What You Don’t Know About Me – Part 1

I have fears. I’m like everyone else in this world. I’m afraid of a few things.

I’m afraid of spiders and snakes. Palmetto bugs and rats don’t seem to bother me, but I recoil around a simple garden snake. If I believed in reincarnation, there must have been something in a former life that created this fear, because I can’t remember ever having a close encounter with a snake.

I hate going over bridges. Big bridges or small bridges—it doesn’t matter. I know when this started. Back in my childhood, when I spent my summers in New England, there was a rickety bridge that we had to drive over when we took a short cut to get into town. Once while driving over it, one of the boards fell off, and ever since, I’ve had this fear. Based on recent news reports about the infrastructure of our entire country, my fears are not unfounded. Having driven over the 7-mile bridge to Key West, the Sky Bridge from St. Petersburg to Tampa, the Golden Gate Bridge and many others, you would have thought that I had faced this fear and overcame it, but unfortunately not. Just last month I had to drive a golf cart over a well-kept bridge at a beautiful golf course and I did it with my eyes closed.

Escalators scare me silly. Part of that is my fear of heights and using escalators to get to the cheap seats at a stadium for a sporting event, because, well, I’m cheap. I have to look down at my feet most of the way in order to avoid panic. When it is time to get off of the contraption, I have visions of getting my shoelace caught or tripping. Palpations, cold sweats and most other visible signs of anxiety ensue.

The last great fear I have is a very personal one. Believe it or not, although I have been married for thirty years, raised a wonderful son, have three terrific brothers and have been successful in the business world, I am afraid of men. It creates a great internal conflict for me, and while I don’t want to sound cryptic, some of my closest friends are men. My fears are not unfounded, however the reasons are deeply personal. I will say that I had two instances of abuse by men and leave it at that. I will add that I grew up in a time the where roles of men and women were defined differently than they are now, and facing fear is something at which I was never good and still cannot do.

Hence, my husband does the gardening. We take the long way around to avoid bridges, and now, we buy seats on the lower deck or stay home and watch on TV, strangely enough, in the MAN CAVE.

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