Here are my thoughts: I loathe phobias.
I hate them with the hate of a thousand needles in a cheating ex-boyfriend’s eye. I hate them so viciously that I wish I could stab phobias with my phobic killing sword.
Hope has a bug phobia. It is horrible.
I fucking hate it. Yes, I do not like to use all out curse words in this space, but the reality is that this phobia thing warrants a full on f-bomb.
Everywhere we go, everything we do, somewhere, there is the possibility of there being a bug.
When we got to Paris, Hope acted shocked that there were bugs. But when we got to Switzerland it was like she was furious that I did not warn her that, yes, in fact, the country has bugs.
There seems to be a noticeable amount of ladybugs and bees here. They are not particularly noticeable to me and Grammy. They have largely shaped Hope’s miserable Swiss experience, and thus, they have shaped all of our miserable Swiss experiences.
I must admit that I try desperately to be kind, understanding and sympathetic to my daughter’s phobia but seriously, it has become a major trigger for me because her fear routinely creates dangerous situations for everyone around her.
Wanna know how I discovered she had a phobia?
A couple of years ago, a gnat got in the car and she literally came across the front seat and pushed me out of the drivers side door while the car was moving. Fortunately we were in a parking lot and the car came to rest on a parking block. I wasn’t sure what was happening; I just knew that I had to get away from her and whatever it was she was freaked out about. I’m glad we were in a parking lot; I shudder to think what would have happened had we been on the freeway.
We have tried hypnosis to modest success, but the reality is that this phobia is debilitating.If I don’t kill everything around us, the only legitimate response apparently, I’m a horrible person. Today, I had to keep her from falling in the Rhine River and pull her from the path of an oncoming bus as she spun out of control *running* from a bee minding its own business buzzing by. This evening I nearly dropped my laptop when she pushed me off of the couch from a bug that was across the room under a chair. I just sent her to her sealed off room in tears because she seemed insistent to stay on bug watch and as my grandma would say, you keep looking and you will find what you’re looking for. Magically, a spider appeared on the wall and she freaked the hell out, yelling, screaming and crying. I’m praying the neighbors don’t call the our host to snitch on us.
We could close the windows, but air conditioning is not really a thing here and it’s currently about 71 degrees outside. Screens aren’t a thing either.
I’m sure I handled it all wrong, but I’m like, it’s late, no one is up, stop looking for bugs, go the eff to sleep. #samueljackson I spent the afternoon saving you and trying not to get accidentally killed in the process because a bee flew by minding its own frigging business. I’ve done breathing exercises with her. I encouraged meditation and mindfulness. I’ve sat with her to try to get on top of the anxiety. I’ve drugged her.
Seriously. I. Don’t. Know. What. Else. To. Do.
And I am tapped out. I’m exhausted. This leg of the trip has felt like one miserable disaster after another and I can’t wait to get home. I know she feels the same. Grammy feels the same. We all feel the same. I just want to rest because this trip has been anything but restful.
So, I’m girding myself for one last day in Switzerland and one last day in Paris. I’m hoping for a mini-reset. We need it. Hope needs it. Grammy and I need it.
Phobias suck and they suck for everyone.
In an effort to put some good energy out there, here are some snaps from our time in Switzerland!