What are you afraid of?

By Mir
July 19, 2011

There are plenty of phobias I don’t quite understand. Monkey, for example, is absolutely TERRIFIED of bees and wasps, which I gather is a not-uncommon thing amongst Aspies, but is nonetheless kind of annoying and disruptive when something comes along buzzing and he completely freaks out. Me, I’m actually allergic to wasps, and I’m not nearly as fearful as he is.

Chickadee’s needle phobia? I don’t get that, either. Needles don’t faze me. I gave myself shots every day when I was pregnant, and other than looking a little like a pincushion, it didn’t bother me.

But the truth is that I used to be fearless, and then my life filled up with wonderful things, and rather than making me feel calm and blessed, it has made me fearful. Because what if…? The things that should make me feel most secure and happy are now, oftentimes, the reasons I lay awake at night, worrying I might lose them.

Today I’m over at Off Our Chests, talking about this fear pendulum. I think we all have one. I’m coming to realize that mine needs some adjusting.


  1. Sharon

    Oh I hope you explain how you are planning on adjusting your pendulum because I don’t know what the heck I would think about if I wasn’t worrying (living in fear!!!)

  2. Rachael

    I’m pretty much afraid of everything. Cars, geese, spiders, snakes, crawly things in general. I would love to know how to adjust the fear pendulum and perhaps not be constantly in fear! :)

  3. Anthony from CharismaticKid

    Really good point. I’ma go over there and check out this fear pendulum you speak of.

  4. Christina

    Interesting – my Aspie is terrified of bees and wasps too, but only if they are moving. She actually had a friend help her catch a wasp, but when they are flying around she flips out.

  5. RuthWells

    I never knew the bee/wasp thing was an Aspie trait — Quin is afraid of them, but Garrick isn’t. Go figure.

  6. Erin

    Oh my word. I have been saying this for YEARS. I never used to be nervous or a worrier, but when I met my husband, I started worrying about things like car accidents and terrible illnesses, etc.–I remain absolutely convinced that NO ONE gets to be this in love and this happy without horrible tragedy befalling them eventually. I was completely certain that we were going to end up as one of those “And then, a week before their wedding, SOMETHING AWFUL HAPPENED” stories you hear about.

    I’m getting better about this (and it’s not like I’m having panic attacks, but I do worry much more than I used to, when I didn’t worry at all!), but it’s weird. Why are we so convinced that happiness and contentment can only beget tragedy? Have we been reading too many Nicholas Sparks books or something?!

  7. Jessica

    Erin, I have been the same way! My friends and family have always called me “jinx” because weird and bad things always happen to me. My uncle actually said on my wedding day, “It can’t be Jessica’s wedding if something didn’t go wrong.” I don’t remember being this way when I was a kid. I would climb trees and jump out of swings and hang upside down. Now I worry about my husband having a fatal car accident when he goes to work in the morning, even though his commute isn’t that long and is all in town. Freak accidents happen…and I’ve never been so happy with someone else in my entire life as I am with my husband. In the end, it all comes down to believing what you said, that happiness can’t last without something going wrong. (I’ve never read a Sparks’ book, though. I probably shouldn’t either, if that’s what happens in them. Obviously, I’ve never seen a movie based on his novels either.)

    I’m glad I’m not the only one this happened to, because I thought I was insane. My husband gets on my case when something DOES go wrong, and I blame myself. I know exactly when this started (the “things are going well, so when is the other shoe going to drop?” syndrome), now that I sit here thinking about it, and why. And it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with people I love, specifically a person I love. But I’m the one worrying my fool head off all the time…

  8. dad

    There have to be differences between fear of the unknown, fear acquired by experience, and irrational fear. I think having them is just part of the human experience. It’s doubtful that they can be eliminated but hopefully one can learn to cope better.

    ps: Thanks a bunch for telling the entire world I once drank an 8 oz glass of chicken fat.

  9. Tracy B

    LOL Dad. I agree on the different degrees of worry. My Memaw use to say to me all the time that worrying was a sin. And we would both say in unison….but we are sinners! I’m headed over to OOC!

  10. Vern

    I am 100% in support of Monkey’s phobia. Yesterday I was driving my car with the windows down when a bee flew in my window and landed on my head. I said to myself OUT LOUD “don’t freak out. DON’T FREAK OUT!” Then I pulled over as soon as I could, jumped out of my car and flung my arms around as if being attacked by the birds in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It was epic. (Alfred Hitchcock, not me.)

  11. Nancy

    I do so know exactly what you mean. Being in a bad marriage for so long, and the agony of getting out, I never realized how fearful you could be of loosing happiness. And even with my kids being 30 and 26 (how could I possibly be saying that? that must be someone else with those old kids) I still worry that someone will be hurt or die in an accident, much more so than when they were little. Being with the love of my life means having to worry a lot about keeping the happiness. But better than the years of worrying about what would happen at home.

  12. Little Bird

    Heights, spiders, tornadoes, stinging insects, being abandoned, losing my left leg (long story), and ironically large birds. That’s most of my fears.

  13. Brigid

    Vomit. I have emetophobia which makes me deathly afraid of other people vomitting. It’s brutal sometimes – like when one of my children gets sick.

  14. Liza

    I share Chickie’s needle phobia, although post-infertility treatments, it has reduced in scope considerably. In fact, when I was about her age and forced to get allergy shots, I once passed out across the pediatrician’s check-in desk, doubtlessly scaring the pants off of a number of small children and their parents. Since that moment, I have warned medical care providers that I am a fainter and should only be poked with needles while already prone. Mostly they thank me for the warning.

  15. Heather

    Some days it feels like I’m scared of everything, and other days I feel 9 ft tall and bulletproof.

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