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Post in Besides Beauty

What scares you?

With Halloween almost here, what scares you? Or do you have a phobia? Have you done or attempted anything to overcome your fear?


I have bathmophobia (fear of stairs). I have no problem at the bottom but looking down from the top is another story. Also related is escalaphobia (fear of escalators) which is even worse because it's moving stairs. I don't know where this fear came from but I read that if you have some weird fear (my mom is terrified of being buried alive), it's because that's how you died in a past life.

Re: What scares you?

My top 3 are snakes, spiders, and June bugs.

Re: What scares you?

I have quite a few, but the main ones are:


Heights: I'm very short, please don't lift me off the ground. I've somehow been talked into going on a zip line during an excursion in the Dominican Republic where I somehow had the lovely experience of getting STUCK on one of zip lines down. So, I had the great opportunity of having to pull myself to the "end point" by using my HANDS to glide myself with the LINE I WAS ATTACHED TO while crying and shaking... enough said. Very bad times.


Open Water: I like water, it's cool and all. I'm not going in the ocean past knee-deep (waist-deep, if I'm feeling extra spicy). I'm not exactly sure what it is I'm even scared of when it comes to open water all I know is, it's a whole lot of nope.


Bees: I'm allergic to them and there's really nothing that making me run faster and scream louder than hearing the bzzzzz bzzzzzz nearby. Yes, I am that girl. I've exited a still rolling vehicle when a bee once flew into my friends car through her window and decided to land on my seat. It was only funny to one of us, can you guess who? 😁😂

Re: What scares you?

@QueenMarceline   Wow!  You are brave to zip line.  I'[m with you about the ocean; I can't see what's in there, so I don't go into it at all.

Re: What scares you?

@Ispend2much6 Even seaweed touching my feet is.... 😫

Re: What scares you?

@QueenMarceline  Absolutely, especially when it ties itself around your ankles. 🙂  One day on the news I saw how close the sharks swim near the shore of the ocean in our city, and I was like, "Never again."

Re: What scares you?

@Ispend2much6 Yeah... it's quite crazy how close they get. Very scary, I remember seeing that on a youtube live video too right off the coast of Cali.

Re: What scares you?

@QueenMarceline  If it was the zipline in the Anamuya Mountains, that's a long one... getting stuck on that one and having to pull yourself to the end would be a lot of work, even without a fear of heights. Yikes! Sorry you went through that. 


Your open water fear reminded me of my fear of deep water. I'm okay in deep water if I'm on a boat. Otherwise, I worry I'll drown. 

Re: What scares you?

@WinglessOne It was actually a multiple zip line descent.  I believe like at least 10 of them? Not sure which one it took me a while to get across and I was very high up there and it was one of the last ones I got stuck on (the cherry on top, of course) lol! Oop, I just googled it... it definitely was Anamuya mountains, the second I googled it I recognized the platform lol!

Re: What scares you?

I have a few pronounced fears: 

Hypodermic needles. It's amazing that I’ve been covid vaccinated and boosted, and that I’ve ever forced myself to get flu shots at all. One of the reasons I don’t donate blood is my fight or flight reaction to the needle. Last time I had blood drawn, I asked 2 nurses to hold me down first, and I wasn’t joking. Of all the needles I’ve been stabbed with, the worst are definitely biopsy needles (nearly fainted the last time) and dental needles. Which brings me to… 

Dental offices, and dentistry in general. I once had a tooth pulled without novocain when I was much younger. The rest is history. I don’t go to the dentist annually because I shake badly and cry on my way to appointments, and must use all available willpower to step through the door. I do not like any of the torture devices tools, bright overhead spotlight, or The Chair. Ugh, The Chair. Even the smell of a dental office triggers my fear. I’m surprised at-home toothpaste doesn’t terrify me. 
The last time I went to a dentist for a tooth extraction (back when I had my fully erupted wisdom teeth removed and had teeth scaling done at the same time), the hygienist was amazingly patient and understanding of my dental phobia. She was very careful about numbing my gum surface enough before giving me a numbing shot, and she injected the nerve blocker slowly enough that it wouldn’t rush against my nerves and cause pain. Then she turned down all the lights in the room and let me relax alone in near-darkness for a few minutes. I wanted to hug her afterward. 
The dentist, unfortunately, was not so understanding. Dentists need to learn how to administer nerve blocking shots painlessly, for starters. 
Funny: I had braces when I was a kid—the old school kind with metal bands around each tooth—and never feared the orthodontist, despite the pain of adjustments. A little ibuprofen took care of that, and my orthodontist was kind and funny and never tried to torture me in The Chair. 
Heights, when I’m not secured to anything or feel like I’ll fall off something. I have no problem flying in planes, zip lining (as long as the line and gear are secure), riding roller coasters (I LOVE roller coasters), crossing bridges that don’t sway—and see, here’s where we get into my fear. If you’re from Michigan like me, you know all about the Mackinac Bridge. You also know some folks are legit terrified of driving/riding across that bridge, even though it doesn’t sway. (It'll move in high wind but won’t sway.) Some people have a fear of bridges in general, but others are afraid of getting blown off that particular bridge during high winds, especially in the winter. And I must admit, crossing the Mac on a windy winter day is scary. So many people fear that bridge, the Mac Bridge Authority offers a service where a staff member will drive your vehicle across the bridge for you. 
A few more height-related things that scare me: 
Atop the Las Vegas Stratosphere casino/hotel are 2 fun rides (I love the drop tower!) and 1 super terrible torture device called Insanity, which doesn’t seem so bad when you see it from the ground because hey, it’s just a big arm that swings out over the edge of the tower and spins riders for a couple minutes or whatever. Then you ride the evil thing and realize the only thing “securing” you is a thick-padded lap bar. No shoulder restraints. And the seats aren’t very substantial, and there’s nothing below you but the parking lot 900+ feet down. Oh, and you swing at a downward 72º angle. You get a great spinning panoramic view of the mountains up there 😄 but man, that ride will make you realize whether or not you have a fear of heights. It’s one of the only 2 rides that have ever scared me. 
Bungee jumping? Nope. I used to wanna do it. 30 years ago. I’m now older and wiser. 
Skydiving? Ditto, and what the heck was younger me thinking? 
CN Tower (Toronto) EdgeWalk? My knees go numb just thinking about it. Going up the tower itself wouldn’t bother me, though. I just don’t wanna strap myself to cables and lean out over the edge. No thanks. 

