My secret fear

I’ve always had a fear of lifts. Don’t ask me when it started and don’t ask me why. I don’t remember when it started and most people don’t understand why.

But I will tell you that when I was about eight, I went to the toilet at the back of our local fruit and vegetable store and when I finished I was unable to unlock the door. I had to yell for quite a while (ok, maybe five minutes at the most) until my mum and the store owner ran out to save me.

I may not know exactly when my fear of being in confined spaces started, but I do know that it has been for a long time and that I have never really liked lifts.

The other day I got into my lift in my apartment building to get down to the garage so that I could go to the gym. To activate the lift I have to use a pass and run it by a little device. However that morning the pass didn’t activate the lift and it didn’t move.

At one point the lights went off and there I was, in the dark. I could feel that my legs were going to buckle under and I was about to scream.

Luckily you don’t need a swiper to get to the ground floor.

I could have walked down the driveway to get to my car but it is steep and somewhat dangerous with the walking frame. I could have walked down the staircase to the basement but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to take Scarlet, my walking frame, with me and then when I reached the basement I would have been vulnerable and stuck.

So there I was, sitting on the bench on the ground floor, waiting for the electrician. Despite having a number of options for getting to my car, I was stranded and feeling extremely helpless.

The fact of the matter is that I have always tried to be independent, especially since I moved out of home. I have always felt that I have to prove to people that I am capable to do things on my own and asking for help isn’t easy for me. So, I guess, when I was sitting on the bench at the entrance to my building, unable to help myself, I was metaphorically kicking myself and giving myself a very hard time.

Naturally someone came and helped me in the end. He even gave me a bottle of red wine because he had taken a while to arrive and he felt bad making me have to wait. He wasn’t able to fix the lift right away but he was able to carry Scarlett, the frame, downstairs and I made my way down ever so slowly and carefully.

Imagine a walking aid being a hindrance rather than help. It’s the one thing that is meant to support you and make your life easier.


3 thoughts on “My secret fear

  1. And that’s just it, isn’t it? Being trapped anywhere is terrifying but to add in any sort of limitation be it physical OR mental and it becomes an ordeal that can be traumatizing.

    I mean – I was about 5 when I locked myself in the toilet IN MY OWN HOME (despite being told multiple times NOT to lock it) and I still remember my fear at being unable to get out &y fathers escalating panic when he realised he would have to get me to climb into the cistern & out the window (which had those slotted glass that he had to carefully remove each piece before he could then reach in to grab me & take me out). If I was limited in any way it would not have been an option at all…

    Tully, I love that you admit your fears and share them with us.

    Thank you.


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