I’m Worried You Wont Like This.

Here’s something about me you may not know: I worry a lot. I’m a worrier. For example:

A few years ago I saw how a family took a wrong turn on a vacation in Oregon and ended up trapped in their car in a snow storm. They ran out of food and water and were so cold that they tried burning the tires of their car for heat. And eventually, the father went out on foot to find help*. He died of hypothermia, I believe. That story had a huge impact on me and is the reason that I wear edible and wood jewelry. Seriously. If there are seeds or beans in the bead shop? I buy that mess, string it and wear it every day. Just in case. And at times I wonder if perhaps the seed beads have been treated in some way, or lacquered, but then I realize that if worse comes to worse, I can soak them in my saliva, break them down and survive on the inside part. The wood I can burn for warmth.

Years ago, when I was a teen, I was walking into a shop and there was a woman standing by the door holding on to an empty plastic bag. In a split second, I imagined her taking the bag, shoving it over my head and suffocating me, so I ran into the store. She was gone when I came back out. And yes, I kept peeking until she was gone.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was with the boys at Buffalo Exchange, a girl came up to me and asked me where I had purchased my necklace. I told her that I had made it, and she asked if she could buy one from me. Since I have nothing but time**, I told her I would, and then silently cursed her for the next two days until I found the time to make it. She came to where I work to pick it up, and out of her back pocket she pulled a squished, wrapped, handmade brownie and gave it to me. After she left, I threw it in the garbage, so as not to die from the poison that she obviously put in it, but my office mate took it back out and ate it. I watched for signs of distress in him for the rest of the day. He thought I was crazy.

I can’t stand it when my kids get Ranger Rick in the mail and it has a giant spider on the front, because I swear to SIPNEL I am afraid that spider will suddenly turn real and, and . . . what? Attack me? What the fuck do I think is going to happen? But really, I only touch the very edge of the magazine and then sort of throw it down and away from my body when we get into the house.

I’ve lived in Arizona for 16 years now, and have still never been to the Grand Canyon. It’s one of those things that I usually hate admitting to, because everyone says the exact same thing to me about it, and I get annoyed at the lack of originality. Yes, I know that I should, and I know that I should be ashamed that I haven’t. Why do I know? Because everybody keeps telling me. Seriously, someday I will tell someone that I have never been and they will say to me, “Cool! I think that’s great and perfectly acceptable!” But for now, I will tell you why I have never gone to stand on the very edge of a giant fucking hole in the earth. Years ago, my sister and I were visiting my uncle for “Family Weekend” at SUNY Geneseo while he was a student there. After our first night, he and his girlfriend took us for a beautiful hike, which ended at a popular picnic spot near a small lake. On one side of the lake was a large cliff, and on the other was the picnic spot. The top of the cliff was a “scenic stop” and there were people at the top, looking down at us. After a little while, we heard a scream, and looked up just in time to see a small child fall off the cliff.

No. I am not kidding.

We watched his body bounce off of every rock and every tree that he contacted the entire way down the cliff, until he reached the bottom, where he lay until the paramedics could hike in and carry him out. In the end, he was alright (my uncle was credited for being pretty heroic that day, and I distinctly remember him running across that lake to get to the child), but let me assure you that as a result of witnessing that? When I think about going to the Grand Canyon? All I want to do is vomit.

For some reason, whenever something frightens me, I get a sharp, shooting pain in my forehead. What’s that about? It’s weird.

We have a basement in the office building that I now work in, and it’s where the coffee pot is, so, let’s face it, I have to go into the basement a lot. But dude. It is pretty terrifying down there, especially if I am in said building completely alone. I got myself pretty worked up last week and convinced myself that even though the door to the building was locked, someone could have found a way in, and that I was going to be ambushed and raped (I know, I know, but it’s the truth!). So, I go into that basement for the love of coffee alone, and I have thought through my counter attack.

I’m convinced that one day a Palo Verde beetle will get into the house, climb in our bed, and touch me.

Lately, anytime my boss at my new job tells me that he needs to talk to me about something, I immediately begin to accept the fact that I’m about to be fired. OK. This one I blame on John.

But, you see what I’m trying to highlight here, right? I’m trying to highlight the crazy that lives inside me. And also, I would love to determine the cause of the shooting pain in the front of my head when something scares me, because it’s really weird. An added bonus would be to hear that I’m not actually crazy, and that many, many people experience the same thoughts. And if not, maybe don’t tell me.

Great. Something else to worry about.



*Don’t ever do that.

**Total sarcasm and resentment.



Filed under Confessions.

12 responses to “I’m Worried You Wont Like This.

