My (not-so-intense) Phobias

1. Aviophobia. Yes, I am scared of flying. Not of looking down from the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building. Not of parasailing on a silly colorful parachute. No. I am scared of AIRPLANES. I mean, WTF. You are on an aircraft that weights a 2-3 tons, 30,000 feet in the air moving at a speed of over 500 mph on a planet that has GRAVITY. What is wrong with us! Yes, I am scared. I’m scared of becoming mush (or ashes). Can you blame me? Reading this list didn’t help either.

2. Claustrophobia. I didn’t even know I was claustrophobic until I went to Italy and totally freaked out when we visited an underground cemetery. I wasn’t scared of the corpses. Afterall, they’re dead. What can they do? No. I was scared of the fact that we were in an underground maze! The walls were extremely narrow with hundreds of people behind me and in front of me. No where to go. Strangely enough, I am not scared of controlled spaces like elevators. I know I can escape an elevator. I am scared of places I am not sure I can escape…like caves, tunnels, subways.

3. Mycophobia. Fear of mushrooms. Actually, I love mushrooms, but there have been times when I have thought to myself (while eating them), “how do I know they [mushroom farmer people] didn’t pick a poisonous mushroom that will make me hallucinate or trip out…” I ate them anyways. Go figure.
4. Pediophobia. Yes, I played with dolls. I just hid them in my closet before going to sleep. Who wants little eyes staring at them throughout the night? Don’t get me started on the My-Size Barbie. Not cool… 

5. Scriptophobia. Technically, this is “fear of writing in public”. Which I’m not afraid of, but it’s the closest phobia to being afraid of taking exams in front of a proctor. I get so nervous before exams, especially long standardized ones (like the GREs). Perhaps one of the main reasons I chose to do my MA in literature is because we never really have to take exams. We just write papers from the comfort of our own home. Why do exams scare me? For one, I am being timed. I hate the pressure. It literally stops my brain function. Secondly, you have a proctor staring at you for hours. No thanks.

6. Agoraphobia. Fear of crowded places. It’s not really a fear, it’s just something I dread. I hate long lines, overly crowded malls, stores, themed parks, restaurants, cities, streets, concerts, airports, etc. I may just freak out on you…Or, excuse myself, step out, and take a deep breath. 

7. Agrizoophobia. Fear of wild animals. Does being scared of a deer running into my car on I70 West count as a phobia?

8. Amnesiphobia. Fear of amnesia. Let me tell you something about my memory. I am a visual person. I learn visually, I remember visually. I’ll give you direction by describing the building and it’s surroundings. I’ll tell you exactly what X-person wore to a party 8 years ago. I’ll tell you the exact location I last saw your Mickey Mouse pencil. Everything I see just sticks to my memory. But for the life of me, I cannot remember things people tell me. Things I hear go through one ear and out the other. Where does the fear part come in? When you see people you’ve met before and you cannot, for your life, recall their name.

9. Melissophobia. Fear of bees. I’ll tell you why. I share my office with a colleague who once told me that one of her students (we’ll call her Becky) came to her after class to warn her that she was allergic to bees. The teacher was instructed to grab an EpiPen from the Becky’s bag and stab her thigh, should she ever be stung by a bee in class. Otherwise, Becky could die within three minutes. I never knew bee stings could be so deadly, and since I do not know whether or not I am allergic, I always get a little scared around them. After hearing that story, how could anyone not be scared!

10. Fear of food with the legs still attached. There is no name for this, but here it goes. I discovered this phobia last week, by the way. I had ordered tom yum soup at a Thai restaurant with two friends. If anyone here knows tom yum soup, it is basically vegetable broth, with mushroom, lemongrass, thai chili, and shrimp. I was so excited to drink my soup that I dug right in only to find a tiny octopus floating on my spoon. Needless to say, I totally freaked out. I pushed the soup away in complete horror, waved down the waitress and demanded to know what an octopus was doing in my tom yum soup! She said it was a special recipe! What? There were eight legs (and I suspect many more of these vile creatures) in my soup! The horror! It was an embarrassing moment that my friends won’t let me forget.

I wrote this mainly to get a good laugh at myself, but thank goodness I really don’t have any serious fears that prevent me from living a normal life. Hope you’ve enjoyed at my expense 🙂

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