Remember my blog Tics and twitches and I said I would tell you about my paranoias? Well here it is. But promise me you won’t think I’m completely insane. After all I think I have licked some of them and manage others.
Firstly I should define the terms paranoias and phobias. And where else will I get the best overview but from Wikipedia.
“Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion.”
“Phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding despite the fear, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.”
Ok, I’ve read the definitions and it seems that I fall into both buckets – depending on the fear factor. But I must admit after reading most of the commentary (well at least 5% skimming as it’s frigging boring) I don’t think my paranoias or phobias are anything to worry about. They just make me the person I am – a ranting raving lunatic – but a lovable one!
I guess the best place to start is when I was a little girl. And this little girl lived in a far away country town. Well actually it’s only 2 hours from Sydney but way back then; it was a faraway place.
Goblins under the bed
When I was quite young, say around 7 to 9, between sunset and bedtime I was sure
there was a distinct possibility that a sinister being would somehow get into the house, crawl under my bed or in my wardrobe, lying in wait for an unsuspecting innocent child. So each night before hopping into bed I would carefully inspect all hidden regions. Once satisfied, I would jump into bed tuck all my limbs away under the blankets for fear that if exposed, would be chopped off.
Can I have some more please?
Then there is my most notorious phobia or paranoia, I’m not sure which bucket to put this one in but after watching the movie Oliver, the musical version, I would wake up every night for months in a terrible state. I dreamt that I died and was re-born back in the early 1800s as a poor street urchin, similar to Oliver, living on the dangerous streets of London avoiding incarceration in the notorious workhouses. Mum was so concerned she asked the head Nun of my primary school to talk to me who told me she’d get the priest to talk to me if the dreams didn’t stop. Needless to say I was cured immediately – it was a miracle!
No-dle to the needle
Not long after the Oliver phobia/paranoia, I became obsessive about dentists, especially needles. I managed to avoid the dentist needle until I was almost 30 which then I realised; what was the big deal? Anyway, I managed to convince mum not to drag me to the Dentist for over 1 year and when I was hitting the two year mark I realised my time was up. This was going to be the year Mum wouldn’t take no for an answer. So for 6 months I refused to eat anything sweet. And then one fateful Xmas while holidaying in Manly, my cousins pestered me to buy ferry floss, and I knowing full well ferry floss consisted mainly of sugar, refused. However, I did agree to buy musk lollies, the soft ones. But I’d only agree to eat them while hovering over the bathroom sink so I could brush my teeth immediately after. Luckily for me this little phobia worked, only one filling on my next visit. Without a needle of course.
Another phobia was walking on footpath lines – I avoided them all together if possible. I’d walk in an uncoordinated fashion, very similar to John Cleese’s funny walk sketch in Monty Python. I’m not sure what age I was when I first got this phobia and today I don’t avoid them. However, I avoid walking directly on the un-painted section of pedestrian crossings.
Check one, two, three
I’m a checkerholic, meaning I’m continually checking if I’ve forgotten anything that belongs in my bag: keys, wallet and phone. The three essential things in any women’s bag, along with makeup, tissues, perfume, dental floss, band-aids, hair bands and combs. If going overseas my checking phobia reaches critical point where I’ll check my bag ever 5 minutes or so from the time I leave the house to the airport, at the airport, in the plane, at the other end and continually throughout the holiday. Now this phobia drives me mad and it drives MOTH mad too. Having said that, I’ve never left anything behind of importance, just my mental capacity to cope.
Who’s watching my back?
Another paranoia I’ve had since a little girl is the feeling someone’s behind me, especially when I’m alone and it doesn’t matter whether it’s night or day. It’s worse when I’m sitting at the TV and the lounge isn’t against a wall or when I’m up during the night. Sometimes I literally run back to bed just to avoid the feeling of the impending hand on shoulder sensation. Hold on, I think someone’s behind me now.
So there you have it, the major phobias and paranoias I’ve dealt with, and in some cases still dealing with, throughout my life. I’m not mad – am I? I think we all have various phobias and paranoias. So how about you tell me yours. I’d love to know I’m not the only mad person around here.