Saturday, April 26, 2014

Needlephobia and alternate Earth story

Needles are also notorious because
they are used by mangkukulams
to inflict pain on their victims.
Sewing needles used to scare the hell out of me.

There's a story to it.

When I was still in pre-school, my mother hand sewed a lot of stuff. She patched holes on shirts, pants; repaired tears on pillow cases, curtains; nip the edges of our short pants to make it shorter, etc. She did a lot of hand sewing,  like, I guess, most housewives did.

I was the last of of the siblings then (Dadai was still on the way), so I was the one left with my mother at home. She was busy and so was I. She sewed, I sewed too. And of course, sharp objects and little children did not sit well and it usually resulted in pricks, blood and tears.

My mother told me that I should not play or even touch needles or pins. "Needles kills," she told me. Well, not as blunt as that but basically that was what she meant.

The thought of  needles
travelling through my body
unnoticed, scared me.
"Look at these sharp needles, feel the sharpness. Once you are pricked by it, and it entered your skin, it will travel through your veins carried by your blood stream up to your heart. Once it reached your heart, it will prick your heart and burst it killing you in the end." I mean, this scared me big time. My imagination was already running wild. I had this vision of a spear running through my veins seeking out my heart to stab and rip it apart, and the excruciating pain that goes with it...   

This fear was reinforced by the fact that many adults, like my lola Moning, had the same thing to say about needles. "Be careful with needles. You might seat on one and without noticing it, it might already be in your bloodstream going to your heart." So, from that moment on, I had this child's illogical (well, my mother's explanation and authority then made it logical for me) fear of needles. Of course,   the fear was gone when I'm already in grade school. 

I guess adult minds work that way. I mean, I do that now too. I scare children with traditional and sometimes made up stories instead of explaining things scientifically to them which they may not understand or learn from. Or they may understand but it may not affect their emotions the way stories do. Children's imaginations are more powerful than their intellects. Hold their imagination and you have a hold on them.

Stories (or myths) are not lies for they are not meant to deceive but they are also not truths the way scientific laws and logical truths are either true or false. Stories are responses to situations that invites a particular response from the hearer. 

Multiverse or alternate universe is a hypothesis
that there exist an infinite number of alternate
universes.There is also an infinite number of earths
 which is similar to ours but with slight
variations or could be so different from ours
that the laws of physics may be opposite of ours.
There are earths where there is no life because
 the evolutionary process did not grant it
the condition to spawn life.
 It is Darwin's evolution
on a cosmological scale.
How about an alternate story? (In a slightly different alternate Earth (Earth 2) where my mother was a doctor of medicine and I was a pre-school tot)

My mother(2): " George, don't play with needles. They are not sterilized. They may have the bacterium Clostridium Tetani. Once the bacterium entered your bloodstream, they will multiply and attack your central nervous system. The process may take a few days but the symptoms are mild spasms in the jaw muscles—also known as lockjaw or trismus. The spasms can also affect the chest, neck, back, abdominal muscles, and buttocks. Back muscle spasms often cause arching, called opisthotonos. Sometimes the spasms affect muscles that help with breathing, which can lead to breathing problems...*"

Me(2): (Playing with needles and pins)"Who cares...I can't understand a word you're saying mother. Tell me the story about needles that George's mother from Earth 1 told him. Please..."

Me(2): Oouuucchhhh...what the Fraggernestein!

  * (wikipedia)

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