"Wait, how is zip lining different from bungee jumping? Why don't you also fear zip lining?" See, zip lining gets you from point A to point B. It's a journey! A fun journey. And it's mostly horizontal, with a gentle downward slope. The only thing I worry about when zip lining is accidentally colliding with a wayward tree branch or bird. Bungee jumping is vertical. You jump off something and fall too many feet, strapped to an elastic cable that may or may not be ready to break at any moment. 

And no, bungee jumping's not nearly the same as riding a drop tower. You get to sit in secure seats on a drop tower, usually with shoulder restraints. (If that Insanity ride in Vegas had shoulder restraints, it'd probably be less scary for me.) Or if the drop tower is something like Disney World's Tower of Terror (one of my favorite rides, especially for the theming), which has lap bars instead of shoulder restraints, you're in a big car with lots of other people and you're inside a tower. Plus, Tower of Terror doesn't rely on bungee cables. It's fun! 
Centipedes. They just freak me the bleep out. Hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying the c-word; don’t wanna find one in the bathroom later. 
Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. The only exceptions are cicada killer wasps and pepsis wasps: they’re gigantic, but they’d rather avoid humans if possible and you reeeeally have to mess with one before it’ll sting you. I know someone who got stung by a pepsis wasp. He says any description you’ve read/heard of extreme pain from that sting is not exaggerated. I have no intention of finding out for myself. Anyway, all other wasps are evil. Yellow jackets are total jerkfaces. And hornets are always in berserker mode. 
Bees, to a lesser extent. I’m slightly allergic to bee stings. In addition to most people’s reaction, I get lots of itchiness and little bumps at the sting site, plus swelling beyond the site. (If Im stung near my wrist, my whole arm will probably swell up.) But since I dont have an anaphylactic reaction, I don’t need an epipen. I dont hate bees—Im actually fascinated by them—but I dont want them landing on me and deciding to sting me. Not only do I kinda fear the painful reaction, the poor bee will die after stinging me. 😞 I dont wanna be the reason a bee dies. 
And the biggie: my anxiety disorder related fear of other people getting badly hurt. When my anxietys ramped up to 11, I cant even walk around outside without imagining bad things happening to anyone and everyone I see. Walking your dog on a sidewalk? What if your dog breaks the leash and runs into traffic, and you run after it, and cars cant stop in time? What if a public transit bus runs up onto the sidewalk for no reason and you cant get out of the way? (Doesnt help that its actually happened here.) And a 1000 other whatifs run through my mind, each worse than the next. And that’s just me seeing total strangers going about their day. It’s even more intense when I see or think of someone I know. 
EDIT about hypodermic needles: I have tattoos and plan on getting more at some point. But tattoo gun =/= hypodermic needle. Tattoo needles are tiny and just shallowly prick the skin surface. Hypodermic needles are bigger and stab you. 

Re: What scares you?

@WinglessOne Ooof, I struggle with a couple of these too some more than other. The main ones are heights, I'm only 5'0, 5'1 on a good day (lol) and I don't even like being lifted off the ground. And also bees, I find them super cute (for a bug, they are pretty cute, ngl) but I'm extremely allergic and have had the (mis)fortune of being stung multiple times in my life.

Re: What scares you?

@QueenMarceline @WinglessOne I'm 4,9 🤣 and I HATE height....I get vertigo very easily.

Re: What scares you?

@Skunk12puzzola Ugh I feel you... also being on bridges? no thanks.

Re: What scares you?

