What makes a fear irrational? Supposedly that there is no reason behind the fear.
I am afraid of many things, and my entire life I have been told that my fears are irrational. A teacher once told me that most things we are afraid of can be linked back to things that happened to us as children. So to prove that my fears are not irrational I looked back to my childhood to discover the reason behind my fears. Even though I may have reasons behind my fears, I am now 21 years old and a full-fledged adult—it is time for me to face my fears.
When I was 4 years old my shoelace got caught in an escalator. The result was that my shoe got ripped off. I feared that I somehow would get sucked into the escalator. As I grew up I realized I couldn't get sucked into the escalator, but for some reason I still always prefer the stairs.
As a young child I was sick all the time. By the time I was two I had already had strep throat three times so the doctor took my tonsils out. By the time I was seven I had had pneumonia three times and bronchitis numerous other times. I had also had the chicken pox and the shingles. I missed so much of my third grade education from illness that I had to do make-up work so I could pass the grade. The doctors told me I had a weak immune system and that I needed to avoid other people’s germs. They turned me into a germaphobe. I never share food, drinks, chapstick, or makeup with anyone. I carry hand sanitizer with me always.
When I was 8 my family went on vacation to Yellowstone. My twin brother and I are very competitive, but he is adventurous while I am timid. I followed him up a hill, but then I lost him. I turned back to find my family. On the way back I slipped. My dad found me hanging on to a bush on the side of a steep hill. I am terrified of heights. I won’t even get on a ladder.
As a young child I saw the movie It. It is a clown—a clown who tries to kill children. I have never had a clown at my birthday party. When I see a clown I still get a sick feeling inside.
I lived in the Seattle area until I was 10. One day my twin brother and I were headed to the grocery store with my dad. We were turning into the parking lot when a homeless-looking man decided to kick our front right headlight in. He then proceeded to open the car door where I was sitting and try to pull me out. I never drive with the doors unlocked.
When I was 10 years old I was staying in hotel while on vacation in Utah with my family. It was a stormy August day and my sister and I got into the elevator to go down one floor. The power went out and we got trapped between floors. We were in the dark elevator for over half an hour. It was this day that I realized I am claustrophobic. I still never take elevators unless I have to.
I have a twin brother so growing up I was practically never alone. The first time I can remember being home alone was when I was 12. My parents were gone to the temple and I don’t remember where my siblings were. There was a big storm and lots of noise. I heard someone trying to open my bedroom window. When my parents got home they found me downstairs, crying, curled up with the dog. The sound at my window? A branch had broken and was scraping against the side of the house. I don’t like to be left alone.
There is one fear that I have no explanation for: achluophobia- fear of darkness. While most people will admit they were afraid of the dark as a child, only about 16% of adults will admit to being afraid of the dark. But is it truly an irrational fear? I would like to say there is reason behind my fear of the dark. When I say I fear the dark, I think I really fear the unknown. How do I face the unknown?