Fear of Heights
Fears we all have them. We can bury them. We can run from them. Or we can face them. This is my time to face fears, all kinds from huge scary life ones to some that may seem more traditional, like black cats (I LOVE all kitty cats) the dark, spiders… Oh how the list goes on! Today in honor of Friday the 13th (another fear of peoples) I will share my most traditional fear, the fear of high places.
My earliest memory of being afraid of high places goes way back to when I was about 4. My family lived in an apartment; in fact a lot of my family lived in these apartments. Having grandparents who were the property managers probably had something to do with it! Anyhow, in the front sat a big cement staircase to the upper units… no biggie, but the back stairs were these slat type of wooden stairs. You know the kind you see in scary movies when the poor unsuspecting victim is going down into the basement and the hand comes through the steps and pulls them to their untimely death. Yeah… those type of stairs.
Now I never fell from these stairs but they sure scared me. In fact the first bad dream that I remember in vivid Technicolor has to do with those stairs. So this is how my dream went:
I was standing at the front steps of the apartments (you know where the big cement ones should be) only in my dream the steps are the rickety slat style wooden ones. At the top front stoop of the apartment stand my whole family, mom, dad, and my two sisters. They are all holding Disneyland balloons while pointing and laughing at me. Me well guess where I was?
Yup, right there smack-dab midway up those creepy stairs. I remember crying and really wanting to be down on the ground. When suddenly, as if an unseen hand grabbed my tiny little ankle, I was ripped right off the steps but there was no ground only open space and me falling. The kind of Alice down the rabbit hole fall… slow. All I could do was fall farther and farther away from my family still clutching their Mickey Mouse shaped balloons.
I awoke crying and terrified! My fear of heights was born in that moment. I have lived my life afraid to go on rides that drop, things that go high…I even get white knuckles from gripping tightly while my husband drives on mountain roads. Sadly, my fear of high places I may have transferred onto one of my children. I hate that thought! No mother ever wants to project their fears unto their children. My oldest, which happens to be my gentle teddy bear, is also afraid of high places. What’s a mom to do? Well… I want to teach him we can conquer our fears.
So now when we go for hikes I stand a bit closer to the edge of those high breath taking view spots. I put my hand outside the car window when driving mountain roads, how wonderful the air feels as my arm surfs the wind! But my biggest promise to face my fear of heights is to do a tandem parachute jump. He wants to do this so badly with me but he has to be 16 so we have just over a year before we can make the leap together. I plan to make a solo jump before my 41st birthday, let’s just say it’s on my “bucket list”.
As we grow in years we grow in wisdom and we began to realize we have let foolish fears keep us from soaring. I have lived the first half of my life this way but I have made a promise to myself that the last half would be full of breath taking high up on the edge of the world moments…
Until next time,