest time without getting emotional and tearing up. lol. I silly.

Anyway, as we paddled back into the bay, Z started feeling a little nauseated (probably all the salt water he had swallowed while snorkeling earlier), so he suddenly said, "Oh man, I think I am going to throw up." Just as the words escaped his lips, we stopped paddling the kayak and he carefully leaned his head to one side, taking care not to lean over too far and dump us out of the kayak again (how romantic, right?). In doing so, though, he ended up throwing up all over himself. Poor guy.

Now, as far as the spider phobia goes, I am pretty sure that stems from an experience I had a few years ago when I went to war with a wolf spider that I encountered while sitting on the floor (cleaning) in M's room. To this day, I am so paranoid about checking curtains, under tables, and other places that spiders might have an opportunity to hide. ((shudders)) I know that it's silly, and that spiders are probably more afraid of us than we are of them, but I guess that's why they call it an "unreasonable fear." ;)

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Gems of Reflection

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