Author Topic: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears  (Read 16248 times)

cavewoman

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #100 on: August 19, 2016, 02:12:43 PM »
*Snip*

Fear: Being trapped in a small enclosed space with other people.

Reality: Last year, I was going through a haunted house in St Louis and there was this pitch black fabric tube that you had to walk through. People were crowded in front of me and behind me. Everything was fine until the people in front stopped moving and the people behind kept pushing forward. I had a full-on panic attack. The first I've ever had. Right in the middle of what I refer to as the Womb Tube. Thankfully, the chances of me encountering a Womb Tube in my every day life are limited.

But it does make me nervous about the possibility of being stuck in an evacuation scenario with people refusing to move. I could easily have hurt someone in order to escape the Womb Tube. The only thing that prevented me from doing so was that the person directly in front of me was my husband, and I didn't want to hurt him. If he'd been a faceless stranger? I totally would have punched him in the head to get him moving.
*snip*

Same here.  Small spaces, I'm okay with... (I mean I actually am a caving woman, not an anti-feminist...) but put a crowd in it?  I guess even a large space with a crowd is kind of creepy to me, so maybe it's more crowds than the size of the space.  But what made me quote you, specifically, is because of St. Louis.  The first (and only) time I went up in the St. Louis Arch was on a holiday weekend... I got to the top and it was so crowded you could hardly move... and there was a LINE TO GET DOWN!  Betcher ass I panic-attacked my way to the front, cut in line (sorry sorry, gotta get down!) and got in the little "nanu-nanu" pod to get down asap.

But my real irrational fear: Bridges. Big ones, little ones, going over, going under, driving, walking, doesn't matter.  When the Minnesota Bridge collapsed in 2007 (oh shoot why did I look it up to clarify the year??) my boyfriend at the time sat me down and said "there's something that happened that I need to tell you" and when he said a major interstate bridge collapsed I was hysterical.. But also thinking "see???  I've been right to be terrified this whole time!!!!"
I'm much better now, I used to pass out as a passenger on the highway going into St. Louis, especially if there was traffic and we had to stop.  Now I'm okay if I can drive.  I took my Mom across the Golden Gate recently (win!) and then we went to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, where you have to walk across a 30-40 footbridge.  I tried to be brave but I did end up running/freaking out when I felt it shake.  Then I'm stranded on an island and HAVE to go back across.  We waited until the bridge was clear so I could run with my eyes closed and my hand on the railing.  It was worth it though, so I have motivation to continue to push myself.


Fear/Obessiveness I also do the worst case scenario thing:  If someone is calling me (especially a once-in-a-blue-moon caller, like my mom or aunt) then Definitely someone died.  In the span of a year I lost my cousin, fiance, and brother to tragedy, so it comes from that.  I got two of the calls while I was at work so I'm doubly-tripley afraid if a family member calls the work line.
And then I have these Day-mares where something terrible happens and I just play out the rest.  EX:  last weekend, I went camping with my husband.  On the drive there, I imagined that he got mauled by a bear and I had to walk up to the bear and shoot it in the head.  Then I'm going through the aftermath... would i take him east, deeper in the park to the closer ranger station or west?  how would I slow the bleeding?  How would I even manage to lift him into the CAR??  Ahhhhhh goodness, getting myself worked up again. I remember being like this even in elementary school.  I would imagine that the bus crashed and then go through the whole aftermath. 

I'm learning some new fears, but also feeling a little less crazy.  My husband definitely is not like me with the catastrophe thinking - but he does have a fear of swimming in deep water and is very understanding about my bridge-craziness.

infogoon

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #101 on: August 19, 2016, 02:17:20 PM »
When I was a kid, some well-meaning relative gave me a set of National Geographic postcards with different desert animals on them. I immediately developed a paralyzing fear of scorpions -- like, I wouldn't lay down and take a nap without shaking out all of the sheets.

I grew up in Rochester, New York. Any scorpion that managed to find its way that far into upstate New York would have said "to hell with this" and turned right around on the first day.

