February 28, 2016

(from Greek : thalassa means "sea" and phobos mean "fear")
an intense and persistent fear of the sea that can include fear of being in large bodies of water, fear of the vast emptiness of the sea, and fear of distance from land

I have Thalassophobia. It's not an aquaphobia which is a fear of water in general. For me, it's just the ocean. I didn't just diagnose myself out of the blue OK. I have this fear of Deep Dark Ocean (DDO) growing up and I often told my mother about it. I remember when I used to tell her, "If I were to be stranded in the middle of the ocean, I would just drink the salt water until I die." 

I hate insects of all kind, especially cockroaches, but I will just scream and run whenever I encounter one (rules apply to ghost as well). Space, forest, mountain, canyon, deep chasm, bridges, fog, all are equally scary, but they are all also fascinating, especially space. I also hate snake, but that's just that, hate. With DDO, the case is different :

1. Uneasiness, shiver, rapid heartbeat, nausea, trembling, panic, terror and anxiety whenever encounter, think, see or even hear about DDO,

2.  I always hate beaches for no reason at all,

3.  Movies with DDO always make me cringe and uneasy.

One time, when I was 18, I went on a cruise with my twelfth grade classmates to celebrate our graduation. The cruise dropped us on a tiny island where we could play kayak, banana boat and stuffs. I was interested to try kayak, so I asked one of my bestfriends to go with me. We went by for like 15 meters away from the beach and we got really close to the flag sign that tells you the water is getting deeper. I panicked. I started seeing stuffs underneath the water, and basically all the symptoms on #1 above. I was paddling like crazy and eventually when the kayak got closer to the beach, I just jumped out and ditched the kayak. The instructor was not pleased.

Another story. I was an avid fan of Doraemon back then (well until now tbh). I collected and read all the translated comic books and watched all the animations. There is this one free story called "Petualangan Nobita di Dasar Laut" which basically tells the journey of Nobita and the gang on finding a ghost ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The drawing was traumatic for me. It's basically whole page of nothingness, dressed in pitch black. Bottomless. It was uneasy for me. Not my favorite story.

I honestly don't know what causes it. I have no traumatic experiences involving the sea in the past, I can swim, I have no sea sickness, and I can board a ship. I don't fear the creatures lay underneath or even shipwrecks on the bottom of the ocean. I just fear the sea itself.

It's a mystery alright.
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