Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Phobia-Shmobia? I Think Not...

So question 12 of Chain Letter really got me thinking.

There is absolutely one thing I fear more than being old [Medical Term: “Gerascophobia (Greek gerasco, "I am ageing" and φόβος, phobos, "fear")[1] is an abnormal or persistent fear of growing old or ageing.[2] Gerascophobia is a clinical phobia generally classified under specific phobias, fear of a single specific panic trigger” (Wikipedia, Obvi)…

While still in college I went on a visit to UMASS Amherst. I was hanging out at my cousin’s house, playing Beirut and my opponent unzipped his sweatshirt…and there it was… a shirt with herd of galloping horses. “EW!”. I thought. No, OMG, that was out loud. The whole room looked at me. I immediately responded with what at first they believed was a bullsh*t explanation….

“No no I didn’t mean ‘EW’ to you it’s just….”

Back in the fall of ‘89 I was at a Birthday party. You know - I wore a nice little dress with lace at the bottom, played pin the tail on the donkey, ate birthday cake, and was having a great time. Then it was time for the pony rides! Wee! They had brought a horse from up the street for all the kids to take rides on. COOL! I thought.

Then the birthday girl tried to cut me in line. “Girls in lace dresses can’t ride the horse!!”.she announced. Her mother, immediately scolded her, and responded “She is your guest, let her take a turn first”.

So, they hoisted me up onto the horse and it began to trot up the dirt road. Suddenly something was wrong, terribly wrong, the horse began to fall. I have vague memories of the balloons tied to his tail POP! POP! POP! as me and Mr. Ed hit the dirt road hard, little kids screamed and parents scrambled everywhere.

The horse had a heart attack. Seriously? The birthday girl cried because I had ruined her party and she never got a ride. The horse died two days later.

“…so I’m sorry I didn’t mean to insult your shirt, it’s just…there’s a little history there”.

Everyone stopped staring, the drinking commenced and I had dodged a huge bullet of being dubbed the biggest bitch ever. But in all honesty I still sometimes start to twitch when I see a cop on horseback.
After a bit of research (and by research I mean googling ‘fear of horses’ and clicking on the first hit). I discovered that I truly may not ever get over my fear.

Fear of horses: Equinaphobia - an abnormal and persistent fear of horses. Sufferers of this fear experience undue anxiety even when a horse is known to be gentle and well trained. They usually avoid horses entirely rather than risk being kicked, bitten or thrown. They may also fear other hoofed animals such as ponies, donkeys and mules.

This type of phobia may be triggered by a fall from a horse (which is probably why it is said that, after a fall from a horse, one should get right back on).

Problem: the horse was dying; therefore, I could not get back on.

I guess the closest I can ever get to a horse is going to be a carousel.

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