Thursday, 29 October 2009

WASSUP WASP?





I have completed my six weeks of hypnotherapy for my wasp phobia...so technically I'm pretty much sorted and can downgrade my level of terror to a healthy dislike these days. However, things aren't just as straightforward as this.

I can now look at the word wasp written down without shuddering, I can read about them on the internet without trapping my hands in my laptop in my attempt to get away and I can spend time in a garden either enjoying the world of horticulture or a beverage, but I still can't shake the habit of shrieking and flapping my hands when a wasp flies near me on a lovely autumn day, as 3 British Transport Police officers could attest to after seeing me actually put my neck out trying to get away from a particularly persistent one in Goodge Street the other week...

I'm trying to remind myself that I've come so far, but it's hard not to be demoralised by the fact I still look like a crazy lady in the street, especially as I've taken to talking to any passing wasps, reminding myself that while I would prefer it if the wasp did not touch me, there is no law to say it can't and it won't be the worst thing in the world and thus trying to keep my anxiety at a tolerable level. Luckily I also have a high embarrassment threshold.

I've been buoying myself up by gaining some knowledge about wasps to see if that will take the sting out of the situation. Finding out that they exist to kill garden pests such as caterpillars and beetles makes me feel slightly less hostile to them. But it's discovering why wasps are so tetchy in autumn that has helped me the most so far.

The simple answer is that they are depressed and lonely. The queen of the nest has moved on and the average worker wasp has basically been made redundant, leaving them to meander around looking for a purpose in life. Like the cliche of anyone who has ever been dumped in a rom-com, this seems to take the form of seeking out sweet things to cheer themselves up and moping in a self involved manner, preferably round a bus stop like a disaffected teen. Wasps are in fact the emos of the insect world, right down to the stripy outfits.

Reminding myself that the wasp doesn't want to ruin my day, but is simply looking for attention is keeping me much calmer than normal.  I don't like them any better for knowing this, because who likes an attention seeker? But it does make me feel much better about performing a mercy killing right about now...

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