“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. and when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Frank Herbert, Dune. “Litany Against Fear” (1965)
At times I fear enclosed spaces.
Sure, I’ve felt a slight panic when I was in the mini submarine in West Edmonton Mall, And again when I was climbing the tomb like staircase to the top of Sacre Coeur in Paris. But for the most part I can control times such as these with deep breathing and reminding me that there will be a way “out” in a few minutes.
And it’s weird is that sometimes I get this same feeling when I’m wearing my mouth/teeth splint. Seriously. It’s new. I wore it for an hour a day when I first got it in order to get used to it. I’m now supposed to be able to wear it throughout the night. I haven’t made it through the night yet. One night I went two hours then felt as though I was choking and spit it out. Then last night I fell asleep with it in, woke up around 5 hours later and it was no longer in my mouth. I searched the bed, the floor then realized that in my sleep I had placed it neatly in it’s plastic container on the chair beside my bed.
Also, I can’t do balaclavas. It’s the same thing. I feel as though I’m suffocating. I’d rather suffer wind burn then wear a balaclava for any length of time…or better yet, not go out in the elements at all.
I once had to undergo an MRI. I told the technician that I may have to be medicated because I couldn’t see myself staying in the tube for any length of time. She then gently reminded me that I was getting an MRI for my knee and that I’d only be inserted up to my waist. But still, it was VERY confining and I had to distract myself by humming the music being from the headset they provided me.
But have you ever felt claustrophobic by the ideas being forced upon you? Sitting in a room and having to listen to a speaker with an agenda you don’t agree with? Someone expounding upon an ideology you have no emotional connection to and never will? When you know the people you’re with are not open to dialogue but rather are intent upon making you believe, buy into or embrace, for that matter, the same stance as they?
And you don’t really care enough to argue or dissuade them because you know it will be a futile experience. And you can’t get up and leave because social dictums say it would be rude or if you do the person doing the suffocating will use it as a “told you so”.
I fear those situations the most because honestly, they seem the most absurd of all.