Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Fear and Reminiscence

To dream about memories, only for it to turn into a nightmare. Being compared to others and not being able to do good; that's what frightens me.

From a young age swimming was what I enjoyed the most, aside from drawing. Every weekend I would beg my parents to bring me to the local swimming pool. I would spend hours in there without ever feeling exhausted. Then we moved to a different country, where the beaches were well-known in the city we lived in.

The first couple of years, going to the beach felt like paradise because the beaches where I lived previously were poluted-filled with garbage and the waters turning a murky shade of green. Seeing clear water that glimmered in the sun I rejoiced. As I grew older, the insecurities grew. I was too afraid of being judged by strangers. My urge to go swimming, grew less and less each day. Then came the time where I refused to swim, whether it be at the beach or at a friend's backyard pool. I would tell my parents and friends that I didn't like to swim anymore. They accepted that lie and didn't pester me.

It's been over two years since I last swam and recently I went to a theme park where there was a pool. My friends wanted to go in, I followed reluctantly. As I slowly went it, I realised that I couldn't swim anymore. I didn't want to tell my friends this because I was too afraid that I'd be laughed at or mocked so I kept quiet. While they swam around, I sat at the edge of the pool, too horrified to enter the water. A few days after, I started having thoughts that I had aquaphopia; or in simpler terms, a fear of swimming. I had nightmares that I was drowning, suffocating in water.

I watched a TV program involving children going to a child expert. There was a girl who was unable to express her feelings properly and expert recommended not to ask other children to do something and ask the girl to do the same because she would feel that she wouldn't do it as well as the others. As I heard the expert say that, I related to it. I'm not sure whether my mother used to ask my older sister to do something then ask me to do the same, but I realised that I always felt like I wouldn't be as good as others when trying new things. I thought that maybe that was the problem why I couldn't speak out about my fear.

As my school's swimming carnival is nearing, my worries are keeping me awake for hours. Not being able to sleep until 3am because of that, I wondered how bad it will be when the carnival's within one month. I probably wouldn't be able to fall asleep at all. Although I've finally gotten part of it off my chest, it will most likely still keep me up every night.