The Sum of All Fears
I know that’s a movie title…I don’t care!
With my friend Susie talking about freaks and frights ahead of Samhain, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of conglomeration I could make of all my phobias. So here’s what I managed to put together: being trapped on a rollercoaster with a spee that is trying to put in contacts–even better if it’s in a tightly enclosed space.
Okay, let’s break these down:
Γ The rollercoaster represents acrophobia, the fear of heights.
Is it cheating to depict the one rollercoaster I actually like?
Since I have no childhood incident to base this one off of (unlike the others), I’m guessing my acrophobia stems from a past life. I could’ve been pushed off a cliff, have fallen off a roof, any number of things. The worst part is that my mother dragged me on coasters as a child. I’m not so sure it was from her own love of coasters or if it was her own way of doing aversion therapy, as she also forced me to go to the rail during a fourth grade trip to the state capitol and look down through the rotunda as we went up each successive floor. (*shivers*)
I’m better now with minor heights compared to where I used to be. For example, I can climb up a ladder at work–as long as I don’t go too high–and all I get is a slight feeling of unease. One thing that is still the bane of my existence, however, is stairs that not only have grated treads, but no backs on the risers. I actually went to a cattle call (of an interview) this year where I had to go up a flight of stairs like that (to a storage area)…only to discover that part of the space was open and I could see out over the store. O.o
Let’s just say that I clung to the wall until I was able to get a paper copy of my app and the questionnaire they wanted me to fill out and then I GOT THE HELL AWAY FROM THE EDGE OF THE LOFT! (Coming back down has always been easier for some reason.)
Γ A “spee” is a spider/bee hybrid. (I really, really love the name I came up with. *giggle*) Despite the spider being in the front of the portmanteau, cnidophobia–the fear of things that sting (including insects, needles and nettles. [I include scorpions])–actually comes sooner in my chronology.
I chose a cute picture to reduce the torture!
When I was maybe five years old, we were on Mackinaw Island (I believe…not the city), watching a parade when I reached up to scratch my head. Unfortunately, a wasp was tangled in my hair, so I got stung…and we walked around the island for the rest of the day with the stinger in my thumb. >.< (My father has since said, "What did you expect us to do?" I don't know…ask someone for a first aid kit or something?!)
Before I discovered the phobic term, my dad used to say I was afraid of needles–which I’ve always argued was patently untrue. I can watch someone get a tattoo or a vaccine and only cringe a little. What really drives me nuts is when nurses say “just a little pinch” and you go “OWOWOW!” Combine that with my squeamishness and you can see why it took me until the age of twenty-five to stop crying every time the doctor announced she wanted a blood draw! (It doesn’t help that I swear they took a small bag of blood instead of a few vials the first time I ever had it done!) (See note below.) Of course, I now know that if I lay down (or use the “layback chair”, as they call it at our lab) and ask for the “baby needle” (the smallest gauge possible), it’s not so bad–no worse than jabbing yourself with an ink pen.
Blogger’s Note: When I said “small bag”, all I could think of from my pharmacy training is “small volume parenteral” (a non-oral medication of 100ml or less). But as I finished writing that part, I looked up SVP and discovered that “small bag” was fine, as what I was referring to is also called a “mini bag”, which holds 50-100ml.
Used in a sentence (because I can’t help myself): When I got sick in 2013, the nurse hung up a mini bag of phenergan rather than bothering my poor, worn-out self with a line injection. (True example.) (Or maybe that was just what was handy…I was too sick to care!)
The fear of spiders is arachnophobia. There’s even a movie named after it.
When I was younger, my maternal grandmother got bitten by a brown recluse (pictured above). (By the way…I wouldn’t look up “brown recluse bites” unless you can handle the sight of necrotizing flesh. YUCK!) That’s all it took…I’ve pretty much been afraid of spiders since then. Daddy Long Legs are okay, because I know what they are, and the common house spider (I can’t find a proper identification, but the ones that look like fuzzy black things the size of a quarter?) I don’t mind, as long as I’m sure I can get it with the flyswatter in one shot. But otherwise? ForGET IT!
