That's Me

That's Me

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Facing Fears

It's no secret that I have some normal-ish phobias as well as some really odd ones that even I know are not normal things to be scared of.

First up: I'm terrified of clowns because of that stupid movie It. I read the book when I was 13 and had no problems. Then I saw literally 4 seconds of the movie as I was flipping through channels when I was 18. It was a close-up of Pennywise the Clown and I flipped right out of my skin. Screamed and lost control of all motor function which caused me to take forever to change the channel. A lot of people are scared of clowns, many due to this movie, so that's not so odd.

Next: I'm terrrified of bridges. When I was a kid, I had no problem riding my bike over the bridge to get to my swimming lessons. The phobia developed when I started driving. Suddenly I had visions of the bridge crumbling under the weight of vehicles and sinking to my death in the water below. Again, not so unusual. A lot of people are scared of bridges. 
Nope, nope,nope, nope.
Then there's my fear of anything with wings and feet. Click here for the history on that one. A bird will make me run away screaming while covering my head because I just know it wants to land on my head and scratch my face off. Grasshoppers and crickets are terrifying. Praying mantis make me pee my pants. 
I'm having heart palpatations just looking at this devil.
I can't forget about my fear of rats and mice. Not all rodents, because hamsters are pretty cool. Watching those hoarding shows and seeing rats or mice run all over the place when they move a box causes me to have a panic attack. That fear is thanks to my mother who reacts the same exact way. 

A fear that I have kept secret from everyone but my parents and anyone I've been married to is my phobia of automatic car washes. That one started when I was a toddler and my parents went through the car wash. I don't remember it, but my parents say that I screamed and literally flew over the seat at them (pre-car seats for toddlers). I was inconsolable and forever after that I flipped out on them whenever we went through a car wash. 

I have successfully avoided going through a car wash on my own. Hubby washes the vehicles for me and I'm happy with that. If hubby decided the car needed to be washed and we had the children with us, it would force me to act like a grown-up and keep my anxiety to a minimum so they wouldn't freak out as well. For 37 years I've successfully avoided being alone inside the death trap known as a car wash.

Until Thursday. I got brave. My beautiful little Mini Cooper, Elphie, was so dirty from the winter roads and I couldn't avoid it any longer. I got all my courage together and before I could chicken out, I drove up and paid for an automatic car wash. 

Before my brain could kick in and tell me to back out and go home, I drove forward into the scary, cold, not dark coffin. Once the water turned on, I realized I was completely trapped and death was imminent. I took pictures so that I could document my death and anyone who came looking for me could see what happened in my last moments of terror. 

Oh, crap, I'm really
doing this.

I've forgotten how
to breathe!

How much damage would it
cause to my car if I just drove
through that door and left now?
I'm not brave! I'm not
brave! I'm not brave! 

Now I can't see! I'm being
burried alive.

I was so proud of myself. I survived! I felt like the day that I held a bird, after my friend spent a series of days helping me get closer and closer to her awesome pet bird.

I came home and told Ginger Girl, "I've kept this from you kids, but I'm deathly afraid of car washes. Today I..."

She cut me off. "I already knew that." Flabbergasted, I asked how she could know a secret I had guarded so well. "I figured it out a long time ago. Whenever you would say the car needed to be washed and I'd suggest the car wash, you'd say 'oh, we can just do it at home'. Also, whenever someone else was driving and went through one, you couldn't breathe."

All that time pretending to be a grown-up was just wasted. She was never fooled. Oh well, I didn't die in the car wash and I'm proud of myself.

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