As most people know, I have a fear of snakes (The fancy word for it is: “Ophidiophobia”). With the Feeyaad’s help, I have pinpointed exactly what it is about the nasty buggers that petrifies me…and it’s the head. I’m severely spooked by the body but that diamond shaped head with the forked tongue and the sharp teeth is the part that really brings on the terror. I can’t even type about it without feeling my stomach trying to curl up and hide behind my spine. Since I don’t come into contact with many snakes in the normal course of my life, this phobia is not debilitating in any way. The only places where I am likely to find any snakes are in Tykie’s picture books and let me tell you those are downright scary.
I’ve wanted to overcome this fear for quite some time now, especially now that I have a child who, I suspect, will be encouraging these creepy creatures to be a part of our breathing space. Actually the real reason is that I don’t want to pass this phobia on to him especially since he thinks snakes, like all animals, are cool. I know that my fear is irrational as I am more in danger from things that surround me on a daily basis (no…I’m not talking about my in-laws!) than from a snake. Besides, the only possible contact I would have with a snake would be seeing one behind a thick glass at Ratanga Junction. And if that snake decided to get through that glass I’d probably be in another country by the time he got through the first of the ten inches that makes up the glass!
Anyway, we took Tykie to the zoo over the Easter weekend.I fretted a little about letting him into the reptile enclosure, even though he would be accompanied by the Feeyaad and there’d be loads of that ten-inch glass all over the place, but I waited outside while they went in.While I was standing there, being assaulted by many varieties of flies, a crazy thought crossed my mind…’Why not take a peek?’ I found myself inching forward and almost automatically my hand went over my eyes. I got to the doorway of the enclosure and sure enough there was a large glass-enclosed area towards my left and the first thing I saw was some dried up snake skin. My heart began palpitating and I started sweating while the good ole ‘fight or flight’ instinct started moving in. It took me a bit of time to identify it as snake skin as I was quite pre-occupied with trying not to have a heart attack. I inched a little more forward and OHMYFECKINGAWD there were two pythons nestled on top of one another!!!!!! I flew back a few steps, without thinking about it, and my hands automatically flew up to defend myself from…whatever. I started shaking really badly but forced myself to inch closer with the reassurance that (1) they were behind the glass and (2) they didn’t seem interested in me. So I was back at the entrance and just then the Feeyaad rounded the corner with little Tykie and had a bit of a shock himself, I think.
He came over and gave me his hand to hold (or crush…depending on who you ask) and I peeked around him at those huge monsters and OHMYFECKINGAWD they moved!!!!! Well, ok, they moved really slowly but they MOVED!!!!!! By this time I was almost having a seizure with all the shaking and I belatedly remembered that this can’t be good for the baby so I decided to abandon my attempt at killing myself. I walked away, still shaking like crazy, feeling really triumphant that I’d done it. I was telling Feeyaad how scary it had been and didn’t realise until he brushed my cheek that I’d been crying through the whole thing as well. Absolute terror does that to me. And it was only a few minutes later when I realised…I hadn’t even seen the heads. All I saw were the bodies. Bummer!!
I’m going to try it again though but after baby is born as I don’t think this is a good experience for him/her. So what I want to know is…have you overcome a fear before or do you know any tips for overcoming a fear? Would you face it head on or just take baby steps if you planned to confront something that scared you?