Thursday, April 20, 2006

Epiphanies - Swing Phobia

For years now I have tried to figure out why I am afraid of swings. Yes, I mean the swing sets at playgrounds that all children love. I first started to really notice this problem during my summers working as a camp counselor. (Although, perhaps I could have picked up a bit more on the fact that while I would always ride any roller coaster in any given amusement park, I was deathly afraid of the “Yo-Yo.” That was that circular thing that went round and round with all the seats attached to it by chains. It was terrifying to behold. It looked like everyone was going to fly into one another! Oh the ridicule I endured from my high school friends...) My campers loved to swing, but they had to pretty much beg and bribe to get me to take part in pushing them, and even then it lasted about 2 minutes before I had to invent an excuse to move away. I did admit my fear to one camper because he was so persistent that I ran out of excuses. He teased me mercilessly. He was 8. I don’t know, but seeing the kids swinging next to other kids made me feel absolutely ill. I was convinced that the kid beside them was going to start twisting around in his swing or going from side to side and bang into my happy little camper. Why?

Hubby and I have been trying to figure this out for years. Had I fallen off of a swing? Did I tip one over? But I knew that didn’t matter. I’m not afraid of falling off or tipping over. I am afraid of the people beside me, and now I am afraid of the people, the BABIES, beside my son, because you never know when some mom might just go for a CRAZY push and fling her child completely off kilter, ramming that 6 month old drooler into Sam.

As I left the park today I called my parents to chat for the walk home. My Dad answered and asked how our afternoon at the park was. I explained that it had been cut a little short because Sam and I ended up between 2 other kids on the swings so I’d had to excuse us (I was actually pretty proud of the several minutes I toughed it out.) And I’ll be damned if he didn’t say, “Well yeah, you can’t stay there then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well I would never swing next to anybody. They might get out of line and swing into me.”


Blogger Chickeyld said...

It's all about control, isn't it? I totally get it - you're not alone. Besides - with a beautiful day like it ws in Chicago today, who cares? Go out and enjoy the weather!

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am the there a name ofr this?

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a BIG FUCKING PHONEY! NO WAY IN HELL YOU'RE AFRAID OF SWINGS! I am and I would NEVER EVER be able to look at photos of swings, let alone post them in a blog along with the words "swing phobia". Your blog is torture for those of us who googled for a cure. I hope pedophiles masturbate to your kid's pix and that he/she gets kidnapped by one at the park. Now that's karma!

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a jerk. don't pay attention to that guy. Don't worry. Many people are afraid of getting hurt.

7:30 PM  
Blogger ek-aani said...

I have a different sort of problem with being on a swing, it's because of the fact that my feet have to lift OFF the ground. As a kid, I would stay as close to the ground as possible, even now it's torture. I guess it's something to do with the 'ground beneath my feet' shifting! Same goes for escalators and waves! :-(

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im on the same page as you but after years of trying to figure it out, i do think its a control thing. i also have panic attacks when i see people playing basketball, or a child bouncing a bouncy ball in the house, or balloons flopping around in the wind. just typing it out makes my heart hurt really really bad!

10:30 PM  
Anonymous originally_isan said...

Wow- mines a little different..Its not just swings for me... Its curtains blowing in the wind (or from fans), wind chimes, kids celing mobiles, balloons floating/flopping around freely in the wind. Freely swinging xmas/party decorations. My heart is starting to pound just thinking about it. Its definately GOT to be a control thing..

1:39 AM  
Anonymous originally_insane said...

Wow- mines a little different..Its not just swings for me... Its curtains blowing in the wind (or from fans), wind chimes, kids celing mobiles, balloons floating/flopping around freely in the wind. Freely swinging xmas/party decorations. My heart is starting to pound just thinking about it. Its definately GOT to be a control thing..

1:40 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I have never imaged that you are afraid of swing sets. Look the smile of child on swing set in pic. That is sweet moment.


