What Scares the Pants Off Me


Fear is such a curse. It really is. Even though it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world to do, it’s good to take some time out to go ahead and think about the things that scare or frighten you. Right? It is a good thing, right?

Like, these wonderful, damned bugs that sting. I go right into red alert if I hear the dreaded buzzing, and if I see a bee, I scream like I just broke a bone and head for the hills. The most frightening part of me and bees is that this extreme reaction is way out of my control. The fear comes the instant I see one, it takes over, and there’s no way to stop it. There’s no time to suck in my breath, hold it, and wait for thinking to kick in to get that fear under control. The zoom on my camera allowed me to maintain a good distance so I could take this photo. When the bee flew, so did I!

I fear that lack of control the most. The years haven’t tamed that out-of-control fear either, and of course that adds to the heap to handle.

A few years ago, I drove an hour to work down in Little Rock. Half the trip was through back roads that had little traffic, the other half was in rush hour traffic on the freeway. I put a lot of rough miles on my truck in a short time during that year, and it became quite the worry that the truck would give out and strand me either in a very dangerous spot amid all the traffic, or in the middle of nowhere.

One day, I was just about at the halfway mark when I started hearing something strange going on in the rear end of the truck. Or, I thought I did. My mind raced through the possibilities – a u-joint, the transaxle, brakes, a tire about to blow, the transmission – and the fear washed over me like a tsunami. My vision around the edges started to go dark and I became so light-headed that I had to pull over and stop. When I started to drive again, the sounds were gone, but the tsunami was far from over.

The fear then became the terrifying fear of losing control, of losing my mind, of losing the ability to choose whether I was losing my mind or not. I was helpless, disoriented, terrified and more alone than I had ever felt.

Since then, the terror has, more or less, generalized, packaging itself in smaller, easier to handle chunks. Once in awhile, something will set me back in my tracks and threaten to upset my apple cart again, despite all my attempts to remain adamantly positive, spiritual and content. So when the chunks rain down on me, I’m back to worrying about losing it again.

That’s where I’ve been for the last few weeks. Last weekend, I was so exhausted from fighting it that I slept for 20 hours straight. This week, I went through the motions, but the lights were on and nobody was home. I walked through the week in a dull haze.

Snakes. A yelp and a jump, then curiosity takes over and I check the slithery, slimy thing out. When the pennies don’t quite stretch far enough and I’m faced with the ol’ tap dance (I can’t dance!), I make a plan and put it aside once the decisions are made. When this truck makes a funny noise, I check my cell phone’s number of bars. If I’ve got at least 3, I relax. It only takes 10 minutes to drive to work now.

Now that it’s all put into words and concrete, so to speak, I’m hoping I can wake up tomorrow in a new frame of mind.

What do ya think? Am I nuts?

Maybe I spend too much time alone…


  1. I'm allergic to bee stings but I'm not really afraid of them. Although one stung me years ago and landed me in the hospital, I still walk around the yard barefooted. I might feel different if I was stuck in a truck with one though.

  2. I think I have you beat - my fear is about PUBLIC RESTROOMS in particular but toilets in general - YUCK! I really don't know for certain where the fear comes from but I've learned to "hold it" for up to 15 hours even with drinking water or coffee throughout the time. I can use the toilet at home but I hate cleaning them and I just plain will not use a public toilet, period, end of story!!

  3. 'becca, I was stung once, and I swore it hurt worse than a broken bone. When I did break a bone, I realized I was right!

    Deb, I always wonder what some people's houses look like if they can trash a public bathroom so badly! I don't have the control you do, or I'd stay out of them too!

  4. Interesting post. It all boils down to the lack of control, which is something I struggle with also. If I'm ever pinned down, you know in a tickling wrestle match or something, I usually feel real sorry for whoever the person is trying to restrain me. It's an immediate "come out swinging" pavlovian reaction I'm afraid. Long story there, but suffice to say... I hate bees and snakes too. ;)

  5. I can understand that. If I feel my choices are taken away from me, I come out fighting too.

  6. Brilliance!! I hadn't made the psychological connection. I was actually referring to physical limitations...but you are right on with the other as well. BRILLIANCE!!! :)

  7. I don't think you're nuts. Sounds normal to me.