While the majority of my stories are upbeat and uplifting, sharing with the world my funny tales, I also have my share of heart breakers and thrillers. I'm a strong person. I haven't always been, but I've always contained a strength I didn't know that I had. Still, even now I struggle with insecurities on a mass scale - insecurities I did not realize I suffered so much from.
Bill and I went swimming the other day at the YMCA... I was suddenly reminded of several long-time fears I struggle with every single day. These are things that nobody in the world typically knows about me ... until now.
Neophobia- Fear of anything new.
This one will surprise a lot of people. I don't seem to really fear much of anything... and yet I'm terrified every time I have to walk into any place I've never been before if I am alone. It is truly frightening.
Harpaxophobia- Fear of being robbed.
Since being robbed in 2009 this has become a phobia of mine. I hide my belongings if I can, fearful that they will be gone when I look again if I do not. There are VERY few people I trust any of my belongings to remain with. As I walked into the YMCA women's locker room, the first concern I had was for finding the lockers and making certain my lock would fit.
Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity.
I'm far from afraid of seeing naked bodies - unless I'm looking in the mirror. This fear has gotten worse over the years... I'm absolutely terrified of getting changed in front of people, especially strangers in the YMCA, and find that I am incredibly insecure about this. I took my blue bag into the toilet stalls and changed right there, with nothing to put my things on, nowhere to hang my bag and an extreme balancing act in order to simply change into my swim suit.
While my next challenge wasn't a phobia, nor does it resemble a phobia, I pulled a skirt out of my blue bag and pulled it on over my suit, embarrassed by my own legs - my thighs in particular.
Thanatophobia or Thantophobia- Fear of death or dying.
I was, at one time, an accomplished swimmer. It's been a long time since I swam for the sport of swimming though, and I had forgotten that I always suffered with the fear of drowning. I have always hated to have water splashed in my face. I hate to have my face in the water. I feared it, in fact, though that doesn't seem to be a phobia on the list of phobias. I could barely stand to have my face under water for more than a few seconds. I would come up sputtering and gagging almost every time. At one time, when last I swam for recreation, I combated this by swimming with a mask and snorkel. As long as I could breath, I was fine.
I was swimming the crawl stroke by the end of the swimming session (thanks in no small part to Bill) with my face underwater, breathing on every 4th stroke. I felt like I knew what I was doing. Bill even said I looked like I knew what I was doing. It felt great!
I doubt I'll change my clothes in front of strangers anytime soon, or stop locking car (and bedroom) doors. My legs will continue to embarrass me until I loose a few pounds in them alone. I'm working to conquer the water fear though, since I love swimming so much... and it's a daily struggle for me to go new places but I've managed to deal with that all my life so far. These are a few of my fears. I plan to conquer them all... I will rule them. They will not rule me.