Spork

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #102 on: August 19, 2016, 03:18:01 PM »
I know this has been said already... but spiders.

Little tiny ones, giant hairy ones, medium brown ones, poisonous, non-poisonous, doesn't matter.  All have me running out of the room and other people wondering where I went in such a hurry.  Living by myself is interesting.

I heard that tidbit about people eating spiders in their sleep the day before an egg sac in my bedroom let out about a hundred tiny little spiders right before I went to bed.  I think I was 8 or 9.  It was over.

Oddly I'm not scared of daddy long legs?

Fear: spiders
Reality: they're everywhere

Fun fact: Daddy long legs are not spiders.  They are harvestmen.  They're both arachnids, but not exactly the same thing.

Oddly: I really like spiders.  I don't want them as pets, but they're awesome creatures that eat insects that I really don't like.  If I find one indoors, I carefully will scoop it up and take it outside.  About once a year we get a garden spider by the back door.  We toss it crickets and grasshoppers.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #103 on: August 19, 2016, 03:35:38 PM »
Another irrational fear...that we will FIRE in two years, and then DH will decide he doesn't want to be married to me any more.  A divorce would force me back into the work force against my will, as the bulk of our monthly FIRE income is his pension and disability compensation. 

Maybe this one isn't so irrational. 

Astatine

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #104 on: August 19, 2016, 04:59:32 PM »
This week I've been having one too: that my friends don't actually like me that much (have been struggling to get the participation I want in invites and had a bad experience last month with one specific person, which is coloring things).


Oh yes, this. If I'm feeling anxious about anything, this is my default fear. It's horrible!

renaite

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #105 on: August 20, 2016, 08:17:17 AM »

Fear/Obessiveness I also do the worst case scenario thing:  If someone is calling me (especially a once-in-a-blue-moon caller, like my mom or aunt) then Definitely someone died.  In the span of a year I lost my cousin, fiance, and brother to tragedy, so it comes from that.  I got two of the calls while I was at work so I'm doubly-tripley afraid if a family member calls the work line.
And then I have these Day-mares where something terrible happens and I just play out the rest.  EX:  last weekend, I went camping with my husband.  On the drive there, I imagined that he got mauled by a bear and I had to walk up to the bear and shoot it in the head.  Then I'm going through the aftermath... would i take him east, deeper in the park to the closer ranger station or west?  how would I slow the bleeding?  How would I even manage to lift him into the CAR??  Ahhhhhh goodness, getting myself worked up again. I remember being like this even in elementary school.  I would imagine that the bus crashed and then go through the whole aftermath. 

I also do this, and remember doing it as a kid. Often if I'm driving in the rain I imagine hydroplaning off a bridge or into a lake or something. I will plot out how I would escape or deal with complications. (It seems to pass once I've played the scenario out.) I have actually tried googling in the past to see if it's normal to think this way, but "is it normal to catastrophize" has never gotten me anywhere. We mustachians may not be all that normal in general, but I am a little relieved to learn others do this.

freezerburn

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #106 on: August 20, 2016, 11:56:57 AM »
Every plane flight I've been on for the past five years, I've been convinced we were about to crash at least once during the flight. As the engine noise goes away during preparation for landing, I have to say to myself "Gotta slow down to get down. Gotta slow down to get down."

I have exactly the same fear, and I mean, word-for-word what you said. Every time I'm on a plane I'm thinking 'this is the one that will crash', after people have told me the statistics on how rare plane crashes are. Every time the plane starts to change in sound/feel because the pilot is preparing for landing, I'm sitting there thinking 'we have to slow down before we can land... this is normal... it's not about to crash'.

It's awful.

I spoke to a pilot once about this and I could tell by his face that he felt kind of sorry for me, because he could see how utterly, utterly irrational my fear was. Like if someone told me they were too scared to ever get into a car (even though cars are SO MUCH MORE DANGEROUS than planes) I'd be thinking 'wow it must suck having your life controlled by such an irrational fear'.


