Friday, September 03, 2010

The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself...And a bunch of other stuff, too.

Some people scare more easily than others.
Some people are just afraid of everything, and if they think too much, they'll never ever leave their house again. But then they start thinking about how many horrible things can happen right at home. So then they hide under their bed. But what if the bed collapses? What if there's an earthquake and big chunks of ceiling falls down around my bed and I'M TRAPPED HERE FOREVER? 
 There is no hope for such people.

Some people are not afraid of anything. These "brave souls" march through life, trying to show the world how awesomely brave they are, and prove it by doing stupid things like sword-swallowing or bungee jumping or bison-taming.

What is to be done with such people?

I don't think I fit into either of those categories. I'm not afraid of everything....I like to leave my house occasionally. But I do have a great big fear of sharp things. Particularly needles and knives.

I went sixteen years without ever getting a shot. All those years, I was absolutely terrified of needles. I would start to hyperventilate if I thought too hard about needles. You can imagine my horror when the strap came off of my ballet shoes. Have you ever tried to sew an elastic strap to a leather shoe? Don't. It's bad. I stabbed myself in the thumb. For a while I tried to convince myself it wasn't so bad. Just a little prick. It didn't even bleed that much. Then I decided I'd better disinfect it. I made it to the bathroom, disinfected my thumb, and started feelin' a little dizzy. I sat down, and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor with a freakin' headache. When I pass out, I tend to think of something really weird as soon as I gain consciousness. This time, it was "Ooh! I wonder what I look like right after I've passed out??" So I immediately get up and look in the mirror. I'm a pretty pale person normally, so right after I've fainted, I'm like literally as white as Snoopy.

But then, when  actually had to go and get the DTaP booster shot, I actually didn't faint. I didn't even hyperventilate. I was very confused the whole time, though. After all that freaking out I had expected a full-on panic attack AT LEAST. It was weird.

Now as for knives, those are just downright scary. They're all sharp, and creepy, and chop stuff up into little bitty pieces. One of my official chores is to do the dishes. I always hate seeing a great big pointy knife lying there in the midst of my dishes. What if I pick up a dish and the knife slides over to my hand and hurts me? What if I pick the knife up to rinse it off and it's all wet and greasy and it slips and I drop it and it lands on something important? Like one of my fingers? I need those.
Thus I always end up getting the knives over with first thing. Very, very carefully.
And so far I haven't actually been impaled during my dish duties. There was the one time I felt something cut my finger and I freaked out when I saw a knife there. But then it turned out I had cut myself on a very sharp cake crumb, so that was okay. I'm not sure what the difference is between hurting yourself with a knife and hurting yourself with a cake crumb, but it's there. Cake crumbs are just not scary, even if they hurt you.
Knives are scary no matter what.

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