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It worries me.

I think I am insufficiently afraid of bears.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
And yet excessively afraid of whales...
Jun. 3rd, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
Someone else we know is all freaked out by whales. This was a thread on the Pagans listserv about 7 years or more ago. Wish I could remember!
Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, very. Still not sure why that is. It's a strange enough phobia that I still Google it from time to time.

Another woman (a young, straight girl, by her myspace profile) says that she is afraid of "blue whales, and large, enclosed stadiums." Which is a connection I also make. Totally baffling. I wish I understood where it comes from. Is it about the subconscious? I mean that's the Freudian interpretation...
Jun. 3rd, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe either Pinocchio or the story of Jonah and the Leviathan really scared you as a kid? Because the inside of an enclosed stadium could seem like the belly of a whale.

Note: Do not, not ever, listen to "The Mariner's Revenge Song" by the Decemberists.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
Huh. I guess that could be. I'm not aware of any such trauma, but then, one often isn't consciously aware of that kind of thing.

I think there is some other element to it, though. When I was little, I used to sometimes get into this very upsetting state of mind where I felt... too far away from everything. The walls in my room seemed to recede, and I felt dwarfed by the size of the empty space around me. It's why I wanted a canopy bed so badly (not, as with other little girls, because it was cute and girly). It made me feel more enclosed.

I used to say that it was sort of "claustrophilia" but that's not quite right. The largeness of open spaces aren't so scary, but enormous rooms, with vaulted ceilings made me dizzy with fear. It's worth noting that the first time I because aware of my fear of whales was when I was 13, and walked into the Hall of Mammals in the Natural History Museum. Whoa. Huge room plus blue whale. I was momentarily catatonic.

So, I still wonder about this. The word that seems to describe the fear best is "kenophobia" which means something like "fear of voids or emptiness". There's virtually nothing online about it. I suppose I should check in with a therapist about that or something, huh?
Jun. 4th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
I had a friend who was afraid of large indoor spaces too. She traced it back when she was a little girl to a Convention where she went into a tent-spook-house and was scared by a large spider and then she was back out in the big echoey, people-filled place. She doesn't much like crowds either.

Your experience with the Hall of Mammals sounds similar. Were there sound effects? I mean whales make freaky sounds even to me.
Jun. 4th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
I've actually gotten that same sense of vertigo when in a wide-open but enclosed space. Particularly if I look up. It's not fear, exactly, just a sudden sense of diziness.

Does it bother you enough that you feel you need therapy? It sort of just seems like a quirk to me.
Jun. 5th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
Ehh, it's not that much of a problem, really. It's just that I wonder if it might be a key to understanding other, more significant problems. Like, if I can find the root cause of these phobias, maybe that'll lead to some revelations. I don't know.
Jun. 5th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
Well, the way I see it you have two options. One, you could go through the expensive and painful process of therapy. Or, alternatively, you could take the easy way, and bring about the extermination of all whales.

Up to you.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Maybe you were a krill in a former life.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
What brought this on??
Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
It seems a that, in a zoo somewhere in Scandanavia, a monkey got loose and wandered into a bear enclosure, where it was mauled and eaten. Ack.

I'm very nearly a monkey! WTF!
Jun. 3rd, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
I love monkeys and indeed find it sad this happened, but it sounds like nature being nature to me. Please don't be afraid of a bear for being a bear. Most are nowhere near us.

For me, being afraid of a bear because it killed something raises many red flags in my mind. Mostly, one could say "witch hunts."

I don't know if all large predators are threatened with extinction, but I'm sure most, if not all, are. And I can easily say that it is our fear of them that has fueled human hatred and killings of these animals.

I wouldn't worry about being insufficiently afraid of bears. Possibly, you could be insufficiently mindful of their power, as they are strong and predators.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
Really, I was mostly joking. I'm not actually afraid of bears, and I hope you realize that I would never advocate harming, or much less hunting them...
Jun. 3rd, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
DC bears tend to be sweet -- they are just big hairy guys who like leather vests and gay sex!

oh, wait...

East Coast bears tend to be much more interested in nosing into your pic-a-nic basket than in mauling hikers. I wouldn't approach one while it was actively rummaging through the trash, but I have been very close to black bears in Shenandoah and they just wanted to get out of my way.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
DC bears tend to be sweet -- they are just big hairy guys who like leather vests and gay sex!

yeah, that's where my brain went too...
Jun. 3rd, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
Wow, that icon really makes me want some tea.

and also, it is awesome.
Jun. 4th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
DC bears...

Jun. 3rd, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Me, too. They seem so bumbling and cute while destroying your car to get to the food in the back seat. :)
Jun. 3rd, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
Well, you're no Timothy Treadwell! :)
Jun. 3rd, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Its not like you plan on sneaking into the polar bear cage at the Brooklyn Zoo is it?
We had black bears where I grew up. Really not that much to worry about unless you're hiding bacon in your pants.

On the other hand, bear cubs our nature's ultimate hot potatoe.
Jun. 3rd, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)

See what happens without the required half pot of coffee int he morning.
Jun. 4th, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
No intention of confronting polar bears, no.

OMG, the cubs are painfully adorable. Saw a show once where a couple of 'em (I think black bears) were removed from the den of their hiberating mom, just to be weighed and given some vaccines. They were small and squally. Ack! It burns!

Jun. 4th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
Okay you got me. Where did that come from? Were the bears stalking you again or did you discover their sinster plot to take all the honey?
Jun. 4th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
Well, see comments above, regarding monkey being eaten by bears. I dunno. I'm still not afraid of bears, really. They seem so cute.

Jun. 5th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
And you can make eye contact with bears, and they hardly ever fling feces at you.

On the other hand...

Come to think of it, the abovementioned ursine has poop that is actually MADE out of monkey (at least with a decent percentage of monkey content). So that would probably be OK.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )