The fear of heights is the horror of a frozen heart
I had a fear of airplanes even before meeting them. Still not knowing what it was like to fly, I already realized that I was afraid. At the same time, there is a paradox: the height simultaneously attracts and attracts. FEAR.
The helicopter plummeted directly into the Neva. The feeling of a free fall threw the stomach somewhere in the throat, horror paralyzed the will, and the wild animal cry that escaped from the throats of ten passengers filled the small salon with horror. We were falling, there was no doubt. Only one thought flashed in my head as an emergency light: now we are all going to die! After her, a desperate prayer flashed through her mind: "Lord, please, may we land normally - if we don't die, I will never … eat meat again!"
Where the idea of meat came from, I cannot explain to myself for seven years now. The helicopter landed quite safely, because in the next second the pilots, who made such a cruel trick on their idle passengers, leveled the helicopter and gracefully landed it on the field near the Peter and Paul Fortress.
A few seconds of free fall divided life in half. Why did I get into that stupid helicopter - after all, I've been afraid to fly since childhood? I succumbed to the persuasion of a friend who hooked me with his phrase “if you don’t fly, you will regret it all your life later.” As a result, the holiday helicopter ride over St. Petersburg in honor of Victory Day ended for me with a complete rejection of meat. They don't joke with God, especially when your life literally "hangs in the air". And especially if you are afraid of heights to panic.
Skyscrapers, skyscrapers, and I'm so small
I am afraid of heights since early childhood. I don't remember when I first experienced the horror of heights, it seems to me that I was born with it. But for the first time I felt it fully on the day when, about the fifth grade, we jumped with classmates into the pool from the tower. At first there were two weeks of jumping from the side and from a low stand. After the coach found us sufficiently prepared for the jumps, our group climbed up the platform after him and looked down with trepidation. The two-meter height seemed insurmountable, frightening and repulsive, as if we had to jump down from the roof of a skyscraper.
The coach gave final instructions cheerfully.
- Sasha, you go first. Remember to push yourself harder. It is your legs that set the trajectory. When you come off the surface, throw your arms up, they will soften the impact on the water. We jump upside down. Vitya, you are the second. Be careful not to drink water. When you find yourself in the water, immediately change direction, put your hands up and dive out! Katya, as a girl, I allow you to jump as a "soldier" … The main thing is, do not be afraid, push harder and try not to hit the water. Let's go…
I hardly understood what the coach was saying. Somewhere from the depths of the subconscious, a sticky fear of heights emerged. Everyone had already jumped and joyful swam along their paths, and I was still standing on the tower in indecision. When I finally forced myself to take a step into the void, my legs gave way, I did not have time to push off and just fell down like a sack.
If you want to understand the difference between jumping and falling, do a little experiment. Stand on the side of the pool and first jump into the water, pushing off with your feet, and then return to your starting place and just try to fall into the water. In the second case, a distinct sensation of falling into emptiness appears inside - even if the water is only half a meter away from you. This sensation evokes extremely unpleasant emotions: from discomfort to genuine horror. And if you have even the slightest fear of heights, even a split second will seem like an eternity to you.
… All that endless time, while I was falling, from the sensation of flight into the abyss that was tearing me apart, my brain jammed, and nausea instantly came to my throat. In flight, I tried to roll over upside down, but did not have time and instead clumsily flopped into the pool sideways, hitting my face hard against the water. Further I vaguely remember. I only remember that suddenly there was a sudden lack of air, and I tried to inhale the chlorinated water of the pool … I was no longer invited to jump from the tower.
Already becoming an adult, I repeatedly caught myself on similar sensations, being somewhere on the upper floors of skyscrapers or just looking down from the balcony of a high-rise building. The last time an attack of nausea and madness rolled over me on the observation deck of the Minsk State Library - such a huge cube, from the top of which a beautiful view of Minsk opens. However, if you lower your gaze to the foot of the building, the view no longer seems so beautiful … The brain records only one thing: height and danger! Height and danger! HEIGHT AND DANGER! And instantly, from a respectable businesswoman, you turn into a hysterical cluck, who will begin to beat in a panic …
At the same time, there is a paradox: the height, causing horror and insanity, simultaneously attracts and attracts. Otherwise, why the hell would I have been carried to the television towers in Tokyo, Moscow and Berlin, to the observation deck of St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg and St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, to the top floor of the Cosmos Hotel and to the roof of the notorious Minsk Library ?! With manic tenacity, I collected my "climbs", remembering them with a strange mixture of fear and delight.
I remember celebrating my thirtieth birthday on the roof of the tallest building in a small provincial town. Opening the champagne, friends laughed and joked that we were trying on the role of the gods drinking ambrosia on Olympus, and after each glass I had drunk I went to the edge of the roof and looked down.
These "glances" caused dizziness, fits of fear and … a heady injection of adrenaline into the blood. As long as the chilling horror gripped my soul, a creaky plate was spinning in my head an insinuating: "What if I jump?.." in the feeling of one of my friends. Thank God, the height does not have power over everyone!..