I binge-watched all of the series of Aircrash Investigations a while ago (skipping the episodes about terrorism). Everyone I've told has said, so does that mean you're now nervous to fly? Nope. Not at all, as long as it's a plane that seats >20 people and the airline company is a large and well-known one. However, I'm not sure I will ever be able to bring myself to get on a small plane in remote areas run by small, run on the smell of an oily rag company. That seems to be where the risks are.

After flying pretty often during my childhood without anxiety, I developed a fear of flying as an adult and blamed it on living under a flight path and hearing planes pass overhead every 90 seconds or so. Not that close, but still audible. It was a sort of fear of anything going wrong, and I had to wear earplugs or headphones so I didn't focus on tracking every single noise the plane made (still do).

BUT--then I watched all the Air Crash Investigations, and my general blanket fear of flying was largely replaced with the very specific fear that the plane will have a sudden and catastrophic loss of hydraulics, or some other equally awful unpredictable incident, that causes the plane to get trapped in a phugoid.

Irrational fear:
When in stressful social situations where I have to speak to a large group of people, I'll have a vision that I suddenly start flailing around the room and wrecking everything. I know this is a symptom of my generally anxious brain, but it's a weird one.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #107 on: August 20, 2016, 12:27:15 PM »
As I said to norabird elsewhere, I have developed a mini-crush on every single one of you. I just love, love, love people with such sweet and delicious quirks! I would be very kind to each of you when these pop up :)

SCUBAstache

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #108 on: August 20, 2016, 02:10:31 PM »
I also have the phone call from relatives = something terrible happened fear. And generally worrying my boyfriend has been in an accident if I haven't heard from him recently.

A possibly not completely irrational fear is that antibiotic resistence will become worse and more widespread. As a frequent UTI sufferer, I'd be dead.

And I'm afraid my teeth will fall out and have frequent anxiety dreams about it!

BlueHouse

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #109 on: August 20, 2016, 09:09:35 PM »
I'm not sure this counts, but when I do have silly fears that something bad might happen I think about things that really shouldn't matter. 

A few weeks ago, we had a very bad storm that I thought could result in a collapsed house or some other scenario where I would need to be rescued.  Before going to a safer area in the home (interior room with no windows), I rushed to change into an outfit that I would rather be found in if I were dead. 

I almost let my house burn down once because I hadn't cleaned up the takeout food from the previous night and a small fire broke out in my laundry room.  Now whenever I go to bed, the last thing I think about is what the house would look like if I died during the night.  So I almost always clean the kitchen before I sleep. 

I am very worried about what I'll be wearing if there is a fire and I have to jump out a window. I don't want to be the person whose nightgown rides up and whose butt is exposed on the news.  I ALWAYS leave a robe on my bed that I can grab in case of an emergency on the way out the door.

VladTheImpaler

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #110 on: August 20, 2016, 11:16:08 PM »
Other people.

People are nuts.

Making Cookies

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #111 on: August 22, 2016, 08:10:50 AM »
So how have you dealt with these anxieties to prevent you from letting the worries take over your days?

Our younger child is wired more this way. Is getting over it I think but we could not utilize summer day camps for several years b/c he thought we might forget to come get him. I missed some work days over this. Now our two stay home b/c the older one is driving age and able to look after the house and sibling.

For me I relied on reason when I was younger. That shadow over there in the corner of my bedroom can't be a bear b/c I'd be able to hear him breathing or moving around. He can't hold his breath forever... I might still be scared but not a wreck. It might be enough to come out from under the covers and switch on a lamp to double check my theory.

Our younger child doesn't seem to be able to overcome the emotion with reason once he gets worked up. I figure age will help of course.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #112 on: August 22, 2016, 08:34:12 AM »
Joe Lucky, I've healed a whole bunch of these in me. I relied on homemade exposure therapy and CBT. My level of distress to these daily things (spiders, balloons, etc) was really interfering with my adult life.

