|The cover of this book stresses|
It is a very specific phobia. I am afraid a whale will crush me. This means the phobia is limited to the really big whales - like, blue, grey, humpback. I am fine with dolphins, orcas, narwals, and belugas. I can't walk under a big whale skeleton. Museums always love to hang them on their ceilings, what is with that? And being on a boat whale watching is scary.
Before our trip to Iceland last year, I decided I was going to overcome this fear and go whale watching. I started doing cognitive behaviour therapy and systematic desensitization on myself (thank you education). Then my nightmare came true for a Canadian woman in Mexico. She was in a zodiac, the whale breached and it landed on her and killed her. You can read about this story Here. My fear was realized! At that point I was sure I would never whale watch.
When we arrived in Iceland, I had no plans on going whale watching, even though I knew it was something my husband would enjoy. As we drove around the island, we kept seeing brochures for it and heard people talking about it. The night before I entered my new decade I decided, let's try this. My only conditions were that we went in a ship and not a zodiac (one can get way to close in those little boats), and that I wouldn't take the pictures (that is usually my job). A couple days later I found myself on a ship, heading out to watch whales.
|By the ship we went on|
I was eventually able to look. I got through it. I didn't like it, but I did it.
After this trip we went to the whale museum. I enjoyed the part about how they hunted whales (it is the one species I would love to see disappear), and then we got to the skeletons on the ceiling. I didn't have the strength to physically walk under them. It was just too much.
While I remain phobic of whales, I am happy I made myself do this. It is a good example of how sometimes we just have to do things we are terrified and it doesn't usually kill us (even if in the moment it feels like it may).
|The hump of our humpback|