Day 5 of '40 DAYS OF FACING FEARS' - Facing Childhood Fears: Chickens

The below is from the original Facebook post on March 5th 2017:

 

Today's challenge was one that I have procrastinated dealing with since childhood, and as I had not dealt with it, it had only become progressively worse as the years went by. I had become a chicken of CHICKENS - i.e. frightened to the point of running away from them when they would ruffle their feathers, come near me, or make their noises. Ugh. It was shameful, so I avoided them like the plague as much as I could. So, when Mum found out that I was doing this challenge and that I would be visiting the family home in Auckland for the weekend, her idea was simple: to hug a chicken. I initially shrieked "nooooo!!' (PG version). Yes, shrieked. It turns out that chickens put me into the flight part of 'fight or flight'. (Bird joke, get it?)

Short version of story: I didn't quite hug a chicken, but (1) I stroked the chicken on-and-off for a good minute with and without kitchen gloves on, and (2) went into the chicken pen to spend some time around them in order to get accustomed to being in their presence and... realised that they are more afraid of me than I am of them. Seeing as I had embedded this fear since childhood, I was extremely proud of myself :). It was enough scaring myself for one day. While I still don't really like chickens, I am now no longer irrationally afraid of them. And, now if they ever attack me in the future, I now know how to shoot multiple different kinds of guns. #usefulskillforpotentialzombieapocalypse

 Facing a childhood fear of chickens... Thank goodness there were dogs to cuddle afterwards!

Facing a childhood fear of chickens... Thank goodness there were dogs to cuddle afterwards!

The nice part of this experience was 'returning to my roots' - spending time on the family lifestyle block/farm, riding quad bikes, being around animals (not just the dog or cat this time!) and family. I've now learned that I feel best when I can integrate the different parts of me: the country girl, the city young-woman and the corporate-hippy sides of me. The running joke among the family now is that I can shoot guns or pet chickens, but with a manicure or wearing pink shorts :)

Jennifer Young