I started with spiders, because my extreme phobia and response to my phobia was going to end a beloved job if I didn't. In that case, my homemade exposure therapy was like this (in a process taking weeks, not minutes):

1. With a teeny, tiny unmoving spider, don't run screaming. (I was still allowed to run/freeze, etc, near large or moving ones.)
2. With same, stay in the same room as it for some seconds.
3. With same, take one step toward it.
4. With same, get closer and closer to it.
5. With same, stand peacefully near.
6. With same, touch one almost imperceptibly. Now that size was complete.
7. Work my way up to bigger and bigger ones.

Yesterday, I found a big one, scooped him up in a cup, enjoyed looking at him for some minutes, then set him free outside. Last year, I had a "pet" spider, keeping me company during a month of bed rest in the corner nearest my feet.

I wouldn't impose exposure therapy on another person, including on my own kid. It's different when we choose it for ourselves. But there are many excellent, gentle resources out there. As we see in this thread, people don't always age out of this stuff. It's often worth healing in childhood (easier, plus child doesn't suffer for years in the meantime, plus difficult neural traits aren't cemented).

My kid is fine with spiders and balloons, but newly has some light OCD things. He (11) has been teaching himself CBT techniques via some phenomenal books on kid-OCD and kid-persistent worry. I ordered into our library all the kid books on this page: http://www.parentbooks.ca/Obsessive-Compulsive_Disorder.html  He loves them and has been having solid success. A lot of these books are for kids much younger than him, and are intended for the parent and child to use together. The material in some is so intelligent and helpful, I would recommend them for adults too!

Besides these approaches, one session of EMDR resolved a huge fear my kid had when he was younger (we've been unable to find an EMDR practitioner here who will work with kids, so not an option currently), and intensive nutritional approaches resolved some weird OCDs in me.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 09:00:54 AM by scrubbyfish »

onehair

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #113 on: August 22, 2016, 09:44:24 AM »
I can deal with balloons if they're tied up and stationary but brought close to me I tend to refuse them or get away from them.  Fireworks from a distance or on TV but not close to me.  It didn't help when I was younger some kids learned of my phobia and contented themselves popping them in my presence just to see me freak out....
I also don't like insects crawling on me or rodents that much but those are easily dealt with.

Tamster

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #114 on: August 22, 2016, 11:33:15 AM »
One of my irrational fears just happened while I was surfing around on here - spider just crawled onto my lap (from who knows where, ew, not gonna think about a large gang of them hiding under my chair.... Oh God, or in my chair. I need to vacuum the chairs again) and I about jumped a mile, then killed it once it landed on the floor. I am justified in my fear of bugs landing on me.

Ever since I was a kid, I remember doing the ceiling bug check before lights out, scanning the room to make sure nothing would pounce on me in my sleep. I would turn the light off, wait a half a minute, then turn it back on (in case any bugs had decided to converge on me). I still do this. Of course, now that I've seen videos of large spiders, I worry about those, and wonder what I would use to kill one. Surely a slipper isn't strong enough to subdue one of those monsters.

Another fear I have is not as rational, a huge fear of bears. I think Scrubbyfish has this fear too? I don't know that it is completely irrational; after all, bears can hurt people. However, in my travels and hiking (minimal) experience, I've not ever seen a bear. I do have a thing of pepper spray (thanks Mom), but with my luck I'd spray myself rather than the bear.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #115 on: August 22, 2016, 11:41:50 AM »
Another fear I have is not as rational, a huge fear of bears. I think Scrubbyfish has this fear too?

Yep! I've been near dozens and dozens (residentially, camping, hiking), and I'll still go out if with at least one other person (for help making noise, getting first aid if needed), but it's real and, based on our region's news the last month, rational. I'm very happy to see one hanging out in a tree next to me; my fear is specific to surprising a mother with cubs.

I have spray and took a session in it's best use, but I'm pretty sure I would just do everything wrong (again) if I came upon one while I were solo.

And, with all my spider progress, I still would hate for one to jump on me! I don't like being near the jumping spider, because although tiny and peaceful, I swear they recognize human faces and aim.

