Seventy-five days of Phobias Day 47 : Nicky Strickland Says Hello Vertigo

TDriving_Final[3] 12.45.14 pmo celebrate the September 1st release of my romantic comedy, Driving in Neutral —a love story about claustrophobia—(now available for pre-order) I’m running the 75 Days of Phobia series. As Olivia, the heroine in Driving in Neutral says to Maxwell the claustrophobe, “Everyone’s afraid of something.”

Today, author Nicky Strickland faces a few fears.

As I read through Sandra’s blogfest, I see many phobias and fears have been brought into the light. Some, I share a healthy respect for whereas others *looks at Sandra* like spiders, well, they are just so misunderstood.

Really. They are.

I’ve thought long and hard on this topic and my realisation is I have more fears than phobias, though there are a couple of arenas if I let it run rampant phobic levels would arise.

Heights would have to be near the top of my list. Though on researching this for the delightful Sandra, I have discovered it’s not heights per se *huzzah* but a fear of looking down or Illyngophobia. Which is a sibling or maybe a cousin to the old acrophobia/height phobia as Illyngophobia is all about the looking down and fretting about vertigo, not being up high. The fact I have peeked (carefully) down from the Empire State Building attests to this but on a bad day, even going up the ladder to change a light bulb can be a challenge (hey, I have high ceilings).grasshopperew

The other wide ranging arena, other than big brown grasshoppers (I couldn’t find them specifically and I have no problems really with other insects), urgh, those back legs *big shudder*. Sandra those memes about the house on fire for a spider, yeah, that’s me with big, brown grasshoppers (the cute little green and even fine, brown are fine but the biggies…*more shuddering*).

*shudders again* anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Icky things.

I would like to say I have a Very Healthy Respect not phobia of…….birds. Life has taught me to fear birds multiple times. The main offenders – a magpie, a chicken, some geese and an emu. They have at various times in my life caused me pain and fear.

Now, I am wary of all birds. You never know what they are thinking. Though I do love watching galahs from afar.

gallahSorry, was distracted by cute galahs. Where was I? Oh, childhood trauma.

When I was little we visited an animal park. With emus. Big birds are emus.emu-1When you are small, say 7, they are huge. And then they try to come up to you and talk to you like this

Suffice to say, I have avoided emus ever since.

Next case. One is minding one’s own business and a magpie swoops and draws blood. Sure, it was just doing what it does, but ow. In Australia this is common but it doesn’t lessen the fear of “swooping season”. I still avoid magpiewalking in parks during this time (aka spring).

It continues. We go on a family holiday to New Zealand and the main thing I remember is being chased by geese….. Again with the childhood trauma.

If that wasn’t enough I had a good surge of fear run up and down my spine when bogged down in my gumboots when helping a friend collect eggs from her chickens… the rooster and a few chickens were in a mood that day.  I have avoided chickens ever since.bootsinmud Yes, my “healthy respect” for birds, fine, fear is almost heading towards a case of Ornithophobia – a fear of birds. Yet…

I have watched (more than once) The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock.

Go figure.

Nicky Strickland is a Brisbane-based storyteller who plays in worlds where the fantastical is part of our own. Ever since she could work out what the squiggles mean on paper, Nicky has been an avid, omnivorous reader. Calligraphy and pursuing a career in libraries further allow time spent with words, letters, stories and knowledge while coffee sustains these pursuits.

Find out more about Nicky www.lunaquirks.wordpress.com
Twitter: @nickystrickland