Seventy-five Days of Phobias Day 17: J’aimee Brooker Smiles At Danger…Almost’s  J’aimee Brooker has something in common with claustrophobic Maxwell, the hero in Driving in Neutral. Or, rather, she used to.

When it comes to phobias, I’ve tried to overcome any that pop up and threaten to expose my many and varied nuances. So far, I’ve done all right, knocked a few phobias on the head and become that much freer for doing so. My journey to overcome a few phobias kicked off about ten years ago, here’s a somewhat sketchy overview…

Acrophobia… ah yes, the good old fear of heights. Hubby took me to the Sky Tower in Auckland and did his best to encourage me onto the glass viewing decks. The viewing decks that give you a bird’s eye view of exactly how far you will potentially plunge to your death, truly, it was nightmare-evoking. His encouragement to ‘help’ me ‘get over it’ was fine, until he casually slipped one arm across my shoulders and began hip-shuffling me toward the dreaded glass deck. Have no fear, fellow-phobes, I delivered one short sharp kick to the shins and beat a path for the elevator back to solid ground. Fast forward six years and add three kids and an upcoming trip to Disneyland to the equation and I decided it was overcome my fear. What better way to overcome a fear of heights than to join a group of strangers who cared nothing for my acrophobia and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Once you’re up there, you’re up there—no turning back, no rocking in the foetal position, nothing, nil, nada. Get on your feet and climb. After experiencing the death-defying views from 134m above sea level, overlooking six lanes of traffic, and watching a mini-tornado (tornado in Australia I hear you saying, surely not—well it happened) and drenching rain come across while standing at the top. No problems. Done & phobia gone!

Aerophobia & claustrophobia – scared not only of dying a fiery aviation death but also being confined inside a 100 tonne, metal flying machine. I know, lets book a 24hr Brisbane to Rome flight in cattle class. Got there & back in one piece, phobias overcome (though to be honest, vodka and valium played a big part then and most likely will again)

Aichmophobia – Needle phobia – Well, overcoming this was less of a choice than a requirement. Having a car hit you and break both legs = needles daily, sometimes four or five in a day. Lets just say after 11 years and plenty of surgeries, I could happily trade my day job and be a pathologist myself.

So far this has sounded pretty positive, right?

Well, there is one phobia I can’t overcome… Let me set the scene and see if you can guess…

There’s a man (well for me anyway), he’s wearing a white jacket (and he looks might fine but in the spirit of transparency, I should confess my dentist is a statuesque beautiful Brazilian man who could easily adorn the cover of any romance novel), and I’m watching as he comes toward me, one hand holding a needle big enough that it could easily be used to tranquilize an elephant and in the other hand he’s revving a drill…

Now clearly I took a little creative license in setting that scene, but you get what I mean. The dreaded dentophobia or fear of the

Now, this is a long-held phobia. As a kid, it was always the needle, the drill, the ripping of teeth from my precious gums. As an adult, it’s still all these things plus now I have to pay for this?! What kind of messed up logic is that?!

Try as I might to overcome my fear, (I mean surely choosing the hottest dentist in the southern hemisphere should be reason enough to look forward to visiting the dentist) I cannot get past the fear and probably never will. Suggestions anyone??

J’aimee Brooker publishes the hot new website, which celebrates the Australian Romance literature community which aims to draw attention to the achievements and acclaim of Australian writers. The key goal is to showcase the published Australian romance industry to readers worldwide. Readers, writers, and spectators are all welcome!






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