I’ve Got the Willies Wednesday: Heights

Posted: March 31, 2010 by Rebecca in I've Got the Willies Wednesday
Tags: , ,

Heights give me the willies.  I have a long-standing battle that has been raging between me and high places for quite some time.  It seems that when I am in a high place, looking down to the ground far below me, I begin to feel dizzy, and have an irrational fear that I will climb up on whatever barrier is keeping me from falling, and somehow not be able to stop myself from leaping towards the far away ground.  I have no idea what would possess me to do this, but I can’t help thinking about this when the fear hits.  I have tried to remedy this, but my last attempt, about 13 years ago now, when I was in eighth grade, led to a humiliation, which was probably only something that I concocted in my head, but it seemed entirely real.  Here’s what happened.  In eighth grade our social studies curriculum focused on immigration to the United States, and the immigrants experiences at Ellis Island.  Being close to New York City, we took a class trip to visit Ellis Island, and Liberty Island.  The event occurred on Liberty Island.

I decided that part of facing my fear meant climbing up as far as possible in the Statue of Liberty as was humanly possibly.  I was in a small group that included a couple of friends, and my mom who came along as a chaperone on the trip.  Well, we began climbing up the winding stairs that lead up inside the statue, and I pretty immediately felt my fears begin to surface.  I started feeling woozy and wobbly on my feet.  Well, we made it to the first landing, and then I had to call it quits.  I just couldn’t go on.  I couldn’t even look over the barrier of the first landing without feeling that I would suddenly jump up on to it, and fall over the side.  Thus the humiliation- I was the reason my group of friends could not claim victory over the Statue of Liberty.  Since then, I’ve pretty much avoided heights at all costs.  I feel like James Stewart in Vertigo, where even if I wanted to climb up some stairs to save a damsel (or dame) in distress, my fear would not allow me to go above a certain height, and I would not become a heroine, but would instead descend into a state of shock that would lead to my admittance into a mental hospital…..

Whoa, I’m getting off track there…but you get the picture- I am afraid of heights- a full out acrophobia.  I do not have any hope of conquering this fear for good, so for now I confine myself to the ground, and places of low to moderate height.  I can, luckily, access the second floor of my apartment without getting stuck halfway up and having to cry out for help, which would be quite a problem if I was the only one home at the time- I doubt that my animals would be able to provide much assistance.

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