Reflections

Confessions of a Phobaholic

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

I like contained situations, call my mind a medic of sorts. So anything that doesn't go according to my detailed plans or idea of what should happen will push me into a corner I don't like. I know I have issues, but everyone has their poison.

My OCD started at a point where I felt so many bad things were happening to me and I couldn't stop any of it. My life was suddenly going forward and I was a bystander. So now I try as much as possible to eliminate uncertainties and uncontrollable factors. Of course I still get surprised here and there but I like control. I can't stand clutter either, especially someone else's mess. So will arrange and rearrange. Perfect excuse for my OCD, Ataxophobia – Fear of disorder or untidiness.

Acrophobia lured me into her camp last year. I think I had a mild form before but after I got knocked down by a truck at the side of the road it grew by bounds. I didn't know how much till I had to walk a narrow road with ravines of a sort at the sides. So on one part I am hyper ventilating when a car wheezes by too close to me and on the other side the sight of big holes I can fall into makes me light headed and dizzy. Death either way  Acrophobia – Fear of heights.

Ever since the accident, my claustrophobia evolved. Not content with fear of tiny spaces, it now involves narrow roads as well. That's such a bummer. I don't enjoy abandoned walks anymore especially if that road has cars.

Every time I see an insect, my skin crawls. I just found out that's Acarophobia – Fear of itching or of the insects that cause itching.

As a little girl, I feared the dark. I would sleep with the light on and tell an adult to switch off my lights, only after I slept. If I lay in the dark, I saw shapes and shadows take on a threatening form. That too is chronicled as Achluophobia – Fear of darkness.

Every sane person is afraid of pain. Go for an injection and you will notice you flinch even before the needle touches you. That's Agliophobia – Fear of pain and Aichmophobia – Fear of needles or pointed objects.

I keep saying it's not safe to travel alone after dark, but seriously anything can happen. So now my friend thinks I have Agraphobia – Fear of sexual abuse.

I can't stand it when pets like cats, dogs and other furry objects rub themselves against me. My heart stops, then beats frantically as I stifle a scream and try not to take flight as my legs beg me to bolt. Blame it on the Ailurophobia – Fear of cats.

I can't stand criticism especially negative criticism. Why can't we have people that think we are perfect and can do no wrong? Sigh! Until we find such people. I have to put up with my Allodoxaphobia – Fear of opinions.

Everyone probably suffers from this, except nuns and bachelors; Anuptaphobia – Fear of staying single.

Sometimes when I am touched by someone my skin crawls. It's usually creepy people or even perfectly normal people; my body just decides who it likes or not. Blame it on Aphenphosmphobia – Fear of being touched (Haphephobia).

One of my best friends is so afraid of numbers he can't even count his age. Seriously, however easy a calculation he can't do it. He has issues too, Arithmophobia – Fear of numbers.

I hate being alone, maybe its fear; Autophobia – Fear of being alone or of oneself.

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