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We were watching this really cool documentary tonight when a scene showing a shark attack suddenly broke the peaceful and serene story about the vastness and beauty of the ocean. A Great White jumping out of the water, mouth gaping, jagged teeth in plain sight, and lifting between the two jaws the body of an only half dead seal.

While this was taking place on the screen, I realized that, oh boy, I’m scared just watching this!

And so I decided to think about my fears and what provokes them. Sort of a self-analyzing and know-yourself kind of task. This is less about fears of abstract things, like the fear of the unknown, the fear of dying or the fear of loneliness and more about phobias. So this is what I came up with.


Sharks and crocs are probably among the top fear-inducing things out there. I guess it’s their deadliness that gets me. And how powerless we humans are when confronted with these beasts. Deadliness vs powerlessness. Who do you think would win? Snakes don’t even come close. I guess because the fear of losing a limb or two to a shark is far greater than that of suffering the effects of even the most dangerous neurotoxin from a snake’s venomous bite.

So I will do everything possible to stay away of shark- and crocodile- infested waters for all my life. So far so good. This means I will probably never visit the Everglades.


Moving on. Folks, I am also scared of water. Big time. As in whenever there’s lots of it, my heart cringes. This is most likely because I can’t swim. And I haven’t learnt to swim because I’m afraid of water. A chicken-or-the-egg situation, really, which will probably remain unsolved. Whenever we’re at the seaside, I just stay with all the kiddies near the shore where not even my butt gets wet. And only when I’m feeling bold, do I venture a bit further into more deep waters. That being said, I’ve never been in water that’s higher than chest level. Lame. But also, this is how you make sure you don’t come across any sharks (see above)!


I am scared of speed. Which is why I refuse to learn to ski, why all the 5-year olds zoom by me on their bikes and why I’ve used my rollerblades maybe 20 times in 5 years. Speed induces a limb paralysis in me. My brain is like hypnotized and refuses to give commands to the rest of my body. If it’s either me that’s going fast or another thing coming in a collision course towards me, I will probably be too numb to move, change direction or step aside. I am under a self-imposed restraining order to ever step behind a wheel. And if this means that I will never be able to live in Alaska or any other place where there is virtually no public transportation, than so be it.


Birds. I love swallows and humming birds and small, cute birdies, but I dread pigeons and seagulls. And Montreal has plenty of both. I get a chill down my spine whenever I see them flying around. All those who’re feeding flocks of ugly, noisy, hungry pigeons should get a big, fat fine to teach them a lesson about mother nature’s delicate balance. And seagulls? They eat fish. Which makes them carnivores. I rest my case. 


Care to share some of your phobias?

Comments (2)

  • I enjoyed reading about your fear of water. It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? How do you feel when you make a bath, and dunk your head under? [I was lucky enough to have parents who forced both me and my sister to take many, many courses on swimming when we were young. Isn’t it interesting how kids can start swimming at such a young age without fear, while adults who never tried, can’t?]

    I don’t have many physical fears. Mine are mostly emotional. Fear of failure? Fear of commitment? Fear of reality tv shows? … 🙂

  • a) Sharks
    b) Piranha
    c) Zombies
    d) And I know that ‘Doctor Who’ fans have voted the Weeping Angels as the scariest monsters of the newer series, but personally, the ‘Empty Child’ was my big ‘Behind the sofa’ moment. See above.


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