The Mum Network

My Greatest Fear


Hubby often says that when God was dishing out emotions to my family, he gave my siblings a double serve and left me out (they all love a good cry, I struggle to crack a smile at times). Whilst I’d like to think that he means it as a compliment, I know he doesn’t.

I’m not trying to be tough, nor do I find it hard to show emotion, it’s just that, for the most part, I don’t. Happiness, yes, Sadness, yes, Excitement, yes but never extreme versions of emotion, hysteria, crying, hysterical uncontrollable laughter. It just doesn’t happen. I’ve often felt ripped off as I’d love to be able to cry during a movie or like my sister did when my brother gave us particularly moving Christmas gifts but the last time that happened, I was about 9 years old and watching Beaches – thank you Bette Midler.

Prior to hubby proposing to me (you know that time where you try to tell them ‘how to’ propose if they’re going to?), I told him if he ever did anything romantic  involving hearts, butterflies or picnics, it would be likely that I would walk out. I just don’t respond well to over the top declarations of love. Easy for hubby I guess. He once bought me flowers and sent them to our office to congratulate me on something or other, we were working together at the time so I walked next door into his office and yelled at him for buying flowers because they were going to end up being something I’d have to pay off the credit card. What a bitch, no wonder he thinks I have no emotion!

Raw truth and honesty is where I sit on most things these days and being overly emotional on anything has never been my thing. There are only two things that can honestly make me cry (let’s take out the death of a family member or friend or a sick child as that breaks anyone’s heart). The first is the birth of one of my children, that always gets me going, and the second is my greatest fear. A fear so great that I can turn to a wobbling mess so insecure and beside myself that instead of defending me, hubby is often so amused by me showing emotion that he simple laughs at the sight of me being super emotional.

My greatest fear isn’t something that makes me just cry, it actually puts me into a place that I can only describe as a panic attack. I never believed in panic attacks until I had one but since I have, I’d best explain: Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or apprehension that are of sudden onset and of relatively brief duration. Panic attacks usually begin abruptly, reach a peak within 10 minutes and subside over the next several hours. Experiencing a panic attack has said to be one of the most intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable experiences of a person’s life and may take days to initially recover from (thank you Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack).

My greatest fear invokes such huge panic attacks in me that I can still have a racing heartbeat hours later. My greatest fear is REPTILES. Yep, any type of reptile but for the most part, it’s snakes and lizards oh and frogs, frogs scare the crap out of me. I think my fear of reptiles came from a trip we did when I was about 4 years old and I can remember going to Queensland and a cane toad jumped on me. I was unpreprared, it was ugly and looked like it had horns and well, the rest is history.

My fear isn’t your common old “ahhh, help me, there’s a lizard in the backyard” kind of fear. I literally burst into tears, my heart starts racing and to me, any type of reptile looks like it wants to eat me.

Just after Christmas as I was packing for a few days away in the country, I happened across a lizard in our bathroom. I was home alone and hysterical, I couldn’t move and I had shivers up my back, I knew I had to watch it to make sure it didn’t go out of my sight and into our home forever but I can’t stand to look at reptiles. In my head, the lizard was about a metre long, it had fangs and it was an almost crocodile, I seriously thought it wanted to suck the blood out of me. I called hubby completely panic stricken and I was on speaker phone, crying. The kids overhead Mum’s hysteria and made the situation worse by laughing their heads off and teasing me because I was crying like a baby and begging hubby to get home asap to save her from the man eating lizard. Hubby was laughing too, the mere thought that emotionless wife can get caught up in her own form of hysteria over a gecko was pretty funny I guess. I made the decision that I wasn’t going back inside until the lizard was out. Apparently the lizard was more frightened of me though because it scurried up a crack in the cupboard in our bathroom and hasn’t been seen since. The problem is now, I can’t use that bathroom at all and I can’t sit in the house without flinching and panicking, wondering where the bloody thing has got to. I’m so panicked about it that I have a sore neck from flinching so often. Even if my own ponytail hits the back of my neck, I’m whipping around looking and thinking ‘the lizard is back to eat me’.

This is all very good and well for someone who has a farm. Recently this photograph of a brown snake went around facebook stating that it was flushed out of some bushland in Cessnock, about 20 minutes from our farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I seriously wanted to vomit, telling hubby that if I ever saw a snake at the farm, that was it, I was selling up and we were moving our rural ambitions elsewhere, like Vaucluse, Double Bay, Bondi or anywhere away from snakes. I become so obsessed with this snake’s whereabouts that I ended up hunting down as much info as I could. I found out that brown snakes do not grow to be this long anywhere in the world and the photograph was in fact, a fake. I wouldn’t let it rest until I knew in my head where that snake was and if it was real.

So why the fear of snakes when I’ve never seen one out in the wild, let’s take a look at the worlds most deadly snakes and where they live:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry, I say no more about that one.

Given my fear of all things reptile, I was incredibly proud of myself volunteering to attend a school excursion with Mr 7 and his mates to a place called Featherdale Wildlife park this year. I’m not sure what I was thinking but I thought we were going to a chicken farm (at times I can be a real idiot). Nope, not a chicken farm but a reptile park and with 6 lovely active little boys in my care, I couldn’t back out once we were through the gates. I’m sure they could smell my fear and I’m so glad I was the half time entertainment when the man asked me if I would like to touch the snake during a presentation – I lost the plot and all the kids in my charge thought it was hilarious. I’m still recovering from that one.

Not sure about anyone else but there’s being scared of some things and then there’s being absolutely mortified and afraid beyond what’s deemed normal. I know a few people who react like me to spiders (which I’m weirdly fine with as long as big cans of Mortein are available) or cockroaches or even my second greatest fear, which is balloons (don’t ask) but my fear of reptiles is absolute proof that I wasn’t born without emotion. I’m crying just thinking about it now.

What makes you absolutely squirm or get frightening beyond what’s normal?

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