I’m scared of rollercoasters. I hate the idea of deliberately simulating the sensation of falling/speeding/going upside down. In real life any of these sensations would likely be a sign that something really quite bad was happening, and I have no wish to engender this feeling for fun. Theme parks always look so rickety. And without wishing to cast aspersions on his character, Terry used to work for Thorpe Park and he’s pretty irresponsible at times (I’m sure he wasn’t while he was working, but still.) Plus I saw Final Destination 3.
I’m scared of canteens. They are a veritable minefield of potential social embarrassment. Standing in the wrong queue, not having enough money when you get to the till, and then the high-school nightmare of dropping your tray while the jocks and cheerleaders crowd round you in a circle jeering. I don’t think that has ever happened to me (it may not have ever actually happened to anyone outside American teen movies circa 1992) but the thought that it might brings me out in a cold sweat.
Spiders are a tricky one. I swear I used to be ok with them but after a decade living with Terry I appear to have caught arachnophobia. Although I’m still markedly braver than him, on the occasions when we get uninvited house guests with 8 legs there will be much shrieking and probably a stiff drink afterwards.
But the fear that I think has affected me the most in life is the fear of being told off. I was such a good kid that I was rarely in any real trouble. In fact I was rarely in any kind of trouble. As a child I had praise lavished on me by adults, for being polite, for being dutiful, for being clever or helpful or punctual. It became the norm, so much so that even a mild rebuke was so infrequent that it felt like the worst thing in world. Perhaps if I’d been naughty more often I would have got more used to getting a good old-fashioned bollocking and it wouldn’t feel like my world was ending when it happened. But a large part of me still craves approval and freaks out slightly at any suggestion that I am being censured.
And it is this fear which drives the cowardice to which I have previously alluded. But at least I recognise it now. And with every NaBloPoMo post I’m getting a little bit braver.