As a little girl, I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys. They were always trying to come up with ways to torment the girls. The other couple of girls in the neighborhood were tough so they spent most of their time trying to get a reaction from me. I was scared of frogs, like most little girls. The boys tried to terrify me with them as often as they possibly could. They would put them on my front porch, in the swimming pool, or wherever they could to upset me.
One summer, when I was about fourteen years old, my parents gathered a whole group of us together in the old yellow station wagon and took us to Libertyland. There was about eight of us kids piled in the backend of that old car. We arrived around 5pm in the afternoon. Dad said, “We will meet back at the Liberty Bell at 9pm and stay out of trouble!” He and my mother went to watch the shows and we took off to ride the rides and eat the food. I had worn a little one piece short romper set with a big blue belt that I had safety pinned to keep it from flapping about. Around 8pm, we were over near a ride called “The Spider”. While waiting in line, David found a large frog hopping in a bush. He picked up the frog. I tried to move away and said, “Keep that thing away from me!” Everyone around us laughed. Brian grabbed me by the arm and held me. He took the frog from David and dropped it down the back of my romper. I screamed as though someone was stabbing me. I ran in circles screaming and jumping. Security came from everywhere. They were all trying to see what was wrong with me. I was trying desperately to get this frog out of my clothing and was far too hysterical to have any kind of conversation at that point. I needed to get out of those clothes as fast as possible and headed for the restroom. My friend Sonya finally got the safety pin out of the belt and the frog came flopping to the ground. He looked disoriented and I’m sure he was a little ill from all the chaos he had just been through. He hopped away slowly. I was still in an absolute state of panic. Security was standing outside the bathroom to find out for sure exactly what had happened. When we told them the story, they yelled at me for making such a big scene over a silly little frog and they got onto the boys for tormenting me.
My phobia has become more pronounced throughout the years. When I met my husband, Kenny, he lived in the country. He had told his roommate that I was afraid of frogs. One day Kenny and I were watching television in the living room. His roommate walked in the front door and threw a large bullfrog directly on me while I was sitting on the couch. I screamed and literally climbed over my husband. I ran into the bathroom and locked the doors, refusing to come out for almost twenty minutes. Kenny was bruised and a little scratched up. I don’t think I ever spoke to the roommate again. He did not live there long after that.
This phobia has become a fairly extreme problem for me. My dog will ask me to go outside. I will open the backdoor and there will be a frog sitting there. I will shriek and slam the door. My husband and my children will sigh and get up to take out the dog. I can’t walk out my door without shoes on because they are everywhere. The little tiny frogs are hopping all over as if to taunt me. My family has designated a certain shriek as “the frog scream” and they will come to save me from my insanity.
On one occasion this past summer, I walked out of my bedroom to see a frog hopping through the living room. I went back to my room and called my daughter on her cell phone to come get the frog so I could come out of my room.
I know that my fear is totally unfounded. Everyone I know makes fun of me for my fear, but it is something that I have no control over. I have tried many times to make myself stop being scared of frogs. I have just not been able to change my thoughts or behaviors in relation to this amphibian though. To me, they are as scary and daunting as a huge wolf with fangs. One day, I hope to be able to walk in a yard full of frogs without fear. That won’t be today though.