So for the first time in my life I can say I recall the last moment I had a panic attack. And it was today, on a beautiful summer July's day in Wild-wood, New Jersey. Well I guess to fully understand this story one must be equipped with the knowledge of my only known phobia,I suffer from a condition entitled ornithophobia which is the fear of the: ornithoid, my fine feathered admirers, the flight enhanced creatures, rats of the air, aviators but commonly known to most as birds.
One must also be fully aware of what a phobia is. The word phobia originated from the Greek word :φόβος phobos literally meaning morbid fear. A phobia, an anxiety disorder: is an irrational, intense and persistent fear of certain situations,activities, thing,animals or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive and unreasonable desire to avoid at all costs the feared stimulus, one which I consistently exhibit while in the milieu of my fine feathered admirers.
So for the past couple of days, while on the eastern coast of New Jersey with my family, I have been attacked by these rats of the air. One might think, I must be clearly exaggerating because when they observe their personal interactions with birds, birds are usually mildly frightened by them and are usually lured in by the crumbs that you will throw in their direction in hopes of closer examination of these beautifully feathered creatures.Well I doubt you've had the chance to sample this experiment with the lovely seagulls the New Jersey Shore.
My first attack took place on the board walk which over saw the Wild-wood beach. So after a long day of lounging, swimming, and relaxing in the Atlantic Ocean I was famished. So as I enjoyed my leisurely walk down the boardwalk, I decided to indulge in a slice of pepperoni pizza, hmmhmmm good. Well this was my intentions when I purchased it from the Snow White parlor, along the myriad of boutiques which lined the board-walk. After I had properly dressed my pizza with the condiments which were readily available: ketchup, mustard, and onions I decided to take my first bite. And boy was it delicious. But as I leaned in for the second bite ,the seagulls had different plans and plunged in for the kill. Before I knew it my slice of pizza had vanquished and what seemed like thousands of birds feasting on it as I ran for my life amongst the hundreds of tourists which were flabbergasted by what they had just witnessed. Ironically although I experienced this near-death experience yesterday my panic attack happened today.
The Second attack took place again while at wild-wood as I previously mentioned. We had gone back to taste the Atlantic ocean for one last time before returning to New York. My sister, cousins and I had gone adventuring through the little town and had visited an Italian boutique filled with goodies. We decided to purchase these yummy little delectables called: pizzelles which are basically Italian wafer cookies. So as we walked toward the boardwalk we decided to delight in a pizzelle. To my surprise, the seagulls seemed even more alert then yesterday and once again went for the kill. I was also surprised by my reaction, knowing that they were in search of the food they'd spotted from afar I dropped everything and screamed at the top of my lungs. They swarmed in my direction and once again I ran for my life leaving everything behind, including my 10lb bag which had the goodies. So I thought I was safe, but still they charged in my direction. My cousin said I appeared to be flapping my arms,going in circles, before I ran in the middle of the street as I screamed in terror. Yes it sounds ridiculous, but I was in panic mode and didn't feel I had very much control over myself at that moment in time I just wanted be far away from 'them.' And finally after my sister and cousins has assured me of my safety, along with rescuing my bag from those vultures I wanted nothing more but to be back in confines of some sort of shelter.
Before these occurrences, when one would pose the question: Where does your fear of birds come from ?I never felt I had an appropriate response. But now I can definitely exclaim : I WAS ATTACKED.