What Are You Afraid Of?

Fears…we all have at least one…whether its change, water, heights, etc. My fears are kind of funny and some I’m not even afraid of anymore, but some are new and still scary.

1. Pool Drains

My first realized fear was pool drains. When I was three I had swimming lessons at a local Y where I used to live. Apparently, my teacher was really mean and made us do things at least I wasn’t ready for. One class we went to the deep end and had to go down a slide, even though it was a little preschool slide. I don’t remember much but I think I started to drown and ever since I was scared to death of pool drains. The fear relates to pool drains only, I can deal with the sink and even the ones on the road, but pool drains no way. I loved the water and eventually when we moved I gone to another place where the teaching was more motivating and I didn’t go to the deep end until I was ready. I actually work there now, which is funny. It has held me back at times. If someone was having a pool party I have to check the entire pool to find the drain, so I could avoid that part of the pool. Usually I was stuck at the shallow end-watching friends jump off the diving board with no fear. One year my parents took me to Water Country, a local water park with huge slides. I had to go down one alone and I was six years old. I went down backwards the whole time and flipped over once I ended the slide part. Even though the end was only 3 feet deep I knew there was a drain, so I struggled to grab the tub and get on it in order to paddle and kick my way to the side. I couldn’t get in the tub again so I held on and tried to kick to the side. I went to the wrong side not the proper exit I got whistled at by a scary lifeguard but I didn’t care I wanted out of that pool. The lifeguard did actually help me get out safely once he realised how scared I was. My mom had gone down after me and exited it the right way and couldn’t find me. The lifeguard brought me to her. I couldn’t go back for about 8 years. I was still in swimming lessons and gradually I was able to swim in the deep end, but I still feared swimming over the drain. My friend had a pool and for some reason that drain didn’t scare me, I could drive all day long and not be scared at all. I think this is because it is not the grid kind just like a round one with a cover. I know so weird that I know about the different kinds, but that comes with it. I never imagined I would become a lifeguard because I knew that if someone was near the drains I couldn’t save them, but as I swam on the swim team at Gordon, I felt like I could do it and I did. I can also confidently say if anyone were near the drain I wouldn’t think twice of saving him or her I would. I still have to check where the drains are whenever I go to a new pool, which happened a lot during my freshman year of college, but now I’m so familiar with most of the pools we go to its totally ok.  I’ve come along way from being so scared of them that I was stick to the shallow end, although I would never intentionally go down and touch a pool drain, I can still swim and function normally in a pool.

2. Fire drills

I have no clue when this happened. My mom said because I was born a month early and being a premi I was in an incubator with loud noises and beeps going off. The first time I remember being scared with 1st grade. It was a typical drill nothing bad happened, but from then on I was so scared that it would go off and scare me. I began to note when they needed to have a drill. Once every term, especially when within the first 3 weeks of school. I got so good a predicting them, but I still would be so scared that I would hold my ears in every class for weeks until it finally went off. I would have such high anxiety that I would visit the nurse’s office often or beg my mom to let me stay home. The first weeks of school would be high stress, not the first day because I knew they couldn’t have one that day for some reason lol. We tried to figure out what to do, in 6th grade they tried to warn me before but that only made me want to get outside before it went off, so they stopped telling me. In middle school in my last year I wasn’t so afraid, it still made me nervous but I knew what it sounded like and I guess that made it ok. But when I changed to the high school the panic started to set in. I remember crying to my mom saying I was so scared because I didn’t know what the noise sounded like, my friend called and even though I was embarrassed over such a silly thing she listened to me wail and cry and still supported me. Once I heard the noise for the first time I was fine, but I still could predict when they would go off. I knew that it had to be before 1st lunch period because it would be too chaotic if they did it during lunch and I knew it had to be done most likely within the first 3 weeks each term. My freshman year of college, I didn’t really tell anyone until my RA went over the procedures. I told them my fear and they said that they would be there and stuff. I actually missed the first 2 years of drills due to swim practice and dinners. We had one in the library when I was in class. It wasn’t too bad because the door was shut and I had good time to block my ears. I wasn’t alone as others were doing that as well. After that I’ve haven’t really experienced any that is until I came to Edinburgh. Here in Edinburgh they test the fire alarms weekly, they even tell you the time. It’s easy to be out of the building when it happens, but once in a while it would go off and be in class. Even my flat’s one got tested every Wednesday at 11. I got to accustom to it and if it was near the time of the test it was easy to relax. One night I had just fallen asleep and woke up at 3am to my alarm going off. It was a weird experience. I was still sleeping while I grabbed shoes, a coat, and then debated on what I should take out, my laptop especially. I sniffed the air and noticed there was no smoke in our flat, so I left the laptop in. I almost grabbed my bear but I didn’t want to look ridiculous, but if this happened at GC I would have so brought Feelix out with me! If I smelled smoked I would have brought both the bear and computer. I sat outside for 20mins and was beginning to wake up. I laughed, how silly this was. Its 3 am and we are all out here in our pjs. It turned out someone had burnt toast or something so all was ok. I still jump when it goes off but I don’t go out of my way to avoid being in building around the time of drills and just listen to make sure it’s a drill and not a real alarm. I would like to say I’m over it and I think I’ve come along way, but if someone were to tell me that the fire drill will happen in 10mins, I will still block my ears.

3. The gas stove

We used to have an older gas stove and I hated it. I used to have to hide while my mom turned it on. It would make a tik tik tiking noise then bam fire! It took me until high school to be able to use it myself and not have my parents or friends turn it on while I hid in my room until the tik tik tiking subsided. Now, we have a new gas stove and sometimes it still makes the noise but I can manage just fine, sometimes it still gets to me, but I just turn it off and use another burner or keep trying on the one I’m on. A stove or anything has never burnt me like that, but I think the noise and the boom before it lights itself. I guess I have high sensitively to noise, similar to the fire drills.

More on my last Fears tomorrow….ps: looking up pictures of each item made me feel a little nervous….

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