xlovebecomesher: (Garfield)
[personal profile] xlovebecomesher

True confession: I'm petrified of climbing ladders or climbing anything that is high up. Actually it's not so much the climb up as much as it's the climb down. Some would say I'm catlike in this aspect. However, this is more due to the fact that I've acquired this fear from my father who has a fear of climbing ladders. I don't even like climbing up and down stairs if I don't have to. I can't avoid stairs but I'm always aware of where the railing is. My husband is amazing in making sure to hold my hand everytime we have to go up and down stairs.

So climbing the Masada on my Birthright Trip to Israel back in 2006 at 4 AM was not my idea of fun.

But it wasn't my choice, no one asked me what I wanted to do. I would have a) told you I wanted to go back to sleep and b) take the lift both up and down.

However, when you're on a group trip...and a free group trip at that...you don't get much of a say.

So I hiked.

I had a blast once I was up. I enjoyed hearing the story of the Masada, I even had my Bat-Mitzvah up on the Masada because I never had my Bat-Mitzvah when I was 13.

First pic: with a group of friends on top of the Masada. I'm all the way on the left.
Second pic: reciting prayers for my Bat Mitzvah - I'm the one on the left.

But what goes up, must come down.

And that included me off the Masada...climbing down stairs.

The first few moments were okay...if I went slowly and it helped that my friends at first walked with me. But no one wants to walk with someone going slow; someone who mentally is starting to have a panic attack over this hike. No one can understand why someone has a fear of climbing down stairs; it's irrational. I got left behind.

Luckily as I was about to burst into tears, one of the tour guides from our group came over. He saw that I was visibly upset and I explained to him as much as I could my fear. As I shook in fear and panic, crying, he took my hand and he held it the rest of the way down and walked as slowly as I needed to go. It took extra time out of the day's trip but I'll never forget his kindness that day.

Because it took me so long with my anxiety and panic, I ended up being the last one on the bus holding everyone up. Everyone probably waited for me for at least a good 20 minutes if not more.

Throughout the trip, one of the girls on the bus for whatever reason decided to bully me. She took every chance she had to be nasty to me; making fun of me. I ignored as much as I could; I didn't engage with her. I wasn't going to fight.

Until that day.

After I got on the bus, still visibily shaken with a red, tear stained face, right way, there were jeers from her and friends. "Look at the baby crying. She can't even climb down stairs without needing someone to hold her hand." The laughing and pointing was probably one of the most embarrassing moments in my life.

In that moment, I'm not proud and yet I'm proud for standing up for myself. When she laughed at my tears and I walked by her to my seat; I snapped and punched her in the face. Not hard; I'm no fighter. But enough to shut her and her friends up. No one wanted to go near the crazy, anxious person who just punched someone in the face!

We ended up having fighting words that night in a lobby in a Jerusalem hotel. She was livid and I was tired of being bullied. My friends had to hold me back. But I fought and I stood up for myself. No one was putting Hillary in a corner!

I may not have conquer my fear of climbing that day (still haven't); but I learned how to truly stand up for myself that night and to show that despite my fears, I'm not someone to be messed with. Somehow I think that was the most important lesson I gained that trip.

Date: 2017-03-03 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyssa027.livejournal.com
Ahh Masada, that was one of my favorite parts of Birthright, though I really hated walking down it, I kept thinking I was going to trip and fall down the cliff cuz we took the snake trail

Date: 2017-03-03 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com

That's what we took too!

Date: 2017-03-03 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragnarok-08.livejournal.com
Good for you for standing up for yourself ♥


Date: 2017-03-03 03:15 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-03 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robvansam.livejournal.com
Singing from the Haftorah is so beautiful whenever I hear it.

Date: 2017-03-03 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com

I do love hearing haftorah chanted.

Date: 2017-03-03 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kyliejeanne.livejournal.com
What is wrong with people? People who bully others need to get a hobby, honestly. Go girl.

Date: 2017-03-03 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com

People can be horrible sometimes.

Date: 2017-03-03 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lupinlover.livejournal.com
I did that same hike-- it was awesome. Probably one of the best things I've done in my life. Looking over the Dead Sea so early in the morning-- indescribable.

Date: 2017-03-04 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
It is a beautiful view!

Date: 2017-03-03 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
Having your Bat-Mitzvah on the Masada must have been incredible! Phobias are so hard to explain to other people. At least yours involves gravity and sudden stops, and seems very reasonable. Teendaughter has a spider phobia and a tender heart. Spiders have to be taken outside, not killed. It was great that you stood up to the bullies, and in such a forceful manner.

