My Fears

Again with the OCD – I know – it sucks.  but it’s getting better.  My therapist asked me what drives the obsessions/ compulsions and I simply stated, “I don’t know.”  BIG FAT LIE.  What I should have said was, “it’ll take more than the allotted hour to cover them all.”

Fear One:  Bugs

Bugs – especially bed bugs, head lice, and cock roaches.  Also afraid of spiders, ticks and flies. hell- all bugs.  Let’s just be honest here.  I used to work for a homeless shelter in a big city.  Dealing with the on-going bed bugs that we couldn’t seem to get rid of at work I would repeatedly check the furniture in my home for bugs.  Months after I left that job and moved several states away I would still check for those bugs.  I may even check tonight.  There was also scabbies problems at work.  When I see or think about bugs I start to itch really bad and feel the strong urge to scratch.  I’m itchy right now.  I was a prevention case worker next – working with?  dun dun dunnnnn.  seriously though, many many families I worked with in their homes had bugs – cockroaches, fleas, head lice, flies and yes bed bugs.  When there is a bug problem at work I get called because I know more about bugs than any person should know.

if you want some interesting reading I would recommend Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart.   You know, for some light reading.

so please – for my sanity and emotional well-being – if you have any questions what so ever about how to rid your home of any type of bug PLEASE ask someone else.  Do I know how to get rid of any and all bugs?  yes, yes i do but I might have to hurt ya if ya ask.  just saying.


Fear Two:  Hiccups to Order and Messed Up Patterns

Things need to be in order and patterned.  I’ve commented before on how much I HATE my walls at home.  I also hate abstract art unless the lines are straight and perfectly aligned.  I knew this guy once who would purposely rearrange my books and tilt my pictures because it bothered me so.  I know this is a problem because at work people always comment on how clean my desk is and how empty and devoid of personality it is.  I also know this is a problem because i LOVEPlants Vs. Zombiesand I often fail at it because i need to have the plants to be perfectly patterned and in the right order.  I get really really uneasy if things aren’t grouped appropriately so.

Fear Three:  Dirt

Dirt really gets me overwhelmed if I think about dust and dirt especially in my home.  Occasionally I would get so overwhelmed and frustrated because of my home being dirty and not perfect that I could sit paralized with anxiety for hours.  This is better now but hits me in odd moments.  At one point in my life I cleaned the carpet so much that it caused the carpet to get moldy from not being able to dry properly.  I used to scrub with bleach daily with a scrub brush.  I wasted so much time cleaning areas that no one else even notices.  I completely freak out if things are sticky or slimy.  I also get so worn out by cleaning “perfectly” that areas of my home fall into absolute CHAOS because I run out of time and energy.

This really has gotten better as I have learned (thanks to FlyLady) that my home doesn’t have to be perfect and housework done imperfectly still blesses my family.  I gotta love Fly Lady as she has helped earn me some peace and freedom.

Fear Four:  Pain Inflicted by Others

I fear being hurt by others– mugged, raped, abducted.  I worry about people breaking in and hurting my daughter or myself.  I do not watch scary movies because my overactive imagination does not need any new ideas.  I used to repeatedly check doors, windows, closets, behind doors, closets, under bed.  I’d always have to hit the shower curtain to make sure there is no one hiding in the shower.  I also get extremely nervous if I’m walking somewhere by myself.

Fear Five: Pain Inflicted by Accidental Causes

I constantly have visions of being hurt by accidental causes – tripping, getting dizzy, falling off a bridge, a building, etc.  I’m constantly envisioning getting hurt while walking.  I have a difficult time looking ahead while walking because I need to make sure I’m not going to trip.  I can see as clear as if it were a movie me tripping and falling, smashing my face into the sidewalk and busting my teeth with lacerations over my face.  I don’t go to the edge near anything high because I’m afraid that I’ll lose my balance and fall.

