(Image stolen from these guys)
Pioneer Woman -- Ree -- posted an excellent confession on her blog Thursday in the hope that her readers could help her deal with her fear of flying. She encouraged her readers to give advice and offer experiences, and 15 million comments later, she's going to have a lot of reading to do.
Of course I had an opinion. OF COURSE I shot my mouth off! Would you expect anything less from me? But it seemed like a decent post, too, so after fleshing it out a bit, here it is.
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Sorry Ree -- I suffer no fear of flying, so I can't help you there (HOWEVER, I avoid flying because I have a terrible fear of being annoyed).
since I am the Phobia Queen in the otherwise completely UNironic, UNneurotic family of my childhood, I have something to share: I am scared DOOKY-less over spiders. And I live in the country.
On a farm/dairy/ranch. Where there are more spiders per square mile than airplanes, ghosts and mass murderers put together.
In The Spider Belt.
And I'm the only person I know who has had a black widow on her NECK, fer cryin' out loud in a bucket.
the fear of passing my irrationalities on to my already GROSSLY dramatic daughters was bigger than my arachniphobia. So I decided NEVER to tell them of my fear. On pain of death and/or really nasty noogies, no one I know is allowed to tell my daughters that Mommy is scared to death of spiders (and preying manti, and heights, and cars in parking lots, and . . .)
I actually PICK UP daddy longlegs and calmly carry them outside and set them free. I'm a living breathing Fear Factor episode, without the barfing. My daughters are squeamish and shrieky, but I say, "Pipe down! Imagine how scared THIS little guy is. Isn't he cute?" And I hide the heeby-jeebies and they really aren't too bad.
I have a house full of fat, contented spiders, daughters who scream and THEN say, "Awwwww, isn't he cute? DON'T KILL IT, DADDY!" and I'm gaining ground on their phobias as well as my own.
After I decided to approach it this way I read somewhere that modeling the behavior you want -- ACTING! thankyouverymuch -- is a healthy way to learn to feel more in control. Whatever. It's helping.
(Original photo stolen from this guy)
I hope this helps you, Ree, and I hope that you don't end up with a house full of spiders . . . or airplanes.