Talk That Talk

My Paralyzing Phobia

Phobias. Where do they come from? One of my friends told me they come from our past lives. If you are afraid of water then you most likely drowned in your precedent existence. What about people that are afraid of feet, bananas or spoons? Maybe the first one got walked on by Hulk, the second one slipped on a banana peel and bumped his head on a rock and the third one put the spoon a bit too far down while enjoying his favorite desert. That’s all I could come up with.

Well I must have gotten attacked by an army of cats, dogs and other furry creatures that ripped me to shreds and let vultures do the cleaning. That’s the only way I can understand why I’m so terrified of animals.

This has been a huge handicap for me all my life. I can be walking and enjoying my day but the minute I spot a dog even from far away, I start thinking of ways to avoid it. This phobia of mine is not only embarrassing and socially paralyzing but it can also be very dangerous. I am capable of hopping off the sidewalk to avoid a dog. The thing about that is when you’re not on the sidewalk, you’re on the street. When you’re on the street, you can get hit by a car and lose your life or your leg if you’re ‘lucky’.

I even hurt people around me by holding on to them for protection from the evil beasts that are sometimes eight times smaller than me and usually just trying to get a whiff of my feet which may be weird but never harmful. This reminds me of the time I went shopping with our housekeeper a few years ago (circa 2010, this makes me feel old).

We were walking in our  neighborhood and all of a sudden a border collie appears and I just start panicking. My housekeeper, Aunt Mary,  isn’t afraid so we keep walking and this dog is approaching us very, very, almost unnaturally slowly. At this point my life starts flashing in front of my eyes and tears start rolling down my face. Aunt Mary whispers that she thinks we’re about to get bit and the mini men in charge of my tear reserve decide to let all the water of my body come out as tears because wetting myself would be embarrassing and they wanted me to die with grace. Aunt Mary decides to confront the dog in hopes he’ll get scared and it eventually worked. After a few seconds I was not completely calm but relieved enough to let go of Aunt Mary’s arm only to see a bit of blood in my hands. We looked at her arm and you could see the scratches I left. I felt so guilty.

I’ve caught myself avoiding friends and family who have animals. Partially because some people refuse to put their animals away and I do think that they should be free in their own homes. I’m planning to go to India for a humanitarian project with my school next year and in the videos I saw, there a dogs everywhere! I can’t let this phobia rule over my life. I have to do something ASAP.

Do you have any phobias? Have you conquered any phobias? Any advice for me?

See you next week (or on social media)!

@cettepetitezed

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