@QueenMarceline  I'm also 5'0". I don't have a fear of being lifted off the ground, but I don't like it when people pick me up unsolicited because dude, what the heck? That happened a lot during my college years. What is it with tall people wanting to lift short people like we're toddlers or toys? I don't randomly sweep tall people's legs to satisfy some weird "awww, it's so cute when you fall down" thing, so... geez... 😂 


Ugh, sorry you're legit allergic to bees. A doctor once advised me to keep an epipen in case my slight allergy ever suddenly became anaphylactic, but I've had no need of it yet. I imagine having to jab yourself with an epipen after a bee sting is not pleasant. 😞 

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@WinglessOne Hahah, omg I completely agree about the tall people lifting... how annoying?!? hahhahah! I'm going to start squeezing their legs from now on.

Re: What scares you?

@WinglessOne   I feel you on the dentist anxiety.  Haha, I told the dentist i was anxious once and they handed me one of those paper covered pillows to hold for comfort.  After the cleaning I handed it back to them as a pile of ripped paper and stuffing . It was embarrassing cause it was a generally pain free cleaning, but makes me laugh now.   At every appointment since I’ve been offered a script for a sedative.  I guess they want to keep their pillows😏

Aw, the good old overactive limbic system at work trying to keep you safe.  like stop it brain, none of that stuff is just going to randomly happen and I don’t need a plan in case it does, but here I am with all these plans 

Re: What scares you?

@heartsmyface @WinglessOne  I'm quite certain all this plan making is a sign of supreme intelligence.  💕  My husband tells me on a regular basis that he doesn't know how I don't drive myself crazy because I over analyze situations.  Sometimes I just do it for fun and come up with a ridiculous scenario, but alot of times my confessions start with, "I wonder if..."  No good comes from that!

It's tough to stop that train sometimes when you're a very intuitive person.  But, it's better to give people the benefit of the doubt because there's no way to know motivations; everyone has their own mindset.

Re: What scares you?

@heartsmyface  No dentist or hygienist has ever offered me a pillow to hold, but I'd probably shred it too. I once considered taking a stuffed animal to the dentist to hug during the appointment, but I didn't want to risk destroying it. Glad you're offered a sedative now. 


When people (especially well-meaning relatives) tell me to "calm down, [random bad stuff] won't happen," I tell them if it was really that simple I'd be cured of my anxiety disorder. 😂 

Re: What scares you?

@WinglessOne  Mmmmm, telling your neocortex (thinking brain) to calm down when it’s your brain stem (lizard brain) that’s riled up is only going to make your neocortex think negative thoughts but now directed at those well meaning people😅

Like I know what I SHOULD do well intentioned people, and not being able to follow that seemingly (but not) simple instruction just adds fuel to the fire. 
Vagus nerve reset exercises including neck stretches, eye movement exercises, ear pulling and hand massages the most helpful for me during anxiety events.  I realized calling them ‘attacks’ makes me feel more…in danger. Like if I’m telling myself I’m being attacked I am going to tense up more.  Besides, I’m not being attacked.  My brain’s just trying it’s best to keep me safe based off what it’s witnessed (thanks random freak events on the news i should have never been exposed to) and it simply feels uncomfortable.  Remove all current events except that of what’s in your living vicinity and the world would immediately feel safer cause less happens. You wouldn’t have witnessed countless car accidents on the daily for example.  Maybe just one or two in your life and they wouldn’t be the most horrible ones cherry picked for views. 
Off that rant and back to the current real world though-
I’ve been practicing vagus exercises (Suki Baxter on YouTube is great) everyday so they’re second nature. At the first sign of an event I’ve been trying to give myself a safe space to sit through and experience the emotion while lightly stretching out and purposefully relaxing muscles(as opposed to tensing) and trying to keep my breathing natural against the urge to breathe heavily to send signals to dear lizard brain that things are safe.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I’m still at the beginning of doing this and it’s bound to take time to train my lizard brain to not stay in a hyper state for longer than the 90 seconds it’s supposed to. 

Re: What scares you?

@heartsmyface  After my snarky knee-jerk reaction 😂, I usually try to simplify things for well-meaning folks by explaining that the more I try to calm down and prevent an anxiety spiral, the more likely I'll have anxiety about trying to stop the oncoming anxiety, and the worse the spiral will be. Kinda like telling a little kid to stop crying, which makes them feel upset that you're upset because they're crying, hence they cry even more. I can either let the anxiety wash over me (while doing some grounding techniques) and roll away, or I can get totally flattened by trying to stop the anxiety train by standing on the tracks, and end up blacking out. I much prefer the former. 


Vagus exercises, particularly on the ears, are sometimes good stress relievers for me. They don't really do much to rewire my brain, but sometimes they're a good way to ground myself. My ears are kinda naturally tense—whether I'm in anxiety mode or not—even though I can wiggle them (I never realized how many people can't do that until I learned some folks can't create a rumble sound in their ears). So I've tried various massage technique to relax them and my jaw. Anyway, ear massage vagus exercises can effectively take my focus off the anxiety and the irrational thoughts causing it. So do certain body stretches that aren't vagus exercises, though not always. Mental grounding is most helpful for me, paired with some type of repetitive small physical touch like massages or touching one hand's fingers to that hand's palm in a specific pattern. Eh, it's good to find the technique(s) that work best for you. 🙂 

Re: What scares you?

@WinglessOne   I’m particularity fond of the ear rubs.  I had no idea ears weren’t supposed to be firmly attached to your head before starting them.  

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