"Airplane, airplane, take me on the flight!" - this children's counting rhyme, looking into the sky, was shouted in chorus by all the little ones when a plane flew over our yard. Everyone but me. All I wanted was for the plane to fly by as soon as possible. Alas, I had a fear of airplanes even before meeting them. Still not knowing what it was like to fly, I already realized that I was afraid. Thoughts about altitude caused only horror and panic, although no one frightened me in childhood with horror stories about a plane crash.
The first flight was a real torture, aggravated by the fact that it lasted about 12 hours. I had to go through all the stages of my phobia: from nausea and chilling horror to complete stupor and a state close to fainting. I was sweating, then cold, then pale, then blushed, squeezed and unclenched my sweaty palms and bit my lips, and in the end some kind person took pity and poured me brandy, which eased my torment a little.
Looking out the window from a ten-kilometer height, I tried to overcome my fear, persuading the fear that was sitting inside, like a toothache speaks to small children. However, at the very first uneven movement of the plane, the mind refused to think … About what happened during takeoff and landing, I'd rather keep silent …
After realizing the problem, the question formed in my head: how to deal with fear? Not in the habit of retreating, immediately after returning from the trip, I took decisive action. In my arsenal there were several effective means at once: hypnosis, "wedge by wedge", a book by a well-known American psychotherapist and self-hypnosis. I must say right away that none of them worked.
As it turned out, I did not succumb to hypnosis. And I didn't want to let strangers into my head. I read the book in one breath, but it was clearly not written for people with a Russian mentality. There were too many points in it that, instead of confidence, caused a skeptical laugh. It was often thought that "what is good for an American is death for a Russian."
"Wedge wedge" meant that you need to accustom yourself to the height. But no matter how I tried, I never managed to force myself to even come close to the "bungee" or to the "roller coaster". Well, self-hypnosis for some reason only worked on the ground. As a result, of all the funds, only one remained that worked - strong alcohol.
I don't know how long my liver could have tolerated such a devastating companion. A lucky chance helped me put it in the past. A friend sent a link to the course of lectures "System-vector psychology", accompanied by the postscript "there they help to deal with fears." I could not pass by this opportunity.
Fear has big eyes
Fear cannot be overcome by conventional means, but it can be neutralized. This is possible if you understand where the legs grow from - if fear has legs, of course. What is the root cause? Where does this irrational fear come from? Why does it defy the arguments of reason and the arguments of logic? What is causing this horror? Where does it come from?
After all, I personally felt the fear of heights, airplanes and open space under my feet long before I got on my first flight. Where did it all come from? Nobody scared me, did not tell scary stories about falls, during my childhood the media did not yet relish the details of plane crashes. So why and what exactly was I so desperately afraid of?
It turned out that any fear, including the fear of space, has deep roots. Since the time of the primitive communal system, each person has had his own specific role in the human flock. Someone defended their homes, someone mastered new lands, someone went hunting, someone gave birth to children … Each flock had its own "day watch" - people who looked with all their eyes, looking for signs of danger in the surrounding space …
Vision played a key role in all of this - it was the main skill of the "visual sentinels" and their special function, weapon and means of obtaining information. Their especially sensitive visual sensor determined not only the ability to distinguish many color shades in order to notice the slightest changes on the horizon, but also increased emotionality, the ability to experience the widest range of sensations from contact with the outside world.
The huge emotional amplitude and the inherent inherent in these people the brightest fear of death made the visual guards feel the strongest fear at the sight of the slightest threat. It was thanks to this fear, the smell of which instantly spread to the entire flock, that the tribe received the signal "danger!" and managed to flee.
But in the modern world, the role of the visual vector has become more complicated. Nobody goes to the "patrol" anymore - society no longer needs visual fears. And the ability to experience strong emotions remained. If by nature sensitive and impressionable spectators do not learn to live their emotions in a positive way, then all that remains for them is to be hysterical and afraid, sometimes turning pale, then sweating, then sobbing, then losing consciousness …
The main task of people "with vision" is to learn to notice the feelings of other people, to cultivate, nurture empathy and compassion in themselves, directed outward. When we empathize, we leave no room for fear. He leaves, the entire emotional amplitude is realized in love, where the highest level is love for the world, for people.
Spectators constantly need an emotional charge. It's never enough for us. We either cry or laugh - and it is not the thyroid gland that is naughty, as some pragmatic friends believe, it is an "emotional swing" that sways, demanding more and more new emotions. When such "swinging" occurs in a state of fear, there is an irrational, at first glance, craving for what you are afraid of.
FEAR. Every visual person is born with such an innate "side effect". Fear of heights is another variety, nothing more. Unconscious phobias and fears are something that any trained by Yuri Burlan "System-vector psychology" can cope with. Any.
… Well, except for those who are only happy about spending their next flight in the company with a bottle of duty free whiskey …
Packing my suitcases on my next business trip abroad, I no longer feel painful trepidation, but rather a slight pleasant excitement. I even bought myself binoculars so that I could savor the details of the views from the window …