Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Taking an Inventory of Phobias

Yesterday was a turning point for me, I think. I have realized something about myself. This may have already been evident to some of you who have read this blog, but I am afraid of a lot of things. I mean, I knew what I was afraid of, but I never sat down and took stock of everything I am afraid of. Till yesterday.
It started with the work crews tearing up the road directly in front of my house. The house rattled and shook like it was in an earthquake. Then my little 3 year old saw a spider on the wall and freaked out. I thought "I taught her that." Really, she would have been fine if she had never seen me freak over a spider, now she will probably have a lifelong fear. Not long after that, the shaking got worse. After hours of rattling, I knew the house was going to crumble. I actually took my daughter and fled. My husband was on his was home to pick me up for work, so I just decided we would meet him further on down the road. I grabbed what I needed for work, then thought about saving some valuables, so I grabbed some yarn and my hooks. Priorities, right? Then we fled. And I felt soooo guilty for having to leave the animals in the house that was about to collapse. Then, at work, I was having a conversation with someone about my upcoming trip to Edmonton, and it turned into a discussion on my fear of flying. With another coworker, the topic turned to cooking, and my fear of food poisoning came up. That's when it hit me.
I'm scared of everything.
So, I stopped and tried to think of all the things I am scared of. I need to make a list. Good thing I'm not afraid of lists. So, here it is, in no particular order:

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying: I don't handle flying well at all. Ok, to be fair, it's airplanes. I'm really not bad in helicopters. My dad was a helicopter pilot for the first 25 years of my life, so I had a few chances to fly in one. It's kinda nice. Planes, I can live without. It's difficult to explain to someone who has no anxiety flying. Basically, from the minute I get on the plane, I think I am going to die. I am not thinking of engines falling off, or terrorists, or flying into a mountain, because my brain is too busy preparing to die. I'm ticking off a mental list of all the things I never did in my short life, all the people I will miss (if you miss people after you die), how my kids and husband will deal, what my sisters will do, etc. etc. etc. If I am able to, I start singing songs in my head, just to distract myself. It usually ends up being "American Pie" by Don Mclean. Yes, I get the irony. It's a song about singers that died in a plane crash. But it's long and I know all the words. Unfortunately, I have not flown without a child in tow for the last 12 years, and closing myself off completely is not a real option. Neither is valium. The flight attendants prefer if you actually, ya know, watch your kid. But, the reality is that I have to fly. A lot. At least 2 or 3 times a year. It's very hard on me.

Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia- Fear of spiders: Now, to be fair, I am only really afraid of them indoors. And it's not crippling. I can't kill them or touch them or anything, but if a vacuum is handy, I can suck it up. I think the main part of this fear comes from that urban legend (which may be true, I don't know) about how we eat on average 12 spiders in our lives. Not in our food, but by them crawling into our open mouths while we sleep. Ick! But this fear is minor. Well, it's not crippling, anyway. Although, I'd hate to see what I would do if I had a couple dozen spiders coming at me at once.

Toxiphobia or Toxophobia or Toxicophobia- Fear of poison or of being accidently poisoned: This phobia for me is more specific to food poisoning. A number of things contributed to it. For one, I have had food poisoning. It ain't fun. No way, no how. A headache that makes you wish it would just hurry up and explode your head so you can die already, and then.... well, the rest after that isn't pretty. I won't go into details. But at least I lived through it. People die from food poisoning all the time, ya know. The other part of this phobia is poisoning other people. Like my family. I worked in restaurants for years, and made a lot of "from scratch" meals. I was always very concious of the health codes and standards, because I would have hated to see a customer get sick. Now that has followed me home and I torture my family with it. Here is a typical dinner scene at my house: "Honey, does this meat (chicken, beef, pork, whatever), look cooked?" (that was me, by the way) "Yes, it looks fine." "Are you sure? That doesn't look a bit pink, does it? Girls, don't eat any part that looks pink." "It's fine, it's cooked. Didn't you use your meat thermometer?" "Yes, but maybe I had it in a hot spot and it read wrong." "It's fine! Just eat!" "Ok. If you're sure........but if it looks pink, let me know, ok?" At which point my husband looks like he will start banging his head on the table but politely refrains. What a guy.

