I think we can all agree that some of our fears our 100% legitimate while others are a complete waste of time. For example, being afraid of being eaten by a bear is a very good fear. This motivates someone to not pet or feed a bear when they come upon one in the woods. Note that where I come from, Colorado, being eaten by a bear is a very good fear to have as it will prevent you from stupidly trying to befriend said bear in which case your new best friend will tear your face off.
But then there are the fears that have no grounding in reality or common sense. Today, I’d like to share mine with you so that we can better understand each other.
At some point when I was very little I, according to my family as I don’t remember this, saw my grandmother get stung by a bee and her reaction was a bit extreme. My family, and by association I, believe that I this is what caused me to have an extreme fear of bees. I should also note that when I say bees, I also mean wasps, yellow jackets, a dragonfly seen at the wrong angle and overly buzzy flies.
When I was younger, me running away from a bee looked something similar to the college girl in a horror movie running away from the serial killer. Just the sight of a bee would send me running in terror, screaming at the top of my lungs, “BEE BEE BEE!” My family thought this was hilarious.
But Jaysen, you might say, bees are scary. They sting you. You have every right to be scared. But do I really? They’re tiny. I’m not allergic and the sting feels only slightly more painful than a needle. And to that point, that’s why bees are my number one irrational fear, rather than my second.
A standard practice in a medical examination is called the finger prick. This involves stabbing a finger and then taking a sample of the blood that comes out of said finger in order to do tests on it. The first time I ever received this joyfully awful test, I misheard the word ‘prick’ as ‘print’. I was fully prepared to dab my finger in ink when a needle was forcefully jabbed into my skin. I do believe this was the moment I decided needles were evil and only used to trick me and cause pain.
Ever since this, I have turned into a giant baby at the sight of needles. I squirm and ask nurses to “just give me a minute to breathe,” when they are trying to draw blood. At one point I refused to go to the doctor as I knew that it would result in a flu shot. This gave my mother, a nurse, the brilliant idea to bring the flu shot home. One day I awoke from a nap to find her hovered over me with the needle in my arm.
Now I not only had to worry about needles only at the doctor but at home or on the street or in the car. They were EVERYWHERE!! No where on land was safe from the vicious attack of a needle. I’d have to seek shelter elsewhere. There was just one little problem.
I don’t know of a specific moment that spurred this on but I do know that it started to develop when I got glasses and realized that seeing underwater was becoming exceedingly difficult. Since then, my fear of water has progressed to a frightening level, making me tense up when near a swimming pool or beach. In order to iron out any questions you might have on this one, I’ve compiled a list.
Drinking water: Good.
Baths: Not so much.
Lakes: Please no.
Oceans: Hell no.
Rivers: Definitely not.
Boats: Keep away at all cost.
Submarines: No! NO! NOOOO!
Hopefully this clears up just how this pesky little fear works.
#4 Being Wrong
I suppose we can skip this one as it rarely comes up as I am rarely wrong…but seriously. This is a very real thing. I remember times I was wrong on a question in first grade. They haunt me in my sleep. Thinking about them makes me sweat in places that no one wants to admit they sweat even though everyone does. So just do me this favor. If we ever have a conversation and I say something blatantly wrong, maybe just smile and nod and we’ll both be happier for it.
Of all my irrational fears, this might be the most rational. Even though I love my space and alone time, I hate the idea of being ‘alone.’ I can honestly say that all the of the best and worst decisions in my life have come down to my fear of abandonment. I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts. I don’t want to be alone with my anxiety. I don’t want to be alone when I’m running from bees while my mom attacks me with a flu shot, on the beach all because I went to the WRONG beach.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this. If you tell me your moving, forgive me for acting angry. I’m not mad at you, I’m just scared to lose you. If you ask me to go to the beach and I won’t go, know that I love you but I’m terrified. If you tell me that you are going away for a couple weeks, know that my sad face just means I’ll miss you. My fears make me a mess just like everyone else in the world, but I’ll make you a deal. If you can manage to accept me for my ridiculous, uncalled for, no rhyme, no reason fears of everything unimportant in the world, I’ll accept you for yours.