Things I’m afraid of (and probably shouldn’t be)

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Riley Laurence, Staff Reporter

We’ve all heard of the term phobia, defined as an extreme or irrational fear of something. We probably all know someone who is afraid of spiders (arachnophobia), heights (acrophobia), or snakes (ophidiophobia), but there are some irrational fears I have that I would consider abnormal. Here are a few things that I am terribly afraid of, but probably shouldn’t be.

1. The dark

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m not exactly scared of the dark, just the things that could be lurking in it. Something about not being able to see anything going on around me just creeps me out. There could be an axe murderer or a demon or another scary entity waiting to kill me in the corner of my room and I would never know because they are protected by a veil of darkness. I have had this irrational fear since I was a little kid, and somehow, the fact that nothing I’ve worried about has actually happened does not console me the slightest bit.

2. Social Situations

Whether it’s speaking in front of a crowd of many people or talking to a group of peers, I get so nervous stressing over what I’m going to say, who I am talking to, and what they’re going to think of me after the conversation has concluded. I know that everyone likes to live with the mentality that what others think doesn’t matter, and I do try to live that way, but sometimes I get so worried about it that I stumble on my words because I’m too busy focusing on how they’re going to feel about me after all is said and done. Even if I’m not the one speaking, social situations bother me. I hate being the center of attention because I can feel the critical eyes of my peers scan me up and down for flaws like vultures searching for food–even though I know they probably don’t care. A personal fable is when an adolescent believes they are the center of everyone else’s concern. This is like when your socks don’t match and you think everyone is going to care about them, when in reality, it doesn’t affect them at all. I definitely have a problem with this, and it’s apparent in my subpar social skills.

3. Coming back to school when I’ve missed a day.

Everyone enjoys a day off of school. No class, no quizzes or tests, and no cafeteria food. The problem with missing out on all of these things is that they still have to get done when you get back. I hate make-up work. It’s the most stressful thing when you come back to school after missing a few days and you are expected to jump right back in where you left off and do all of the work you missed–at the same time. For this reason, I am deathly afraid of coming back to school after I’ve missed a day or two.

4. Not being able to escape a situation.

I have informally and unofficially diagnosed myself with agoraphobia, or the irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places. This doesn’t mean I’m afraid of rooms, it means I am afraid of rooms in which I cannot see a potential escape route if anything bad happens in that room. If my inadequate social skills fail me (as if that could ever happen) and there is no escape from the situation, such as a mishap in an elevator or STAAR testing room, I get extremely nervous. This is why I avoid potential situations where I know I’ll be stuck in that situation for an extended period of time.

5. Large things that shouldn’t be large.

This is the last (and probably most reasonable) fear that I will reveal for you all today. I know the title is vague, but I’m sure some of you can identify with this fear. We will start with Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.07.38 AMthis picture the Sam Houston status in Huntsville, AKA the most terrifying object to ever be constructed on the face of this Earth.This thing is just plain scary. With one swift, stony, swing of his cane he could destroy a moderately-sized building. Some more unnecessarily large objects that I unfortunately discovered on a recent trip to Arkansas are these three horrifyingly gigantic crosses outside of Pinnacle Hills Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.07.27 AMBaptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas. Why on Earth would someone decide that they want to take a regular-sized object, magnify it to 20 times its original size, and then put it on display for all to see? I don’t know the answer to that, but these bold statements are the cause of a fear that has been crippling me ever since I met Big Tex as the Texas State Fair.

P.S. If anyone would like to start a petition for the removal of the Sam Houston statue, call me.