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These may not all seem like normal rational fears, but I assure you, I deal with these about once a week. I don’t have much that I am so afraid of that it stops me from moving forward with life, but the fact that these things are a major mental block that I must hurtle on a regular basis makes the worthy of mention. The reason I post this is so that (A) gauge peoples reactions to find how how strange I am, or (B) learn that others deal with these same issues.

Porcelain

(thixophobia)

I don’t like to touch it. It’s a lot like being afraid of germs, but it’s not the germs that I’m afraid of. It’s more like scratching a chalk board with your fingernails. There is something about the smooth but porous nature of porcelain that perturbs me. I am able to clean toilets and sinks, and more lately in life have even cleaned sinks without gloves on and on occasion scrubbed the sink with my bare hands, which was a milestone for me. But it is still in the back of my head every time I see a product or surface that could be made of porcelain.

Time Perception

(chronophobia)

It sounds strange to say it out loud, but I’m afraid sometimes that my perception of time and space is different then the actual world around me. It especially gets to me when I think about driving at high speeds. If my reaction to visual stimuli is off from reality then within moments, I could be dead in a car accident because my reaction time was skewed by my perceived time difference. It’s really hard to explain, but It’s a real fear I have had for a long time. I don’t know what started this thought in my head, but any time I am either sitting quietly for a moment, I begin to question my perception of time passing. Crazy? Perhaps.

Lots of People

(agoraphobia)

It’s not something that has every kept me from getting out of the house or anything, but I do consider my options when going out to public events. If given the choice between going out to a crowded store or shopping online at home, I’d rather shop online so that I wouldn’t have to endure a more public setting. I try not to ever go to the fair or concerts or anywhere there will be elbow to elbow areas of people, as that does get me a little anxious. Perhaps this is a greater fear then I give credit simply because I practice avoidance. I like small groups of people just fine. And if I know the people, it makes it easier. I think the fear stems from the lack of control you have over large crowds.

Rooms Will Turn Sideways

(barophobia)

This is more of a curiosity then a fear, but because I spend so much time worrying about it, it makes the list. If I am in a closed room with walls and ceilings, I think about how I would adapt or escape if the rooms gravitational pull was shifted to one side or reversed completely, throwing me to the ceiling. This may just be a fun way to pass time in a waiting room, but sometimes I get mentally hung up or trapped on  how I would exit a room because the architecture was never intended to be turned on it’s side. It can be frustrating to think about, and is much like an unfinished puzzle or rows of something that don’t line up nice and pretty.

June Bugs

(entomophobia)

I hate June Bugs. If you want to see me dance and squirm like a spastic weirdo, then toss a June Bug on me. It’s the way they fly around so blindly and bump into EVERYTHING. And they have such a thin shell that would crack at the tiniest swat or brush of the hand. Ekk… I just shivered and twinged while writing this… enough said.

Loosing My Mind As I Get Old

(Meningitophobia)

This may sound conceited, but I have a beautiful mind. I have good memory. I can hold digits or values like variables in storage to be called up quickly. Depending on how important or memorable the item is I can store it fairly long term. I don’t have a photographic memory by far, but I am good with numbers and programming code or function calls. Pretty much, if I read about something or hear it audibly, I will have good recall of that thing for a long time.

As I grow older, I fear that that skill will slip away. On occasion I find my self not knowing something or getting a fact completely wrong or inversed. Not often enough to call a doctor, but when something does happen, I worry that I will one day develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia one day and not understand or relate to the world around me well.

Damaging My Eyes

(Scotomaphobia)

As a designer, the one injury that I would have a hard time coping with would be blindness. Ironically, I often don’t wear eye protective gear when I should, but even when I’m not using power tools or a hammer, I think and worry about sharp objects or paper cutting or piercing my eyeballs. It just seems like such a sensitive and fragile organ with such little protection and with all the debris flying around in this world, it’s a miracle that more people don’t “loose an eye”.

Why list them?

Because I think it’s important to know your boundaries so that you can face them and push past them. As I recognized these issues in my life, I have made a strong effort to not let them become strongholds in my decision making or lifestyle. So by listing them here publicly, I am providing an opportunity to evaluate and record my progress with these issues. Most of them don’t effect me now on a daily basis, but some are significantly more involved in my planning and decision making. I subconsciously avoid situations where I would have to face these fears.