Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snakes alive

Do You know what is really not fun?
A panic attack while you are driving.
All kinds of not fun.

Heart racing, adrenaline pumping,  rapid breathing, shaking hands, crying and cold sweats.
Because I ran over the biggest brown snake in Australia.
I am scared of snakes. 
Terrified of them.
Poisonous ones. Surprise ones.
I think we can safely call it phobia.

I hate walking past long grass, I hate messy overgrown gardens.
I do anything I can to convince my kids to not leave the safety of concrete footpaths anytime between the months of September and April. (yes I'm aware snakes can go on concrete but at least you have a fighting chance of seeing them).
I feel sick when I'm surprised by a picture of a snake, and have actually cried when they surprise someone on TV. 
I really dislike the letter "S".

So yesterday I dropped Miss 15 at her friends house in a nearby town and I was cruising home along the highway, singing at the top of my lungs to Tim McGraw when all of a sudden wriggling and coiling on the road in front of me was an enormous brown snake. 
I screamed like a little girl.
I didn't have any time to react really and I had to run over it. 

Thump thump. 

I was frantically looking in my headlights for signs of it on the road behind me. What if it flicked up and was under the car?
 I could see it in the rear view still wriggling and I struggled to hold myself together.
The only thing stopping me from pulling over and vomiting was the fact that there are more snakes waiting in the grass whereever I pulled over.

I know my reaction is unreasonable but then that is the very nature of a phobia. 

I wanted to call my daughter who I had just left and forbid her from going for any walks or out into the garden.
I was scared that the snake I just ran over was pregnant and that little baby snakes were now crawling around in the underside of my car. 
Every long stringy strip of bark from the ghost gums looked like more snakes and pretty soon I was driving along in my very own self contained Looney Bin.

If you have a small python and you can tell me that you have it and that it is not poisonous, I don't have a problem. I can even touch it... I won't enjoy it but I don't feel scared.
But the unknown snakes. The surprises, coupled with the fact that we lived in Snake Central Victoria where deadly King Browns and Tiger snakes are plentiful, are enough to make me want to pack up my family and move to the antarctic.

I made it home, after a long 40 minute drive, me talking myself around and around, knowing I'm being irrational and yet being completely trapped within my own cycle of fear and feeding the fear.

Hubby has gone to collect Miss 15 from her friends house just a few minutes ago. 
I told him to watch out for snakes.
He laughed. He doesn't get it.

I know that accompanying this story I should have a picture of a fierce angry snake but there is NO.WAY. IN. HELL. I am googling for that image so here is an adorable hedgehog baby. Because they don't jump out of the bushes and kill you.

image credit

Do you have an irrational fear?  How do you deal with it?

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  1. I don't think I have any irrational fears.... But about a year ago, I was following a car that ran over a snake and the snake was flung up under my car and I heard the 'thud'.... I kept checking my mirrors! I couldn't see where it went, everytime I had to brake I kept hoping that it had fallen out or gotten away.... Oh I do understand the feeling!

  2. I could have written this word for word. Seriously, I'm not joking word for word. I'm well beyond having a rational fear of snakes, I cannot look at them on posters or on tv.

    I do find that knowing that only two people a year in Australia die from snake bites helps a little.


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