Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Big50 Day 37: Phobias

So. Phobias.  I know there's an actual psychological definition, and that the word is over-used, and I should probably use fears, so I apologise to anyone who takes issue with me saying "phobia" instead of "fear"...But I'm going with phobia, because I do feel these things irrationally.  This post may also be triggery if you have any phobias.

My biggest irrational phobia is of drains.  That's so irrational it's not even on the Phobia List.  This stems from two Stephen King influences.  The first is obviously IT, a novel about an evil clown that comes up out of drains.  There's also a short story (I can't remember the name) about a guy who finds a finger coming up out of his drain and the finger gets longer and has more and more joints...Ugh, I just shivered and now I'm going to have trouble taking a shower.  I really, really hate taking a shower in a shower stall that has the drain in the middle of the floor (as ours does), and try to avoid standing over it as much as possible.  I'll randomly get hit with this phobia when I'm cleaning my teeth or whatever and suddenly have to get away from the sink as quickly as I can.

Another irrational phobia, also courtesy of Stephen King, is of my wardrobe door being open.  This one is from Cujo.  Most people remember that novel as being about a rabid dog that traps a kid and his mother in their car, miles from anywhere...But I remember the kid also saw the dog as a monster in his wardrobe, and thus, I can't sleep with my wardrobe door being open.  Or even be in the room if it's left open after being used.  When I started writing this paragraph, I glanced over my shoulder to make sure the wardrobe in our computer room was closed!

A more common phobia I have is agoraphobia - fear of being in crowded spaces.  I've had panic attacks from this.  It usually manifests when I'm in an unfamiliar crowd, like at a concert or something, but I can also be hit with it when I'm at the supermarket or mall, even if it's not a particularly crowded day.  If I'm already stressed and my mental defenses are down, just a regular supermarket trip can make me very jumpy.  I think this comes down to a lack of control over the situation.

My final phobia would I guess be a form of claustrophobia (confined spaces), but it's a bit more specific - I can't stand anything being over my face or close to my face.  It's very difficult for me to have someone else do my makeup, for example.  If I'm getting a haircut, the hairdresser can't put my hair over my face or I freak out.  I can't sleep with my covers over my head.  I don't even like having water on my face - it's the first thing I dry when I get out of the shower.  I'm not sure where this phobia comes from.

If you feel comfortable doing so, share your fears and phobias in the comments!

This post is part of my Big50 blogging challenge series.


  1. Just spiders. I lose any kind of rationality when it comes to spiders. They terrify the shit out of me!

  2. My husband is also terrified of spiders. His friend told me a story once about how one time he tried to get out of a car on a motorway when he saw a spider. I'm definitely on spider disposal duty in our house. I've never minded them, but then again, it's extremely unlikely I'd ever meet a dangerous one in NZ!

  3. Yeah, I've done that whole "GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW!!" thing. It's really dangerous, but people still think it's funny to prank that!

  4. Pranking phobias is just mean, and, as you say, dangerous!

  5. I'm a bit short on phobias myself. But I've read that Stephen King short story. Hedge clippers were involved I believe. Very silly story :-)

  6. I think so too. I wish I knew what collection it was in. Skeleton Crew, perhaps.

    I love Stephen King stories and have a couple of shelves full of him. But I can't read them alone at night, and I certainly can't watch the movie versions without weeks of nightmares. I'm really, really bad with horror movies.