Author Topic: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal  (Read 3425 times)

Offline dbeechum

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That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:46:29 PM »
So yesterday I was getting my roof repaired ahead of the impending rains and got up on the roof to explore what was happening when suddenly I get hit with my old fear of heights. Now this is something I thought I'd successfully conquered years ago, but there I was brain locked and unable to move with my brain convinced that any movement meant coming down the hard way and with no successful scenarios for navigating the ladder.

The guy working on the roof successfully talked me down over the course of a couple of minutes and got me safely to the ladder.

It's been awhile since I've had a moment like that and man does it leave you shaken. Fortunately, I'm in one piece and annoyed. (Ironic that I have no problems skydiving...)

What's the thing that can freeze you and/or when's the last time you got hit by that "Crap, I could die" moment?
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Offline beersk

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 03:54:11 PM »
I don't have a fear of heights, but a fear of falling from heights.  I don't know why, but I guess that's always been one of mine.  I don't like standing near railings or anything, ESPECIALLY when people are around.  I just have this fear that someone is going to come up behind me and throw me over the edge.

I also don't like deep and dark water where you can't see below the surface.  Freaks me out for some reason.

And, they don't make me freeze up but they make me cringe and shiver: spiders and centipedes.  <shivers>
die Schönheit der bier...

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Offline dbeechum

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 04:06:51 PM »
Yeah, my fear of heights is definitely a fear of falling and even then it's not the falling as the sudden deceleration event that seems to terminate most falling incidents. :)
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Offline bluesman

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 04:13:41 PM »
I had a similiar feeling while inspecting a three story townhouse roof that had some black ice patches one spring morning. I laid on the roof for about 10min before I slowly and safely made my decent back down the ladder to earth. It was truly a spiritual experience.  ;)
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Offline punatic

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 04:18:29 PM »
The time I was snorkeling at Honaunau and a 10' tiger shark came cruising up out of the deep blue.  I exited the water in an area by the heiau that I would never had considered climbing out at previously.  That part of the ocean is my favorite snorkling/diving spot in the world, but I still get butterflies in my stomach when I look out into the deep blue there - years later.

Climbing/heights don't bother me. 
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Offline tom

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 04:24:57 PM »
My wife has the same fear of heights.  It has gradually lessened, but still kicks in randomly.
We went out on a viewing platform at the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise, not knowing that we crossed a walking bridge to get there.  It took a while to get back.
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Offline beersk

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 04:48:27 PM »
I don't know what caused my fear of heights because I used to climb trees all the time when I was a kid.  Me and my friends would climb up probably a hundred feet sometimes too...I never fell or slipped.  Must've just been born out of fear.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 04:54:54 PM »
I can relate. I have no problems rock climbing, sky diving, walking on very sketchy trails on the edge of a canyon. But for some reason, put me on a man-made structure even with a railing and I'm not very comfortable at all.

I'm pretty sure sharks can get into swimming pools if the lights aren't on too.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 05:01:34 PM by Pinski »
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Offline denny

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 04:58:17 PM »
I had the same feeling as you had, Drew, back in the early 80s in my rock'n'roll tour days.  I was a drum roadie officially, but found that I could make an extra hundred or 2 a day by hanging rigging points.  We were touring Canada and playing a lot of hockey rinks.  I'd slide out along an I beam at the top of the arena to hang points.  One day as I was on my way out I suddenly thought "I could die doing this".  I freaked out and it took me 45 min. to inch my way back.  My palms are sweating as I type this just thinking about it!  Since then, standing on a chair is about as far off the ground as I care to be.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 05:00:53 PM »
I have done a ton of work on roofs over the years but there was a time frame where I could not get myself to climb a ladder.  I would just freeze for no apparent reason.  Nothing happened that should have triggered it and I could, sooner or later, shame myself into going up to clean the gutters (or whatever) but I was truly terrified to climb the ladder.  It went away just like it had arrived with no warning or explanation.  I just hope it never comes back.

My Mom told me that Dad had gone through the same thing when I was younger.  We both just filed it under "strange psychosis we shared".

A more life threatening situation was a 3 year period where I could not sweat.  When working outside in the summer I had to soak my clothes with a garden house or I would overheat and start to pass out.  That was no fun.  No explanation for that one either.

I still hate small spaces and roaches.  /shivers while typing the words/  You're not alone in strange phobias that come and go.

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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2012, 05:13:13 PM »
I conquered my fear of heights(and falling) with my first oilfield job.  Several times I volunteered to be hoisted 140' in the air to the top of the drilling rig to untangles lines.  After the third or fourth time it no longer bothered me.
My brush with mortality came when I hit a patch of black ice while going about 60 in my Bronco II.  After the third revolution I was off the road into the ditch but the truck didn't roll and I came right back onto the highway still going the right direction.  Luckily I was on my way home from work since I almost had to change my pants.  By the time I got home 3 tires were going flat from mesquite thorns but I was luckier than the Explorer sitting on its roof a few miles down the road.
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Offline euge

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2012, 06:06:59 PM »
Whew! I feel ya Drew! A fear is healthy; a phobia is usually unreasonable and unhealthy for the individual. I know people who cannot drive over overpasses or bridges.

I don't like ladders. My brother broke his back when a scaffolding collapsed and dropped him 3 stories onto his feet. One can get used to heights but something about tall buildings freak me the F out! I couldn't go to the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas- just to the mall level. Years later figured out what was unnerving me so: it was the building swaying slightly and my equilibrium was picking it up! But there's nothing like standing next to the edge of a drop- be it on a cliff, building, bridge or otherwise you can feel that gravity threatening to suck you right over the edge!

And I see very little merit in jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, base jumping, bungee jumping or free climbing. The margin for error is narrow and unforgiving. :-[

A big wind blew a neighbor's window screen up on the street-facing side of my roof last year. It laid up there for six weeks at least until I got the nerve up to go get it. And this was only after I had accidentally flung an entire 25' orange extension cord up on the roof while trying to fish the screen off with it. :D

So embarrassment overrode the fear. ::)
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Offline tonyp

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 06:23:16 PM »
I'm scared of no man, ok maybe chuck norris, but spider and other bugs make me scream and run like a little girl.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 07:01:08 PM »
guaranteed to send a chill down my spine

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Offline darvyle

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Re: That Moment of Feeling Terrifyingly Mortal
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 07:19:31 PM »
My biggest fear is running out of home brew and having nothing else to drink.  The sudden stop from falling is a close second :)