I don’t know where my pathalogical fear of needles came from. I know when I was really little, I wasn’t afraid at all. Booster shots as a child were no big deal and I didn’t even cry. It wasn’t until I was in school and got my hepititis shots that I realized suddenly, “I hate needles”. Perhaps it’s the influence of peers, not traumatic incidents in this case, that contributed to the fear.
I remember in grade 4 when we recieved shots and a friend of mine (who ended up crying and crying, citing sickness from the rubbing alcohol smell) made some comment like, “could you imagine getting a needle and flinching so the needle cut your arm open?” And there it was. The partial birth of my needle phobia, in one sentence in my early life. As odd as it sounds, there was a lot of fear and turmoil surrounding my life when I was 9 already, and this phrase moved me and effected me so much, that to this day, I haven’t forgotten it, or the memory of hearing it, sitting in my sunny classroom, on my desk, with my friends. The needles were being administered in the classroom next door and you could smell the alcohol when you stepped into the hallway. I got my needle, tear-free but painful nonetheless, and I was pretty miserable about it for the rest of the day… that misery never left, I guess.
In grade six, it was shot time again. This time, with that newfound fear born inside me, I was a lot more wary of getting the shot. I got it, again, tear-free but painful, and this time, I felt extraordinarily violated by the sharp impliment in my arm. I couldn’t look at it, I couldn’t think about it, without feeling nauseous and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to move my arm for the rest of the day, just because the thought of the object inserted into my arm was so horrendous and wouldn’t go away. We had gym class that afternoon and we were playing dodgeball. I used my red pinny as a makeshift sling to protect my arm and I was trying to keep it still when my gym teacher (particularly having it in for me at this point for reasons I’m not in the mood to get into) yelled at me for being a baby. This is another incident that I’m sure contributes to my outright hatred of vaccinations.
I hate them. I deal with it because of the sheer importance of them, but I hate them. And nothing I will do in life will protect me from their violating awfulness.