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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008 edited
     (871.1)
    So a little while ago I decided to bite the bullet and watch the first two Hellraiser movies and a couple of the Nightmare On Elm St. movies. Preparing to face these movies was pretty scary to me because as a young girl I was scared shitless of the posters of these movies and of what people told me about it. My imagination brewed imagery of horrible, realistic mutilations of innocents. This elaborate and horrible movie played in my head and left me quite terrified. So fearing that the movie would match what my imagination had wrought, I avoided them. So now, in my early twenties and in the film business (and thus with better knowledge of the special effect limitations of the age of the movies in question) I decided to check them out.

    And I laughed my ass off at every one of them. I laughed at Johnny Depp's haircut, I laughed at how good Hellraiser COULD have been but wasn't, I laughed at the plastic body parts and insane amounts of fake blood, and I laughed at how stupid all of those teenagers were. And then I felt really really silly for being scared of those movies for so long.

    Anyone else have a similar experience? Doesn't have to be with movies, just anything you used to be afraid of and have conquered and maybe even feel silly about being afraid of it in the first place.
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      CommentAuthorGypsy
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008 edited
     (871.2)
    Coming across as being "stupid" in front of someone I respect because I am the red-headed step-child when it comes to social situations. So, to combat this situation and build my self confidence, I'm thrusting myself into social type situations that will either kill me, build up a few calluses...or, as is my hope, cure me.
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      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.3)
    I've had a compulsion to avoid harming people, or preventing situations that could endanger them, for a while now. That sounds innocent enough, but having been a violent kid, as an adult I still see myself as a threat to others- not just physically, but psychologically as well.

    For a while, my sobriety was unconditional and absolut<strike> e </strike>(heh!). Recently, under close supervision, I've allowed myself to have half a glass of wine with meals in restaurants. I'm not that fond of wine, but CA is certainly the place to learn about it and at least find an appreciation for it. I've enjoyed reading about it more than tasting it.

    I still can't bring myself to be in close proximity of people. I'd rather there be an empty seat between us, or a table, or several feet of empty floor. I'd rather not have something unfortunate happen.

    There was a time I could break a stranger's nose and not think anything of it. Now I wonder about my self-control, and question whether anyone is safe around me at all.

    It isn't a childhood fear, but I suppose it stems from childhood. When I was a kid, I figured I wouldn't live long enough to buy cigarettes legally.

    - Z
  1.  (871.4)
    I've always been terrified of wasps. The presence of a wasp would, once upon a time, reduce me to flailing around and screeching like a toddler. I remember one time I threw myself out of a punt and into the River Cam in order to escape a winged assassin that had taken an unfortunate shine to me.

    I finally got sick of making a screaming tit out of myself and told myself I wouldn't panic when confronted with a stripy flying death machine and strangely enough forcing myself to remain calm was all it took to break me out of the phobia entirely. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the little bastards but I can deal with them without creating a public disturbance.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.5)
    I'm going to change the title of this thread to just "Conquering Your Fears".
  2.  (871.6)
    Fake blood is sooo much fun to work with and make, but getting it out is a pain in the ass.

    Anyhow, when I was little my mom forbid me to see any of the aliens movies because they were "too scary", which meant, of course, that she was terrified of them. Finally saw them in 8th grade when a friend borrowed them from his uncle, didn't find them scary at all.

    The fear I conquered however was swimming. Due to bad attempts at teaching, involving half-drowning me, and several incidents where I nearly did drown, for most of my life I was afraid of large bodies of water; afraid of drowning. After a while I decided I'd had enough, signed up for swimming lessons, and slowly and surely learned. I'm not a great swimmer, but I know I can do it, now, and I can enjoy the beach much more.
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      CommentAuthorGreg SBB!
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.7)
    I saw the first Childs Play movie a few years ago for the first time and couldn't believe the crazy amount of media hooha back in the day about an incredibly stupid, funny and ridiculous film about a doll possessed by a murder.