Climacophobia- Fear of stairs, climbing, or of falling downstairs: I'm not entirely sure where this one came from, it's just always been there. Maybe something from when I was a kid. But I am very careful on stairs. Always. I hate them. And just watching my daughters on stairs just about gives me heart failure. So, of course, we moved into a house with the steepest and highest stairs leading to a second level I have ever seen. But it's not crippling. I'm just very careful.

My House Falling Down (no phobia name known): I know, it sounds irrational. And it's not like there are a lot of news stories of peoples' houses falling down around them. But it could happen. I explained this one before in another post. It was a distraction fear when hubby was playing with landmines and guns in Afghanistan. If I worried about the house, I didn't worry about him. It got better when he came home. But with this road construction, it's back. If those trucks come back today, I'm leaving. I don't care if I am being irrational. It scares the bejeezers out of me.

Phasmophobia- Fear of ghosts: Honestly, they scare me. I don't even care who it's a ghost of. If my loving grandmother stood in front of me, I'd run. And hide. And tremble. I don't like them. And, I don't really believe in them. Not really. I know, there are creepy things happening in my house. And it's not the first time, or house, it's happened to me in. Which means, that I may just be right round the bend. Loopy. Crazy. A lunatic. Which would be fine by me. Because I'm not afraid of being crazy. Ghosts, yes. Crazy, I can deal with. They have pills for crazy. Oh, and ya'll who are gonna tell me that if you ask the ghosts to go away, they will...ya, no. It doesn't work. Around Halloween I will tell ya'll about all my other hauntings. There are many. I had a pyschic once tell me I am a bit of a ghost magnet. Thanks. Thanks, that helps a lot with my fear. Yikes.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia- Fear of Friday the 13th: Don't laugh, it's true. Not to be confused with Triskaidekaphobia- Fear of the number 13. I don't care about just the number. It's the date that freaks me out. I just know I am going to die on a Friday the 13th. Probably being eaten alive by spiders while flying in a plane. And then the spiders will get food poisoning because I was undercooked. And then I will have to go live with all the ghosts and I'll probably be assigned to haunt some stairs in a house that's about to fall down. That would be my lucky Friday the 13th.

There are other fears. Like bees and car accidents and my children choking to death on a hard candy, etc etc etc. I was just a little surprised with myself when I stopped to think of all of my fears. My God, I am a lunatic. But then, while looking up the names of phobias at , I thought "Hmmm, maybe not so nutty afterall." I mean really, who actually has Arachibutyrophobia? Now, THAT's crazy.

Oh my God, the shaking just started.
Short pause while I make sure everyone is dressed and prepared to flee. Please excuse typos as I am rushing my editing.
I will post tonight and let ya'll know if the house (and me too) survived. Pray for me.


Blogger Jana said...

tara, your post is hilarious! not to make fun of you at all, but funny none the less. makes me think of my phobias:0
i am afraid of: the ocean, being under water, drowning, being in a car accident, speeding cars, caves, tunnels, large bugs of any kind, sharks, and bears. especially bears.

5:08 p.m.  
Blogger Tara said...

Heck, being made fun of is one of the few things I'm NOT afraid of, lol. Oh, and I need to add sharks to my list, too. Thanks for the reminder.

10:39 p.m.  
Blogger Jeannie said...

I just had to respond to this one. I don't think you're crazy or a lunatic. Cause if you are, then I am too. I think I'm afraid of making a list of my fears. Haha! I just know that I have many, many fears.

By the way, I'm Jeannie and a fellow crocheter. I found your blog from yet another crocheting blog. I'm fanihi over on livejournal.

9:35 a.m.  
Blogger Tara said...

Hi Jeannie, nice to meet you. I just looked at your website. I LOVE that crown you crocheted. Cute kiddos, too.

9:42 a.m.  
Blogger Julie said...

okay, I know I'm way late on this one but I have a fear of cockroaches and I grew up in L.A. I also have a fear of people coming into my house while I'm sleeping. Of course, a fear that someone will take my kids. And earthquakes. Earthquakes and cockroaches are two reasons why I moved from L.A. My mom is a severe arachniphobic and unfortunately she lives here in Seattle where there are lots. She's taught my kids to be afraid of them as well. They'll happily pick up worms (ew)and roly poly's (ew,ew), but spiders "AAAAH".

12:04 p.m.  

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