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Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Phobia

Way back in the mid 70s I made the mistake of reading a Peter Benchley book called Jaws. This was further compounded by being taken to the movie version of the book on my first official one on one time date by my hubby. I think I have mentioned that in older posts.

Even before reading the book and seeing the movie, I had a fear of sharks. I have never been comfortable swimming in the ocean or even a river because of that fear. Bull sharks which quite often frequent river systems are even more aggressive than Great Whites.

Now I know the chances of being bitten by a shark are infinitesimal, but it doesn't stop my phobia.

When we were on holidays we went swimming in the ocean, well really it is a very shallow, protected bay, but still salt water and still part of the greater Indian Ocean. The whole time I looked for sharks. Here I was trying to enjoy myself with my hubby, eldest grand-daughter and son in law, and all I could think of was sharks. There might be sharks. Every little bit of seaweed that wafted past my legs or feet caused me panic. My hubby pointed out little baby fish swimming around us, then some slightly larger whiting. My thoughts - oh oh, sharks eat fish.

How the hell do I get over this? It drives me insane. I am a grown woman, I know the odds (which I said are so small) and yet my adrenaline is on overtime the whole time I am in the water. Pitiful really.


  1. I was swimming at my local beach when I was a kid, just minding my own business, swimming out to the end of the jetty, when a fin came out of the water right next to me and I felt something touch my leg. I totally freaked out and scrambled up onto the closest jetty pylon, where I sat trembling for the next 30 minutes while the local teen boys taunted me, calling me a mermaid. I dared them to get in the water but they wouldn't. Funnily enough, I'm still not scared of sharks, although in hindsight it was probably more likely to be a dolphin anyway!


  2. OMG Kelly - I think I would have died of fright. Good on you for not having a phobia - makes mine seem even more weird, but I just can't relax in the ocean.

  3. I am no fan of sharks, but not phobic either. I am phobic about rodents and have tried to get myself treated. It didn't work. But I hear that you CAN get phobias fixed, with hypnotherapy etc?

  4. So now would be the wrong time to mention the shark sightings last week in Port Philip BAY here in Melbourne?

    Thought so.

    Sorry!! ;P

    I think your fear is real, but the extent of it has maybe progressed to phobia. But not dysfunctionally so, as you were still able to get in the water. If it affected your life terribly, you'd have been physically unable to touch the water, or probably been unable to watch your family do so. I wouldn't worry too much, it's a healthy 'preservation of self' behaviour to an extent!

  5. I've just given you the Beautiful Blogger award. : ) xx

    PS. I have the same irrational fear of driving. I hate it but its there.

  6. Du nuh, du nuh, du nuh, du nuh, du nuh, du nuh, du nuh...

  7. Well sharks DO eat small fish! lol. Maybe only swim at protected beaches.

    I love the ocean and would rather get eaten swimming then miss out. It's all about priorities... :oD haha.

  8. Not sure it would be a good idea to have a phobia of sharks cured 'cos there would still be sharks out there. I have never enjoyed the beach...too much sand, sun, surf, salt and maybe sharks.
    Used to swim in the Swan River when it was clean and Mandurah Estuary over many years. Never sure about public swimming pools; the chlorine gets to me after a while.



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