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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mottephobia: Being Afraid is Humiliating

So I haven’t blogged in a while as I’ve been caught up in my life outside the internet lately, however, I’m back and I wanted to take some time tonight to write a blog about my Mottephobia.

I know it’s not the happiest of entries to start back with but it is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. As summer approaches, it brings with it that familiar sense of constant dread and fear.

In all my previous moth-related entries, I know I’ve written with a strange style of humour and blogged about moth attacks in a funny, light hearted and fairly humorous manner but that is just my way of dealing with it and accepting my fear.

After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself sometimes, what’s the point in continuing on hey? (or something more poetic than that!)

The thing is, while I can look back on these attacks and laugh, at the time, I am utterly humiliated.

Mottephobia is a completely irrational fear, and I am well aware of this. I know that those furry winged creatures won’t hurt me in ANY WAY, yet I can’t help but be absolutely frightened of them.

My fear, like an unknown power, takes over my body and mind and I cannot control the way I react. If exposed to the fear or a moth long enough, I break out in an itchy rash and start to hyperventilate. Hysterical tears are often associated with the fearful reaction as well as a nervous twitch and the shakes.

And in amongst all of that, what you can’t see is that I am filled with total humiliation.

I know how foolish it must look to people standing by to witness the uncontrollable hysteria break free and as they stand around and laugh at me, I feel so ashamed. In my moment of weakness, I pray for the world to swallow me into a big black hole. To be rid of the embarrassment and safe from the offending insect.

Since spring has sprung, I have been subjected to a total of 5 moth attacks at work. Each one more humiliating and scarier than the last.

Luckily, each time, someone understanding has been passing by and “saved me” from the beast. For the most part, I’ve been left with some small shred of dignity.

This summer however, not only am I stricken by my usual mottephobia, but I am slowly suffering two new types of fear. One of sheer terror of the Return of The Plague and one of fear of my peers.

This will be the first moth season at my new job and I work in a corporate head office. It is no where near as laid back as Woollies or my previous office job were. Certain behaviours witnessed by certain members of staff will not be tolerated nor seen as acceptable behaviour for my position.

5 moth encounters before summer even arrives has me fearful that it is going to get worse.

It has also been 4 years since the last bogon plague and I remember back then, someone telling me that those types of plagues often strike every 4 years.

I am absolutely terrified that this is true. I could end up losing my job.

As for the second part of these new fears, from the recent moth attack at work, one guy who I kindly begged to rid of the creature for me (but didn’t as it is some old school Italian bad luck thing) was later joking about it with some other staff members.

Shortly after this, another staff member approached my desk with a smarmy smirk on his face as he announced “So, afraid of moths, are ya? Ha ha….I like that kinda thing”.

I'm petrified that people at work are going to play evil pranks on me. As my desk is on ground floor, all the upper levels completely surround my “office”. Each level overlooks reception in the centre of the building and I’m surrounded by balconies.

People can stand in front of me, on either side or behind me on the balconies and look down at me.

Recently, not a day has gone by where I don’t spend my entire shift worried that someone has some evil sort of prank planned for me.

Anyone standing on the balconies behind my desk looking down on me are completely out of my view and I would have no way of knowing/sensing they were there unless they did something to attract my attention.

I feel so vulnerable and scared at work each day. That on top of my usual moth-related fears each summer is almost too much to bear some days.

I hate feeling this way. I hate being afraid. I hate being humiliated.

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