Fear Six:  Pain inflicted to Loved Ones

I constantly worry that my husband and daughter are going to get hurt.  If my husband and I go out without our daughter I’m always afraid that we’ll get into a car accident and die leaving her without her parents.  I then worry about the psychological damage it’ll do to her to lose both of her parents in such a horrible manner and then I dwell on the fears that she won’t be with the proper person/s if we die and she’ll wind up with my dad or other unnamed peoples or people will be fighting over her instead of taking care of her.

Whenever my husband is late I’m convinced that he’s been in a car accident.  This will start me counting and tapping and time feels like it stops and I can think of nothing else.  I used to really worry about my daughter not being safe when she was at daycare.  It was especially hard when she came home with (minor) injuries.  I really don’t like to be away from both my daughter and husband because the only time I ever truely feel safe is when the 3 of us are together.

Fear Seven:  Losing Teeth

Losing teeth – what can i say that would make any sense?  I read a Stephen King book (The TommyKnockers)  Oh man – sucked on so many levels for my overactive imagination.  They lose their teeth. just saying.

This fear is especially difficult now that my daughter is losing teeth.  I knew it was love when I stayed with my now-husband because when we were dating he was losing his teeth.  They would just crumble and fall out of his mouth.  it was so horrifying.  something about his enamel not forming properly.  his teeth are beautiful now – fake but beautiful.

I was always convinced that my teeth were bad and were going to fall out.  Many of my nightmares center around me losing my teeth.  they just fall out.  hundreds of times, hundreds of different ways.  at least 2 times a week I have these dreams.

One of the side effects of being on an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) is bruxism or grinding teeth and clenching your jaw.  My teeth starting hurting all the time and then I developed TMJ.  My teeth started getting damaged, became oversensitive to cold, constant pain in my face and jaw, lacerations inside my cheek and constant earaches.  I finally realized that the only times I had these problems was when I was on an SSRI.  so take this medication for your anxiety.  The side effects causes greater anxiety.  Fun times all around.

Fear Eight:  Alien Abduction

Again – thank you Stephen King and the TommyKnockers.  I had to be between 10 and 14 when I read this.  Not smart of my part.  Aliens scare the shit right out of me.  I do not watch movies about aliens especially movies about abductions.  Even thinking about aliens for more than a few moments causes me to have several nights of insomnia.  I don’t know why I renting this movie but after watching “The Forth Kind” I woke up in terror every night with increasing anxiety until the time in the movie and I would repeatedly count to 100 until at least 15 minutes after the time to ensure the aliens weren’t coming for me.  terrified in bed – praying and counting for a good hour or more.

Fear Nine:  Germs and Blood

My fear of germs and blood started when I learned about HIV and other diseases in school.  I was blissfully ignorant until this point.  After that I became worthless.  Until that point I told everyone that I was going to be a surgeon when I grew up.  just like Doogie Howser.

oh how i loved Neil Patrick Harris.  He is the same age as my husband interestingly enough.  When I was a kid I dreamed that we were going to get married and be doctors together.   Of course I know now that this could never be.  He’s an actor – not a doctor.  I hate blood so medical school was out.  He is gay and I’m a female.  some things work out so much better when you’re a child.

My daughter hit her head several years ago and was bleeding.  So ashamed to admit this but I was paralyzed and couldn’t help her.  Her grandmother was present and took care of it.  A different incident occured where she fell and skinned her knee.  My husband saved the day.  Any time she has bleed, someone else had to take care of it with one exception.

I remember the one time she cut herself when I was home alone with her.  I started to hyperventilate.  I had to force myself to breathe deeply and self talk myself to calm so that I could help her.  I’m convinced that all blood is contaminated even when logic states that this isn’t true.  My daughter’s blood isn’t contaminated but the panic is still there.

I was always sick when I worked with the homeless population.  Even though I am a chronic hand washer my immune system is low.  Definately a result from too much anxiety.  I’m always afraid of bringing germs home when I interact with the public.  a client has a cold – i catch a cold.  a client has the flu – i catch the flu.  right now I’m typing instead of sleeping because I’m congested with a cold.

