I wish I was scared of a rare thing or something I could more easily avoid.
Oh yeah, and I kinda stay in the house most of the time because I`m not keen on interactions in the real world.
My first memory of it occurring was in college when my then girlfriend (now wife) and I decided to fly a kite one day. We launched the kite and got it going really well, way up in the sky. As I held the kite spool and stared up at the kite, I was overcome by vertigo and sense of panic. I had to hand the spool off to my girlfriend. Even though it felt awful, I found it humorous that such a thing could occur. Of course, after that, any time I went to fly a kite the memory of the feeling of panic started to build even before I looked up. Soon, it developed into a phobia, and I just refused to fly a kite.
Years later, I was teacher high school psychology and we were studying phobias and behaviorist theory. I shared my very strange and specific phobia with them, and as we learned about strategies for shaping behavior, the kids decided they would conduct an experiment on me. They started by having a kites in the room, then me standing near a kite, then teaching with a kite in my hands. They then took me outside and had me watch them fly kites from a distance, then had me stand near them as they flew them, then they eventually got me to hold a kite. I laughed as I held it, but i still hated it.
A few weeks later we were studying states of consciousness and I brought in a hypnotist. That's the day I learned what was actually behind my kite phobia...
(to be continued)
We were all pretty excited to be together, and you can imagine as a kid I was excited to be going on a huge ocean liner. The gangplank from the dock to the ship is very high up, and my father for some reason thought I'd like to see just how high. Without telling me, he grabbed me from behind and lifted me up over the railing. Being surprised by a relative stranger in this way led to a predictable response. I screamed out in fear of being thrown into the harbor below, and when my dad set me down I ran. What does this have to do with a fear of kites...?
I recall that the gangway to the ship was decorated with pennants...
It seems that seeing a kite against a blue sky triggers the memory of being lifted over the edge of the gangway, and the feelings terror experienced as five year-old returns. It's interesting that, as an adult, I experience the physiological response of fear, but not the emotions. After all, it's just a kite in the sky, and I know that there's nothing that can happen to me. But when I look up, it feels like I will plunge upward endlessly into the sky...as if I were falling into the sea.
Interesting. How were you able to find that association?
After she led us through some hypnotism, we had a question-answer session. During that, I mentioned my kite phobia and she said that it sounded like a fear of heights. Instantaneously the memory of my father lifting me over the rail came flooding back and it was an incredible moment of clarity.
That’s pretty interesting. Other than the realization, was anything resolved through that moment of clarity? Did you work through your fear with the hypnotist?
The thing about a stressed response like the one I have, if it's in a context that doesn't impact one's life, it really doesn't matter. If I were a professional kite flyer, I may be driven to work hard on it. But since I'm merely an amateur, it's something I can live with.
Right. Can’t imagine kites hounding you every hour of the day and causing regular stress