Have you ever heard of someone being afraid of their own shadow? Well, I would be one of those people, although it isn’t my shadow I worry about. I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat. Can you blame me? My entire life, my parents made sure that I was afraid of everything and everyone in an effort to keep me safe from all the evils that existed in the 80s (synthetic fabrics and neon?). Actually, I didn’t really realize how many things I truly feared, until I wrote them down. It’s actually quite pathetic. Perhaps sharing my list will help me get over these fears, or provide me with some free psychological assistance (kidding. sort of.)
Fear #1: Vomit
I have always been terrified of vomit. It started young when I was around five or so. My little sister was born with a reflux situation (I call it a situation because she was never diagnosed – my mother didn’t feel the need to do so 30 years ago). Every time she would drink or eat for the first year of her life, she would throw it all up soon after. I unfortunately earned the honour of towel girl. Whenever she threw up, my mother would scream “TOWEL”, and off I went for some random towel, crying the entire time. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Obviously, my mother had no idea that I would be scarred for life, but I was. Eventually I got over it, and simply avoided any and all vomit situations. Then I had my boy, my son, also known as the king of vomit. He was that baby that after he ate, if you moved him even in the slightest way, he spit up. Tummy time was impossible for him – it was a guaranteed regurgitation. But spit up wasn’t an issue, it was the full-on vomit that I couldn’t handle. On January 18, 2005 (yes I remember the exact date because I’m a loser), he was sitting in his high chair, and I was washing the dishes, and he coughed. I turn around and all of a sudden, it just started pouring out of his mouth. He was so little he had no idea what was going on. He just looked at me, and gave me this “what the hell was that” look. I grabbed him and ran for the bathroom, where he continued to spew orange vomit. My husband was calm and collected, whereas I was a crazy woman. I proceeded to call every one of my relatives that live in town, crying hysterically. I was insane. Sadly, that was not the last time it happened. In his first five years, he has probably vomited close to 100 times, and no I am not exaggerating. Thankfully at this point, I’m kind of “used” to it, and can almost anticipate it. I’m very calm with him when it does happen, so that he can remain calm – but inside I’m absolutely freaking out.
Fear #2: Germs
I am afraid of all germs everywhere. I am constantly thinking about germs, which also appeared after the birth of my children. Purel is my best friend, along with babywipes, soap, water and the avoidance of all things everywhere (that may be a slight exaggeration). Pre-babies I was a relatively sane person (some may argue this point), and normal about the whole germ thing (again, may be arguable). After babies, I became more aware of my surroundings, and the need to keep my kids clean to avoid fear #1. When my son started school, and let me point out that this poor child has zero immunity to anything, he was sick every couple of weeks. It was brutal. We avoided those bouncy castles (germ haven) and the McDonalds climbing thingy (bigger germ haven). Sadly my husband disagrees with my craziness, and has taken him to both of those germ infestations. So far we are all still alive. I wish Purel came in spray form so I could spray down everything in my kids’ path. Hubby says this is crazy talk. Whatever.
Fear #3: Bugs
Ok, so yes I got married, and soon after the hubby realized that he would be the bug killer for all bug-related situations. I am no bug killer. I can handle a mosquito, an ant and the occasional spider. But any kind of bug with any sort of body with any sort of thickness, I’m out. Truth be told however, my greatest fear is of centipedes. They are the most revolting bug and I could not kill one of those to save my life. I remember sitting on the couch one night, with my then 3 year old son, watching television, and I felt something crawl on my pant leg. You have never heard a scream like that come out of a human I promise you. I kicked my leg which made the centipede (yes it was a damn centipede) fly across the room and then I ran for higher ground. My 3 year old had no idea what was going on, but he ran for cover too. My husband laughed so hard, I swear he peed his pants. I didn’t sit on that couch in the dark for weeks. I kid you not. Oh, and when the bug killer is away on business, my neighbour is on call for the job. Just recently I had to call him at 10 p.m. to come over and kill one. If you ever want anything worth alot of money, threaten me with a centipede, and you’re all set.
Fear #4: Flying
I used to love flying. I remember the first time I was on a plane alone, I flew to visit my brother in California. It was a 5 hour plan ride and it was great. I flew to Greece with my sister after I graduated university and we had a blast, even on the plane ride. Then in July 1999, my parents, sister and I flew to California to visit my brother and his fiance’s family – it was a fantastic trip. On the way back to Toronto however, the flight was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. The turbulence was hellish for what seemed like two straight hours. It was so bad you would jump out of your chair. People on the plane were crying, and when I looked back at my dad who isn’t afraid of anything, and he looked petrified, I could have dropped dead right there. Luckily, we landed safely but the damage was done. I was now officially afraid to fly. When we flew to California again three months later, I prayed for 5 hours straight. I was a nervous wreck when we finally landed. When my husband and I flew to Spain for our honeymoon, I held on to his arm the entire time, and when he attempted to sleep, I would wake him up again. Of course, this was all pre 9/11, which just gave me new things to be afraid of. In January of 2003, I had to fly to Vancouver and Calgary for work and it involved 5 flights within 4 days. I remember driving to my little airport in town, and getting on this plane that sat less than 20 people. When I saw that the “flight attendent” was also the pilot, I nearly dropped dead right there. I had a colleague with me so although I was terrified, I played it semi-cool. She told me that she would put ear plugs in her ears and read during the entire flight which helped her fears. So I did the same thing. I read an entire book in a matter of hours, and I still couldn’t tell you what it said, or even what book it was.
I guess having these four major fears isn’t that bad, except I have so many that I couldn’t possibly write about them in detail. I could list them however.
Fear #5: Natural Disasters
#6: Diarrhea – seriously is there anything dirtier
#7: Anything with teeth
#8: Things I can’t see
#9: Things I can see but don’t want to touch
#10: Death: I’m so afraid of this one I’m not even going to talk about it
#11: Slimy things
#12: Anything involving my children, and I mean everything.
#13: My husband coming to the realization that I’m a nutbar, and pulling a Jon Gossellin.
I’ll just stop there. I swear I’m not as weird as I appear. I’m sure I’m not the only person with fears. Do me favour and leave me a comment and share with me what you’re afraid of, and feel free to let me know that I’m not that crazy. Lie if you have to – my husband does it on a daily basis.