Friday, December 7, 2007


The first step is admitting it... so I am doing this so that I can face-up and try and over come it.

Since living in New York I have found some things out about myself that I never realized before. Since I have been thinking about it I realize that I have always had these tendencies, but just not noticed because the reactions were mild, or I wasn't put in situations to notice them.

1. I not only am afraid of the phone, I am afraid of people knocking on my door. (This has always been true, but since I buy mostly all of our needs to be delivered I get a lot more door knocking now.)
2. I can feel my heart rate elevate and my breathing get tight when I am out with Justin, or it is day-time and I am out alone. I get scared to the point of nausea when I am out in the dark alone. (I started to notice this when we lived on 300 south.)
3. I am claustrophobic. I have to be by the door on the subway or I start to get dizzy and feel like I am running out of air. When Justin stands to close to me in the hallway or kitchen (blocking me in to a corner) I get the urge to hit and kick my way out. (I've been able to tell him to move, usually kind of mean, but its the fight because I can't flight reaction.)
4. I can't breath in crowds. On the street, in a store, in a room, on a train, on a bus, in an elevator. I love pushing a stroller because it means I have at least three feet in front of me where a person cannot be.
5. I wish I wasn't so afraid of all of these things so I could have/make some friends.

This week is my week of trying to break out. I went to knitting group on Tuesday. I had all the symptoms of going out in the dark alone, but at least the bus wasn't full so I could do deep breathing and control my nausea. Tonight I am going to Justin's school party, and then to a cookie exchange party. Saturday we are going to Lion King and the 21 Club. The knitting group was a very positive experience after I got rid of the nausea, and I look forward to next month, so maybe the rest of these events will help me.

I know my husband and my son really want me to overcome these fears/reactions. And I would like to feel like I could function in the city, I just afriad that if I try to force myself to do these things I will just get more scared of them. I used to be afraid of water, but I'm not anymore... I wonder how that happened. If you have recently overcome any of these fears clue me in. Because it would be so nice to get out of our tiny apartment, and not feel like I am going to pass out or barf. (I am good at going to the park, but I can't get anything done there... so you know shopping, and meeting people, and feeling like you get out.)

Sorry for two heavy posts right in a row. I'll have something light and fluffy soon. :)


The Jones :) said...

Wow need to come back to Utah!! :) You have friends here...people who will help you feel "ok" and comfortable!! Hope things get better for you out there!! Love ya!!
-Becki :)

JoMama said...

I don't like the phone or the door either, but now I am to the point where I would rather like to answer the phone then have the responsibility of having to call someone back should they leave a message. And I am absolutely afraid of the water! Knowing that you overcame your fear of the water, really is inspiring to me for some reason-how did you do it?

JoMama said...

one more thing, I really admire you trying to break out. I am by nature really quiet and it is hard for me to want to go and do things with others too. When I do decide to go out with others I really have to put forth effort to(gasp) even participate in a conversation. (seriously, that can be really hard for me sometimes)

Tammy said...


I think it's perfectly normal to be scared of being out alone in the dark. When I stop by the shops on the way home at night or have to walk out to my car when it's dark, I'm always a bit scared too. The way I deal with it is just to be as prepared as I can be (park close to the entry to the store, and carry my keys in my hand etc), and then to say a prayer if I get nervous. The third thing I do (which will sound funny, but also works for me), is to deny the fact that I'm scared. You know how if it's cold, but you refuse to admit that you're cold and instead just declare it to be brisk and fresh, then you can hold the cold at bay? Well, I always tell myself I'm just a little nervous, not scared. I can handle nervous. I just don't let my fear rise up - I push it down and make myself walk at a normal pace, and then I think of other things (or I pray like crazy).

I know its not always that easy, but I hope that helps a little!

The other thing I always think of when I'm scared, is that I really believe the opposite of fear is faith. President Hinckly has talked about that before, and has said the two don't exist together (kind of like light and dark). So if I'm scared of things (and sometimes it's just life, or the future, or dark places, or crowded areas), I always try and work on increasing my faith. Sometimes building faith is easier than trying to 'stop being scared'.

I miss you though :) And I think it's great that you're facing them and not letting them keep you from doing things. Don't try to do too much at once, but it sounds like you're doing it really well :)

love you girl!
xo Tammy

PS. Just by the way, If I was in NY doing the things you're doing, I'd be 'nervous' too. I'm sure it's not just you :)

PPS. The claustrophobic thing is one I understand - my mum's like that. She can't be 'hemmed in' as she puts it, and is always kicking us out of the kitchen if we get close to pinning her in the corner. We're all just used to it. We give her hugs from the side so she doesn't feel like she can't breath, and we get to every large church meeting early so that we can get a seat on the front or in the aisle. And she only goes to the movies on weeknights, when it's not so crowded. ... We never even think about it, and we love her anyway. I don't think that one's such a big deal :)

Steve & Margaret said...

I had your same feelings when we were in Seattle, but I can't imagine what it must be like in NY. What helped me when walking around the city, I just picked a place I wanted to visit and kept walking 'til I got there. If I had a destination, I could tell myself that I was going there, and ain't nobody going to stop me. I actually found I liked being around lots of people, because if something were to happen there would be tons of witnesses. :) However, I didn't go out in the city at night by myself, even though we were in a nice part of the city. You are WAY braver than me if you've been doing that.
I'm sure it comes with time. You'll get there. :)
(Says the girl who STILL can't drive on the freeway except in remote stretches of nothing states. I am scared to death of driving.)

JoMama said...

I am scared to death of driving too!And will only do remote stretches in nothing places too! I am trying to work on it, very slowly. I can't do the freeway!