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Let’s talk about fears. Are they ridiculous or (sometimes) sensible? Here’s an insight into those of my family, which are guaranteed to induce side-splitting laughter for bystanders:

  • Mum chucks total wobblies at the mere sight of a grasshopper, and an extra good reaction happens for the big brown ones.
  • My youngest sister hates spiders. You only have to say ‘Hey J, what’s that on your…’ before she’s jumping up and down on the spot, screaming, and madly hitting herself. It’s while we’re on the floor laughing that she starts threatening violence.
  • My middle sister goes berserk with bees, wasps, and hornets. Several stings as a kid rendered her incapable of staying still while one buzzes around.
  • My husband doesn’t like heights. Sook.
  • My Dad isn’t scared of anything. Legend. (Hang on, he is a bit scared of Mum.)

For me, it’s all about sharks.

I’ve had no first-hand experiences to blame it on. It is solely due to watching Jaws at a critical age for fear development – 11. Watching Jaws 2 while lying in a waterbed at 13 was also harrowing. So vivid was my imagination, staying in the pool by myself without ‘hearing’ the Jaws music became impossible.

A few years ago, I was with a group of girlfriends at Stradbroke Island, Queensland, and we were swimming in chest-high water. Fears were pushed aside. When the helicopter zoomed overhead, I had been joking about ‘white pointers’ after my bikini top slipped down. Then people starting leaving the water…

Tiger shark, apparently.

Well, that was it. I knew my life had been spared. From thereon, it would only be my knees the Pacific Ocean would reach – a suitable depth for sprinting should a Great White decide to launch itself at me.

Despite this fear, give me a shark attack programme or news story and it will be lapped up. I even watched the really bad Jaws movies, and that’s saying something. C’mon, the first one was good, it was.

Anyway, I think my fear is sensible. My husband does not, and has asked me not to pass on my fear to our Betty. He was one of those kids who grew up at the beach spearfishing, diving, snorkelling, and so forth. On the other hand, I liked watching Gone With The Wind from the safety of the couch. (Actually, I still can’t quite figure out how we hooked up, let alone got married.)

If Betty knows what’s good for her, she’ll keep to the shallows in her non-yum yum yellow togs. And if she doesn’t, I’ll be screaming out the Jaws tune from my towel to remind her the beach isn’t all Nemo and Dory. Bruce is out there, too.

What are you scared of? Are you guilty of passing on your fear to your kids?

  • lol i like the way you list out everyone’s fears with no shame. at least you won’t come across a shark while going to the washing line lol

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  • I wasn’t when I was young, but now I seem to be scared of heights.

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  • Living in the country I have a fear of snakes, won’t go on any nature walks when it warms up as I know they are hiding, waiting for me. Also, stingrays and sharks, but as we live 8 hours away from the beach and ocean I have a higher chance of encountering a snake, ewwww!!! Only good snake is a dead one.

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  • Snakes I have a massive fear of them and dread the day I come across one

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  • There are lots of things we might say we fear, but you know what they say, face your fear. I think that is a good idea so you never have to fail the ultimate test – will this fear prevent me from saving myself or someone else if nobody else is there to help.

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  • SNAKES omg i would die of shock if ! ever came near me !!!!!

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  • I don’t mind sharks but I don’t want to swim with them, since Jaws – no ocean swimming for me.

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  • My mum is so scared of heights she can’t get on an escalator

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  • Hate heights. You never get me up a ladder.

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  • Good read thanks for the information

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  • I am with you, I will not go to the beach because I have a fear of sharks and have had all of my life, my sons are the same and will not go near the surf either. If there was a shark, it would eat me for sure

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  • I am scared of spiders, snakes, sharks….sounds like things beginning with “S”.

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  • maybe its not be able to see in the water that gives us the terrifying fear that we’ll be gobbled up before we know it!

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  • Mine is spiders. I become a mess. If the spider gets away while l get something to deal with it l will close off a room entirely. for upto a week. I scream and jump around like a lunatic and sometimes become frozen cannot talk or move. It’s not good. I cannot use a outdoor toilet either because while growing up they would always cover the toilet roof. I sort of don’t like snakes but can hold a pet snake because l am trusting it’s not poisonous. I am scared of sharks and know it’s irrational as l don’t go into deep water as l can not swim properly. I am scared of rats, the housing estate is crawling with them and they are starting to run upto people…. LOL I love the country but eon’t live there cause l am scared of fire and don’t drive. I am scared of lightning but l do believe that’s a worthy thing to be scared of.

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  • Sharks are only living in their own environment/home, we were not born with gills and are land creatures, swimming in the ocean is a privilege and we should respect the creatures that call the ocean home. We are entering their world and should not blame them for doing what comes natural at times.

    Reply

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