Monday, December 6, 2010

subconscious phobias

There are moments when I am confronted by my psychoses, but usually they are just part of the random thoughts coursing through my brain -- mostly too swift to capture and really consider, so generally ignored.  I feel that I am a confident, well-adjusted person, but I do have my fair share of irrational fears that I don't recognize until the danger has passed.

For example, while we lived in Japan I was sure that there would be an earthquake to end all earthquakes during our sojourn -- because that would be my luck, and I guess it is better to expect it than to be surprised, right?  So every night, without thinking too much about it, I would be very careful about where I put my glasses -- yes, the thing I worried the absolute most about was not being able to see anything, not my children, although they did come in a very close second.  The reason for this is because my glasses would be shattered and I am basically blind and then how could I take care of anything?  I wouldn't be able to and everyone would suffer.  It is reasonable.  And every morning as I got ready I would think, "Will today be the day?"  On average, I think we felt about five earthquakes a month so I would always wonder as one started how bad it was going to get, even though I had been told that the big ones start big with a jolt, and these were mostly softer and rolling.  After we had been there a while it wasn't something I thought about purposefully, just more of something that was part of my rhythm, part of the daily jostle of thoughts.  When we were back in the U.S. living in New Hampshire was when the fear really became apparent because I would often be so overcome with relief that there was very little chance for a life changing earthquake each day.  A little bit loopy, I know.

This same thing happens to me every winter when it gets really cold outside.  Every time I get in the car I think, "Whew, there probably isn't a deranged killer hiding in my backseat waiting for the perfect time to slash me into pieces."  And as I rush to my back door late at night I tell myself how nice it is that there certainly couldn't possibly be an axe murderer waiting patiently in the bushes for my return -- because it is too bone chillingly glacial outside for even the crazies to be out.  But normally I don't even realize that I have those fears, that I am terrified to be out at night, that I hate to get into empty cars, that I am sure that will be the way that I die.  

Maybe I don't know quite how to explain it, but my phobias seem to be flighty little things that I hardly notice while their absence is more tangible and weighty and thus more noticeable to me.  I guess it is an okay way to be.  I still go on with my life, but am so happy and relieved when the threat is no longer present.  And the second item is one thing to like about winter.  I'm making a list, but it is slow going.  What are you afraid of?


The Queen Bee said...

I'm glad it's winter because tornado season is over!

I am also afraid of going to stores that I've never been to, and Chris and I dieing at the same time.(before the kids grow up).

Jen said...

I have an irrational fear of fish that started when I was a teenager. I watched them feed the pirahnas at a natural history museum/aquarium in San Francisco, and I had nightmares for a long time after that. I still can't look at fish eyes without getting serious anxiety.

I also have anxiety about terrible things happening to my family. Which, after this September, is apparently WELL FOUNDED! Gaaaah!

The Olsen Clan said...

I have the SAME fear of someone getting into the back of the van! My other phobia is stairs. I am absolutely certain each time I go down a flight of stairs that I am going to fall to my death. Every Time.

HARA said...

If you were experiencing 5 earthquakes a day, the fear of "The Big One" doesn't seem so irrational. Snakes. My phobia of garden snakes keeps me from doing yard work, and I don't hate yard work. If I see one, I literally take days to unwind. I cry, shake, sweat, my heart races. It's not pretty. Nothing scares me like snakes.

Stacey said...

I am afraid of my house catching fire while we are sleeping and not being able to get to all the kids, drowning (water is the silent killer you know!) and I too fear someone being in the back of my van. I always check it if I am out at night. You are not alone!

Ellen said...

Social gatherings or being with lots of people, but I know it's good for me, so I do it, and things usually turn out okay.

Related Posts with Thumbnails