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Phobias That Will Wreck Your Shit

Phobias That Will Wreck Your Shit

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Eleanor Kinkervoss has recently asked me to be the guardian of her future children. But here’s the problem... I had a fucked-up childhood and thus have NO idea how to handle little humans. I didn’t have a terribly fucked-up childhood. I didn’t have the kind that leads people to become either serial killers or the greatest artists the world has seen. Rather, I had a middle of the road fucked-upness that squelched my capacity for greatness with a sliver of love and support. This seems to be a common theme at NU: instead of fame and brilliance that comes from a troubled past, we’re left with anxiety disorder and an ACT score over 30. This shit is not endearing nor special.

Now, my mother is not the garden-variety batshit crazy--she’s the daughter of two illegal immigrants from Canada but raised in lower-Alabama with generalized-anxiety disorder type of crazy. She didn’t beat me (usually), and she didn’t call me names (usually), but she invented abuse through insanity. She sliterally raised me to be a crazy person. (And I mean “sliterally” because she also didn’t put me in speech pathology to fix my lisp as a child. Cruel punishment.) Her insistence on teaching me that bizarre things were normal led to my development of some weird fucking phobias.

For instance, I am afraid of humidifiers: the stupid little plastic boxes that spew water vapor when you’re sick.  When my family lived in Washington DC, my mother always told me to avoid those grates on the side of the street that blow out steam. Seems fair, right? But her reason was because that’s where homeless people lived and the “steam” was actually vaporized urine. She taught me that the air was sliterally infused with urine. So, yes, forgive me if I have nightmares about people peeing in my humidifier while I sleep.

After living in DC, we moved to the #5 most conservative city in the US--full of a whole new breed of crazies. The small town next to ours, however, is hippie-burnout-central. My mother mistakenly thought that people who hold pagan values and who respect the Earth must clearly be witches and make human sacrifices to the land. So every year, when Fall rolled around, I was forbidden to go to this town because my mother told me that the witches sacrificed small blonde girls to Pikes Peak on Halloween. Wut? Who comes up with this shit? Did she really believed that old women were running around town, abducting small children, ripping out their innards, and feeding them to a fucking mountain? Well it was convincing enough for me.

“Get in my bell-ayyyyy” -Pikes Peak

            I was also taught one thing concerning my future, assuming I hadn’t been sacrificed to the Rocky Mountains: “When a woman gets fat, her husband has the right to divorce her.”

Ummm, oh hello, eating disorder.  My parents actually made a deal that they could divorce each other if one of them got fat. And I thought this was normal. This is clearly the best way to boost the ego of an impressionable young girl.

All of this insanity is amplified by the fact that I’m an only child and a military brat, which means we live far away from all of our extended family. Living on the other side of the country from everyone meant LOTS of roadtrips as a kid. Every break, we would pack up and drive for dayzzanddayzz to either the Middle-of-Nowhere, Alabama, or Hicktown, Wisconsin. Along the way, we would have to stop in some god-awful places for the night, a personal “favorite” being York, Nebraska. While in these horrible janky hotels, my mother put me under the impression that people only ever stay in hotels under desperate circumstances. The ONLY REASONS people go to hotels is if they’re a horribly sad family driving cross-country to see relatives they actually hate, or teenagers on prom night. Don’t worry, we were the former. (I told you I wasn’t fucked-up enough to be actually interesting.) But to this day, I hate myself whenever I stay in a hotel because I can just sense that the place reeks of sadness, disappointment, and desperation. And semen.

So do you have any weird scars from childhood? Trick question! You go to Northwestern... There must be a reason you’re a socially awkward heinous. Let’s hear some of your stories in the comment section! Let’s get weird...

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