I Am Not Proud To Be Afraid Of These Things
When I was young, my sea-loving father used to take me fishing.
Not pansy-ass fishing from the safety of the shoreline with luxurious amenities like restrooms and dry land, or fancy pansy-ass fishing from 25-foot vessels with cockpits and decks, but FISHING fishing.
In an inflated dinghy.
In the middle of the ocean.
With crappy amenities.
In an INFLATED DINGHY.
Did I mention that? Did I mention the inflated dinghy with its little inflated sides filled with AIR over which I could dangle my fingers into the dark, scary ocean? The dinghy that a whale could easily overturn, the dinghy a large shark could leap up into and gobble my head, the dinghy that made me feel like this:
I found it rather terrifying.
So why, you may ask, did I agree to these fearsome field trips?
The pie may have been more like this:
It was a long time ago, I don’t really recall.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have very fond memories of catching many a fish and eating many a musubi and oogling the charming son-of-dad’s-friend who always looked especially rugged and dashing in his orange life vest.
However, I also spent many hours squelching the terror building in my chest. Especially when it was the middle of the night and we were sitting completely still and everything was black and quiet except for unsettling swishing noises emerging from the bowels of the sea.
Nothing ever happened. We were never eaten, capsized, or jostled by unruly dolphins.
I carry with me now, as a souvenir of my fishing days, a completely illogical and irrational fear of dark water.
Which means I am afraid of any water that I cannot see into.
I don’t find water at night to be beautiful or calming. I find it frightening. Unless I am separated from it by a sizable strip of solid land.
In fact, my fear has expanded from merely an excessive concern about actual sea creatures like sharks and sting rays and killer whales into a terror of fictional sea monsters with razor sharp teeth and grabby hands.
I am not proud of this.
There is also no point to all of that other than informing you that you ought not take me rowing in a lake at night.
Scratch that, the point is, I am aware of how ridiculous this fear is and I am working on it.
I am also afraid of roaches. I’ll work on this someday. Maybe. The Man catches and crushes roaches in his bare hands and does NOT chase me around with them. This makes him God-like in my eyes.
We will have an in depth discussion of my fear of roaches another time. If you are disturbingly eager to explore the lovely world of katsaridaphobia I suggest perusing this article. Just know that neither my heart nor I enjoyed reading it.
I’d like to mention that I am capable of pretending I am not afraid of either if the motivation is big enough. For example, if someone I greatly respect and admire, like Anthony Bourdain, says “Friend, let us have exhilarating nighttime conversation on the pier” I’ll be all “Sweet, I LOVE the pier and am totally not afraid of monsters leaping from the ocean and eating me”. And if, while on the pier, a giant roach comes creeping out from the shadows I will calmly say “Oh look, a roach. That harmless creature absolutely does not instill hysteria nor paralysis within me”.
Neither of these are my greatest fear.
My greatest fear goes by the name of Trypophobia and I am NOT in control of this fear. At all.
It began in the third grade when my teacher was reading us a giant picture book about the ocean and turned to a double page spread of live coral that filled me with the unique sensation of simultaneously wanting to vomit and turn myself inside-out.
Also, do you know what happens when I google “trypophobia”?
HORRIBLE PICTURES APPEAR THAT MAKE ME WANT TO GOUGE OUT MY EYEBALLS AND FLUSH MY BRAINS WITH CLOROX UNTIL IT POURS FROM MY BLOODY SOCKETS.
Aside from the above Wikipedia link, I will not be linking to any articles or images because I just can’t. I will also not be drawing any cartoons of trypophobia-inducing horrors for the exact same reason.
Some of y’all may think it would be super hilarious to post some horrible, nasty, tiny hole images on my facebook or website. I am telling you now that I will delete it and feel deep feelings of hatred towards you for an unreasonably extended period of time. There is no exaggeration in that statement.
When I view horrible, clustery, hole-y things I feel cold, panicked, and clammy. I also experience waves of goosebumps and nausea, have an intense desire to remove my skin, and am overwhelmed with the uncontrollable urge to mutilate and destroy whatever it is I’m looking at until every remnant of hole is completely gone.
I had a mango the other day that, when cut open, had hideous holes in it and I threw it away but couldn’t stop thinking about it and had to, I kid you not, dig it out of the trash and DESTROY IT until all that remained was puddles of pulverized seed and squishy pulp.
Then I threw it away. Again.
The struggle is REAL.
I would rather hold a fat live roach in my bare hand than have to watch a video of a Surinam toad and its disgusting babies. Google it. It is the worst thing in all of existence. I question the God that would create such a wretched creature.
What are YOUR phobias and irrational fears? Please share so I don’t have to feel as though I’m the only crazy person in this world. C’mon, be a sport. Do it. Shaaaaaaare…