Friday, November 07, 2008

Trauma in the Front Room

Do any of you have "irrational" fears? Today I was traumatized, "willingly". I have an uncontrollable fear of needles. To say I detest them is an understatement. I turn my head when one comes on television. The mere thought can bring me to tears.

Today we had an appointment with the nurse for a life insurance company. This is the first time in my 37 years that I have ever had to get weighed, measured, give urine, and, of course, blood. I argued and pleaded when I first found out. "I have never had to do this before. Why now?", I pleaded. You'd think I was the one giving out strange and shocking information. According to them it is standard practice. Why, pray tell, have I never had to have it done before, then? Why has my husband never had it done before? No explanation was known or offered.

So, as I mentioned, today was the day. My eyes are still swollen from crying. It is beyond my control. There is no such thing as mind over matter for me in this case. It doesn't matter how much I, "Try to relax!", as my husband's advice directed. There is nothing I can do; not even pray, and that gets me on another level. Why is it that I cannot cope with something like getting my blood drawn through relying on the strength of Christ? Does this mean that I am a weak Christian? Should I be able to stand in the face of any fear, even an irrational one, with my eyes on Jesus? Do I know him well enough, or am I slacking? Will my ability to deal with frightening situations increase as my relationship with God matures? Or, are there just some things that we never transcend?

You see? The way things are today, and where our world is headed in the keeping of prophecy, I cannot help but wonder. There are plenty of things I could be facing WAY worse than getting my blood drawn. What then? Is that different? I almost feel like I have to ask forgiveness for being such a wimp. Does that seem silly to you, or do you get where my thinking is coming from?

As I mentioned, I am a mere 37 years old. I have seen a lot in my life, and I have faced many challenges. God has carried me through tough times when I didn't even know Him. When the time comes again that I have to face something tremendous, painful, frightening, jaw dropping, will I be able to cope? Honestly, I believe that I will. That is, as long as it does not involve needles. Then I am not so confident.

Over the years I have thought long and hard about what it is that terrifies me so in regard to needles. There is nothing concrete. Therefore, the only conclusion I can draw is the surgeries that I had as a baby. Lord knows I do not remember them, and I am sure thankful. Although, I do have to believe that it left a terrible imprint on my brain. My mother, grandmother, and great aunt have all commented on the fact that I was terrified of the vacuum and other loud noises when I was little. When I asked my mom about it she said that it started after the surgeries. I was never afraid of them before. So, I believe my hypothesis to be true.

A little word of advice. There is nothing you can do when someone has an irrational fear except be supportive. No matter how much you tell them to think of something else, just relax, or get frustrated with them it will not help. You just need to be there and support them. Your frustration with them will only make the fear worse. Thankfully, my husband was there for me today. When he did things that were not helping I told him so, and he just held me after it was done and let me cry. That's all I needed, and it was greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I have several irrational fears, though I argue that they are not irrational. 1) Death - but it is inevitable so it isn't irrational. 2) Blood presssure cuffs - I have learned to breathe through this and now my BP doesn't sky rocket and 3) Needles - only when taking blood, I have tattoos - so I guess this one may be irrational.
Try some deep breathing exercises, I have my husband hold my hand, or bring photos to look at - anything.

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