Thursday, April 29, 2010

Manualautophobia: Confessions of a Troubled Mind

I think it is crazy how many phobias there are these days. People can really be afraid of anything: otters (lutraphobia), vegetables (lachanophobia), the sun (heliophobia), thinking (phronemophobia), computers (logizomechanophobia), numbers (numerophobia), and even books (bibliophobia)!!! Even though I loved watching Monk and I miss that show a lot, I find it hard to believe that someone actually could be afraid of milk!

These are some things I am irrationally afraid of or greatly dislike to some degree.

Enetophobia and Aichmophobia: the fear of needles or pins
This one is common. I don't like needles at all, but I don't pass out when I see them or feel them, especially after 12 days in the hospital being stabbed at least once a day.

Altophobia: fear of heights
Again, a common one. I don't like standing next to the edge of a drastic height, but sometimes the view is amazing, making the scary height worth it.

Apiphobia: fear of bees
This probably isn't as common, but I don't think I'm alone with this. I really don't like bees. For some reason, they seem like they fly out of their way to buzz around me threateningly just to mess with my head. Bees, just make your honey, and leave me alone!

But the thing that frightens me the most is truly terrifying. I'm afraid to drive a stick-shift car!!--which happens to be the kind of car we have. (I looked everywhere on the internet, and there is no assigned name to the fear of driving a stick-shift car. Sad. So I created manualautophobia.)

That's right. I am completely afraid to drive our only car. My heart races, I sweat, my breathing quickens, and my mind jumps to all the worst-case scenarios: I stall in the middle of the busiest intersection and can't start again before the light changes, or I stall on a steep hill and roll backwards (apparently, my brakes go out too).

I technically know how to drive our car, and I have driven it before, but I feel 100% uncomfortable with it. I would rather walk for miles than drive somewhere if I'm the one that has to drive that car. And most things I need to get to are within walking distance. I know it's irrational, and I know that time and practice will help me get rid of this fear, but for me it is more painful than all the hangnails and papercuts I've ever experienced put together. OUCH!

Part of the problem is that because of Tracy's internship in Houston this summer, I will not even have access to the car during the week, so I have little to no (more no than little) motivation to practice. But with my calling with the Young Womens program, I need to be able to give them rides home or offer transportation for our activities or meetings. So I guess I have a little motivation.

Again, I know it's stupid, and I know when I tell other people about this fear, they think "Suck it up!" "Get over it!" "Grow up!" To them I say, please be patient with me. I'm trying to try and care. I fear this more than a lot of things--except things like not being able to have kids, becoming a widow at a young age, or having children who choose to do horrible things (you know, the things that actually matter). And don't worry, I intend to beg for Heaven's help too. Silly, I know, but it definitely can't hurt.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it!


  1. Nice made-up wordage, babe! I also have a fear: The fear of an official amendment to the Word of Wisdom which states that chocolate is no longer allowed for Latter-Day-Saints. That would be a true test of faith. Good luck with your driving. I don't think your silly...just stuck.

  2. I know exactly how you feel! Michael tried to teach me before we got married. It did not go well. I explained to him that I am incapable of multitasking while driving.

    I also have a made up fear word. Statuampluaphobia. Fear of excessively large statues. Like the one on Lost.