10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been afraid of anything that swings, curtains blowing, windmills, and most anything that hangs free, since I was a small child. It has gotten more tolerable since I've gotten older, though if my nerves are shot or I'm not feeling well it tends to be worse again. I had no idea there were other people with this fear. I have never even been able to find a name for it. I'm glad to know there are others like me. Thank you.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES, I know how you feel - I am totally afraid of swings!!!! I'm 31 years old and I am terribly afraid of being around swings. I can't remember ever falling off a swing or anything scary about swings in my childhood. I avoid playgrounds. When I used to babysit and I'd have to take kids to the park I would play with them on the slides but couldn't push them on the swings. Being around swings gives me panic attacks. I can't stand the idea of something swinging back and forth, or the sound that swings make. Its completely irrational. I've tried to tell myself there is nothing wrong, but my body just has this fight or flight response that pumps adrenaline through my body and makes me feel like something terrible is about to happen. I have no idea why swings cause this reaction in me. Panic attacks do run in my family, so I think its a genetic thing. My mom and my sister get them really bad. But in their cases, their panic attacks are not triggered by any specific external objects, like mine are. It is somewhat comforting to know that I am not the only person who suffers from this strange affliction. Most people just think I'm crazy or over reacting. I wish I could find a way to get over it.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know how u feel and any1 who sais ur a phoney is wrong... I can look at pics of swings n not freak out... Theres diff types of swing phobias...and the person tht said the pedophile thing is really rude n wrong

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cow. I thought I was the only one! It's gotten better for me now, but there are NO pendant lamps in my house and I cannot go to the fair for fear of the "Sea Dragon" ride, which is a ridiculously large swing. Also, all of our clocks are digital.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've suffered with this silly phobia all my life! As a kid I would just scream at swings! Nowadays I just panic and start crying, I can't go near swings! Even things that blow in the wind, like clothes on the washing line, balloons, parasols, and anything that sways like boats! It's terrible! Definitely a mind over matter thing!

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here! My story is EXACTLY the same - I hate the idea of hitting the person next to you, my stomach always turns and I just can't do it. I've been made fun of a lot for it....

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Joana said...

My sister has the same phobia with things that swing. My question and concern is: Is there a name for this Phobia? Is there a cure for this phobia or something that can be done to help people with this phobia to lessen the anxious feelings, panics, crying?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, I'm 17 now and have the same, I can't be around swings and to try and face it head on makes me panic inside, I may not have it as bad as some but every time i know there is one, I try my best in every way to stop it, I don't know what to do about this :( help x

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont let verbal abusive people post on here, its disgusting and offensive what that "person" wrote.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

such language, and also to critcise the person who has this awful phobia, calling them a phoney etc., that is totally unacceptable, how dare they. I have this phobia and its absolutely dreadful, its a pity this "person" doesnt get it, maybe they would think twice about what they say to people in future.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im also afraid of swings and also fast moving cars. Seeing those scenes or thinking of them makes me have panic attacks. I started feeling this since I was a child and i need to find a cure. What do you call this phobia?

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats not fake and I will out right admit I'm scared of swings as well the motion freaks me out

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm actually afraid of swings as well. I hate the swinging motion. I don't like yoyos either or anything with that swinging motion. I also know why Im scared. I was trapped on a swing as a child and they other kids woukdnt let me off. I always feel so weird cuz I'm a 19 almost 20 and I'm terrified of swings. Im pretty open about it but I feel like it gets in the way at times.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a medical term for the phobia?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Merideth said...

Swings scare me too. I have this swing in my tree and I was swinging and it broke ever since then I have hated swings

1:11 PM  
Blogger Jasmine Kelly said...

i cannot beleive there is so many people with this phobia i thought i was the only idiot! ive never thought to google it till nw! i absolutley cringe with the wind knowinv its moving the swings...i hate it and wind chimes and anything that moves freely. when i was a kid about 4 i had a swing in the garden and i alway hung it over the side bar so it wouldnt move. i cant even take mg kids to the park. wish there was a aay for this to dissapear though.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Pippa Taylor said...

I have a major swing phobia and have had it for nearly 50 years now. No history of childhood accidents, no issue with sitting on one or looking at stationary pictures - it is the definite motion that induces panic. I can even watch swings move slowly, and then there comes a moment when i feel all the classic sensations of an impending panic attack - sweating, heart rate etc. I have had some failed attempts at cures - none worked - but then I spoke to my optician. He suggested that the fear could be mechanically triggered. I gather that each rod or cone i the eye (there are millions) responds to an exact colour or movement. His suggestion was that if one is damaged that links to the specific movement of swinging- then the brain might release too much adrenalin - which is what gives the symptoms of panic attacks. Makes more sense that some reasons I've been given.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish hurt upon a kid cause you think someone is a liar.. Lolololol you might wanna check in to a nut ward or something... I BET you are that pedophile you sick little F*cker.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Anderson said...

I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!!
best baby swing -View these top rated Baby Swings.

2:13 PM  

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