“I hate to say this, but this place is getting to me. I think I’m getting the Fear.” Dr. Gonzo, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
I’m afraid of everything. ‘Til this day, my family calls me a ‘druh-kaal.’ That’s Punjabi for ‘scared person.’ Fear of heights, new things, public speaking, animals, flying, confined places, etc. You name it, and I’m afraid of it. These are not phobias. I don’t get a sense of anxiety. They’re just irrational fears that I know I can tolerate, but typically manage to convince myself otherwise.
I am scared sh!tless of dogs. Nope, never been attacked/chased by one, but I have a fear of being attacked. A pet peeve of mine is when dog owners announce (usually to their dog), “Oh, she doesn’t like dogs.” Uhm, actually, it’s not that I don’t like your companion. I’m afraid of him/her. In the past, I didn’t correct dog owners, in fear (of course!) of the owners telling their dogs to attack me, but now I do set the record straight.
Another pet peeve is when dog owners tell me that their pup has never attacked anyone. Well, guess what? There’s always a first time for everything, and with my luck, I’ll be the first one to be attacked by your lovely pet. And, to boot, I’ll be blamed for it: “The dog sensed your fear.”
I realize that my fear imposes inconveniences on friends who are dog owners, and I’m grateful that they are understanding and accommodating. A few years ago, my sister and I were staying with her friend for a few nights. Draker has a 100+ pound rottweiler named Bosco. Poor Bosco was summoned to be outside the house most of the time because I was inside, and when we were both inside, I asked where he was before I entered a different room. At one point, my sister held Bosco a few feet from me, in hopes of building a sense of ease between us. I trusted my sister. I didn’t trust Bosco. During Bosco and I’s staring match, he drooled, and I broke down and cried. True story.
Ex-boyfriends can break my heart and I won’t shed a tear, but a dog that does nothing to me can make me cry uncontrollably.
This past weekend, I made some progress. I met Amy’s (read: Party Animal) four-pound puppy, Missy the Pomeranian, once before, and we met again this past weekend at a party. Missy was the best guest at the party, so well dressed and behaved. So much so that I felt compelled to pet her, and then I scooped her up, nervously though. I could easily do some bicep curls with her in my hand. She was so light and tame. Later, Missy and I bonded while cuddling on the couch. The cutest thing ever. I’m trying to convince Amy to let me have Missy. We’ll see how that goes.
(1) Persevere. Things do get easier. Don’t quit trying (to conquer a fear) and/or stepping out of your comfort zone.
(2) Time. The right place, the right time, and the right people will present themselves in due time.