    I mean, it's about a possessed *doll* ffs.
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      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.8)
    but psychologically as well.
    - Z

    My psychological effect on people is something I probably think way too much about. I have always been amazed at peoples reaction to me I'm not a very big person but I am tall and have reasonable good focus, I think this tends to intimidate people and have found by intentionally asking people things but giving as little away as I can regarding what I want from them, I can confuse them immensely.

    My fear was actually pubs/bars when I came of age I was an uber geek and any group of more then 3 people tended to make me withdraw into myself, going into a pub was out of the question, so, I became a barman to overcome it, now I have no trouble with these situations and I'm as sharp as only a barman can be.
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      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.9)
    @Doc Ocassi

    That sounds like a good solution, except that I'm a violent alcoholic. I question whether I'd have enough self-control to frequent bars on a regular basis without supervision.

    People's reaction to me seems to be that they can and will tell me everything and anything. I have no idea why that is. I'm terrible about making eye contact, mumble too much, and tend to get preoccupied with things like shredding napkins into strips, or playing with drink straws.

    Mind you, I'd never repeat the things I hear. Everyone has a moment of weakness or mental exhaustion where they just have to have some sort of emesis. I just have no idea how I ended up holding the bucket.

    - Z
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      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.10)
    @Z

    I wasn't meant as a solution, our situations are/were quite different and I would say that barwork would not be a good idea for someone in your situation. I have never really been someone that people open up to, I kinda feel that I'm missing out, but I do tend to to tell people to "Stop being so bloody stupid," or "Well, you really have no-one to blame but yourself," and the like, I guess it doesn't endear people to open up to me.

    I liked your self-awareness in your first post, it really got me thinking. It also reminded me of a good friend of mine, who, though never an alcoholic, was violent and worries about the same kind of things you do.
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      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.11)
    @Doc Ocassi

    I've never thought of myself as the sort of person people would -or should- confide in. You're not missing out, it can be a lot to carry around and keep straight- who told you what one night at 2am, depressed and bawling their eyes out, and who was the one who admitted falling off the wagon. You sometimes wake in the morning after four hours of sleep, having talked someone down 'til you could hear the sound of their breathing as they fell asleep, only to have lunch with them five hours later and act as if none of it ever happened.

    Telling people what they <em>need</em> to hear isn't always what they <em>want</em> to hear. Sometimes you do have to to tell them to get a grip. But in a lot of cases you have to look at context, and who's whispering in that person's ear. Someone else may have a grip on them already.

    My trouble is, I never know if what I tell them is the right thing or the thing they 'need' to hear. Sometimes I wonder, when I'm prying loose the fingers on someone's brain, whether or not that grip is the only thing keeping them sane and under control. One of these days I'm going to say or do the wrong thing and really fuck someone up.

    That is terrifying.

    And people wonder why I don't leave the house.

    - Z
  3.  (871.12)
    Zombie movies scared the sweet crap out of me as a kid. I had some early deaths in my family and by the time I was 6 I'd seen more people I loved in coffins than any kids should. Zombies always felt personal to me. Like it was violating the memory of my Dad or Uncle or Aunt. Also, actually seeing a corpse then imagining their eyes snapping open and it coming up, lurching at you...

    I avoided the Romero movies, even when all my friends were getting into them in high school. Finally in college a girlfriend wanted to watch Dawn of the Dead. It was early in the relationship and I didn't want to look craven. Yet anyway.

    I laughed so hard I thought I would break something. Tom Savini getting ripped to pieces? The Hari-Krishna zombie? It was a comedy with gorey bits. Zombies weren't scary, they were just silly things lumbering about. The only frightening part was how the people behaved, but that's always the case. Fear, Conquered.
    • CommentAuthorvg
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.13)
    I burned my hand pretty badly when I was a kid, and had a terrible fear of fire afterwards, and my fingers or other body parts falling off. Both of them were pretty ridiculous things to be scared of --- I got burned off hot water, for one thing, not fire; and they managed to get my hand working again just fine --- and knowing that it was dumb sort of made it better, I guess. Eventually you wake up and realized that you've gotten over it, whatever it was, and you're not really scared anymore.

