Family History: Fear

This week, Dede asks:

Write about what you are afraid of and why.

I’m sort of a fearful person. I do not like bugs. I do not like strange large (or small, really) dogs. I do not like flying. I fear death and what comes after – really, I fear that nothing comes after death. That really freaks me out, especially at night when I’m having trouble getting to sleep. However, none of these fears really affects my everyday life. Some of my fears do.


I hate ’em. I mean syringes, not needle and thread. I can sew. I cannot stand needles. In high school, I went ballistic and screamed at a lab tech who tried to take my blood. I was on Valium at the time too. Just after college, I hit a dentist who came near with Novacain. It’s not about looking away, or trying to take my mind off of it. I fear needles the way other people fear spiders or mice. In adulthood, I have found that Atavan works really well to take some of the anxiety away, but I still need my husband (or another willing victim) around to hold my hand. Jack does needles better than I do. (Of course, he doesn’t get them very often. He’s only had maybe 5 or 6 of them in his 4-1/2 years.) When it came time for me to have a TB test, my son had to keep me sane. It was all I could do to hold it together for him. He was very proud of me for being brave.


Heights are evil. They seem so innocuous and then you get up there and – WHAM! – you’re up too high. I have many embarrassing stories of me getting to the top of something and not being able to get back down. The sound booth in the Dean Lesher Theater, for example. I was directing a one-act that we were doing at the Lesher. (I was in high school – maybe junior year?) All of the directors were allowed something like 5 light and sound cues, and we had to go up to the booth. The way up was to climb this ladder up the back stage of the theater. It went over the proscenium and into total darkness. I was wearing a suede skirt. I was so freaked out, that our drama teacher’s son, who was also the one who directed our shows at school, had to climb up just below me and kind of hang on. This guy was Craig Brewer. Every girl had a huge crush on him. He was hot. And here I was acting like an idiot. I couldn’t get back down. They had to find the building guy who had keys to everything and they took me down through the theater’s offices.

Chairs with Arms

One night when I was very young, I had a dream that the large green office chair on wheels was leading an army of arm chairs to come and get me. Ever since then, I have been afraid of chairs with arms. Actual armchairs, like recliners, are OK. It’s the wooden rocking chairs, swiveling desk chairs, and the like that frighten me. I can’t sleep with one in the room. Right now, there’s a glider in our bedroom. It is covered with stuffed animals so I don’t see the arms.


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