(Now do you see why upsetting Jamie’s girlfriend/Greg’s wife are the equivalent of an acromantula to me? Sweet Mother Goddess! *shivers*)
Oh…I almost forgot. When I was younger, I was having a snack in the dining room (a donut, in fact) and looked across to the living room to discover my father watching a show/movie where the parents (I think) were arguing in court while a little girl was pinned to the dining room table (at their home) by a GIANT FUCKING SPIDER! (I think it’s been about twenty years and that’s still etched in my memory–especially since I flipped. Out.)
The spee putting in contacts is a reference to my ommetaphobia, inherited from my father. (Ommetaphobia is a fear of eyes in general, I think…but you’ll see it may not quite be that when you read on.)
If I wasn’t afraid of contacts, I would totally get the amethyst ones!
As you might have guessed, I can not watch anyone put in contacts. The idea is so gross to me that when one of my sixth grade teachers gave a demonstration speech on how to put in contacts, I kept my head down the whole time and wrote notes furiously, staring at my notebook when I wasn’t writing.
Worse–and more prevalent–than that, I CANNOT HAVE ANYTHING NEAR MY EYES!!! I used to freak out when my mother tried to put mascara on me for dance recital and I’ve used eyeliner maybe once in my life. (By the way: people who put liner in the lid are not only risking putting their eyes out, they’re begging for infection!) A few years back, one of my aunts suggested I hold the wand near my eye and blink into it. TADA! That’s how you help an ommetaphobic put on makeup! I can put it on properly now, but I have to be the one to do it because of my phobia. (I still have a day every once in a while where I go the blink route…glad I have the option!)
Eye drops are a no, too. I was worried when I started wearing glasses, but I’ve been able to persuade my doc out of dilating every time. (I had to switch for the last exam and the new doc was very gentle about the issue.) If you’re asking, “What if you get an eye infection?”, I’ve been there. When I was about fifteen, a cold went to my eyes. (Yucky stuff…they thought it was pinkeye until the doc took a look.) That’s where having an ommetaphobic father comes in handy…he suggested putting the antibiotic drops in the corners of my lightly closed lids and swirling my head around to make the medicine coat the eye. Genius once again! (Don’t they call those “life hacks” nowadays?)
Γ Finally, I have a mild claustrophobia–the fear of enclosed spaces.
The Modern Family gang, stuck in an elevator!
The majority of my fear is–you guessed it–being stuck in an elevator. I could have a panic attack, my IBS could kick up (or I could just have to go potty period)…hell, being stuck in an elevator and without my tablet or anyone to talk to is very much my idea of horrible, horrible things. I had the problem a little bit when I was younger, but it seems like the older I get, the more people tend to get stuck and it’s just…UGH. (Besides, the stairs are a good thing for a pudgy bunny like me!)
The lesser aspect is being stuck in an enclosed space for any (significant) length of time. I remember an indoor…what do you want to call it? Theatrical ride? where we had to stand in a sort of mine shaft or something similar to wait. (If it’s at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, as I suspect it was, the ride is currently “The Curse of DarKastle”–I don’t remember what it used to be.) Too long in the waiting area for something like that and I’m uncomfortable. I think it’s not being able to see the sky or any way out that bothers me, because when I think of something like an MRI tube where you can see part of the room if you stare at your toes (I think…never had one), that’s okay.
Sorry if that last one was a little anticlimactic…did you expect me to say, “X, Y, Z things in horror movies scare me”? I don’t watch horror movies. I don’t see the point. It’s okay to watch some freaky-ass serial killer in a movie series like Saw or everything (ever) going wrong in a series like Final Destination, but would you be okay with that happening in real life? People can say “it’s a movie” all they want, but serial killers, snipers and other freaks of nature can and do happen in reality–that’s why we have the words “psychopath” and “sociopath”.
One thing I always think about when I consider horror movies (and I’ll never forget this) is a story I read about the filming of Hostel II. Apparently, there’s a part where a girl hangs upside-down and a “paying guest” hacks away at her with a scythe or something. The scene was so gross, most of the crew looked away while it was being filmed.
REALLY?! Yet you made a third movie. And even though the “torture porn” genre has calmed down, it’s still active. (There’s one series that grosses me out so bad in the mere mention of it that I refuse to even name it.) It sickens me that people make movies that are so horrible that it freaks out the crew and it doesn’t bother them to create such filth; yet if it happened in real life, there’d be a hue and cry to find the killer.