the devil is in the details … or the phobias

you always hear about foot fetishes, but never about foot *phobias.* i have a friend who is really weird about feet. well, he’s more than weird. i’d go so far as to say he has a mild to medium phobia about them. if you click on the link above and read some of the experiences of the people there, you’ll get a general idea of what he goes through. i don’t get it, but that’s the deal with a phobia, you know? it’s a completely IRRATIONAL fear. you can’t think your way through it, out of it, etc. and if you don’t have it, you can’t think your way *into* it, either. it’s like any sort of mental quirk or even illness. if you don’t have it or understand it, you’re not going to be able to make yourself get into the mindset. i have a mental illness and a decent amount of weird phobias myself, and i can’t even get why someone would have the phobias i *don’t* have.

anyway, i’m sure i’ve talked about some of my phobias here. i mean, the tumbleweed thing has been covered at length.

but i have a couple of phobias that i just try to think my way into, as far as figuring out where they possibly could have come from. because they’re so fucking random. and while i could have taken the time to add them to the person’s unusual phobias site, i just didn’t this time around.

one of them is big signs. in particular, street signs are the worst. they completely freak me out. i don’t like to have to be too close to them or look at them if i’m too close to them. see, it’s hard to even explain it. it’s completely irrational. i mean, most of the time, when are you even really close to a road sign? not too often. that’s why they’re really big. so people can see them from far away. but sometimes, there’s one that’s fallen down or one that’s in the street or one that is at eye level or one that’s on a board for construction or something like that. there was one time i went to meet this guy who was in town for business and i was going out to near the airport to pick him up and bring him to my homegroup and stuff.

well, when you get off at that stop on the el, you come up the stairs, and then you walk across this platform thing and there’s plexiglass and you are RIGHT NEXT to the huge signs on the highway that say ‘294 to indiana’ or ’90 to o’hare’ or whatever. i think i took a picture because the photographer in me forced me to, but i was so freaked out. i am getting chills just thinking about it. it’s a really weird phobia, so i don’t really say anything about it if we’re out and i have to walk past a sign … i mean, i just sort of walk fast and look away. it’s weird, too … cause i have a big sign IN MY HOUSE from the CTA from the red line.

i just looked up at it and i realized something …. it’s in my house and people ask me about it sometimes when they come over, but i RARELY ever look at it. seriously, i think there’s a part of me that entirely blocks it out of the vision of the room when i’m in it. i mean, it’s there, larger than life (literally), but i don’t ever really SEE it when i’m here. and it’s the living room. and it’s the room i’m nearly always in when i’m at home. so that’s kind of bizarre, don’t you think? i know you don’t see everything in your house all the time, but there are things i *do* notice in my living room on a regular, consistent basis … some of which, ALL of which entirely surround that sign. my ninjagrl paintings (which always get a ton of compliments, by the way), my fisher price farm, my spirituality books from my grandma other stuff on the mantle …. but my brain just ignores the huge ass sign sitting there.

weird. i love the CTA, so i love having my cta paraphrenalia, but this is just another proof of how fucking powerful my brain is and how absolutely resolute it is in protecting me. it just absolutely goes black screen when i’m scared, embarrassed, or too full of feeling. i really want that to be part of my work this year — to connect my head and heart. to connect emotions with intellect. to be able to have a strong emotional experience and to remember the circumstances and conditions that surrounded it. but as usual, i digress.

so, big signs. in particular, road signs. a lot of them also have things that again, are ridiculous to be afraid of, but i also think trigger subconscious things … stop. wrong way. dead end. weird stick figures doing weird things or being in danger. caution. etc. and i think part of it might be the font used, but i’m not entirely sure about that. i mean, some of this stuff when i say (write) it out loud, seems to confirm that i’m sort of mad. but it doesn’t really impact my day-to-day, so i mean, it’s not completely ‘a beautiful mind,’ you know? i’m not that crazy and i’m not that genius, so i’ll take it.

i also have a phobia of sticky things. i realized it the other day when the acupuncturist’s kids came in and they were getting stickers from her stash that she gives out to the kids she treats and her one little girl who is super cute wanted me to have one. so i took it and put it on a piece of paper. she gave me another and i put that one on the piece of paper. then she came back and said i had an ‘owie’ and put on on my hand and then put another on my other hand. i waited until she walked away and then took those off and put them on a piece of paper. THANK GOD. (again, i’m getting physically nervous/janky just thinking about it.)

i just HATE stickers being stuck to me. i see people who let kids put stickers on them or their clothes and i just don’t know how they can stand it. even temporary tattoos are pretty icky. if tape gets stuck to me or a sticker from something i bought. band-aids are horrible on another level, but that’s a topic that’s in its own category. but again, i can’t quite figure out why this is so terrible. what could make me so crazy over this? who knows. so, when i think it’s fucking hysterical when someone doesn’t know about my friend’s aversion to feet and accidentally gets their feet too close to his leg and he goes to wigout island, i need to remember that i have my own freakout stuff, too.

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