Wasps and Why I Despise Them

I hate wasps. Really and truly despise the insects. I know hate is considered a strong word, but in reality I guess my hate is a mask for fear. The fact is, I am terrified of them. What purpose do wasps serve besides keeping the population of spiders maintained? Instead of spiders or snakes or some normal phobia, I abhor stinging insects to the point of running for my life faster than my legs should carry me or ducking and rolling with ninja life reflexes at the instant I hear a buzz near my head. What inspires such humorous insanity to be displayed by whoever is spying upon me? How am I able to pick up snakes and be near other more common phobias without any reaction?

It started when I was a child. I'd spent my life watching my Mother with the same reaction. So of course I would equally freak. Avoiding stinging insects at all costs is after all a worthy endeavor for if my parents could show such disdain, they must truly be a painful creature. Then, when I was 8yrs old, a wood bee was stuck in my luxuriously long virgin ash-blond hair, while playing around my Grandmother's barn. My initial reaction was to slap at it to get it out of my hair. Bad. Idea.
Suddenly, I was being stung and this horrific pain resulted an very loud screams of pain and fear in the hopes my Grandmother or anyone would hear me. I kept slapping until I killed it. After that, I said forget vanity and I chopped off my hair to my ears. It remained that length for many years...despite not being even slightly stylish upon my full face.

Eventually I got older and 'grew up'. I slimmed up and allowed my hair to grow longer. Suddenly the fear was like a memory shrouded in darkness. I knew it was still there, but I chose to ignore it and move on. I still ran or screamed when I saw a stinging insect, but as I got older I became less reactant.

Last year, I learned that sometimes, it's best to be yourself. Seriously. Avoiding a phobia to the point of screaming and running like an idiot is much nicer than the pain of being stung. I'd decided that would be the year of no fear. That I would be free to go outdoors all day with no paranoia or reaction besides walking away. Then, it happened.

I had endured multiple close calls while working in our yard. I then put something away in our building. I can't remember what. I always avoid that building for the wasps have turned it into the temple of doom. I was barefoot which is my typical idiotic choice as I love to connect with the earth and feel the warm grass beneath my feet. Suddenly, I had the sensation of stepping on fire...hot and violent fire from the stabbing of a knife. I screamed and looked down to see a red wasp which quickly flew away. I fell to the ground holding my foot in agony. My Husband was on the mower and had saw me fall. He watched me for a moment before realizing this was no ordinary moment of injury. He sped over to me and quickly sliced open a cigarette. He said the tobacco would help draw out the venom. I'm not sure if it helped or not, for the entire area continued to swell violently. It was pulsating as if a demon was growing under my skin.

Eventually, the worst of the pain subsided. Never was I so happy at the invention of ice. I ached for another day before realizing that perhaps my phobia was well learned. Despite the embarrassing display of fear, I had until that time helped prevent many imminent stings. In reality, I did understand that there could be a time where I will just be fated to be stung with no time to react, but at least my reaction had defended me for as long as I chose to be myself. The wasp was the most painful thing besides having my children, but it was also a welcome experience in the end. For I had spent my life with the phobia of such creatures based primarily upon the assumption that I would die. I had swelled badly from the wood bee and had been assumed to be allergic. The truth is, fear is based upon self preservation beyond any other reason. Face your fear and live your life and you may be stung occasionally, but you will find the freedom to live.
Amber FlowersComment