Friday, September 16, 2011

Phobophobia

I am a scaredy cat. There I said it.

Fear of the dark, the boogey man, heights, needles, evil clowns, dentists, vegetables, spiders, Roseanne Barr; I’ve got it all. Of course as an adult I suppress my natural response to such things. I shamefully hide them and pretend they don’t affect me, but sadly they do.

One of my favorite traditions is hanging Christmas lights; that is until I have to climb on the roof. Then it turns into something resembling an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I get near the edge and I cling to the shingles like a capuchin monkey grips a banana, all the while doing my best James Stewart impersonation.

Speaking of Hitchcock, I can’t shower at a hotel/motel without being full of trepidation and I’m very suspicious of any and all large bird gatherings. (Good evening to you, sir! Good evening to YOU.)

My nightly bedtime routine is a sight to behold as well; I make my way around the house shutting off the lights and double checking all the doors. I purposely leave the closest light to my room on until last, not because I won’t be able to see in the dark but because I don’t want to be alone with the dark. I flip that last switch and haul buns around the corner before anything can get me.

And this paranoia is amplified when I’m home alone. I actually turn off the lamp simultaneously diving onto the bed superman style, so whatever’s under there can’t get me, and quickly pull the covers over me. That’s right my covers will protect me from whatever evil monstrous creature might be lurking in the dark.

That’s actually what prompted this little confession. I was lying in bed the other night on top of the covers because it was warm. My mind flashed to a character in a movie I’d recently seen (P.S. You are a jerk M. Night Shyamalan and you ruined King of Queens for me too). Afraid she may actually be in the now dark room I retracted both feet, which were hanging off the end of the bed, and tucked them under the sheets. (Much better)

What safeguard did this provide you ask? Why did I feel less threatened nestled safely under the shield of my cotton\poly protection? First, I don’t know. And second, shut up. I know it’s ridiculous but it did the trick.

As long as I can remember it’s been like this. It’s a chicken and the egg kind of deal (with me being the chicken of course). I don’t know if scary movies are the cause or if the movies perpetuate my pre-existing fears. In any case scary movies and I don’t get along.

With regret, all too often, I watch movies that have the potential to adversely affect my life. As a child I had a reoccurring nightmare about twin girls and a long hallway that I later learned was a scene from The Shining. I used to regularly go camping by myself. Thank you Blair Witch Project for putting an end to my solitary enjoyment of the great outdoors. My wood centric fears don’t stop there either. Even Disney screwed me over, forever ruining backward mirror writing and the name Karen.

Oh and forget about the ocean; I can’t even swim in a lake, a pond or a semi-murky pool without worrying about being eaten by a great white. (You hear that Spielberg?! I hope you’re happy.)

Do you have a predetermined plan of action for when you drive by a corn field at night? I do. I lock the doors and drive with a vengeance. If anything pops out of that corn and is hit by the car I’m not stopping to see if it’s okay. I’ll keep driving and I’m not looking back. No diminutive Amish looking kids are taking me out.

Unfortunately Mr. King’s personalized reign of terror also extends beyond film to one of his many literary works. I don’t tread anywhere near storm drains for fear of the children snatching clowns that live in them. “We all float down here Georgie.” [A chill just shot up my spine]

With Halloween right around the corner I’m all but assured a fresh opportunity to develop new irrationally charged mildly debilitating compulsions to be shamefully concealed in the company adults and children alike. Yay!

I’d ask for your phobias but I’m afraid of what you might say.

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