Date: 2017-03-04 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
It was probably one of my best experiences ever :)

I understand spider phobia - I'm not phobic of them but they do freak me out. It's awesome though that she's all about saving them even with her phobia!

Date: 2017-03-03 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cherrytattoo77.livejournal.com
I'm weird about climbing down, which I'll never understand. I have no fear of heights. Glad that you stood up for yourself. Sometimes you just have to shut the down.

Date: 2017-03-04 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one afraid of climbing down things! I always thought I was really strange for that because it's such an everyday thing.

Date: 2017-03-03 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cielamara.livejournal.com
LISTEN. Going down stairs is the ACTUAL WORST. I am 100% with you on that one because even when they're Familiar Stairs I still have visions of the many many ways I could get hurt while going down each and every step.

Anxiety is a beast, my friend. But that tour guide is an excellent human. <3 I love stories of kindness like that.

Date: 2017-03-04 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I have those same visions! I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

He was an awesome tour guide and is an awesome person (still friends with him on FB)!

Date: 2017-03-03 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] promiseoftin.livejournal.com
Conquering your fear is a big deal! I admire you, especially because I share that climbing fear.

Date: 2017-03-04 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has that fear of climbing!

Date: 2017-03-04 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] night-owl-9.livejournal.com

Good on you for standing up for yourself!

Date: 2017-03-05 11:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-04 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
That sounds like a great place to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah you never had!

I don't like heights either, and I have enough vertigo that they're probably not very safe for me. We hiked to a fire lookout tower in the Sierras, and it didn't occur to me until we got there how many stairs there might be and what they might be constructed from.

Metal grate. With lots of visibility of everything beneath.

I debated for several minutes, and decided I had not climbed all that way not to go to the top. So, I went up with a white-knuckle grip on the railing, and down even more slowly-- looking ahead and not down, bumping the back of my heel against every step so I knew where it was, and holding onto the rail like I might fall off the edge of the earth.

I don't blame you one bit for the tears and panic. Or for punching a bully in the face, because with all of those things coming together, that must have been the last straw.

Date: 2017-03-05 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Weird thing is heights in and of itself do not bother me - once I'm at the top I'm great! Metal grate stairs are the worst - those and the steps that there's nothing between each step but air.

I'm the same way - if I've gone somewhere and started to climb, I'm going to keep climbing and I'll climb down with me bumping my heel against every step and holding the rail.

That was the last straw with me and her - I had been dealing with her all week making fun of me and I couldn't figure out how to stand up for myself. With my fear and panic, when she and her friends started laughing at me, my fist went flying. I'm not proud (nor of the words I said to her that night in Jerusalem) but it got the job done.

Date: 2017-03-04 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] favoritebean.livejournal.com
Bullies are the worst. Glad you stood up to her and held your ground.

Date: 2017-03-05 11:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-05 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alycewilson.livejournal.com
Sometimes bullies need to be taught a lesson!

Date: 2017-03-05 11:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-06 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penpusher.livejournal.com
This is amazing on so many different levels. Just getting to visit the Holy Land must have been an incredible adventure, phobias or not. And how many say they celebrated their Bat Mitzvah at the Masada, thirteen or not!

It's good you had support to help you through the tough moments. ALL of us need that at some point in our lives, and maybe that bully needs to learn that lesson. But it was best how you handled the bullying.

You're extremely cool.

Date: 2017-03-08 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
OMG both times I've been to Israel have been such adventures!

Why thank you ♥ So are you!

Date: 2017-03-06 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
Bravo! For standing up against those bullies. Glad that the tour guide came to your rescue.

Date: 2017-03-08 10:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-06 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devilz-workshop.livejournal.com
This takes me down memory lane. I was a hot head in college and had punched a senior for bullying too . Now, I have just learned to try and act more calmly. (It's not easy). Glad that you stood up for yourself.

Date: 2017-03-08 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Good for you for standing up for yourself too!

Date: 2017-03-06 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morettaallstar.livejournal.com

I'm glad you did end up going all the way to the top, because that is the most rewarding part of a hike, and I'm glad for the kindness of the guide.
Well done for standing up for yourself!

Date: 2017-03-07 03:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murielle.livejournal.com
I don't like ladders. Most stairs I'm okay with except the ones you can see through, wire mesh, whatever, I hate them. I have no use for bullies. I would probably have called mean girl and her mean girl friends on their behavior long before it got to that place where you couldn't take it anymore. Still glad you were able to stand up to her on your own. Good for YOU! Congrats on your Bat-Mitzvah! And having it at such a beautiful and meaningful place.

Date: 2017-03-08 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I hate see through stairs! They're the worst!

And thank you!♥

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