Tag Archives: phobias

I Know What the Problem Is

I promise someday I’ll go back to telling funny anecdotes about people and talk about my misadventures as I’ve tried to “save my sanity” this year. But I have to get something boring out of the way first, as a series of notes to myself.

I know the root of 95% of my recent problems is.  I’ve got monophobia- I’m afraid of being alone. I honestly had no idea until 2014, although I started to suspect around 2012. “I’m an introvert,” I thought. “A total homebody! I have a social anxiety disorder. How can this be possible?”

But I can see now how it has driven most of the decisions I’ve made in my life.

This is very true, from zenhabits:

“Does learning to be OK with being alone mean you can’t be in a relationship? Not at all — but if you aren’t OK with being alone, then being in a relationship is going to be fundamentally flawed.

Why? Because you become dependent. You need the other person, not only to pay bills and help you manage, not only to protect you and provide for you, but for emotional needs. You need the other person to pay attention to you, to give you validation and comfort and love. Now, all of those things are nice, but needing someone else for them means you become needy, desperate, and those aren’t attractive qualities. Who wants to be in a relationship with a needy, desperate person?”

Or, as RuPaul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?

In my heart I know about people almost instantly. I know whether they’re real or fake, good for me or not. I feel them acting upon my nervous system immediately. When I try to force a relationship (friendship or otherwise) with someone who, for whatever reason, isn’t relating to me genuinely and openly, it causes me so much pain (angst!). In particular, I respond very negatively to people who are deeply afraid, but in denial about it, because something in me picks up on the torment.

I now know what I have to do, but whether I am able to do all of it or not is questionable.
1. I need to not date (how many times have I had this realization? BUT I am adding a caveat)… unless I encounter someone who really feels right on a deeply instinctive level. And that hasn’t happened in Houston.

2. I need to figure out what I can change about this house to make it more me and less us. I don’t know if this can and will happen, because in a lot of ways it’d be easier to just discharge almost everything when I make the permanent move in a year or less, then redecorate when I get where I’m going.

3. I need to see if I can find a house-sitting gig somewhere outside of Houston that will allow me to bring an incontinent elderly dog (London) and one who is now confused about where potty goes (Mei) because of his illness. It’d have to be free lodgings or I’m still stuck here. But house-sitting… yeah. The odds are about as high as that makes it sound.

I don’t know, my inner voice is still telling me I need to go, but I’ve had to be strong and patient in the past. This may be no exception. I do have things keeping me in the HTX, but I’ve learned this year that even what seem like inflexible barriers can be worked through if a thing is important enough.

Hmmmm thoughts thoughts thoughts.


Supaidaa Paatei (It’s a Spider Party at my House, and You’re Invited)


Nature is out to get me. No, no, the universe is out to get me. The whole universe. Especially the barista who gave me that sour milk latte the other day. But I digress.

Like so many Neurotic-Americans I blog am absolutely terrified of spiders. Just thinking about them hard enough can make me cry, and I do so every so often in front of someone, just to prove the point. I hate them. I find myself wondering why, if there is a Divine Creator, S/he thought it was okay to make something so sinister looking, or to allow it to evolve. So, the other day I saw a Really Big Spider outside, and nearly lost my shit, but I thought this was a one-off. Fast forward to last night…

I was washing my face when I caught a glimpse of something in the tub. Another random dust-bunny, I thought. My face dripping, I peeked over to check, because it kind of seemed to be moving on its own.

“Oh.. my… god…”

I said that out loud.

“Nooooooo, sir.”

That too.

In my (no longer) lovely and welcoming jacuzzi tub a spider the size of a silver dollar was gleefully sauntering along. I’m not kidding you. At the time, I took a photo because I thought perhaps people would think I was exaggerating The Size of The Horror, and I’d benefit from some validation about how traumatic it must have been to battle such a beast alone. But I punked myself. Because once I took that photo, I couldn’t look at my iPhone photos again. I knew that spider photo was in there, and I was petrified of seeing it, let alone waving it in the face of a friend. (I still haven’t accessed the photo album).

I stood in the bathroom flapping my arms like a duck for another full minute before deciding I’d better wash the thing down the tub drain. I dumped water on the thing. A lot of water. And then I noticed the drain was closed. The beast just bobbled along lazy-river style while I flapped and flailed some more, trying to figure out how I’d get the drain open.

I won’t tell you how long that took me.

When the beast drifted to the far side of the tub I pulled the drain open with a device I’ll call “the end of a mop”, and encouraged the spider to enjoy my theme park’s water slide by pouring a bit more water into the lazy-river.

The bastard was too big to fit down the drain.

It actually sat there on top of the drain with its arm flailing about as I stared at it in terror, saying:

“Oh…. heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll no.”

I thought about putting one of the dogs in the tub to see if he’d eat the spider, but I’d never be able to hug the dog again if that happened.

I finally got it to go down the drain, but before I tell you how I want to give any sensitive readers a chance to go visit another blog.

Ok.. we good?

I boiled some water in the kettle and poured boiling water on it.

Guiltily catching my breath, I LINE messaged T about the whole thing.

Horrified, he told me “You know spiders are guardian spirits sent to watch over your house, right?”

Oy… well, that explains the seemingly bad karma I have this week.

**** Part 2, The SMOKE ALARM

On Wednesday night I was shocked awake by the smoke alarm running tests at 3 A.M. Our my house has smoke detectors in every room, all wired to the ceiling. One had been chirping for a new battery the other day, and I couldn’t seem to get it to STFU because I hadn’t ever dealt with a smoke detector before.  I thought just changing the battery would be sufficient, but it wasn’t; I had to disconnect the thing from the ceiling wires.

Anyway, at 3AM it didn’t occur to me that there might be a fire. Rather, I assumed I’d done something wonky to the detector. But try as I might, it kept going off. I was near tears, hysterically/sleepily stumbling to the garage to get a ladder, trying to coax Mei out from under the car, trying to get London outside before he stress-pooed (things literally “scare the shit” out of that dog).


When I finally got the SD to stop periodically wailing, I was absolutely convinced it would come back on, so I spent most of the rest of the night tensely lying in bed, waiting…

Neither of these things happened when J lived in the house. Thanks, universe!