Thursday, April 30, 2009

"I have Aquaphobia"

A Theme Thursday post

Actually, no I DON'T have Aquaphobia. (sorry, lol!)
But I could very well have developed a fear of water after having experienced two, shall we say, "watery" accidents.
"...getting an anxiety attack when splashed with water..."
What is Aquaphobia anyway? Aquaphobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of water. Not to be confused with "Hydrophobia" (which is also fear of water but in a more I've-been-bitten-by-a-dog kind of way), Aquaphobia is manifested by avoiding activities such as swimming or boating, and may extend to getting an anxiety attack when splashed with water or thrown into a pool.

Wikipedia explains further that Aquaphobia may be "a reaction to a traumatic water experience - a near drowning or other such event."

The first of two events happened in Feb 1999... It was our graduating year in high school, and one of our friends was celebrating her 18th birthday (traditionally called the "Debutante"). It was a formal afternoon party followed by a swimming party. Unfortunately I had a bit of a fever that day and so I decided not to go swimming. After the formal event, I was just lounging around the pool watching some of my friends swim.

"...I found myself flying through the air and down into the deep end..."

While I was standing near the 6-feet deep side of the pool, I suddenly felt a jolt and found myself flying through the air and down into the deep end of the swimming pool. Someone has pushed me in as a prank!!! Mind you, I was all dressed up in my slacks and leather shoes. It was too deep for me I don't even remember reaching the bottom (yep, I'm that short...) and when I finally surfaced, the panic began.

I was trying to scream "Help! I can't swim!" but I couldn't even breathe. I willed myself to reach the side of the pool, thinking "will nobody help me?". I was almost at the side when the debutante herself shouted "He can't swim!" and only then did people help me out of the pool. It must've been only a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity to me. Gasping for air, shivering and coughing, they scampered to get me a towel and a change of clothes.

I only found out later on that everyone thought I could swim.
"Damn it. I need to learn how to swim..." but I didn't. And so when accident #2 came around, I was still grossly unprepared...

READ PART 2 HERE: "If I let go, I'm going to drown!"