  1. amy cormode

    You are not alone. When I was a girl, out riding bikes in my neighborhood, if any car started down the street, I was convinced it was someone coming after me to abduct me and yes rape me. I would get so freaked out, be peddling like mad down the street, looking for anyone out on the porch or street in case I did indeed need to yell for help, then get home, burst through the door, slam shut, breathe and try and act like I hadn’t just been running from a kidnapper (because I probably hadn’t, but who knows??)
    I could go on and on.
    I also sometimes worry that someone will come jump over our 7 foot wall out back, grab me and I won’t have time to scream while I am putting out the laundry at night, so I usually don’t put the laundry out at night.
    I am deathly afraid of little furry creatures like mice.
    I have many such stories, although, they seem to have tapered off a bit as I get older. But I have thought at times that there is something seriously WRONG with me to be so freaked out by things that aren’t really that big of a deal to the rest of the world. But maybe many many people do have these crazy fears, just everyone hides them? So we are all indeed normal.
    Glad I am not the only one:).

  2. Matt

    I CLEARLY remember that kid falling down that hill. He had a cut on his forearm. Why was I there?

  3. Christin

    Oh my, we are soooooooo related. Just when we think we may be very different people, it appears that we are MUCH more alike than we perhaps realize.

  4. As a native Arizonan and canyon-lover, my greatest shame is that I haven’t taken my big kid; the little one went with friends on a weeklong excursion where he got to do Ranger Rick type funstuffs while I was recovering from yet another surgey, during another year.

    However, it really is okay if you don’t want to visit The Grand Canyon. I feel like your logic for not going to the giant beautiful cliff of The Grand Canyon is a much better excuse than the hubby’s, who tells me that it’s totally a ‘commercialized experience’ and that he’d rather forage for food somewhere else. WTF?! You have to drive a ways outta Flagstaff to get there and the only pay-to-play space is the US Forrest Service Fees; what can I say, he’s a weirdo and sometimes just does that crap to get me mad for the fun of it…. 15 years we’ve been doing this!

    At any rate, I’ve been to The Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. The latter is a ridiculous trek on the way to New Mexico, but if you want to see the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid eyes on in the entire wide world… go there towards the after noonish and before the sun is getting ready to set; I promise that you won’t be able to catch your breath again til you hit Gallup, it is that unbelievably stunningly gorgeous! This is NO exaggeration. Again, the little one and I were roadtrippin together so he saw it and my shame is that the big kid wasn’t able to join us because he was a swim meet. Oh! and there are no cliffs that you could fall off of…. at least where the people-spaces are; the rest of the space is reserved for wildlife where you could run into spiders; so beware!

    If you really want to avoid heights, don’t let your hubby road trip the fam to the Royal Gorge with the world’s highest suspension bridge over some really rough rapids. People actually bungee jump and zip-line that shite!! As a kid I made it about 3/4 across before I had a full-on panic-attack –ya gotta walk back across it to get to your car because it is a several hour car ride to drive all the way around it…and who wants to give a person lift to do that? –and I still have nightmares from the experience of my father ungently dragging me back across that bridge!

  5. I consider it being prepared. When I worry and imagine the worst possible thing happening in a situation, I feel I’ve mentally prepared myself for it, and then when nothing bad happens, I’m pleasantly surprised. I think it comes down to having the bad actually happen to you or witnessing it, even just one time. You’re never convinced when other people say you’re ridiculous for worrying about something BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY HAS HAPPENED. Which makes you not ridiculous for thinking it could happen to you. I have a good friend who is a worrier like myself and when we’re really upset about something, we call/email/text each other and up the ante about how bad it could really get. It eventually gets silly and makes us feel better. When we were both about to go to the bank and get pre-approved for mortgages, we were terrified that our banks would find us unworthy and only approve us for, like, $7.36 or something. Which we decided to use to buy cardboard boxes and build our own Hooverville. More often than not, anxiety loves company. And I, for one, feel a little bit better knowing there are other worriers out there. It makes me feel safer.

    • This makes me feel mucho better. And reminds me of how every time I see a cop while I’m driving I go to hide the pot that I don’t actually have in my car. It’s like instant guilt!

  6. Courtney

    Oh Sarah, perhaps we are slightly related or being similarly worried is a NY thing? I do the EXACT same thing with magazines or pictures. My son picked out a snake picture that one of my best friends painted. Do you know where I display it? In his closet. I really need to get over that one before I hurt feelings. But really, the thought of it being near where he sleeps, freaks me out! I carry water and snacks and my nursing cover with me in stores because, what if some freak holds us hostage? I need to be able to provide water and snacks to the boys. On an airplane I sit in the aisle while the boys can pick from middle and window. Why? Because they say the aisle seat is the most dangerous in case of severe turbulence or worse, as luggage can fall out of the overhead compartments. Even worse, I have seen it happen before on an international flight over the freakin’ ocean! I would rather a suitcase land on me that my children. As soon as Chris leaves the house in the morning, I put the house alarm back on and climb back into bed. This way no one can break into my house and steal my children. I do the same when I shower.

    Should I seek help? 😉 To be honest, I haven’t even told my husband all my worries….I worry he would high-tail it out of AZ!

  7. Maureen

    Do you have like, a scar in the middle of your forehead? Maybe lightning shaped?

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