I’ve tried for a few days to figure out which way to go with this one- random phobias, life concerns, or things that just make me jump in the dark? I’ll give you a little of each.

  • The biggie? That everyone that I know will fall in love and settle down and I’ll be the last single person on earth, doomed to walk the wilderness alone forever and ever, amen.
  • Related, that I’ll never get to have children. BC and I had a lovely plan to procreate, but now he’s in love with a lovely, unexpected man who wants nothing to do with children. My eggs aren’t getting any younger.  I also fear that this makes my life sound like a very special episode of Will & Grace. Also, because I will have no family, I will die all alone in a crappy Days Inn.
  • Being startled in any form. In movies, seeing people get sliced and diced doesn’t scare me, but if someone pops out suddenly, I will jump six feet in the air. I don’t mind that kind of being scared- it’s fun.
  • Unknown dogs not on leashes. I know in the rational part of my brain that most of them just want to be my friend and are harmless. Nonetheless, I am five feet tall and I don’t know that your dog doesn’t want to eat my face off for dinner. Put ’em on a leash folks. Yes, that includes your chihuahua. I don’t want to be scared. I really don’t. I want to dash up to strangers’ dogs and toss my arms around them like a normal person. Still, I can’t help knowing that they all want to kill me. Typing this actually makes me shake and my eyes tear up and my throat close. Yes. It’s completely irrational. It could be worse. Until five or six years ago, I couldn’t even be around dogs that belong to people I know. I’ve gotten much better. And it really is an embarrassing and crippling phobia in social settings or when you live in a city and walk everywhere and everyone has a dog. It’s not that I don’t like them. I just can’t help having complete meltdowns when I think I’m about to have my throat slashed open. By the violent fangs of your gentle Labrador retriever with the tennis ball.
  • That I’ll never finish writing a novel. I love the poems that I’m working on, but I’ve had the novel I want to write in that “50 pages and a great idea” stage for much too long.
  • I’ve covered my slipping on ice and embarrassment fears before. Thanks to reader Oregon Sunshine’s tip, I bought Yak Trax anti-slip doohickeys and they have radically changed my winter life.
  • Having to ask my family for money. It’s not that they wouldn’t help me if I needed it. In fact, even when I don’t need it, my mom still tries to slip me money when I come home. I don’t think she can resist the impulse. But I’ve worked since I was 15, even though I didn’t need to. Because for as long as I can remember, I have desperately wanted to be self-supporting. If I could keep a therapist, I’m sure they would have plenty to say about this.
  • Water at high speeds– don’t take me water skiing or inner tubing or whitewater rafting. I just don’t like it. I’m a great swimmer and I love to swim. I just don’t want to be dragged through the water at 70 mph or smashed on rocks. This seems reasonable to me.

Things I am not scared of that other people are:

  • Spiders- we have a live-and-let-live arrangement. If I see you once, you better crawl away before I see you again.
  • Ghosts- real or not, they don’t scare me. Go on with your dead self.
  • Dying- I’ve had a pretty full life. While I’d like to do a lot more if I get the 60 years more that my genes suggest, if it was over tomorrow I feel like I’ve really lived.
  • Heights- I’m five feet tall. Everything is a height when you’re me.

So, what are you scared of?



Filed under Lists, Soul Searching

12 responses to “Fears

  1. shorties unite! im a 5′ er too!
    but im not afraid of heights..or i wouldnt be able to climb up on these platform shoes..the view from up here is great!

  2. The neat thing about phobias is that they are the easiest mental disorders to fix. For example my young son had the same irrational phobia over dogs that you do. The way that I helped him to overcome it is to bring home a full grown Great Dane dog. When I brought the dog in, he was at the dinner table which he instantly jumped up on. I sat there and patted the dog, and eventually, he slowly climbed down and within 20 minutes was patting the dog as well. The dog became his constant companion and he never feared them again. It is all about baby steps to overcoming your phobias.

    I am not afraid of dying but of contracting Alheimers Disease. My mother and her sister died from it and now my father has it. It would seem that I am genetically predipositioned for it.

    As for not getting married, I have already offered you counsel on solving that problem. Get out there and search and make yourself available.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

    • WTF? Where the heck did you get your degree in psychology? You’re talking about flooding, which can make phobias much, much worse instead of better. I suggest you unplug yourself from the tube and Cesar Milan and go back to school.

