Afraid of Snakes

by Sabrina

My condition isn't extreme yet, but it's bad enough that I want help. I haven't been afraid of snakes for long. Just this year.

Before that, I just thought that snakes were gross, but now I can't look at snakes without crying, I cringe away from their pictures, and my stomach rolls just thinking about them. I have nightmares about them most nights, and to top it off, I live in Arizona, so a wild rattle snake isn't a rare sight.

I'm more afraid of small snakes than larger ones. My science teacher has two snakes and he lets the larger one loose in the room, but he only goes in the file box.

I don't mind that too much because my best friend files my papers for me and that way I don't have to see him except when someone asks to hold him. I realize how lucky I am with all this, though. No one torments me or anything.

My worst expirience with my phobia was when we got a new student teacher in science. He was holding the small snake, Medusa, and he offered my best friend to hold her. She turned her back to me, knowing how much I hate the snake, and I forced myself to pretend everything was okay. I focused on my work.

Somehow, the teacher misread our body language, and thought that I was jealous or something. So he grabbed Medusa, and turned to me, shoved her in my face, and said, "Here, Sabrina, do you want to hold it?" I started to shake and tears came out. "J-Just get it away." I whispered, unable to do much else.

He was shocked, and just stood there. "Please," I begged. He was horrified and pulled her away, saying "I'm so sorry!" My best friend said to him, "It's okay, she's just really afraid of snakes. Please put Medusa in her cage." I was still shaking, so my best friend helped me calm down.

The worst part of all that was seeing how bad the student teacher felt. He apologized at least 4 times. Imagine making a student cry on your first week. So, of course I felt bad,making him feel bad, and embarrassed, and ashamed. I know other kids in class don't like snakes, but they stand it. I always feel so weak when I have one of those episodes. That's my story.

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