Tamster

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #116 on: August 22, 2016, 11:50:23 AM »
For that reason, yeah, I would likely not hike solo. But hiking with the kids, that's a new set of worries --- and one I seem to play out in my head regularly. We would only encounter black bear if any (hiking in NH), and they are not as aggressive as grizzlies, from what I understand. But, as you mentioned, a mama bear and her cubs is the worst thing to encounter.

I hear you on the jumping spiders --- this one seemed huge (size of a dime, so logically not that big) and seemed to slither and jump. I think he laughed at me too.

Making Cookies

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #117 on: August 22, 2016, 03:39:24 PM »
Joe Lucky, I've healed a whole bunch of these in me. I relied on homemade exposure therapy and CBT. My level of distress to these daily things (spiders, balloons, etc) was really interfering with my adult life.

Thank you!

Yep, I get the bedtime bugs. I had one run across my face in the night once years ago. In one twitch I was on my feet taking the room apart. Never found him.

Hotels: I am very picky about where I rent a room. Have stayed in a few places that my employer chose for me that I would not choose for myself. Never, ever look up customer reviews of a hotel you already stayed in and won't likely stay in again. The ick factor was HUGE (YUGE!) on the one that I looked up. People posting pictures of their rooms and so forth. Apparently I had one of the good ones. The place was run on a shoe string.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 03:50:58 PM by Joe Lucky »

Tamster

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #118 on: August 22, 2016, 03:54:55 PM »
There may be a valid reason for my mom annihilating hotel rooms with her can of Lysol. Also, for her insisting on us wearing flip flops even in the shower.....hmmm.... She may have been onto something.

That said, in my wild and crazy days (i.e., even now), I do not spray Lysol or even wear flip flops in the shower. This, admittedly, could be my downfall. Ymmv

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #119 on: August 22, 2016, 10:40:59 PM »
I have a rational fear of bedbugs and general motel skankiness. UGH just the thought that the sheets aren't properly washed or I'm lying in or touching the various bodily fluids left by other people (and their equally skanky, sweaty, dirty, shedding and oriface-oozing dogs) freaks me out! Throw in bedbugs and I've pretty much developed a full blown phobia about motels.  More reason to love camping in my own tent where the only disgusting things there come from me!

We pretty much rip apart every hotel room we stay in. It's not worth bringing bedbugs back home. Not to mention the actual "getting bit" part.

I'm required to do extensive research to see if a potential hotel has any mention of bedbugs. One mention means an instant veto from the wife.

Kalergie

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #120 on: August 23, 2016, 09:05:18 AM »
My wife is afraid of doing the laundry on a Sunday. When she was a little girl her crazy grandma told her if you wash laundry on a Sunday a big snake will come and eat you.
God damn crazy stuff I've married into...:)

meghan88

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #121 on: August 23, 2016, 01:41:07 PM »
Getting old plus any of the following:

- losing my sig-O
- losing my health gradually and rotting away in a hospice bed for years
- going blind
- eating catfood because of financial misfortune

All that pretty much scares the poop out of me and I think about it all too often.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #122 on: August 23, 2016, 02:31:04 PM »
Fear: Everything in the road is nails. Bag? Bag of nails. Box? Box of nails. Roadkill? Died eating a box of nails, now contains nails.

Reality: Only 1/3 of the objects I pull out of my tire are nails.

This made me bust out laughing in my office!

IndyPendent

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #123 on: August 29, 2016, 06:55:03 PM »
I am very worried about what I'll be wearing if there is a fire and I have to jump out a window. I don't want to be the person whose nightgown rides up and whose butt is exposed on the news.  I ALWAYS leave a robe on my bed that I can grab in case of an emergency on the way out the door.

Ha!

scrubbyfish

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Re: Confess your irrational (or rational) fears
« Reply #124 on: August 30, 2016, 12:26:34 AM »
Last night a big ol' bear was at our house. Today, a neighbour stumbled upon four at different spots in one hike. I felt all righteous and smug with my awesome fear.

I was still willing to bring my groceries in from the car in the pitch black, though. No bear comes between me and my rotisserie chicken, try as they might!