    For me, it wasn't so much conquering fear as it was just dismissing it. I don't know if that's the way you want to go about it, but it worked just fine for me.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.14)
    I am such a roller coaster wimp, but my girlfriend loves the things. You see my problem. But I went on a few at Disney World, and actually wasn't too bothered. It was a strange experience - not an exultant "I have beaten my fear!" moment as a period of questioning - was I actually afraid of the things, or was it a fear of doing something new? Got me thinking about a lot of things.
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      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2008
     (871.15)
    most horror movies from 10 years ago or more end up looking stupid-- usually because of the effects, sometimes because of subject matter that was trendy back then but isn't now (I tfeel that way about teen "urban legend" movies, for instance). "Hellraiser" was based on a fantastic novel and was scary when it came out. if they remade it today, it'd have all kinds of overblown CGI, quick-cuts, static and other trendy touches which in themselves will look stupid in 20 years. the only movie I know of that seems to hold up over time is Poltergeist. I won't say it still scares the crap out of me, but I don't watch it too close to bedtime. (which, to address the larger topic, is how I conquer my fears-- by working around them.)
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      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008 edited
     (871.16)
    @olivertwisted:
    I too had a deep fear of wasps - and bees - after several nasty stings as a kid. This was cured by taken to see the release of The Swarm (without my knowing the film!) by a schoolfriend.
    The film was so utterly shit that I laughed away the phobia. Really.
    Though I still don't *like* wasps, I don't freeze near them or panic. I can happily let bees play around me, up to and including a whole migrating hive in my neighbours back garden.

    In general... remember the Litany Against Fear from Dune? That'll work in pretty much any situation where you have the opportunity to recite it a couple of times.

    Thanks to Robin LeBlanc for opening this thread. Important stuff to discuss.
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      CommentAuthorMiss
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
     (871.17)
    As a kid I was carried out of E.T. howling blue murder and still can't look at it (though am probably not missing out on much, methinks) without the hyperventilation and panic kicking in, then the follow-up nightmares for a couple of weeks. There have been a few failed attempts over the years to fix this (mostly just because it's ridiculous to be terrified of a fictional bug-eyed waddling turd) but it's never been top priority. Honestly, I feel lucky that my one phobia is so very specific and can be avoided rather easily. Plus it's so stupid.
    Blah, thinking about it gives me the willies.

    Moths spook me also, enough to bring forth a yelp, but I can put up with them as long as they don't run into me and put their little scales everywhere. If they hang around I'll give them names and create a moth soap opera, or get them to do some Brecht. For some reason this makes me feel more comfortable with them and we all get along quite well. Whatever works, right?

    I guess my Automatic Assumptions may count in this department, as they would be stemming from icky nebulous fears, but that is a post-coffee matter, and they aren't anywhere near conquered, and enough outta me already.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
     (871.18)
    In general... remember the Litany Against Fear from Dune? That'll work in pretty much any situation where you have the opportunity to recite it a couple of times

    Isn't it weird how well that works? I think it's the repetition and the effort of remembering it all that helps more than anything, but still.
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      CommentAuthormuse hick
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2008
     (871.19)
    i faced my biggest fear last year and watched two hugh grant movies i had avoided for an age -- four weddings and a funeral and notting hill. i still loathe the guy. i always worried that people would take him as a representative of the UK; being out here and hearing that little turd's name every time i open my mouth my fears were somewhat confirmed. when being compared to ron out of harry potter seems marginally better you know you're in a bad place.
  4.  (871.20)
    @Artemis:
    Absolutely, the act of repetition etc. is going to be helpful in dealing with fear - but I actually think that the Litany has become a kind of spell in itself... or Herbert knew a little more about NLP and cognitive therapies than he should have, considering when it was written!

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