So I was watching the History International channel a couple of weeks ago. Sort of dozing off and on (surprising, don’t you think? I mean with writing, editing, socializing . . . uh, I mean, networking, NBA Finals—who has time for sleep?) Er, sorry, I’m tired and then sidetracked—
And in my half in/out slumber, the narrator was talking about drowning. Yes, drowning. (Appropriately, known as Aquaphobia). You know, where the sensation of tearing and burning occurs in the chest as water goes down the airway. Of course, then the panic sets in, gasping, followed by swallowing water. Eventually, you’d slip into a feeling of calmness—strange, isn’t it?—Unfortunately, that calmness represents the beginning of loss of consciousness from oxygen deprivation, which will result in the heart stopping and brain death. My advice? Don’t panic.
Gruesome, is it not?
I actually did not know any of this when I wrote The
Color of Betrayal, in which Rosa, the scrimshaw doll causes that drowning sensation in Luke Riser, the hero.
Very odd. . .
[Sorry, back to the History Channel] Then, the narrator went on to talk about fire. Pyrophobia.
The worse one he touched on was rats. How they were used as medieval torture. Ugh. I’ll spare you the details on that disgusting segment. (But if you happen to write medieval historical, your welcome.)
I find phobias an interesting phenomenon. Webster defines Phobia as a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.
I don’t care for clowns. I think they are creepy, but I wouldn’t classify my dislike as a phobia as I don’t think I really have a compelling desire to avoid them—not in a persistent irrational manner, at any rate.
I did stumble upon a phobia called Leukophobia – fear of the color white.
So, of course there its counterpart, Melanophobia – fear of the color black.
I live in Oklahoma, so one would conclude that I am naturally Lilapsophobic –that I, um, fear tornadoes and hurricanes. Alas, I am not.
I’ll admit to one fear I harbor. Only there isn’t a long, official, medical term for my fear. It’s the fear of rejection. In my research, however, the closest phobia to
rejection I found was a fear referred to as Logophobia. It didn’t quite fit. Logophobia is a fear of words! <snort> I obviously do not fear words. Unfortunately, I fear what other people think of my words. The email that starts with: Thank you for your interest, but—
Yes, those kinds of words.
But, I am one to face my fears head on. Case in point: I sing. And, I am terrified of singing before others, but I do it. Why? To combat my fear. For some reason, I don’t feel the same about speaking, as a rule. And, I hate tomatoes, but that’s not a phobia. So I don’t feel compelled to eat them.
Fear, in some instances, is healthy of course. Staying out of harm’s way is a good thing. It’s when we allow our fear to out-balance our natural existence that it becomes a problem. So what do you fear? And how do you confront it?
So, tell me. . .if you’re not too afraid———————
Words by Kathy L Wheeler