Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Little Phobia

Perhaps you know someone with a phobia.

Arachnophobia - fear of spiders
Hydrophobia - fear of water
Chiroptophobia - fear of bats
Pediophobia - fear of dolls
Coulrophobia - fear of clowns 
Ephebiphobia - fear of teenagers

While my fear my not be quite the extent of being called a phobia, I did look up the name. 
Fear of mice. 

I was never afraid of the classroom pets we had in grade school.
Or Emily's hamster.
I just dislike being surprised by mice. 
And growing up in a farmhouse, mice would inevitably run out and surprise you, leaving you (at least in my case) to jump up on a table chair and remove every appendage from the floor as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, cats could easily brought inside to help catch the problem, and traps worked wonders in other areas of the house.

Here in Ames, we have no cat. 
We've used a few traps just in case, especially since our back door is not tight to ground.
And we've caught a couple, which Wayne (my roommate's boyfriend) has graciously taken care of. 


He's gone with my roommate this weekend.
B's in Maryland.
B's roommate is in Minnesota.
And there was a dead mouse in a trap, sticking up the house. 

I tried. I REALLY tried to push aside my repulsion, the shudders that ran down my shoulders and spine when I thought about moving the mouse. I devised ways to put me as far away from the mouse as possible, and that would keep it out of my sight. Kitchen tongs - check. Colored plastic bag to obscure mouse - check. Eyes tightly closed - check (wait, where's the mouse?)

I couldn't do it. I could not will myself to even touch the trap, to pick it up with a pair of tongs and drop it into the bag. Instead, my roommate Jess stepped up to the plate, used those tongs with only one shudder, and we became dead rodent free. Praise. God.
As a farm kid, I feel that there are certain expectations I have to live up to. Things that I shouldn't be bothered by, such as cows running across a road, wearing long sleeves in blistering summer sun, the smell of manure, enjoying swimming in creeks and pond, handling dead rodents. But even these expectations are different for everyone. 

Sure, I wish I had more courage, especially in dealing with something so small and seemingly insignificant. But everyone has fears, and each person's fear is important, if only to themselves. I know I have laughed at other people's funny phobias before, thinking how silly it would be to fear something so

Fear is grounding. It reminds us of our flaws, of our constant need for others to help us, to grow stronger, to attempt facing our fears, or find ways of coping and dealing with our fears. But first, we have to acknowledge our fear before we can move forward. 

When I am afraid, I will trust in you., O Lord
~ Psalm 56:3 ~

Even if it's just a little mouse.

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