My husband and I were talking the other day, while sitting on the sidelines watching Stinkerbelle at soccer class. About phobias.
Did you know there are phobias of just about everything? Well, apparently, according to the interwebs, there are. Afraid of fish like I am? That’s ichthyophobia. Afraid of snakes, like BDH is? That’s ophidiophobia. Afraid of heights? Acrophobia. Afraid of computers? That’s cyberphobia. (IMPOSSIBLE. I HAVE TECHNO JOY!!) There’s a phobia word for just about any fear you could possibly have.
Afraid of everything? That’s pantophobia. (I learned that one from a Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Which is very much what our discussion was beginning to resemble, if only we had some nice piano music.)
So, being as we were goofing off a bit as That Girl ran around soccering, we looked to see if there was anything that fit me. Because if I am honest, I don’t like to go out much anymore. Since I have been a stay-at-home mom, I don’t venture out into the world as much as I once did. I don’t have a lot of places to go beyond my normal errands and Stinkerbelle’s things to do and just getting out for walks and stuff. I will honestly avoid it, if I can.
Apparently, a fear of being out in the world is agoraphobia.
So, I said, No, that’s not quite right. It’s not that I am afraid to go out, it’s that I don’t like it. And it’s not that I don’t like to go OUT, because I love to go out for walks in the woods, and around the neighbourhood and stuff. It’s more that I don’t like to go out when there are PEOPLE there. It’s the PEOPLE that bug me, I said.
Oh, okay, so is there a fear of being out with people, we wondered?
Apparently, that is also agoraphobia. Fear of being out in crowds and other uncontrollable social situations is also agoraphobia.
Hm. Well, okay. But I thought, it’s fine if I am at a restaurant or in a movie. Or even if I am going in the middle of the day to the mall, BEFORE THE STUDENTS ARE OUT, that’s sometimes fine too. And I’ll talk with people in the grocery store, or at swimming lessons, or whathaveyou.
So, we thought some more. Maybe it’s being out in the car with all the nutty drivers that does it. I HATE driving when there’s a lot of traffic, and — if we’re being honest — I get hit A LOT, which can be rather off-putting as a driver.
So, okay, if you are afraid of cars, it’s called motorphobia. Well, that’s silly, I thought, because I love my little car. And I watch Top Gear without trembling at anything other than Clarkson’s appallingly bigoted jokes. And I am desperate to see Paul McGann in The Petrol Age (although I will admit, that’s more to do with the sexy host and not so much the cars).So that’s not it.
If it’s not the car itself, and if you’re just afraid of being a passenger, as BDH is often the driver and I am the passenger, it’s amaxophobia. But although I am a nervous passenger, he drives all the time and we both prefer it that way. So that’s not it.
The truth is, it’s being out with people, especially when they are driving, but also when they’re being stupid in the mall or whatever, that I don’t like. And I am not afraid; they just really, really, really bug the everloving fuck out of me.
Well, there’s the problem right there. It’s not a phobia at all. Phobias are real, serious problems. Whereas simply not liking people? That’s MISANTHROPY, my friend.
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Miss Ann Thrope. I’m an antisocial bastard.
Well, that’s nothing new, right? I mean, we KNEW that already.
Oh well. At least we learned some new words. And it was an interesting way to pass the time at soccer (and, to be fair, avoid talking to any people.)
But I am still afraid of fish. Ichyophobes of the world unite!! Actually no, let’s not, because that might mean we have to have a meeting or something. Together. People. And I’d hate that.