by Jessica
(Detroit, MI)

It all started when I was very young, about four or five. My family and I were on vacation in Florida, and were visiting Universal Studios. I brought a new chapter book for me to read during the lines, so other than the rides themselves, my face was buried in the book. We were going on what I thought was a "boat ride". I didn't notice any kind of shark decorations, just the basic nautical appearance. When we got on the boat I insisted I sit on the edge. My aunt and uncle, who were young and thought it funny, allowed me to sit on the edge. It was a nice boat ride for about five minutes. Until we were attacked by a shark and even the ride operator was freaking out. And where I was sitting, just so happened to be the very closest spot to where the shark popped up first. I genuinely thought we were being attacked by a shark! I had no idea it was fake, as the ride operators there play along with the rides, and my aunt and uncle were also playing along. That was over fifteen years ago, and believe it or not, I love to swim. However, if I even think about a shark while in the water, I start to hyperventilate. Once in high school, I had to be "saved" by a lifeguard friend at swim practice... yes I was on the swim team. People make fun of me because I live in Michigan and they always say, "sharks can't swim in fresh water," but I still get terrified that I will be attacked. I have frequent nightmares about shark attacks that I wake up sweating to. Pictures and videos of sharks make me shake, and I find it hard to even BATHE sometimes after. Its really difficult because even though I have this intense fear, I love to swim. And I have gone entire summers without swimming just because someone has hummed the jaws theme song. I have tried forcing myself to watch movies with sharks, but that just makes me more scared. I have tried to force myself to stay in the water when I start to imagine things, but I choke on water. I don't know what to do and people make fun of me for it and constantly use it as a joke. Yes, the Jaws theme song makes me nauseous.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to top phobia.