November 15, 2006

Conquering My Fears - Holding Mummie's Hand

I've set out on a mission to conquer my fears. No, I’m not going to re-enact the ear wax removal process. Here is my list – not sure if these have names.

Fear of being high up in a building and falling out or building swaying, cracking and falling – Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Last row in the balcony at the opera, the London Eye. For some reason bridges don’t scare me, unless I’m on a bike riding over the bridge – think Golden Gate Bridge.

Looking at Mummies – I can’t open my eyes when I’m near one in a museum. Started on a visit to the Met when I was in Elementary School. My classmates tried to un-wedge my eyelids. Not successful.

Touching slimy creatures – even if they are in touching zoos – bugs, snakes, sea creatures.

Anyone getting near my eyes – this one comes from getting something stuck in my eye when I was in sleep-away camp as a youngster. I rubbed the eye until it was swollen and then they had to take me to a creepy doctor. Reinforced the fear when I splashed Potassium ferricyanide in my eye as a high school photography student. That resulted in a lovely trip to the emergency room. Final reinforcement in 2002 when I had a really bizarre eye surgery (that Stephen watched…) Result is that I can’t have someone put make up my face, can’t take certain eye tests and certainly can never wear contact lenses (although I don’t need them).

Chit chatting with people that I don’t know - this has to do with train and plain rides, restaurants when the people at the next table try to be friendly, a nice but lonely homeless person sitting down next to you while you’re eating in the park, even small talk in general freaks me out. Actually, many of these situations happened to me this week. My folks and Stephen are super stars at this stuff.

Today I overcame one of these fears – seeing mummies! The British Museum has several on display. Tons of six year olds were swarming around the display case before I realised what was inside. But I didn’t even flinch and even got a photo (so that you can get over your fear too!)