      Eleanor- as a dog trainer, as a positive method dog trainer, I would not do this to you, or any afraid creature, small pocket pet or over-sized Labradoodle alike. I happen to have a full-sized Great Dane and care enough about her safety to not push her on people that are afraid of dogs. Period. End of story.

      If we were closer and you were game, I’d happily try to help you, but without the b.s. factor of marriagecoach1. And to help you out, that first step is to embrace being single. About the time you’re really ok with it, Mr. Right will probably come along. Hopefully, he’ll have a basket full of irresistible puppies to help you with the dog phobia.

      • Hey Oregon:
        Isn’t it amazing that you liberals have to put people down. My degrees are legitimate.

        I subscribe the school of psychology called Behaviorism. I used standard protocol of “successive approximations” to extinguish my son’t phobia. I did not bring the dog near him, just in the same room. I sat there “modeling” patting the dog on the head and the dog was wagging its tail. It worked beautifully and in a half hour he was patting the dog on the head and as I said, the two became inseparable afterwards.
        To hear you say it, the results would have been catastrophic and they were not. I am good at what I do.

        John Wilder

  3. By the way, petite women are my favorite body types. I think that 5′ epitomizes feminity.

  4. Oh dear. Sorry to hear that the procreation with BC plan might fall through. I remember wondering about that when they first got together… but I was hoping the new guy would be on board with the kid thing.

    I wonder, though… I mean I know you haven’t actually gotten around to trying to get pregnant yet, but if you were going to, doesn’t that mean that BC wants kids. Like what if he’d met this guy and you were already pregnant? Or had a kid? In that case it would have been non-negotiable. What do you think would have happened then? Would they never have gotten together or would the boyfriend have decided the kid thing was acceptable after all? Like, if BC wants a kid so badly that he was all set to have one with you, is it not a problem for him that he’s now with someone who has no interest?

    Maybe that’s an overly personal question. I’m just thinking about how upsetting it would have been if Torsten hadn’t wanted kids. I guess I’m just wondering about different people’s dealbreakers…

  5. Jennie

    Obviously, your friend John Wilder can fix your fears. Listen to him. He’s already offered you counsel. What the hell is wrong with you for not listening to him? Go adopt a pit bull and see how things go!

  6. Pam_Wow

    What Jennie said.

    And I share many of your fears. Except that novel thing, because I could never even contemplate writing like that. And the dogs, I’m afraid of untied-up dogs but only because I always have mine with me and poor lil Gidget wouldn’t stand a chance if a dog attacked her. I’d sacrifice myself for her though.

    And water, not just at high speeds, always.

  7. Marriagecoach2

    I’ve counseled you on this before, but now I think I’ve solved all of your problems with one very simple soluble solution: marry a gay dog on a speedboat.

    At a predetermined point during the ceremony, your father (dressed as a Saint Bernard, of course) will jump out of the water to frighten you while you ask your mother for money.

    I’m an excellent counselor and I coach marriages all the time – they call me Coach Love in the locker room! – so I know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Also, if you need some sperm, just start acting like a girl for once!

  8. If you ever want to co-work on that novel, I’m game. There’s nothing like sitting beside another typing/working humatoon a coffeeshop to get your nose to the grindstone.

    That said, dogs off of leashes make me nervous too — especially if I’m with my own dog. I’m scared to death of him getting ripped apart by some jackass’s menace running free. Likely? No. Terrifying? Hell yes.

  9. Marriagecoach3

    I have also offered you counsel before, and I have no idea why you’re not listening to me. Don’t listen to Marriagecoach1 through 2 – I believe both of them don’t even have Marriage Counselor degrees from Marriage Tech like I do. I worked really hard on it, and believe me, it’s not easy to log onto that website. Keyboards are really hard!

    That said, here’s my advice to you: phobias are entirely normal, and if anything, you should try to rack up a few more. In many cultures, fear is a sign of wealth. If you fear things, it means that you have experienced more! Do you fear tigers? You must have been bitten by one. Do you fear white pickup trucks? Clearly, you must have been hit by one. Do you see what I’m getting at, here?

    If you fear marriage, then clearly you’ve done your part. Maybe what you need to do is, I don’t know, go get bitten by a man.

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