Saturday, December 1, 2007

Imaginary Breaks...

I'm afraid of heights; well, "afraid" is actually an understatement! Heights terrify me to my core. I can't look from a balcony and not feel anxiety, and when we go on entertainment trips, I can't bring myself to ride any games that depend on heights of any kind. Why should I care about this "phobia"? Everybody has his demons anyway! Well, the reason why I obsess about my phobia that much is that I think it's a mask to a bigger fear deep inside; fear of adventure, fear of experiments, fear of going after what I want, fear of the unknown…I have all these fears, and I let them guide my way of thinking and my actions. A simple thing like riding a big bus makes me hit "imaginary" breaks whenever I think the driver is driving "too" fast for me, or holding to a solid bar whenever I feel him taking a turn "too" fast for me. In the past I didn't care much about this; thinking it's only natural, but lately I developed this idea that I'm a coward because all these things mean that I chicken whenever there is uncertainty or ambiguity in my life. I hate that things can go wrong in my life, and I hate that I may not be able sometimes to have a solution to a situation gone wrong. Maybe that's a part of the reason I don't trust people easily; because it means having to let down the guard of safety I'm carefully surrounding myself with.
Since I know that it's a scientific fact that humans "develop" phobias and are not born with them, I attempted to trace back the psychological reasons for this phobia; just like what any self-respecting psychologist would do. I think I have an idea where all this is coming from. It appears that a combination of minimum exposure to real life together with harsh childhood circumstances made a rich background for this phobia. As a child, I only knew two places of existence; my house and the school. I had no social life of any kind, and growing up in a household where the parents are working fulltime (literally from 7 am to 12 pm) and getting education at schools where you're a total "outsider" helped in ways and damaged in ways. It helped me be self-reliant and goal-oriented (that's the only way you could prove yourself, and you had to prove yourself to avoid verbal abuse and being shunned), but it damaged my sense of security and acceptance beyond repair. I didn't have a solid and dependable base from which I could launch and reach my potential, so I had to stick close to whatever fragile base I had.
After realizing that I gradually made my phobia a way of life rather than a normal human fear, I began to make conscious decisions whenever I catch myself succumbing to the fear. When I'm in the bus, I force my feet to relax and not hit the "imaginary" breaks, I force my hands to let go of the chair or the bar. (I still can't bring myself to ride the rollercoaster and other games in the entertainment parks!!!) and I force myself to face any uncomfortable situations with a calm resolution. However, this can solve some problems, and over time, it made me less intimidated towards unexpected and undesired situations, but the fear is still "there" and probably will never go away. I don't know if at some point it may surface back to control me again, but I made a decision to fight with my mind and trust with my heart as much as I can.

1 comment:

helghareeb said...

Are you sure that we who make our phobias ?

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