by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
I’ve been feeling all proud of myself lately. All proud of my not being afraid. So many fears that I held most of my life feel as if they have gone by the wayside. My fear of death. My fear of the unknown. My fear of not being liked. My fear of being alone. My fear of being wrong. My fear of others knowing I was wrong.
I’ve worked hard to eliminate those fears, and I was quite impressed with myself. Those and many other fears are under control. My life is more peaceful. I am more proactive than reactive. I am calmer and happier. . So proud, so proud.
Pride goeth before the fall. And yesterday, I fell hard.
We were at the home of some friends for Thanksgiving. I happily sat in the kitchen sipping wine and chatting with my friend Leslie. The kids were in the other room doing whatever it is teens do. The house was warm. It smelled good. We all had a nice meal in our bellies.
And then it happened.
“Mom,” Tanner said, appearing next to me. “Look at how much Hobbs has grown.”
In the warm glow of the wine, I turned in the direction Tanner was pointing. There a few feet behind me stood Leslie’s daughter Mackenzie, holding a corn snake.
Looks like I forgot to work on one of those fears.
I was up and across the room before I even realized I’d moved. My heart was pounding and I could barely breathe. All because of a little orange striped snake. I was actually almost in tears. None of it was conscious. There was no, “Oh crap there’s a snake, I’d better run” thought process. Instead, one minute I was sipping wine. The next minute I was practically in a fetal position in the corner.
I’m not afraid of ghosts – but apparently a snake will still send me reeling right over the edge.
It’s funny, really. I don’t know how I forgot that fear. Just a few months ago Jim and I were hiking with some friends when a tiny garden snake skittered across my path. I froze, staring and gasping. I couldn’t move until that snake was good and gone. Another snake incident now comes to mind. Picture me happily sitting at my desk working. The desk sits next to our open french doors, and I am happily chatting with Jim, who is outside cleaning the pool. Suddenly I hear Jim yell “Emily, NO!” Not understanding, I look down at my feet, where my cat has just proudly dropped a gigantic garden snake. The neighborhood still reverberates with the sound of my scream.
Its not that I don’t like snakes. Snakes have never done anything to me. Not only that, but I live in a part of the world where we don’t have poisonous snakes. Just harmless little garden snakes. I’ve never touched a snake. I can barely look at them. Even if they are behind glass in the reptile house, I find myself hardly able to breathe – and God forbid if someone should touch me when I’m not expecting it and I’m in the reptile house. As Tanner would say, “Crazy lady alert.”
I don’t know what it is or how I got this way. There was, as far as I can tell, no specific onset. I realize intellectually how utterly irrational it is. And yet in some instinctual part of my body or mind, it is a fear that I can’t control. One minute I’m fine. The next minute I am a trembling heap, and I have no idea how I got there.
It’s humbling, really. No matter how much work we do on ourselves, no matter how proud we feel of how far we’ve come, there’s always something there to remind us that there is always more work to do. For me, it seems, that reminder is a little, orange, tiger-striped snake named Hobbs.
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