Pithecophobia, fear of Gorillas (apes). Yeah, no joke you see a nice smiling gorilla in this picture. I see an absolute killing machine. When I was just barely old enough to form memories, there was this stupid mechanical gorilla at a gas station in Chetek, Wisconsin. It just stood there and waved.
At that age, I would run fevers high enough to hallucinate. One particular night I was hallucinating that the gorilla from the gas station was climbing into my bedroom and was going to do something terrible to my brother and me. (Yes I worried dearly for my brother)
Since that time I have not looked at a gorilla the same way since. I know they are out to get me. I just know it. Don’t ask me to watch Planet of the Apes. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Evil monkey in the closet, I think I’d fear the evil gorilla first. Just sayin.
Seems insane, doesn’t it. I do live in Wisconsin. Not exactly gorilla territory. But I do have my eyes open for bigfoot. (Those who are taking me overly serious here need to take some medication themselves. Relax I’m not looking for Bigfoot.)
But that’s fear for you, it doesn’t make sense to someone not experiencing it. I also have fears of snakes and I’m claustrophobic. If a snake would bite me and run away I’d be fine with snakes. But they could wrap themselves around my neck and suck the breath out of me. (Yep, hit the real crazy on that one) Closed spaces, again, I’m afraid of losing my breath. Being crushed. According to a few psychologist that’s actually pretty normal. I didn’t know there was anything normal about thinking my breath could be sucked out of me like those creepy things that suck souls in Harry Potter.
Fear is individual, with my claustrophobia I can actually take an elevator that’s air-conditioned over stairs that are hot and muggy. The air itself makes me feel suffocated.
The best part is that most of us are aware that the things we are afraid of are not very likely to happen. It doesn’t rewire that part of the brain though. I’ve been working a job (I own a cleaning business) for months now. It used to be the old courthouse and jail. I just used the elevator for the first time in months because I was terrified I would get trapped. You see one side of the elevator you need a key to unlock the door (jail rules you know). So my brain had a party with the what if’s of the situation.
But I did it. I rode the elevator. And I might just do it again. This won’t resolve my other fears though. But progress has been made.