Last month we took a family trip to Silverwood. I honestly thought it would be fun. From what I remember of past experiences, I love rollercoasters. Apparently, the past is not accurate. I almost wet myself a number of times, came damn near a panic attack and actually imagined that I was going to die. Not the fun I had in mind.
I hate heights. I will start with that. They don't tend to bother me if I am strapped and buckled securely. That would be the biggest issue off the bat. A number of times I felt as if I was about to fly out of my harness and flail through the air to my certain death. Flying through the air is one of my biggest fears. People have asked me “Wouldn't it be nice to be a bird and fly over the earth and see everything. Feeling so free....” “Um, no. If you are flying you might fall.”
I guess the fear of falling is the biggest aspect for me. In one of my reoccurring nightmares I start jumping on a trampoline. I start going higher and higher with every bounce. Then I am bouncing higher than the roof. Then higher than the trees. Then higher than all the buildings. Then high as the airplanes. The whole time I have that creepy, nasty feeling in your stomach like when you drive at high speed over a bump in the road and it launches you in the air. So there I am bouncing. Bouncing and flailing my arms to be precise. Every bounce is harder and there is no end in sight. Just when I think I will land on the ground again, my feet become like super bouncy feet and I continue to bounce like I am at zero-gravity on the moon. Get my point. Not fun. It is about falling. I hate it. I guess I am a control freak.
So anyway, stupid Nikki, goes on the panic plunge first. I daringly strap myself into a harness in a seat that faces outwards and raises up a tall cell-tower looking thingy. It goes slowly up. I'm feeling ok. I'm looking around. Then I realize how high I am. Then my nieces (who are 8 and 9 and bravely went with me) start to whimper. I say “Wow, look at the parking lot and all the cars. They look so small.” Then I start panicking on the inside. “Christ almighty! Why did I do this?!?! I want off only I can't get off because we are still moving. Oh Dear God. Mother Mary of God!!!” We are still going upwards. I am getting sick. There is a noise. “What the hell was that noise?????!?!?! Aaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!! “ We are shooting, free-falling you might say at over 60 miles an hour to the ground. Plummeting to my death, just like I envision in my nightmare. I shut my eyes. I feel myself raise out of my seat but I am still propelling down-ward. Closing my eyes, not the smartest thing to do at that point. I open my eyes and it is not as scary. Being in the dark and falling is worse. I am so freaked out that my mouth can only open. No sound escapes. I think my heart may have stopped and I possibly pee'd my pants. Then click. We are back on the ground. I got off and wandered around like a zombie for a few minutes.
Before I had regained my composure I was whisked off to the roller coaster called “After Shock.” It would be more aptly named “Anxiety Attack.” I am so traumatized I can't explain it and give you the full picture and provide enough clarity to give the experience any justice. I think I blacked it out. I tend to do that in situations where I almost die. It helps me go forward by not remembering life altering events. Short story: Harnessed in with your legs dangling. Shooting backwards and forwards, upside down and this way and that and then stopping at a 180 degree angle to where I had once stood. Twice in this odd angle. Only it is over a hundred feet in the air and I was looking straight down at the ground with nothing in front of me except for a brightly colored foam shoulder harness and the other time, I was on my back, knowing I was at a direct angle from the ground. Never again. My friend's 11 year old had a panic attack and began hyperventilating. I would have but I secretly died for awhile so it wasn't so bad for me once I got off. The woman behind was crying before it even started. That didn't help matters at all.
Finally, I was bamboozled onto the Timber of Terror. Overall, not so bad. My 9 year was tucked securely in the cart behind us. My husband and I not so much. This cart is about 3 feet wide with a divider in the middle. Neither of us fit very well into our designated space. It was like trying to sit on a piece of toast and not overlap onto the crust. Not gonna happen. I would have fit better into the seat in the front of a shopping cart. My husband's extremely broad shoulders were encroaching into my small space as well and I couldn't hold onto the bar as his arms were there. The ride is made of wood so it creaked. Which is a good thing because it hid the sounds of the farts that were emitting with every bounce of the frickin' ride. Honestly, that comes after eating amusement park food and already having an upset stomach from previous panic attacks. Again, not fun. As we started heading up the first “ramp” my husband says to my son (who was starting to have a mini-freak out) “Put your hands in the air like this.” So my husband and I put our hands in the air to show what good sports we are. We are setting an example for our son to have fun. Don't be scared. This is fun. We paid for it. WTF! We round that first hump and stare at an 85 foot straight drop in seats we barely fit into. Our arms dropped so fast as we raced to hold onto the panic bar like teenagers running out of a kegger that is being busted. Trying to hold on for dear life was scarier than being on the ride. Slipping and sliding out of your designated area while on a roller coaster is about as much fun as running from a train.
My younger son is already planning our next trip back. Little does he know it won't be with me. Next “fun” vacation, we are going to do something that I know I like. We are going to a Lyle Lovett concert in a park and then eating at a fondue restaurant and watching a Broadway show. Now that is fun.