I call this image “Betrayal” and this is my nightmare.
When you hear the story, you might think the title is irrational and a little bitter, but this has handicapped my life.
When I was little, maybe two or three, my family went on a trip to Washington, D.C. and, like you do, we took in the sights including the Washington Monument. We climbed all the way to the top with me on my dad’s shoulders because I was tired.
Up at the top of the monument, there are windows that let you look out at the city. The windows you see now are different than the ones than used to be there. The old windows were bigger and you could stand closer to them.
My dad wanted me to be able to see the view so he got as close as he could to the windows and leaned down so I could see out the windows. I remember being able to look down and then for some reason my dad stumbled.
All I could see was that long drop before me and even though I only really fell a few inches, somehow my brain recorded it as falling all that way.
My little toddler self lost it.
Nobody could calm me down. Not even my dad who has always been my BFF.
I don’t own a ladder, not even a stepladder. Get me more than a few inches off the grounds and I break out in a cold sweat.
I know I’m going to fall. That’s what you go when you’re up high.
I don’t blame my father for my fear of heights. He didn’t know what would happen and he didn’t know how deep it would dig down into my brain and lodge there.
I’ve tried to root it out. It gets a little better but then something I see will set it off again and I’m back to enjoying the panoramic view of a city from inside on the couch.
I know not to poke the beast too hard since I never know when it will rear up on me and attack me.