I'm embarrassed to admit that I am afraid of something the size of my fingernail. Terrified, really.
It's a phobia I've had since the day I was stung at recess during First Grade. I was spinning around on the playground when I inadvertently smacked a bee and it stung me. I became hysterical and the principal had to call my mom. So traumatic was the incident it stayed with me my whole life.
On our honeymoon, Don and I were walking back to our room from the tennis courts when a bee got caught in my hair. I became a screaming banshee, throwing my racket across the road. That was when Don found out about my phobia.
When we had children he made me promise I would not show fear around bees because he didn't want the kids to be afraid of them too. Sometimes I was brave, sometimes I wasn't.
Give me a snake, a spider, a mouse...just not a bee.
The most difficult test of my courage came when I was a librarian. Every spring, bees the size of tarantulas came out of the ceiling and flew around the library. I had to be brave because students came into the library all day, and I was the adult. They would scream, and I would tell them to just ignore the creature and it would leave them alone.
I was talking to Katherine about this last night. She had just learned about phobias in one of her classes. Her advice was to gradually expose myself to bees by first looking at pictures then sitting outside where they are flying around.
It's not the sight of bees that scares me. It's the sound they make. If I put my ear buds in and listen to music while I'm outside, bees can fly around me and I won't flinch. When I hear the buzz,I go into fight or flight mode, and it's usually flight.