Monster Man's biggest fear, especially since he's started having problems with anxiety, has been heights. Going to a hockey game, he had to be calmed down and eased to our seats when he realized we were sitting higher up than he expected. When we stopped to see Tallulah Gorge last fall (we stopped at a gift shop after a camping trip, and the gift shop had a viewing deck), he spent 45 minutes working himself up to the point that he could go to the railing of the viewing deck and look out at the gorge, though we had told him he could stay inside the gift shop with one of us while everyone else looked at the gorge - a stop that could've taken about 10 minutes. Just knowing that he was visiting my mom in the mountains last summer (you can't even tell you're in the mountains where she is at), he was sure he was too high up and was going to fall off the mountain. Like I said, heights terrify him.
The fact that he's so scare of heights is what makes his latest behavior so interesting. I've heard from so many other parents of children with TS about this desire to do dangerous things. In 'Against Medical Advice', Cory Friedman grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it in the opposite direction she was trying to turn. Another time, he climbed as high up in a tree as he possibly could, almost falling on multiple occasions. In Monster Man's case, he is trying to climb up different things to jump off of them! At church, he gets on the outer edge of the porch, about six feet off the ground, and tries to jump off. At the ball fields, I've caught him climbing up a wall that is approximately ten feet high, getting ready to jump off of that. We stopped at a park this past Friday, and I caught him getting ready to jump off the playground equipment, right next to the top of the slide. I've been able to stop him in all these cases, before he could manage to get hurt in the process of his jumping. I can't imagine what he's doing when I'm not looking!
In Monster Man suddenly having this desire to face his biggest fear, and to overcome it by jumping off of high places, he has given me a new fear, one I'm half-expecting to become a reality at some point in the future. I am scared that he will end up jumping off something one day, before anyone can stop him, and that I'll be getting a phone call to take him to the ER for a broken arm or leg. Hopefully he'll get over this desire before he manages to hurt himself.