I use to bleach dishes because that was the only way they could be clean and germ free.

Fear Ten:  Food

I’m always surprised that I’m fat because of all my hang ups with food.  I’m a compulsive eater but I am picky beyond belief.  I pick apart meat so that I don’t eat the fat, don’t eat bone or anything icky.  I worry about leftovers and whether they are contaminated.  Won’t eat anything if I can’t remember when I made it or bought it.  This is hard with ADHD because nothing is planned or scheduled.  This is better with our menu board (when we use it).  If it’s not on the board it gets thrown out and we have a leftover meal placed on the menu to use it up or throw it out every Thursday.  Worry about milk and have to smell it.  Worry about bread and mold and have to smell it.   Will not eat leftovers at anyone’s home because I’m convinced it wasn’t put away fast enough or it was stored for too long.  Worry they are using old/ expired ingredients.

Fear Eleven:  Losing Things

Fear of losing things/ people – I’m afraid of losing things that are important but I often place too much importance on things.  I have all the makings of being a hoarder.  We lost everything when we left my dad.  The abusive ex-boyfriend lost everything in a house fire two days after I broke up with him.   I misplace things all the time because of the ADHD.  I get really anxious when I can’t find what I’m looking for.  Stamps, checkbook, keys, purse, specific item.

An  ex-boyfriend broke up with me because I was too obnoxious and immature.  That was a big loss.

I have to repeatedly count pieces to games, cards, puzzles for fear of losing pieces.   Our dog broke the external hard drive which caused us to lose all of our photos and documents for the past 6 years.  When my daughter was one we lost our computer which lost all of our pictures of her first year.

Fear Twelve:  Hoarding

Fear of becoming a hoarder.  So much time and thought goes into everything I try to get rid of.  I question and second guess everything.  I need my husband’s help to get rid of things.  Used to have tons of boxes, totes and bags full of things.  Used to own over 500 books.  Have a hard time getting rid of papers including/ especially anything my daughter brings home from school.  Have a hard time separating what is important and what needs to leave.

My aunt is a hoarder.  just a path.  she lost everything in a flood and she was so devastated by all of the things that she lost.  My mom has a very hard time getting rid of anything because we might need it someday.  Grandmom was a hoarder.  My dad’s parents filled a home to where it became unliveable so they bought another.  When my grandfather died and people came in to the second home it was condemned it was so bad.

I’m afraid of people going through my stuff after I die and not knowing who I really was because of having too many things that don’t fully represent me.

I’m afraid I’ll wind up like my aunt.

I hold onto things that I may need someday or that have a perceived use. -example – a large empty pretzel container that MIGHT be useful.

I hold onto things that have memories attached.

I used to check the garbage to make sure I didn’t accidently throw away something important.

Here the fuel that recently flared it up – we believe my husband accidently threw away his wedding ring.


Fear Thirteen:  Getting Fired

Fear of getting fired and I’m convinced that if I’m struggling that I’m going to get fired.  Feel alone and isolated.

Fear Fourteen:  Space


  1. Always think I take up too much space.  Mostly it’s possessions.
  2. When people come into my home they would say that we had a lot of stuff.
  3. When my mental health is unwell I worry about how much space I am taking up because of my weight and have problems with how much space I need.
  4. Strong need for empty space at home.  Hate things under things.  Makes me anxious when things are under my bed, under my desk.  – things are under things right now.  things are behind things right now.
  5. Afraid that I’ll wind up like my aunt.

I need more space and less filling

Fear Fifteen:  Identity Crisis

Not knowing who I am.  Not being able to recognize my strengths or truly identify activities and hobbies that truly bring me pleasure.  Thought I loved scrapbooking – finally realized this causes me so much anxiety because I can’t make it perfect – no straight lines, can’t make it perfectly aligned.



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