I’m particularly frightened of birds and heights. I also have a severe dislike of sweetcorn. I cannot stand having my blood taken. All of these, I’ve had to deal with in front of O. As I understand, my mum is also frightened of heights and needles, and doesn’t particularly like sweetcorn. To be honest, I’m not overly sure where my fear of birds comes from. This would lead me to think that maybe I absorbed my fears of heights and needles from my mother. And maybe that the sweetcorn thing came from there a bit too.
I’m so nervous of being up high; I won’t sit in the window seat on an airplane or climb up a flight of stairs that aren’t fully enclosed. Possibly one of the worst experiences of my life was aged 16, and being made to go on the Tower of Terror at Disneyworld. Sitting in a lift with a measly lap belt to keep me strapped in and dropping 13 floors of a building at an alarming rate is just, whoa. I couldn’t stand when it was finally over. I was the last to get out of the lift, after a wheelchair user was helped out by staff. How I didn’t vomit all over everyone, I have no idea!!
When we’ve been on an airplane with O, I sit in an aisle seat so I don’t get as nervous. Luckily, A prefers the window seat so O sits comfortably in the middle. I try my best to ignore what’s going on when we take off and land, and avoid looking out of the window at all times. I don’t think O has realised my fear yet, which can only be a good thing!
I believe that the way we act as parents around our children, when we come across our phobias or fears, leads on to how they will develop as they grow older. Children cannot sense danger as adults can, and therefore depend on adults to show them what they should and shouldn’t be wary of. A common phobia is of spiders. Now, I’m not bothered by spiders at all – they are creepy looking but I appreciate them for eating up flies. If I was to freak out every time I saw a spider, that would rub off on O and he would gain the fear. Is there anything about spiders to be actually frightened of? Just like my fear of birds – they really aren’t all that scary a creature. So why do we link this anxiety and fear to such situations?