In Which I am Vulnerable and Irrational

I’ve been feeling really vulnerable lately. I hate feeling vulnerable. I view it as a weakness, mostly because I have it in my head that I have to be strong all the time, which I know is stupid and impossible. But being in two hit and run accidents in a month tends to bring out the vulnerability in full force. All I want is for someone to hold me and tell me everything will be okay. But of course, I have no one to do that for me, so I guess I either have to buck up and deal with it or wallow. While wallowing sounds more favorable, it’s really not my style.

So, in lieu of wallowing, I though I’d share some of my stranger (read: irrational) fears. Why not get all the vulnerability out at once, right? Then I can go back to kicking ass and taking names.

I hate revolving doors. I have this fear that the door won’t turn and that I’ll be stuck or that the door will just keep spinning and spinning, with me trapped inside. So when faced with a revolving door, I always find the one regular door that I can just pull open. What’s wrong with a standard door anyway? Are revolving doors inherently more fancy? I think not. In some cases, however, regular doors are not available and I’m forced to make my way through a revolving door. The experience is made worse when someone is behind me. It’s like they’re controlling the speed and it’s always too fast.

I have an irrational fear of open grates on city sidewalks. Well, actually, anything that interrupts the concrete on sidewalks, like those metal door plate things. I’m not afraid that the heel of my shoe is going to catch and that I’m going to fall flat on my face. No. That would be too easy. I’m terrified that the minute I set even one toe on an open grate, it will crash through to whatever lurks below, taking me with it. And whatever lurks below is always one of these things: 1) a dingy hole full of rats, 2) a never-ending pit, 3) right into an on-coming subway train (even if I’m in a city that has no underground transportation, this is still a worry).

Pool drains have worried me since I was a child. I have no bad experiences with pool drains, but I remember gazing warily at the pool drain at the bottom of the deep end of the public pool and wondering what would happen if my feet touched it. So instead of touching it, I just avoided it. Why risk getting sucked in? I just made sure never to touch the bottom of the pool when I would jump off the diving board. I still don’t like pool drains and now I’m not even sure about bathtub drains sometimes. It’s the fear of the unknown. Drains are dark. You can’t see what lies beneath.

The thing is, I know rationally that all of these things are completely irrational. Will I ever get trapped in a revolving door? Not likely. And if I did, I’m sure a charming doorman would be available to rescue me. And those open grates on city sidewalks? Really? Those aren’t going anywhere (for the record, I also hate driving on open grate bridges, which is probably related and equally irrational). I mean, people larger than me walk on them all the time and they don’t budge. But what if I’m the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back…? Sigh. I suppose it’s still not very likely. However, I will maintain that pool drains are creepy. And so are those skimmer things on the side of the pool.

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9 Responses to “In Which I am Vulnerable and Irrational”

  1. Hardin Reddy says:

    Afraid of revolving doors and sidewalk grates? My daily walk to the office would terrify you! But you probably know that all buildings must have a handicapped-accessible door which not only doesn’t revolve, but also is power-operated and . . . uh oh, just given you one more thing to fear.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      Hahaha, I’m not afraid of doors that operate with a switch. Yet… ;)

      And I just walk around the sidewalk grates. Or jump over them. I’m sure most people probably just think I’m insane. But safety first and all that.

  2. helgagrace says:

    I am RIGHT THERE with you on grates. How do I know they aren’t secretly rusted through? I DON’T.

    I think everyone has these irrational fears–and there’s an alternative to all-out wallowing, which is saying “it’s not OK right now, but it will be” and being willing to let yourself feel what you need to feel before you go back to invulnerability.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      RIGHT?! They could fall through at ANY MOMENT!

      I agree. If someone didn’t have an irrational fear, I’d question their status as a human being. And you’re right. It’s okay not to be okay, but I have a hard time accepting that.

  3. Wine Librarian says:

    OMG, I LOVE YOU. THESE ARE PERFECTLY RATIONAL FEARS. ALSO, I WANT TO HUG YOU. A LOT.

    • Bitchy Librarian says:

      I LOVE YOU TOO. AND I LIKE TO THINK THEY ARE RATIONAL, TOO. AND I WANT TO HUG YOU MORE.

  4. DavidRayPerro says:

    We all have our weaknesses & areas of vulnerability. The fact that you are sharing them publicly speaks volumes about your basic inner strength and rationality.

  5. Nerdo5 says:

    I can help you with revolving doors and pool drains. If it’s any consolation, I fear social interaction and babies. True story.