Friday, March 22, 2013

Who's afraid of the big bad edge?

Many moons ago I was headed up the side of a mountain in the Jemez mountains in New Mexico towards a hot spring; several hot springs actually. You climb up the mountain and you are rewarded with several springs going down the other side of the mountain to choose from.

There’s an obstacle, though, of course, at least for me.

You have to cross the Rio Grande.

At this particular spot the Rio Grande is not really grand but still…

Anywho there is a handy-dandy, fallen-tree bridge to walk across. Not a small tree, either. It’s at least 5 feet wide all the way across. Easy peasy, right? Just walk across that sucker.

Not so fast. Not me, anyway. Despite the fact that everyone else is walking across with no problem, yours truly can not do it. Eventually I crawled. And even then I was so stressed out that … drumroll… I fell in.

I fell in the Rio Grande and had to walk across on slippery rocks.

That walk across the slippery rocks, after being soaked from the fall, was still less stressful for me than trying to walk across that tree.

I have a fear that I just recently identified – FEAR OF EDGES.

M. J. Rose talked about this fear in The Book of Lost Fragrances. I felt like I had come home.

Now I want to know the name of this very real, very rare phobia. I keep finding it referred to but not named.

It’s not the fear of heights. I can look down from the tallest of heights as long as there is a nice, sturdy rail to break up the edge.

That particular night I got across the Rio and up the mountain and spent a pleasant night sitting in the various hot springs.

Of course then I had to battle the tree-bridge again on the way back down.

Do you have a phobia? Phobias? Does your phobia/s affect your daily life?


  1. Wow. I think I have the same phobia--I practically hyperventilate at the thought of getting close to edges. Give me a rail and I'm fine. No rail? Gak.

  2. As far as I can find, there is no specific name for a fear of edges. Though the "acro" part of acrophobia (fear of heights) includes "edge" in its etymology (as well as "sharp peak"). So maybe it's not as inaccurate as one might think. Maybe? (Maybe not.)

    The only phobia I have is a common one: arachnophobia. Spiders and I don't get along. And, for me, it's not even really a fear so much as a repulsion. I find them overwhelmingly gross. So much so that I don't even want to look at them. (Damn the people that have been posting spider pics to my Facebook!) However, I find it manageable. I just get the screaming heebie-jeebies when I have to confront one, which is probably the main reason I will never live in New Mexico. :) I wouldn't mind a night in the hot springs, though. That sounds fantastic.

  3. I, too, have a fear of edges. Without a rail, I have the sure feeling that I will fall off. Also have a fear of heights, which I frequently push on, a fear of the dark, fear of spiders, fear of being old and alone, fear of being in a large house/building all by myself, fear of mice, fear of bugs in general, the list goes on. I figure every day I am exhibiting bravery in the face of one or more of my fears! :)

  4. Yep. Me too on the edges. I hate mountain driving. Can't stand at the edge of a cliff. Heights are okay. Just those damn edges.

  5. I don't have fears, but I do have some aversions and strong feelings of GAH-keep-it-away-from-me!. Like how I can't stand small furry animals, cats-rats-hamsters-mice-gerbils-chipmunks-squirrels- you get the idea......

    Mostly, as I just said over at Robena's place, I'm a pretty intolerant person on many levels. But hey, I'm workin' on it!