Scary Stuff: My Phobia
Note: This was originally posted on the blog Romancing the Genres.
According to the 5th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, a phobia is “a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.” Under that definition, I have a phobia of snakes.
I’m not alone in this—check out Indiana Jones, for example. And I think I have a pretty good excuse. There are no wild snakes in Alaska. My dad moved us to the state courtesy of the U.S. Army when I was six, so I grew up there. Snakes are foreign to me.
I understand intellectually that most snakes are harmless, but I can’t control my reaction to them. When we’re traveling Outside (outside of Alaska) and come across a snake on a hike or in a sunny spot along a building, I’m liable to jump while my heartbeat races as fast as a sports car. Others will reassure me, but my body doesn’t calm down until the snake is long gone.
Where it comes up more often is that I can’t watch snakes on TV shows or movies, either. As soon as something slithers, I have to look away. My husband takes it all in stride, telling me when it’s safe to look again. He’s gotten me through more nature shows and films than we could count. Which gives us a silver lining to the whole phobia: hubby gets to be my knight in shining armor every time. It’s a moment of romance in our lives.
Thanks, Darlin’! Maybe this little phobia isn’t so bad after all, if it brings more romance to our lives. 😊