I am terribly afraid of heights. The type where I’m continuously afraid to fall. It took me years to learn to climb the stairs (I always had to be carried). To compare: my brother was born when I was 2,5 and he climbed the stairs before I did. ‘Open staircases’ are still one of my biggest fears and dreads. My fear is usually the result of having to climb something. Me climbing anything goes too slow and I’m too aware of my surroundings.
It’s a real handicap, this fear of mine. First of all, I’m not very tall, which means I have a hard time reaching top shelves and can’t reach high to begin with. Enter my fear of heights: I cannot bear standing on anything higher than a chair without freaking out completely. It wouldn’t be the first time that I have to call on friends to fix things that broke and were out of my reach!
Another disaster caused by this fear of heights was PE. Anything involving heights, rings, trapeze, walking over benches, practicing somersaults, rope climbing etc, caused me to experience extreme levels of fear to the point where I’d simply give up or burst into tears. It was agony and I was always happy when we were practicing sports which allowed me to keep both feet on the ground.
Because of my fear of heights, I am also familiar with panic attacks. I nearly punched a friend in the face when she decided I really should take that one staircase which I told her I couldn’t take. On top of that, I once ended up at the first aid post of a concert because I was walking on a walk way which in fact was 15 meters above ground level and only realized it when I was half way. I panicked and was brought in hyperventilating, no longer capable of standing on my own two feet.
The funny thing is that this only happens when I have to do something: walk, climb anything like that. But when I’m inside of something (elevator, helicopter or roller coaster) I’m perfectly fine. I don’t like glass elevators though, but I thoroughly enjoyed a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon and have ridden numerous roller coasters. The part I dread the most on a roller coaster ride? The climb to the top:
Q: What’s your biggest fear?