Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why I'm Afraid of Tidal Waves

Cymophobia is an abnormal fear of waves, sea swells and other wave-like motions. [...] Tsunamis, big waves, traumatic childhood experiences in the beach, waves hitting cliffs or rocky regions, tidal waves, floods, wave pools and river waves can easily trigger cymophobia. The fear of waves can be treated. It may require hypnosis, psychotherapy or even acupuncture. Cymophobia forces patients to live far away from the oceans, rivers and lakes. The symptoms of cymophobia are vertigo, dizziness, headaches, feelings of nausea.

I can recognize my worst phobias by how they affect my subconscious mind.  If I dream about something in a negative way, I know it must truly be a real fear.

Tidal waves are one of those fears that have come back to me in dreams, time and time again.  I have no idea why.  I don't know where it comes from.  But more times than I care to remember, I have awakened from a deep sleep, sweat-drenched and breathing hard, and the last thing I remember from my dreaming world was unstoppable wall of water rushing toward me...

This picture has always terrified me. Just looking at it gives me a horrible sense of vertigo and a deep feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I can't imagine being trapped in a confined space like that, completely at the mercy of the endless, encroaching and enraged ocean. And the dude in the picture looks so nonchalant! Does he not see the looming maelstrom of death right behind him?? Poor bastard...

The fear may stem from stories I heard as a child, growing up in Newfoundland. Though I never experienced a real tsunami, there were stories of some pretty bad ones when my parents and grandparents were kids. Storms that destroyed all the boats in the harbour (a pretty serious disaster in a maritime fishing village), or that washed away graveyards, so that caskets and bodies washed ashore for weeks afterward (hmm... maybe that's where it started...).

Most people scare their kids with stories of make-believe boogeymen. We had REAL things to be scared of, and that would strike us whether we were behaved or not..


  1. I often dream I am in water and it is quite wavy or it is coming inshore. I love water though and have no fear but if I saw the water recede, I would not think twice about running in the other direction and heading for the tallest building

    1. Yeah, that's usually the moment in my dream that I'm hit with that nauseating, vertigo-like feeling...

  2. Go put the finishing touches on your book.

    1. In retrospect, committing to blogging like this every day was not the best way to get my book ready for publishing.


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