Things I Am Afraid Of or My Phobias

The title of this post sounds a bit like an essay that I would never assign to any of my critical writing classes, but it is one that I would assign every semester to any creative writing class I might teach. I think this is a fascinating topic for many reason. One: I think our phobias say a lot about who we are. Two: By writing about our phobias, we get to explore not only what we are afraid of, but also why we are afraid of it. Three: Who doesn’t love delving a little bit deeper into her own psyche just to find out that the irrational fears she faces everyday are possibly very rational. Here are my phobias that I would like to one day write about:

  1. Haphephobia: A fear of being touched—I don’t liked to be touched for pretty much any reason. I don’t like to hug people or to have them walk up next to me and put their arms around me. So, if you have ever received a hug from me, consider your self lucky.
  2. Vaccinophobia: A fear of vaccinations—I think vaccinations are a ridiculous waste of time and money. We have diseases for natural population control, and we have vaccinations so large pharmaceutical companies can make money. Plain as that.
  3. Scatophobia: A fear of fecal matter—I don’t mind my own poop, but yours better not come near me. Also, I have a dog who I think is scatophobic because he literally runs away from his poop every morning.
  4. Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia: Fear of choking of being smothered—This actually also extends out into a fear of drowning. Really I am afraid of not being able to breathe: drowning, choking, asthma, suffocation, or strangling.
  5. Nyctohylophobia: Fear of dark wooded areas or of forests at night—This actually has more to do with a fear I used to have when I had my Jeep. Whenever I would have all the windows and doors off, I was always afraid a deer would jump in when I was driving past a cornfield. It would then proceed to bite me in the next or hoof me to death. Since I love to camp, I think my fear has more to do with the deer.
  6. Gephyrophobia or Gephydrophobia or Gephysrophobia: Fear of crossing bridges—This only applies to really high bridges in interstates: The Chicago Skyway, a bridge in Milwaukee, the bridge to South Padre, one in Corpus Christi, and one in Dayton.
  7. Emetophobia- Fear of vomiting—Seriously, I will bargain with God to keep from throwing up. Ew.
  8. And, probably my most serious fear whose name I cannot locate: falling through the upstairs  floor into the level below—When I lived in an apartment on any floor but the first, sometimes I would have difficulty falling to sleep at night because I would worry about my bed (with me in it) falling through the floor into the apartment below. I would imagine myself waking up in the first floor apartment with its inhabitants staring at me. Now, since our bedroom is just above the dining room table, I think that the bed might fall through and land on the table and then the whole lot of us will end up in the basement with the cat litter pans. Ugh.

So goes my list of irrational fears.


I am thankful for people who understand my idiosyncrasies.

Food: I ate everything in sight. It happens on the first day of, and the few days leading up to, your period. Sue me.

Exercise: See above sentence. I was too lethargic to exercise. Tomorrow, though, I am going to kick the heck out of five miles.

5 responses to “Things I Am Afraid Of or My Phobias

  1. This is interesting stuff! Strangely, I, too, have your last fear of falling through the floor. My in-laws live in a very, very old house, and I really dislike walking up on their second floor out of irrational fear that the floorboards will give way. I have never heard of anyone else, besides you now, who have mentioned this kind of fear.

    Please forgive me if I have ever hugged you! Have I ever hugged you? I have no memory of doing it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I have. I’m a random hugger… You know how some people break out in dance? Or song? I break out in hugs.

  2. I have never met anyone else afraid of vomiting. I hate throwing up, I hate being around other people when they throw up, and I hate puke scenes in movies. When my little sister gets a stomach bug, I sleep on the other side of the house to avoid it.

  3. unfinishedportraitofsam

    WOW. i just caught up with all of this!

    1) i love your list of phobias. and actually…i think i may steal your writing prompt for tonight’s class! that wasn’t what i had in mind, but i love the possibilities of poetry (including a list, like yours, as or working into a poem) or essay or short short, or whatever. it’s wonderful.

    2) the capitalist illustration? LOVE IT. hey, have you ever heard of “patient capital?” it’s an idea articulated and acted upon by Jacqueline Novogratz at Acumen Fund ( and in that book I’ve been raving about. it’s given me a new way to look at capitalism, at least.

    3) would you really move to Door County?

    4) 10 miles. Teeeeeeen miles. my hips are sore today, but i did what you suggested and did a recovery run yesterday. good idea. i’ll be able to run today!

    5) i just realized that i will likely be in Indy on the day you are running! i think Jen and i are meeting Mom there for Mother’s Day. i don’t know where you’ll be or where we’ll be, or when, but it would be SWEET to be able to find you post-race and give you a sweaty hug!

    6) you require very little energy to be around. : ) except in the brain.

  4. unfinishedportraitofsam

    speaking of fear, you have to read this:

    : ) she’s an acquaintance of mine who’s teaching English in Indonesia.

  5. Pingback: at the jail « .beauty and the mess.

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